5 LESSONS LEARNED IN 2013
Living and serving Him to build up His church is so worth it! I am living the dream everyday! Whenever someone asks me hows life and ministry, my standard response to them this past year has been, "It's scary, exciting, and fun all at the same time." These are a few lessons I lived and learned with family, ministry, and leadership. Just jotted them down to hopefully be an encouragement to you.
1. WENT ALL IN
- God talks through even your children. Ask me about it!
- Took a step of faith individually and as a family into full-time ministry.
- It was time and the step out and the step in was official on May 1st.
- Obvious fears were focused on the practicalities of raising a family on Long Island.
- Sang, preached, read, and heard about "Jehovah Jireh". This year we saw Jehovah Jireh.
"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man who trusts in him." - Psalms 34:8
2. LOVE LANGUAGES
- Realized that I can't love everyone the same way. Tough love doesn't always work. Tender loving care doesn't always work either. Balance it out.
- Realized that everyone will not love me the same way.
- Realized that people will not love you or even like you. The haters will always be there. Some were expected and some were surprising. If anyone says it doesn't take a toll on them, they are lying. I definitely experienced some hurt and deep wounds this past year. God is transforming those wounds into scars. Wounds will always hurt but scars are just reminders.
- Realized Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so ... =) about to start singing ...
3. LET'S GO
- I'm a big picture person who still tries to keep a handle on the details at times. I'm already thinking about 2015 and beyond...just saying!
- Everyone doesn't move at your pace or even at God's pace for their lives.
- While I've learned to slow down at times thanks to a great family and ministry team, they've learned to speed up. (Don't know if they would thank anyone for that.)
- Learning that some are born leaders while others are developed leaders. Born or made, all need to be learning and growing servant-leaders.
- Learned that all may not be ready for the call on their life or for the vision and mission of the church.
- Leads to the next lesson learned...
4. THREE WORDS
- My prayers to God in relation to family, leadership, and pastoral ministry from the beginning of the year were centered around these 3 words: patience, wisdom, and discernment.
- Lord give me the patience to see growth and lives change in a moment and through a process.
- Lord give me the heavenly wisdom to handle every situation and challenge with grace and humility.
- Lord give me the discernment to see what you see.
- That prayer has not changed just because its a new year. Need more of all as expectations, demands, vision, and hopes grow.
5. BE AN ORIGINAL
- At times, I got caught red-handed playing the comparison game as a pastor, leader, and church.
- I'm not made to be someone else. I'm not created by Him to be a carbon copy. I am created by Jesus to be His child and His servant.
- I'm not a puppet for man to speak through but an instrument and tool in God's hands to use and speak through.
- He constantly reminded me to take on His identity. As I did, He led me into greater levels of revelation in Him and His Word. Putting on Christ is the best decision made.
- I was surprised a few times by what He was doing in and through me. Almost was afraid of what was happening and had to trust Him in the moment.
- I know I am here, I am a sinner, I am forgiven, and I am called. I am a husband, father, son, brother, friend, pastor, servant-leader.
- God take me, use me, and send me for your purpose and glory!
I'm thankful for what God has done and is doing. I'm not looking to be successful but just be faithful with God has given to me. I look forward to what lies ahead. I press on because Jesus is calling.
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:12-14 NLT)
Enjoyed The Ride,