We Win!

Here are some related articles about territories in God's Kingdom.  

Territorial in Church
Location Location Location
Under New Ownership

God's Kingdom is ever expanding and this topic could go on for a very long time. I don't think we are completely done with this topic.  I am taking submissions on your take about "Territorial in Church" and "Taking New Ground in today's Society."

Click here for Submission Guidelines

Here's an encouraging word for you to dance into the weekend with. 

Satan has real estate too.
There is only one piece of real estate Satan has in your life -
that little patch under your feet. :)  There is a promise in the Bible too - Wherever you step God will give you that land. 

He is under your feet, so put your dancing shoes on and have a great weekend.

Q4U:  What do you do to stir yourself up in the Lord?

When Leaders Face the Red Sea

The Red Sea was an obstacle for the Israelites. It stood between them and well, the wilderness of all places. I believe they weren't really concerned at that moment what was on the other side of the Red Sea as long as it was not Egypt. 

When Leaders Face the Red Sea
When Moses faced the Red Sea he was in a real pinch.  It wasn't just the Egyptian Army behind him, try more than a million people following him. This wasn't a personal Red Sea moment for Moses. It was a nation's Red Sea.  I could just imagine the pressure he must have felt at that moment.  You know Satan was pulling out all the stops on this guy. 
I have found the battle seems the fiercest when I am on the brink of big things. The enemy seems to pull out all the stops at the thresholds of open doors. The bigger the opportunity the bigger the battle. 
I am the kind of person that has no regard  for my personal safety.  When I go in, I go all in. I get the attitude of "I don't have anything to lose."  However when it comes to those close to me I tend to be over careful. 
The pressure is intense at the Red Sea moments because of the people around me, especially the ones that depend on me. If your leading in ministry you know exactly what I am talking about.  
I pray Psalm 69:6 (msg) Don't let those who look to you in hope be discouraged by what happens to me. Dear Lord! God of the armies! Don't let those out looking for you come to a dead end by following me."
The People behind Moses
We all are following someone. Those leaders are facing not only personal Red Sea's, they face Red Seas that affect all of us. 
Before we jump to any conclusions about our leader’s abilities, step back and look at the Red Sea they may be facing. It’s amazing how many people want to point the finger at their leader’s hesitation and call it weakness. They even have meetings about the “direction of the ministry.” 

It's easy to reduce a Red Sea to a canal when it's not your Red Sea. It's also easy if you listen to the wrong people to turn the Red Sea into an Atlantic Ocean. Let's just keep in mind Red Sea, Mississippi River, drainage canal or even the mighty North Atlantic Ocean in winter it doesn't take God any more effort to part it. 
I have the privilege of knowing quite a few women in full time ministry.  Their schedules are crazy, they still have to be mom's and wives.  They still have to pay bills, and go to the doctor.  That is all before they even get to the ministry part of their lives. Then if that wasn't enough whatever they write about, or speak about they will do battle about. 
Let's pray for them today. Personally I prefer prayer partners over financial partners any day of the week. I can always tell when someone is praying for me, the Red Seas don't seem as intimidating. 
You know the next time Moses lifted up his hand like that Joshua was in the pinch. Hmmm....
Q4U: What do you do as a leader when you face Red Sea?

Spiritual Life Hacks

Yesterday we discussed preparing messages that are inspiring and applicable. 

Check it out: How Do you Do That

Let’s go another step today.
It ain't easy being green!

We can't make things too easy
I love Bible studies that show me how to simply apply the Word in my daily life. We get into danger when the Bible Study becomes too simple and too easy.  You know, a bunch of life hacks to just getting by.  Survival techniques that doesn't really need any faith in God to walk out. In fact most of these life hacks doesn't need God at all. 

