Archive for September 2007

Don’t Grow Weary

This week has been one of those when I have been hearing / reading Paul’s encouragement everywhere I go, “Don’t grow weary in doing good, for you shall reap a harvest if you do not give up” (Gal. 6:9).
I have been running into lots of folks who have been running out of steam in the middle of “doing good.”
My insight – let God do the changing.  We are available.  We pull the yes trigger when he invites us.
No more trying to change anyone – anytime – anywhere.  We can’t change anything – ourselves at the top of the list.

Rosh Hashanah

A week ago was Rosh Hashanah – the end of one year and the beginning of new things in the Hebrew year.  That imagery has not been lost on the events of what has taken place in Janie’s and my life as well as the leadership posse of Coastland Tampa.  As we move forward we are aware that amazing things are afoot.  Amazing things are being celebrated at the conclusion. 

Most importantly, the lid is being opened that we may see more clearly into the future than ever. 

Come Holy Spirit that we may hear your voice.  Without clearly hearing your voice we will not possibly be able to move forward with any degree of effectiveness.  Our strategy is simple.  We will go as you lead, where you lead.

I Can See The Future

I can see the future more clearly than ever…  It has everything to do with serving leaders who are hungry for effectiveness.  Effectiveness = “I am willing to go forward come what may.” 

My part is simply being myself.  My part is also highly connected with walking in faith with the measure of faith that Jesus has provided to me – more than I have walked in thus far in life. 

Great things lie ahead as we step out to make others more successful in Jesus than ourselves.

Outflow Resources

My daughter Rebekah has taken the huge step of faith of leaving the predictability of life in her beloved San Diego and moving to Tampa to work with Janie and me in our online book and resource fledgling upstart “business” (it’s difficult to call something a business when we give away the majority of our resources!) 

Rebekah has a phenomenal business mind and is passionate about the extension of God’s kingdom.  In so many ways she outshines me in her skill levels.  It is a good thing to have a child who is “more, better, faster, brighter” than their parent.  Understandably she is excited teetering on impatient with the process we are involved in.  Outflow Resources will be something special come one day soon.

In Kansas City

Today and through Thursday I am in Kansas City connecting with a group of about 150 church planters from around the U.S. 

In this setting I am in a sense in my primary element.  I feel not only called to this group, but called to speak encouraging and challenging words to these people I suspect they are not likely to hear in other places. 

I think in this universe much of the day – every day.

Big Send Off

This past weekend Janie and I along with a couple of our key Talent Team guys were in Cincinnati concluding business / doing a big send off / launch from the good folks at VCC.  It was a great time of departure and closing a chapter in our lives after so much invested in that city.  Each service was different though the questions asked of me by Dave Workman were pretty much the same.  It was evident God’s Spirit was at work and doing something unique in each gathering.  I have maintained for many years that when one is open to the leading of the Spirit (not to get weird) it will be pretty obvious that even though you as a speaker stick to the same outline he is up to something different in each case – why?  Because there are significantly different needs present – to the point that enough of the same needs to be addressed in each gathering if we hope to connect with each group.

Huge Weekend

This weekend is huge for me. 

I have been anticipating this for months, no years. 

I don’t know if I can walk through this alone apart from the nearness of God’s Spirit. 

I am walking across a relational bridge for the last time at one old stomping ground for the last time – concluding a chapter along with Janie – one we invested two decades in.  As we drove into that city with our few things in the 80s we knew it was for a time until we were to move for good to Florida. 

Now we are in the Panhandle State – our destination.  We are working up to launching, gaining orbital strength and giving it all away as easily as possible.

MRI

Had an MRI done.  As this was done – and I officially dislike those things – I thanked the tech person, Rachel.  After thanking her several times she came on the patient to tech mic system and asked, “Why do you keep thanking me?” 
“Because you are serving me.”
“In all of my years of working here no one has ever once thanked me for doing their MRI – ever.”
“I think that’s sad Rachel.  You are here doing your job faithfully, serving, and people are so preoccupied with their pain (which is true for nearly all MRI patients including me) that they can’t think to thank you…?  I find that sad.  May I ask you to forgive all of those people for their hardness of heart over those years?” 
Silence on the microphone. 

When the MRI was over Rachel came back in.  Middle-aged, Rachel had read my chart, about my death experience. 
She asked me to tell her about my experience with that.  She listened carefully, asked several questions. 
I happened to have a copy of The Day I Died which I gave to her. 
My friend John waited for me as I spoke to her. 
Finally, I took the risk of asking if I could pray for her – for just ten seconds.  Like over 400 before her she said yes without hesitation. 
I promised her I wouldn’t even close my eyes to pray.  As I began to pray I had a strong sense she had a teenaged daughter she was struggling with that she felt she was in a losing battle – almost like her daughter was leaving her emotionally.  I stepped out and prayed for Jesus to give Rachel his power in this relationship with her teen daughter, etc.  I looked up and Rachel was streaming with tears. 
“So do you have a teen daughter you are struggling with…?”
She shook yes – she was hesitant to speak – on the verge of openly weeping. 

As John and I walked out the door a moment later Rachel had regained her calm a bit.  She said, “You are by far the most interesting patient I’ve had in over a decade of doing MRIs…  I will read your book very carefully…” 

What she called “interesting” was really just God’s Spirit at work in her heart.

Pleasing God

As I stop trying to please God and simply do what he has put in my heart life flows oh so well.  It is in the trying the things get gummed up nearly always.

Exploring the West

Our team here is mostly gathered though a couple of key players are not here yet – they won’t arrive until late September to mid-October at the latest. 

We are looking to go into practice mode with weekend gatherings but not inviting outsiders until our gatherings are more ready – in Feb. 

We are ready for this launch in some of the challenging ways that most launchers find difficult.  But this path ahead is not without its pitfalls.  This is a lot like exploring the Westerns Territory as with all cluster plants.