Starting as a Way of Life

Starting as a way of life

When our kids were young, we took them to Washington, D.C to explore the history and visit the museums. Our son was at a very inquisitive age, eager to explore the places that were not on the map or noted on the guide given to us. It was great whenever an exhibit was “kid friendly” and had a button to press to begin listening to a recorded message about the exhibit or perhaps some of the figures behind the glass became animated with movement.  Naturally, he began to look for a button to poke at every exhibit… just to see what would happen. He quickly learned, If I do this, that happens. He noticed another button on a wall, away from the exhibits. He poked the button to see what would happen. We were all surprised to hear the sound of a loud buzzer emitting a warning and people began to scurry about. Our son, however, was delighted that a poke at this particular button started a chain reaction of people responding to the noise that created a movement.

We need to do that. We need to poke a different button. We need start a movement. Like a child that is not afraid to see what happens. We need to start. We need to stop being afraid of starting something different and new. We are afraid of a possible ruckus, we are afraid that our ideas are not valuable, we are afraid to start. We will never know what will happen if we never start.

To never take a leap or never risk is a sad existence.

We can start to bloom wherever we are planted.

The following are a few quotes from, Poke the Box by Seth Godin. Poke the Box is a small book packed with a lot of kick. It’s worth reading more than once and sharing with your colleagues or a college student or with your ministry teams. I highlighted these sections in the book and I thought it was worth sharing with you. The above story about my son is true. We can poke a button or poke the box. Either way, we need to begin to start…to make starting as a way of life.

I believe that if you’ve got the platform and the ability to make a difference, then this goes beyond “should” and reaches the level of “must.” You must make a difference or you squander the opportunity. Wasting the opportunity both degrades your own ability to contribute and, more urgently, takes something away from the rest of us. ~Seth Godin, Poke the Box

Innovation is mysterious. Inspiration is largely unpredictable. But it’s obvious from all the success we see in the marketplace that we can rise to the occasion. ~Seth Godin, Poke the Box

Once the habit is ingrained and you become the starter, the center of the circle, you will find more and more things to notice, to instigate, and to initiate. Momentum builds and you get better at generating it. If you go to bed at night knowing that people are expecting you to initiate things all day the next day, you’ll wake up with a list. And as you create a culture of people who are always seeking to connect and improve and poke, the bar gets raised. ~Seth Godin, Poke the Box

If you’re not making a difference, it’s almost certainly because you’re afraid. Some of us hesitate when we should be starting instead. We hold back, promise to do more research, wait for a better moment, seek out a kinder audience.  This habit is incredibly common. It eats up our genius and destroys our ability to make the contribution we’re quite capable of making. ~Seth Godin, Poke the Box

Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong. If you start, you’ve got a shot at evolving and adjusting to turn your wrong into a right. But if don’t start, you never get a chance. ~Seth Godin, Poke the Box

Art is hard. Selling is hard. Writing is hard. Making a difference is hard.

When will you start?

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Keep Looking For The Mission He Has For You

Remember This

“Who will I serve?” Do you ask yourself this question? Do you think you’ll get an answer today, or do you think that answer is somewhere far off in your future? You do not have to wait until someone hands you a secret mission envelope or until you are hired for a job. You can start serving today, right where you are. The people you serve may be ones you know–your brother or sister, your mom or dad, or your teacher or pastor–or they may be strangers. Be on the alert! Whether you are rich or poor, tall or short, older or younger–God has work he has created just for you to do. He may put opportunities right in your path, or you may have to look more closely or walk a bit out of your way to find his clues. Just don’t forget to keep looking for the mission he has for you.

Beth Guckenberger, Tales of the Not Forgotten (p. 175)

You’ll want to read this book detailing the real-life stories of children and families across the globe. My heart was captured by the vivid and passionate imagery  and compelled to ask more questions…”Do I sit back or go ahead?” All great adventures have moments of conflict and suspense. God is indeed The Storyweaver! He is writing my story now and I can’t wait to live the next chapter!

(Also, the Kid’s Mission Resource, is also valuable to use in Children’s Ministry, especially during a focus on becoming missional.)

Tales of the Not Forgotten

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Be Persistent

Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

I recently bought the devotional book, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones to give to my children to encourage them as they establish a rhythm of family devotions with their kids. This is a remarkable devotional book with profound spiritual truths from the Bible told in a conversational tone. I greatly appreciate how theologically rich it is and yet so easy to understand. I think the grown ups reading the book to their children may love it just as much or even more than their kids.

I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite out of the 101 devotions, but what prompted me to write this post was when I read the title of Devotion #65 (Page 146) that simply says, “Nagging God.”  It’s about praying…constantly talking to God…never stopping. The author poses a question and then gives us the answer…

“Is it okay to nag God? And pester him? God says we MUST!”

I have a friend going through a very difficult and challenging time. Whenever she asks me for advice, I encourage her to be persistent with praying to God.  I can’t solve the problem or purchase a quick cure-all solution, but I can be persistent with my encouragement, mercy and care for her while gently reminding her that God is never tired of listening to her. Our problems are not bigger than God. And while we are being persistent with finding a right and just solution, God is even more persistent with rescuing us and pouring out more grace in our lives for his glory. I’m reminded about The Parable of the Persistent Widow:

 1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:1–8 (ESV)

The widow persisted beyond what is comfortable yet she did not lose heart. If an unjust judge finally grants the window’s “prayer,” how much more will God, who is all and completely just, hear our prayers? God will not and cannot grow tired of us constantly talking with him. He is a big God, a good God and He is a King–
“–and Kings love to do marvelous, powerful things.”

So yes, my friend, it is okay to nag and pester God. Please do so! Be persistent. God is always there and he loves it when you ask him for great things!

I think I shall give my friend a copy of this book. It will encourage her heart to sing.

There is an affiliate link on this page. If you purchase the book using that link, I will receive a small stipend.