 Simple doesn’t mean easy
Just because the steps of a righteous man are ordered by God doesn’t make them easy. Like eating less and exercising more, simple? Yes. Easy? No.
Spiritual Life Hacks
Life hacks are little things we do, sometimes unconsciously, to make life comfortable and non confrontational. If we aren’t careful our Bible studies can become a class on spiritual life hacks. We teach the steps to living in a spiritually gated community. So we come up with cliche’s that make us feel better, feel safer and less threatening to our neighbors. Sometimes our Bible studies become just a digging for loop holes to get out making hard choices.   
Here’s a life hack example:  I had this lady come up to me and ask "Do you think God wants me to quit smoking?"  It took everything in me not to say "Are you crazy? Of course He wants you to quit smoking!"  But if I did, then she would have learned a very unscriptural life hack of "Go ask Sandy." (Life Hack:Not develop your own ear to hear God, ask someone to hear for you) Thankfully the Holy Spirit had the right word, "Have you asked God? Did He tell you to quit?"
It was a life hack to avoid confrontation.You see, it is a whole lot easier to tell me “No, I am going to keep on smoking no matter what you say” than tell God the same to His face. 
Q4U: Know of any other spiritual life hacks?

How Do You Do That

“95% of the people in an audience understand what’s being communicated and agree with the speaker’s point of view.  However, they do not know how to apply what’s being said to their lives.”  John Maxwell - Everyone Communicates, Few Connect

Ever tell a 5 year old to go clean their room? 

Our kids understand what we are saying they even agree with what we are saying, the problem is they don't know how to apply what we are saying. 

Have you ever had a great message, great delivery, everyone had a huge amen, yet you see no changes? When preparing a message it's important that it's easy to understand how to apply the message. If you really want to see lives, marriages, families even communities transformed put some application to the Word. 

I like how the Rabbis taught their Bible Studies. Read the Scripture and then ask a great question for every verse "how do you do that?" Try that with the 23rd Psalm. 

Q4U:  What do you do to create not only inspiring messages but messages that can be applied? 

Location Location Location

We have been discussing getting territorial in ministry this past few days.

Under New Ownership
Territorial in Church

There is a saying in real estate "location, location, location." It goes in ministry as well.  
What corner has God anointed you to stand on? If you don't know let me suggest where to start, the wilderness.

Sometimes we need to be a voice crying out in the wilderness, preparing a way. Isn’t it interesting the voice is in the wilderness and not in the promise land. Jesus didn’t come for the people who are well and know it all. He came for the poor, the blind, the lame, the captive and the broken hearted.  He came to the wilderness of the human soul. 

Here's an interesting thought: Jesus was baptized by a wilderness preacher.

Mission Trips
We spend thousands of dollars to go on mission trips, normally to some wilderness to be a voice, to be His hand extended. I dare say most people go on these mission trips to find Jesus, to discover the Spirit of God moving miraculously.

They discover God moving not only within the country, but also within their own heart. A move they've been missing in their own local church body.  For some reason there is this massive move of God out in some wilderness country. 

Here is another interesting thought: People went to the wilderness to hear John the Baptist.

Promise Land
In ministry, the promise land could be your wilderness. Being called by God could mean your ministry will be like John the Baptist. His life was object lesson for all of us. He was true to form with the other prophets whose personal lives showed the Israelites their plight. Case in point, the prophet who married a prostitute, to show Israel their idolatrous behavior.  John the Baptist showed them their personal wilderness.  

Maybe all the believing women married to an unbeliever can show the rest of us how to faithfully love  unbelievers and live within an unbelieving culture.

Your platform is probably your wilderness 
Right here in a blessed nation are plenty of people suffering wilderness in their minds, their heart, their physical bodies, even in their family.  Maybe even in your own wilderness circumstance you are called to be a voice.

What's our location?  Are we trying to win souls that are already in the Lambs book of Life?  Are we really getting out to where the people are? Jesus stepped out of divine glory (Promise Land) into a frail human body(wilderness), compared to heaven, earth was His wilderness. 

Interesting thought: God set Israel up in the Promise Land so they could bless those in the wilderness. Israel was the point of contact for God's blessings.  Geographically Israel is surrounded by wilderness.

Q4U: Have you ever felt like a lone voice crying out in the wilderness?  Got any tips for the rest of us?

Under New Ownership

The most important thing to remember when it comes to ministry is: We minister to the Lord first!  We belong to Him first. We are His real estate. Sometimes it feels like the people own us. They don't. He owns it all. 

What a relief that is! 

If the people don't own us - then we don't own them either. 

God is the owner of the people that come to your Bible Study, fellowship meeting, Tea Party and counseling sessions. 

We sometimes can get so wrapped up in ministering to people we forget to minister to Him.  It's when we get this out of order we begin to lay claim to things that don't belong to us, in particular people.  

