My African Adventure with Compassion International

A month ago I embarked on a two week adventure to the countries of Tanzania and Kenya with my family. The purpose of this vision trip was to journey to Compassion International program sites, meet our sponsor children and their … Continue reading

Resolutions

Happy New Year!  Yes, it is the beginning of a new year and the time when many of us set goals and resolutions for ourselves.

Some of us are fairly disciplined and can maintain action beyond the 30-40 day mark to actually form a positive habit in our lives. Others are not so disciplined and will have abandoned our goals in a couple of weeks. Still others of us are so disillusioned and disheartened by our past inability to stick to a resolution, that all goal setting, dreaming and vision casting are simply abandoned.

Certainly there a number of reasons why goals are discarded.  But what if one reason we fail to stick with our goal and resolution is because it really isn’t ours to begin with?  We just think it is a good idea because everyone else is doing it. But maybe your admirable resolution isn’t something I am physically, financially or emotionally capable of achieving at the moment. Guess what…that’s ok!

Or, what if the goal is for us but the manner we try to achieve it doesn’t fit? What if we are adopting an execution plan of another instead of seeking and implementing one tailored made for us? We may have similar goals, but the way I achieve mine may differ than yours. The action plan of someone who thrives on solitude and structure to accomplish a goal looks vastly different than the one who needs people and variety. And that’s ok!

And what if sometimes it just takes awhile to figure out what works well for us. That’s ok too.

Maybe this year it is time to have a bit of Grace for ourselves and others. Grace to grow and learn. Grace to develop our Divine gifts and talents uniquely. Grace to know that each is fearfully and wonderfully made and Grace to call that forth from one another.

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

” Let us consider how we may spur one another to love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)

 

Square Peg Round Hole

Ever try to put a square peg in a round hole? Doesn’t work. A round hole is for a round peg. Seems pretty logical and basic, doesn’t it? It’s something a toddler can learn playing with any shape sorter toy.

Then, why as adults do we often live frustrated, aimless or stuck? Could it be that we have been trying to put a square peg in a round hole?

The goal of a shape sorter toy is to place all the varying shaped pieces into a box through a corresponding shaped opening. Similarly, there is a common goal and purpose for our lives; to glorify Love. Yet, we are each shaped uniquely and, therefore, how we each go about fulfilling our purpose will be unique. I can only live as me and you can only live as you. To live exactly as another is not possible. When we neglect to see this uniqueness and attempt to create carbon copies of each other we will live frustrated. It is like trying to place a square peg in a round hole.

Certainly there are basic principles that should guide and direct all of our paths. (The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Gal.5:22)  Yes, we can learn important things from one another. (As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Prov.27:17) However, even Jesus’ ministry, whose purpose is always constant and consistent, chose to manifest Divine Life in a variety of  ways; from placing spit-filled mud on eyes to speaking just a word, from over throwing money changing tables to touching the untouchables. Consistent in purpose but varied in outward manifestation.

Today may we remember that we are not a copy but an original. May we be bold and brave to live as ourselves and not someone else. And may we be free to be consistent in the purpose of Love but varied in its outward manifestation.

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

 

 

 

Hanging it on the Wall

ArtPrize!  Downtown Grand Rapids is once again transformed into a city wide art gallery. The competition hosts 1500 artists in over 160 venues and brings 400,000+ visitors to the downtown area. It’s an incredible event that celebrates imagination, creativity and vulnerability. Art … Continue reading

Mission 101

You are a one of a kind masterpiece. There has never been and will never be anyone exactly like you. ‘Thank God!’  some may be thinking!  But it’s humbling to think that each of us is truly unique.  There is no one else with the intricate mixture of personality, talents and passions as you.  Although fundamentally we may share a common purpose, you have a specific assignment; a mission that is unique to you and one which only you can fulfill.  Others may have similar missions but it will never be lived out in the same manner or with the exact results as yours.  Your mission is your mission and your life is important and vital.

So what is a mission?  In the book The Path…Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and Life, author Lauirie Beth Jones says,

“A mission is a clearly defined area of responsibility that is assigned by a High Headquarters, which is part of a larger plan and is felt as a ‘calling’.”

Simply stated, a mission statement is a written down reason for being.  It is the purpose and motivation behind your actions.  It is a statement about the lens through which you see life; the core value that motivates and drives you.  Ideally a mission statement should be a single sentence, easy to memorize and recite, and understandable to a twelve year old.

A personal mission statement is something that is true about you at all times.  It is not limited to a job, role or geography because those things will change in the course of a lifetime. The best place to start crafting a personal mission statement is to identify your core value by asking yourself a few questions.

What quality would I most like to represent to the world?  What am I passionate about?  What do I get excited and enthusiastic about and why?

The truth is we each are living out a mission whether we can articulate it or not.  The question is whose?   Oh may our answer be Love’s!

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

My mission is to stir-up, inspire and speak Divine encouragement!  What’s yours?                                                                       

Out on a Limb

This past weekend I received the craziest text from my sister-in-love. It was a picture of her dog Xander up in a tree!  Xander is a 75 pound cockapoo with a very adventurous and focused spirit. He obviously was chasing or on a scent of something. Before he knew it he found himself in danger on a tree limb high above the ground, unable to turn around and descend. He was one stuck pup! Somehow my sister and nephew coaxed Xander into a blanket /net which helped to break his fall. He landed unharmed and with a shake of his head was off on another adventure!!  Crazy dog!

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There’s Xander!

Xander’s tree climbing mishap is a perfect illustration of what can happen in our lives both personally and corporately when we are sidetracked from our original purpose and focus on the wrong things for too long. If we aren’t careful we can find ourselves in some pretty unnecessary, uncomfortable or destructive situations. We may not intentionally set out to be stuck high above the ground on a tree limb but if we don’t take inventory from time to time of what we are doing and the direction it is taking us the tree limb is certainly a possibility!

Where is your path leading you?  Is it taking you closer to your purpose or drawing you farther away?

Sometimes we can be so preoccupied by our own lives. We can get on a path that is motivated by self-interest, self-promation and self-preservation and that always leads to a dangerous place. Why? Because a life motivated in that way draws us away from our first and ultimate purpose in life; to bring glory to our Father.

Today may our lives be filled not with self but with Divine purpose. Today may our lives be focused and motivated by Love. Today may our paths lead to glory for the One who loves us beyond our wildest imagination!

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!