Monthly Archives: May 2014
Monthly Archives: May 2014
Written By: Remaliah Evans, Leader/Contributor- LifeBuilder Seminars
Have you ever asked yourself what happened to the Vision? In watching experienced leaders and speakers I have noticed that they are great at casting the vision. In fact, it seems they can cast the same vision in twenty different ways. They don’t just tell you the vision, they walk out the vision. They practically breathe the vision. Experienced leaders recognize that vision is crucial to progress. No vision, no real progress, no unity, no effectiveness. We can all recall that moment of excitement when we first see the vision clearly. We see a glimpse of the master plan and we start running. However if we are not careful that vision can get blurry or lost. What happened to the vision?
I am learning the importance of writing down the vision and making it plain so that others can run with it. I am also learning how vision can be blurred and lost. Here is shortlist of some areas to watch out for:
Discouragement– when we are discouraged our vision becomes blurred because we dwell on all the things that are NOT happening. However, we are not supposed to despise the day of small beginnings. Perhaps you are a
Distraction– We have written down the vision so that we can run with it. A good runner is not distracted, they are focused. We have to keep that vision in front of us and around us at all times and keep our eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:1 “… let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” We are encouraged to throw off everything that hinders us. When we are running with the vision we will have to let go of some stuff.
Disobedience– Paul warns that sin entangles us. Sin is a distraction and will block the vision. Sinning is like trying to run with our ankles chained together. We are not getting anywhere fast, and we are so focused on the chains (i.e. the sin) that we lose the vision.
Not Seeking God– Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from our Father of lights. The amazing vision that He has given you is meant to be fulfilled WITH Him. It is easy to get caught up in the preparation or daily tasks associated with the vision, yet God wants to be involved in every part of the process- moment by moment. During the process He imparts the character, skills, and graces needed to bring the vision to pass. The word promises in Thessalonians 5:24 that the One who called you is faithful and He will do it. The Amplified reads: Faithful is He Who is calling you [to Himself] and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you].
Lack of Prayer– Prayer keeps us aligned with God and connected to God. When we pray we receive His perspective and His guidance. Without prayer we are unnecessarily striving. The vision will take work however prayer will make the work easier.
Comparison– Whatever you do, please, please do not compare yourself, your vision, or your progress with someone else. It is foolish to compare ourselves (2 Corinthians 10:12) Someone once said that when we compare ourselves we are comparing our behind the scenes to someone else’s highlights. In other words, you don’t know what that person had to go through, or goes through to maintain their vision. As a good friend of mine says, stay in your lane. Comparison leads to envy, discouragement, distraction, disillusionment, and bitterness. You don’t have time for all that. Your time is coming and when it does, it will be well worth the wait.
I thank God for all that He is doing in my life and with my photography. God has taken my love for pictures and is transforming it into a business. Last night I contacted a friend to arrange a meeting and discuss the best way to start this business venture. I also emailed a friend to help me create the website. Well, when I got to work this morning I was in the zone, thanking Jesus for connecting me with people who are willing to help me with the logistics of starting a business. Then a coworker asks if everything is ok. I said yes and I told her that I was thinking about my new photography business. She said “girl you don’t even have income. You’re opening up a can of worms, and you don’t know what to do.” My dream was momentarily crushed until I thought of the great God whom I serve. I don’t serve a God of little. I serve a God who is Limitless!
Dreams are best shared with those whom believe in you; people that believe in what God is doing in and through you. Do not allow your dreams and desires to be destroyed by discouraging words. Two fires united create a larger combustion. Therefore share your dreams with others who are also on fire with God’s Word. Jeremiah 23:29 “Is not my word like fire, “declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces.” These fiery people will speak the life of God’s word into your dreams; they will declare His promises over you and remind you that His purpose will prevail in your life. In such an environment the fire of your dreams will burn as they are fueled with the fire of God’s word.
“Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).” Romans 15:5, 6 AMP
Share your dreams with those God has united your heart with. Those people have the grace to patiently endure with you and encourage you through you the process because turning a dream into a reality takes work, discipline, and submission to the One who placed the dream in your heart. We need people who will encourage us when the dream is deferred or when God begins to refine our character. As I am just beginning my business I can see that God has surrounded me and united me with these types of people because He knows what I need. I am so grateful.
Written By: Angie Venegas
Where does the time go?! Time just flies by and it flies by even faster when it is unaccounted for. I was trying to figure why I have not been diligent in fulfilling my commitments, and the first thing that came to mind was “I don’t have time.” I reasoned that if I could just quit my job, that would free up 8-10 glorious hours a day, 12 hours if you count traffic. Then I started recounting the past week and I was little appalled when I discovered how much time I had wasted. When I could have been productive, I was watching movies for 4 hours, surfing the internet, etc.
The truth is that I have the same 24 hours a day as everyone else. Someone once said that we can SPEND time or we INVEST time. Thinking along those lines, I found that I was spending a lot of time on non-priorities such as online shopping and social media. And if I had planned better I could have skipped two trips to the store and bypassed an accumulated 3 hours of finding something to wear. My intent is not to fill every hour of every day and not rest or have fun, however I do want to be diligent in honoring my commitments and working toward my goals.
Steven Covey, the author of 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, states that “the key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” I came across this quote and it dawned on me that I have been scheduling everything and in doing so, not making appropriate time for the things that I say are a priority. I felt liberated for a second there… until I realized that I couldn’t just clear my to-do list. Now I get to ask myself some important questions- what are my priorities? Am I overcommitted? How can I manage my time more effectively? I overanalyze so there’s about 30 more questions I’m asking myself but I won’t bore you with those. The point is, is that I am on the journey to learning how to schedule my priorities.
What cracks me up is that God has no problem reminding me of the same truth over and over again. At church last week the speaker taught John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” God reminded me that I cannot leave Him out of my prioritizing and planning. More importantly I am to remain connected to Him. When I remain connected to God I am connected to His wisdom, grace, discernment, love, and strength. And so here I am again, asking God to forgive me for not seeking Him first and asking Him to help me make loving Him my priority.
Written By Remaliah Evans
Now what’s the story of the toaster? Okay, you know how God can gives a message in anything right? Well I’m visual and he had someone tell me a story and it went like this:
A lady and her husband were fighting, the conversation got heated. Eventually they became more angry, after arguing for a while the husband left the house and she turned to the son who was in the house throughout the whole argument. She said, “Your dad, is a monster, I can’t stand him…blah blah blah. The son just standing there listening to his mom bash his dad to pieces, slowly turned to the kitchen counter and grabbed the toaster…the mother still ranting on and on about the dad, turned toward her son just when the toaster was in front of her face. Her son said, “Mom, Who’s the Monster?” In the toaster she saw her face, full of anger and ugliness! She was the Monster! Wow, is that how she looked when she was full of anger? How awful, she thought.
In a message I shared, I asked all the ladies to pass around a toaster and make the ugliest face that they thought represented themselves when they are angry. It was an eye opener for many.
James 4:11-12 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
Psalms 34:11-14 Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the Lord. Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
I pray the next time you are about to argue or fight that your remember the “toaster”…be blessed as we learn to be more like Jesus..
Written by Kim Gutierrez. If you would like to reach Kim, you can contact her here.