We want so much for them to love God, to be giving people, for their marriages to succeed and for their bodies to be healthy. We pour out our lives for them. It even sounds scriptural.  But our lives being poured out is an offering to God not to them. It is God that makes them more than conquerors. 

The Pharisee's started out just wanting the people to do the right thing. They came up with all kinds of rules to keep the people out of trouble with God. Their focus was so much on the people they forgot God. It got so bad they couldn't even recognize His Son.

When we realize that God is our owner, it makes laying our lives down for others a whole lot easier.  We don't mind people walking all over us or rejecting us.  If it furthers your owner's kingdom why not?  

When God owns us we will say what God wants us to say.  When people own us we will say what they want us to say. When we let people own us, we can get bitter and angry. They are just not meant to be our owners, God is. 

Related Posts:
Territorial in Church

Q4U: What do you do when people try to own you? 

Territorial in Church

Gangs mark territories with graffiti
Have you ever met someone that gets territorial in Ministry? Ay-gee-mama! I see this quite often, because I don’t deal with just one local church I deal with a whole bunch of them. 
Some churches are afraid of their members going to an event at another church. Most of the pastors I work with don’t have a fear of losing people.  They just want to protect their flock from misquided overzealous evangelist. 
I get that. I am very protective of those God has sent me to serve, love and guide.  However, I'm also confident in the choices they make. If I am doing my part right they will make amazing choices. 
Fear of losing people
There is an inclination to fear people will go some place else. But here is the bottom line, in Florida there are 9 million women.  That’s enough to go around.  For some of us, just one of those 9 million could be a full time job. If you loose a person from your ministry, for whatever reason, there are plenty desperately in need of a touch from God.  

Just ask Special Gathering, a ministry within the mentally challenged community. This an unreached people group that has often been ignored by the church. It is so unreached that the fear isn't losing them - it's not reaching them at all.  I like that, isn't that the way ministry is suppose to be?  There are plenty of disabled people yet not enough laborers. (If interested in this ministry contact Linda Howard of Special Gathering, here is a link to her blog. This is one ministry that has plenty for everyone)

Here's some food for thought:

If we absolutely have to get territorial over people why not the human slave problem? 
Does your events include other churches? How do you deal with that territorial fear? 

How do you deal with other ministries inviting your ladies to events all the time? When is it too much?   

Have you done a community outreach with other churches?
How did that fare?

This is a real concern in church leadership, probably going to be another post. It is a discussion we all should be involved in. 
Q4U: What's your thoughts on this issue?

We Don't Own Tomorrow

Tomorrow is not ours it's Gods.

If we don't own tommorow we can't control tomorrow. Sometimes we get fearful of the things we can't control. We can't worry about what's going to happen tomorrow.  There is enough to worry about today much less spend all our energy worrying about something that hasn't happened.  

We don't know the first thing about tomorrow
We aren't to boast about what we are going to do or not do tomorrow, either.  It's not really wise to announce what the ministry is going to do without having the owner of tomorrow to back it up.  Why? Because we don't own tomorrow, we don't know the first thing about tomorrow.  

It's not what you know it's who you know right?  
We know, nay we are related to the owner of tomorrow. How cool is that?

So what does the owner say? 

 My favorite is "Joy comes in the morning."  The morning "joy" showed up on my doorstep I had never cried because of joy before.  I didn't know what was going on with me.  But the grass was greener that day, the sun was brighter, the sky was perfect.  I can tell you the day before my only hope was that there would be a tomorrow, and the owner of tomorrow told me joy was coming.

Q4U:  You got a tip from the owner of tomorrow? Let's hear it.

Road Trip Tip for Fall Breakaway

Rise and Shine!
Here is a road trip tip for all the ladies attending Fall Breakaway.
Ever meet one of those girls that wake up pretty?  
You know, their hair is in place, and no black under the eyes, even their PJ’s are wrinkle free.  How do they do that?  I personally think they get up before everyone else, fix their hair and face, then lay back down and waits for everyone to get up.  I don’t know what they do, I am not one of them. 
We (as in we don't wake up pretty) call her Snow White
These are the ladies that bounce out of bed throw open the curtains, flooding the room with overwhelming bright light, little birds rest on her shoulder and she welcomes the new day singing. 

I relate to Cinderella, she was the princess that woke up late and had to hurry scurry to get things done. 

