Opportunity Clarity Action

So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes (John 12:35).

There is clarity (Light).

There is opportunity (a limited time).

There is action (walk).

Clarity without opportunity calls for waiting, not walking.

Opportunity without clarity calls for caution and connection.

When clarity and opportunity converge, this calls for action. [click to continue…]

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Air India Memorial Ireland

Okay, confession time. I have to admit I let something escape my notice.

And I wasn’t supposed to.

In fact the Bible says, Don’t let this fact escape your notice.

I let that escape my notice, too.

I’m starting to see a pattern here… my notice has holes in it.

Anyway, it’s on my radar now, and I’m noticing like crazy.

Here’s what I’m talking about…

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day (2 Peter 3:8).

Oh, that.

We all know what that means, right? [click to continue…]

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Leading the Team Out of a Maze

Nobody talks about the life-changing leader who helped them raise their umbrella at the beach.  Influence happens only rarely in comfort zones or times of ease. Vision is not the starry-eyed product of Monday morning quarterbacks or couch potatoes. Adversity was made for leadership.  And leaders were made for adversity.

Seth Godin puts it this way: [click to continue…]

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gateofnewbeginings_lI found myself strangely moved.

The other day a pastor friend, who is walking through new beginnings of his own, sent me a copy of this Thomas Kinkade painting from 2005 titled “Gate of New Beginnings.”  I have always appreciated the work of “the Painter of Light,” but mostly at a distance. This one felt up close and personal.

Here’s what Kinkade himself said about it: [click to continue…]

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Celebration DessertWant to increase your expectations?  Increase your options.

Robin and I celebrated our 30th anniversary yesterday. To be honest, it started with little-to-no expectations. She had been feeling really bad pain-wise, then got a cold on top of that. The day was a work day for both her and me, and we both had a lot to do.  So we said all the right things and assumed we’d plan some other celebration later.

The one thing we planned, sort of, was dinner.

But there was one option we didn’t consider – the option that she would actually feel very good at the end of the day.

The cold was much better, she had less pain and more energy, and we had a really nice evening together. Fortunately in this case, when the new realities presented themselves, we were able to act on them.

The evening was made all the more special by Ralph, our server at the Longhorn Steak House.  Ralph saw his job as being more than taking orders and serving food.  He increased his options by becoming a celebration facilitator.  I actually heard him ask the table next to us, “Are you guys celebrating anything special tonight?”

Ralph saw to it that since we were there to celebrate, we would have a celebration.  [click to continue…]

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Over here.

I have something you need to see.

I’m not showing it to anybody else yet because I wanted you to be the first to take advantage of it.  But next week it goes public.  And this won’t be a secret for very long.  This is a once-in-a lifetime…

(wait for it…)

…yeah, that.

Opportunity.  It’s an often-used, sometimes over-used concept.  Americans throw it around as if we own the copyright to the term.  You can see and hear it everywhere… [click to continue…]

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Life is filled with plenty of things worth waiting for…

The answer to a prayer…

The fulfillment of a promise…

The completion of a process….

The realization of a dream…

These and many more are examples of the rewards of waiting for what is precious.

That said, there is one thing that isn’t worth the wait – now or ever. [click to continue…]

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I have a friend who doesn’t do change well.  I have another who aches for it.  Strangely enough, they both find themselves routinely responding in the same ways.

Both are fiercely loyal, probably to a fault.  They will cling to relationships, to institutions, even to ideas long past what most people would consider healthy or normal.

Both are very deliberate in the ways they go about making decisions – to the point that life sometimes barges in and makes the decision for them.

Both have dreams that seem to escape them while they wait for the circumstances to improve… which they never seem to do.

Interestingly enough, both are people of great faith.  These are not casual Christians.  They are heart-deep in a pursuit of God’s best for their lives.

They also have their differences.  One pushes himself to grow, to stretch, to improve – only to find out the ladder he was climbing was leaning against a bombed out building.  The other refuses to consider that if she keeps doing the same things, she’s likely to get the same results.

One will analyze a situation to death without ever taking action, then analyze what happened when the action took him.  The other will react to situations on the basis of emotions, but typically they’re feelings of fear or regret.

Meanwhile, the winds of change just keep on howling.  To one it feels like a blowing rain.  To the other it feels like a mocking tormentor. [click to continue…]

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The Waiting List

by Andy Wood on January 21, 2011

in Life Currency, LV Cycle, Time, Waiting

This is a season of Death-By-To-Do-List.  The quiet pause, lethargy, and feeding frenzy of the holidays are followed by the jump-started, resolution-driven frenzy of the New Year.  So this morning I started my journaling by listing one or two things I still haven’t done this week.  And the one or two became six or seven.

“I swear, I’ll die by checklist overload,” I wrote.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s missing in our life planning.  It’s so easy to get lost in the whirlwind of the frenetic or even the focus of the goal-directed that we neglect some of the most significant parts of the plan.

Like waiting.

I’m all about making mission statements that lead to goals lists that lead to action steps toward making those goals and mission a reality.  I get it.  I completely understand that if you aren’t taking massive action in the direction of your dreams you are probably kissing some of them good-bye.

How do you respond, however, when the dream or passion is completely authentic, but there is literally nothing you can do about it today – at least in outward to-do-list fashion?  How do you keep the important, important, when it’s not front-and-center in your appointment book? [click to continue…]

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My friend Kevin, who is also an elder in our church, is a professional idea generator.  He drives a “Dream Taxi,” whose mission in life is to help individuals, couples, ministries, and organizations achieve their goals with excellence and bucketloads of creativity.

While I can’t hold a candle to his idea-generating genius, I thought I’d take a stab at it.

In the previous post, I looked at the first stage of the LifeVesting cycle, Allocate your Resources.

Here’s the second:

2.  Consider the possibilities.

Back to the farming analogy, take a look at this familiar verse:

“He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:6).

Interesting promise.  Especially when you understand that first-century agriculture was done in a way that we would consider backwards.  In those days, the farmer would cast his seed first, then plow it in and cultivate the ground.  Not very efficient by today’s standards, but the spiritual image is compelling.  Once the farmer had a vision of what he wanted to harvest, he was prepared to start casting the seed.  He didn’t do a lot of computerized soil samples.  He didn’t analyze it to death.  He walked to and fro, looking for opportunities to cast!

This stage of the cycle asks you to consider the kind of results you want to have by doing what our farmer did here. [click to continue…]

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