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Why Being Overlooked Might Not Be So Bad

Have you ever been overlooked?

If you have, maybe you have felt that it isn't fair especially if someone undeserving received what you were after.  You can’t understand it.

Recently I heard a story about this very thing. The story was about a man named Zacchaeus. I have heard the story many times before, but this time it made a different impression.

Zacchaeus was a tax collector. Back in his day that meant he was basically the scum of the earth in the eyes of the common people. He cheated them out of money and caused oppression to their families.

Then one day a well-known man walked into town. Everyone was trying to get an audience with him. Zacchaeus being vertically challenged climbed up into a tree to get a sight of this man who was being swarmed by the crowds. The man looks up above the crowd and sees Zacchaeus in the tree. He calls for him to come down and says “Zacchaeus, I will be dining at your house tonight.”

The crowd was taken back. Shock entered their hearts and mind. Displeasure over the decision was made known. How could this man, whose name was Jesus, in all his righteousness eat with the sinner of all sinners!

Ever felt like this? Your righteousness overlooked. Oh come on admit it! We all get a case of the “It’s not fair!”

I can imagine the crowd’s heartbreak! But something amazing happened that evening at dinner. Because of his encounter with Jesus, Zacchaeus had a heart change. He even vowed to repay the people he had cheated 4 times what he had taken from them! Not impressed?

Let this speak to you: Maybe when you feel overlooked God is actually working something much greater to your good.

You see not only did Jesus, by His grace, change the heart of Zacchaeus, but He also provided justice to those Zacchaeus had cheated.

Think about it, maybe God is working out a blessing for you by showing grace to someone else! 

Jeremiah 29:11(NLT)

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Ever Been Questioned? Let It Make You Better Not Bitter.

You are wrong! The three words everyone longs to hear.

No? You don’t actually like those words. Whew! Me either nor does the majority of our society.  The evidence is everywhere. It is called the status quo. You do what the leader says and don’t ask questions.

We instill this in our children from an early age with the words “because I said so.” Then send them off to a place of learning where, if you are lucky, the routine agenda continues and everyone wants to be like everyone else.  

Then there is adulthood where most of us are stuck. Day in and day out the routine continues. The goal? To be on top. The problem? You have no idea what the top means and where it is for you. It’s when the status quo empties you that you start to question:  Who am I? Is there more to this life? Did I choose the right path? What do I believe and why?  

And yes questions mean that someone (quite possibly me) will be offended. It’s because your questioning is easily mistaken for those three little words used in the opening. You are wrong.

Don’t believe me? Parents, let your child question a decision you made or an instruction you gave. Employees, let your boss question your performance on your latest project. Leaders, let your team question your vision (ouch!). Wives, let your husbands ask what you did today.  Husbands, let your wife question the process of that DIY project that you’re doing.

Do you hear it yet? You are wrong! You are wrong! You are wrong!

And you thought this was a blog for encouragement.

Well here goes. The encouraging conversation I had with myself:
Stop hearing the questions as an attack, even if they are. Instead, be kind to listen. Be generous to explain. Be teachable, knowing you don’t have all the answers. Be brave enough to stand in the storm, and bold enough to fail. Be wise and choose your battles.  Be patient so that in time you may realize success. Be humble to admit fault and praise others often.

And then there was this last thing:
Stop hindering your children from questioning. Instead, take time to hear their heart and to share yours. Allow them room to discover the wonders of this life because coloring inside the lines is overrated. Allow them freedom to question and confirm their beliefs about themselves and God.  Then create a better story with your family. A story that tells of faith, adventure, and above all love.

A thought for you:
Jesus was questioned a lot. Many times with ill intention, but with every answer He was able to reveal more of Himself.  What a concept!

Will you join me in this challenge: When you’re questioned start hearing will you tell me a little more about yourself and your idea and stop hearing you are wrong!  

Comment below to let me know your joining! 

Child of God, Get Up!

We all fall down. It is a part of life. Sometimes we’re pushed, sometimes we trip, and other times we seem to throw ourselves to the ground. Regardless of the cause, there is an opportunity to get back up!

Get up and move forward. Use the time of struggle to teach you and strengthen you.  Don’t be defined by failure. Without failure we would never know success.

Reject the negative thoughts that tell you that you will never overcome this time. Or the ones that tell you to just give up. Or even the ones that torment you with what will everyone think.

