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Write the story you want to live- Podcast #48

In this episode of the podcast I want to tell you about something we just did with our kids, something that applies to me and to you… 

There’s a great passage tucked in the end of Proverbs that’s often misquoted. 

Solomon writes, “Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18).  

A lot of well-intended leaders use this to endorse their grandiose plans- “God wants us to have big vision,” they say. “He says so right here, so we’re going to build a bigger building.”

That’s usually how it goes, anyway. This verse is used for church building programs more than just about any other use I can fathom… 

And, though it’s true that we often dream and plan too small- particularly given the fact that our God is the Creator of the still-expanding universe (meaning, He is STILL creating), the word vision here doesn’t mean “big plans.”

The word vision here (in Hebrew- the...

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Look back to live forward- Podcast #47

perspective podcast Jan 29, 2018

Life must be lived forward. But, it only makes sense when we learn the lessons of the past. 

The final week of the year is a time when a lot of people sit down, assess the previous 365 days, and make some decisions about how things went in the recent past and what they might like to do in the near future. A sense of ease pervades the week almost by default (most businesses expect the hours to be slow- unless you’re in retail and doing the mad dash of post-Christmas returns). It’s the perfect time for reflection.

But I didn’t want to pause and reflect this past year. I knew from the outset the most of the goals I’d set for myself in the previous year didn’t come close to happening. And it wasn’t because I created HUGE, untenable goals, either. I hadn’t made it 5% of the way to some of them at all… 

That’s what I thought, anyway…  

  • Some of the goals included business goals like hitting a new rank in our...
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We count the things that matter the most

We tend to count and measure the things that matter the most. It's why we count our money and balance the checkbook at the end of the month. It's why I track our business numbers just about every single day. It's why we count our kids when we get in the car.

Sometime, really, ask me about the time that Cristy drove off and left one of our kids in the house... A few blocks down the street, she turns from the driver's seat and asks the others, "Hey, where's Judah!?"

Full disclosure: I made fun of her...

... until I did the exact same thing.

I can't give you the inside scoop on her story. Here's mine: I left the school one afternoon, cruised about a mile away in the 12-pac van we drive.

The car seemed about 15-20% quieter than normal. I scanned the rearview mirror while cruising down the street at an ever-decreasing speed, knowing something wasn't quite the way it was supposed to be...

"Levi's still at school!" one of the boys exclaimed.

They said it, right as I felt it. I had,...

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A new nature means you naturally do the best things

I remember going to first grade and knowing that, every single day, regardless of how hard I tried, I was going to get in trouble. It never failed…

  • I’d find myself talking to my neighbor at just the wrong time.
  • I’d make a quick reply to the teacher that came across more as a smart mouth than a respectful student.
  • One time she left the room, only to return and find me standing on top of my desk, mimicking a little dance another student had done (they had done their dance on the floor, of course). 

It’s like I had a propensity- a drive- to do wrong. I couldn’t help it. 

I know. We can look back at shenanigans like this and laugh. Some of the episodes are funny- in hindsight. 

The trouble is… well… we often find ourselves in those same situations when we get older. Except this: we’re older. The mistakes are bigger, so the stakes are higher.

Ever felt like you just can’t get it right? That the relationships are...

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The influence of the evil one or toil?

We tend to compartmentalize our lives. We think that some things are “holy” and some things aren’t. Some tasks are important… and others… well… they don’t matter as much. 

The Bible tells us, “Jesus grew in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).  

Notice, He grew relationally, He grew physically, and He grew in terms of practical knowledge. Each of these areas was part of God’s plan for His life… 

Again, we tend to separate the spiritual from the "real." But these aren't disconnected ideas. This means that- 

  • Healthy relationships are part of a stout spiritual life
  • Healthy choices with your physical body are… well… they’re spiritual issues, too, right
  • Healthy perspectives on the world around us… practical wisdom… also a spiritual issue.

In other words, everything is spiritual. Everything is being redeemed. 

 

Who are the...

