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Keyword: ‘mission’

Our mission is love

May 12, 2013 2 comments

Jesus challenges us to love everyone, all the time.

Jesus challenges us to love God, with a passion that can’t be replicated.

“Because we love something else more than this world, we love even this world more than those who know no other.” ~~C. S. Lewis

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What is God’s mission for me?

July 31, 2012 3 comments

Paul knew something. He wasn’t afraid to say it. God had commissioned him. He was on a mission for God and Jesus. Paul knew why he was doing what he was doing.

Do I know why I am doing what I am doing?

The answer to that is all important. In a world of “you will succeed if you have a mission statement” kind of thinking, what we think our mission is doesn’t matter. What is God’s mission for me?

“I’m God-commissioned.” ~~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:3 The Message)

What must we do?

It is a fairly reasonable question. We come to Jesus. From our religious culture and upbringing we ask “What must we do?”

We have been told our whole life, go to church, pray, fast, be religious. The focus is on doing. It is more than just a religious culture. It is the way of life in America. So, what does God require? Good question.

Jesus wants us to work at believing in Him. It is all about the relationship with him and not what we do. We must believe. That leads to His new plan. His mission will fill us when we know He cares for us.

Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God
Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the
one he has sent.’
(John 6:26-29 NIV)
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“Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can proclaim the good news there also. This is why I’ve come.” ~~Jesus

Jesus knows why He is here. He is on a mission. He has good news to tell everyone. He is urgent about His focus. Knowing the “why” is huge. God gives us that confidence. We know “why”.

Jesus wants us to be the same way. He wants us to get moving. No need to linger.

“Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can proclaim the good news there also. This is why I’ve come.” ~~Jesus (Mark 1:38-39 The Message)

“It’s urgent that you get this right.” ~~Jesus

May 31, 2013 1 comment

Jesus expects us to have a sense of urgency. His passion for doing God’s will right now is overwhelming. He knows what God’s “mission for this moment” is.

He demands that we follow God’s new plan. It is an urgency to do the right thing now which is God’s thing.

But it is not do just anything. God has something in mind. He will reveal it to us. Our job is to do it and not ignore it.

“It’s urgent that you get this right.” ~~Jesus  (John 5:25-27 The Message)

“When you enter a home, greet the family, ‘Peace.'” ~~Jesus

May 25, 2013 1 comment

When Jesus sent the 72 on a mission he was very direct in how they should act. One item was when they went into a home to great the family in peace.

Jesus brings us peace. He wants us to extend it to those we come in contact with, even strangers. Our mission, from Him, is to bring peace to all we meet.

“When you enter a home, greet the family, ‘Peace.'” ~~Jesus (Luke 10:5-6 The Message)

“You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works.” ~~Jesus

May 15, 2013 2 comments

God has a kingdom where he rules. It doesn’t work like any government we know in this world. He is in complete control. He is the eternal King. He is light. He is love.

He cares about us so much that He has given us insight into how His government works. Our mission is to bring to bring to earth His kingdom.

May I have insight into how God’s kingdom works.

“You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works.” ~~Jesus (Luke 8:10)

Smile even if you are hurting. Be happy even if you are unhappy. It’s called strength!

April 27, 2013 2 comments

Smile even if you are hurting. Be happy even if you are unhappy. It’s called strength!

Jesus didn’t call us to be Christians. He called us to be Disciples. He didn’t promise us a rose garden. He did guarantee that if we follow Him, we would have a joy no one can understand. Submission leads to happiness.

You can smile if you are hurting. You have Jesus, you have His strength and you can be happy in Him.

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Is your work futile?

Jesus has some work for us to do that is not futile. His work is always good. We have a YES in him that allows us to say no to the things that can crowd the agenda some days. When we have His yes, we won’t let anything move us off of the path. This is good news for sure. This plan is far superior to the old way of doing things.

Jesus challenges us to stand firm when we know what He wants us to do. There is the temptation to give in to other priorities. Our mission to do no less than what God has called us to do. We can not waiver.

May we give ourselves fully to His plan.

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

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“Don’t loiter and make small talk with everyone you meet along the way.” ~~Jesus

Jesus sends us on a mission. He has things He wants us to do for Him. We need to understand His urgency. In His new plan for us, He has places He wants us to go for Him. Taking time to stop along the way gets us out of synch with His mission for us.

Jesus demands we get moving and get to where He wants us to go. Nothing else is acceptable to Him.

 “Don’t loiter and make small talk with everyone you meet along the way.” ~~Jesus (Luke 10:4 The Message)

“What a huge harvest! And how few the harvest hands. So on your knees; ask the God of the Harvest to send harvest hands.” ~~Jesus

February 23, 2013 1 comment

Jesus demands that we not worry about anything but having enough people to bring everyone we meet to Him. He came for the world. That is a big mission. He will settle for nothing less in terms of His plan to bring us into His world and His goal for our life.

He wants us to focus on the right things. Do we see the opportunity for Him?

May I focus on building up others to help with the harvest.

