God of the Counter Intuitive – Part 1

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Recently, as I was preparing for a teaching on parenting, I was reminded how counter intuitive our God is. Years ago, I wrote four paradoxes in the front of my Bible. These 4 Paradoxes hold the Keys to Success for every area of endeavor. The question is, are we willing to go cross-grained to all that seems logical in our own mind to get to a success where everyone wins?

The first mind-altering statement . . .

We gain by losing

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” Luke 9:24

Some brilliant leaders have discovered this concept and incorporated it into their leadership teachings. One of my favorites follows:

“You can have anything you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want out of life.” Zig Ziglar

This philosophy is a slap on the face of our “take care of number one” culture. Our mind says, “If they win, that means I lose.” Jesus says we should put others first.

So, which philosophy when applied actually works?

I’m taking a challenge for the next 30 days to deliberately put others first, and I hope you’ll accept this challenge as well. Kind of like Myth Busters, we’ll find out whose philosophy is right, only our results will make an eternal impact.

Try making a list of all the things your boss wants to achieve, the house they want to live in, the car they want to drive, or the vacation they’d like to take and commit to working for them to achieve their goals. Or how about putting your husband or wife first . . . novel concept. What friend needs a win? How about your kids? There is a whole hurting world out there. Find someone and help them achieve their dreams. Sometimes what they need most is for someone to believe in them when they can’t  believe in themselves.

The life you change may be your own. This is renewing your mind in brick and mortar.

Next time, we’ll look at another one of Christ’s counter intuitive statements. In the meantime, let me know how it’s going.

Realigning Yourself

Has your car ever gotten out of alignment? You find you’re constantly fighting the wheel just to stay on the road. Driving becomes exhausting, not to mention the wear and tear on the tires. And if you let go of the wheel for even a split second your car starts edging off the road.

Well, I was driving down life’s highway and somewhere I got “out of alignment.” But recently I had an epiphany that if you believe what others think of you, that is who you will become. It was an “ah ha” moment – there was my misalignment. I’d given others permission to define my value. Talk about giving power to others!

If you’ve done this, take your power back, now! As parents and leaders it is our responsibility not to let the opinions of others shape who we are. Here is the most important reason why. Those who follow us become like us. It is up to you to chose to stop the madness.

Here’s the good news, you don’t have to find yourself. You simply need to look to your Manufacturer and into His Manual to find that God has already defined who you are. You are accepted. Ephesians 1:6 You are forgiven. Colossians 2:13 You are righteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” It is already a fact, done, finitio, end of subject! There is nothing you can do, say, or think to be any more loved, any more accepted, or any more righteous than you are right now.

Don’t let anyone steal your destiny. God has a great plan for you. He believes in you even if not one other person on the whole planet does.

So how do you experience this realignment? Meditate on the Word, especially Phillipians 4:8, if you’re like me and your mind can take a world tour of “worst case scenarios” in 60 seconds or less. Find a promise in the Word and chose to believe it is for you. There are 7,000 of them, surely you’ll be able to find one. Then personalize and speak that promise. Just do it! No matter how you feel today. Just do it! No matter what your circumstance tells you. Just do it! No matter what your Eyeore friends say. Just do it! Your thoughts will either set you free or keep you captive. You get to choose.

Are you willing to let go of how you see yourself to become who God says who you are?

Ho! Ho! Woes or Joy, Joy, Joy?

It’s that time of year again when we’re all scurrying to and fro like a bunch of squirrels trying to stash the last acorn of the season before another squirrel gets to it first.  It’s easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas as well as your sanity in all the commercialism.  But despite it all, there’s something about this time of year that brings the philanthropist out in even the stingiest skinflint. Despite all the efforts to remove every mention of Christ from Christmas, His Spirit reaches out and mankind is filled with an uncontrollable desire to give.  We give because He first gave. It was God’s joy to give us His Son, because He loves us.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son.” John 3:16   What parent isn’t filled with joy and anticipation as they watch their child unwrap that special gift? Our Father is waiting to see if we’ll unwrap His gift and invite Him into our holiday celebrations this year.  Let the peace of God reign in your hearts this holiday season as you keep the real gift at the center of your festivities!  The best gift you could give your family is a peaceful joy-filled you!