10 Words to RECOVER from a Broken Dream

Have you ever lost your way?  Are there any dreams you’ve given up on? Would you like to begin again?

Here are 10 words of hope to help you recover from a broken dream:

Recharge – Recharge your drained batteries. Read a good book, hang out with someone positive, or attend a conference. Find the way you gain energy.

Rest – Struggles drain us personally. Sometimes we can’t continue until we have an extended period of downtime. You may need a sabbatical.

Reward – Reward yourself for small achievements. You may just need one win to spur you to greater things.

Re-energize – As strange as it sounds, I find exercising to be helpful when I need more energy.

Resist – Push through the pain and resist the temptation to quit. You’ll be surprised how resilient you are if quitting is not an option.

Renew – Renew your passion for the vision you once believed in. It could be the vision of the person you intend to be.

Restart – Invite some change, begin something new or try a different approach. It’s okay to do something completely new!

Reclaim – You had a dream. You believed in it. It had potential. Perhaps you simply need to reclaim what you already had.

Rejoice – Sometimes you need to throw a party…even before you realize the victory. A celebration may give you the motivation to try again.

Remind – People follow a leader. Remind others of their role in achieving their individual dream. Spurring another to victory will energize you.

Here’s the plan:

  • Pick the one of these you feel you need the most, write it on an index card, then place it somewhere you’ll see often.
  • Invite a friend to hold you accountable.
  • Share your story with others in an effort to help another recover.

It’s time. Move forward.

What other word would you share to help someone recover? If it starts with an “R”…even better.

What’s It Going to Take To Solve the “Men Problem?”

This is a guest post by Patrick Morley and his team at Man in the Mirror Ministry. I fully support the work they have done and are doing to reach men for Christ. The book by Patrick Morley had a profound impact on my life and I encourage you to consider this new opportunity.

Here are some thoughts from Patrick Morley from Man in the Mirror:

See if you agree with this…

• Can you see any way of ever getting society right unless we get the church right?
• If that’s true, can you see any way of ever getting the church right unless we get families right?
• If you’re still with me, can you see any way of ever getting families right unless we get marriages right?
• And, can you see any way of ever getting marriages right unless we get men right?

Sure, every now and then you hear about a woman who rips her family apart, but even then it’s usually after years of emotional neglect. It really is about the men.

How can we help get men right? To become a disciple of Jesus is the highest honor to which a man can aspire. To be born again and not become a disciple is like joining the Army and getting a rifle that you never learn how to clean and shoot.

The good news is that thousands of leaders and churches are learning how to disciple men so they can walk with God in our kooky culture. How do they do it?

For my PhD dissertation I studied the question, “Why do some churches succeed at men’s discipleship while others languish or fail?” I wanted to know from a management perspective, “What are the factors that lead to success or failure when implementing a men’s discipleship program?” And I wanted to discover, “What are successful pastors doing differently than the pastors of ineffective or failed ministries to men?”

To get at the answers, I employed multiple-case-study research to compare and contrast churches with effective men’s discipleship programs to churches with ineffective or failed programs.

The factors that differentiated the highly effective churches were….
1. A senior pastor with the vision to disciple every man in the church,
2. The determination to succeed no matter what, and
3. A sustainable strategy to make disciples.

I’m so tired of watching men go to events, get all amped up, charge out determined to do better, soar briefly, then glide (or crash) back to earth. In my experience these men are deeply frustrated that they can’t sustain the change. It doesn’t have to be that way. Thousands of churches have figured it out. But how do we get the word to those churches that are still in the dark?

At Man in the Mirror, the ministry I founded 25+ years ago, we’ve launched an initiative to hire 330 full-time Area Directors located throughout the United States to help churches more effectively disciple their men. Each Area Director will have a territory of 1,000 churches, which will put “boots on the ground” close to churches and men. We have a lot of early momentum, and the first 30 Area Directors have been appointed.

Now we need to surface scores of new candidates. We’re praying for men who are passionate about Christ, men’s discipleship, and who love the church. You can find out everything you need to know HERE. Join us in our fight to save our society and build the Kingdom.