 “What a huge harvest! And how few the harvest hands. So on your knees; ask the God of the Harvest to send harvest hands.” ~~Jesus (Luke 10:1-2 The Message)

“Take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom.” ~~Jesus

February 18, 2013 1 comment

Jesus demands that I take His way seriously. My job, my mission, is to show others His way. Later on He would say, as He rose to Heaven, to make disciples of all nations. That is how we find honor in His world (Kingdom).

May I take it seriously. May I do so today, right now.

“Take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:19-20 The Message)

Does God have our attention?

January 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Jesus understood what He was here to do. He reminded us of the new plan as He lived it out. It is about loving God with all we’ve got. Moses got it directly from God. Jesus got it too.

To love God with our whole heart is our mission. It is written on our heart and in the very fabric of our soul. It is all we want to talk about.

Attention, Israel! God, our God! God the one and only! Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!

Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

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“All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference?” ~~Jesus

December 4, 2012 5 comments

Jesus knows how to ask questions. He forces us to get clear. What is important? Perhaps the question is rhetorical but it is worth an answer. So ask yourself. Do you think it makes much of a difference (in God’s world)?Waste of Time

Jesus knows, directly from God, what is important. It isn’t our fashion sense. It isn’t the kind of car we drive. It isn’t how well our house is decorated. It isn’t how well we eat.

Jesus challenges us to get our priorities in line with God and His government. Does our burn with love for God? Do we love everyone? Do we have a heart for God?

Everything that isn’t focused on Him, what He wants and loving others is a waste of time and money. Period.

“All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference?” ~~Jesus (Matthew 6:27-29 The Message)

“These fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!” ~~Jesus

November 13, 2012 2 comments

Jesus knows things we don’t. He challenges us to wake up. He looks out and doesn’t just see people. He sees a field that is ready to be harvested. He sees people who are ready for God’s world (Kingdom).

Jesus challenges us to see the same things. We can’t be complacent. We must not think someone else will do what God wants us to do right now.

We must rise to the challenge Jesus has for us. It is harvest time.

“These fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!” ~~Jesus (John 4:35 The Message)

How can you build yourself up?

October 19, 2012 3 comments

The mission is to keep myself in a faith that is set apart for Him. That is the real deal. That is what the end game is for me. It is a building process. I am not there for sure. But I am making progress. He has a goal where I need to be. He has a strategy for how I will get there. He “whacks” away at it every second of every day. So, bring it on my Master.

There is a coming together of the physical, the soul (heart) and spiritual. So I start with a physical act. Let’s say I raise my hands being open and outstretched to Him. I begin to experience His love being poured out on me. Then the presence of His Spirit invades the scene. Watch out then!! This all leads to love. It leads to experiencing His gift of mercy. Not justice. Just mercy.

What is the real outcome? What is this all about? A life that is unending. A life that is real.

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 1:20-21

Don’t ask the easy questions

You’ve been with Jesus for a while now. And, you have been through a lot with Him. His ministry. His death. His resurrection.

And yet you don’t fully comprehend what is happening. You revert to easy questions. You won’t get the answer you think. And, something else is about to happen to rock your world. Jesus will complete His mission here and ascend to heaven to be with His father.

It turns out to be the last time together. They won’t forget His answer.

When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”  (Acts 1:6 The Message)

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“Anyone who dishonors the Son, dishonors the Father, for it was the Father’s decision to put the Son in the place of honor.” ~~Jesus

God the Father and Jesus the Son are the same. Dishonor one and you dishonor the other. Jesus said this to religious people and challenged them to believe Him. We love to speak of God. Do we love to say the name of Jesus the same way?

Does Jesus have the same place of honor in our lives as God does?

“Anyone who dishonors the Son, dishonors the Father, for it was the Father’s decision to put the Son in the place of honor.” ~~Jesus (John 5:23 The Message)

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What will I do today?

September 24, 2012 1 comment

God has a mission for us. It is not to just casually encounter people. He wants to transform lives through the power of His son.

Jesus challenges us to make disciples of everyone in the world. Will we today?

“If you leave people as you found them God is not speaking by you.” Smith Wigglesworth

How sad is this?

September 21, 2012 1 comment

Whoo Hoo!! This is very good news. Since I have turned to Jesus, the Master, I am seeing Him face to face. Nothing is hidden. I see His absolute perfection. By His mighty hand, He made me to be a new creation in Jesus. I am free from the old agreement that He had so long ago. I am living in the new plan He has with us.

Now there is also some sad news here. It is possible to read the Bible and not see Jesus. The issue is the heart. We protect it thinking reading the Bible is all we need to do. God wants us to have a relationship of love with Him. Our mission is to help the religious see Jesus in what they read and hear at church.

May I see Him and His perfect plan today. May I help others see Jesus.

Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 2 Corinthians 3:15-16

Related articles

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Who will intercede for us with God?

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Our mission is to obey Jesus. This leads to our rescue which delivers us out of destruction and into His safety (known as salvation).

