Learning In Life


To my beloved children:

As you were growing up and even as you are still learning in life, I am doing my best to be a good father and provider for you and to teach you the life skills necessary for being people of true character and people prepared for real life. At this stage in your lives, I continue to pray for each of you, and when invited, it is my greatest joy to provide fatherly counsel to you for important life matters. However, I also realize that giving and receiving fatherly counsel is not always easy; therefore, to help you benefit from my many years of life experience and hard learned life lessons, I personally write these letters to you as a simple way to benefit you throughout your whole life. And one of my deepest prayers for each of you is that you fully realize each day of your lives that you are each completely and totally responsible for your life and your decisions. In the simplest of terms, this is what it means to be an adult. Without question, to live your life as a fully responsible and healthy adult, you must unequivocally embrace your life decisions as well as the resulting life consequences – the good and the bad – always.

I share this with you because as much as possible, I don’t want you to experience life the painful way. And because I know that we mostly learn in life through two primary means…tribulation and revelation…mistakes and mentors, I firmly implore each of you to please seek truthful revelation to avoid painful tribulation and please choose wise trustworthy mentors to avoid foolish costly mistakes. And trust me when I say…mentors are so much better than mistakes and revelation is so much better than tribulation.

When you live life long enough, I am certain that you will each learn for yourselves that every choice requires a decision and every decision determines a path and every path leads to a destination. Therefore, learn this principle early. Your life choices are yours alone to make and your destination is yours alone to embrace. Regardless of your life choices, I want you to know that I love each of you individually, with my whole heart, always and forever, no matter what. With that said, I trust that you will each take my fatherly counsel to your heart and live your life as if wise fatherly counsel truly matters.

Your imperfect loving,


Learning In Life Copyright 2016, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the letter, Learning In Life, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

Quiet Cry

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Stormy sea, meant to be;

Special grace, appear to thee.

Smooth sailing, tumultuous sky;

Greater love, quiet cry.


To truly see, could it be,

Bright lights, dark nights.

Valleys low, mountains high,

Redemption reign, quiet cry.


Fractured soul, despairing hole;

Foolish pride, truth collide.

Hopeless place, demons lie;

Mercies new, quiet cry.


Oceans blue, tried and true;

Delicate dashes, beauty from ashes.

Through the battle, arms held high;

Forever Faithful, quiet cry.


Quiet Cry Copyright 2016, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint the poem, Quiet Cry, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

20 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Themselves At The End Of Each Year

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As a leader, I am always on the search for powerful questions that can unlock the door to new levels of personal and professional growth for myself and others. The right question asked at the right time can be the difference between grand new possibilities in life and more of the same old stale stuff in life. And because it is the end of an old year and the beginning of a new year, I am especially open to seeking, finding, and asking some new questions that will unleash extraordinary new possibilities for myself and others in the new year.

We Have Not Because We Ask Not

The Bible says in James 4:2 that, “we have not, because we ask not”; therefore, as we begin this new year, let us ask ourselves and others the right questions that can lead us into greater levels of personal and professional excellence in the new year. To help us do just that, I discovered 20 questions that every leader should ask themselves at the end of each year so they can be better prepared to grow in the new year. These 20 questions were initially found on Paul Sohn’s blog at http://paulsohn.org/20-questions-to-help-you-reflect-the-past-year/  and then I slightly modified the list as follows:

20 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Themselves At The End Of Each Year

  1. What activities made you lose track of time last year?
  2. What accomplishments did you achieve this past year that deserve a “pat on the back”?
  3. Which areas of life did you thrive in this past year (e.g. spiritual, physical, mental, relational, emotional, financial, vocational)?
  4. Which areas of life did you struggle in this past year (e.g. spiritual, physical, mental, relational, emotional, financial, vocational)?
  5. If someone made a film about your life this past year, what kind of film would it be: (e.g. comedy, romance, drama, horror, action, adventure, sci-fy, documentary)?
  6. Where and how did God work most in your life this past year?
  7. If you had to describe the past year in 3 words, what would they be?
  8. What was your most common mental state this past year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed, anxious, worried, reflective)?
  9. What was the best book you read this past year that had the greatest influence in your personal and/or professional growth?
  10. What was your favorite place that you visited this past year?
  11. What was your single biggest time waster this past year?
  12. What was the most productive use of your time this past year?
  13. For what or whom in your life this past year are you most thankful?
  14. If you could redo this past year, what would you do differently?
  15. What did you think about more than anything else in the past year?
  16. What topics did you most enjoy learning about this past year?
  17. What was your overall feeling about life this past year (e.g. happy, sad, angry, afraid, ashamed)?
  18. What was your favorite compliment that you received this past year?
  19. What was the best compliment that you gave to another person this past year?
  20. What was the most important lesson you learned this past year?

