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.
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.
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?
But too much focus on a buck will also crash your life.
< = > New Year.
It’s simple …
One push-up never equals just one push-up.
When I make myself get on the floor for “just one” push-up it always becomes 10, 20, 30 or more.
“I’m here now … I may as well do a few more.”
And that is how just one push-up has changed my fitness level.
So, how has it changed my LIFE?
- Just write a few sentences … always becomes a few paragraphs.
- Just walk around the block … always becomes a mile or two.
- Just send one text of encouragement … always becomes three or four.
- Just one minute in the Bible … always becomes 20 minutes.
Just one little anything has the potential to become a whole lot of something and change your life.
Ten hours before the horrific shootings began at Mandalay Bay I was speaking to three Sunday morning services at Verve Church, just off the Las Vegas strip.
I was talking about how we “should on God” when God doesn’t act like He “should.”
Midway through the message God led me to pause and say …
“I am going to share something with you now
that could save your FUTURE FAITH in God.”
At some point in the future, it could be today or tomorrow or next month, God is not going to act like we think He “should.”
And you will have choice to make …
Will you continue to trust God,
even when He does not act like
you think He “should?”
Little did I know that less than 10 hours later I would be inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel watching a band about 10:30pm and in the midst of this surreal event.
Police / SWAT moving by us as we hid inside Mandalay Bay
Police outside Mandalay Bay. Thousands being evacuated an hour after shooting began.
Here is my message from Verve Church this past weekend.
How do we act when God doesn’t act like we think He “should?”
NOTE: This message is from the forthcoming book “Meet The Shoulds” and the teaching series “SHOULD HAPPENS” that will be available at the end of this year.
Generally speaking, in life, would you prefer something to be full or empty?
In most areas of life we would prefer something be full rather than empty. It’s better to have a full can of soda, plate of cookies or gas tank … than an empty one. When it’s your birthday you would rather your Facebook or Instagram timeline be full of birthday wishes … rather than empty. And what about Thanksgiving or Christmas? Would you rather have a house full of friends and family … or a quiet, empty and lonely house?
We tend to prefer fullness over emptiness.
And listen, God is all good with fullness. He wants you to have life and have it to the fullest.
But there are times when God prefers emptiness.
Sometimes emptiness is the only thing God can bless.
In this short message I spend some time talking about the importance and genius of collecting emptiness.
I recently heard Greg McKeown, the author of a book called “Essentialism,” speak at a conference.
In his book he points out the word “priority” has been around for many hundreds of years. But we only pluralized this word within recent decades. Fascinating!
Today, because of our pace of life, we have lost track of the principle of priority as we focus on multiple objectives and initiatives. And to be honest … I love this fast paced, multi-hyphenate type of life and schedule. Each week I have many lanes that I am working in which means multiple priorities in any given hour, day or week.
And if I am not careful, I can trick myself into believing and living as though there is more than one “most important thing.”
But the fact is, in my life there can only be ONE priority.
Then everything else I do can flow from the blessings
of keeping the word “priority” singular.
This past weekend in our “BACK IN THE BLACK” teaching series at Parkview I touched on this topic.
Here is one minute of the message.
We have embarked on a new adventure of helping people find peace with who they are and courage to do what God has called them to do.
WE GOT A LIFE PLAN.
As we’ve been adjusting to our current season of change (move, job change, daughter off to college, son off to a new high school), a friend suggested we get a LifePlan done. We had heard a little about the LifePlan process, but we didn’t see how it would apply to us since we felt pretty secure in the plans we had made for this season of our life. But our friend kept pressing, so we investigated a little and decided to give it a try.
Turns out, a LifePlan is exactly what we needed
to find clarity and affirmation
for this next season of our lives.
Rene and I entered the LifePlan process with Doug Slaybaugh in San Clemente, California. Our desire was to discover how to live out God’s purpose for our lives in this new season. We both came out of the LifePlan process with a clear objective on how to do that.
We are feeling a great sense of peace with who we are and how God made us. One of the things a LifePlan does is bring great clarity to a persons life purpose.
For instance, Rene discovered that one of her life’s purposes is to empower women to take steps toward God.
I discovered that I have a passion for helping high achievers be healthy.
These are things that are true to our very core.
They have always been true,
but we needed a little guidance in excavating these truths,
and our facilitator took us through a strategic process
to dig it out, name it, and get it on paper.
After experiencing the LifePlan process together in San Clemente, California, Rene booked a trip to Boulder, Colorado, and completed her training with the Paterson Center to become a Certified LifePlan Facilitator. She now has the tools and the training to come alongside women and guide them toward discovering God’s unique purpose for their lives.
A LifePlan is a two-day, intensive process of soul work.
