Why You Should Be Working on Your Dream NOW!

Living in Chicago is, as Charles Dickens says in the Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

It is the best of times (at least for Christians) because there’s a dark political, moral, and corrupt cloud hovering begging for light (Matthew 5:13-14).  It is the worst of times because we’re witnessing some activists, politicians, glory-seekers, and even preachers/pastors clamoring for the spotlight to build their platform. It’s sickening.

Dream Big, Set Goals, Take Action, concept, tags on the table.

Watching this tragic drama unfold reminds me of Tony Gaskins’ quote:

If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.

According to this quote, if don’t wake up and begin pursuing your dreams, someone will recognize your abilities and recruit you to help build theirs. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong, improper, or illegal about helping others fulfill their dreams, remember God has something He wants you to accomplish that only you can accomplish.

However, it’s possible to work on both at the same time. Everyone has the same thing in common: 24 hours in a day. Since time is passing, why wouldn’t you be working, at least, part-time, on your dreams.

The good thing about seasons:

They have a beginning and an end. Be encouraged…You’re going through a season: Though God may seem distant, He is never far. Though God may seem silent, he is never still.

Going through a season

Why The Next Phase of Civil Rights will focus on Economic Empowerment

In 2016, our country will elect a new president, and many speculate what America will look like after President Obama’s term expires.

Since I can’t predict the future, the one thing I know for sure is that economic power comes through business ownership, and pride in ownership of property and neighborhoods. Everyone wins when this happens.  That’s why I’m compelled to share one of the most amazing TED talks I’ve ever heard by Margarita Anderson.

My Black Year: Margarita Anderson

Margarita Anderson and her family were featured in national headlines as they lived exclusively off Black businesses, professionals, and products for an entire year. Her stand, chronicled in her book, “Our Black Year,” was called The Empowerment Experiment.

Illustration depicting a roadsign with an empower concept. Sky background.

Now, she tours the country to increase awareness about economic inequalities that starve Black neighborhoods and deny Black businesses, and how proactive support of these businesses can create jobs and curb crime in America.  Check out her video explaining her family’s experience supporting black businesses. 

Many believe the next Civil Rights Movement will be one of economic empowerment.  What do you think?

#MotivationalMoment: The Danger of Comparisons

The Real Reason Why Comparisons are Dangerous and Useless

We all do it: we look at what others are doing and wish we were doing that too.

Truth be told, you cannot be happy and envious at the same time. In fact, one of the greatest secrets of having happiness in your life is learning how to eliminate comparisons.

Why Do We Make Comparisons

Our brains have a natural tendency to make comparisons as a system of developing logic and reasoning. And all the ways we compare ourselves to others are the same ways we find value in our lives. The answer isn’t to stop making comparisons, but to remember what God thinks about us.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

David, the author of this Psalm, declared that God is present at conception and birth.  Since we are made in the image of God and God has a special purpose for each person who is born. We live in and with our bodies all our lives, and we know how amazing they are. God formed us as He wants us to be, and we must accept His will no matter how we feel about our genetic structure, our looks, or our abilities.

Made in the Image of God

God’s character goes into the creation of every person. When you feel worthless or even begin to hate yourself, remember that God’s Spirit is ready and willing to work within you. We should have as much respect for ourselves as our Maker has for us.

Check out today’s #MotivationalMoment: The Real Reason Why Comparisons are Dangerous and Useless.

Motivational Moment | The Danger of Shortcuts

So many people are in such a hurry to success that they eagerly take any shortcuts that come their way. In reality, shortcuts usually lead to disappointments rather than quicker success.

Shortcuts

The key to any long-term success is to take the necessary steps to steadily progress rather than skip any of them.

Remember: What comes easy won’t last long, and what lasts long won’t come easy.

 

#PrayFirst | Day 8

Pray for F.O.C.U.S. (Follow One Course Until Successful)

Welcome to Day 8 (the FINAL day) of our #PrayFirst Campaign!

For One Week, we will pray for One Minute every hour about One Topic as One Church to One God! Pray for the first 60 seconds of every hour and watch God bless the other 59 minutes! There is power when God’s people pray in unity. Join us as we answer Jesus’ prayer “May they be ONE” (John 17:21).

Copy of #PrayFirst Focus

If you’d like to know more about our #PrayFirst Campaign you can:

  1. Click HERE to read the overview
  2. You can read our Day One Devotional on Faith HERE
  3. You can read our Day Two Family Devotional HERE
  4. You can read our Day Three Finance Devotional HERE
  5. You can read our Day Four Facilities Devotional HERE
  6. You can read our Day Five Fulfillment Devotional HERE
  7. You can read our Day Six Family Devotional HERE
  8. You can read our Day Seven Devotional on Finishing Strong HERE

God Helps Those Who Help Themselves…Really?

Although it sounds great, it’s not in the Bible.  No matter how good it sounds, if we demonstrate some effort to improve, God will give us a little push in that direction.  So we decide to make it by sheer willpower and discipline.  The problem is, we run out of steam and lose focus.

