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You and I Are Both in Full-Time Ministry

Let’s play a word association game. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say the following words/phrases.

  • Hipster
  • Netflix
  • Full-time ministry

My answers would be: skinny jeans, binge watching and working at a church.

Since I work at a church, people often ask me what it’s like to be in full-time ministry.

I hate this question.

It implies I’m in full-time ministry and you are not. Here’s the truth. If you’re a Christian, you are in full-time ministry.

Full-time ministry is not what your job is. It's the attitude you go into every day with.Click To Tweet

So how about you tell me, what’s it like being in full-time ministry? What are ways we can all have that mindset each day?

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The Secret Sauce to Spiritual Growth

Lately, I’ve been on a kettlebell kick.

I’m fascinated by the lure of just two kettlebell exercises causing a “what the hell?” effect.

The What the Hell Effect is well known throughout the kettlebell community. Doing kettlebell work, specifically kettlebell swings and turkish get-ups, has a way of improving all sorts of other physical activities that seem to be unrelated.
–Premeditated Fitness

Living in the world of kettlebell swings and turkish get-ups has surprisingly brought clarity to a question Christians often wrestle with. How do we grow in our faith and mature in our relationship with Christ?

The answer begins with those two exercises.

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6 Uber-Practical Steps to a Spiritually Significant Fast

Fork and Watermelons

Honestly, I don’t ever look forward to starting the year with a 21 day fast. Yet I’ve done it the past eight years.

I don’t look forward to it because what should be a deeply spiritual act nearly always deteriorates into nothing more than a shift in what I eat.

I keep trying year after year to raise the spiritual bar, but haven’t quite nailed it (yet). What I have nailed is a few practical pointers that I hope will help on your next fast.

Here’s hoping year nine (finally) makes me look forward to fasting in year ten! :)

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The Unintentional Influence of a Parked Car

Parked Cars

As I was running by these cars, I realized this truth…

Often the small decisions and behaviors we think only affect us, unintentional influence others.

I heard a friend say they only brush their teeth once a day. Being the poster child of efficiency, I jumped on this idea. I’m the guy who only flosses two weeks leading to a teeth cleaning because the dentist has always said my teeth/gums look great. So why floss 365 days a year when you can floss 14 and get the same results? ;)

You know what happened when I did that? I was told my breath stinks.

In high school, I attended a youth group as a non-Christian outsider. I was really just there to hang out with friends and play ping pong. #truestory

As an indirect result, I learned a little bit more about Jesus and Christianity. You know what I learned? Christians are hypocrites. The same people who preached repentance and “what would Jesus do?” in the school hallways were the same people doing drugs, having premarital sex and getting drunk on the weekends.

Not very Christ-like at all.

Unintentionally, their decisions influenced me away from Christ. They had no idea the deep impact and impression their actions left on me. For the next three years I thought Christianity was nothing more than a label.

It held no eternal significance to me.

The line of cars above started with just one decision.

Lone Parked Car

A decision the person thought was no biggie and only affected them. But one decision ultimately led tens of others to follow their lead.

We all influence people whether we like it or not. You determine if that's a good or bad thing.Click To TweetNo one is exempt from that truth.

Who are the main people you influence? Think of them by name. Your kids, your co-workers, your spouse, your fellow classmates, your friends? Heck, even all your social media followers.

Are you doing anything that could negatively impact them? Because we are all influential, it’s worth taking the time to answer that question.

How would your kids define the word “family” based on what you do when you’re together? Is there quality time happening or does everyone do their own thing? How do you treat and talk to your co-workers? Are they attracted to you because you’re kind-hearted or repelled by all your gossip? Are people unfriending you on Facebook because of your endless stream of negativity and complaining?

And, don’t forget, as Christians we influence people either toward or away from Christ.

Steward that influence wisely.

How has someone positively or negatively impacted you with their decisions or behavior?

 

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The Courage to Rebuild Ruins

Ruins of Sukhothai

Nehemiah 2:12 (NIV)
…I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem.

A word from God changes everything.

When God places a burden on your heart, no other burden matters.Click To Tweet

You have the perspective, perseverance and courage you need to walk that call out.

But so often we don’t bother asking God what his heart is for us and then we have no perspective, no perseverance and no courage.

What situation or problem are you facing now? Have you asked God what his heart is for you?

You will need that spiritual burden to succeed. When we don’t have that spiritual burden, we get easily weighed down by emotional, mental and physical burdens. We hit eject too early. We wander aimlessly. We achieve nothing of value. All while the life and energy gets sucked out of us.

And, ultimately, we miss out on not just what God wants to teach us, but what he wants to do through us.

A spiritual burden allows you to look out on a hopeless situation, just as Nehemiah did…

Nehemiah 1:17 (NIV)
Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire.

…and know you can succeed.

Nehemiah 1:20 (NIV)
I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding…

Pray. Ask. Succeed.

If God calls you, he will also equip you.Click To Tweet

It’s always easier to persevere when we know we’re on the path God has called us to. How have you seen that ring true in your life? Share with me in the comments, por favor!

Photo courtesy of John Shedrick.