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When it’s too hard…

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

 8We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our[a] behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

The Lord has been speaking to me lately. What do you do when things get too hard? As I meditate on this scripture the truth begins to present itself and its that truth that I share with you today. Paul tells us in Philippians that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. The reason James tells us to rejoice in all kinds of trials is because trials are an opportunity. They’re an opportunity to surrender to the Lord and see him do what would otherwise be the impossible.

When things seem to get too tough…what do you do? I would submit to you that the best way to respond is to lift up concerns and fears to the Lord in prayer and pray for his will. Don’t pray for the way out that you most desire or whatever you may feel at the time. You can pray those things if you want to but first and foremost…pray for the Lord’s will and watch him use your impossibility to show his power.

Chris

October 8, 2008 Posted by | God | 1 Comment

Last Night’s Discussion

Hey everyone, I wanted to share a beautiful nugget that I got last night. Right now my men’s group is going through the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and last night we discussed the Law of Influence. The Law of Influence says basically that Leadership is Influence….nothing more, nothing less. John Maxwell takes this chapter and really explains that leadership is NOT about position or title but purely and simply influence. He LOVES to say that the man who says he leads when no one follows is ONLY TAKING A WALK!!!

So last night we discussed the essence of leadership and influence. It got us thinking about the influence God has entrusted us with. The point was brought up that whether we like it or not….we WILL influence people either positively or negatively. All of the interactions we have at work, Starbucks, the bank so on and so forth are a gift. My questions to the guys last night and my question to you is………..

1. What influence has God entrusted you with?

2. How have you been doing as a steward of that influence?

The main thing the Lord has been dealing with me on is the ACT OF SURRENDER. For me Surrender begins with that time in the morning when I get with the Lord and essentially swing the door of my heart WIDE open for him to come and do with that day WHATEVER he sees fit. I find that the more I surrender, the more leadership and influence I’m given.

Love to hear your thoughts on this guys…

Have a GREAT day!!!

 

Chris

September 2, 2008 Posted by | God | Leave a comment

Liberty University

Today I read my first assignment for my first class towards my Masters in Divinity. It had to do with the intertestamental period which basically means the time between Malachi and Matthew. I’ll tell you what…it was like reading a foreign language. The different rulers and empires that existed and what they did and were about…..wow!!! I know that this is going to broaden my perspective but it will only be by the grace of God that I roll through this. I am excited though….I’m always down for a good challenge.

 

Chris

August 19, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Success Vs. Efficacy

For those of you who have been faithful to my blog…I apologize for not updating it that frequently but the Lord hit me with something today so here goes:

I am studying the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell and there was an insight in Chapter 1 that I thought was hot. He gives a chart but I will attempt to explain it in words. Essentially he says that just about anyone can achieve success. Try to imagine a chart with a vertical line and a horizontal line. On the horizontal line you have success from 1 to 10. On the the vertical line you have leadership from 1-10. The measure of overall effectiveness is the combination of success and leadership. If I had a 1 on success but a 10 in leadership, I would have a skinny vertical rectangle. If I had a 10 in success but a 1 on leadership, I would have a skinny horizontal triangle….get the picture?

The thing that hit me was that even if I was really successful but was not a good leader, my overall effectiveness would be very low. I think that as a culture we put a lot of value on success. If someone makes allot of money, accumulates a lot and has a lot of status and notoriety…we think he/she is the man/woman. But is success the goal or is it effectiveness. If success is the goal, then we’re selfish cause success has a lot to do with me.

 Seeing this chart in the book convinced me that no matter how good I get at what I do (event planning, speaking, leading small groups etc…), if I don’t get really good at leadership, my life won’t have much effect. What is leadership you may ask? Influence…..If I can not only win myself but figure out how to multiply myself and make everyone win…then I’ll be effective.

Hope that wasn’t too wordy (-:

 

Chris

August 14, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Honduras Pix

July 29, 2008 Posted by | God, Life | Leave a comment

Honduras

I just got back from Honduras and I will NEVER be the same. These are some of the kids at the Lamb institute which is an organization that takes in orphans and under priviledged Honduran children to try to give them a better shot. They offer Christ-centered education as well as daycare services to children whose parents need more hours at work.

