In this clip Pastor Tom reveals what defines those who are considered great!
In this short clip Pastor Tom shares the power of serving and how serving others can open their heart to the Gospel.
Pastor Jimmy Evans was the primary speaker at this event. The XO Simulcast was an outstanding event and the best Simulcast we have ever attended.
We attended the event at LifeBridge Christian Center in Longview, Texas and were the leaders of the simulcast campus.
We certainly want to discover those things that fuel and “power up” our relationship with our spouse.
The definition of a consumer is simple. The consumer does nothing but consume. They consume the music, message, and more and because they are purely consumers they rarely give it away or share the experience with others. The reason they don’t share it is because they are simply consumers.
Then there are the contributors.
Contribution is BIG. It is in the Top 3 basic needs of humans.
There is a variety of ways to contribute to the church and to the worship service.
You can contribute to the service by making a contribution to the worship. That includes joining in by signing aloud and uniting your heart in the worship of the Lord. Even this is contagious.
You can also contribute by being an attentive listener. This would include keeping your eyes fixed on the speaker and only using your phone for note taking and not for scanning the internet or the latest twitter posts.
You can also contribute by tweeting the sermon notes, or posting a facebook or Pinterest pic after church.
Another effective way to contribute is to make a financial contribution to your church.
While all this is meaningful contribution there is still a more and an even greater ways to make a meaningful contribution.
You can also contribute by serving. This would include you becoming a volunteer and joining a volunteer team. It is remarkable what can happen when people decide to get involved and make a contribution through serving others.
Contribution has a trick effect. It actually serves us back as we serve.
Contribution is defined as a vital factor in; helping or causing others to succeed. Something happens to us when we realize and experience the reality that we have served and helped others.
Here are some contributing effects of contribution.
1. Contribution builds confidence
Bernard Meltzer said; there is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and helping others. We often fail to realize the power of making a meaningful contribution.
We often look for significance in what we accomplish, what we wear, or the things we have purchased. True significance is most realized when we make a meaningful contribution that includes sacrifice.
Waldo Emerson said; no one can sincerely help others without helping themselves.
Contribution also needs to cost us. If it’s financial we should be extremely generous. In other words; we should feel the cost. If it’s serving, it should be sacrificial to our own time. I am not sure it’s a meaningful contribution if it easily fits into our own schedule or our own budget.
My point here is that when it’s costly and sacrificial it creates the significance factor that satisfies the body, soul, and Spirit. (Please know I am not pushing us to act out from guilt or to earn God’s favor).
3. Contribution releases a sense of belonging
Belonging is another top 3 need of human beings. We want to belong. When we choose to contribute by serving we put ourselves in places where consumers never go. As we serve alongside of others we ALL experience the joy of success and the pleasure of jointly making a difference.
We also put ourselves in position to build meaningful relationships and to find lifetime friends. Consumers miss these opportunities.
We were never meant to go through life as consumers. Everything God designed was made to give to others and we are no exception.
So this blog post requires some thinking and some response.
God designed you and me to be contributors. On the other side of the decision to contribute are a few surprises. Confidence rises. Significance soars. Belonging erupts!
Now it’s your turn. Think about it.
Where and how can you become a contributor?
Have you ever noticed that everything that God made is generous. The shine generously gives off heat. The moon generously gives off it’s light. The clouds most often generously give us rain. The stars generously reveal their beauty and the soil generously gives nutrients to the crops. Of course this point could go on and on and on.
Have you ever considered ways you could increase you’re generosity. Not only you’re financial giving but the giving of yourself to others.
I am not sure that we realize how much of a resource God has made us.
Each of us possess a unique potential to be what no one can be…YOU!
Both you and me were created to be a resource to others. That means that we possess the ability to inspire and encourage others through simple tangible means that carry life-changing power. Such as the sharing of a smile, or the giving of needed advice. There is also providing a helping hand to the stranger that needs a door opened, or a financial gift that meets a necessary need.