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You- OR- the inside changes before the outside EVER does (The Ladder series #6)- Podcast #24

We get enamored with external things- the things “out there.” The truth, though, is that the INSIDE changes before the OUTSIDE ever does. In fact, the greatness of what’s going on inside of you determines the altitudes you’ll reach in the world around you. 

In this episode of the podcast, we take take the fifth (and final) rung of the ladder

Remember, with each rung we go higher AND closer to realizing our dreams…

  • What = the idea
  • How = implementation 
  • Why = inspiration 
  • Who = interdependence 
  • You = individuality 

Once you understand the power of the mind… and how it literally creates destiny, some of the most popular Bible verses make EVEN MORE sense. Things like…

  • “Take your thoughts captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
  • “Be transformed… by renewing your mind” (Romans 12:1-2).
  • “Be anxious for nothing…” (Philippians 4:6f).
  • “Think on things that are pure, lovely,...
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Within Reach (The Ladder series #1)- Podcast #19

 One of my favorite events of the year is coming up… Advance arrives every 5-7 months, depending on the time of year, and is designed to empower men to move from where they are to where they’re destined to be. It’s not a retreat… it’s an Advance. 

In this episode I’ll tell you a bit about what we do and how… 

And introduce you to the concept of The Ladder, tell you the stories of how this thing (“accidentally”) came to be, and share with you how to go deeper and higher at the same time…

Ah… about The Ladder. Lots of talk about climbing ladders and making sure you go up the right one. This one’s short, though. On purpose. Because we REALLY believe this…

  • Your dreams are HUGE (inspired by God Himself and placed inside of you, waiting to burst forth).
  • Your dreams are within reach…

Join us on the journey…

 


Links mentioned in this talk- 

Access the free PDF or...

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Freedom is now!- Podcast #18

It’s easy to punt the promises of God to the future- to a time and space after we die. When do this, we turn the stories and the principles we see in Scripture into nothing more than allegories and tales about what COULD be rather than what SHOULD be in the moment. A lot of us live like this- effectively postponing the blessings of NOW, determining instead to hope for them after death. 

In the Bible, though, people expected God’s blessings to come in the present- they anticipated that His promises were for NOW and not for later. The Children of Israel were delivered in their lifetime- not after they died. In the New Testament, even, Paul had to correct the Church at Corinth. They were so “this world” minded about the power and presence of God that they decided their future in Heaven wasn’t important (see 1 Corinthians 15:12-19).

We’ve swung the pendulum the other way. You see, both are important. 

Yes, we get to go to Heaven when we...

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Most of the change you experience in life is the result of a person, not a decision

In session 6 at The Advance, we talk through the power of relationships. One of the biggest takeaways is this: every significant turning point in your life- good or bad- is probably marked more by a PERSON that it is a PLACE. That is, we rarely make decisions “in a vacuum.” We’re far more influenced by the people around us than any other thing. 

It’s why we read observations- and coaching statements- in the Book of Proverbs like, “He who walks with the wise will be wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm” (13:20). 

And- “A man who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin” (Proverbs 18:24). 

Quite simply, our “inner circle” in some significant sense determines our destiny. 

 

Show me your friends, and I'll show you... 

I had a youth minister who regularly said something like this: “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

Most of us are old enough now to...

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Living in Heaven while walking on earth- Podcast #17

 The Bible outlines a few contradictory things about us- things that we need to hold in tension.

First, everything that happened to Jesus has already happened to us. We were crucified with Him, we died with Him, and we were buried. We also arose with Him AND we’ve been seated with Him in Heaven. 

That means that, right now, we’re “here” and “there” at the same time. This is our current experience. 

Second, the Kingdom of God is a kingdom- not a democracy. It functions with rank, order, and spheres of authority. I know, authority is a misused and bloated term in our culture… but, under the lead of a benevolent king in which the first is last, the greatest serve the most, and honor and humility win the day, the Kingdom of God is the ideal… 

We actually want to see it THIS Kingdom manifest. 

However, we find ourselves in the middle of a conflict. A spiritual war of sorts. 

But, rather than fighting FOR the...

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