Turtle on a Post

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.
Proverbs 12:25 HCSB

Ever felt like a turtle on a post? No way to get your footing? Stranded without a friend?

That feeling is insane. It drives heart and mind into a dither. Life can be like that.

That is when you need a friend. Someone who cares enough to take you out for a good steak dinner and laugh with you is a Godsend. A friend who meets you all the way at your doorstep instead of halfway to theirs is precious.

Be a friend to a stranded turtle. Don’t judge, correct, confront or constrain. Express kindness and companionship. They will find their footing. They need a friend.

Selah.

Pastor Phil

Change Psalm 30 #8

Change can bring you to your knees.

Psalm 30

I called to you, Lord;
    I begged for your help:

There is nothing wrong with begging, when you have been brought to your knees following God.  All moments in following God are not fun.  You may experience deep contrition and even despondency.  Elijah despaired and wanted to die.  Jonah become morose.  Jeremiah cried out in anguish.  Moses struggled.  Jesus sweated drops of blood.  God will take you to your breaking point.

Some teach that peace is the indicator of God’s will.  Really?  Have you read a Bible.  Men and women went through great anguish when following the voice of God.  He means to change us and change can rattle our souls.

It makes me laugh, when I think of the times God has completely thrown me into an unwinnable situation with my strength but a miraculous solution on my knees.

A major shift in which I am going today leaves me nowhere to go but my knees.  Every attempt I have made to advance the cause of Christ and move the vision forward failed miserably.  I don’t mean a little bit, I mean with embarrassment, misery, pain, consternation, frustration, lost dollars, pitiful results, humiliation, and humbling.  The humbling is God.  The rest is my human flesh mess.

It is hilarious.  He has brought me through all my attempts and all my understanding to a point of total dependence on Him.  I cannot do anything right. He will not let me fail.

He has intervened miraculously on every front of my life, where my efforts have failed.

This is not new.  This is deep training.  He and I have walked through other situations like this, where He intervenes and teaches me to trust and obey when all seems lost and flawed.

Go ahead and beg.  Get on your knees and cry out to God.  Give up all you know and let Him intervene.

Taking the Land

For they did not take the land by their sword — their arm did not bring them victory — but by Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your face, for You were pleased with them.
Psalms 44:3 hcsb

Taking the Land

Great ventures risk great failures and successes. Both are possible. Both can happen simultaneously. All success is not 100%. A good success can most often be found on the end of a trail strewn with flops. And then sometimes the venture is just a big flop. It happens.

Surveys

Doing faither/daughter summits, we uncovered interesting notes. Teen and twenty-something daughters were asked what they wanted most from dads. The daughters want to be told about failures. Seems dads like to brag about the good and ignore the flops. Daughters want to know. They want to know that dads know that it is okay to flop. All of us need to know it okay to make mistakes.

Workplace

A young assistant transitioned to a new job. It was a good promotion and I was excited for her and sad to loose her. Rather than say goodbye in person, she left a note. That was strange for me. In the note she explained how hard it was for her to say goodbye. She had learned much and was most grateful that I taught her it was okay to fail, to make mistakes. Her dad made her feel she had to be perfect and she learned to flop and go on when working for me. It so impacted her she would remember for life.

A Big Flop

This year I put together a grand plan for a Tree Festival. It was a huge effort with a lot of design, marketing, announcements, letters, phone calls, and energy. It was a flop. A big kerfuffle. A mash up. A bomb in the wrong direction. And I became exhausted after pouring every excess ounce of energy and pride into it only to have to cancel at the crux point in the exit plan. We were poised to send announcements out across 100 locations and invest thousands of dollars in marketing and I had to cancel due to lack of needed supporters.

Personal?

It seemed to say, “You are alone. You are a failure.” And more flop followed flop. Energy on another project resulted in the same. A team hit the wall and could not move forward. Three huge flops happened at once with my energy, a core team, and a needed project. Add to that a project at home that crashed. Get the picture. All looked like a flop.

Remember the Alamo

In the war between Mexoco and Texas, the Alamo flop became a rally cry. Can you imagine your battle cry being, “Remember the Big Flop!” Not a bad strategy really. Big flops can be big successes if you learn from them and pursue the goal and the vision not the skirmishes.

Pursue the Goal – Let God Prevail

My sword is not big enough for God ventures. I need His. After and in the middle of the flops, I sought God in prayer. The flops still happened. Even the prayer times failed. People committed and then in six prayer events one person showed one time. Talk about lonely! And then His arm was revealed.

In a series of moves, He pulled back the covers of several big successes in spite of my messes. Partners came along and delivered huge wins for the team that hit the wall, another new team appeared for which we had looked and prayed for years, a helper with specific abilities that we needed joined, and a community event that is more impactful that the festival I planned is in high motion.

The Lord had success planned in every area in which I flopped. Had I succeeded, I would miss His supply and been on my own. Yes, He worked through me, but He did the work. Now I can rest in Him and relax and be restored. What I really needed was a good flop that led me to lean on Him.

