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Mountain Climbers_1The quality of our expectations determines the quality of our action.  A. Godin

Expectations are a reality of life; and everyone wants to know what is expected of them.

As children, we grow up with a deep-seeded desire to know the expectations of our parents; and to meet them. Parents, in turn, desire to know what is expected of them for their children to grow up physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy.

Employees want to know what is expected of them, to give structure to their daily work, and as a guide for future promotion and pay increase. To afford those pay increases, employers want to know what the client expects from the product or service they provide.

Granted, there are those who act as if they want nothing be expected of them. They are deceived in thinking this is possible. Expectations are a reality of life.

And everyone wants to know what is expected of them.

Society has a way of communicating expectations. Customers buy the products and services that meet their expectations. Employers establish standards and operating procedures for their employees. Good parents set the ground rules for their children; and – this is important – help their children understand and operate within the expectations of society.

Expectations are a reality of life; and they are good for us. Knowing them is critical.

It is, therefore, ironic that the human race has an ongoing battle with expectations. There is something about us that causes a discomfort with them. It’s like we want something else, but we don’t know what that something else is.

We need expectations, but we don’t want them – at least not the expectations that someone else would put on us. We prefer to find, or create, our own expectations.

We convince ourselves that what we want is something more; maybe something better. Attempting to put a positive spin on this condition, we use terms like “the human spirit” to describe our feigned desire for greater expectations.

This phrase – the human spirit – is not a bad description of our condition. In fact, it is the base condition of every human being. At its core is a desire to set our own expectations and have everyone else judge us by them.

The Bible calls it by another name: The spirit of rebellion.

Well now; at this point I feel the need to interject a warning and a request: This article is not headed where you are expecting. Please bear with me. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowOur search for the lost foundations of our faith takes us now to “the elementary principles of Christ”. Why must we go here? Surely the Christian faith has grown beyond the elementary. Surely we know more now about Christ’s principles than we ever have. Check for yourself. Which of these do you understand and practice in your life?

Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.  And this we will do if God permits. Hebrews 6:1-3

See what I mean? Unless you have been to Bible College, I am pretty sure there are at least a couple of these elementary principles that you have not been taught, much less encouraged to incorporate into your faith walk. Somehow, they have been lost to the church, in our day.

Furthermore, I suspect that what we do know, we do not know completely. Take “repentance from dead works” for example. We have all been taught about repentance from sin (or sins, or the sin); but, what is this matter of “dead works”? Are dead works and sin the same thing? If so, why did the Holy Spirit, through the writer of Hebrews, introduce a different descriptor?

What about “repentance”? What does it really mean to repent? Does it mean “to turn” or “make an about-face”, as so many have taught (you might be surprised)? How is repentance accomplished?

Let me suggest that it is very important to know the answers to these questions. It is necessary that we have a love of the truth here. The consequences are more significant than we may imagine.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:12-14

The writer of Hebrews encourages the church to move on to more advanced principles (i.e., solid food). It is this solid food that makes us skilled in the word of righteousness; to be a teacher of God’s word, and a discerner of good and evil. This may be the greatest need in the church today; so let’s be diligent to rediscover what has been lost, so that we might move on to meatier truth – truth that will make us free.

One final introductory comment: Since these are elementary principles, we will search them out in an elementary way. Guard yourself against presumption. Ask the Lord and the Spirit to reveal the fullness of the truth found in this foundation. Allow the word of God to have its full effect. Read the rest of this entry »

the light of GodRecently, I was encouraged to write my testimony. Like me, you may have done this sometime in the past. If so, then I am writing to encourage you to write it again. This time, write it with the understanding that your testimony is an asset for the kingdom of God – a disciple making asset. Use it to encourage others and bring glory to our Father in heaven. If you have not written your testimony, then I am writing to ask you, “What are you waiting for?”

I humbly offer my own as an example.

This is a story about the making of a man. This man’s name is Rob Streetman. Rob is not a great deal unlike many men; but Rob is unique. Consequently, parts of Rob’s story – His being made – will be familiar, and parts will be strange. Hopefully, you will be encouraged by the former, and challenged by the later.