Jesus accomplished this by reaching the end-stage, i.e. working through the entire process to reach the final phase of what God had in mind for him. It is referred to as perfection or maturity. It is well-illustrated with the old pirate’s telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness). When this happened God announced that Jesus could intercede for us. He is our perfect and mature priest.

Now this is good news. He went through everything he needed to so that he could demonstrate perfectly that he is God’s son.

“Then, having arrived at the full stature of his maturity and having been announced by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him.” (Hebrews 5:10 The Message) 

“My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I.” ~~Jesus

September 4, 2012 2 comments

Jesus rattles the religious leaders. He does it all the time. It is intentional. No, I didn’t mean to do that kind of world with our Master.

One day, a Sunday, He healed someone. The religious leaders criticized Him. “The Law” didn’t allow for that. No work. Period!! It didn’t stop Him. All Jesus does is what He sees the Father do. He sees God working 24/7. He does the same. His mission is be obedient to what God wants Him to do. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

Jesus challenges us to see what God is doing and do it. We are His ambassadors. That may get us in trouble with the religious leaders.

“My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I.”  ~~Jesus (John 5:17 The Message)

Who did God put in charge of salvation?

August 21, 2012 1 comment

Who did God put in charge of salvation? Man? No. There is no way we have what it takes for that. Angels? No. Not even they could make it happen. Who then? What was His solution?

Jesus came to earth in all humility. He left His place of honor with our Father and came to us, like us. He was a little lower than the angels for a while. But then through His death and resurrection, He completed salvation for us. How amazing is that? He experienced death for us. He experienced death in our place. We are now raised to a whole new life and mission with Him.

May we appreciate all that He has done for us!

Am I focused on the whole picture?

We hear a lot about seeing the “big picture”. The Apostle Paul clearly got that. He realized it is easy to see the details. It is hard to see what he calls the “whole picture”. There is a difference, however, between the big picture and the whole picture. I think it is actually a huge difference.

God’s word, and the insight of the Holy Spirit, gives us the whole picture. The truth, clear truth, helps us see the whole picture.

May I see the whole picture. May I see it today and every day.

“We’re writing plain, unembellished truth, hoping that you’ll now see the whole picture as well as you’ve seen some of the details.” ~~Apostle Paul  (2 Corinthians 1:13 The Message)

Did He bring me this far to leave me now?

August 9, 2012 2 comments

How is it that I persevere? My will power can get me so far. That is dangerous in the long run. My will power isn’t good enough though. It is God who gives me the endurance to go all the way. God is in control. This is His world (Kingdom). Do I trust Him? Did He bring me this far to leave me now? No, He did not.

All along, He is there with me encouraging me. He cheers me on. He whispers in my ear. He holds my hand when I need it. He picks me up. He claps when I keep going. Loud “Whoo Hoos” ring in the air as shouts when I make it. He is steady in such a deep way.

Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement … Romans 15:5

Where will I find God’s wisdom?

We don’t find God’s wisdom in the popular philosophies that are floating around. This is not about the “success mentality” we hear so much about. This is not about our mission statement.

It is about what the Holy Spirit will reveal to us. It is about know what God wants us to do. It is about hearing His living word, right now. We won’t find it lying around on the surface.

May I know God, what He wants me to do and understand that is wisdom.

You don’t find God’s wisdom lying around on the surface. (1 Corinthians 2:7 The Message)

Am I transparent enough?

August 4, 2012 1 comment

I am to be a light. I should bring out God’s colors into the world. He is not a secret to be kept from those I come in contact with. I should go public. I have seen cities on a hill. There is no mistaking them. They are not hidden. My ability to reveal Him should be the same way. In my house, I don’t light a light and then cover it up. What would be the point?

I should always have an open house. I should be generous with my relationship with our Father. I should open up to others about what God has done for me. If I open up with them, I will prompt them to open up with God, my generous Father in heaven.

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

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Will you trivialize yourself into silliness and confusion?

There are some “real” atheists. There are also many who believe there is a God but don’t believe in God. This is sad, because it is clear they don’t worship the creator of the universe and our loving Father.

What happens as a result. They follow all kinds of silly thoughts and this world’s (Not God’s world) culture. They try to find meaning in mission statements and success philosophies. It gets worse from there. Having their own mission they don’t have God’s and they don’t have true direction.

Of course, there is the opposite of this. I choose this way. I will worship God, the creator of the universe. I will not be trivialized into silliness and confusion. I will be God’s child and love Him as my Father. I will have His direction in my life.

“Refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives.” ~~Apostle Paul (Romans 1:20 The Message)

Who am I? What am I living for?

August 1, 2012 2 comments

Who am I?

What am I living for?

These are essential questions. Questions that we want answers for. And so we have good news. In Jesus, the Messiah, we find the answers to these questions. He makes it all clear to us. We are living for God. It is our mission to love Him like we love nothing else. Our focus is on what He wants today. He wants us to love everyone we meet or know. Friends, enemies, strangers. We are to love them all.

