Humility on Sale for $120

Family on Bike
A few weeks ago I dropped off my friends motorcycle at a Shop and left the equivalent of about $120 in Khun A’s hands to change the registration.  My friend, Rick, ended up picking up his motorcycle and paying for the work that I had already prepaid.  A couple of days later I went by to pick up my $120 and Khun A had no recollection of me leaving it with him.

He went and checked his book that he “usually” writes down when he gets money from someone but didn’t have an entry in it.  I told him it wasn’t right and he said we should both take some time to see if we could remember our story differently.  I think that was Thai for, “I don’t like this situation and I would like it to be over for now.”

That was over a week ago.  Yesterday I was thinking of stopping by the shop to see if he remembered me giving him the money but as I stopped in front of the store I decided to keep on driving.  Last night before dinner my friend Rich asked if I could drive him over to Khun A’s shop so that he could pick up his moped.  As I was driving over I felt God whispering “Humble” in my ear and I knew what he was saying.  I had thought earlier as I drove away from Khun A’s shop that pride was the reason I never wanted to use Khun A’s services again.  I felt that I had been taken advantage of and my pride was causing me to say I would find a new mechanic and a new person to do my registration each year.

As I dropped off Rich, I asked Khun A to put air in my tires and he realized that there was plastic burning on the muffler and as he fixed that he showed me that there was a dangerous split in the rear tire.  So I humbled myself and asked him to change the tire and change the oil while he was at it.

God’s whisper caused me to be kind instead of forcing my own outcome.  The downside of an extra measure of a desire for Justice is that I often fight for my own Justice instead of fighting for the things that are really important.  In this case my own humility and the eternal destiny of Khun A are far more important battles than whether or not I have another $120 in my pocket.  Pride could have easily led me to drive away without giving Khun A any more business which would have been foolish and disobedient to the Lord.

I know that one of my colleagues here has had Khun A over to his house and share the message of the good news of Jesus Christ with him.  This morning I woke up thanking God for selling me another helping of humility for $120 and begging him to open Khun A’s eyes to his need for Jesus.

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Business As Mission

 

Mark and Jo Plummer are a couple of our friends here in Chiang Mai, Thailand and probably the only friends in our lives that we will ever eat dinner with 4 times in a week like we did the first week that our families started getting together.   They also happen to run www.Businessasmission.com and a bunch of different training events throughout the year.  If you are interested using business to make disciples and further the kingdom I highly encourage you to check it out.  They are starting their first business Discipleship Training School in 2013 as well.

You can check out their facebook page here  http://www.facebook.com/businessasmission

Memorizing Scripture

An Easy way to Soak Your Mind

Memorizing Scripture

One time in college I had been working on memorizing James Chapter 1.  At that time the phone was in my name so I was responsible for figuring out who made what calls and then totaling up the calls and adding the tax and then collecting the money from each of my suite mates.  One month there were a number of calls that I was fairly certain belonged to a suite mate of mine but could not prove it so I ended up eating the cost of the phone calls.  The next month there were again some of the same unclaimed calls that I knew had to have come from this person.

After reading the bill, I remember leaving my room ticked off, my pace and heartbeat quickening as I entered the hallway.  At the base of the stairs I jumped up to the third stair.  In Mid air this verse hit me.  “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  Knowing that I had quickly become angry I turned around in mid air and went back to my room.OK.  I didn’t really turn around in mid air but I did turn and go back down the stairs so I could cool off.

The times when God has brought to mind something from his word to challenge, motivate or encourage me are too numerous to count.  God’s word is powerful and active.It’s living.It changes and shapes who you are.  What better to be shaped by than the word of God?

I would like to share with you a simple method for allowing God’s word to sink deep into your own life and to be always a part of you so that if God chooses to speak to you, you will be ready to hear it.  I call it the 1-2-3 Scripture Memory Method.  Because you will have three steps for the verse before you have it memorized.

Preparation Step 1.First take out the top four cards and write: Daily, Twice a Week, and Weekly, and Memorized on one card so that you now have four cards that look like this:

Step 2.

Twice a Week

 

Step 3.

Weekly

 

Memorized

 

Preparation Step 2.Write out any verses you already have totally memorized.These you can place in the memorized pile.Though it doesn’t take much time if you don’t review a verse that you have memorized once in a while you will forget it.

  1. Work on a verse each day (at least 5 times during the week) until you feel that you have it down pretty well.
  2. After you can say it without looking for two days transfer it to the 2 times a week pile and continue to review the verse.This will stretch your retention time and continue to allow you to work on it.You may want to pick two specific days like Tuesday and Friday.
  3. Finally move it to the weekly pile.This will further stretch you retention time and help you to know if you really have it memorized.Don’t hesitate to move a verse back a pile if you come to realize that you didn’t know a verse as well as you thought.

