A Story of Hope


Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

 As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed.

 One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself.

 He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

Epilogue. . . .There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all of the things you have that money can’t buy. “Today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present.”

Author Unknown

Why you do what you do?

Sometimes, it helps to reflect on why you do what you do.

  • Because Jesus Christ changed your life.
  • Because you have a profound and divine calling.
  • Because you see hopeless people all around you.
  • Because you love people and care about their destiny.
  • Because you love people and care about their journey.
  • Because you believe in the truth of Scripture.
  • Because you actually believe eternity is real.
  • Because you know that people (including you) are God’s choice tools.
  • Because you are uniquely built for what you do.
  • Because your part in the Kingdom of God matters.

Why do you do what you do? Please share your reasons.

Week in review & The Story of Kate

Spent the last few days in Atlanta Georgia at Catalysts Conference,one of the stories that touched me this week is the story of a young lady by the name of Katie Davis and How God is using her to help reach kids in Uganda through her organization Amazima.

Loved her heart, started reading her book on the way back to Indy and couldn’t put it down. The Foreword was like this “People who really want to change the world do it in one way or the other” People that change our world hold this unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely Important and that every life matters. They get excited over one smile, they are excited to feed one stomach, educate one mind and treat one wound. People that change our world and make a difference are satisfied with small changes but overtime these changes add up and become huge gains, sometime they transform cites and countries, enjoy Katie’s Story and may be pick up her book at your local book store…

Amazima Founder, Katie Davis

In December of 2006, 18-year-old Katie Davis from Brentwood, Tennessee, traveled to Uganda for the first time. She was immediately captivated with the people and the culture.

In the summer of 2007, Katie returned to Uganda to teach Kindergarten at an orphanage. As she walked the children home, she was shocked to see the sheer number of school-aged children sitting idly on the side of the road or working in the fields. She learned there were very few government-run public schools in Uganda, and none in the area where she was working. Most schools in Uganda are privately operated and therefore require school fees for attendance, making impoverished children unable to afford an education.

God laid it on Katie’s heart to start a child sponsorship program, matching orphaned and vulnerable children who are unable to afford schooling with sponsors anywhere in the world. Sponsors pay $300 per year to send one child to school, providing school supplies, 3 hot meals each day, spiritual discipleship, and medical care. Originally planning to have 40 children in the program, Katie had signed up 150 by January 2008. Today the program sponsors over 400 children.

Shortly thereafter, Katie established a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Amazima Ministries International. The organization seeks to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people of Uganda who need it most. In the Lugandan language, Amazima means “truth.” Also, Katie became a mother for the first time in January of 2008 to three orphaned girls.

Katie also reached out to the Karimojong people of the Masese community. The poorest of the poor, and losing their children to malnutrition and starvation at an astounding rate, she noticed their desperate need for nutritious food. She started a feeding program to the community, nourishing over 1,600 children Monday through Friday. This allows the children to attend school and therefore not go to the street to beg. Also provided is medical care, Bible study, and general health training.

As friendships developed with the Karimojong people, Katie wanted to help the women in the village provide for their families. She initiated a self-sustaining vocational program to empower these women to make unique Ugandan magazine bead necklaces. They are also taught money management skills. The necklaces made by the Karimojong women are purchased and sold in the United States.

Katie recently announced a dream to start, staff, and operate an Amazima school in Uganda. As a mother herself, she recognized the need to teach children critical thinking, problem solving and the fundamentals of learning in a Christian environment. Amazima hopes to open the school in 2012.

Now the mother of 13 daughters, Katie offers, “People tell me I am brave. People tell me I am strong. People tell me good job. Well here is the truth of it. I am really not that brave, I am not really that strong, and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am just doing what God called me to do as a follower of Him. Feed His sheep, do unto the least of His people.”

Check out Katie’s Blog http://kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/
www.amazima.org

Rest In Peace Steve Jobs

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs

Am seating in my hotel room in Atlanta  and  all the news networks are  reporting on the death of Apple Founder Steve Jobs, I couldn’t resist but go back to a thought I  had a few days ago

“In the end, we decide if we’re remembered for what happened to us or for what we did with it”

Below is one of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” Steve Jobs

Lets keep Steve’s family in our prayers…

Faithvillage.com

The power of friendships and people we encounter in life.