Instead fill your mind with powerful truth: I can do all things through Christ. I am not condemned. I am more than a conquer.  

Is there a time that you have gotten up from failure? I would love to hear from you and let your story inspire others. 

The godly may fall seven times, but they will get up again.
    But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. 
                                                               Proverbs 24:16 

Feeling knocked down? 
Check out this video. Let the words sink deep into your soul: 

This is love calling out to the brokenness. 
One day you are going to shine again. 
You may be knocked down but not out forever.  
We lose our way, we get back up again. 
It never too late to get back up again.

"But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and 
when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.Luke 22:32 

It's time for somebody to get up and shine!

A Review of Seth Godin's book, Tribes – Top Ideas Any Leader Can Use

Recently I read the book Tribes by Seth Godin. I am convinced that Seth is a genius. He empowers all who will to lead. He has created a culture, a tribe if you will, to effected change whenever and wherever it’s needed. He celebrates rebel rousers with a cause, and inspires a good multitude of people to think differently about marketing their idea. As simple as some of the ideas in the book are, I am amazed at the profound roots they have.

Tribes is small book that should be a quick read, but if you’re like me, you will need time to absorb it and re-read sections. All this being said, I highly recommend anyone looking to gain influence to spread an idea read this. 

Here is a list of my SEVEN favorite ideas and quotes from the book:

“What most people want in a leader is something that’s very difficult to find: we want someone who listens.”

“Every leader is different. The very nature of leadership is that you’re not doing what’s been done before. If you were, you’d be following, not leading.”

Leaders don’t care about getting credit, they care about their mission, spreading the faith, seeing something happen.

“If your organization requires success before commitment, it will never have either.”

“It’s the world’s job to get you to be quiet and follow. The status quo is the status quo for a reason.”

“Caring is the key emotion at the center of the tribe.”

“Leaders make a ruckus”

Now that you see the great stuff that awaits are you ready to read it? If so, leave a comment telling what you hope to gain from the book.

Have you read Tribes? If so, leave me a comment sharing its impact on you.

I’ll go first: I read the book because I want to be a difference maker, to crush the status quo, and leave things better than I found them.  Reading Tribes has given me great insight into how I can do that through my blog and Cool Table Ministries, a non-profit my husband and I started.

Can’t wait to hear from you! 

The Ugly Mark That Healed The Soul.

This is a post that I wrote earlier this year after a baseball incident left me with an unsightly mark. A mark that eventually helped cleanse and heal a part of my soul:

Life is full of surprises and sometimes you get a black eye. Literally. Like me, for example. I was sitting at my son’s baseball game chatting with other parents. The first batter stepped up. Foul ball right over the fence. It was headed to a group of moms to my right. I turned and yelled “heads up!” The ball never fell. What! Where had it gone?

Smack! It smashed into my right cheekbone. Instead of taking the course it was on, the ball hit a light post, ricocheted off, and found me.  It all happened so fast. Never did I see that playing out in such a way.

The next day, I was one colorful mess. There was an obvious fail written all over my face.  I would have to leave the house and be seen in public. Everyone would see this blemish. Embarrassment set in. What would people think? Should I tell everyone I meet what happened just so there were no assumptions?

I went about my day. There were some stares, odd looks, and a few moments of discomfort. Then at the end of it, I realized I still did life. I overcome the need to explain my blemish to everyone. I settled into the day not concerned with what others may think. After all, I held the truth. If they were really concerned, they could easily ask.

This experience got me thinking about the moments in life that give us a black eye figuratively. A broken relationship, a lost opportunity, a dream that didn't come to pass. Many times these things blindside us. They leave their planned course and crash into un-expecting souls like us.

When we come out of the daze caused by impact, we feel the sting of pain. There is a blemish left on the heart. And many times as with a literal black eye; fail is written on the face.  

The questions are the same. Will anyone notice? Should I just tell everyone so there are no assumptions?

There may be a temptation to hide away, but here is truth. We are more self-conscious about our blemishes (fails) than most of the world. And those who are concerned and choose to make assumptions rather than asking for truth, well that is drama that you didn't need in your life away!  

In life there will be black eyes, but you get to choose how you will respond. Will you get up and live or will you run and hide?

Let me hear your stories!