>Footprints no more!

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While on vacation, I had this perfect idea! I’d take a picture of my footprints in the sand and blog about that cheesy “Footprints” poem. However, no sooner did I click the camera, and the darn ocean came and washed away my beautiful set of footprints. (see picture)
Ya know, I can have perfect ideas in my head all day long, but when they are put into action, they WILL be imperfect.
And I just think its cool that God works like that.
As leaders, God gives us a perfect place for our dreams and ideas to roam….it’s called our mind.
And He doesn’t interrupt much there.
He also gives us imperfect places for our dreams and ideas to play out…it’s called our actions. And alot of times, He interrupts there.
As I lead, every time God interrupts my actions, I’m so glad that He did.
Man, would I do some stupid things if God wouldn’t step into my actions.
So as a leader, be glad if you have a perfect idea to take pictures of your feet, AND don’t be ticked if the action of it gets washed away by the ocean -it just means God’s got something better.

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>Grape Laffy-Taffy & Chicken Salad

>When I was in college, my roommate, Shelly and I headed downtown Chicago to my Uncle’s pub. On our way back, cruisin’ down Interstate 90, Shelly started to feel the repercussions of a long night of bevaraging. Moments later, losing control of her bodily functions (and losing control in general) she was kind enough to not vomit on me. 
Rather, she projected her vomit all over my dashboard, my passenger window, and my fabric-ed passenger door. 
Surely, it was the most disgusting thing. 
But wait, there’s more. 
Shelly had just pigged out on a chicken salad sandwich & grape laffy-taffy. So….
So we got back to the dorm, & way too tired to clean my car, decided to just leave it. 
And due to the facts that it was snowing and there’s often vandalism, elected to keep all the windows rolled up.
And who got the privilege of not only opening my car door the next day but getting bull-dozed over by the most atrocious odor EVER, 
AND had to clean it several times only to have minimal results in its odor-removal? 
Yours truly.
Whats my point?
Does it stink when people barf all over you?
It can. Literally and figuratively.
Three of my biggest influences, Sharon, Kelli, & Steph, have taught me alot (namely by action) about not puking all over others with their problems.
Prior to their influence in my life, I was lured by this fallacy that strong friendships were built by letting each other barf every crisis, trial, downer, boo-boo, incident, & detailed frustration over one another.
Thru these guys, I’ve learned better:

People can’t rid the odor, or clean our “barf” as well as God can.
So Christ came and Christ said, “Come to ME when you are weary” (
Matt 11:28)
Perhaps the best thing we can do for ourselves is give it all to Him before barfing it all over another.
Good ole’ Shelly. I have her to thank for teaching me to not mix grape laffy-taffy & chicken salad.
But its good buds like Steph, Sharon and Kelli I have to thank for showing me that the best thing you can “barf” all over a friend is just a ton of God’s love.

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>”Back of the bus, Fungus-Face!”

>I have lots of stories from an unpredictable life. And the double bonus to blogging is it’s theraputic for me; hopefully encouraging to you. 
Tonight, I don’t feel like giving you some big, fat, deep philosophical leadership tip. 
I’m just gonna tell you a story and let you figure out how it applies to how you lead.
When I was 11 years old, we moved to a new town. That year, I was the new kid in Mrs. Roberts 6th grade class. To this day, I still don’t know why I was so unfortanate to land in a class that was made up of 24 jerks and snobs, but there I was. From the very first day of school, they started to pick on me. (this story could be historically long with detail, but I’ll just share one part of it tonight.) Anyway, one day, as I walked onto the bus, & reached the top of the 3 steps, I knew something was up….again. Sonia Provo had formed some stupid alliance with all my peers and had speerheaded a malicious effort. All at once, all the kids moved to the edge of their seats. Of course, the bus-driver could not take off until I was seated. So seat by seat, row by row, I passed the giggling and smirking boys and girls. Nobody would move in. Nobody would move over. As I write this, my heart is burning, it truly was an awful moment. Sonia stood up and yelled at me to go to the back of the bus. The nickname the class had so endearingly gave me was “fungus face.” So as I made my way to the back of the bus, I’m sure I heard that name, as well as their laughter, as well as Sonia’s taunting.