By asking yourself these questions each year, I believe you will learn new things about yourself from the past year that will better prepare you for growth and new possibilities in the new year. So go ahead and do it…ask yourself these powerful questions and encourage others to do the same.

To God’s glory, have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

20 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Themselves At The End Of Each Year Copyright 2015, The Make It Happen Learning Institute. You have permission to reprint the leadership article, 20 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Themselves At The End Of Each Year, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission. All other rights reserved.

4 Jewels Of Leadership Development

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I’ve learned from reading Dr. Crawford Loritt’s book titled, Leadership As An Identity, that there are 4 jewels of God’s leadership development school that He uses to develop leaders in His kingdom. Because a person learns 95 percent of what they teach, I am excited to teach you these 4 jewels of leadership development in this post. The dictionary defines a jewel as, “a precious possession”; however, most people would not naturally consider these 4 aspects of God’s leadership development school as precious possessions. But they are because each one helps to build the character of Christ in us as leaders in His kingdom.

Jewel #1: Personal Suffering

The first precious jewel of God’s leadership development school is called PERSONAL SUFFERING. Yes, God uses suffering in our lives to help us become more like Jesus and to develop radical obedience in our lives. To know Christ is to also know His suffering. To share in the glory of Christ, we must also share in the suffering of Christ where our wills are crucified to His will in every circumstance that we face in life. In Hebrews 5:8, the Bible says that even though Jesus was the Son of God, He learned obedience by the things He suffered and guess what. God’s people learn obedience the same way. The apostle Paul says it this way in Philippians 3:10, “that I may know Christ and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering.” We must not despise the seasons of suffering in our lives because those seasons bring us into deeper fellowship with our Lord and Savior and make us more effective for His use in the kingdom of God.

Jewel #2: Personal Struggle

The second precious jewel of God’s leadership development school is called PERSONAL STRUGGLE. While personal struggle may seem to be closely related to personal suffering, it is a very different precious jewel of God’s leadership development school. While personal suffering helps us learn radical obedience to God, personal struggle helps us learn radical dependence upon God. Personal suffering occurs during periods of time that are seasonal in our lives; whereas, personal struggle occurs in our lives on a daily basis which requires our total dependence upon God’s grace every day to overcome the struggle. The Bible says that the people of God are overcomers which means that they must have something to overcome. The personal struggles that we face on a daily basis serve as reminders that we can only overcome the struggles by the power of God’s grace in our lives and our radical dependence upon Him. In 2 Corinthians 12:8, the apostle Paul asked God three times to take away a personal struggle and God told Him that His grace was sufficient for him in the struggle. Our personal daily struggles keep us radically dependent upon God and humble in our weakness before Him.

Jewel #3: Personal Failure

The third precious jewel of God’s leadership development school is PERSONAL FAILURE. When I think about personal failure, I like what John Maxwell teaches about it – “personal failure is not final and it’s not fatal.” In fact, a healthy way to think about personal failure is the way Henry Ford would approach personal failure – “as an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” God uses personal failure as a precious jewel in His leadership development school because everyone fails in life. The truth is that we all fail in life and must learn from our failures if we have any hope of being effective in God’s purpose for our life. Every great hero of faith in the Bible experienced personal failure. To name a few: Noah drank too much alcohol one night, Moses murdered a man in cold blood, and David committed adultery with his neighbor. There is no one who has ever lived on earth except Jesus, the Son of God, whose life is not marked by personal failure. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all fall short which is why everyone, without exception, needs Jesus as Lord and Savior of their life. And even after salvation, we will all still fall short in life at times through personal failure. However, in Christ, our personal failure is never a tombstone for us with God. If we respond correctly to our personal failures, our personal failures can rather be a stepping stone into greater communion with God because His love for us never fails even though we do. The Bible states in Proverbs 24:16, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” Failure can never keep down a person who truly loves God and has faith in Christ because the Bible says in Philippians 4:13 that “we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” Without question, “all things” includes the overcoming of our personal failures in life.