Don’t get me started with Sleeping Beauty!  Love her, hate her.  First of all, who sleeps like that? and Second ooh-cha-cha handsome prince, true love’s kiss bada bing bada bang. You get my drift. (different post too)
So what’s the tip?
Unless you have one of the few king size rooms to yourself keep the "princess thang" on the down low.  Princess say what?! That’s right, keep the bright and shiny morning rituals for home.  Some of us aren’t 100% till the first sip of coffee, and then you might get a little sign of life by the walk to the bathroom.  
Which also means no doing your make-up and your princess showers until everyone in the room has hit the toilet first. 

I have back up on this
Proverbs 27:14 (msg) If you wake your friend in the early morning by shouting “Rise and shine!” It will sound to him more like a curse than a blessing.
So no throwing open the curtains! No camp style “Rise and Shine and give God the glory” song either.  If you got all this energy here is what I suggest.
The Rosen Shingle Creek has a Coffee Shop.  Go down and get your mates a Latte or a Cappacino and let the aroma of fresh coffee fill the room. They will love you!

It's not that we don't love you, Lord knows we do! How do you think we learned what to put on our eyes to reduce puffiness?  You teach us pretty and we are so grateful.

Get the word out
If your like me, not the happiest camper in the morning you might want to review these things before the dreaded moment of “Rise and Shine.” Don't get me wrong I don't mind getting up, it just takes me awhile.   

Okay now I’ve said it.  You don’t have to.   If your going to Fall Breakaway hit the "share" and let your girlfriends know up front.  If you are Snow White, don't be ashamed of the God given ability to wake up pretty, post it too. It will help us Cinderella's sleep a little easier knowing you got the hint. Thanks from the bottom of my sleep crusted eyes. :)
Q4U:  What other tips for sister road trips are there? 

Unexpressed Approval

Proverbs 27:5 
A spoken reprimand is better than approval that’s never expressed.
Who likes to get reprimanded publically?  I mean really, who likes to get rebuked, corrected even slightly adjusted privately?  It’s not one of my favorite moments in life.  
We are to welcome correction, and thank God we get them from some wise people.  Who likes to get corrected by a fool? There is great wisdom in being correctable and plyable.  
A follower always getting corrected, no matter how much is needed and no matter how much we welcome it, after a while it can be discouraging. We start hesitating when opportunities arise.   As leaders let’s recognize that we can over play the adjusting and correcting hand. Approval never given is worse than a public reprimand. 
Unexpressed Approval
One of the best coaches I had always told us how good we were. She always told us  “we were a hard team to beat”, “we had what it takes to go all the way” and  my personal favorite “your great fielders, so keep your gloves up.” 

We didn’t get prideful. In fact, our first year with her was our best year in 12 years, our record 2-12.  That’s right we won 2 and lost 12 yet, to her we were always the best team on the field.

We didn’t need any reminders of how bad we were on the field, the scoreboard, the smirking looks from the other teams was enough. What we needed was reminders that we had some skills that could work to our advantage. The 3 years I was with her we did win and we won a lot! 

God Practices what He Preaches
I believe God would never tell us to do something He doesn’t practice Himself. God does approve us. His approval is so effective it is silly not to seek it. It is a great benefit to cultivate a life that pursues His approval. 
Holy Spirit conviction isn’t limited to just sins.  He convicts us of our righteousness as well.  He isn’t just pointing fingers at what is wrong, He is constantly pointing out what’s right.  Maybe our sin is we don’t believe Him. It’s okay to say “I am righteous!”  (maybe we could have a ministry called Righteous Babes).  
I know, some of you are saying “Sandy, let’s be humble now.”   I get that. Yes, let’s be humble.  It’s not right to stand up on your desk and say “I did that! and THAT was very COOL!”  Even though every bone in your body wants to (who you kidding, we all want to).  You know what is better than that is your leader jumping up on the desk pointing her finger at you and saying “She did that! and THAT is very COOL!”  
Q4U:  Got any suggestions on ways to express approval?  How about you, ever been approved by your leader? or not approved? How did you get through it?

Follow Up

Jesus knew how to reach out and meet needs. Start to finish He was meeting our needs.  

In ministry finding out people needs is just good business. 

If someone hasn't ate in three days, feeding them first will probably go a lot longer than forcing a bunch of scripture their way.