It’s in the Messiah that we find out who we are and what we are living for. (Ephesians 1:11 The Message)

Am I anxious for the right thing?

July 24, 2012 3 comments

So I have to suffer a little. It is no big deal. Some days are hard. But there is no comparison between today’s challenges and the good times that are coming. In fact, I should be anxious for what is coming next. I can hardly wait. I am eager for what is going to be revealed in us who are His children.

All of creation waits with eager anticipation at our revealing.  It is not all clear now but it will be soon.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. Romans 8:18-19

“A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” ~~King Solomon

July 22, 2012 1 comment

Generosity is interesting. It brings a blessing back to me. That blessing takes many forms I think. The greatest is the joy of doing what our Father desires. He says to give and obedience is it’s own form of blessing.

The focus of generosity should be on the poor. Solomon challenges us to have a mission with our generosity. Here, we have lots of opportunity for sure.

GOD is generous. He is caring and in a good mood. Always.

A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. ~~King Solomon Proverbs 22:9


Will I hear GOD?


Worried! (Photo credit: photoloni)

The worry of the world can completely drown out the word of my heavenly Father. He speaks to me. He gives me His love. But worry has a way of overcoming what I know He is saying. How often do illusions about getting more choke out the word? The way of the LORD is to hear the word and understand it. True repentance is to change my mind. That brings fruit!!

Jesus challenges us about how deceitful the pursuit of wealth can be. That leads to worry and not hearing GOD.

May I hear GOD and believe He is good. He has my best interest at heart. He will not fail me.

And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns , this is the man who hears the word , and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word , and it becomes unfruitful . Matthew 13:22

“But it wasn’t by any fancy footwork on our part” ~~Apostle Paul

July 7, 2012 1 comment
Saint Paul with a Scroll and a Sword.

Saint Paul with a Scroll and a Sword. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul depended on Jesus and the Holy Spirit to speak about the Good News. He depended on Jesus completely. While he could be eloquent, he learned that it wasn’t of any use. He must have the power of GOD. That is all that matters. Speaking with the power of the resurrected Jesus.

Can I not rely on myself and depend on Jesus?

“But it wasn’t by any fancy footwork on our part” ~~Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 1:12 The Message)

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies.” ~~Jesus

July 1, 2012 2 comments

Jesus challenges us to go beyond what the rules say. He knows we focus on “what the rule says” and then find loopholes. Religion is about loopholes. GOD is about real love.

Our mission, according to Jesus, is an extraordinary kind of love. Our love is to be like GOD’s love. A love that almost can’t be understood. A love for even our enemies. His Spirit makes it happen for us.

Do we have a passion for that kind of love? Will we live that out today?

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:44 The Message)

Ga., SC mountains mark 40 year ‘Deliverance’ anniversary

It is hard to believe it has been 40 years since this movie exploded on the scene. My sister Janice and I rafted down the Chatooga River one weekend. That was my first experience rafting and it was a blast. I am thinking it was after the movie came out but I need to see if my sister remembers better than I do.

This weekend, communities along the Chattooga are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the movie’s release with the first-ever Chattooga River Festival, even though some locals are unhappy with the idea of reminding the world of the area’s connection to the movie.

“It’s one of those cases where some good comes out of most everything,” said Stan Darnell, chairman of the Rabun County, Ga., board of commissioners. “Certainly a lot of good came out of that, as far as opening up film industry, the kayaking, the camping.”

via Ga., SC mountains mark ‘Deliverance’ anniversary |

“Don’t load yourselves up with equipment.” ~~Jesus

Jesus has powerful but simple things He wants us to do. We don’t need a lot of equipment to complete His mission today. He will supply us everything we need. He does His work through us. We are the equipment.

This is hard to keep in mind. In our world, we think the more we have, the better the buildings, the better off we are. In God’s World (Kingdom), He doesn’t need our equipment. He is God. He can do anything and takes pleasure in turning water in wine. I think it may even amuse Him to confound us. Just saying!!

“Don’t load yourselves up with equipment.” ~~Jesus (Luke 9 The Message)

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“The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” ~~King Solomon

I am thinking how true this is. The more we bless others the more we are blessed. And it is an abundant blessing. More than we could ever imagine. Our mission is to help others. Our Father has sent us into His World (Kingdom) to love everyone we come in contact with every day. That is our job. When we do it in His name, we are helped as well.

May I bless others today. May I be of help.

“The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 11:25)

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“Keep it simple; you are the equipment.” ~~Jesus

June 10, 2012 1 comment

Jesus challenges us to not get wrapped up in all “stuff” that keeps us from fulfilling His mission for us. He sent His 12 disciples out to proclaim the good news of God’s World (Kingdom). He told them to not take any equipment with them.

In God’s World, we are the equipment that He uses to reach others. He is radically transforming our lives and that is what people see. People are longing to see the power of God, not the paltry equipment of the failed churches that we build.

We must keep it simple and not forget what transforms us all. It is Jesus not the buildings.

