You Spell Faith “Risk” – Part Two

To follow Jesus means walking by faith. Faith involves taking risks as you will be called upon to do things you would not have naturally thought of doing. We are looking at being risk-takers. We see that:

1> Reality is your friend during high-risk times

2> You must learn to become comfortable outside of your comfort zone

A> Don’t look in the mirror

B> Don’t count loses – Instead, count lessons

C> Focus less on your fear and more on your dreams

3> Good leadership gives you a greater chance of success

4> The bigger the risk, the more help you’ll need from others

While it is fun to dream about the potential upside of any risky venture, the reality of it can make you want to yell “HELP” at the top of your lungs. The greater and riskier the venture, the greater our need for help. And to be successful, you don’t just need help; you need the right kind of help.

Mass movements don’t begin with the masses. They always begin with a few. But if those few are the right people, there is the potential for a mass movement. What are the characteristics of the right people?

A> They like a challenge

When you cast a vision for something big or share your plan for something new and risky, it is both a uniter and divider. People of high capacity who like a challenge rally to you. Small thinking people leave. The size of the task or project determines the size of the person who signs up.

B> They play big

What’s more dangerous than playing big? Never taking a risk. When you’re doing nothing, nothing good happens. You want people willing to join you in taking a big risk, to try something new, even if it is difficult. 

C> They are honest with themselves

When you are attempting something difficult, you want people on your team who know themselves and are honest with themselves. They have to know what they’re capable of and know what the stakes are. And as a leader, you need to help make sure they know those things.

Even if you’re not someone who owns a company, holds a leadership position, or leads some kind of team, you may still need help when you tackle a risk. Look for like-minded people who are willing to face challenges to assist you. It will greatly increase your risk capacity.

5> Taking risks always requires personal courage

If you want to expand your potential, and therefore your life, you need to be willing to take greater risks. You need to be willing to stand alone. You need to gather the courage to do what others might not do — not just for the sake of doing something bold and risky but because you can see the potential reward.

What’s great about taking smart risks is that it not only expands your possibilities, but it also inspires other people to want to join you in your efforts. People follow courage. When someone is willing to stand alone in the beginning and face opposition and challenges, they can earn respect and credibility. Eventually, others see their courage and rally around them.

So, what are you going to do? Are you willing to increase your risk potential? Are you willing to fail doing something big? Are you willing to count lessons more than losses? Are you willing to model the way by becoming comfortable outside your comfort zone?

There are not small things,. But if you’re not willing to do them, you’d better become comfortable with only small things and small accomplishments leading to small impact on others. Because you’ll accomplish big things only if you’re willing to take big risks. 

You Spell Faith “Risk” – Part One

Not everyone is a natural risk-taker. Perhaps you are facing a risky challenge right now. Maybe you are considering taking on a high-risk project. Or maybe you desire to do something significant, and you sense that something big but risky is on the horizon. Or you are considering taking on a project that will require you to learn new skills and go where you have never been (spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and skill set wise) before. I am currently in such a place and so have begun to think about what I am risking. Of course, I also see the hand of God and know that He is asking me to take a step of faith. You Spell Faith “Risk” 

On the other hand, maybe you have been risk averse your whole life, and yo recognize how much it has held you back and limited your potential. 

No matter what your circumstances are, here are some things you need to know that will help you to step out in faith and take more risks.

1> Reality is your friend during high-risk times

When taking big risks, you can’t depend on hype or wishful thinking, because those things cannot withstand the heat of risk. You need to understand what you’re dealing with, examine the worse-case scenarios, and look reality dead in the eye. 

How do you look reality in the eye when evaluating a risk? Ask yourself some questions:

    • Who else has done it?
    • How bad can it get?
    • How good can it get?
    • Can I try it on for size?
    • Is there room for error?
    • Do I believe in myself?

The more questions you ask and answer, the better prepared you are to weigh the risk and gauge whether the risk is smart or foolish.

