Perspective Really Is Everything

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                                                                          (Special Guest Blog-By Sarah Griffith)

 Sarah is an awesome friend, woman and leader in the church, and I am honored to have her as my first guest blogger. Sarah Pastors alongside her husband Chris at Pursuit Church in Bartiesville, Ok. I believe her blog today will encourage you and inspire you.

 If you have been in ministry or church leadership for any amount of time, you have likely heard this statement over and over again… Perspective is everything. But can something as simple as our perspective really effect our situations THAT much?

The definition of perspective is: a particular attitude or way of regarding something; a point of view. I find this definition to be unique because our attitude often determines our point of view, and in turn our point of view often determines our attitude.

2 Corinthians 4:18 tells us to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, and what is unseen is eternal.”

This verse is applicable to every situation you will ever face in your ministry, with your family, at your job. When the bills pile up, when your church isn’t growing, when you feel like you have lost all effectiveness. It provides both instruction and encouragement. If we fix our eyes on our current situation (what is seen), we are forced to take our eyes off of Jesus (what is unseen). Whenever we take our eyes off of Him, our problem becomes magnified. We lose our perspective. And when our point of view changes- our attitude changes. When our eyes are fixed on Jesus we have faith, and hope, and wisdom, and peace. When our eyes are fixed on our situation we have fear, and worry, and doubt, and oppression.

Here is the encouraging part… what is seen is temporary! Our situation, our trial, and our season of struggle… it’s going to end! But our God is eternal, His love is eternal. His provision and solution is ahead of us and THAT is what we are to fix our eyes on. When we keep our perspective (our attitude and our point of view) laser focused on Jesus and what His Word promises for us, we are able to make it through our current difficulty with our head held high and our hearts full of courage. Exactly the way Jesus intends us to.

Throughout the Bible we are reminded that troubles will come, difficulties will arise, and things will not always go the way we think they should. But for every instance we find of God’s people dealing with lack, hardship or trouble, we also see God mightily working things out on their behalf. We see impossible situations completely turned around. We see betrayal replaced by honor. We see miraculous provision in times of desolation and famine. These are the things we need to fix our eyes on- the unfailing eternal power of the God who calls us His own, and loves us so much that He gave His only son to die on a cross, just for us.

No matter what situation you are facing today- whether you’re attempting to overcome defeat, scrambling to figure out how to function in uncharted territory, or experiencing what seems to be the most difficult, debilitating struggle you have ever known, I encourage you to maintain a perspective of thankfulness. Don’t fix your eyes on how bad this temporary situation may seem. Instead thank God for the provision, peace and blessing that is on the horizon. His promises are true; His love never fails. Our perspective really IS everything.

Connect with Sarah on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/sarah.centanni?fref=ts

 

 

One life-changing moment with Jesus can change the trajectory of a life!

Don’t miss an opportunity to share Jesus with someone this weekend it could change someone’s life!Image

Good Friday was a game changer for me! It was 1996 and I was arrested and sitting in the back of a police car. True Story! I was having a conversation with the officer as he was taking me to the station. I said, “Officer do you think God could be trying to get my attention”? The officer replied, “I don’t know maybe.” I then sat back in that police car singing Alanis Morissette, “Isn’t it Ironic Don’t You Think”. Hey, Don’t judge it was 1996.

I was released that night but the next day I had to face my mom (I was only 17). Needless to say we fought like crazy and I told her how much I hated my life, myself, and I knew something needed to change. I just didn’t know how to change it.

I thought about killing myself, I can’t even tell you how may people told me my life was worthless and no one cared for me. I felt I had no purpose and that my life was nothing but a tragedy. Everyone told my mom to give up on me, I’m so thankful she didn’t. She always prayed for me.

A few weeks prior to my “Good Friday” experience someone had invited me to a church, I told my mom maybe we should TRY church and see if God could do something! I always thought God was real I just wasn’t sure He cared about my life or me. We never went on Easter, but two weeks after Easter we visited a church. It was there that I had an encounter with God that changed my entire life. That Sunday morning I gave my life to Jesus. Two things that brought me to that place, one someone prayed for me, and two someone asked me to visit their church. My life was forever changed, and not just mine, but other people who I have now lead to the Lord.

