TOP: Team Over Personnel
It’s been 7 long years, but the San Antonio Spurs are back on TOP of the NBA world! The Spurs won their 5th title in 15 years and did so in dominating fashion. The Spurs kept the Heat from their 3-peat by getting contributions from everyone on the team. Many fans are saying that the Spurs played the best team basketball that they have ever seen! Pretty remarkable!
Have you ever been a part of a great team that accomplished something great? If you have, you know that it is a great feeling, and is likely better than anything you could ever do by yourself. In 2007, my Christian fraternity BYX put together a lightning fast flag football team for the Mizzou Rec sports league. We were determined to win the championship! After getting through some tough times of being down and even battling rigorous weather conditions, we pulled through for an undefeated season and took the title of Mizzou Rec Sports champions! It was an awesome feeling to accomplish that feat with my brothers in Christ! We were on TOP of the world at that moment. We even got t-shirts that said, “How does it feel to be a champion?” On Monday, to celebrate the Spurs championship, I pulled out that very shirt to wear.
This week, I feel that God is talking to me about teams. From having Scripture about the armor of God (Ephesians 6) all this week, to talking about the body of Christ as a team, I believe He is telling me to evaluate my team. It’s that time in the NBA for the draft and free agency, two ways that teams look to add players who will strengthen their teams. I also see, as our ministry comes to a close and we begin a new chapter, that the ministry is working as a team more strongly than ever before, as they evaluate and add a new minister. I also think about my new team forming as I will soon join in marriage with Cheyenne. So I ask you to take a hard look these next few weeks at what team you are on and at your life. Is it a team that is winning and competing for championships? Is Christ at the TOP of your life? If not, it’s time to get back on TOP!
The Other Side
This past week went from great to being a nightmare to being great at the end. Sort of sounds like pregnancy. While moving my fiancé Chey back to Missouri, some things tried to get in our way. The forecast had the possibility of rain, so we prayed that it wouldn’t rain. God answered our prayer in that it didn’t rain on our belongings. Then, while going down the highway, we had a mattress blow out of the truck. We began wondering if we could keep it in the truck for the remainder of the drive, but we did. We were getting so close now as we stopped in Columbia to get fuel. Then tragedy struck. Chey’s car broke down with transmission fluid leaking out all over the place. We filled the car back up with transmission fluid, then drove 500 feet. Same thing again. We weren’t going anywhere. Fortunately, my brother came to the rescue with a trailer to haul the car the rest of the way.
A year and a day ago, a similar thing happened to me. I was on my way to Iowa. I got just outside of Columbia, when I hit a deer with my truck. It leaked radiator fluid everywhere. I wasn’t going anywhere.
Back to 2014. Just after Chey’s car broke down, she got a call saying her dad had been in a major car accident. This made what was supposed to be a great day into a horrible day and then to worse. The week kept getting worse with her sister having an unsuccessful oral surgery and her brother getting poison ivy all over his face. We wondered why all of this was happening, but we trusted God. Then revelation hit me. I knew this was the storm that we were supposed to go through to get to the other side, and that the other side would be so much better than before. We saw this to begin coming to pass. When we saw our future home, we knew we were truly blessed by God. Then on Sunday, we saw how the ladies of Bethel Church embraced Chey with great love by blessing her with an incredible wedding shower! God ended this week so great!
What’s Your Talent?
I know I missed last week, but crazy things have been happening. God is working miracles! We are in a transition period and can now announce that we are returning to Missouri. Cheyenne and I are very excited to be returning, and we are planning some big and new things. The Lord has kept me silent for a while on some of these plans, as I am not even fully understanding all of the things that He is telling me right now. The past 2 weeks have been a hard struggle, but we know that all the hardship and work will be worth it in the end.
I have done a lot of praying, reflecting, and casting of new vision during this break in transition. Normally around this time of year I read a book by Dan Miller called, “48 Days to the Work You Love.” I’m reading it again now and it is a good refresher to remind me of how there is different perspective on life and work than our culture is traditionally accustomed to. I have been asking a lot of questions in my reading thus far, and the question that seems to be the theme of my questions is, “What’s my talent?” While this question isn’t always easy to answer, it is one that excites me to ask. Another thing that excites me is the return of America’s Got Talent tonight! It’s a new season and a chance to discover new talent.
I want to encourage you this week to discover a new talent. Maybe that means getting out and trying something new or taking some time to pray and reflect on where you are going in life. Last week, we talked with our students about spiritual gifts. God wants to give you new talents that you can take to the stage, not solely for your own benefit, but for His glory. Look over the many spiritual gifts listed in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. Maybe God has a new gift or talent that you just been given or have yet to discover. Don’t worry about the winter past. You can’t change it. It’s a Memorial Day. Today is a new beginning and summer weather is here. So what’s your talent?
“Miracles Are Going to Happen.”
Last night, Cheyenne and I were praying over the phone since she worked late. She sensed that I was going to receive the wisdom I needed that night. I have been wrestling with some big decisions that need to make and have been very indecisive on what to do. I then prayed over her that her headache would be completely gone. Some of her headaches that she had in the past were returning and were constant painful migraines. As I was hanging up the phone, the last thing I said to her was, “Miracles are going to happen.”
Little did she know that just after I hung up the phone that I started getting some insight and clarity into my dilemma that I hadn’t previously thought of. I stayed up later to write it all down and I wasn’t even tired. I just knew this was the Spirit of God telling me some things.
