From Employee to Partner

partner

The title of this post has been sitting in my drafts for over a year. When I created the title, I was referring to our partnership with God in our lives. Since creating this title, I have definitely grown from being God’s employee to God’s partner in life. So what is the difference? Next, I will offer my perspective…

An employee is defined as “a person employed for wages or salary, especially at a nonexecutive level.” There are “good” employees and “bad” employees. Good employees uphold their duties they have been assigned, at times go above and beyond to complete their tasks, are generally reliable, and are a good representation of the company. Employees also earn wages or a salary for their work and may do some things above their duties, but not too much, as they will expect compensation for their time invested after a while. A bad employee shows up to work (most of the time) and may or may not fulfill their full work duties day to day. A bad employee is not reliable, but consistent in their behavior. They may be reprimanded, but never quite do enough to be fired, as they know their wages or salary are attached to their role. A bad employee often brings down the morale of the company and often complain as they are performing the duties they consented to when first being hired. As an employer, it’s quite painful to pay a bad employee.

In your relationship with God, which type of employee are you, a bad employee or a good employee? Do you dutiful perform the tasks given to you? (Dutiful meaning you are obedient, but lack a real desire or enthusiasm to do the work you are doing.) Do you go above and beyond, only if at some point compensation is attached to your efforts? Are you reliable? Or do you begrudgingly show up to work everyday? Do you complain about every task given to you? Do you only perform your duties if God compensates you for your work? Do you continue to hold on to your job only because you idolize your paycheck? Are you a good representation of your employer?

In contrast, let’s explore the difference between an employee and a partner. A partner is a leader within a company and adds value to the company’s mission and vision. Here are the characteristics of a partner (some information taken from an article by journalist Katia Lavoie):

  • Partners have stronger ties and a deeper commitment.
  • Partners have better decision-making skills.
  • When an employer hires a partner, they are able to secure higher financing because that person serves as good “collateral”.
  • Partners share the wealth with their employer.
  • Partners hold themselves, the employer, and other employees more accountable for their work because of their personal and emotional investment in the company.

I believe God desires to find more partners with Him on the Earth. God desires a deeper commitment to His plan for our lives and desires our personal and emotional investment into His desires not our own. Although God values employees, good and bad, God knows who He can truly rely on to utilize their Faith, sacrifice their time, invest their time and money with or without compensation, while still displaying the same enthusiasm in helping the company to grow. Additionally, I believe God delights in compensating (blessing) partners in ways they couldn’t even imagine because of their obedience and sacrifices.

I believe over the course of our Christian walk, God desires a transition from employee to partner. God desires a deeper commitment to His will for our lives day by day. I believe God is looking for people to bless abundantly and miraculously for their obedience and sacrifices. I believe God has a storehouse of blessings for partners.

Are you comfortable being an employee or are you ready to live uncomfortably to become a partner? Employees enjoy a comfort partners do not. Employees gain some type of compensation for every tasks performed, whereas partners often sacrifice long hours without (immediate) pay. Employees perform their duties and then clock out, whereas partners are always “working” and making decisions to benefit the employer no matter the time of day. Both have a purpose, yet are different in their positions and compensation. Not all employees are eligible to become partners, not because God’s lack of desire, but because of some people’s lack of willingness to sacrifice the time and commitment required to reap the true benefits of a partnership. Partners often do not see immediate compensation but understand “in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

The seasons are shifting, are you ready to transition from employee to partner?

Dr. TC

Life Resurrected: How to Live When Everything (Seemingly) is Dying All Around You

There is HOPE. I have so much hope for my future and the future of this world…right in the midst of the chaos. Why? Because I live and teach the principle that, “Things get worst before they get better.” With every great victory there is a period just before the end where it seems that victory is nowhere in sight. It may feel that all hope is lost and everything is out of control and out of balance. This is the place to rejoice because the Bible shows us over and over Triumph over Tragedy.

You may wonder, why do things have to get so bad before they get better? My belief is that in order to defeat something you have to get down on its level in order to come out on top, and literally stand on its head. For example, you wouldn’t know true happiness if you’ve never been depressed. You wouldn’t know how to truly live with hope unless you have experienced hopelessness. You wouldn’t know how to maintain a good marriage through all circumstances if you have never experienced some bad times. You wouldn’t appreciate the true blessing of good health if you have never been sick. And in recent times, we wouldn’t appreciate and yearn for unity, equality, and peace if we never experienced racism, segregation, and discord.