Lean

Take those flops and learn to lean. He has a mean right arm of power that delivers. He is ready, willing, and able to deliver the right wins even when we flop pitifully and especially when we remember to lean into His faithfulness.

More flops will come. More successes will be delivered. And I learn to lean.

Change Psalm 30 #7

“Lord, when You showed Your favor, You made me stand like a strong mountain; when You hid Your face, I was terrified.” Psalms‬ ‭30:7‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

The show and hide of God builds a confidence in us, when we let it. When we let it. When we let it.

Those are key words, “When we let it.”

Take the strength of the favor and apply it to the moments when He seems to be hiding. He is not hiding. He is watching. He is watching to see your faithfulness in the fearful. He is watching to see your loyalty in the challenging. He is watching to see your love when you feel unlovely. He is watching to see your faith grow.

Faith is amplified in favor on the mountainside. Faith is founded in the lone days in the valleys of desperation.

When we let it..

Too Stupid to Be Human?

Agur is a friend. He just dives in and levels the playing field as he approaches God and wisdom.

“The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭30:1-3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

His weariness causes him to get down on himself, but he pops out quickly realizing God is Bigger. He really is not stupid, he just positions himself as a lifelong learner and attacks his own pride. People don’t collect your writings because you are stupid.

“First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neithepoverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.” Proverbs‬ ‭30:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This next piece of wisdom just is beautiful. Keep me with a reasonable happiness, Lord. Keep me contained. Let my life be neither too troublesome, nor too extravagant.

In the end, we do not take a UHaul to the cemetery. But our friends and family gather in the last moments and that is the sum of our lives here on this side.

God is faithful in these days of change. He speaks quietly, though. Do not expect Him to scream into your life, but listen for His small moments. Take an Agur Attitude – too stupid, willing to learn. You might see something you have never seen. Go someplace you have never gone. Enjoy someone you have never met. With an Agur Attitude.

Praying for you that God instills wisdom for the moments and a healthy attitude of adjustment that is ever learning and never too smart.

The Think Doctor, Pastor Phil

Change Psalm 30 #6

The process of change requires humility mixed with courage and defiance.

“When I was secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.””
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭30:6‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

What drives us to change?

Each of us must examine our changes in light of motivation.  When we are comfortable and secure and feel accomplished, we believe nothing can defeat us.  Change requires us to lay down our comfort and take up the uncomfortable.  That process of change moves us into fearful moments as we lose our footing and regain under new learning.

The Change Curve

Every change takes us from our present place of productivity into a dive of struggling.  Doubt, adapting to new tools, acquiring stronger beliefs in our progress and the progress of others, a desire to run back into the old ways, and an aversion to the unknown assail us.  Immediately after the change, we desire escape.  Read more here https://wp.me/p2BVbp-av Change is Never Straight 

Humility will allow us to be processed in the change curve into a higher level of impact and influence.

SOLUM is going through a tough curve right now as an organization. As the director, it affects me greatly.  The church plant has been merged into a congregation that can give it what it needs in pastoral availability and a base congregation.  The vibrancy of our team comes into the stability of others.  The community education is being purposefully handed to another to do the training and is being taken to online interactive to all other counties to be a part.  Anger Resolution is being developed to a more effective level with increased understanding of CBT and Biblical guidelines. Expansion nationally in partnership with the National Center for Fathering and National Association for Grandparenting means learning new means and modes of financial undergirds.  All of this is good and all of this is stressful.

It is a good time to remember the faithfulness of God in the times of prosperity but not to be overconfident and lose sight that He is the builder of witty inventions and makes our hands to prosper.  It is not us, but Him.

Change Psalm 30 #6

When I was secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.”
Psalms 30:6 HCSB
I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken. How long will you threaten a man? Will all of you attack as if he were a leaning wall or a tottering stone fence? They only plan to bring him down from his high position. They take pleasure in lying; they bless with their mouths, but they curse inwardly. Selah Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken.
Psalms 62:1‭-‬6 HCSB

Change brings out treasure from hidden closets, when God is the Author of your change.

This morning as I woke the Spirit spoke to my Spirit, “Put on the prophet’s robe. This is what you asked.” It rattled me.

Over the last few weeks, every day in Gainesville I run into another person who has been changed by the ministry of SOLUM and the Morning Moment. These are ones in the community that I rarely see face to face. At Walmart, Taco Casa, Neu House, Fried Pie and other places, they come up and say thank you. Online, they check inand say thank you. It is more than normal. Almost like they know I am leaving, even though they don’t. It is the Holy Spirit prompting and reminding me that the discipleship and investment of love continues when I am gone.

And the Holy Spirit yearns to express Himself stronger than ever. And He speaks of fresh oil to a weary land. My weariness will pass with rest and exercise and a stable nutrition and home and family time. The deep prophetic anointing will rush to the top a s manifest. It is time. The season of preparation closes and the next season begins.

These are days that require great faith. Stepping into yet another unknown that is secured in Christ.