think like a person of action : : act like a person of thought

On March 11, 1995 at the Lake Geneva Retreat Center, my life turned upside down.

I had no idea where He’d take me or what I’d end up doing. All I knew was that if He was real, if His grace was real, then giving my WHOLE LIFE to Him was the only logical decision. From that day, He began to reshape me and over the past 20 years, it’s been surreal to see the things He’s done in me and even at times, through me. Countless great memories.

On the other hand, I’ve also been disappointed with the level of selfishness, pride, fear, insecurity and laziness that consistently hid in the shadows of my soul. The wild thing is that in response to my unfaithfulness, He has been full of GRACE, PATIENCE, and LOVE.

I remember when a leader in my life told me that...

“The years know what the days never will.”

So true.

So over these years, God has taught me lesson after lesson, many of them through pain. Most of them through failure. All of them took several tries before they “stuck.”

Apparently I’m not a fast learner.

So, here are twenty random lessons that just happened to be at the top of my heart in this moment. I’m not saying it’s exhaustive. I’m not saying they are the best lessons. They just happen to be the ones resonating with me today as I reflect on two decades of following Christ.

I hope they bless you, teach you, guide you, and encourage you. If they were helpful, take some time and share them with some people that matter to you.

So here goes nothing...

20 random lessons I’ve learned in the last 20 years as a Christ Follower and Church Leader.

  1. In the beginning, newness created moments. Now I must make moments that recreate newness.
  2. You never regret sacrificing for the Lord.
  3. Priorities, if left to themselves, usually end up getting your leftover time, money and energy.
  4. There will always be hypocrites. That doesn’t mean it isn’t real.
  5. There will always be hypocrites. That doesn’t mean you are destined to become one.
  6. There will always be hypocrites. Which means people will lose hope that the real thing exists. Show them it does.
  7. A selfish life is ultimately the loneliest life.
  8. A selfless life is ultimately the richest life.
  9. You really do reap what you sow. Don’t be surprised when bad seeds grow into bad fruit. Don’t push away God’s blessing when good seeds grow into good fruit.
  10. Your true priorities will ALWAYS be revealed by how you spend your time and money.
  11. You’re not as good or as bad as they say you are.
  12. Live a life so that those that know you best respect you the most. Who cares if people that don’t know you well think you’re great.
  13. Take care of your body. It will determine your usefulness. God's ability to work through you will be limited by the health of it.
  14. How you treat others matters more than what you accomplish.
  15. Who you ACTUALLY are before the Lord is FAR more important than who people THINK you are.
  16. No one is responsible for your growth but you.
  17. You will be held accountable for the gifts you have been given.
  18. You will be held accountable for the influence you have been given.
  19. You will be held accountable for the finances you have been given.
  20. Manipulation and guilt tripping is a low level of leadership. Control is the lowest level of leadership. Rather, take time to invest, inspect and inspire.
  21. You are created by God in the image of God, loved by God, accepted by God, redeemed by God, empowered by God, to have relationship with God, to compel others to honor God, and will one day will see God face to face. Remind yourself of that daily. Put that in perspective and everything will fall into place.

So I lied. There’s 21. :)

Here’s to believing that the next twenty will be even better!

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