“Keep it simple; you are the equipment.” ~~Jesus (Luke 9:3 The Message)

“Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.” ~~Jesus

God is God. He does things that don’t make sense to us. We clearly wouldn’t do very much the way He does. He doesn’t need our permission or approval. How He does things pleases Himself.

Jesus challenges us to understand God, what He wants to do and accept His way.

“Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.” ~~Jesus (Luke 10)

“Live generously.” ~~Jesus

God is so very generous to us. Although we don’t deserve it, He lavishes us with every gift imaginable. We can’t even think of every thing He is going to do for us.

Jesus demands that we live generously. Love God; love others! That is His command in His mission for our life.

“Live generously.” ~~Jesus

“These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me.” ~~Jesus

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus is on a mission. His Father has given Him very specific tasks to complete. He completes them. That is how we know about Jesus and His relationship with His Father. Jesus wants us to have the same relationship with His Father. Get on the mission. Complete the tasks.

“These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me.” ~~Jesus 

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“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” ~~Jesus

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Light does amazing things. It is very hard to replicate in a photo what it is doing some days. Jesus requests that we be His light in this world. We have a mission to bring out the colors of God. We must shine like Jesus does. We must obey Jesus and His command. He knows what we should do.

“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” ~~Jesus

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Are you abundantly free?

February 13, 2012 Leave a comment

God made plans for us that gave Him pleasure in putting together. It was not an inconvenience to Him in any way at all. Just as we as parents love to make plans for our children, our heavenly Father delights in an even greater way.

God sent His son Jesus to make us completely free. Not just a little. Abundantely and completely free. He was willing to risk and sacrifice everything for us.

He has made provision for everything. No detail left out at all. It is all spelled out in His new plan and goals for us. His mission of love makes everything right. Now that is good news.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. Ephesians 1:7-10

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Some thoughts on speed (Now!!)

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I am focused on 3 cultural issues right now with the core being an open culture. Here are some of my thoughts on Speed (Now!!). The pace of business continues to change and move faster and faster. That is clear and it requires that we have a world that understands and enables that. Faster, more predictable ways of creating and changing technology are no longer a nice to have — they decide which of us will survive and which will not. For technology professionals, that means it’s not a question of whether we will adopt lean and agile techniques but how soon and how broadly we will adopt them. That doesn’t mean charge into the transformation blindly. If we do, we may meet an untimely but fairly predictable end — we’ll fail to realize the benefits because we didn’t properly execute. As I have been reading and talking to technology and business staff on this, there seem to several trends to consider.

We have to do more than pass out this blog and pray for results. We (I) all need education, coaching, and practice to understand how agile differs from traditional methods. Business groups will need even more attention as we learn how and why our roles will change — take great pains to explain what value agile will bring us, and make sure we accept the role of owners. Do we own speed? Do we own agility? We also need to look for the right initiatives to attempt to speed things up — we should seek those that are not already rigidly defined or too complex, and avoid complex integration, dependencies, and mission-critical efforts in our attempts. Of course, simplicity and usability also help here. If is too complex, can we simplify it? That will help speed delivery and support radically.

Our culture can propel or kill new ideas. We should beware technical and business factions that don’t want the change that agile brings — for example, will staff that consider working in an agile world consider it to be an incorrect methodology? Will businesspeople not want to participate in faster projects because they are too busy? We have more options with our technical world, but if we’ve done everything we could in explaining to stakeholders how agile can add business value and they still don’t buy it, we may need to move on — it may be that the business domain does not require agile — or start our approach with speedier transitions like a water-scrum-fall approach with more work in the water and fall parts of the process. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Is agile right on huge, monolithic applications that change infrequently? Probably not. Advanced agile organizations seem to set up multiple scrum and traditional teams to deal with large, monolithic apps. If requirements are stable, we should consider sticking with what we have done for years if it’s working and the business is not complaining. Agile techniques seem to shine where innovation and changing requirements are part of the business model. We have lots of examples of that. Where stability is the norm, agile may not be the right answer. We should also be careful to least ask the question. The lack of complaints may only reflect a business assumption that technology approaches are always slow. That may not be fair but it could be the perception.

Improvement of any kind requires that we understand our business partners are today and where they want to be in the future and that we muster the right human, financial, and political resources to ensure success. We should focus on value for the business first, establish how we will create value, and set proper goals. When we know the goal, we can define outcomes against those goals, and measure success accordingly. Driven by business-value priorities, we will need to assess our approach using both qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Here is a way to think of change. Improve or transform?

Categories: Personal

“Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working.” ~~Jesus

February 9, 2012 Leave a comment

What is permanent in life. Not the things we think most days. Jesus is clear. The 2 most important things, as Jesus highlights, are to love God and love everyone else (our neighbors). That will never go away. God say it and it is the way things work in his new world. That is His goal for us. We have been given a clear mission. No need to think of “what is our mission” kind of stuff. God’s law is about relationships and it is alive and working in us.

Jesus is clear.

“Long after stars burn out and earth wears out, God’s Law will be alive and working.” ~~Jesus

Movie: Red Tails with Cuba Gooding, Jr.