Go HERE now to join this effort.

Editor’s Note: For 25 years Pat and his organization, Man in the Mirror, have focused on men’s discipleship. They’ve trained thousands of church leaders. In 2009 they reached the milestone of impacting 10,000,000 men for Christ. Their new goal is to see “10,000,000 new men leading powerful transformed lives in Christ by 2020.” Their new Area Director strategy is putting “boots on the ground” close to churches and men.

One Song that Can Change Your Marriage

I was listening to “She Believes in Me” written by Steve Gibb and sung by Kenny Rogers the other day. I was on the treadmill, had my iPod on shuffle, and it was the song that played. Years ago I used to share that song on marriage retreats I led. Contained within it is one secret…one principle…that can dramatically change, maybe even save, a marriage.

I know, one song right?  But, I’m fully convinced it can.

Here are the lyrics, in case you don’t remember them: (The bold emphasis is to make my point.)

While she lays sleeping, I stay out late at night and play my songs
And sometimes all the nights can be so long
And it’s good when I finally make it home, all alone
While she lays dreaming, I try to get undressed without the light
And quietly she says how was your night?
And I come to her and say, it was all right, and I hold her tight

And she believes in me, I’ll never know just what she sees in me
I told her someday if she was my girl, I could change the world
With my little songs, I was wrong
But she has faith in me, and so I go on trying faithfully
And who knows maybe on some special night, if my song is right
I will find a way, find a way…

While she lays waiting, I stumble to the kitchen for a bite
Then I see my old guitar in the night
Just waiting for me like a secret friend, and there’s no end
While she lays crying, I fumble with a melody or two
And I’m torn between the things that I should do
And she says to wake her up when I am through, 
God her love is true…

And she believes in me, I’ll never know just what she sees in me
I told her someday if she was my girl, I could change the world
With my little songs, I was wrong
But she has faith in me, and so I go on trying faithfully
And who knows maybe on some special night, if my song is right
I will find a way, while she waits… while she waits for me for me!

End of song.

That’s it. 

Did you catch it? It’s pretty simple. I’ve written about the principle before HERE and HERE, but the principle is simple. Inside the heart of every man is a desire to be respected, especially by the one he loves. When a man feels that high level of respect, he will do just about anything to earn it again…so he goes “on trying faithfully.”

I know. The woman needs respect too. I know also, if she’s not receiving the love she deserves, it will be much harder for her to respect. I get that. I completely understand. It doesn’t even seem fair to suggest what I’m suggesting…respecting anyone who doesn’t deserve respect. It would almost be like telling someone to love someone who doesn’t deserve to be love or forgiving someone who doesn’t deserve forgiveness. That’s radical talking.

I can’t help, however, pointing out something I’ve seen improve many marriages. When the woman makes even slight changes in how she respects…in the way she says things…the language she uses…the genuineness of her admiration…something changes in the man…something good.

And who knows…maybe on some special night…if his song is right…he’ll will find a way, while she waits… while she waits for him…

By the way, Cheryl, thanks for believing in me…even when I don’t believe in myself.

Don’t Discount God because of Circumstances

The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. Genesis 21:1

It made no sense.

Sarah was too old.

Everyone was laughing.

They had tried to “help God out”.

But, God did as God promised to do.

In spite of the circumstance.

In spite of the irrationality of the situation.

In spite of those who said it couldn’t be done.

In spite of how long it seemed to be taking.

Sarah delivered a son, even in her very old age.

Don’t discount God because of your circumstances.

God is going to do what God chooses to do. He keeps His promises.

Where in your life are you waiting for God?

Having to Walk by Faith Lately?

We walk by faith, not by sight… (2 Corinthians 5:7)

That’s why…

  • You can’t always understand the ways of God…
  • You can’t always find your way in this world…
  • You often seem confused by the circumstances of your life…
  • You seldom seem to have all the pieces of the puzzle…
  • You struggle to make sense of life at times…

Because you walk by faith, not by sight.

You know what faith is…

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Faith is a substance. It’s not faith in you…it’s faith in God, not in your understanding or your abilities…but in God’s understanding, God’s abilities.