The important thing to keep in mind is that we are all being made into something… by someone. We are all “in process”. As you will see in his story, Rob is not a self-made man; and he is most grateful to God for that. He tried that approach for a season. It didn’t go well for him or anyone else. Fortunately, The Maker is patient and persistent in His love. That is the testimony of Rob’s making.
Read the rest of this entry »

bulb-in-handImagine for a moment that you are a good and faithful steward of a rich man’s estate. As that good and faithful steward, you would be encouraged to hear your master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.” It would be right to expect such a response to your wise investment of his resources.

This is true in the world; and more so in the kingdom of God. In fact, these are Jesus’ words; words He used in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). It is His desire to reward those that take their stewardship seriously. He is looking for those that will invest His talents faithfully. Read the rest of this entry »

hearing-from-godIf you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you have experienced, or will soon experience, the blessings of chaos (aka, tribulation, trial, affliction, persecution, etc.). Furthermore, I can assure you, there is more on the way. This is not a bad thing. How do I know this? God’s prescription for the maturation of His children is found in 2Corinthians 3:18.

 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

“Being transformed” is a chaotic experience. The Greek word – metamorphoō – gives us a perfect word picture. Being changed into another form must be quite a chaotic process for the caterpillar; much more so, for the once rebellious human being to be transformed into the image of the glory of the Lord. Yes, chaos is intended for our ultimate good.

God uses the chaos in our lives in a very intentional way. Considering the chaos that is going on around us in these unsettling days, it is easy to imagine that God is up to something dramatic and glorious. We owe it to ourselves, and those in our spheres of influence, to do what we can that the chaos is not wasted. As I heard someone say, “You cannot avoid the pain, so you might as well make the most of it.” Read the rest of this entry »

CompassDoes the grace of God empower any activity or endeavor that is not His will?

Does His will ever lack the grace to accomplish what He intends?

As leaders in the Marketplace, it is important to determine, resolve and reckon what you believe about these two questions. Access to His grace for your next endeavor depends on it.  It is a matter of success or failure – even glorious victory or eternal destruction.

Let’s start with the first. If a person is self determined in what He does – including what He does “for God” – then that person’s answer is “yes, God does empower activity outside His will.” More likely, that person is not concerned with God empowering the work they have set out to accomplish. This sounds quite foolish, particularly when we consider the potential outcome.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23

Only those that do the Father’s will shall enter the kingdom of heaven! Wow!! We can do any number of wonderful things in Jesus’ name and still be labeled, by Him, as practitioners of lawlessness. What a tragic surprise awaits those that pursue supernatural work outside of the Father’s will!!

This begs another question: Where did these lawless ones get the power to prophesy, cast out demons and do many wonders?

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work… The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2Thessalonians 2:7, 9-10

Whoa! Even though the lawless one has not been revealed, “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work”. There is a grave warning here: It possible to do supernatural work outside of the Father’s will because there is another (i.e., Satan) willing to give us power; for the work in His power will lead to the destruction of many.

Let me ask you again: Is this possible for those that call Jesus, “Lord, Lord”? Could we be so deceived? Read the rest of this entry »

Military Salute from iStockBefore we jump into this short article, I would like to remind you of a few key truths: If you are a Christian leader in the Marketplace, you are not in your position by accident. God has His eye on you; and His heart’s desires are for you. The church is as much – if not more – in your sphere of influence as it is in the place you attend on Sunday morning.

It is also no coincidence that you are reading this article at this time in the history of the church. The Sermon on the Mount, recorded primarily by Matthew and Luke, is the foundational teaching on the normal Christian life. Consequently, it is the most challenging; and that is where you come in.

God has put it in your nature to courageously face challenges. He has put it in your nature to lead others into challenges. Who do you know that is better encouraged, edified and equipped to lead the transformation that is necessary in the church today? Who is the most influential person in your sphere of influence?