The trip was ABSOLUTELY phenomenal and God definitely used it to broaden my perspective and help me realize that the global need for Jesus so far exceeds anything I could ever begin to fathom.

Here are the take aways:

1. Pray HUGE global prayers because God is immeasurably more than anything we could ask or imagine

2. Ask the Lord how he wants to use you to be a GLOBAL kingdom builder

3. Pray about using your monetary resources to help others in fulfilling the Great Commission.

 

That’s all for now

B blessed!!!

 

Russo

July 29, 2008 Posted by | God | Leave a comment

Surrender

1 a: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand <surrendered the fort> b: to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another

2 a: to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner b: to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)

This right here has been the name of the game in my walk lately. Jesus demands that we surrender to him. He doesn’t seem to take much time trying to explain all of the ins and outs of the whole process. He points to who he is and asks the question, “Will you follow me?” 

I’m so thankful that the Lord responds when we say to him, “Lord, I don’t always want to follow you but I want to want to.” Have you ever been there? I find myself in that place farely often. A place where I can’t honestly say I want to follow him completely but I want to want to. In other words…deep down inside is a burning ember that wants to pursue him with arms high and heart abandoned.

Lord, work in us to want to want to. I believe the Lord hears that prayer.

Chris

July 6, 2008 Posted by | God | Leave a comment

Back to School

I had a feeling this day would come and it has. The Lord has called me back to school. I’ve had so much amazing training at Seacoast and this will continue as I’m going to get my degree online…..but nonetheless more education is required. I’ve had a thirst to get a Bible degree for some time but I just simply did not feel called to leave Seacoast for this. Now it is possible for me to get a great degree online and continue my job here.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this!!! The official degree is a Master’s in Divinity from Liberty University with a concentration on Christian Leadership. I wish I had some clue as to what that meant!!! (-: I start August 18 so be praying that the Lord would give me grace to do all that he has in store. Even as I request that I realize that he already is….he doesn’t call the equipped but he DOES equip the called!!!

Praise Jesus!

June 23, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Hulk

So I was thinking about it and I’ve found it to be true that the Christian Life is very similar to the life of the Hulk….or Bruce Banner. You see Bruce Banner’s blood had been infiltrated with the Gamma poisoning that made him the Hulk.

As Christians, the life altering, world overcoming power of Jesus actually becomes who we are. We don’t have to act like the hulk…we don’t have to pretend to be Christians. When Jesus changes us from the inside out….the overcoming power of the Living God becomes one with us. Jesus victory becomes our victory…his righteousness becomes our righteousness.

The Hulk has nothing on us!!!

June 19, 2008 Posted by | God, Life | Leave a comment

The Pager

What you may see here is just an ordinary pager….what it actually is…..you have no idea. It is a porthole into a whole new demension. You see, this is the week that I am Pastor On Call with Seacoast and I assure you that it has not been an ordinary week…….to say the least.

Let me explain to you what this pager means. This means that of the thousands of people in the Charleston area with varying needs (from finances to stress to you name it)…anyone can call in and reach me and I MUST respond.

Now don’t get me wrong, being Pastor On Call is a great honor and I don’t want to paint the wrong picture. It’s the people that abuse the church’s generosity…or try to…that make this week tougher than most. I’ve found more important that this new world of POC serves to pop the sweet bubble that I spend most days living in. My normal bubble is a bubble where people are like me and don’t have great material needs. It’s a bubble that I LIKE to think the rest of the world lives in.

The truth is that all over….even in our own backyard….exists a world of need and want that we can’t begin to imagine. What I find even more profound is the fact that our Heavenly Father sees all of those needs…so far beyond what I can see….and somehow made provision through Jesus. Perhaps in a way that it couldn’t otherwise be accomplished…this week of Pastor On Call has stretched me. It has stretched me to humble myself and realize that my conception of the world and God’s conception of the world truly are as different and contrasting as the heavens and the earth.

 

June 7, 2008 Posted by | Church | Leave a comment