Jewel #4: Success Through Hard Work

The fourth and final precious jewel of God’s leadership development school is SUCCESS THROUGH HARD WORK. I’ve heard it said that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. I agree 100 percent with this statement. There is no success in life without the hard work that accompanies accomplishment of any kind. The same is true in the kingdom of God. In Colossians 3:23-24, the apostle Paul says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” God honors hard work done with passion because the quality of our work brings honor to the Lord when we are called by His name and do our work as worship unto Him.

To God’s glory, have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

4 Jewels Of Leadership Development Copyright 2014, The Make It Happen Learning Institute. You have permission to reprint the leadership article, 4 Jewels Of Leadership Development, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission. All other rights reserved.

Love And Grow Like Christ In An Increasingly Dark World

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Love from roses

With this post, I am excited to share some reflections from my recent devotions and book readings over the past month. I’ve been reading the book titled, Quiet, written by Susan Cain which is about introversion. And I’ve also recently finished reading the book titled, Tortured For Christ, written by Reverend Richard Wurmbrand which is about the persecution of the Underground Church in countries closed to the gospel. Additionally, my Pastor’s current message series titled, Culture Shift, is very timely to my recent introspections. The message content in all three has seriously challenged my thoughts and hopefully my growth as a mature Christ-follower in this tumultuous day and age. With that said, my heart in this post is to share some spiritual leadership takeaways that can help you and I to love and grow like Christ in an increasingly dark world.

To begin, I’d like to go through a brief overview of the cultural climate of America from the 19th Century to the cultural climate that we now find ourselves in the 21st Century. I believe it has significant relevance for how we can love and grow as mature believers in Christ during these times and how we can have the greatest influence for God’s kingdom on earth.

The Cultural Climate Of 19th Century America – A Culture Of Character

In the 19th Century, the strength of American society rested primarily on a culture of social character. A person’s strength of character is what primarily influenced other people in society. 19th Century America was characterized by the Agricultural age, people working on farms, representatives being statesmen, popular sermons being truth-based like “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards, and popular books affirming the culture of character like Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.

In Susan Cain’s, Quiet, she communicates that a culture of internal character in the 19th Century could be described with words like citizenship, duty, work, golden deeds, honor, reputation, morals, manners, and integrity. As I further study the 19th Century period, I think the primary domestic spiritual emphasis in America was a pious devotion and the major foreign spiritual antagonism to America was state religion.

The Cultural Climate Of 20th Century America – A Culture Of Personality

Contrastingly, in the 20th Century era, the strengths of internal character in the 19th century society shifted to strengths of external personality. Inner virtue of character was no longer the strength that primarily influenced people in the 20th Century, but rather the effective outer charm of personality. In the 20th Century, America was characterized by the Industrial age, people working in factories, representatives being politicians, popular sermons being prosperity-based like “Your Best Life Now” by Joel Osteen, and popular books affirming the culture of personality like How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

In her book, Susan Cain communicates that a culture of external personality could be described with words like charisma, magnetism, fascination, stunning, attractiveness, glowing, dominance, and energy. As I further study the 20th Century period, I think the primary domestic spiritual emphasis in America was the gifts of the Holy Spirit as awakened by the Azusa Street Revival and the major foreign spiritual antagonism to America was social fascism and atheistic communism.

The Cultural Climate Of 21st Century America – A Culture Of Self-Love

Unfortunately, in the 21st Century, I believe another shift in our American society is taking place and it is a shift from a culture of external personality to a culture of self-love. In the 21st Century, America will be characterized by the Information age, people working on computers, representatives becoming autocrats, popular sermons “itching the ears” of hearers, and popular books affirming a culture of self-love.

This 21st Century culture of self-love can be described with words like selfie, proud, boastful, radical, fanatical, hoarder, heretical, terror, hater, and survivalist. As I further ponder the implications of the 21st Century society, I believe the primary domestic spiritual emphasis in America will be the fruits of the Holy Spirit developed through heightened persecution.  For the Christ-follower, our response to any form of personal persecution provides a litmus test for distinguishing between selfless love for others and selfish love for oneself. In a dark and depraved society, having the genuine fruits of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) will be the only way to effectively live as a Christ-follower in the 21st Century when the major foreign and domestic spiritual antagonism to America will be religious fascism and increasing social depravity.