You see, tough times build desire, determination, and desperation for better. Desperate people are willing to be vulnerable and sacrifice EVERYTHING to experience better. The world is not dying, God is in preparation of something BIG and something BETTER. Death, even of this world, was defeated when Jesus died on the cross. The world is not ours. No manner of death can and will happen as long as Jesus LIVES! And…He is ALIVE!

Shalom, my friends. When things are seemingly dying all around you, cling to the Overcomer of all death and rest assured He is in full control. Believe in your heart that victory and triumph are near. Unite with a community of believers to find strength, comfort, and the stamina to persevere.

Dr. TC

What’s Right With Me?

Many times when things go wrong in our lives we ask the question…”What’s wrong with me?” We thenwhatswrong proceed to investigate ourselves having full confidence of finding the one thing (or things) that is so wrong about us that explains why the enemy continues to wreak havoc in our lives despite all the effort we have put in to do the right thing. If we are really fed up with what feels like a failing life, we then begin to compare ourselves to others who seem more wrong than us, yet their lives still operate with less confusion and disappointments than our own. We emerge out of this state of comparison still seeking an answer to the question, “What’s wrong with me?” We finally, after complete emotional exhaustion, conclude that things will always be this way, we are broken in ways that can never be fixed, and the blessings of the Lord must not be meant for us!

Got you!! This is precisely where the enemy wants all of us to ultimately end up…in a state of exhaustion to the point we lose our trust in God and what His Word says about us. The enemy wants us to believe when God made us He forgot something so we are just  broken vessels that can never be fixed. Something is wrong with us!

But…the Holy Spirit wanted me to challenge those in this state to instead ask themselves, “What’s right with me?” You see, the enemy works contrary in the lives of people who are doing things right. Know there is something so right about you the enemy has to pull out all his tricks to try and stop you!

You see, the enemy knows if you continue to be so right in the eyes of God, you might just get blessed. You might just mess around and defeat him. Oh and you might encourage others to defeat him as well! There is something so right about you that your life is being attacked as a mockery to God. This time, don’t give up, don’t give in. Keep fighting and know there is something so right about you Jesus died for you so that you ALWAYS WIN!

Live out Loud,

Dr. TC

There is Power in Your Obedience

You know, I am not for sure if enough Christians are aware of the power of obedience. Matter of fact, I am not for sure if enough obey-godChristians are aware when they are disobedient. Disobedience is a form of settling in life. Think about it…when we disobey God, in big or small ways, we are essentially settling for our way instead of God’s way. We are called to obey God in every area of our life…in our finances, relationships, on our jobs, with our children, etc. And don’t forget we are called to obey in the little things as well. For example, you are in a fast food drive thru, God may ask you to pay for the order of the car behind you. You preparing to take a job with a higher salary, God may ask you to stay where you are. You plan on using your last $20 to put gas in your car for the week, God may ask you to sow the money in bible study that evening. You decide you are not speaking to your spouse after being hurt by their actions, God may ask you to forgive them and instead ask you to ask for forgiveness for how you hurt them. You may be on the highway prepared to drive your usual route home, God may ask you to take the long way around. In all of these situations God’s way may not make sense and may seem to cause more harm than good. However, because He is God, our obedience to Him gives us power over any traps the enemy may have set as a consequence of our disobedience.

Many of us choose our way instead of God’s way for a number of reasons. Here are a few common reasons people choose disobedience:

  1. “My way seems easier than God’s way.”
  2. “God takes too long.”
  3. “My way is not really that bad…I can live with it.”
  4. “Does God really know what’s best?”
  5. “If I do it God’s way I’ll lose everything.”
  6. “I’m tired of learning life lessons.”
  7. “My way seems to bring me the greater good.”

I know, I get it. I have used many of these excuses myself. But here’s the truth about our God…no matter how much good our way brings, it is still beneath what God has for us. I mean this revelation is BIG. As much as we can direct our thoughts and actions to the best of everything in life, God still has better than that for us! The Scriptures reminds us of this in Isaiah 55: 8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”.

Think of it this way, disobedience may get you good stuff, but obedience gets you BLESSED! Just because you obtain or experience good things by doing it your way doesn’t mean that’s what God has for you. God’s seemingly bad stuff even leads to blessings. Matter of fact the Bible tells us that what seems “bad” to us when we obey God will always turn out for our good. It can not go any other way. One of my favorite Scriptures, Romans 8:28, says this, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose”. If you know that you love God and you know you are called according to His purpose, YOU CAN NEVER LOSE IN LIFE! All of your obedient acts will always work together for your good. Don’t lose heart and don’t focus on what it looks like, but instead focus on what you know.