And, remember…

Without faith it is impossible to please God… (Hebrews 11:6)

Having to walk by faith lately?

If so, you are on the right track to finding His pleasure.

By the way, you may want to read a previous post, 10 Tips to Understanding Faith HERE.

Coveting the Wrong Mansion

I was running recently in Asheville, NC. Have you ever been there? What a beautiful city! The area where I was running is full of big houses. Mansions galore. Not Biltmore big, but bigger than my house big. Lots bigger. I was running part of the time with my mouth open. I couldn’t believe the enormity.

I kept thinking:

Wow! Who lives in those houses? What would it be like to have a house like that? How cool is that house?

Then the thought occurred to me…

It felt convicting at first, then comforting.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)

(I love having Scripture hidden in my heart!)

I was instantly reminded that I have treasure in God that no one could afford. No one in Asheville or anywhere in the world. Bill Gates, or the new richest man in the world (I hear Bill’s not the richest anymore) couldn’t afford the treasure I’ve been afforded by my God.

Next time you run (or walk or drive) past a mansion, remember where your real treasure is.

Instead of being overwhelmed by the things of this world…be overwhelmed by the glories of His world. My richness is in Christ. How rich am I?

Are you ever like me? Do your thoughts ever get side-tracked?

Perhaps you are coveting the wrong mansion.

Often we focus on the wrong treasure. The cheaper treasure. The one that won’t last.

When is the last time God redirected your thoughts towards Him?

Peace Often Comes Through Obedience

In my experience, peace often doesn’t come until obedience begins. Seldom do I have complete peace prior to beginning to obey what I sense God is calling me to do.

Many times the direction God appears to be leading me doesn’t make sense. I’m restless. I don’t sleep well.  I question myself and what I’m sensing.

I’ve previously written steps I take to discern God’s will (You can read that HERE and HERE), but after I’ve done that process, and I’m still sensing God’s leading, the next place for me hasn’t always been an overwhelming sense of peace. The next place for me is one of obedience.

I’ve learned I may have to get my feet wet (Joshua 3) before the waters begin to part and peace begins to fill my heart.

Are you in one of those times of discernment? Do you sense God’s leading? Do you believe God is calling you to a new level of faith and dependence on Him?

The next step may be to get your feet wet.

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Reflection on the Poem “Footprints”

Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. Psalm 77:19

...through the darkest days of my life…..where were you God…..I only saw one set of footprints in the sand…..where were you God….those were the times, my child, when I carried you…….

You are familiar with the “Footprints” poem that has been commercialized onto plates, pictures, ties, refrigerator magnets, bookmarks, etc, etc, etc. I once thought it was overused. In fact, I wondered where the Biblical reference for it was. I knew it was sound doctrinally, because I had experienced it so many times in my life, but I didn’t have a reference to back it up until I read this verse years ago.

Of course, the opening Bible verse refers to the famous march through the middle of the waters by that powerful leader we know as Moses. (I wrote more about that time HERE.)

Can you imagine how the Israelites must have felt? They had escaped the years of slavery and persecution to head for what they thought was a chance at real freedom and along came the Pharoah’s finest, ready to put them on the chopping block. Needless to say they were slightly disappointed. Moses summoned God, who told them to go through the center of the sea.

Yea, right! Yet, as strange as that may have sounded at the time, the people enter the “water” on dry ground! I know, it doesn’t make sense, but that is what happened. Read it for yourself if you don’t believe me.  (Exodus 14)

Did they see the footprints of God? No! Did they doubt who parted the water? Did they question who dried up the dirt? Well, let me ask you, could you have done it? Neither could they!

They knew that God was being God….again!

Has He ever been God in your life? Can you explain it? Did you see His footprints? But if you submit yourself to God and allow God to do His work in your life, make no mistake about it, you will clearly know He is God and there is no other!

Read the poem footprints again. You probably have it on a coffee mug somewhere. Then recall the many times that He has taken you through the waters. Thank Him for carrying you all the way…though His footprints may not be seen!

He is a mighty God!