I don’t know why God allowed these kinds of things to happen to me.
As an adult, I’ve seen some thread of good–that its given me a killer-instinct to defend & protect people I love and people who are helpless.
But I still wouldn’t wish that moment on any 11 year old.

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>Leader: don’t you dare blink

>Today, my little family & I went to the Miccosukee Festival
I’ve lived here 10 years, & never visited any of the Indian reservations 
indigenous to S. Florida. 
As we walked around, I realized there was a real culture here: 
starving to survive, yet not to be reckoned with. 
I was taken aback by how closed-in I am, and how wide-open the world truly is. 
As we made our way to the main attraction what a blessing it was when the band performing was a family from Peru. (Hey, we totally have an 
FRC campus in Lima, Peru!) 
This family was so talented, so generous, so passionate. 
And as we sat there and thoroughly enjoyed their performance, 
I felt like Frosty-Tinman, who’s skin began to melt; who’s heart began to soften.
Man, I thought, “
Bono gets it; Live Earth gets it; Green Day gets it;Nickelback gets it; Oprah gets it!”
They find pockets of need in cultures that aren’t theirs. 
They’re trying to find needs and trying to fill them.
So who do I think I am?
As I listened to this beautiful Peruvian group, & my eyes skimmed the Indian women at the craft tables, 
I realized I have an addiction within my self: 
AN ADDICTION TO THOSE LIKE MYSELF. 
Leaders, I think I heard God today–through the different music and the people unfamiliar.
And I think He said
“You wanna lead? Then lead with eyes wide open.
If you blink at certain others, then you don’t see the world the way I see it;
& if you don’t see it the way I see it,

how can you change it?”

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>Leader: Crying on Her Knees

>Today, we were chillin’ by the pool, 
fifteen feet away from us, there was a woman.
She was on her knees, with her head and hands holding her up against a concrete wall.
That’s what caught our eyes.She was crying so hard.
That’s what caught our ears.

The sunbathing old man near her, was asking her if she was OK.
A pool attendant walked past and asked her if she was OK.
A lifeguard walked up and asked if she was OK.
I sprung up from my sunbathing spot, ran to her and got down on my knees beside.
“Ma’am, I am a pastor’s wife, may I pray for you?”
She looked up from the concrete wall, still crying & nodded yes.
I can’t retell what i prayed, ’cause I barely remember arriving to the scene.

When I got back to my seat, Raul and I realized something.
Sometimes, a victim needs a fire fighter’s badge.
Sometimes, a victim needs a paramedic badge.
Sometimes, a victim needs a lifeguard badge.
Sometimes, a victim needs a Christian badge.

Christian, you are a leader & you are timelessly deputized with a badge for victims.
And ‘though people may not see a badge pinned to you, 
they NEED the badge of Jesus worn on your heart.

Its been 20 minutes since this happened. I have prayed for this woman 4 times, cried for her twice.
Could you do something?
Would you pray for her too?
(the only thing we heard was her son did something to her)

And never forget your God-sent ability to arrive to the scene of another’s pain.
As leaders for Him, there are alot of scenes we’ll get called to, 
where the only badge required is Him.

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>Leadership: Lego My Ego!

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“My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you orhave your good opinionand I am no longer driven to impressGod. Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20 TM).

Leaders are sometimes left in a puddle, asking: “I thought God put me at the top? Why did everyone else put me at the bottom?”Spiritually speaking, if we are led by others, then we are not led by Him.
Practically speaking, we have to let go of our ego.
When others determine the value of our leadership calling, it is OUR ego that let it happen.
Somewhere along the way, we emptied our crucified-with-Christ ego,
& let others fill it with their opinions.
I am very passionate about this life-struggle.
So there is nothing I want more for you
than to know you don’t want to struggle with it either.

