Pitfalls Of A Second Hand Faith.

Do you ever wonder if God actually exists? I do. And pretty much every person I have ever met has questions about the existence of God.

What happens when we question the existence of God is we question the “view” or “version” of God that we grew up with.

When people lose faith and decide to leave God behind what we are really leaving is the “version” of God we grew up with. So, here is a fair question …

Who handed you, your view of God?

How do you know what you know about God?

Was it your parents, pastor or favorite author? If so, that is great and can be an amazing gift to your life. But when everything we know about God comes to us from someone else … we are in danger of carrying a surrogate or second hand faith.

Surrogate” – DEF: substitute, replacement, stand in

A surrogate is a person who carries something for another person. 

How do we move from a surrogate or second hand faith to a place where we own our own faith?

This is what we strive to uncover as we dive into in this message from Parkview Christian Church in Chicagoland.

What should I be considering during communion?

Jesus made it very clear to his overwhelmed disciples that communion is time of remembrance.

I Cor. 11:23-26 – The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

The very need for the word “remember” signifies that we tend to forget things. And I believe a big part of our stress, anxiety and sense of feeling overwhelmed is because we have forgotten some things about ourselves and our God that we should remember!

So, what are we supposed to be “remembering” during a time of communion?

What should our minds be considering as we take the bread and juice that represents the body and blood of Jesus?

What should we be thinking about …

  • As the trays are passing by
  • The lights are low
  • The room is quiet
  • And most of our heads are bowed

 

WorkJoy & Pancakes – The Personal Side

In part one of this article we realized there’s really no right or wrong way to eat a pancake.
There is not one side that tastes better.

Neither side of a pancake is more important.
Both sides matter.

Likewise, if one side gets burned it affects the taste of the other side.

It’s the same way when it comes to your work.

To experience joy at work there are two equally important sides.

You should make your work a better place,
and your workplace should make you a better person.

In part one of this article we considered how to evaluate if a person is making their workplace better. We looked at this subject from the perspective of the organization.

Today, we are taking a look at the personal side. We are going to discover several ways you can become a better person as you make your work a better place.

Here are three ways you can find value from the personal side of the work relationship:

  • Work in teams. This will make your product better.

It doesn’t matter what you are creating, a team will enable you and others to accomplish more with less stress (eventually) and in less time.

  • Work in strengths. This will make your potential better.

It doesn’t matter what you are creating or leading, if you create and lead from your strengths (delegating your weaknesses) you will produce better things, in less time and with less stress.

  • Work ahead. This will make your process better.

Good things happen in the margin. When you “work ahead” you make your career, calling, family, friendships and personal life taste better.

WorkJoy occurs when you add value to a place and that place adds value to you as a person.

Who you become is more important than what you do.

Decide today to strive for double-sided WorkJoy!

 

WorkJoy & Pancakes – The Organizational Side

What is your favorite breakfast food?
Mine is pancakes.

The reason is there’s really no right or wrong way to eat a pancake.
There is not one side that tastes better.

Neither side of a pancake is more important.
Both sides matter.

Likewise, if one side gets burned it effects the taste of the other side.
Again, both sides matter.

It’s the same way when it comes to our work.

To experience joy at work there are two equally important sides.

1. You should make your work a better place.
2. The work place should make you a better person.

You should add value to the business, non-profit endeavor or church.
And the business, non-profit endeavor or church should add value to you.

Often, we think about a single side of workjoy.

How does the employee add value to the organization?

This is obviously a critical component to staying employed and finding joy at work.

You have to work at work for things to work!

I work for a staffing firm called Slingshot Group. We help people build remarkable teams and here is a behind the scenes look at some of the criteria we use as we evaluate the value a person is adding to their organization.

  • Immediate chemistry

Would you rehire the same person today?

  • Team health

Does the candidate improve team dynamics?

Has the entire staff been positively affected by the candidate?

  • Individual contribution

Has the team member brought visible value beyond their role requirements?

  • Ministry momentum

Are there improved ministry area results under the candidates leadership?

Are new leaders being added to the candidates ministry area?

  • Organizational capacity

Does the candidate increase the energy level of the leadership team?

Does the candidate increase the influence of your church in general?

Has the candidate helped you gain new ground as an organization?

These are great questions you can ask when it comes to discerning value from the employer side of the relationship. However, the side of workjoy that often gets undervalued or burned. Is the personal, me side. In order to truly experience workjoy, it must be two sided.

You should make your work a better place
and your work place should make you a better person.

Here are several ways you can find value from an employee side of the relationship and experience and become a better person as you also create a better place.