The power of friendships and people we encounter in life.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it; it’s real, but only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

People come into your life for a reason and a season, it is your responsibility to identify why they are in your life, so that you don’t invest your permanent resources in temporary people….

Finally Thank you for being a part of my life, whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Serving and Starving

Serving and Starving One day I was talking with the owner of a local restaurant; a place where I am known all too well. I was there at the tail end of their rush hour, and let me tell you, this place is a zoo for about 90 minutes around noon. It was slowing down and the owner finally was able to stop to talk with me. When he asked me how I was doing, I said, “Well, I’m doing a lot better now. I had lunch!” The owner said, “I know what you mean. If I wait very late to eat lunch, I start to get shaky.” I told him, “Well, I guess you’re in a good place then.” Actually, he corrected me. He said, “Sometimes we are so busy serving it that we don’t have time to eat it ourselves!” I want to share a word with you in this season “Serving and Starving.” A lot of us have experienced what my restaurant owner friend was talking about – being so busy serving that we don’t have any time to get fed ourselves – spiritually, that is. Hey, it happened to Martha, didn’t it? It’s happened to me way too often, and probably to you, too. Martha’s experience is described in Luke 10:38, our word for today from the Word of God. “Jesus came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'” Now, Martha’s busy serving Jesus. Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him. Which is better? Most of us make-it-happen, get-it-done types would instinctively gravitate to the doing stuff rather than the being stuff. But Jesus says, “Mary has chosen what is better.” I think we’ve all been Martha-ed…maybe you are right now. You get so busy serving Jesus that you have no time to be with Jesus. It’s like my pizza friend. We’re so busy serving spiritual food to others that we’re actually eating less of it ourselves. Now that’s backwards! The more people are looking to you, the more you have to be with the Lord yourself. But, frankly, it’s easy to let your spiritual health become a victim of ministry. In fact, serving God’s Word without experiencing God yourself is a prescription for burnout. There’s a danger in studying God’s truth only to prepare lessons, Bible studies, sermons and missing the purpose of studying it, which is to have your life changed through applying it to your everyday life. There’s a danger of becoming someone who leads others to experience the Lord while you’re slowly becoming a spectator yourself. And you can so fill your life with Christian meetings, Christian positions, and Christian activity that it feels like knowing the Lord. But, in fact, those activities have slowly crowded out that precious private time with Jesus. And that time is the fuel for any valid ministry! So you may be serving others while starving yourself. Soon that’s going to lead to a Martha Meltdown. Ministry is supposed to be the overflow of your own time with the Lord, not a righteous substitute for it. So if you feel yourself growing weak and tired, frustrated, and negative while you’re serving your Lord, don’t blame the work and don’t blame the customers. You probably have not taken time to feed yourself spiritually – to really be with Jesus. You don’t want to lose your closeness to Jesus in the middle of serving Jesus. Many great men of God have lost ground and stability,because much time is spent on preparing sermons rather building a stronger relationship with God…