There is power in your obedience. If you don’t remember anything else…memorize Romans 8:28 and remember disobedience may get you good stuff but obedience gets you BLESSED! Obey God!

Live out Loud,

Dr. TC

Winning Starts in the Locker Room

locker room

 

It takes preparation to win.

It takes preparation to win.

It takes preparation to win!

Sometimes people get confused when looking at winners and assume there is no work involved for certain people to win. Well…I beg to differ. After observing and training winners in life, there is a lot of preparation involved in winning. You see, winning does not start when you hear the buzzer sound and the game is about to begin. Winning does not manifest by putting only the best players in the game. Winning starts in the locker room…in the realm of the mind. It is in the mind where the real game begins and where winners are developed. You see, you can not win at life and have losing thoughts. You can not have a winning lifestyle and a losing mentality. Any good team that is known for winning has been mentally trained in the locker room. In the locker room is where true winners develop their strategy. In the locker room is where coaches speak to the minds and hearts of the players and affirm they are winners before the start of the game. In the locker room is where losing thoughts are cursed and winning thoughts are nurtured. In the locker room is where winning the game has already been discussed, planned, and visualized.

So it is for us, as Christians. Before we set foot in our day or prepare to face a difficult circumstance, we must develop an overcoming/winning mentality. We should listen to our Word (our coach) and remind ourselves that “All things are possible to him that believe”, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me”, “The Lord will not put more on me than I can bear”, “Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world”, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper”, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread”…Hallelujah! I could go on and on because my own written words have just charged my spirit and my mind to know that no matter the circumstance…I win!

It is my life’s mission to continue to develop winners in life. Before winning takes place, you have to speak those things that be not as though they were. Call forth a win over your circumstance. There is nothing more motivating than hanging around folk who have a winning mentality. You might be broken, lost, confused, and defeated but in the presence of a winner…you feel like you can conquer the world. That’s the power of a winning mentality. Recite, I’m a winner on three…one, two, three, I’M A WINNER!!

Remember, winning does not start when you have the things you want in life, it actually starts when you have nothing…but your faith. Rest in the assurance that with Christ, you have been anointed to win!

Live out Loud,

Dr. TC

Living on the Edge

My husband preached a few weeks ago, On the Edge of a Promise! I haven’t shared this with too many people but for the past few months, I have been feeling like any day now something BIG is about to happen in my life. You know, that feeling that you are only an arms length away from a blessing or maybe right around the corner from what God has promised you. I don’t know about you but when I get this feeling, I constantly check my bank account, go to the mailbox five times a day (even though mail only comes once), scroll through my email constantly to make sure I didn’t miss something unexpected, or just observe people I interact with and think, “Now, I wonder which one of you has my blessing?”. Come on, I know I’m not the only one.

person-sitting-on-cliffThere has to be something to this ‘on the edge’ feeling. You see, most people who live on the edge either have no fears or have learned to manage their fears. Fear does not rule or dictate their lives or their decisions. These people do things like quit their jobs and travel around the world, skydive, make huge investments, etc. Now there is a negative perspective of ‘living on the edge’ referring to people who live carelessly and dangerously. The type of ‘living on the edge’ people I am referring to are those that have the level of trust it takes to not be afraid to take risks for the things they value or are passionate about. Most of the ‘living on the edge’ people I have encountered or have heard about end up having the most exhilarating experiences of their lives and end up with unheard of blessings. The world is at their fingertips and with a little bit of faith, they are not afraid to go get it! What this says to me is that my own ‘on the edge feeling’ means that God is delivering me from my fears which opens me up for my blessings! Hallelujah!

One of my favorite Bible verses that gives reference to fear comes from Joshua 1:9 and it reads, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest”. God here is telling Joshua to not be afraid…I got you. Joshua and the people were right on the edge of crossing over the Jordan into the promised land. Here on the edge, God reminds Joshua three times to trust Him, in verse 6, 7 and again in verse 9…be strong and of a good courage! Now, let me share the evidence Joshua and the people were living on the edge in that moment…in verse 14 Joshua spoke to three of the tribes and reminded them to leave their wives, their children, and their cattle on this side of the Jordan until they crossed over and possessed the land on the other side of the Jordan. Leaving behind their families and their possessions is truly a demonstration of living on the edge. When you are living on the edge, you have no safety net, no security blanket…just faith. You are totally out of your comfort zone and it’s just you and God. The ultimate measure of trust is required. But know, that this measure of trust leads you straight to a promise!