Then, this morning, Cheyenne called me to tell me that her headache was completely gone. This was the first time in several weeks. We are praising God for this miracle! Then I told her about how her prayer was answered in that I gained wisdom last night.
Before today, I have been battling discouragement on some things. It was then that the Lord reminded me about the miracles that are already happening and are about to happen. Miracle May is what I call it. If you have been discouraged in this season because things haven’t quite gone the way they normally do or the way you anticipated, I want to remind you that “Miracles are going to happen.” Miracles are about to happen. We need to ask God for miracles, because quite frankly, we can’t do this on our own. We need Him. Let Him do the miracles. Focus on the good that God is already doing. I know that I sometimes tend to focus on the one big bad problem, but if we stop and think about how blessed we really are, we begin to see the many blessings and miracles that are happening all around us. Our mothers are everyday miracles, yet how often do we remember them. Remember the miracles! They are coming.
Dream in the Spirit
This weekend, everywhere I turned, I saw the verse Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” I am just coming out of a whirlwind of a storm. I turned in my 20-page Perspectives Project this weekend, so that has been a big burden off of my shoulders. I have been fighting some other major battles. With that said, I believe the Lord has shown us a way out, but I don’t quite always understand His timing.
Are you afraid of what might happen in the future right now? Are you unsure of what to do and how to handle these storms that are coming? If you are asking some of these questions, you are not alone. I believe this is the opportune time to put your trust in God! Just do what He is telling you to do. It may seem crazy, it may not make sense, and you may feel that you don’t have the strength to do it, but just go forward!
I have been having a lot of strong dreams lately. I believe the Lord is speaking through these dreams, telling me what I need to do. Along with these dreams, His Word, and the Wisdom of Solomon, He has given some great revelation in the Spirit! There is a great separation coming, where you will really have to stand for your faith if you are to be a true Christian. People may mock you, criticize you, but you must stand for what’s right and who you truly love. Stand for the truth, even if it hurts! The people who you think are on your team likely won’t be on your team and those who you think wouldn’t stand with you will. Be wise in these times about what you are spending your time and your money on. We have calm in this storm now, but we have not much time to escape it.
I also saw the answer again in an incredible night at our Cinco de Mayo party. It’s about community and relationships. Dream in the Spirit again for that kind of future!
Getting Through the Storm Back into the Passion Cycle
These past few weeks have been really crazy for me. After listening to others and seeking God, I know other people have been in that same kind of funk. I think we can look back and see that we suffered in confusion, not knowing what was up or down. We battled in anger through the frustrations and trials. And in spite of the storms that were here, there was a dream, an angel of light. In the midst of the chaos, calm in the middle of it all was God. He knows that the enemy is trying to shake us out of the comfort of His arms. But what the Father wants of us children is a passionate love for Him again. Deep down, that’s all He really wants, but will He get it?
You never really know what you got until it’s gone. Think of the story of the prodigal son. The Son nearly lost it all, but He got it back when something clicked and He returned. But maybe you are at that point in life where you will have to lose it all to sacrifice for something better God the Father has waiting for you. Maybe it’s time for you to shake off the dust of your sandals and move on to the next town (Luke 10.) And maybe it’s time to return to Live Passion God wants you to have, getting through the storm back into the passion cycle! Maybe it’s time you get back into the prophetic cycle. Maybe it’s time you lock the bike away in the basement so that you can free the room for something new.
As I listened to Glenn Beck this past week, he told of his dream of going through the storm, but that the other side was so much better. I’m feeling that at this point. I’ve feared the storm coming, bigger than I’ve ever seen before. However, I know the Lord is having me go through it, so that I might become stronger. I know that this has all been chaotic, but if you are having to go through that storm, I want to encourage you go through it! And when you get through that storm, there will be the peace of being in that fellowship on the other side. That’s what I’ve been seeking, the Lord’s fellowship. It’s what’s sweet, and what I didn’t really miss until it was gone.
The Way to Return Home
The Easter Production that I got to be a part of this weekend at New Hope Christian Church was absolutely amazing! The Spirit moved among a packed crowd as the cast performed for 3 nights. What I really enjoyed about being in the production was developing relationships with other members of the cast! It was awesome to get to know people I wouldn’t normally meet and hear their stories and how God is working in their lives. I then felt that New Hope was more than just a church, but a church family. I had not had this community feeling about a church since I was a part of a Christmas production in 2012 at Grace Bible Church. From listening to stories of the cast members, the Lord showed me an interesting parallel. I noticed that some people were seeking to return home this summer. However, getting home would not be an easy task. There were some obstacles standing in the way, keeping them from getting home. They were trying to find a bridge or an open door that would get them home.
As we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ this past Easter weekend and I began writing this new piece, the following statement came to my mind: Jesus died so that we could return home to be with Him. We originated by God’s design in heaven, which is our home. However, we as human cannot get home to our Father because sin has stormed in the way. The sin is blocking our road to get to heaven, but we cannot move this sin on our own. This is where Jesus Christ comes in. Jesus came to earth and died on the cross to provide a bridge for us to get back home to heaven. I’m rejoicing now because we have a way to return home! Jesus has made a way! So now all we have to do is choose to accept Him as our Savior. After we accept Jesus, He accepts us as a part of his big family in heaven. I don’t know about you, but just as I was excited to be a part of a big church family in the production, I am even more excited to be a part of a family that’s bigger and even more real; Heaven!