If we dare to objectively survey the current cultural landscape in 21st Century America, we can clearly see the culture of external personality giving way to a culture of self-love which has significant implications for you and I living as Christians in this day and age. Facebook, LinkedIn, SnapChat, InstaGram, iPods, iPads, and iPhones have given everyone the opportunity to share their iThoughts, iBeliefs, and iOpinions with the whole world. In this type of iFocused culture, the spiritual stakes are high because everyone has an easy and free platform to propagate their individual agendas with their only governor being the mental, emotional, and spiritual state of the individual person. On top of that, the rapid advancement of religious fascism overseas and within America along with the advancement of depraved social lifestyles pose major foreign and domestic spiritual antagonisms that seriously impact the fabric of our society – making it an extremely dark and wicked culture such as it was in the days of Noah. Isn’t it interesting that Hollywood produced a major feature film this year titled Noah?

Spiritual Implications For Christ-followers Living In 21st Century America

In this wicked and depraved culture, the people who will have the greatest influence during these perilous times will be genuine followers of Christ who are baptized and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Personality alone won’t cut it in the dark places of 21st Century society where we are now finding ourselves in America, and neither will character for that matter. Personality power and character power can be self-generated; however, anything of self-generated power will not last in the days ahead. The only power that will have any enduring strength in a very dark and wicked culture will be true spiritual power grounded in a genuine faith in Christ. True spiritual power is far different and superior to personality power and character power because it can never be self-generated. It can only be generated through a genuine faith in Christ that is fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit regardless of the personal cost.

Unfortunately though, for many sons and daughters of the Most High King, particularly in our highly blessed nation of America, we mistakenly think that having a genuine faith in Christ and true spiritual power from the Holy Spirit means that we get a chalice of glory, but not a cup of shame, we get a robe of many colors, but not a mantle of mockery, we get the role of leader, but not the role of foot washer, we get the crown of life, but not the cross of death.

The Paradox Of True Spiritual Power In Christ

To think this way is truly unfortunate because the life of a genuine Christ-follower empowered by the Holy Spirit with true spiritual power on earth is characterized by the same spiritual paradox of Christ’s own life while He lived on earth. When Jesus walked the earth, He was indeed our Sovereign King, but He was also our Suffering Savior. As Christ- followers, our lives on earth gain true spiritual power as we are shaped and molded into Christ-likeness by sharing in His reign as a child of our Most High King, but by also sharing in His obedience as a follower of our Suffering Savior. In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus tells His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny Himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Christians in other countries where the gospel is illegal have a keen understanding for what it means to take up their cross and follow Jesus, even unto death if it be in His will. As a result, they gain true spiritual power by serving Jesus as their Sovereign King and their Suffering Savior through the daily persecution they experience.

Two Spiritual Principles That Shape The Life Of Every Genuine Christ-follower

In his book, Spiritual Leadership, J. Oswald Sanders teaches that there are two spiritual principles in the kingdom of God that shape the life of every genuine Christ-follower: the Sovereign principle and the Suffering principle. To be a genuine Christ follower, there is no way around these two spiritual principles. James and John, the apostles of Jesus, learned this directly from Jesus.

In Mark 10:35-45, the bible tells us, “Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, ‘Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.’  36 And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”  37 They said to Him, ‘Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.’

38 But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’

The New Living Translation reads like this: “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?”

The Suffering Principle In The Kingdom Of God

39 “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!” Then Jesus told them, ‘You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering.”

The Sovereign Principle In The Kingdom Of God

“But I have no right to say who will sit on my right or my left. God has prepared those places for the ones He has chosen.”

James and John wanted the glory of Christ – sitting at His right and left – but not the suffering of Christ. They wanted the power of Christ – do for us whatever we ask – but not the shame of Christ – nail scarred hands. At that moment, they wanted their will to be done in their life, but not His will to be done in their life. How often do you and I approach God in the same manner as James and John did in that moment? Like James and John, we want Jesus to make us happy, make us important, and give us whatever we ask for; however, Jesus will have nothing of this form of Christianity because He is more concerned with developing our personal Christ-likeness rather than our personal comforts.

The Sovereign Principle And The Suffering Principle Are A Holy Combination

The holy combination of the Sovereign principle and the Suffering principle forms the foundation for how Jesus develops His followers into His likeness so that we can have true spiritual power that loves others selflessly and rocks our dark world for Him. These two principles are further highlighted in the scripture verses of John 15:16 and 1 Peter 4:12-18.