2> You must learn to become comfortable outside of your comfort zone

Risk is rarely comfortable. It requires us to get out of our comfort zone. That’s where we need to live when we are risking big. How do you deal with that? For me, anything worthwhile that I have done initially scared me to death; made me uncomfortable. First sermon? Frightened out of my skin. First time I went witnessing? Scared stiff. I was never good at anything I attempted for the first time and I was always scared when approaching something new.

You have to deal with your emotions and doubts. To continually succeed in high-risk environments, you have to be emotionally comfortable being uncomfortable. How? Start with these three strategies:

A> Don’t look in the mirror

Take the focus off of yourself; you need to always keep in mind that life is not about you. You can’t worry about how you look to others. You can’t be afraid of looking bad.

B> Don’t count loses — Instead, count lessons

Instead of avoiding losses, learn from them. Ask, “What did I learn?” When you seek lessons more than you avoid losses, you become more comfortable with risk. 

C> Focus less on your fear and more on your dreams

When you focus on your dreams, your heart is 100 percent in.

3> Good leadership gives you a greater chance for success

Everything rises and falls on leadership. That is never truer than during times of risk. The size of the leadership must be equal to the size of the risk. If you’re going to attempt something difficult, you need good leadership. You need to either provide it yourself or find a partner who can help you lead. And if you’re going to try something huge, you’ll need lots of leaders. Any great attempt without gear leadership is destined to fizzle out.

If you are preparing to take a big risk, it may require every leadership skill you possess to accomplish it. Don’t take that lightly. Keep growing as a leader. The more you increase your leadership potential, the more you increase your capacity for risk.

And it you’re already a leader, you also need to provide others with a pro-risk environment so that they’re willing to deal with their fears and take steps forward, outside of their comfort zones. 

More next time… 

Guest Blogger -Voice or Echo

Voice or Echo

Are you a voice or an echo? I heard this somewhere and it has stuck with me for years!

I have made it my personal goal in life to be a student of the Holy Spirit receiving fresh revelation regarding the Word of God. I am certainly not as gifted in this area as many of my colleagues and other contemporaries, but I am always excited when I see something in the Word that I had never seen before. I am pretty sure it was Sam Smucker who said while teaching in our leadership school, “The Word of God is pregnant with revelation.” I really like that statement. It is so encouraging knowing that even though I have read the same scripture many times previously, the Holy Spirit can and does bring about fresh revelation to my spirit.

A few weeks ago, I shared with you one of those revelations that came to me as I was reading in Isaiah 63:9 In all their suffering He also suffered…. It was a fresh reminder that God cares about what I am going through. He not an indifferent bystander.

I also have made it my personal goal in life to be a student of others and listen and learn from them things that they have learned in their life experiences. I like reading books because I can learn in a short time what has taken others a long time to learn. I just wish I was more disciplined and gave myself to more reading like some people I know. Because there are powerful revelations that others have received, I sometimes I repeat them to others because it is really good stuff.

When I share the things I receive from the Lord, I am being His voice to others. When I am sharing something someone else received, I am an echo. Both are important and both certainly carry value. I will say that it takes a lot more commitment and time to be a voice. It is pretty easy to be an echo. So, for me, primarily, I want to be a voice, but I will also continue to be an echo as both are important.

Whether you are being a voice or an echo, keep speaking. The world around you needs to hear!

Ron Myer – D.O.V.E. International

Sometimes I Surprise Myself

Sometimes I Surprise Myself

Have you ever been in an argument with someone and said something that you regretted?

In the heat of the fight you said some not-so-nice things that you were sorry you said as soon as the words came out of your mouth

And as you calm down you apologize and tell the other person that you did not mean what you said 

You want to bring the relationship back to some state of health – repair the damage you have done – and so you sincerely let them know you did not mean what you said

Yet you know and they know that you are not really sorry and you did mean what you said when you said it

It is like you have allowed a lot of things to build up on the inside, not dealing with them as they arise, and then some small, often insignificant thing happens and the simmering volcano erupts in a big way and you deeply wound the other person with your words. 