February 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Nate, Dawn and I saw Red Tails last night. Our adventure out to the Studio Movie Grill. I really enjoyed it. Big fan of Cuba Gooding, Jr. This review by Roger Ebert is on target. It was an entertaining movie but somehow I was expecting a little more.

The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of African-American fighter pilots who were trained despite the racism entrenched in the U.S. armed services during World War II. They were deployed in action and achieved fame and many decorations for their skills against German pilots, which included engaging and shooting down Messerschmitt Me 262s, the first jet fighters. So successful were they at escorting American bombers that the white pilots requested them — contradicting a “study” at the time that claimed “Negroes lack the intelligence to operate heavy machinery.” Read more…

Atlanta Braves History: Dale Murphy – Some after retirement activities

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Some players struggle with what to do after retirement. It can be a challenge when most of your life has been playing a sport. After retiring from baseball,  Dale Murphy served from 1997 to 2000 as president of the Massachusetts Boston Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He was said to be considering a run for Utah governor in 2004, but failed to generate enough interest within the Republican Party. In 2008, he was appointed to the National Advisory Board for the national children’s charity Operation Kids. He currently lives in Alpine, Utah. Murphy serves as a National Advisor to ASCEND: A Humanitarian Alliance.

In 2005 Murphy started a non-profit organization called the iWontCheat Foundation to promote ethical behavior, and deter steroid use and cheating in youth athletics. Since 2008 all players from the participating teams at the Little League World Series wear the “i WON’T CHEAT!” embroidered patch above the Little League Baseball logo on the left sleeve of their jerseys.

“Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.”~~Jesus to religious scholars

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus hangs out with “sinners” and the religious scholars slam him for His approach. Jesus makes a great point. His mission is to engage people who are missing the goal that God sets out for us. That is good news for us.

“Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.”~~Jesus to religious scholars

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“Let me tell you why you are here.” ~~Jesus

January 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus is very clear. There is no doubt about what we are to do. The choice is will we obey Him.

Jesus calls us to go on a mission for Him and our Father. We are the seasoning of this planet. We must bring out God’s flavor and bring His Kingdom into all the countries. We are His light to shine the way to others. We must speak out. We must show His love. To choose otherwise is to abandon His way. The consequence of not being His seasoning for he world is to be useless and end up in the garbage. Not a pleasant thought.

“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” ~~Jesus

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Will I say to God, “I’ll go. Send me.”?

January 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Isaiah was an amazing man of God. He stood in God’s presence. He knew God intimately. One day he heard God say “Whom will I send?”

He didn’t look around and look and see who he was talking to. God wasn’t necessarily talking to Isaiah. God needed someone to go on a mission for Him.

Isaiah answered even though God wasn’t talking to him. He was ready and had a heart to go.

And then I heard the voice of the Master:

“Whom shall I send?

Who will go for us?”

I spoke up,

“I’ll go.

Send me!”

via Isaiah 6:8 MSG – Holy Holy Holy In the year that King – Bible Gateway.

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Advocacy, technology and You’re the Cure network

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Mark Schoeberl, our VP of Advocacy and Health Quality is updating us on his world. Always interesting. Always engaging. Our passion and mission translated to action. We are great partners with his department.

Please join the You’re the Cure network. It is easy and it works. And yes, we fund it.

Categories: Personal

Above all else, Focus!!! A realization not a resolution

Above all else, Focus!! This is more a realization than a resolution. It is only coincidental that it comes at the first of the year. When I am most successful, it is a result of focus. When I am not, it is the result of too many priorities and distractions. Scott Williams makes some great points in this blog. I love the proverb.

The primary reason people fail is not because they don’t have the skills or abilities, they fail because they get distracted. There will always be plenty of opportunities for success and there will be even more opportunities to get distracted. Stay focused and Don’t Get Distracted.

“The lion does not turn around when a small dog barks.” ~African Proverb

via Don’t Get Distracted | Big Is The New Small.

I am also impressed at how men of God focus. I wrote this a while back but I come back to it periodically. Nehemiah knew how to focus. For him it was what would he say yes to and what would he say no to.

How easy is it to get distracted? Well, some days pretty easy. My enemy sends me a great message. Let’s just talk. Come and meet me. What is my response?

Nehemiah was on a mission from God. He was doing some amazing stuff. It was no small thing. He had almost finished but there was still a few things left to do. How did he respond to the distraction of the enemy? Just say NO!!!

So …. when we are centered in the will of God, may we respond that our Yes to God is more important that anything and be able to say, “No, I cannot come down.”

Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates, then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they were planning to harm me. So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” Nehemiah 6:1-3

via A greater YES!! An easy NO!! « Michael Wilson’s Blog.