In John 15:16, Jesus says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”

We don’t get to choose our assignments. We don’t get to pick our roles. We don’t get to say who sits on the right and the left in the kingdom of God. These matters of choice are left solely to the sovereign will of Almighty God the Father. He alone chooses, He alone qualifies, and He alone empowers each person with true spiritual power that bears lasting fruit.

And 1 Peter 4:12-13 says, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world.

No Genuine Christ-follower Is Exempt From Growth Through Suffering

By highlighting these verses and also speaking of the sufferings experienced by persecuted Christians, I am not implying that we will all experience the same kind of physical sufferings as our brothers and sisters in the Underground Church. However, I am implying that none of us are exempt from being developed into Christ-likeness through suffering. While it’s not likely in America that we will suffer physical crucifixion like Christ did and many modern day martyrs of our faith in the Underground Church around the world, it is certain that we will all learn obedience by the things we suffer just as Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane – the crucifixion of our will to His will through yieldedness and submission to the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.

Romans 8:17-18 states, “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share His suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.”

The good news is this: there is nothing we can give, no cost to great, and no suffering too painful that can compare to the glory that will be revealed in us and through us as children of our Most High Reigning King and obedient followers of our All-Loving Suffering Savior.

Crushed Christians Reward Others With The Love Of Christ   

In the book, Tortured For Christ, Reverend Richard Wurmbrand writes that “when you crush a flower, it rewards you with the pleasant smell of its aroma.” And he further shares that likewise, when we are crushed as Christians, our lives should reward others with the love of Christ. As we desire to be used greatly by God, my prayer is that we can embrace the great crushing of our wills to His will so that we can be His noble vessels to share His great love and compassion to a lost and hurting world around us.

To God’s glory, have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Love And Grow Like Christ In An Increasingly Dark World Copyright 2014, The Make It Happen Learning Institute. You have permission to reprint the leadership article, Love And Grow Like Christ In An Increasingly Dark World, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission. All other rights reserved.

3 Reasons Why Jesus Would Attend The Global Leadership Summit


The SummitAs a promotional strategist of the Global Leadership Summit for Church of the King in the Gulf Coast Region, I have asked myself this simple question:

If Jesus was living on earth today, would He attend the Global Leadership Summit?

Well, after much thought, I have come to the conclusion that if Jesus was living on earth today, He would indeed attend the Global Leadership Summit for the following three reasons, (although I am quite certain there are many more reasons than just these three):

Reason 1: Jesus was a tomorrow-thinker

When Jesus walked the earth, He was always thinking about the future – the future for the Church, the future for His disciples, the future for you and me. He never focused on the past as He came to make all things new in us and through us. One day while thinking about the future for His disciples, He told them in John 14:2-3, “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come again and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”

Because Jesus was more concerned about the future than the past, He took advantage of every opportunity in the present to build a brighter future for you and me. As a result, if Jesus was living on earth today, He would attend the Global Leadership Summit because the Summit challenges leaders to think about tomorrow and build a brighter future for others.

Reason 2: Jesus educated the people He mentored

When Jesus walked the earth, He knew that His mission could not be fulfilled without teaching His followers the principles of His kingdom. To do so, He spent hours teaching His followers the principles of the kingdom of God. Give and it shall be given to you, serve others to be great, and die to self to find life, are a just few of the many kingdom principles that Jesus taught His followers while He was with them on earth. In Luke 11:1, the Bible records the account of when Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. “Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As He finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Whether it was teaching his disciples how to pray, how to heal, how to give, how to love, how to have faith, or how to make disciples, Jesus was always educating the people He mentored.

Because Jesus knew that people would learn what they teach, He taught His disciples to teach others and make disciples as well. Proverbs 9:9 commands teachers to, “Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous and they will learn even more.” As a result, if Jesus was living on earth today, He would attend the Global Leadership Summit because the Summit helps to instruct the wise so they can become wiser and it helps to teach the righteous so they can learn even more.

Reason 3: Jesus never tried to succeed alone

When Jesus walked the earth, He did not walk alone nor try to achieve success by Himself. Jesus knew that His mission was bigger than Himself so He called others to walk with Him and help Him achieve success. “One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers – Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew – throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people.’” Matthew 4:18-19 NLT

Because Jesus valued people, He gave people an opportunity to join Him in accomplishing His mission. The truth is that Jesus needed others with like-minded hearts and passion to help Him change the world and do what the Father asked Him to do. As a result, if Jesus was living on earth today, He would attend the Global Leadership Summit because the Summit gathers leaders from all over the world with like-minded hearts and passion to change the world and do what the Father has asked us to do.