  • Work in teams. This will make your product better. It doesn’t matter what you are creating a team will enable you and other to accomplish more, with less stress (eventually) and in less time.
  • Work in strengths. This will make your potential better. It doesn’t matter what your creating or leading if you create and lead from your strengths (delegating your weaknesses) you will produce better things, in less time and with less stress.
  • Work ahead. This will make your process better. Good things happen in the margin. When we “work ahead” we make our careers, calling, family, friendships and personal life taste better.

Workjoy occurs when we add value to a place and that place adds value to you as a person.

Who you become is more important than what you do.

Decide today to strive for double-sided workjoy!

Are you more eggshell or semi-gloss?

We just had the Clark Cottage painted recently and I learned a lot over the five day period from the painters.

Did you know there are 5 levels of sheen in the world of paint?

– High gloss
– Semi-gloss
– Satin
– Eggshell
– Matte

When it comes to understanding your life …

Do you know your sheen?

Did you know that you are the most important person you will lead this week?
And you are the most difficult person you will lead this week.

Most leaders who are no longer leading others have found themselves in that spot because they quit leading or couldn’t lead themselves.

Over the years, understanding who I am has been critical to understanding who God is calling me to be and where He is calling me to invest my one and only life.

It has given the the ability to say yes.

And it has given me the ability to say no, with confidence, to great opportunities.

Here are my top four ways to gain insight into your unique sheen.

1. Get a LifePlan. In January of 2017 Rene and I spent four days in the Patterson LifePlan process and it revolutionized our lives. You can find more information here – Paterson Center.   And my wife Rene also leads people through 2-day personal and private LifePlan retreats at our cottage in Huntington Beach, CA. More information here – ReneClark.Com

NOTE: A LifePlan is not about you crafting your dream for your life, but unearthing Gods dream for your life.

2. Do the Enneagram. This diagnostic tool not only reveals your sheen that looks beautiful, engaging and everyone wants to see, but it also gives insight into the potential pitfalls and “dark side” of your sheen / personality. The side that often creeps up on you but you don’t know why. This tool, when facilitated by a pro, can help you see the other side of you.

3. Give trusted people permission. Allowing trusted friends and family members to speak openly into your life could surprise you. They stare at your exterior all day long. And though they might not know how you feel on the inside all the time … they will have a pretty accurate appraisal of how shiny or dull you are on the outside.

4. Get alone. Get away with only a blank notebook and ask God to speak to you. If you are feeling stuck and like God is quiet … then write everything you want to say to Him. Then just draw an empty box or circle on your paper … and wait for Him to speak words into your heart. Write down what your heart says. Then meditate on those things.

Do You Have Incompatible Wishes?

Are all of our wishes compatible?

Can we accomplish all we wish and dream to do?

The short answer is no.

I have found that many people are plagued and ultimately left feeling tremendously guilty by a pursuit of “incompatible wishes.”

Incompatible Wishes: A series of good and noble dreams that cannot be realized in unison.

Here is an example of my recent incompatible wishes.

I want to be the lead pastor of a mega (giga) church AND I wish to write a book, spend time with my family, build a benevolent photography brand and lead the senior team at Slingshot Group in staffing and coaching.

These are all good wishes.

But they are incompatible when considered in unison.

When I stood at the ledge of leading one of the largest churches in the United States, I realized I could not do that and accomplish the other good things God had placed in my head and heart.

So I had a choice …

Which wish to pursue … because finite amounts of time, energy and resources make these good wishes incompatible.

Look at all of the wishes you have before you right now in your life.

  • You may have some giant, good and noble dreams.
  • Incredible opportunities.
  • Once in a lifetime invitations.

Here is the good news … if Gods calling on your life is simply to “work in His Kingdom” then you have a lot of latitude on how, when and where you do that.

Invest your life in the area that makes your heart beat fast.

And don’t heap guilt on yourself when you can’t “do it all.”

“All” is not possible because many of your great wishes and awesome opportunities are just incompatible.

These good and noble things could possibly be accomplished in a sequence, but not in unison. 

Admitting some of your wishes are good, but incompatible, will allow you to live infectiously and curiously.

Bitcoin Baby?

I wonder if you have jumped into bitcoin / altcoin and crypto this New Year?

I have a small stake in BTC (Bitcoin), XLM (Stellar Lumens), XRP (Ripple), ETH (Ehteruim), TRX (Tronix) and XVG (Verge) as we begin 2018.

It has been a tumultuous 10 days as I watch these coins crash.

Rebound.

Then crash yet again.

Here is what I wrote in my journal this morning as I listened to Bethal Music w/out words on my Apple AirPods.

“Here is what is true … every earth based financial investment I make in this life will eventually fade, disappoint, stress, rust, collect moths and crash.

But my investment in God, His Kingdom and His Holy Word does not ever fade, disappoint, stress, rust or collect moths. It is crash proof.”

 

This is what I believe.

This is where I must live.

Can you make a buck while you make a life?

Of course.

But too much focus on a buck will also crash your life.

< = > New Year.