“Do not be anxious about anything.” ~~Apostle Paul

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

My part is to rejoice. God is so very good and He is always in this amazing mood. Jesus has a mission to bring Good News to me. Am I hearing bad news? It is a lie then. That is from my enemy Satan. So, I will rejoice at the good God is doing now.
I need to talk with my Father, ask Him for what I need, and be thankful in my conversations with Him. He knows what I need and will do more than I can imagine.
I don’t understand it, but as a result, His peace is mine. I can rest and relax. His peace is at attention in my heart. He is protecting me and the enemy can’t reach my heart.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-9



Work with a smile on my face

My work is not for myself. My work is for our God. That allows me to have an amazing attitude and smile when others might not. It allows me to go beyond what others might do since my mission is to please him. And so, with Joshua I say “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

I am really serving God. It is that simple. That makes all the difference in everything I do.

Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the Master, regardless of whether you are slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8


Always in control

I need to change my mind (repent).

His government (Kingdom) is not a democracy. I have been raised to see democracy as the best form of government. And for us, it is. But He wasn’t elected. His way isn’t determined by a majority vote. He has always been in control. He doesn’t need our permission to make a decision. It has always been that way. It always will.

He has a new plan. It isn’t based on anything we know. Jesus put an end to that. No more trying to do good to please him. He is in charge of His country. He is in a good mood as a Father would be toward His children.

Just the facts?

Luke got it right. Knowing and having supernatural courage (faith) about Jesus is what it is all about. He made it his mission to present “the facts”. He investigated it down to the last detail. Imagine having been there and seen and known so many who experience Jesus. Imagine getting it right and writing about it. It is ours and we can know too. What a story. Thanks for men like Luke.

So many others have tried their hand at putting together a story of the wonderful harvest of Scripture and history that took place among us, using reports handed down by the original eyewitnesses who served this Word with their very lives. Since I have investigated all the reports in close detail, starting from the story’s beginning, I decided to write it all out for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can know beyond the shadow of a doubt the reliability of what you were taught. Luke 1:1-4

May I know beyond a shadow of a doubt about the reliability of what I have been taught.

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Count on it

Someone has to be put in charge of capturing what God is saying. He is revealing so much to us. It needs care because His words stand out (are Holy). “Religion” and religious people create some interesting challenges. “Religious” people can abandon the mission they have been given. If we have put our faith in them and not in Him, who can we trust? Well, God always keeps His word. That is that and that is all there is to that.

He can’t be rejected because He is always faithful. If He has said it, we can count on it.

First, there’s the matter of being put in charge of writing down and caring for God’s revelation, these Holy words of His. So, what if, in the course of doing that, some religious people have abandoned their post? God didn’t abandon them. Do you think their faithlessness cancels out his faithfulness? Not on your life! Depend on it: God keeps his word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth. His word says the same: Your words stand fast and true; Rejection doesn’t faze you. Romans 3:2-6

Panic is greed's cousin

Panic over money is greed’s cousin. Am I content with what I have? Do I have enough to eat and clothes? Is there a good roof over my head? When I panic over something I have lost, I have stared greed in the face. Panic shows that I am not content with what I have.

Godliness is the mission. All else pales in comparison. What will I leave this world with? Not money. Only my love of God matters.

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

May I love God and be content.

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As parents, we know the frustration of asking our children to do something, only to discover the completely ignored us. You can almost hear the frustration in Jesus voice over the issue of listening and doing.

Our mission is to love. That is it, plain and simple. Love lays a solid foundation. It will stand the test of time.

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. Luke 6:46, 49

May I have a well built house. May I put into practive what Jesus says.

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Rip Van Winkle Theory

I believe in the Rip Van Winkle Theory: that a man from 1910 must be able to wake up after being asleep for 70 years, walk into a ballpark, and understand baseball perfectly.

— Former Major League Commissioner Bowie Kuhn

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We are on Assigment

We have been given an assigment. God has things he wants us to do. Some of that got started with the prophets. That was all preliminary to what we need to focus on right now to achieve His goals for the world. We received the gift and we need, urgently so, to pass it on to those God has called to be a part of His mission.

And so, we must devote ourself as someone who is completely owned by our Master. He is our Master. We must do all that He asks of us. And we must be urgent about. There is not time to sit around eating bon bons. Souls are at stake.

May I trust Him every step of the way. May I get on with it urgently.

I, Paul, am a devoted slave of Jesus Christ on assignment, authorized as an apostle to proclaim God’s words and acts. I write this letter to all the believers in Rome, God’s friends. The sacred writings contain preliminary reports by the prophets on God’s Son. His descent from David roots him in history; his unique identity as Son of God was shown by the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead, setting him apart as the Messiah, our Master. Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus. You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ! And I greet you now with all the generosity of God our Father and our Master Jesus, the Messiah. Romans 1:1-7

Stay awake!

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

We have work to do. Jesus has given a mission. Our assignment is clear. We can’t slack off.

We must be alert.

“So stay awake, alert.” ~Jesus (Matthew 24:42)

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Free indeed!!!

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

This was the mission of Jesus. It was why He came to our world. And He did it. He has released me. I am free. I  am not bound to the way I was raised. I am not a prisoner of our culture of shame and guilt.