Don’t miss God and don’t miss an appointment with Jesus at the Summit!

Now that I have shared the three reasons why Jesus would attend the Global Leadership Summit, I want to highly encourage you to make plans to attend the Summit this year. I can promise you that you will not be disappointed! In fact, I will go as far to say that even though Jesus will not be there in bodily person, I can assure you that He will be there in Spirit person. Bill Hybels, Founder of the Global Leadership Summit, and the Willow Creek Association Team have been in prayer seeking God for each Summit speaker whom God has lined-up to speak this year. As a result of their earnest prayers and the earnest prayers of many others, I am confident each Summit speaker will be anointed by the Lord and His presence will be felt and experienced at each of the Summit sessions. I know this to be true because it has been true for each of the four prior Summits that I have personally attended. For a brief video introduction of the Speakers for the 2014 Global Leadership Summit, please click Speaker Introductions.

In closing, let me strongly encourage you…don’t miss God and don’t miss an appointment with Jesus at the Global Leadership Summit this year! For more information on how you can participate in the Summit on August 14th and 15th at any Church of the King campus in the Gulf Coast Region, please Click 2014 Summit.

Thank you and have a blessed Make It Happen day!



Let Belief Reign

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6 Gap Mountain Top View

Have you ever had a time when you’ve believed God for something big and then you actually saw His faithfulness manifest right in front of you by His bringing to pass what you believed Him to do? When that happens, the goodness of God and His faithfulness simply overwhelms me. God is so good!

The Annual 6 Gap Century Ride

Recently, a group of friends and I traveled to Dahlonega, Georgia to do the annual 6 Gap century ride. It is called 6 Gap because it involves riding a bike over 6 beautiful Georgia mountain passes for a total of 11,200 ft. of climbing elevation. Now let me tell you the good thing about riding a bike up 11,200 ft. of mountain elevation…what goes up, must come down…and coming down is always better than going up.

We arrived in Dahlonega on the day before the ride to check-in and get our gear ready for the ride. After we checked in, we visited the race expo and we all decided to purchase the official 6 Gap riding jersey which we thought was a great idea. But after I bought the jersey and even more so, while I was actually climbing those huge mountain passes on my bike the next day, this dreadful thought raced through my mind more than a few times. “What if I can’t finish this ride? I will never be able to wear the 6 Gap Jersey…”

Well, the good news is that I did finish the ride and I can now wear the jersey in good conscience as an official finisher of the 6 Gap century ride. However, during the ride when I was faced with each successive imposing mountain pass, I wondered if I had been a little too presumptuous in buying the jersey BEFORE I actually finished the ride. Or was it indeed, an act of faith based upon my training and my belief that God was actually with me through the peaks and the valleys of that ride.

In foresight and even now in hindsight…I know I wasn’t acting from a state of presumption because over the several months leading up to the ride, God had been speaking to my heart about “standing in the gap”. And because of it, I had a strong sense that God was with me for the 6 Gap ride and that He wanted me to experience a great ride with Him.

Standing In The Gap Takes Belief In A BIG God

Since about last summer when I hosted See You At The Office, the annual marketplace prayer campaign, God has been emphasizing to me the importance of “standing in the gap” for our nation; therefore, when my friend told me that he was going to do the 6 Gap ride, I was inspired by him and also by God to do the ride as well.  And you know what? I think there is something healthy about attempting a big thing that has the very real possibility of failure. It stretches you. It increases your thinking. It requires you to plan and prepare. And for me, it even builds my relationship with God and my faith in Him – my very BIG, All-Powerful, All-Sufficient, Heavenly Father.

Anytime you step out in faith to do something BIG, there will always be unbelief lurking at every corner in your mind saying that it can’t be done. However, we don’t have to believe words of unbelief, especially when we know God is with us and He is for us. Instead, we should think BIG and believe BIG because God is BIG! It is so unfortunate that many people live lives that are much, much smaller than what God actually has for them because of small thinking and unbelief.

Do You Know That Belief And Unbelief Cannot Reign Equal In Your Heart? The Truth Is That One Will Submit To The Other.

