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Meaderings | God Intersections

Transitions – moving from 2014-2015

For some reason I have been pondering 2014 a fair amount the last couple of months. Probably because the 7th anniversary of my banishment from corporate America is January 3, 2015. And I can now truly say “what a blessing that was”.   Particularly from a growing in God perspective.

January 3, 2008 was arguably the biggest transition I have ever experienced, at least from an expectations standpoint. And while the pending transition to 2015 is a much less significant event I am embracing this transition as well. I believe God does His best work in the transitions of our lives. The best work in terms of our “Christ-likeness”. Transitions have a way of messing with our expectations. And when our expectations are up-ended God offers us the chance to learn to trust Him further (or choose to pass).

I’ve learned a bit about navigating the transitions of life in way that promotes knowing and trusting God. One of the big learnings is to intentionally capture my Current Best Thinking. As I pondered 2014 I’ve learned much. The most significant include:

  1. God is NEVER in a hurry (only man is)
  2. The more comfortable I become with “not knowing” the easier it is to Trust God
  3. The end game with God is always growing our Identify in Christ
  4. Knowing God is the key to our Identity in Him
  5. “Listening Prayer with Friends” is a key to Knowing God.

So while 2014 was full of ups and downs, goals met and unmet, time frames achieved and missed I have grown in Him. And I’m pretty sure that is the most important thing.

Thank you for your support in what God is doing in and through me and through Truth@Work. You are a valuable member of the community God is using to do something significant in the marketplace.

And if you ever want to “Listen to God with Friends” simply show up at my office ANY Tuesday at 5:30 AM.

May you know God more in 2015!

Are You a Follower or a Believer?

One recent early morning during my Quiet Time God asked me an interesting question.

I had quieted my mind (always a tough thing for me) and was thinking about recent God Intersections.  As I thought about one particular individual I thought “I wonder if that person is a Believer?”.  The Spirit of God quickly dropped a thought in my mind:

“I want you to stop asking that question!”

Quite honestly I was surprised by the thought.  But I’ve learned to quickly check the thoughts against my bible knowledge and then go with them.  My next thought was “I wonder what question I should  ask?”.  In the quietness of the moment I heard:

“Ask if they are a Follower of Jesus?”

I thought “that’s kind of a cool question” and went on with my Quiet Time.  The next God thought surprised me::

“You can be a Follower without being a Believer”.

Now THAT thought messed with my theology.  I have been trained to think you must be a Believer first and then you become a Follower.  As I pondered the conversation with God it became obvious.  Inviting someone to Follow Jesus does NOT require they believe He is the Son of God.  They just need to be willing to follow His teachings.  And if they follow long enough they are sure to become a Believer.

Here’s hoping you invite many to become Followers!

Mark

Hearing God’s Voice

I was minding my own business nursing a particular injustice this weekend when the God of the Universe showed up and provided this thought “Will you let this situation in your marriage make you more like Jesus or more like the world?”.

And instantly a whole line of thinking appeared.  That’s the way it works for me with God.  I used to think I didn’t hear His voice much. I still don’t actually hear much in the still, quiet places with Him.   Then I learned something big.  Telling God when and how He should speak to us just does not work. When I finally stopped using that approach and let Him teach me I learned some fascinating things about hearing God:

What will you do when the Prosperity Returns?

I’m seeing an interesting phenomenon these last 60 days.  Believe it or not meaningful prosperity is returning to some areas of our marketplace.  I know a banker, real estate agent and construction business owner all of whom are having their best year in the last 5.  “Life is good” but they all confess to working harder than they want.  But it is worth is because “the money is good”.

And when I ask what they do in these busy times to keep the Word of God and Spirit of God in the middle of their business they don’t have an answer.

The Two Mandates of the Christian Business Owner

I have been having a running dialogue with “the Big Guy” regarding His desires for the “authentic” Christian business owner.  In my many conversations with business owners on the topic the idea of building and stewarding a Christ centered culture is always talked about.  Christ centered culture is my term for aligning our words and actions around Christ based core values, being leaders of integrity and character, being kind and respectful  etc.  The idea is to “walk the talk”.

How “the Facts” are Making Us Tools of the Enemy!

God showed up at one of my coaching sessions last week.   Toward the end of our time this particular individual started reciting a series of wrongs our government in general and our president in particular were perpetrating on we the American people.  The list of “wrongs” was extensive (provided by a popular conservative website) and while I have not checked each of them against snopes.com and other sites I suspect they were all grounded in fact.

Spiritual Touch Stones

As a coach and facilitator I spend much time helping people see life and business differently and in the process growing personally.  There is a danger in my role however.  The danger is getting lulled into thinking I am somehow more knowledgeable, mature, experienced etc.  In other words that “I am ahead of that person”.

While meeting with a friend of mine (Doug Cunningham) Friday for coffee, God showed up and taught me a great Truth (at least a great Truth for me).  The Truth is that growing into the person God has called us to be is simply a matter of experiencing and learning from the Touch Stones God has laid out for us.  The revelation is that IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT ORDER WE TOUCH THEM IN.  In other words I am never a head of or behind any person I work with.  I have experienced different Touch Stones and learned different things and while that is valuable it does not make be better, more mature, more spiritual etc.

The power in this thought lies in being free from the tyranny of linear growth.  We can be Transformed.  We can stop looking at our coaches/mentors/models assuming we can never “achieve” their results.  We can simply glean from their experience and wisdom, joining it with our Touch Stones and rocket into being who God has called and equipped us to be.  Let’s stop spending time trying to get the “order of growth” right and simply experience all we can, learn from those experiences using a God context and Trust God to Transform us as we “do our part”.

God Intersections, Cooperative Capitalism and Poland

The last three years have been quite a journey. Many of you have made that journey with me. I have appreciated the company and the encouragement. The highlights of this journey have been many but three stand out:

  1. God Intersections – the concept that as we turn over responsibility for our life and business to God, He will lead us by the Intersections He creates on the journey
  2. Cooperative Capitalism – the idea that we can positively impact the marketplace by building communities of capitalists built on a foundation of Trust, shared values and a common purpose (which includes but is not limited to profit)
  3. Poland – the God Intersection with Gabe Phillips of www.WorldVenture.com that is providing the opportunity to share God, Cooperative Capitalism and Truth@Work with business owners in Poland.

Running Your Business with the Heart of God

My last post discussed how consistently applying the Heart of God IN our business is the key to finding the blessings of God FOR our business.  As I continued pondering this subject, I had an interesting thought.

It is much easier to apply the Heart of God to our customers than to our suppliers and employees and even families. We naturally understand the importance of treating our customers with fairness, respect, kindness, honesty, generosity, supportiveness or however you define God’s heart.  Any experienced business owner will tell you how important it is to treat your customers “right”.

Finding God’s Blessings

One of the great joys of what I do (following the God Intersections like Mr. McGoo offering to help business people) is that I get to meet many very cool people thus creating opportunities for God to show up and share His truth.

One of those Intersections was last week when I spent a couple of hours with a new client (Andrew Pinch of www.dandlpress.com ) for our first coaching session.  Andrew was sharing his goals, challenges and vision for the future, basic questions I discuss with all of my clients, when God showed up (or more specifically a God Idea showed up).  We were talking about the reason Andrew’s grandfather had started D & L Press 50 years ago and how the consistent application of that purpose had produced the company that stands today (they grew 80% last year).