It’s a guided exploration of your life experiences,
your passions and your talents,
getting it all on paper,
and discovering God’s unique plan for your life.
Whether you’re starting something, letting something go, or you’re somewhere in-between, you need perspective and purpose. A LifePlan will help you gain perspective on who God created you to be and find purpose in whatever God wants you to do next.
Rene would love to help you pursue your own story so that you can give your best self to the people in your life.
Are you ready for a LifePlan with Rene?
If you’re a woman in ministry, a LifePlan can help you clarify your passion.
If you’re married to a pastor, a LifePlan can give you confidence to boldly step into your calling.
If you’re a MomBoss, a LifePlan can help you find balance and purpose.
If you would like to get a LifePlan scheduled with Rene this summer, learn more at ReneClark.Com
I just launched the “BAGGAGE” series at Parkview Christian Church. Parkview is a multi-site church of 9,000 weekend attenders in the Chicago-land area. I am honored to be part of the teaching team and find myself traveling from Huntington Beach, California to be with the Parkview crew 12-15 weekends a year.
In the first 10 minutes of this message I littered the stage with about 50 FOLDERS and I told a story of an event that occurred 8 years ago and changed the rest of my life. The bottom line …
WE ALL HAVE FOLDERS!
We all have crap in our past to get past.
So how do we do that?
In this message I talk about 4 safe places to admit your junk.
Check it out.
The question today is …
Can Jesus Christ and Santa Claus co-exist?
What part should Santa play in a Christian’s Christmas?
Would Jesus take a “selfie” with Santa?
I believe the answer to that question is …
More than ever this Christmas season we are omni-aware.
We are, like no other time in the history of humanity, aware of all the good and all the bad in the world the moment it occurs.
Think about that …
We see every heroic act immediately …
creating all kinds of unintended heroes.
We see every violent act immediately …
creating all kinds of super villains.
And we have to metabolize and make sense out of all of it.
What I want us to realize is that it has not always been this way.
For instance, in 1989 I was on a bus with a soccer team from the United States sitting at the Olympic training center in Hong Kong. We were on our way into China to play a match against their national team. We sat on the bus for several hours without moving and finally were told to get off and go back into the training center. That afternoon we sat and watched uncensored television video of the tanks rolling down Tiananmen Square.
What is crazy is that what I saw in “real time” that day, much of the world did not see for days because of the censorship of television at that time.
That is not the case today … we do not even need television to be aware today.
As Leonard Sweet says, “We are living in a T.G.I.F. Culture!”
Twitter. Google. Instagram. Facebook.
These mobile technologies have made us instantaneously omni-aware of all the good and bad, evil and heroic moments that happen. And we experience all of this in real time all around the globe.
In any given day we will digest …
- An airstrike in the middle east
- A Tsunami in Asia
- A fire at a concert that kills 40 young people
- A dad who saves a boy from drowning
- A police officer who risks her life to save children at a pre-school
- A police officer that shoots an apparently innocent man
- Children who are being trafficked
- Parades for World series baseball teams
- New diseases from mosquitos
- New iPhones from Apple
When I think about our current culture, it feels like we are living in a comic book because we are globally aware of heroes and villains like never before.
And what often happens to Christians when we get a real-time look at the world is that we get depressed because it often looks like the Church is losing.
From our perspective, things do not look good for the Church.
So I give you this true story to offset the omni-aware moments.
A few years back CNN did a special from France about the 50th Anniversary of the allied invasion of Normandy. This battle marked the beginning of the end of World War II. In this interview CNN interviewed two elderly men who had been young soldiers and participated in the Normandy invasion.
The first interview was an infantry soldier, “We landed on the beach and I made my way through dead body after dead body … I saw my whole unit killed! I fought hand-to-hand combat paying a high price for every foot of territory. I looked all around me at all the dead bodies and I fell to my knees in defeat and I said to myself … there is no way we can win.”
The second interview was a reconnaissance pilot, “It was my job to fly over the entire area of the battle and then report back to the allied command everything I could see from my aerial perspective. And as I flew over the battle field with every hour I became more and more confident with what I saw and I said to myself … there is no way we can lose!”
As we continue to make efforts to make sense of this omni-aware world from our perspective I believe all heaven is looking down upon us saying, “If you could just see what we see! If you could see this world from our perspective you would see that the message of Christ is advancing every single day. And there is no way we can lose!”
I believe it’s our job as followers of Jesus this Christmas
to remind people about God’s view.
It is our job to help people who get to see ALL the good & ALL the bad instantaneously … to realize that God is still in control!
Yes, our world is taking on a different shape,
but God is the one shaping it.
The omni-awareness of this culture this Christmas gives us the opportunity to not only hear the “bad news” but also be a part of spreading the Good News of Jesus.