Once you have a verse memorized you can put it in the memorized pile and review this pile every few weeks.Eventually this will be your largest pile and you will need to review once in a while to keep the verses fresh and at the front of your mind.

Supplies Needed:

1 pack (50 or 100) 3X5 Cards

4 Thick Rubber Bands

X marks the site for Christian Entrepreneurs

Chi Ro Symbol for Christian Entrepreneurs

Chi

Contrary to Popular Belief the X in Xmas was not started by Jesus hating pagans who were trying to remove Christ from Christmas.  The Chi which looks like our X is the first letter in Greek to spell out Christ.  You may have seen the Chi Ro symbol in the past.  In my quick internet search I found that it was used in Europe in the 1500′s.  Probably true but who knows.

When I was thinking of a short catchy name for a site for Christian Entrepreneurs I thought of XTrep.  I hope you aren’t offended and that you are blessed by what you find on the site.  Actually, I don’t care all the much if you are offended but if you are not offended I hope that you are blessed.  If you are offended I have a feeling that it will be nearly impossible for you to be blessed.

We will be offering great thoughts, resources, advice and encouragement for Christ’s slaves who are interested in running their own businesses.

Peace,

Buddy

Biblical Guidelines for Leaders

Biblical Leadership Principles that you can use today

Biblical Leadership Principles that you can use today

photo by Extra Medium

I was reading timothy the other day and I noticed some great information Paul had written about church leaders and some of the guidelines for choosing them. So here I want to look over them, because I think they hold a powerful and convicting message for many today.

Let’s begin by looking at 1 Timothy 3:1-7. Here is the passage below:

1Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”

Now, there is a lot being said in these verses, so let us go back and look for the key points. Paul begins in verse two by saying that an overseer or church leader must be above reproach. That alone is powerful. Are you, as a leader, living your life so that you are above reproach from those around you?

Paul continues in verse two by listing a few characteristics. Go back and reread them and then think about what your life looks like. I know I need to work on a few of these. Are there any characteristics of leaders listed here that God is impressing on you that need to be changed in your life?

In verse three Paul is basically saying that a church leader should not have any addictions, whether to money, alcohol, or anything in this world. Further along in verse four Paul also says that a leader should manage their family well first, because if they cannot even manage their family, how can they oversee a church? What does your family look like? Are your family affairs in order? When we have family problems, it distracts us and takes our attention away from other activities such as overseeing a church. So Paul is trying to say that to avoid a split attention, make sure your family is in good order before you start taking on leadership roles in a church.  Also as an example to others you should be leading your family well.  If you cannot lead a small group like a family it will be hard to lead a larger group like a church.

About a year ago Buddy preached a sermon on Father’s day where he created a family from the audience.  A father a wife and two kids.  He was referring to the fact that many men are comfortable leading a group of 10 or 20 or more people at work but these same men walk into their homes are intimidated to lead the family spiritually.  Without any preparation he had the father read a small devotional, ask some questions of his family regarding how the passage applied to their lives and pray.  Many people mentioned how it challenged them that leading your family spiritually can be easier than one might think if they have not been in the practice of doing it.

Finally, in verse seven, Paul says that a church overseer must have a good reputation with outsiders. Paul says this because the overseer is basically the figurehead, or at least one of them, for the entire church, so if they have a bad reputation with outsiders, then the outsiders will assume the rest of the church has a bad reputation.

These are some of the key points from verses 1-7 of 1 Timothy 3.  You might want to go and read the whole chapter because there is so much more there that God has for us as leaders.

Effective Leaders Remain Accountable

A leader must remain accountable in order to stay on top of being a leader, and follower of Christ.

A leader must remain accountable in order to stay on top of being a leader, and follower of Christ.

Photo by alles-schlumpf

When you think of accountability, you often think of a leader keeping others accountable. That’s one of their roles as a leader right? Well this is true, but a leader also has the responsibility to keep him or herself accountable.

There are two areas a leader needs to remain accountable in: first, they should hold themselves to the same standards as everyone under them: and second, they should recognize their own need to have someone who keeps them on track and accountable for their actions.

As a leader, whenever you set rules or regulations, you must be the first to follow them. It both sets an example for others to follow, and shows that you are really serious about the guidelines that you have set.