True success /The Life of Joseph

The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man (Genesis 39:2) The Life of Joseph The fact that this verse refers to a cocky youth who has just been betrayed and sold into slavery by his own brothers seems a contradiction. It wasn’t enough for him to be his father’s favourite. He had to rub it in. When given a dream that he would rule over all of his brothers as well as his parents, he told everyone about it. Then he told them all again, just in case they didn’t get it the first time. Eventually, his brothers sold him to some Ishmaelites just to be rid of him. In a single day, his circumstances completely changed. A bright future seemed ruined. From living a privileged existence, he suddenly faced separation from home and parents, shame, pain, and disappointment. The dream that he would be ruler was replaced by the reality of slavery. Imagine the feelings and the doubts. But it was this very experience that would start him down the road to become the leader God intended him to be. It has been said, “Whenever God wants to give us a gift, he wraps it in struggles and difficulties.” In James 1 we are reminded that “the testing of our faith produces perseverance, and perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” Over these difficult years Joseph suffered betrayal and learned many hard lessons. From pit, to prison, to palace, his responses in difficult situations molded his character. It would have been easy to choose bitterness and resentment-toward God and everyone else, especially toward his brothers. But Joseph chose a different response to his circumstances. “The same sun that softens the wax, hardens the clay.” Its our response that reveals our character. Joseph was keenly aware of God’s hand over all the years of his life. (Gen 50:19-20) Joseph responded with dependence upon God, and his confidence in God allowed him to survive and prosper where most would have given up and failed. Being sold into slavery, Joseph developed competence and organization serving in the palace. Framed as an adulturer, and imprisoned, he used his ability to discern dreams and solve problems for the benefit of others. Forgotten in prison, he quietly trusted God and was ready when God created another opportunity for him to display the wisdom of God. His wise preparations for the seven years of famine not only provided for Pharoah and Egypt, but evenually the blessings rested on his family too! And finally, when faced with the return of his brothers who, “hated” him, he dealt with them with integrity, compassion, and tender forgiveness. Joseph’s obvious commitment to God and blessing by God, and his demonstrated wisdom won the hearts and trust of everyone he met: Potiphar, the warden, his fellow prisoners, even Pharoah, and ultimately his own brothers. Has life been less than fair with you? Consider Joseph’s experience: betrayed and deserted by his family, exposed to repeated sexual temptation, punished for doing the right thing. He endured long years of imprisonment and was forgotten by those he had helped. Study Joseph’s positive response to each setback. Rather than ask “Why me?” he determined to be God’s man, whatever came next. His response was always noted by those who were around him; they sensed that God was with him. In Genesis 41:33 and 39, he was referred to as a wise and discerning man. Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone like this, a man who has the spirit of God in him?” (Genesis 41:38) Success never went to his head. His change in character was not a gift or an accident. It developed. When faced with great trials and difficulty, Joseph chose to live a life of gratitude and not resentment, conscious of God’s daily protection, love, and grace. We would do well to follow in his steps when faced with the circumstances of life.

AN OPEN LETTER TO LEADERS

By Perry Noble

Dear Leader,

Leadership matters!  It is listed in the Scripture as a spiritual gift (Romans 12:8), there are books in the Bible dedicated to what happens when God empowered leadership is embraced (Ezra, Nehemiah, Judges, Esther) and God has called you and raised you up for the purpose of making a difference.

You are going to have to make hard decisions…ones that will cause you to be unpopular and misunderstood.  Remember, the Bible says that fear of man is a snare that leads to a place you do not desire to be (see Proverbs 29:25)…and also remember that if it is your goal to be popular, understood and loved by everyone then it is impossible to do so and be a fully devoted follower of Jesus (seeGalatians 1:10).  MANY people see the problems…very few people actually possess the courage to do something about it…and that is what God has called, equipped and empowered you to do what you do.

God has not called you to do this alone.  One of the most amazing things about leadership is that the Lord WILL surround you with men and women to come along side to serve with you and help you do all that God has placed in your heart.  LISTEN to other people (See Proverbs 15:22) and understand that being the leader DOES NOT mean that you are the smartest person in the room!  (When you believe that…it’s over, the smart people will leave and eventually, over time, you will be the smartest person in the room in a room full of morons!)  ASK FOR HELP OFTEN…it doesn’t mean you’re weak, it actually communicates to those you lead that you are strong!

You are going to get hurt…all great leaders do.  People you thought loved and cared about you will turn on you, attack you and make false accusations against you.  This will cause tremendous amounts of insecurity, pain and frustration; however, don’t allow one person who goes Judas on you  cause you to believe that everyone you have around you will eventually betray you.  I’ve seen so many leaders isolate themselves because of things like this happening and it just isn’t necessary.  The only reason that you believe leadership is lonely is because you have most likely chosen to isolate yourself.

Your character can never be compromised–EVER!

Don’t feel the need to waste time responding to every critic.  Life is too short and hell is too hot for you to come down off the wall and have a conversation with people who have a history of attacking others and who make ridiculous accusations against you but have never even taken the time to try to get to know you!  (See Nehemiah 6:1-4.)  AND…STOP obsessing over what “they” say about you…and my friend Craig Groeschel says, “Becoming obsessed with what people think about me is the quickest way to forget what God thinks about me.”