Jesus has an insight or two into this behaviour pattern.

Some background to the Scripture we are going to look at:

In the religion that Jesus was born into – the Jewish faith – certain religious rulers over thousands of years had been establishing secondary rules to keep people from breaking a primary rule

These rulers actually made a career out of creating secondary rules to help people to keep the main commandments that God had handed down to them through the ministry of their leader Moses 

God gave Moses ten commandments and a number of othe laws for the people to keep and by the time Jesus arrived on the scene, more than 600 rules had been added to the laws handed down to Moses by God Himself

This ever-growing body of regulations was called the “Tradition of the Elders.”

Its sole purpose was to prevent the Jewish people from accidentally breaking one of the original commandments Read more

Building Healthy Relationships – Part Three

We are talking about your ability to build healthy, long-term relationships. Last time we saw that we need to:

1> Care about people every day

2> Make yourself more valuable in your relationships

3> Put yourself in their world

4> Focus your relationships on benefiting others, not yourself

5> Be a consistent friend in your relationships

A> Believe the best about people

B> Don’t allow other people’s behaviour to control you 

C> Place high value on relationships, even in difficult situations

D> Unconditionally love people

Moving on…

6> Create great memories for people. 

It has been my experience and observation that most people do not maximize the experiences they have in life. To do so, two things are essential: intentionally on the front end of the experience and reflection on the back end. So, anytime you can help people to do those things, the experience becomes special for them, and it often creates a positive memory for them.

Most of us have traditions and memories associated with special days, but I want to challenge you to make memories out of everyday experiences. Every time you are with people, ask yourself these questions:

      • What can I say that will affirm those with me?
      • What questions can I ask that they will find interesting to discuss?
      • What can we do that will be different and fun?
      • What do I know that they would want to know?
      • Do I have a secret of my own that I can tell them?

All of these can lead to great memories. Many little things done repeatedly with high intention are better than big things done only occasionally. You can make big or small moments special for others, but you have to be intentional about it.

7> Move toward the relationships you desire in your life

Put yourself in a position to meet and spend time with the right people. I always want to spend time with people who know more than I do, and whenever I’m with someone I respect and have gotten to know, I ask them, “What do you know that I should know?” That question has given me a greater return in life than any other. The greatest way to know whom you should know is to ask someone who knows you. 

I want to encourage you to be intentional and show initiative by moving toward the relationships you desire in life. If you wait for the right people to meet you, you won’t meet the right people.

Whom do you know who knows someone you should know? You may be only one person away from the next big things that you need in your life. You may be thinking, I’n not a people person. If that’s true, ask people with strong relational skills to help you. Let them complement and complete you. You can draw people to you by saying to them, “I need you.” 

The more you value people, put yourself into their world, seek to add value to them, and be their friend, the better your life will be. Not only that, but doing these things will increase your people capacity, improve your potential, and improve your life. Just remember, helping people is always worth the effort. 


Click Here to Hear the Audio Teaching

I have been reading the book of Acts

Often referred to as The Acts of the Apostles when really it is a book of the Bible all about The Acts of the Holy Spirit

And, I notice, once again, the boldness of the apostle 

Men who were just normal people who were committed to following Jesus and spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:14)

We tend to make superheroes out of them – stain glass heroes – who were special and extraordinary when really they were just regular people like you and me

Their boldness is amazing Read more

Building Healthy Relationships – Part Two

We are talking about your ability to build healthy, long-term relationships. Last time we saw that we need to:

1> Care about people every day

2> Make yourself more valuable in your relationships

3> Put yourself in their world

4> Focus your relationships on benefiting others, not yourself

Let’s move on from there…

5> Be a consistent friend in your relationships

I believe the ability to be a good friend is something that is often undervalued and overlooked today. Good relationships are built on consistency. Relationships that are volatile and continually up and down are not easy. They provide no relational “rest.” There is nothing pleasant about being in relationships that are continually high-maintenance. You can’t be good friends with people when someone has to walk on eggshells or when any conversation could be misinterpreted and lead to the end of the relationship.