I can think of one situation I was in where a leader said one thing, but did another.  I was volunteering for a camp and one of the leaders for the camp told me, and a group of other guys, that we could only have one snack per day. Now, there was an entire room that had tables covered with snacks that had been donated for volunteers, yet for whatever reason, we were not supposed to have more than one a day. This would have been annoying, but OK. However, that leader proceeded to ignore her own rule, and have more than a few snacks per day. That aggravated me and many other volunteers and certainly did a lot to undermine that leader’s character and authority. I am sure you have encountered a similar situation where a leader set standards that they themselves could not or would not follow. So when you are leading, and setting rules, be the first to follow them. And if you cannot, then you think twice about whether they are good guidelines or rules for your group.

Secondly, a leader must remain accountable for their actions. One of the best ways to do this is to have an accountability partner, coach or mentor who is involved in your life and can recognize areas you are slacking especially if they are character areas.  Buddy is on the board of an organization that does not even spend $500 without the approval of the board.  This creates great accountability for leader and engenders confidence in the rest of the people involved in the organization.

Finally make sure that you are really being honest with others in these situations.  Some parents discipline lying that most because if you are OK with lying all other sins become possible.  If you are not honest with the people in your life accountability becomes a game just like everything else.  If you haven’t been honest with someone in your life, go back and apologize and start over and work at being honest with everyone important in your world.

If you do not have someone who keeps you accountable, consider talking with someone who has a similar leadership position or a friend who is not directly involved in your organization. It can be a mutual accountability, or one way, but the key is to make sure you have someone who will keep you on track, both with your organization and with God.

Spiritual Growth Software

Spiritual Growth Software Screen shot

Spiritual Growth Software Screen shot

I have read that all good things take longer than anticipated.  Our Spiritual Growth Software is no exception.  :-)   Just today, my intern Alex was asking, “What is the latest on the spiritual growth software?”  With the final changes and then some time for our initial testing it is still probably about two weeks out.  Subscribers to the Leadercast Edge will get a free advance copy.

At the same time I am more excited about it than ever as I have shown the early beta version to a bunch of people and received awesome feedback.  In fact, it encouraged me enough to spend a little more money and create a product that I think will be a category leader.  Thanks for your patience those of you that have been waiting for it.  I think you will find it worth the wait.  I know in the time that I have been getting it developed I keep thinking, “I wish it were done today.”

The Power of Accountability

Do you have someone keeping you accountable in certain areas of your life? Are there others in your life that you keep accountable?

I am up at 10:48 after the busiest week of my year and a really long day to boot because of the power of accountability. A couple of weeks ago I had to tell a coach of mine that I hadn’t met my goals of putting up content on the site and then letting people know about it.

My goal for this month was a post every other day. I created the posts before I left for spring break that would go up automatically while I was gone. Then I thought I would have some time today to post. As it always seems to do, life didn’t go exactly as planned. I could have headed to bed like my body wanted to do right when I got home but then I would be telling my accountability partner/coach in a week that I almost but didn’t quite meet my goal. I don’t know about your personality type, but for me that’s something that I don’t want to do ever again and especially not in consecutive meetings, so here I am typing as my eyes are starting to close like a heavy garage door once it’s passed the tipping point and gravity takes over causing the door to slam to the cement of the garage floor.

I started off asking if you had someone keeping you accountable for things.

Currently I have my friend/coach/accountability partner who is keeping me accountable for content on this site.

I have Ray who is keeping me accountable to some areas of leadership in leading my team and my ministry here.

I meet with Ron and Mark each week who keep me accountable to memorizing scripture and loving my wife well.

How many of us would do taxes without the accountability of the IRS?

Accountability is often great when we need a little extra push to get something one. Perhaps you have the desire to do something but you lack the self discipline. Bower it from an accountability partner or a coach until it becomes internal or innate in you to do whatever task you currently don’t want to do.

I have a friend that was struggling with porn so he gave me his laptop for a season then installed a filter that sends me an update each week of what he has been doing online and that has kept him from pursuing pleasure outside of the ways that God intended.

My favorite discipleship tools is based on accountability. In fact, we call them Mutual and Accountability and Discipleship groups. MADgroups for short. You can go tot he download page and download the brochure if you are interested in starting one. There is accountability built in to flee from sin and pursue righteousness. There is accountability to be reading the word of God because if you don’t read at all your friend has to read again as well as you. There is also accountability to be praying for your lost friends to come to know Jesus as Lord and savior.

Accountability is strong. You need to have it to help you in those areas where you lack the discipline to stick to the path of becoming who you want to be and who God wants you to be. If there is an area where you aren’t all you can be right now, look for a friend that can’t help to keep you accountable to a higher standard.