Radical is the Old Normal

Our normal is so subnormal that normal seems radical. To the first century disciples, normal and radical were synonyms. We’ve turned them in antonyms. (from All In, by Mark Batterson)

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus threw down the gauntlet with His disciples: Turn the other cheek, bless your enemies, go the extra mile. He wanted to see who was in and who was out. He did this multiple times during His sojourn here on earth. Many left Him; but there were a few… that grew to thousands, and turned the world upside down.

It seems to me that we have reached a point of crisis in the church. Henry Blackaby called it “the crisis of faith”. As Marketplace Leaders, it is our responsibility to deal with the crisis in God’s way. I would like to offer you a couple of truths to help you embrace the challenge of our crisis; and embrace it in a radical way. Read the rest of this entry »

Man Lifting Arms to SunsetToday begins a very important year in the life of the Jewish people. From

Like the seventh day of the week, every seventh year is holy. The Shemittah (Sabbatical) year is a year devoted to strengthening our bond with God — specifically, honing our faith in His omnipotence and our trust in His kindness. This year, 5775 since creation (Sept. 25, 2014–Sept. 13, 2015), is a Shemittah year.

Keep this in mind as we search out the matter of the Shemittah and its importance for the church today – particularly the church in America. Read the rest of this entry »

Wedding Supper of the LambDelight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.  He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.  Psalm 37:4-6

In Part 1 of this series, we learned that God has shared His heart’s desires with His children. These desires are different from the selfish desires of our flesh, which lead to death. In fact, pursuing the desires that God has placed in our hearts will lead to godliness and the production of much fruit. In Part 2, we explored what godliness and fruit might look like when it is manifested in our assignment.

In this, Part 3, we will search out the mystery of the heart to find the keys God has given us for receiving the desires that He has placed there. These keys are vital to the work God in doing in us to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). As disciple makers and transformation agents, we must understand and apply them for ourselves; and encourage, edify and equip others to do the same. Read the rest of this entry »

Bird Cage“Nothing to Lose; Nothing to Hide; Nothing to Prove; Nothing to Fear.” Twelve Words that will Change Your Life and Business Forever, Ray Hilbert, President of Truth@Work

What encouraging words to make us free! Freedom! It is one of the greatest things God offers in calling out Marketplace Leaders; yet it is one of the most difficult to appropriate. So, for this month’s tip, let’s explore the truths of these words; truths that promise to make us free.

Nothing to Lose – The truth is God has the power to raise up and shut down businesses in a moment; and He is not beyond doing just that. When we truly reckon this to be true, our minds will be renewed to think about our responsibilities as owners, executives and professionals. We will be more interested to hear and understand His plans, than trying to work out our own. We will be free from the fear of loss.

Nothing to Hide – Let’s face it: If we have something to hide, then we have a bigger problem; for we have a problem with God. Our problem with Him is either the sin we are trying to hide from others, or it is an issue of pride. When we come across something we are trying to hide, we should recognize the grace of God in the revelation. We have been made free from deception; and now free to repent, confess our sin and walk in deliverance (1John 1:9).

Nothing to Prove – Seeking to prove ourselves is the same as seeking glory from others. This issue of pride is much more dangerous (and the revelation more merciful) than the sin we may be hiding. Pride comes before a fall. The wise man will submit to the Holy Spirit rooting out the pride – being set free from the basest of sins. Furthermore, we must recognize that the “good work” we are created to walk in is more God’s work than our own (Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 5:16). Freedom comes when we are satisfied with the proof and glory that God shares with us, in His way and time.

Nothing to Fear – We have explored the issue of fear in previous tips. Let me know if you need to see them again. For now, let’s recognize that God provides the grace that we need to get and stay free of the fear of man. Jesus commanded that we should, instead, fear God. This too is a motivation and a means of freedom in our Father’s kingdom.

Marketplace Ministry Tip: Reckon these truths for yourself. Allow the Holy Spirit to use them to renew your mind and make you free. Use these truths to make free someone in your spheres of influence. Contact me, at, if I can be of assistance.


Humbly yours and His forever,


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