authentic – my word for 2012

Lots of people are picking a defining word for this next year… so I decided to ask God to give me one too.  This is what I heard – AUTHENTIC – my word for 2012.

                                     Authentic means: not false or copied; genuine; real.                               Also entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy and true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.

authentic emotions – We are going through a lot of change this year – moving from our 17+ year international home in Mexico back to the States. This huge change creates anticipation and loss. In the next months, I want to be authentic about what I feel – not pretend to feel more than I do…not pretend to feel less… It is not easy for me to say good-bye’s; sometimes I want to stuff the pain. This year I want to genuinely grieve and let people know how much I have appreciated their impact in my life and how much I will miss them.

authentic fears – Change is hard. I am often afraid that I will not measure up to new expectations; I won’t have something worthwhile to contribute to new situations; I won’t know enough for the task. I wonder if I will “fit” in the new place; will I like it? Usually I control and conquer those fears and take on the challenge anyway, but this year I would like to be more real about the process and the struggle I go through.

authentic needs – I don’t like to feel stupid, uninformed or un-involved in important causes (a bit of a pride issue here?). I like to do things well, and I don’t like having to ask for help. The truth is, however, that I have a lot to learn, and there are many who can help teach me. I want to read more this year and ask more questions. I want to discuss what I am reading with others and learn from them. I want to make difference with my life, and I want to do it together with others. I will need to honestly admit my needs to do that.

authentic me – I want people to like me and enjoy time with me. I want people to ask my opinion and read what I write.  Sometimes I pretend to be more like others – and less like the real me – so that they will like me. Sometimes I want to believe that I have it all together instead of considering what others actually see in me. Sometimes I want to be like someone else, but in 2012 I am going to work on being “ok” with being me – true to my personality, spirit and character.

authentic relationship with God – This will be the most important area and the basis for all the issues above. It should be easier, since He already knows what I am really like. I wonder if God shakes His head and rolls His eyes when He sees me faking it? Or does He cry… wanting me to just contentedly accept how He made me? I plan to have some very authentic talks with Him this next year about that.

How about you?  Want to be more AUTHENTIC with me this year?  Or what is your word(s) for 2012?

I’d love to learn from you!

want to be a hero?

Julien Tromeur – stockvault-superhero113321

Superman. Batman. Wonder Woman. Spider-man. Have you ever dreamed of being a hero for someone?

Webster’s Dictionary defines a hero as: A person of distinguished valor or enterprise in danger, or fortitude in suffering; a prominent or central personage in any remarkable action or event; hence, a great or illustrious person.

A hero is also described as someone regarded as a model or ideal, or someone who fights for a cause.

Walt Emerson said, “Each man is a hero and oracle to somebody.”

Being a leader today provides us with many opportunities to be a hero.  There are enemies and suffering in this world of all types; there are battles to fight, needs to meet, people who hurt… God has called us to make a difference in this world and there is so much to do.

Being a leader “hero” today requires:

COMPASSION – God has given us the ability to care deeply about people and situations. I get a an aching pit in my stomach or energetically pound the table because I feel strongly about something… What is it that causes you to want to DO something? …lost souls, abused children, human trafficking, orphans and widows, injustice, pollution, teamwork?

Think about it… consider it… it doesn’t matter what it is, but if God has put the passion in your heart, I have learned that He will also give you the opportunity to get involved, and you can be a hero to someone (or many!) in that area.

ATTITUDE – Phil Collins describes a “level 5” leader, one who will leave a legacy, as one who has the right combination of humble modesty and confident will and resolve. Our world needs more people who are willing to give, to serve, and to go… and who can work hard and hang in there to get the results needed.

Most superheros didn’t go looking for their job; some tried desperately to avoid the responsibility… but eventually yielded their own desire for a quiet life of anonymity to meet the needs of others. I want to be the kind of leader who does not “lord-it-over” others, but who is strong in character and willing to persevere to get the job done. I want to honestly evaluate any growth area that might get in my way. How about you?

POWER – All superheros have a special source of power… and so do we! God has promised that when He calls us to something, He will also enable us with all that we need. We have His Word; we have His Spirit; we have an amazing variety of resources in His people. We have no excuse!

The trick is relying on His power and not my own, working together with His people and not alone. I remember that the hero usually gets in trouble when he forgets to use his special power – I need to remember who is in charge.

ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE – Superheros take on the enemy and trans-form their world. Nothing is too big, too scary, or too hard for them. They know that people are “worth it” and that people can make a difference. We are created for a purpose; when we let God work through us – even in seemingly small ways – we can make an eternal impact in someone else.

I want to see challenges from God’s perspective and remember that He put me here for a reason. I think there are too many negative role models in our world today and too many huge needs for any of us to sit on our thumbs and not get involved in the supernatural adventure of being a “hero”.

What do you think?  Do you want to be a hero with me?

false temptations “for sale”

for sale by idea go freedigitalphotos.netDo you ever feel like you “need” something? Do you ever feel that Satan knows just what that need is and knows to use it to tempt you?

The message at church this morning was based on Jesus’ time in the wilderness in Matthew 4. We looked at how Satan tempted Jesus. The verse that really moved me was Matthew 4:9…

And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

Satan was offering Jesus the kingdoms of the world and their glory, if Jesus would just worship him. The irony in the temptation is that Jesus ALREADY owed all the kingdoms – He created them! Jesus ALREADY was worthy of all the glory! What a foolish temptation… “Just follow me, and I will give you… what you already have” and yet…

I realize that Satan often uses that same kind of temptation on me. He offers me fulfillment for my “need” when God has ALREADY taken care of it.

Satan offers me love – in unhealthy relationships… but God has ALREADY loved me with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3). Satan tempts me with temporal monetary and material security… when God has ALREADY provided all I need (Eph 3:20). Satan tempts me with false promises of recognition and worth, when God has ALREADY proven His value of me by Christ’s death on the cross (Rom 5:8) .

When I feel “needy”, I hope to first consider if God has maybe already met that need for me, and I am just not seeing the provision or not remembering the truth. I don’t want to give in to a false temptation and “sell my soul” for something I already own!

Is there a need that Satan uses to tempt you… that God has already taken care of for you?