We must be dependable and consistent. We must be trustworthy. Our friends must know that they can depend on us. How? These tips have helped many over the years:

A> Believe the best about people. Try to see people as they could be, not necessarily as they are. When you believe the best of people, you don’t feel the need to correct them or try to fix them. Believing the best of others is always the right thing to do, even if it means you may not always be right. People are more apt to change when another person believes in them than when people don’t believe in them.

B> Don’t allow other people’s behaviour to control you. Too often people allow the actions of others to impact their own attitudes and emotions. They let others’ inconsistency make them inconsistent. But you need to understand that when that happens, you’ve allowed it. As humans we have the capacity to create and control our own attitudes and emotions. We need to make that choice for ourselves every day. Otherwise, people will control us.

C> Place high value on relationships, even in difficult situations. Dealing with people is sometimes difficult. But even in the midst of difficulties we should make sure to do the right thing for the person and for ourselves relationally. At times you may simply need to end the relationship and walk away. Do so graciously and always leave the door open for the other person to reenter the relationship should they eventually choose to do so. 

D> Unconditionally love people. Unconditional love is the greatest gift we can give another person. It allows someone to feel secure, be vulnerable, sense their worth, and discover who they really are. I believe that all people long to have a consistent friend who loves them, believes in them, and is continually there for them no matter the circumstances. If you are willing to be that kind of person for others, not only will it expand your people capacity, it will  also give you a more satisfying life.

You may be thinking, I can’t do this with everyone, because some people are just difficult. That’s true — for all of us. In the end, our goal should be to treat others better than they treat us, to add value to them in a greater capacity than maybe they expect.

More next time…

Building Healthy Relationships – Part One

I realized many years ago that we are defined by our relationships. You can actually trace your successes and failures to the relationships in your life. 

Maybe up until now your relationships have not been as positive, rewarding, and productive as you’d like them to be. That’s okay, because you can learn how to build better relationships and increase your relational potential. You can actually cultivate healthy, stronger, long-term relationships that enable and encourage you to move forward in your life and career.

Here are some suggestions that you can apply to your life to move you forward towards healthier and mutually beneficial relationships…

1> Care about people every day

You cannot increase your people capacity unless you value people and care about them. If you don’t like people, don’t respect them, and don’t believe they have value, it stands as a barrier to building healthy relationships with others. You cannot secretly look down on others and build them up at the same time. However, if you truly care about people, it shows. And it makes the development of positive and healthy relationships possible.

2> Make yourself more valuable in your relationships

What’s the fastest way to make a relationship better? Make yourself better so that you have more to give within the relationships you are developing. That requires an abundance mind-set. That’s the belief that there’s more than enough for everyone and people always have the potential to find or create more.

Try improving yourself and your situation with the purpose of giving to others and see what happens. As you give, I guarantee that your ability to give more will increase. It will motivate you to give more of your thoughts, time, assets, relationships, influence, and giftedness.

I ask a lot of questions to discover how I can better add value to others. There is no better way to show people you value them than by asking for their opinion. Communicating is about adding value to people, not adding value to yourself. The more you know about people and the more you improve yourself, the more you can make a difference in the lives of others. You can give more value to others, and that increases your relational capacity. 

3> Put yourself in their world

Are you familiar with the saying, “It’s lonely at the top”? I don’t like it. It is a sign of disconnection. If you are a leader and you have been taught not to be friends with those who follow then it will be lonely at the top because it means no one is following you. In seminary I was taught that as the pastor I needed to not make friends within the congregation and that I must remain ‘somewhat separate’ so as to be better able to counsel and direct people. That simply is not good advice. Leaders and others who have self-isolated from others need to get off their mountain or out of their ivory tower, go to where people are, and spend time with them. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Make yourself available to the people in your life. And be alert to ways you can go to them when they need it. Sometimes you don’t even need to say a word. Just be there. Just let others know what they mean to you.