Next year, millions will make and break resolutions because they’re trying to solve a spiritual problem through earthly means.  The challenge we all face is that we want to be transformed.  However, we tend to look within ourselves for the solution.  The solution resides outside of ourselves.  The solution is God.

Transformation is a problem that we cannot solve.  That’s why God sent Jesus!  Apart from him, we can do absolutely nothing!  In Galatians 3:3, Paul reminds the Galatians that God has given them His Spirit and with this – combined with their faith, they can make it.

Who Does God Help?

God doesn’t help those with themselves.  God helps those who abide with Him and those who walk with Him in faith (John 15:1-5).  Our efforts were never the impetus for God’s transforming grace.  Nor will they be the impetus for our changed hearts.

The Bible says that we are justified by faith.  We don’t need willpower or self-effort as much as we need faith that God will accomplish in us and for us what we can’t do ourselves.  He is the source of what we long for and need.  Willpower and self-effort can only take us so far in our desire to change.

What’s The Point?

 Change is Possible

Focus is Required

Dependence on God is Foundational

Focus requires discipline. As the famed personal finance guru Robert Kiyosaki defines it: Follow One Course Until Successful.

follow-one-course

Prayer of F.O.C.U.S (Follow One Course Until Successful)

Lord, right now, eliminate all distractions for the time it takes me to complete my priorities. Help me to turn off the wifi, silence cell notifications, and schedule F.O.C.U.S. time with you. Help me to stay on task and Follow One Course Until I’m Successful. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Keeping Your Finger on the Pulse of the Moment

Some of my most effective messages didn’t require twelve or twenty hours of study; I wrote them in ten minutes or less.

Every pastor, preacher, public speaker carries their “stick message” (recycled messaged that brings the house down)” everywhere they go.  However, there are times when a recycled messaged doesn’t fit the context or mood.

Woman giving a speech at a convention

College, grad school, and seminary gave me the tools for delving into the Word and coming up with a sermon. And I am reasonably confident that as the Lord guides and empowers me, I can deliver it intact.

That’s why I’m going to keep my finger on the pulse of the moment and take a lesson from Brandon Kelly’s article, “Why Preparing A Sermon in 10 Minutes Will Make You A Better Preacher.” I’m not ditching my weekly sermon prep, just adding another tool to my arsenal.

What do you think?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If You Want to Grow Others, Grow Yourself First

33 Leadership Lessons from The One Day Summit with Dr. E. Dewey Smith

I love adding value to church leaders, pastors, and marketplace leaders.

In an effort to add value to their lives, I decided to attend Pastor E. Dewey Smith’s One Day Leadership Summit in Atlanta, GA.

It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of John Maxwell. In fact, his 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, along with Bill Hybels’ Leadership Axioms travel with me everywhere I go. Attending conferences that equip me to influence the influencer fulfills John Maxwell’s 15th Law – The Law of Contribution – Growing Yourself Enables You to Grow Others.

One Day Summit Pic

I must confess that in the beginning, my motivation for personal growth was selfish. I wanted to grow, so I could be successful. There were goals I wanted to accomplish and milestones I wanted to achieve. But along the way, I made a life-changing discovery. My progress in personal growth also opened the doors for others.

Therefore, I’d like to share the top leadership lessons from one of the greatest leadership minds in Christianity, Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr.

So You’re Stuck in Traffic?

How to Turn Your Commute into a Classroom

Time is an unrenewable commodity. Once it’s gone, you can never replace it.

The real question is what are you doing with your time?

Each day the average American spends between one and two hours driving to and from work. Yearly we spend well over 300 hours of our lives in our car. It’s the equivalent of 38 work days of driving. Another way to look at it is 13 straight 24 hour days.

Traffic jam

We Spend a Lot of Time Commuting

The average commute in the U.S is 45 minutes, with New Yorkers having the longest trek to work with an average 73-minute commute. Chicagoans came in second spending 64 minutes a day commuting, followed by San Francisco residents with 56 minutes, while those in Los Angeles have an average 55-minute commute, according to CNN Money.

What to do When You Don’t Like Your Job

In Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace study, 70 percent of those who participated described themselves as “disengaged” from their work.

Translation: 70 percent of Americans don’t like their jobs. Yikes!

Depressed and exhausted working

There’s a reason King Solomon is considered one of the wisest men who ever lived. Thousands of years ago, he posed a question that’s even more relevant today. He wrote:

What do people really get for all their hard work? Ecclesiastes 3:9

King Solomon is asking, “Why do you work?”

Do you work to pay your bills? Do you work to get rich? Do you work so that you can retire? Since studies show you’ll spend 40% of your life working, maybe it’s time to think about the real reason you work.

Let me put it another way: If you’re an average American, you’ll spend about 150,000 hours of your life at work. That’s a long time considering how many people don’t like their jobs. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time understanding why people spend their lives doing something they don’t like.

Again I ask, “Why do you work?”