>Let’s re-ask God to be the ego in us.
>We were created to be self-confident and not others-confident.
>We were created to be self-esteemed and not others-esteemed.

>We were created to be made in the image of Him – NOT the image others want us to be.
Like Paul, we need the One who made us to be the One to change us back.
Have you lost your ID? Do you need to lego your ego?
Ask God.

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>50 Most Influential Churches

>Today, I read about the 50 honkin’-most-influential churches in America. We didn’t make it this year, but we are SO gonna be on this list next year! Here it is if you wanna check it out: 50 Most Influential Churches

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>Observations While Traveling

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I have been waiting 5 years for this vacation. But the road to where we are was not without hassle. As tempted as I am to give my top 100 reasons why NOT to travel thru the air, I will instead give a couple observations I had WHILE traveling. And, someway, somehow, tie it to leadership.


1. At the Ft. Laud. airport, 2 Peruvian men did not speak English. The airline-Nazi directing the flow of the line was so rude to them. Thankfully, Raul stopped & noticed and took on good-Samaritan skin—helping these 2 lost & confused travellers, all the way from the baggage check-in to their gate. Leadership Point – don’t ignore rudeness and don’t dish out rudeness, instead….kill it with kindness.


2. Upon arriving to the resort, 2 couples are at the guest service desk. Raul & I, and another couple in their 60s. Both couples there to voice a concern. Ours? They left Raul’s luggage in Florida. This is a legitimate concern and a BIG reason to be ticked off – but we’re on vacation, so we filled out paperwork & went on our merry way. However, all the while, the other couple was complaining about something too. Conversely, it was truly unbelievable how the woman was acting! She started yelling at her husband, then she took her hat off and threw it at his face and stomped off yelling–leaving him there, in front of an audience, in a pile of shame and humiliation. Leadership Point – when the stress level is totally at its peak and we are w/ others, our best leadership skill will be NO action verses psycho-reactions.

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>Lead ’em to the water

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OK, so this is old news, but when I stumbled across these pix, it felt brand new again.
Two years ago, my youngest bro, Chris, got baptized at my church’s Beach Baptism.
In the photos are Chris, Pastor Allen, Pastor Raul, Jason (my oldest-youngest bro) and me.
While Chris was living here in S. Florida, attending my church, I got to “lead” him a bit.
Not because I am any more holier than he is; simply led him by example and relentless prayer.
I’m his big sister, that’s my job.
Do you realize the scope of your leadership?
Do you really grip the fact that no matter who you are, where you are, what you’ve done,
IF you follow Christ, THEN you are a leader!?!?!
You are in leadership to lead people to Him.
You gotta embrace that!
Who are you leading to Jesus?
Who are you leading to church?
Who are you leading to the water?
We don’t have alot of time, so let’s get it started, man!

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>Inside my private prayer journal?!?!!

>I have my daily quiet time in the morning.
Before kids came, I read and journaled for about 30 min.’s.
Today, with little kids, I read and write for about 15 min.’s.

Right now I am reading the NIV bible and I write in cheap-o journals (Walmart, & clearance tables at Barnes and Noble have great ones).
I thought I’d share a recent entry…word for word.
(warning: some of this will make no sense).
Don’t know what any of you will get out of reading this,
but felt led to do it so I am.

July 8
Praise:
whom the Son sets free is free indeed! You are the way, the truth and the life, you are my King adn your love is amazing.
Thank you for:
-helping me write my teaching
-helping Gar teach this weekend
-Raul – my best friend who I trust the most on Earth
-your daily favor in our life: home, rest, health
-DJs 1st teacher, Mrs. Mora, and her permanent investment in his life.
Lord, I pray for:
-the FRC campuses, for them to grow, by even one today
-my teaching next weekend, empty me of myself
-Gar, Melissa, Allen, Sharon, Matt, Steve, Sammy
-Amy – please keep that baby in her womb, please keep baby safe til full term
-please give me patience w/ Andy and DJ; discernment for when to discipline

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