I am living in His favor. He loves me. Even though He corrects me, it because He cares like no other can. He only has my best interest in His heart and soul.

He has given me a crown, oil and new clothes. Will I put them on? Will I wear the crown of beauty? Will I pour on the oil of gladness on my body? Will I wear the new cloths of praise?  

May I experience the freedom and the release He has given me. What a gift!!!

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Isaiah 61:1–3


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A greater YES!! An easy NO!!

January 8, 2011 1 comment

How easy is it to get distracted? Well, some days pretty easy. My enemy sends me a great message. Let’s just talk. Come and meet me. What is my response?

Nehemiah was on a mission from God. He was doing some amazing stuff. It was no small thing. He had almost finished but there was still a few things left to do. How did he respond to the distraction of the enemy? Just say NO!!!

So …. when we are centered in the will of God, may we respond that our Yes to God is more important that anything and be able to say, “No, I cannot come down.”

Now when it was reported to Sanballat, Tobiah, to Geshem the Arab and to the rest of our enemies that I had rebuilt the wall, and that no breach remained in it, although at that time I had not set up the doors in the gates, then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together at Chephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they were planning to harm me. So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” Nehemiah 6:1-3

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You got to love a story like this (1945)

You have to love a story like this. At least I do.

Robert Earl "Bert" Shepard was an left-handed pitcher who pitched in one game for the Washington Senators in 1945 after having had his right leg amputated after his fighter plane was shot down in Germany during World War II while he was serving as a pilot in the Army Air Forces.

Born in Dana, Indiana, the 5"11", 185 lb. left-hander taught himself to walk and then to pitch with an artificial leg while confined in a German POW camp. He had been gunned down near Berlin on his 34th mission as a P-38 fighter pilot, and left unconscious for days.

In 1945 Shepard was back in the United States and hoping to resume his pitching career. Prior to the war, he had pitched for minor leagues all across the country. During spring training in 1945, he impressed Senators owner Clark Griffith enough to be hired as a pitching coach. He pitched exhibition games and batting practice, and one regulation game, making him the first man with an artificial leg to pitch in a major league baseball game.

On August 4, 1945 Shepard got the call to enter in the fourth inning of a home game in which the Senators were well behind the Boston Red Sox (not to be confused with the Boston Braves, now the Atlanta Braves). It was Game Two of the fourth consecutive doubleheader in which Washington was playing, with a fifth scheduled the next day as well. Shepard made headlines, not only for being in the game itself, but also with 5⅓ innings of impressive relief, allowing only three hits and one run. He struck out his first batter. The final score was Red Sox 15, Senators 4. What I can’t figure out with the kind of showing is why he never pitched again.

In between games of a doubleheader on August 31, Shepard received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in WWII. He later went on to be a player/manager in the minor leagues until 1954. He was a key participant on the National Amps baseball teams of former servicemen with amputations secondary to war injuries. After retiring from baseball, Shepard worked for IBM and Hughes Aircraft as a safety engineer. Shepard won the U.S. amputee golf championship in 1968 and 1971.

The game of August 4, 1945 was notable for two other events as well. Shepard came in to relieve teammate Joe Cleary, who would be the last native of Ireland to pitch in a major league game. Also, outfielder Tom McBride tied a major league record with 6 runs batted in the fourth inning.

No wiggle room

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Jesus started a whole bunch of new stuff. He wasn’t about the old world. His mission was to bring God’s love to us all. He also set whole new standards for how we should live.

And so …. it is straighforward. No wiggle room here. He love us. We are to love each other that same way.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

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Worry Isn’t Work

Many of us have grown up thinking that if we are properly self-punishing then we are somehow being responsible. "What, I’m a nervous wreck — how could I possibly take on more?" On the other hand, if, God forbid, we are feeling carefree, we have this nagging sense that we’re being downright irresponsible, certain that if we don’t get right back to self-flagellation then the other shoe is going to drop. And hard. We don’t correlate our sense of responsibility with what we are actually producing. We correlate it with how hard we are being on ourselves.

Thus anything that’s fun cannot possibly be work, and everything that’s unpleasant is.

Read more…

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The details

We are all on a mission given to us by the Messiah Jesus Himself. It has all been planned by God. The details are His and not ours. He has our steps lined out. We must be faithful to His way. It is good news. No detail has been left out.

May all the gifts and benefits that come from God be ours.

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A post-industrial A to Z digital battledore

Seth Godin
A post-industrial A to Z digital battledore
New times demand new words, because the old words don’t help us see the world differently.

Along the way, I’ve invented a few, and it occurs to me that sometimes I use them as if you know what I’m talking about. Here, with plenty of links, are 26 of my favorite neologisms (the longest post of the year, probably):

A is for Artist: An artist is someone who brings humanity to a problem, who changes someone else for the better, who does work that can’t be written down in a manual. Art is not about oil painting, it’s about bringing creativity and insight to work, instead of choosing to be a compliant cog. (from Linchpin).

Read more…

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Nelson heading out on a mission trip to New Orleans.

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