In this season, what I hear in the spirit is God saying, trust me and live on the edge because your promise is right around the corner. There is nothing to fear when you have the Lord on your side. Dare to live on the edge and start possessing the promises of the Lord!

Live out Loud,

Dr. TC

The Book is Better Than The Movie

 

 

 

wactching a movie

Books are often better than the movie versions of a script. Why? Well…here are six reasons books are often better than movies: (1) the movie gets lost in translation, (2) “that’s not how I pictured it”, (3) limited storytelling time, (4) script writing may not do the story justice, (5) books allow the reader to put it together, and (6) the book stays with you.*

As I thought about this, my spirit led me to think about those that experience challenging life circumstances and it hit me. What if we viewed the challenges of our lives as movies? You see a good movie grips your emotions and draws you in as if you are one of the characters. If you are like me, during a good movie I yell, fuss at the characters, jump, and sometimes cry. I experience the full range of emotions from beginning to ending until the credits roll and I realize, it is not real.

Now, with some movies sometimes I think, “it can’t get any better than this”…until I read the book version. You see, the book version of your life is better than the movie version you are currently experiencing for the same reasons identified above. The book has more of the details of who you are, how you are going to overcome, who to look out for, and what to do. Like movies, your challenging life circumstances have a beginning and an ending. Like movies, your challenging life circumstances takes you through various emotions. Like movies, your challenging life circumstances are not the real life purposed for you. The book version tells you that you are an overcomer. The book version tells you that all things work together for your good. The book version tells you that trouble does not last always. The book version tells you that you are victorious. The book version tells you no weapon formed against you shall prosper!

So, if you are having a hard time in your life presently, think of it as just a movie. Just know, the movie version of the life that you are currently experiencing is watered down and is not the realistic depiction of your circumstances. It’s not what it looks like. If you want the juiciest, most realistic version of your life, go read the book. If you cant find it…it’s the one published by God.

Live Out Loud,

Dr. TC

*http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/6-reasons-the-book-is-almost-always-better-than-the-movie/

Bring me some Figgy Pudding…

figs

Oh bring me some figgy pudding

Oh bring me some figgy pudding

Oh bring me some figgy pudding

And a cup of good cheer!

This is a verse of the well known We Wish You A Merry Christmas children’s song. God gave me a revelation about the words of this verse. You see, figs were a common fruit in the Bible and often represented prosperity. The fruit of certain kinds of fig trees grows simultaneously with the leaves that cover the fruit. In other words, when you see a fig tree with leaves, you can automatically assume there is fruit under the leaves. But what if something goes wrong and the leaves of the tree do not uncover what it was created to produce?

Well…the answer is found in Matthew 21: 18-19 (NIV), 18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. What if I told you…you are the tree. You see, a tree is rooted in the foundation of the earth and can stand for many long years through adverse weather conditions while maintaining its capabilities to produce what it was created to produce. Likewise, when you are firmly rooted and planted in God you can withstand adverse circumstances in your life and still stand and do what God called you to do. Don’t let your life wither away because you are not producing good fruit. Every tree has a purpose. An apple tree produces apples. A pear tree produces pears. A fig tree produces figs. A tree is known by the fruit it bears.

I’ll admit, I am learning to like figs but I LOVE all of the references to figs in the Bible. Another scripture my husband preached recently is from Numbers 13 verses 17-26. In these scriptures Moses instructs men from each tribe to go and spy out the land of Canaan. Now, he asked them to check out certain things about the land but ONLY bring back something very specific. Moses did not ask them to bring back jewelry, money, or even a prominent person to interrogate, all things we would have thought would help indicate the land was prosperous. Instead, he requests they bring back the actual fruit of the land. The spies indeed brought back a cluster of grapes, pomegranates, and figs! I imagine Moses looked at the fruit and immediately knew the land was prosperous based on the fruit. The good fruit the land produced was greater than any gold or silver. A tree is known by the fruit it bears!