Here are a few ideas for ways to expand our opportunities:
1. Generous people are less consumed with themselves.
Isn’t it true that most of our thinking can be about ourselves and our own life. I think that is the way most of us are put together. I am not here to to say that this is necessarily all bad. I am suggesting that I would rather refocus my priorities on more important matters.
I have used this illustration before and I think it bears repeating because I our dog rarely thinks about herself.
We have a dog named Daisy. Daisy has taught me multiple lessons on friendship, attitude, and true love. It is true that a dog is man’s best friend and Daisy resembles that. You see, Daisy always has something to give.
Every morning when I let Daisy out into the yard she stands at the door and hops on her back feet and eventually leaps out the door. I marvel at her desire to run into life and leap into her day.Daisy wakes up everyday ready to give her life and energy to others.
Daisy never gets consumed with herself! I wonder what life would yield to us if we lived every day like Daisy!
Generosity is never about how much you have, but about how you live. Generous people have learned that what they have is to used for what they need. God just blesses those who give. The law of sowing and reaping works in every aspect of life and including your financial giving.
The law of nothing also applies. When you sow nothing in your fields it does not mean you get nothing. As you notice by your lawn when you sow nothing you get weeds.
When you sow nothing into your relationships they grow weeds. Nothing is a seed that also grows. You get nothing plus weeds in the fields of your mind, body, and spirit.
3. Generous people know that generosity is never a guessing game.
There are posers in every area. Even seem imposter “givers” who pose in the process. Those living a life of generosity are very intentional. They simply step up and give and leave no room for who is leading and who is on the front line of making a difference. The one who leaves their wallet in the car is also leading a life…one of less than God wants for them.
4. Generous people realize that generosity is perpetual and searches for opportunity.
Extravagant acts of generosity can amaze and startle the world. When others see certain acts of generosity they are inspired to replicate. Generosity is no respecter of persons. It inspires everyone to go higher, give sacrificially, and develop a lifestyle of giving.
Proverbs 22:9…He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.
Developing generosity is about looking for people, places and things to share our time, talents, and resources.
Isaiah 32:8..But a generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand.
Did you notice…a generous man devises generous things. This means that we are shrewd in discovering, planning, and sharing our wealth and energy with the world.
Let’s learn to develop a generous spirit. Just think what a difference we can make!
I would love for you to leave a comment and/or share stories of your own generosity.
In this short clip Pastor Tom helps us to discover how we can experience genuine change.
You will also enjoy several humorous moments!
Something happens when we venture away from the normal. I do not want to call it miraculous but it can be a step toward it.
When we leave the trail we begin to gain a greater sense of awareness. It also demands that we pay greater attention to our surroundings. To leave the trail means leaving the path where others have already been.
The trail called normal is normally smooth due to the number of previous travelers. Trails also serve as a comfortable guide. So truly; there is no need to pay attention to where you are going. Just follow the trail. The trail gives certainty.
Leaving the trail means entering into a sense of uncertainty. Oftentimes reaching for the next level will require you to leave the trail. To “go off” of the normal and let go of the usual.
This is not a easy step for many. We cling to our habits and most often stay in the familiar.
The next level is often preceded by an instruction that is uncomfortable.
In the faith realm God often gives us instructions or an awareness that will require a decision that will challenge where we are. He is asking us to “go off” the trail. Push away from the normal and embrace the uncomfortable. People of faith often experience this as God makes us aware of the reality that He does not want us to keep doing it the way we have always done it.
Many of us need to be pushed into change. In some cases we need CPR to resuscitate our adventurous side. Most of have lost our ability to step out in faith, take risks, or step into change. Comfortable zones are like laying in the most soothing bed in the world. It says; come here, settle in, and I will give you constant rest!
Let’s resist the comfortable because it rarely leads us to our greatest purpose!
Let’s get back to CPR. This is my acronym to push you into a “go off” season in your life.
C = Courage
Many people believe that people who do great things are those who experience less fear than others. Actually the reverse is true. People who do great things are those who push through their fears and just do it afraid.
I want you to “go off” your normal routine, leave the trail, and push away from the shore.
