Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Excellence are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you...

Excellence. It is an attitude. It is an approach to life. It requires a vigilance, a concern, an awareness. There is a difference between opulence and excellence. Opulence is accomplished through lots of money and the display of having it. It can be opulent, but gaudy and tasteless. It can be over the top; yet offensive to the senses. Excellence, on the other hand, can be accomplished with any income, any place in life. It has the attitude of doing the best with what you have and presenting it in that fashion.
I have been in homes that are poor. You are served with honor and presented their best. In one place, it was a white, plastic table cover and a fish. In another, it was a young lady waiting the tables, hovering around everyone making sure we enjoyed the greens that came from a peanut plant and the chicken and the warm coke. It was expressed in a well swept dirt floor and cots made neatly and children clean in the midst of dust and grime.
Excellence was expressed with tears and hair wiping the dirt from the feet of the master; it was the cry of a doubting man declaring “my Lord and My God.” It is the giving of the best you have, sharing your life in quality.
The attitude has to be developed from gratitude. How often do we see children with much disregard for the sacrifice that parents make to provide. They are given things that cost a lot and in a matter of hours, they are bored with it and never play or use it again. Children walking around with $800 iPhones and iPads, and computers worth thousands and clothes from designers, costly. Yet, go to their room and the designer clothes are thrown on the floor, games strewn, devices scratched and broken. Adults who wanted the best cars, neglect them, never wash them, allow them to deteriorate at a rapid rate, or they buy houses that they will not keep up. Ingratitude and a sense of entitlement leads to a lack of excellence.
Ingratitude and a lack of excellence show themselves in many ways. You walk past stuff that needs done expecting someone else to do it. The public does it all the time, throwing paper down, littering, expecting someone else to clean up. It happens in homes with adults and kids, leave the dishes, mom will do them. Throw the clothes on the floor, mom will pick them up. Don’t fix the little problem, dad will do it. It is always someone else’s job.
The excellent attitude takes ownership and cares. They care when there is an issue. They want things to be presentable and pleasant. They are not cheap, giving leftovers. They may look for a bargain, but they are not settling for poor quality. Excellence says something about you, your business, your church, your life. I always want to hire someone who takes pride in their work, excellence.
Our church is becoming a house of excellence. The Lord deserves our best.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


For what will a man give in exchange for his life? (Jesus) This question should haunt your existence. What are you allowing to take your life?

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29)
I have been pondering this for some time. What has taken our life? Who has murdered me? While the gifts and callings are without repentance, there are things that do fade.
I know people who have a calling and have not responded. I know people who have a calling and who have quit. I know people who have a calling and have been offended and forsaken their destiny. I know people who are called and will not engage anymore in the process because of the politics and hypocrisy of many.
These have been murdered, yet live. They attend church sometime, they hate church all the time, they love God, but they hate his plan.
I have met those who later in life anguish with a life wasted, a calling unused, an anointing ignored, all because the enemy took their life and left them the walking dead. The calling still is heard and echoes in their soul. When they are around the things of God, conviction sets in and the voice of the call haunts their being. Instead of a blessing, it becomes the curse of dreams unfulfilled. They avoid places where there might be an opportunity for God to touch them. Many seek to drown themselves in entertainment, hobbies, alcohol, or drugs. These are the ones who sit in bars and under the influence begin to talk to others of the Bible.
Lost souls, desperate souls, unrested souls, they walk with the unrelenting understanding of who they should be. But, when they attempt to make a come back, the enemy always makes sure there is some self-righteous, judgmental individual or circumstance to run them back to their dysfunction and their death row cell.
While the call remains, the anointing is gone. King Saul had the spirit depart from him. King David begged God to not take his Holy Spirit from him. Having a calling and having the Spirit depart or lose the anointing is torture. The enemy wants to make sure we live in defeat.
It is easy to be offended. Having a calling does put a target on you. There are many offenses in ministry. People hurt people. But the goal is God, not people. I just read Jeremiah and he was treated horribly by kings, priests, and the people; yet he continued because of God, not the reception of his ministry. Jesus was rejected and despised; yet did not shrink from his calling. And betrayal comes to those in ministry often from those close and trusted which makes it more painful and easy to walk away from. 
However, the issues are far larger than the follies of man. These are eternal issues and one of them is you, me. Can I endure to the end? Will I allow a person or persons to take my calling, my inheritance? Or will I persevere in spite of hurts, offenses, and betrayal? There is no one or anything worth my eternal life! I will not exchange my calling and anointing for what the world has to offer. The treasure is Jesus.
The Loss is Real
Half of ministers get divorced. Same rate as the world. Something is wrong.
35-40% of ministers leave the ministry after 5 years.
57% said they would leave ministry if they had a better job waiting.
77% said they did not have a good marriage.
1500 pastors a month leave the ministry for various reasons.
Around 10% are able to make it a life long ministry