Invite someone to church this week. Please Don’t give up praying for your kids. Don’t count someone out because they seem “too far-gone”. I am living proof that one life-changing moment with Jesus can change the trajectory of a life. Since 1996 I have gone to bible college, spent a month in Peru, did missions work in Mexico, worked and traveled all over America setting up conferences for an international ministry. I was a pastor at a church and now with my awesome husband we are embarking on planting a new life-giving church in Missouri.

Never give up on people. Please invite someone this Easter to church. That seemingly small invite could change everything.

-Tara

PS. —A Special thank you to my mom, Marilyn Purdy. Thank you for praying for me, and never giving up on me. Thank you Trisha H. for inviting me to your church that day. My life has never been the same. Thank you for all the people that shared Jesus with me. I might have blown you off but the seeds you sowed were not wasted. Thank you!

Break the Cycle

Have you ever shared your dream with someone and instead of hearing I believe in you! You can do it! They belittled your dream, your goal, and your assignment. Perhaps you were hoping for a Mordecai to cheer you and say you were brought to the kingdom for such a time as this. Instead you encountered Saul, someone jealous, and ready to haul spears at you.

I am convinced that most people at one time or another have faced rejection! From personal experience I can say that it stings more when it comes from someone who you valued but they didn’t value you back.The question is not if someone will reject you or your dream, but what to do when someone rejects you or your dream?

1) Don’t let what’s happen to you happen through you!

I was reading earlier this week about Joseph. If you have not read the story before check it out starting in Gen. 37, but here is the synopsis. God gave him a dream and his brothers hated him because of the dream. That’s what I always saw when I would read this story. They hated the dreamer, but the other day I saw something I had never seen before. It’s found in the verse right above where Joseph shared his dream.

It says, “ when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him” (NLT).

The bottom line is hurting people hurt people! His brothers felt hurt by their dad and they took it out on Joseph. Thankfully Joseph stopped this cycle he forgave, and his dream actually came true. He also delivered, and saved his entire family from famine. It seems that most people who have tried to kill your dream have had someone kill theirs. It’s so important to forgive! I know it hurt. I know their words or actions stung, but this world needs healthy leaders. Don’t let what’s happen to you happen through you. Stop the cycle, and forgive!

2) Be to the next generation what you wish someone would have been for you!

Years ago my husband and I were just starting out in ministry we were let go (which is a nice way of saying fired) from a ministry position. I was 5 months pregnant and we were now jobless, no insurance, and felt abandoned. I remember crying out to God saying I have no one!

I flipped on the tv which I know doesn’t sound very spiritual but I happened to be living in Tulsa where almost every station that Is local has some type of preaching on it. Lisa Bevere happened to be on, and said something that would become a defining life-changing moment for me. She said, “she use to ask for that mentor that person that would cheer her on and, mentor her until one day God said be to the next generation what you wish someone would have been for you”.

That statement hit me so hard back then. It changed everything. From that moment I chose to be for people, and their dream! To be that leader to others that I wish someone would have been for me especially in my earlier years. Just to clarify, I discovered that as I got my eyes off of myself and what I desperately thought I needed, God brought other leaders into my life that have spoken life to me and encouraged me. I’m thankful for those mentors. We do need each other! We were never meant to do life alone!

I hope this blog encourages you today to go and speak life to someone! You could be the Mordecai they needed.

S.M.A.R.T

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S.M.A.R.T

Here it is a New Year, and this is my third attempted at starting and continuing with my blog. Every year I get re-inspired and every year I fail. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. People set goals each year and every year they fall short, and some just outright fail. So what can I do and what can you do differently this year so we can actually reach our goals?

I want to point out that the reason I fail at my blog every year isn’t because of a lack of desire or passion. I’m sure whatever your goal is you really want to see it through. I’m sure you’re passionate about getting fit, writing that book, working on your relationship, planting that church, or starting your business.

I’m sure it’s not a lack of passion, calling or desire on your part either. I know this will not seem deeply spiritual but hopefully it’s simply practical. It really comes down to something I learned in college in my business classes; my goals have not been S.M.A.R.T!

Smart Goals are:

Specific— Make sure your goal is specific and not vague. For example a vague goal would be I am going to start my blog this year. A specific goal says I am going to start my blog Monday, January 6th, and will post a weekly post each Monday by 10a.m.

Measurable—You have to have some way to measure your progress. For example, with my blog I am posting once a week on Monday. If Tuesday comes and I don’t have a post I missed my deadline. I can easily see every week if I am on track or not.