So what are you producing in your life? Is your life meaningful? Are you actually producing what you were created to produce? Or are your well developed leaves deceiving those around you that you are producing fruit that is nonexistent? I can not stress the importance of making every day of your life meaningful and fruitful. Be intentional with what you say, how you live, and how you interact with others. Make the fruits of your labor attract everyone to want to eat of your tree because what you produce is not only good…but life changing.

If God was to say to you, oh bring me some figgy pudding, what would you want to say that you are bringing to God? Is your tree producing good fruit?

The proof is in the pudding…in this case figgy pudding.

Live Out Loud,

Dr. TC

 

How To Love When You Dont Like

 

true love

“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son…” John 3:16

So…God LOVED the world but do you believe God LIKED the world?

I hope most of us, if not all of us, agree that God probably didn’t like the world at the time He sent Jesus. How could He? The world was filled with murderous people, incest, debauchery, idol worshippers, complainers, naggers, criticizers, stubbornness, gluttony, greed, sexual immorality, jealousy, schemers, manipulators, etc. And most of this you can read about in Genesis, just the first book of the Bible!

But here is the kicker…despite it all, He chose to give these same people His best. You see, Jesus Christ was His ONLY begotten son. The best part of Him. There is and will be no other like Him.

God was able to look past what He didn’t like in us and still give us the best part of His love for us…Jesus Christ. Who does that?…Who chooses to gift those they do not like with their best? You see when God gifted us with His best, despite what He didn’t like, a double miracle took place. Jesus Christ became all man and all God born of a virgin AND we became eligible for redemption.

So…what should you do to love someone you don’t like? Give them the best part of you. A friend hurt your feelings or has been disloyal? Give them your best listening ear and heart when they are in need. Spouse broken your trust or unsupportive? Give them your best “I love you” and a hug of forgiveness. Boss treating you unfairly? Give them your best work and smile throughout your day. Child acting up? Give them your best compliment affirming who they are in Christ.

Now, learning to love when you don’t like is not easy but it always results in a double miracle. You and the other person get blessed. I am a witness. I strive to live my life by the phrase “Kill’em with Kindness”. I have found that when I have to interact with an enemy, when I “Kill’em with Kindness” I paralyze them with so much love they soon forget why they didn’t like me. It is the same concept with the gift of Jesus. Love always prevails.

Here is the takeaway, when you don’t like someone, choose to give them a gift of love…the best part of you…and watch double miracles take place.

Live Out Loud,

Dr. TC

Cracks and Crevices

 

 

clean heartSo I was cleaning my house the other day, tidying up the living room. I vacuumed, dusted, straightened the pillows, etc. As I ran the vacuum over the area rug, I noticed some crumbs underneath the couch, unable to be reached by the vacuum. Now, I am the type that once I see it I can not let it go. So, I moved the couch and lo and behold more crumbs appear. I took out the special tools of the vacuum that allow you to get underneath furniture and vacuum the cracks and crevices of the couch not seen with the eye, and unable to be reached with the regular vacuum. Then…God spoke to me. He posed a question and said…”What if people really allowed me to get into the cracks and crevices of their lives, the hidden places of their hearts?”
You see, just like cleaning, many of us make the surface of our lives look good. From the outside we have it all together. We have a well polished life, not realizing the dirty stuff is hiding in the cracks and crevices. You see, in the cracks and crevices is where you find such things as doubt, fear, low self-esteem, anger, unhealed wounds, pessimism, etc. These things cause us to hold on to the past, miss the present, and block the future. It is the junk that rests in the cracks and crevices that prevent us from having a truly fulfilling life. Let’s face it, God already knows the real you, all the stuff in the cracks and crevices. He is waiting on you to discover the real you. A friend of mine once said something that has really stuck with me, “the biggest lie you can tell is the one you tell yourself”. Once you see the crumbs in your heart, don’t ignore them. Grab the right tool to clean them up. And that tool is God.

Having a clean heart is refreshing. Just like the pleasure experienced when you inhale in a freshly, cleansed home. Be aware that deep cleaning is a process. You might have to start room by room examining every surface to make sure you don’t miss anything. This may require  exploring your life from childhood on up looking for unhealed wounds, areas of unforgiveness, attachment injuries, broken relationships, negative self-talk, abuse, neglect, etc. Ask yourself, “Where have I been injured and never attended to the wound?” No injury is too great or too small, they all leave a trail of dirt.

I challenge you to examine the cracks and crevices of your heart and allow God to do a deep cleaning. When your heart is in its purest and cleanest state then can you truly experience what it is like to live out loud!

Live out Loud,

Dr. TC