4> Focus your relationships on benefiting others, not yourself.

To build great relationships, you need to want more for people than you want from people. The people who want more for others and give more than they take in a relationship are pluses. The ones who want and take more than they give are minuses. That’s simple relational math. You need to determine that you want to be a plus with people. You should decide to make five relational deposits for every relational withdrawal you make from a relationship. That’s a great goal and will mean that you are building healthy, long-term relationships. 

You should never take any relationship for granted. You never want to assume that a relationship gives you privileges that are not yours. Assumption is a killer in relationships. It needs to be replaced by awareness. If you want to increase your relational capacity, you must be continually aware that relationships never stay the same. They never stay alive on their own. They need attention and need to be cultivated. And you have to keep being intentional about adding value to continue being a plus in another person’s life.  

More next time….

A Season Of Change

September always seems to bring a fresh wind of the Spirit to the activities of the Church. After the slower summer months people once again enter into a regular flow of life which often includes a regular time in God’s Word, the Bible, and in prayer. As a result, when we meet together there is a renewed sense of God’s presence and a sensing of the Holy Spirit moving in a fresh way. It is like we take a bit of a summer break from the routine and when we come back at things rested and refreshed we are able, even anxious, to discover what God is currently up to and how we can become involved and active in the things of the Kingdom.

We are definitely living in a season when people have lost what little hope they were clinging on to. As we enter the end of year two of Covid and the continual reminder of how fragile life can be, people’s hope for a return to “normal” has faded and, in many cases, is totally absent from every day life. In spite of this – or maybe because of this – I am excited and challenged by all that is going on in the world and the opportunities that are there for us to “give the reason for the hope that we have” as Peter reminds us we must do. I sense hope rising in the heart of God’s people allowing us to face this new season with a sense of anticipation and enthusiasm. God is definitely up to something.

In my own personal life I am finding “new life” and a fresh understanding of the Scriptures as I read and meditate on God’s Word. Hardly a day goes by that I do not have a fresh revelation of truth as I read and journal in the early morning hours. My reading of other books and authors has also uncovered new life and the Holy Spirit is definitely directing me to the right book on my shelves at the right time. I buy books on a weekly basis and often have a large stack of books that are waiting to be read. God is definitely guiding me to the right book at the right time and I am excited about what God is showing me and teaching me through my daily time reading and studying.

As I have entered what prophetically has been declared to be the third and last stage of my life and ministry I am definitely seeing major changes in my values and thus my priorities. Things that once seemed to be important are no longer so. And, I am now valuing things that once seemed to have little value in my daily schedule and monthly goals. Things are changing on the inside – on the heart level – and thus values and priorities are certainly not what they use to be.

I am also protecting my time better so as to invest it whenever possible. It seems in hindsight that I have, in the past, often simply spent or worst still wasted my time. No longer. And I seem to have less patience for those who are simply “playing church” and are not wanting to grow, mature, and enter into the fullness of God’s plan for their life and contribute to the life of the local church. The number of relationships I am investing in has shrunk considerably and the number of young men I am discipling and mentoring has also decreased in size as we enter this new season.

A number of years ago I received several words over a 36 month period about writing a book and then writing books. I have never forgotten those words received through the ministry of several well known and respected prophets. And, I have accumulated research on a number of topics that I know the Lord wants me to write on – What it means to be really born again; The Grace of God; The Live-Giving Church; and biblical ways of hearing the voice of God – just to name a few. And, even in this area I now sense excitement and a fresh wind blowing as I feel a need to write and publish many of the things the Lord has shown to me over the last several seasons of ministry and my walk with Him over the past 40+ years. So, I would say there is a fresh wind blowing even in this area and I am making major changes to my daily routine and ministry to allow for more time invested in researching and writing.

It is a great time to be alive as a believer and disciple or follower of Jesus. And I am welcoming the fresh wind of the Spirit in my own life and the season of deep changes in my perspective and daily life as I continue to fulfill God’s current plan and purpose for my life.