Attainable—Is your goal attainable? That’s the question here. For example if I said I was going to do a blog everyday this year as a new blogger, for me that would be unattainable. I know some blogging guru’s do it but I’m not there yet. An attainable goal for me is to do start of as weekly blogger.

Relevant– Is there a point or a purpose to what you are doing? My purpose with this blog is to say things that can help and inspire people. It also helps me learn and grow in the area of writing and communication. Some day I want to write a book. I think this is a good start.

Time-Based– Goals will not be reached without a time frame attached to it. How would you be able to measure if you were meeting your goal if you don’t set a date? That’s why every Monday at 10 I will be putting out a blog.

I really hope this blog inspires you to make your goals S.M.A.R.T! I also look forward to celebrating with you as you reach your goals this Year!!

Transition- Pt. 1

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

I Know I haven’t blogged in over a year, but it was a weird year!! Jason and I are in transition right now, and if you have ever been in transition you know what I’m talking about!! One thing I noticed about transition is it’s not a hot topic to talk about. There are a plethora of books written about leadership, growth, outreach, ect…, but not much about the in-between, or if your walking through some type of disappointment.

The weird thing about transition is that so many people at some point or another will experience transition. It isn’t just a ministry thing but a life thing. One thing I have noticed through this entire situation is that God is faithful. Even when I don’t understand everything or know exactly how every detail will play out. I do know God is faithful, it will be good, and he’s working it all out. I know that might sound elementary but when you’re in the middle of it, it’s an anchor!!

A week ago I sent out a post asking what did you learn in transition-here is some of the comments!

Latrice- I’ve learned that sometimes the transitions are not about moving             locations, or job changes. Sometimes they are God’s way of transitioning the  heart from a me-centered, or fill-in-the-blank-centered focus to a more Christ- centered focus. Without the pressure, uncertainty, and stretch of the transition, one might remain stagnant or passive.

Paige- That God’s timing is perfect

Mike-Transition is difficult especially when you are living Romans 12:1-2 testing and knowing the will of God as you offer yourselves as a living sacrifice. I love to say it is awesome and awful, beautiful and brutal but so worth it.

Melanie–Transition time for me has been God-chasing time. Seeking Him is great             because of the promise attached to it, we find Him! Loving God’s presence!

Jason – Don’t let the past failures or disappointments limit us

I think I’m going to keep writing during the rest of my transition, so in a year I can look back at this and say wow what a cool story!!

-Tara

Desire + Discipline = Delight

Desire + Discipline = Delight

I love January! There is always a new sense of beginning in the air. It seems to be a month of new beginnings, and starting over. A new year always seems to bring new dreams, new goals, and a new fire that seems to be contagious. I love reading my friends reflections of the previous year, and their declarations of the New Year; it’s inspiring! I love the new, I love to dream, and I love new beginnings, but we need to keep the passion and dreams that are burning in our hearts in January alive and burning in our hearts in July. (I know good thought right!)

It’s easy to get excited with the new that is why Gym’s all across America capitalize on this and offer great deals for Gym memberships. We’ve all seen it, “If you sign up for a year get the first month for free!” They know you are going to start strong and quit by July. They know you are excited about losing weight and being fit and healthy, but they also know you will begin to dread getting up at 4:30 AM to work out.” I have to say I have been guilty of this; right after my first son Kaden was born I bought a membership to a Gym I started up in January, and I loved to say I made it,  but I was done by February.
Why did I fail? I didn’t keep the vision and the passion I had in January, and I didn’t cultivate my passion into discipline. Yes! I used the D word “Discipline” I know it’s not the word you want to hear in January. You want to hear something that rhymes like my 2012 will be divine! In 2012 I will thrive so hold on for the ride!
We need the passion, the fire, the vision, and the word that God spoke to you burning in your heart. I believe God wants to do the impossible in and through you this year. I just want to encourage you to keep what you got in January burning hot all year! Keep it before you. Paul told Timothy to stir up the gift, to stir up the dream, and to fan the flame!

2 Timothy 1: 6 (Amp) that is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire]!
Whatever God has spoken to you about 2012, don’t let it go! Keep it stirred up!! Keep that momentum and drive all way through!!! Desire + Discipline = Delight.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Timothy%201&version=AMP