Some awesome quotes and I am not sure who to give credit to.
The courageous live forever, but the fearful hardly live.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it.
Nothing great ever happens without courage.
Courageous people have decided they’re not living afraid anymore. Bob Goff
And one of the most recent well know quotes on courage from the movie We Bought a Zoo..”it only takes 20 seconds of insane courage for something great to happen.”
P = Perception
The way we see things is epic to the way we respond. We must see things from the eyes of faith and possibility. We often fall prey to seeing the problem and fail to frame a doable solution. The key to future change is how we perceive the current circumstances.
Extraordinary seasons of change are most often the result of too many seasons of ordinary.
In other words; it is often the repulsive of the ordinary that births the reaching for the extraordinary. This most often results from seeing your current circumstances by re-framing the outcomes and possibilities.
The impossible is not filtered by what looks possible or what was ever possible.
It is a matter of belief and action!!
R = Risk
Risk is best defined as the willingness to expose oneself to the unfamiliar, the unknown, or the possibility of danger, loss, failure or injury.
The greatest rewards are never experienced in the safe places. Risk is just that…risky. It carries an automatic fear and exposes the fearful heart. It also carries an incredible reward.
Divine risk and human safety are not compatibility. The greatest risk takers know that the greatest risk is playing safe. How many times have we seen great teams play not to lose rather than play to win the game. They often lose due to the fear of going for the win.
The truth is that we all lose when we play safe and fail to “go off” the trail. We lose the reward of change, the potential of fresh faith, and the joy of reaching the next level.
The next time you are on the walking trail just ‘go off’ into the uncomfortable and watch how alive you become!
Would love to hear from you.
Your comments are appreciated and encouraging.
Are lives are filled with challenges. These challenges often distract or destroy our faith. In this clip Pastor Tom challenges you to step out and do what God has called you to do.
One of my greatest desires was and is to be a great Dad. One of the reasons why is because my early 20’s were laced with a promiscuous lifestyle that hurt both women and children that I had contact with. Since those days I determined that when I had the chance I was going to better myself and make a difference to my family.
God graciously gave me that opportunity.
This decision came with a cost. As you know the benchmarks for faithful fatherhood never happen by coincidence or a string of good luck. In fact, there is no such thing as “the luckiest man/dad in the world” . . there are just those men who understand that an authentic life begins with a relentless attentiveness to the relationships of our life.
If that is your desire, here are four benchmarks:
Benchmark #1: Get Involved And Stay Involved
When Fathers stay involved the entire family unit is the beneficiary. I was very involved and aware of my children’s friends, relationships, phone content, and computer usage. I was not controlling and never overbearing, just informed. I was also involved in every sporting event and other important events and details of their lives.
Discipline and correction were easy because they both stemmed from a loving relationship. My boys knew their Dad cared enough to protect, correct, guide, and release. They also knew I was not their friend, I was their Dad.
One of my main goals as a Father was to raise men and not boys. I saw them as future husbands, leaders, and God seekers. My job was to prepare them for doing all these things well. So I realized the need to stay involved and here is why.
Children with involved fathers are:
develop better life skills
gain healthy independence
experience better self esteem
develop positive social skills
are more secure
suffer less depression
commit suicide less
experience pre-marital sex less
contribute to society more.
Benchmark #2: Be Their Biggest Supporter
Faithful fatherhood means becoming your child’s best fan, but It doesn’t mean liking or accepting everything they do. It does mean always accepting and rallying around them!
Benchmark #3: Be Their Kingdom Connector
With my kids, faithful fatherhood means that I am their corrector. I am also a prophet to their lives and a priest of our home. Being the priest of my home means I make sacrifice for them. I pray for them daily and speak God’s word into and over their lives.
Benchmark #4: Be Their Example
More is caught than taught. When we live a life worthy to be followed; we also leave a mark never to be forgotten. When I model what to do in hard times I leave an impression that my boys will never forget.
I am sure you can add some benchmarks a Dad can leave his children.
I would love to hear from you.