Christianity, Life, Moving Forward, Uncategorized

In the Next and In the Now

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In the Next:

In the book of Joshua, found in the Bible, chapter 1 begins with Joshua having to step up quickly and lead a new generation of people into a land that God had promised to his fellow leader Moses. In verse 2, God says to Joshua, “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan into the land I am giving them.” Then God goes on to say in verse 3. “I promise you what I promised Moses: Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you.” What a promise!

Joshua immediately had to step up and lead. There wasn’t much time to be stuck in emotion, throw pity parties and wonder if he could do what God was commanding. Joshua, at this moment in time, is dealing with transition here and not all transition is easy. I am sure he was comfortable in the position He was in, as a counterpart to Moses, his right-hand man.

There comes a time in our lives where God calls us out of the comfortable zones we love to operate in. When God said, “Moses my servant is dead,” God is telling Joshua, there is no longer time for you to be comfortable.

The Land of the Unknown:

Obscurity, a word I have come to know throughout my life. Not knowing what is in the land to come but trusting that God is leading me there. This place of the unknown is an interesting place to be. A place where Joshua finds himself. In verse 5 and 6 God says, “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as long as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to posses all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.” God continues to give His word, His affirmation and His promises to Joshua.

What timely words for Joshua to hear. With all of the new responsibility, his new role, people to lead and win over, God pauses Joshua in his tracks and lets Joshua know you are not in this alone. So often in The Land of the Unknown, we think we are alone as if God would abandon us the moment we step foot in an unknown land.

How foolish are we to think this way? Our thinking can be such human conditioned responses. We should know God will not set us up to fail and maybe for a moment Joshua thought this way. Then hearing the words of His Father let Joshua know, he didn’t have any business to think that His God would not be with Him in the next phase of his life.

In the Now:

This is my command: “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Hallelujah! As Joshua moved forward, He walked with a sense of purpose and dignity knowing His God was in complete control. Joshua walked with an assurance that He would not fail because His creator with all power and might was on his side.

Joshua was now leading and taking people on a journey they had not been on before. With transition, new leadership and new territory there comes a birth of new excitement. Joshua knew he had to step in, affirm, speak words of encouragement and peace to the people he was now leading. He had to let the people know everything is going to work out, and they would walk into the promises of God.

Conclusion:

I have learned in my 28 years of life; there is a great peace that God gives. I’ve also learned, when it is time for God to take someone to their next level and destination there has to be a step of faith. As we take a step of faith, we have to walk in the same peace that was given by God. As Joshua did, he had to trust God through the process of transition and the process of the land of the unknown.

God is the God of the next and the now. Wherever you find yourself today, whatever is on your plate, trust the God of the next and the right now, for He is in both and He is leading the way.

P.S. – Here are a couple of action steps and some friendly reminders:

  • Trust Him.
  • Obey.
  • Do what He asks of you.
  • You are right where you need to be.
  • God has your back!
Life, Moving Forward, Uncategorized

Why You Need to Be Challenged in #2016

#2016 Challenges

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it will not change you.” – Urban Meyer

Can you believe a die hard Wolverine is quoting a Buckeye? If you understand sports and rivalries you will know what I am talking about. I am reading a book by Ohio State’s coach, Urban Meyer called, Above the Line. The book was referred to me by a friend. We were talking about coaching (I coach high school boys basketball) and leadership and he said it would be worth picking up despite your disliking of the boys in red.

The quote above is not just a good quote but it is a motto to life. As a former college basketball and semi-pro player I have always loved a good challenge. For instance, say I had a bad game, instead of sitting in pity at all of the things I could have done better, I take it upon myself to study the film, get back in the gym and work on how I can become better. This approach has helped me grow tremendously in life. – Taking on a challenge and allowing the challenge to help transform my life.

“Average leaders have quotes. Good leaders have a plan. Exceptional leaders have a system.” – Urban Meyer

As you may know, we are already a week into #2016. This week I have been reflecting a lot on life, my health, leadership, my many hats I wear, friendships, goals, relationships and my marriage. Here is what I need to keep in front of me in #2016: #Challenges – I look at challenges as goals I can accomplish. With each goal that is before me, the goal is a challenge that I want to accomplish in a timely matter before the year ends.

I have to be frank with you. I absolutely love where God is leading me. I am learning more and more about myself, my character, my identity, my work habits, what gets me fired up, my weaknesses and my strengths than I ever have. I find this to be a wonderful discovery gift to my life. I read more than I ever have, I ask more questions, I am more confident in who I am and in my leadership. I believe my growth is a result of my competitive drive and the hunger to be the best I can be.

What does all of this mean?

  • Set more S.M.A.R.T. Goals (Specific. Measurable. Actionable, Relevant. Timely. Goals.)
  • Find ways to challenge yourself.
  • Get some time to yourself to reflect on what you want to accomplish this year.
  • Know what your dreams are.
  • Come up with plans, systems and strategies to get you where you want to be in life.
  • Find a word, a phrase, a quote, maybe even a hashtag that will remind you of what you are chasing after this year. (For example: My hashtag is #BetterThanYesterday. My phrase: You are more than average, so work and act like it.)
  • Work hard, be consistent, build momentum and make great things happen this year!

P.S. In #2016 work on being less condemning to yourself. Instead, speak more positive life changing words. Don’t let a failed challenge discourage you. Treat a failed challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow from what didn’t go right. This is your year. So is 2017, 2018, 2019 and so on…

“You will not be successful as a leader if you are constantly changing directions.” – Urban Meyer

P.S.S. You got this!

Question: What challenges are you looking forward to this year?