Archive for the ‘Future’ Category

My mom was a HUGE William Shatner fan. As a kid I remember her watching Star Trek every night it was on and I was left to endure Captain Kirk’s reflective monologues on a regular basis. The only high light of the show for me was when the crew was “beamed” anywhere. You remember, they were teleported down to a new planet and then back to their ship. I was amazed by the idea of being able to just show up somewhere without having to take the time or the effort to actually make the trip.

My life balloon was deflated at the age of seven when I was told that no you can’t actually be “beamed” up or out or anywhere for that matter.

Still, I think the frustration still lingers for many of us  that want to go somewhere without having to take the necessary steps to get there.

We want a short cut…….an easy button. We want to play without having to pay.

For example: we want a deeper walk with Jesus, but not have to invest the time with Him. We want to be a writer, without the work. We want to lead without having to learn. We want to go global with our faith without having to go across the street, (Insert your desired short-cut here.)

Sometimes this comes from just plain laziness. Other times it’s something much darker……fear.

Fear: of failure, of something not being what we’d thought it be when we get there, that we won’t have what it takes or of how it might effect other areas of our life.

There could be a million combinations of why we we’re not embracing the process that God wants to take us on to get us where He wants. But here’s a not-so-well kept secret: if we got our wish to avoid “the work” we’d be miserable. Why?

You’d  have no story to tell.

An ending is only as interesting as the story that takes you there. Our lives are no different. The challenges, the effort, the work, the process, it’s all the adventure……the good stuff in the middle of our story. To avoid it would mean you could never mentor, never be able to reach back for a much needed overcoming moment in your story for the encouragement to endure your present.

The “becoming” doesn’t happen when you arrive, it happens in the journey….in your story.

There is no easy button. There is no way around the hard stuff. It’s part of becoming.

Pray. Decide. Then get busy writing the story that God has meant for you.

Let me hear your perspective. What “work” are you being called to? How are you overcoming the temptation to avoid the work? Share below.

When I assess a leader or someone that desires to be in leadership, I always ask them what area do you need to grow in. If they can’t give me a clear answer I know right away that the person has a self-awareness issue. They’re blind to their weaknesses as a person. While a person might have some natural  talents and abilities you cannot continue to just run your leadership on these alone.

If you desire to grow in leadership you cannot continue to sit on your hands and wait for a “Super Ninja Mentor” to come ask you if he/she can mentor you. Take ownership of your own development. Here are 3 ways you can make some growth happen:

1. ASK: If you don’t know what areas you need to grow in; ask someone. Go to someone that has seen you in action and ask them to give you some feedback.

2. Grow through reading: This is a great way to have mentors at a distance with some of the best minds in the world.  (Side note: “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”)

3. Seek Out Mentorship: Grow through getting together with someone that’s farther along the journey then you are. Maybe take them to lunch or buy them coffee and ask for help. Good leaders want to invest in up and coming leaders like someone invested in them.

Go Grow,

Nathan

>Redefined….

Posted: March 29, 2010 in Forgiveness, Future

>Last night I had the oppurtunity to sit down with two college students seperately and hear each of their individual struggles in feeling defined either by their past mistakes or the environment they grew up in. It’s a trap that many of us have fallen into or are walking in now: allowing the external to define the internal. There is no doubt that the mistakes we make and the consequences we face impact our life story. The same is certainly true for the environment we grew up in. This most certainly influences who we are today. We must realize however that once we come to faith in Christ we are redefined. Our sin is no longer counted against us and God begins to be our Heavenly Father because we are a new creation:

2 Cor 5:17

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ,he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Bottom line: If you are a “new creation” you are not longer obligated to the baggage of the old.

Enjoy The New Car Smell,

Nathan

>When Today isn’t Enough…..

Posted: October 13, 2009 in Future, leadership

>Recently I had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend and find out how his life was going. He shared with me that he was going to make another huge leap in furthering his academic studies. When I asked him why, he said, “I need an external mental and emotional push. It’s either this or have an affair. I chose the least expensive option.”

I can resonate with my friend’s feeling of always wanting that “next big thing”. I can become so forward thinking that I forget about today. And that next big thing is always elusive. It seems just as we arrive and accomplish that project, event or attain that “next ring”, we find that the satisfaction disappears in our souls like cotton candy on the tongue. This constant striving left unchecked can cause us to live life like a bull in a china closet.

I have been on this roller coaster of emotions and it’s not fun. I’m slowly growing in my ability to manage my emotions instead of my emotions managing me. For the sake of my marriage, my family and my ministry it is crucial that I get this right. Bottom line: I must remind myself daily that my life’s pursuit is not to attain greatness for myself, but to point to Christ’s greatness.

Today is Enough,

Nathan

>I just walked out of a adoption dedication ceremony for a 13 yr old girl in our church. For her it was a long time coming, and a huge milestone for the family. Along with friends and family in the room there were several hopeful kids in foster care that are waiting to be adopted. I was overwhelmed with the feeling of pain for these kids that don’t have a Mom or Dad who will care for them or call them their own. As I prayed for the young lady that was being adopted I reminded her that she does not have to be solely defined by where she’s come from.

Maybe the family came from wasn’t the ideal family. Maybe choices you’ve made in the past seem to haunt your heart and mind still today. Can I tell you that your past is not bigger than God’s love for you. Know that God’s best for your life includes redefining who you are with His love, mercy and forgiveness. Bottom line: Where you are going is more important then where you’ve been.

Believe it,

Nathan

It would be an understatement to say that from time to time I get tunnel vision. This is where I can only see that which I am seeking and nothing else matters. My life ends up being like a kid that’s only consumed with the next ring on the monkey bars. This is nothing new when it comes to men and even more so for those in leadership.

Jesus himself is recorded during His earthly ministry as traveling with a group of followers to do ministry in Jericho. Along the way a blind beggar begins to cry out to Jesus, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” Those followers that were with Jesus began to scold the beggar, telling him to shut up. But, he began to yell all the louder. Jesus stops the entire love train and tells those with him to bring the man to Him. Jesus asks the beggar, “what do you want me to do for you?” The man answered, “I want to see.” Jesus tells the man, “Your faith has made you whole.” The Bible says that, “immediately the man regained his sight and rejoiced and begin to follow Jesus.”

What might look like just another extraordinary healing in the ministry of Jesus actually is a reminder of what matters in ministry. Those that are in ministry are always on the way to “Jericho” by that I mean their God breathed dream, their next leadership destination, their God given destiny. I can’t really scold the followers of Jesus that tell the man on the side of the rode to shut it, because I’ve been just like them. Maybe not in the literal since, but I know what it’s like to be consumed with doing good work that I’m blind to the priorities of God.

A lot of things can get ignored when we become tunnel visioned on “our next big thing”. Here are a few of the victims that I’ve hurt with this disease: my wife, my kids, my family, my friends, my staff, my church family, and people along the journey that didn’t seem in my mind to fit in with my next big goal. Jesus puts the brakes on this leadership conference to remind those that are following Him what he really values: the rejected, the refuse of society, those on the fringe.

It’s not about hanging out with Jesus and being associated with him so that we can exalt our Kingdom. It is about being his disciple and being like him. Maybe being like Him means putting down the habit of feverishly reading every leadership book that comes out for a while and picking up people that matter to Christ.

My life is not about the next destination, it’s about the journey. If I stay consumed with making Christ’s priorities mine, my steps will be ordered to my God dream and that God destiny. There always we’ll be another Jericho in the distance. Let’s maybe think about the destitute.

What about you? Have you ever fallen in to the “tunnel vision” trap? I’d love to hear your story below.