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The Journey…

The following poem is called “The Journey” by Mary Oliver. I can absolutely relate with her as God has led me to make the decision to merge as one church with CCV. The reactions and realities that have happened since the decision are perfectly spelled out in this poem. I hope it inspires you to think deeply about your journey and what you MUST do.

THE JOURNEY
One day you knew what you had to do and began
Though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice
Though the whole house began to tremble
And you felt the old tug at your ankles
“Mend my life,” each voice cried, “Mend my life”

But you didn’t stop – you knew what you had to do
Though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations
Though their melancholy was terrible
It was already late enough, and a wild night
And the road full of fallen branches and stones

But little by little, as you left their voices behind
The stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds
And there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own
That kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world
Determined to do the only thing you could do
Determined to save the only life you could save.

Journey On,
Trent


Mirror, Mirror on The Wall…

In a previous blog I wrote about how you are your own boss and I am my own boss. Are you being “bossy?” If you and I are our own boss then its not good to “stick it to the man.” You’re the man! Are there times in life, maybe often times, where we think we are doing good, because its what WE want to do, but in all reality we are actually preventing something better for our lives, thus  hurting ourselves?

Proverbs 16:9 says, “we can make our plans but the Lord directs our steps.”

What if God has something really amazing for you or me, but we are so focused on what we FEEL is right, that we actually miss out on what God intended for us? My feelings and my fears (same thing aren’t they?) have a tendency to guide me. My fear says, “if you do that, you will lose everything that I love.” Our mistake is that we think, when fear says “I” that its actually talking about us. We think whatever fear loves, we should love it to. But, fear loves comfort, safety and loves things the way they’ve always been.

If we really think about it, fear screams at us when we are considering stepping out of our comfort zone. If we are guided by our fear, then we will always get what we always got…because we will have always done what we always do. (please read that again)

If we obey our fear, then we will remain in our comfort zone. Comfort zones are comfortable, safe, un-dangerous, un-impactful, un-difference making, un-influential, un-inspiring. But safe!
What if your fears are actually lying to you? What if you gave ear to your fear, and then went ahead…carefully, intelligently, alert-ly, and stepped through your fear?
Isn’t it fair to say that God, throughout Scripture, asked people to do things for Him that scared the crap out of them? What if Paul, James, Elijah, Esther, Job, Samson, David, Stephen, or Jesus would have obeyed their fear?
The Bible says that Perfect Love casts out all fear.
Playing it safe is…well…safe. My fears continually tell me to play it safe.
I think my fears are a like a liquid mirror that I stand in front of and stare at the reflection I see, admiring my life as it is, enjoying what I see and the familiarity of it all. It looks and feels so comfortable. In the movies…every “liquid mirror” has something amazing on the other side. Curiosity says, “stick your head through the mirror and take a look.” Fear says, “stay right here, look how good you look, you like your life like it is.” So, today, I’m going to stick my head through that liquid mirror and take a peek at what my fears have been hiding from me and keeping me from. I have a few good friends who will try to force me through the mirror.  We all need friends like that. Somehow they see through the mirror better than we do ourselves.  So, I’m not going to just stick my head through it, I’m going to push my whole body through the liquid mirror.  There are no guarantees on the other side of the mirror, except the fact that you will no longer just be standing and admiring what you think is right and good for you. So I say…Let your fear guide you…but in a different direction than normal? Fear usually gets strong when I have multiple choices before me. Fear WILL guide us. So the next time fear rises up in your life, and is telling you to go in a specific direction, turn in the direction it wants you to go and then do an “about face”…180 degree turn and march on. It won’t be the easy direction. It won’t be the safe direction. But it will be the HOLY and right direction.
What is fear telling you to do right now?
Take a look in the mirror.
Better yet…
Conquer the mirror!


Hey Boss!

Even if you’re not self-employed, your boss is you. You manage your career, your day, your responses, your faith. You manage how you sell your services and your education and the way you talk to yourself, the way you pray.
How’s your boss doing?
If you had a manager that talked to you the way you talk to yourself…what would you do? If you had a boss that wasted your time like you might waste your own time…would that boss be fired. If an organization developed its employees as poorly as you might be developing yourself, would that Org. soon go under? If your church treated your faith like you treat your own faith…would that Church survive?
I’m amazed at how often people choose to fail when they find that right church that encourages one to set their own agenda and manage and spiritually grow themselves. Faced with the freedom to excel in their faith, they falter and hesitate and stall and ultimately punt.
Are you surprised when someone self-directed/self led arrives on the scene? Someone who figures out a way to work out their faith and then turns that into a life-long journey, Bible in hand, as they impact their neighborhood/work/and church. Most people are shocked that someone uses evenings and weekends and their vacation to do a mission trip, or start a useful new ministry that helps bring fortune to the less fortunate. Are you envious when you encounter someone who has managed to bootstrap themselves out of depression and nasty circumstances into hope, faith and happiness, as if that’s rare or even uncalled for.
There are few good books on being a good manager, a good boss, a good Christian. Fewer books still on managing yourself and your faith…there really is just the Bible…the Bible doesn’t need you to read more books from Rick Warren, Andy Stanley, Francis Chan, Billy Graham, Joel Osteen, Mark Driscoll…God…the list is endless. What the Bible wants? The Bible wants your Boss to get out of his/her spiritual bed, and be self led and self fed. Become whole, someone who figures out the solutions…drives with work ethic to complete-ness. The Bible wants your Boss to be the best boss you’ve ever had.
You are your own Boss.
What must your boss begin to do?


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