I have met some Women's Ministry leaders that fuss more over who is not there than who is there. I believe if we met the needs of the women who do attend we would have more people than what we know what to do with. The feat here is what are those needs?  

Follow up can really help you identify some unmet needs. Find out why they left and never came back.  Some instances are just unavoidable, however some are credible and worth our attention. 

This video pick is an expert in the auto industry way back when, addressing not car salesmen but the owners of the dealerships. It's short but makes a very valid and powerful point. 

Q4U:It takes courage to follow up and face critique.  What are some ways to make this simple and easy?

Master the art of a sit down

A sit down is just another way of saying a meeting.  A sit down is probably the best way to get some issues out on the table and get them resolved.  Some teams have way too many sit downs and some don’t have enough.  
Here are some tips to a sit down.  
Whatcha talking bout?
If you going to call a sit down, you better know what your calling it for.  What are the clear issues.  Not what you think are the issues, and definitely not what someone who’s not even going to be there thinks the issues are. 

Get a clear picture of what’s going on before the sit down.  You might find there is no issue at all, some trouble maker (they normally do this more than once) is making mountains out of mole hills. Make sure everyone knows what the meeting is about before the meeting. 

No ganging up
Nothing is going to get resolved if you plan to gang up on one person either.  It's just not scriptural. Invite only individuals involved. Stay away from sit downs that just want to accuse and point fingers. You know let's blame Sister Sassy for everything. Let's recognize it's not what people can do, can't do, have done, won't do, will do  - its about what God can do with people, to people and through people.  Correction without the Cross is condemnation and it's the worse kind of sit down. 

Quit Stalling
Get to it quick, no stalling at a sit down. With a little humilty you might look across the table and realize their time is way more valuable than yours.   A sit down is about finding the solution, nothing more.  No need to chase down every rabbit in the church. Start out with prayer, Lord knows a lot of sit downs could be avoided entirely just by praying over the issue first. 
Speak when you have to not when you want to
“Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” Solomon
The words you say don’t make you smart.  Whenever I’m going in feeling intimidated and outgunned, I keep my mouth tight and my ears open.  In resolving conflict I find that more conflict can be avoided by putting a filter on the mouth.  No need to have another sit down about the last sit down. 
Be respectful
Disrespect of any kind is out of the question.  I don’t care how bad you are treated, what names you are called and how many fingers are pointing at you.  Disrespect is off the table.  The moment a hint of disrespect is out you are done!  Let me say that another way, you are much harder to defend when you are disrespectful. 
 I have a little acronym that helps me even decide if I do a sit down or not. It also prepares me for the sit down. It’s N.E.E.D.
Is it Necessary?
Is it Edifying?
Is it Encouraging?
Is it Dignified?
If I can’t get legitimate answers to those questions then the sit down is out of the question. 
Q4U:  What other tips do you have for sit downs?

The Mouth Trap

"A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating." Solomon
When we are negotiating we gotta know when to keep our trap shut. Cuz the only thing we are trapping is ourselves. 

My dad was one of the best business men I knew.  He could negotiate for hours and get exactly what he wanted.  One of his best techniques was not saying a word. He knew how to keep it shut.  
He had a saying “The last person to speak loses the deal.”  One time while buying a car he didn’t say anything for two hours.  We got the car and it was a great deal.
In Women’s Ministry we need to know how to negotiate. 
Put the Ego in Park
Nothing can take you out quicker than your own mouth engaged with pride.  Once the cat’s out of the bag, there is no putting it back.  Pride loves to talk. A big mouth showing off is a recipe for disaster.  Pride will loose a deal. Why? Because pride tells the salesman how much they got and false humility (pride too) tells how much they don’t got. Pride is not smart, use your brain when dealing with others. 
Lock Down Jabber Jaws
One of the greatest achievements the Bible prescibes is to bridle your tongue.  Speaking before your thinking gets you sinking.  Your words can be your greatest self destruct button.  Know when to keep it tight and let your brain collect the info you need.  Part of being a great conversationalist is being a great listener.  
Put Your Ears on Alert
Become a good listener, that’s why you got two ears and one mouth.  Listening conditions you to gather information before acting or making a decision that will make an impact. You will be much sharper when you are nourished with the right information and honed into a fine point through experience.  Listening helps you discern better.  
Look before you leap, learn before you speak and never put your mouth before your brain. 
Q4U:  Do you have a negotiating tip?