Pay the price to grow and develop as a leader (see Proverbs 4:7!)  Don’t always expect everyone to hand you something for free.  Conferences cost money!  Books cost money!  Quit complaining about the cost!  Great leaders never whine!

And remember, He who has called you is with you…He will never leave you…He will finish what He began (Philippians 1:6)…you should NOT give up (Galatians 6:9)…and He has called you to fear no one or no thing but HIM (II Timothy 1:7!)

I am Perry Noble, Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church, located in Anderson, SC. These are the writings of a man who is out of his mind. It states in II Corinthians 5:13 that “if we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.” That verse describes me well. Enjoy my thoughts on vision, leadership, creativity, and anything else that strikes me as worthy to write about.

Lets Defining Leadership

Defining Leadership

Quote about leadership from Dr. Myles Monroe:
“Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by passion, generated by vision, produced by a conviction, ignited by a purpose.”

Influence

Leadership is about influencing a group or team of people. It is not about power and coercion, although you may influence others to move in a direction that is contrary to their own actions. Influence is creating the want and desire in others to do what you want and desire them to do.

Passion

Passion is contagious and a leader is most effective when he or she is passionate about the team, organization, and the work thereof. Passion is a characteristic that cannot be faked. It has to genuine and portrayed.

Vision

Leadership is action. The vision is the articulation of the action to get to where the group needs to go. The vision should be well defined and effectively communicated.

Conviction

Leaders believe that what they do is important and purposeful. The belief is the conviction that drives the leader’s actions and passion. The conviction is communicated in the vision and nearly every statement of the leader.

Purpose

Leaders have purpose for their actions and what they influence. Leaders seek what is best for the group and not what is best for the individual. Leaders are inherently selfless and hardworking. They are driven by their conviction and purpose and resonates the passion in their vision statements.

Dreams and Goals

Dreams are a final destination; a place where you think you would feel more significant. It is important to have dreams and even more important to achieve your dreams, because your dreams serve as your purpose. Dreams can be achieved if dreams are pursued.

Goals are simply check points to your dreams. In other words goals are steps you take to pursue your dreams. Goals are easy if taken one step at a time, thus making your way to your dreams easy.

For example: If your dream is to be debt free then you would set your goals to reach the level of debt free. This is a minor example on how you can become debt free and each goal must be achieved:
Pay off your credit card.
Pay off your loans.
Pay off your Bank overdraft.
Each goal you achieve places you a step closer to reaching your dreams.
It is important that your dreams with goal setting are clear. The progress to reaching a dream can be delayed or even stopped if your goal setting is not clear. When chasing your dreams and setting goals, you should take time to think about your three greatest tools that define success and greatness; I call them the three F’s
Family
Faith
Finances

Family is a significant priority in life. If you are successful at everything and struggle with family, your dreams can not be reached. A family is defined by those who care the most for you. When times are tough a family will not forsake nor leave you as many friends do.

Faith is a great asset in your life, for without faith it is impossible to please God. To have faith in God and his great plan for you allows your dreams to become a reality. To have faith to believe in the unbelievable sets no limitations to your dreams.

Finances, as long as we are living on this planet we should be prepared to deal with our finances. Finances are needed to keep us going, thus it is important to identify and know how you will generate your finances. Dreams with good goal setting can make your life and finances stable.

Dreams are easy to speak of they bring forth emotion of happiness. Dreams can be hard to live up to though. It is important to know that your dreams with goals are what you want from life. Dreams are great yet at the same time they are challenging. Take time to ask your self why you want to achieve the dream, how will you benefit from those dreams and how will the world, society and other people be served from your dreams. Remember the great among us are the servants; if your dreams are of service then greatness is right with you.

It is important to be real with your goals and understand you have to set goals that you can reach or live up to. Make a plan of how you can meet goals, decide who or what you need to assist you achieving your goals, and challenge your self in goal setting this will improve your attitude making you work harder to reach your dreams