Just imagine that you are Moses leading Israel out of Egyptian slavery and you encounter the Red Sea with the Egyptians fast approaching on horses and chariots. You have nowhere to go and you are the leader. What do you do when God says to part the Red Sea with your staff?

Belief And Unbelief Cannot Reign Equal In Your Heart…One Will Submit To The Other

Just imagine that you are Peter sitting with the other disciples in a boat. It’s dark. It’s in middle of the lake. The wind is blowing. The waves are raging. And you think you see the Lord walking on the water.  You yell out, “Lord, is that you?” What do you do when the Lord responds, “Yes Peter, it’s me…get out the boat and come to me.”

Belief And Unbelief Cannot Reign Equal In Your Heart…One Will Submit To The Other

Just imagine that you are Martha and your brother, Lazarus, has died. It’s been four days and Jesus shows up. You tell Him, “Lord, my brother is dead…if only You were here.” What do you do when the Lord responds, “He will rise…roll the stone away.”

Belief And Unbelief Cannot Reign Equal In Your Heart…One Will Submit To The Other

Have you ever been in an impossible situation where belief and unbelief battle for supremacy in your heart? You see, it’s one thing when you are just imagining that you were Moses, Peter, or Martha in their impossible situations. But it’s another whole thing when it’s your real life impossible situation and there is the seeming possibility in the natural that the Lord may fail to move the imposing mountain. When there is the mountain of a personal health issue, or the mountain of a rocky marriage, or the mountain of a prodigal child, or the mountain of a struggling financial situation, make no mistake about it, unbelief will wage war against belief for supremacy in your heart. What do you do then, because belief and unbelief cannot reign equal in your heart…one will submit to the other.

Small Belief In A Big God Can Move Mountains

There is good news for you and I when we find ourselves in these kind of impossible situations because Jesus says that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. The Bible states in Matthew 17:14-20, “At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.’

Jesus replied, ‘You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.’ Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well. Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, ‘Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?’ ‘You don’t have enough faith,’ Jesus told them. ‘I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.’”

The Battle For Supremacy In Your Heart Between Belief And Unbelief

When we read this story and Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples, we often focus upon the faith of the disciples or lack thereof; but what about the faith of the man who brought his son to Jesus? Even after he brought the boy to the disciples and they couldn’t help him, the man didn’t give up. He still had faith enough to bring his son directly to Jesus for healing. And the striking thing about this story retold by the gospel of Mark is that even though the man struggled with unbelief, he overcame it through belief in Jesus.

The Bible states in Mark 9:21-24, “So He (Jesus) asked his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him (the boy)?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. And often he (the demon) has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’”

The battle for supremacy in this man’s heart between belief and unbelief was raging strong; however, belief as small as a mustard seed in Jesus forcefully overcame unbelief in the natural and the impossible mountain in his life was moved by God. There is no mountain in your life or mine that cannot be moved by the promises of God and faith in His word because God is good, His word is true, and He is faithful!

Stay The Course With Committed Belief

I’ve learned in life that spiritual breakthroughs often come slowly over time as we keep on believing God, walking by faith and not by sight. A little crack in a concrete dam will eventually create a huge crack that will cause the whole dam to fail and the water to breakthrough. In the spiritual realm, God’s word combined with prayer and fasting creates the crack that will eventually bring the spiritual breakthrough and the manifestation of what God has promised. We see this in Daniel’s life and it will happen in our life the same way with prayer and fasting.

I like how the Message Bible paraphrases Hebrews 6:11-16 regarding faith in God and His faithfulness to fulfill His promises. “And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them. When God made His promise to Abraham, He backed it to the hilt, putting His own reputation on the line. He said, ‘I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have — bless and bless and bless!’ Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him.

Four Ways To Make Unbelief Submit To Belief And Have Belief Reign Supreme In Your Heart

On the basis of Hebrews 6:11-16, let me give you four ways to make unbelief submit to belief in your life and have belief reign supreme in your heart.

  1. Read God’s Word because you must know what He says about the situation in order to believe Him to do something about the situation.
  2. Believe God’s Word because He will do what He says He will do.
  3. Pray and fast because breakthrough happens in the supernatural before it happens in the natural.
  4. Never, ever give up because God is for you and He is with you.

To God’s glory, have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Let Belief Reign Copyright 2013, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint the leadership article, Let Belief Reign, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.

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