Number one draft pick

I was listening to an archived sermon today from one of my favorite pastors Steven Furtick. In a sermon series about our identity in Christ, he made a comment that "to God, you are a number one draft pick." I don’t know about you but as a wife married to a devoted football fan, I know exactly what that means.

A first round pick is perceived to be one the best talent choices of the upcoming sports season. To say that a player was picked in the first round meant that he was the most desirable talent faced with measuring up to unattainably high expectations. First round picks are the individuals who are picked FIRST.

As a kid, were you ever in the position of being picked last for a team? I know I was and it feels terrible. Some people live their whole lives as if they still belong in the last round of picking regardless of what vision God has spoken into their lives.  

The great news: God could have picked someone else to fulfil the vision He has given you but He didn’t. He picked you. 

It’s not about what YOU can do but what you allow God to do through you that matters. 

What is success?

In the book Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren, he describes success as "Bearing as much fruit as possible given your gifts, opportunities and potential."

What do you think about when you read that? Does it excite you that when God gives you a gift, opportunity and potential that He expects fruit? When you think about it, why would He give you all He’s given you if He didn’t expect some sort of harvest? 

We are all put on earth for a the purpose of impacting the world for Christ. God would not call you to a certain path and then allow you to toil for the duration of your life and end up with nothing. He wants Christians to be the world-changeers, life-impacters and hope-givers. He wants our lives to be a huge success!

God is not glorified by your life being mediocre. Will you take His challenge to allow Him to work through you to bear much fruit here in this lfie now? 

It’s who God chooses

(1 Samuel 16:3- 13)

The LORD said, “Go to Bethlehem. Take a young calf with you and tell them, ‘I have come to make a sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice. Then I will show you what to do. You must anoint the person I show you.”

 4 Samuel did what the LORD told him to do and went to Bethlehem. The elders of Bethlehem shook with fear. They met Samuel and asked, “Do you come in peace?”

 5 Samuel answered, “Yes, I come in peace. I come to make a sacrifice to the LORD. Prepare yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Samuel prepared Jesse and his sons. Then he invited them to come and share the sacrifice.

 6 When Jesse and his sons arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the man who the LORD has chosen.”

 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Eliab is tall and handsome, but don’t judge by things like that. God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the LORD looks at the heart. Eliab is not the right man.”

 8 Then Jesse called his second son, Abinadab. Abinadab walked by Samuel. But Samuel said, “No, this is not the man who the LORD chose.”

 9 Then Jesse told Shammah to walk by Samuel. But Samuel said, “No, the LORD did not choose this man, either.”

 10 Jesse showed seven of his sons to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any of these men.”

 11 Then he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

   Jesse answered, “No, I have another son—my youngest, but he is out taking care of the sheep.”

   Samuel said, “Send for him. Bring him here. We won’t sit down to eat until he arrives.”

 12 Jesse sent someone to get his youngest son. This son was a good-looking, healthy [b] young man. He was very handsome.

   The LORD said to Samuel, “Get up and anoint him. He is the one.”

 13 Samuel took the horn with the oil in it, and poured the special oil on Jesse’s youngest son in front of his brothers. The Spirit of the LORD came on David with great power from that day on.

The present of being present

How great is it when you talk to someone and you know that you have their FULL attention? They are not looking around, not making notes, not working on the computer, not checking their phone but actually paying pure attention to what you are communicating to them. Now – let me ask you. Are you a bad person to talk to or a good one? Until very recently, I was a bad one. Really bad. As a multi-tasking addict there was honestly nothing that could keep my attention fully. I would be typing one thing while talking to a client about another, be in a meeting with one person and then take a call from another – right in front of them! ugh!! 

Let me share with you a little tip I’ve learned. The reason I was not able to truly focus is because my mind was cluttered. Dozens of to-do list items were always floating around my head with no organized system in place where I could "dump" the contents of my head and be able to concentrate on the present situation. I lived constantly in a state of: what’s next, I have to return that call, did I forget to check that email, when is my library book due…??? And on and on. 

Thankfully I work with a coach who has taught me the value of using a REAL contact management system (not just paper all over the place) that stores all the little to-do things in my head in a safe spot (that also syncs to my phone).  Within only 5 days of using it I started to feel like I was thinking clearer and was able to actually enjoy having conversations with others as I knew that the next thing was only a glance-at-my-blackberry away.  I had no idea how much emotional energy it took to stay organized until I was actually organized and that pressure began to evaporate. 

Are you giving the people in your life the present of being present? Get your "life data" organized. You’ll be a whole new you! 

Secret to reverse recruiting

Attracting and retaining top talent seems to a struggle for most NPOs. In my research I have come across thousands of solutions for how to create a great culture, improve employee engagement etc; however, I truly believe there is primarily one main thing that will build a dynamic work environment. I like to use the term "reverse recruiting" as it seems like for most employers, this strategy is the reverse of the mainstream approach.

Before you even start to interview, write out a description of the exact type of person you’re looking for: their character, their personality, their strengths, their abilities. Be picky – getting the right person in the right job will make all the difference. Next, start the recruiting process explaining very specifically what you’re looking for in an applicant: not just employment experience but the details about the WHOLE person. When interviewing, take the time (even if it takes 5 interviews) to make sure you truly understand who this person is, that their passion and vision is connected to the vision of your NPO and also confirm that their personal goals can be fulfilled by the role you’re offering. 

What we do should be an extension of who we are – not the other way around. If you are a strategic person and love issues that affect the environment, then you should probably work in a strategic role with an organization that solves issues that affect the environment and not just take a job and try to make yourself fit that role. Find someone who truly IS already what you’re looking for – don’t try to change people.