I would love to hear what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you about you in this new season and the changes you are sensing are happening or are about to happen in your personal life and ministry.

Adding Value to Others

One of the things I recognized early in life is that I need to be intentional. I learned early in life that when I become more intentional, my life can be transformed and I can accomplish more of my personal and professional goals sooner.

I also learned that I needed to be intentional about adding value to others thus allowing my life to have significance and not just success. But adding value to others is an uphill journey for several reasons. First, many people actually don’t want to grow or change. Secondly, and more importantly, we are naturally selfish. We automatically think of ourselves first. If you don’t believe that, then let me ask you a question. When someone takes a photo of a group that you’re in and then shows it to you, who is the first person you look for? Case dismissed. You look for yourself. That’s not an accusation. I look for myself, too. It’s proof that we’re all selfish. Selfishness is a downhill habit. Adding value to others is an uphill trait. But achievable. 

There are five essentials for adding value to people. I learned these many years ago from a mentor. If you do these things every day, you will make a difference.

1> Every Day, Add Value

People don’t add value to others when they don’t value others. So why should you value others. Because they’re people. You don’t need any other reason. Listen, human beings are human. They make mistakes. They say the wrong things. They hurt out feelings. Many people treat us poorly and are not very lovable. Love them anyways.

You know how you feel when others devalue you and how you feel when they value you. Doesn’t it make a difference to you? How you are treated impacts how you feel about yourself and how you treat others. Keep that in mind as you interact with people. When you value others, you start creating a cycle of positive interaction that makes life better for everyone.

2> Every Day, Think of Ways to Add Value to People

If I said I had a five-minute thinking exercise for you that would give you a huge return in your relationships, would you be interested? Of course you would. Here’s what I want you to do. Spend five minutes every evening thinking about who you will see the next day, and ask yourself, “What can I say to them, give to them, or do for the that will make our time together more memorable, be unexpected, and add value to them?”

That sounds too simple, doesn’t it? But trust me, this exercise will set you apart from 99 percent of all the other people in the world. And if you do this every evening and then revisit the ideas you came up with the next morning to potentially improve them, you will be amazed by the difference you can make for other people.

People who make a difference think about ways to add value to people ahead of time. Take a look at your day’s calendar. Where will you be going? Who will you be meeting? In what ways might you add value to someone else? It only takes five minute, but the opportunities to make a difference are endless.

3> Every Day, Look for Ways to Add Value to People

If the previous tip was about planning ways to add value before the day starts, this one is about going through every moment of your day on the lookout for additional ways to add value to others. It’s proactive and ongoing.

As you go through your day, what is your mind-set? Are you intentionally looking for ways to add value to others? If not, you can. It’s a capacity choice. If you choose to look for ways, you’ll find them

4> Every Day, Do Thinks That Add Value to People

It’s not enough to just look for ways to help people. You have to follow through if you want to make a difference. Intentionally living requires intentional doing.

How do I know I‘ve had a good day? When I say yes to the question I ask myself every night, “Did I add value to someone today?” My ultimate goal in adding value to others is to do something for them that they cannot do for themselves.

Mother Teresa said, “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be a living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.” That is something all of us can strive for.

5> Every Day, Encourage Others to Add Value to people

I believe nothing is as common as the desire to make our lives count, to make a difference. And there are needs all around us waiting to be met by intentional people. Yet so many never intentionally add value to others. Why? Because doing the right thing is more difficult than knowing the right thing. That’s way we need to encourage others to act.

So you make the choice to add value to others and develop the first four points, don’t forget this fifth point of encouraging others to do the same. You will be amazed at what can happen when like-minded and like-valued people work together to add value to others and make a difference. 

You can be someone who makes a difference. You just need to try to help someone every day. That’s what intentional living is. Every time you think about ways to help others and take action, you are increasing your intentionality potential, making a difference, and achieving something significant with your life.