August 25, 2009

Blind Leadership

In Luke chapter 18 we find a story involving the interaction between Jesus and a blind man. As I was reading this passage I realized that there were at least 10 different leadership lessons we could glean from the life of the blind man.

“As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."

He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?"

"Lord, I want to see," he replied.

Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.”

Luke 18:35-43

1. He positioned himself to receive. Rather than just sitting around and doing nothing because of his handicap, he was placing himself each day in a position to receive something to help him improve his quality of life. Some people want to experience the warmth and comfort of the fire without putting forth the sweat and effort to cut up the wood. The blind man’s daily effort is what placed him in position to receive his sight. As leaders we must understand the necessity of being in position to receive our vision.

2. He saw his opportunity and acted upon it. When he realized that Jesus was coming his way he committed himself to connecting with Jesus regardless of what he might have to do to make that connection. As leaders we must insist on a daily connection with Jesus to keep us on task, fulfilling the mission that He has called us to.

3. He called upon Jesus for help while acknowledging who Jesus was. Leaders must acknowledge who Jesus is as well as their need for Jesus presence and guidance in their lives. And leaders must call out to Jesus for His help.

4. He took the pulse of his surroundings. Even though he was blind, he had the presence of mind to check with those around him to determine who and what was causing the distractions around him. He used the gifts and abilities that he possessed to get the most out of his current situation rather than focusing on the things that he didn’t have. Leaders must always make sure that their focus is on what can be done with what is available rather than focusing on what can’t be done due to a lack of resources.

5. He refused to listen to and be shut down by public opinion. The blind man tuned out the noise of the crowd and refused to let them dictate what he could and could not do. Leaders must not listen to public opinion and refuse to let the cries of those around them change their minds or cause them to compromise their morals, vision, character, or destiny.

6. He persisted in adversity choosing to see HOPE through his need. He did not give up on his pursuit of Jesus just because of the crowds or his handicap. He persisted until he achieved what he had purposed in his heart to do. As leaders we must always commit to our dreams, purpose and vision; refusing to allow anything to distract or deter us from reaching the destiny for our lives.

7. His request was for vision. When Jesus asked him what he wanted he replied, “I want to see”. As leaders, we must always have a desire to see, to catch a vision and be able to see clearly how to share the vision, how to engage the vision, and how to complete the vision. And our request of Jesus must always be, “Lord, help me to see!”

8. He executed his faith. Once he made his request, Jesus said, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Leaders must exercise and execute their faith and believe in the mission, and the people that God has given you to accomplish the mission. It takes great faith to accomplish great things.

9. He followed the leading of Jesus in his new vision. Once he received his sight and Jesus moved on, the Bible says that the blind man “followed Jesus”. When leaders receive their vision they must be careful not to move out and begin to work the vision out of their own abilities and agendas. But rather they must make sure that they continue to follow Jesus and seek His will, plan, and resources for the completion of the vision. In doing so, a leader will insure his success.

10. He gave God thanks and praise for the vision he had received. After receiving his sight, he also gave thanks and praise to God for his vision. Leaders must always understand that the vision came from God and it is imperative that we remember to give God thanks and praise for the opportunity, strength and ability to receive and fulfill the vision of God in our lives.

As leaders we must be careful not to allow a blind man to see more clearly than we do. Our prayer should always be, “God, please give me sight that I might see!” Catch your vision from God and LEAD ON!

August 8, 2009

Who am I...

But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’ Amos 7:14-15

What do you do for a living? What kind of work are you involved in? These are questions that people ask of each other daily. They are attempting to get to know you--find out something about you. For some reason, they feel that if they learn what kind of profession you are in that it would give them some insight into who you are. Perhaps...and perhaps not.

What we need to understand more than anything else in life is this... We are not defined by our trade or profession. Our identity does not come from what we do for a living. Our identity comes from God and our obedience to what he has called us to do. Amos understood this concept. He realized that his ability to be who God desired him to be was not limited to the simple fact that his trade was a shepherd. His identity was tied to his ability to hear God's voice, heed the call of God and obediently DO what God ask. As a shepherd, men would have proclaimed that Amos was not qualified to do what God called him to do. However, Amos knew that if God calls a man to do something, then God will also prepare and qualify him to do that thing.

What about you? Does your profession or trade stand between you and what God has called you to do? Are you hesitant to be obedient because you feel that you are not qualified? GET OVER IT! What God calls you to do He will gift you to do! Step out and be obedient. Remember, you are a leader. Lead with diligence! Lead without hesitation! And lead with your lifestyle as an example! But whatever you do, LEAD! God requires it and the world needs it!

July 31, 2009

Oxygen Anyone?

Please fasten your seatbelt. Make sure your seatback is in its full upright position. In the event of a water landing, your seat cushion can serve as a flotation device. In the unlikely event that the airplane cabin should depressurize, an oxygen mask will fall from the cabin ceiling. Please be sure that you put your own mask on before attempting to assist other passengers with their mask.

Everyday flight attendants all over the world are repeating this message to those who are flying the “friendly skies” heading to many different destinations for many different reasons. They are careful to make sure that, in the monotonous pre-flight instruction drill, they do not forget or leave out any important life saving instructions for the on-board passengers. There are even those creative and industrious flight attendants who devise alternative, and sometimes, entertaining methods of giving these instructions in an all out effort to insure that all passengers hear the instructions and are able to perform them if such an emergency did occur. However, those passengers who regularly accumulate hefty amounts of frequent flyer miles, have a tendency to tune out the flight attendants, feeling that they have heard the same message hundreds of times and the message doesn’t apply to them anyway, since what they are being warned of is not going to happen.

I believe the same thing is happening in our churches today. Every week, Pastors in churches all over this world are repeating the “pre-flight” instructions to those who are suppose to be Christians headed to different destinations in life. Those same Pastors are very careful to make sure that they don’t forget or leave out any important “life saving” instructions for those who are eternally “heaven bound”. And yes, some of those Pastors who are creative and industrious are designing alternative and entertaining methods of presenting the Biblical pre-flight instructions in an attempt to insure that all parishioners hear, understand and apply these instructions to their life. But, just like the frequent flyers, those Christians who are accumulating hefty amounts of frequent pew-packing miles have a tendency to tune out the Pastor’s message feeling that they have heard the “same message” before and it doesn’t apply to them anyway, since it is their neighbor who needs to make changes in their life--not them!

Maybe it’s time for a wake up call to all Christians everywhere. Maybe we have diluted the power of our influence because we refuse to put on our own oxygen mask first before attempting to assist other passengers with their oxygen mask.” Maybe we should listen more closely to the Pastor’s pre-flight drill, apply it to our own life first so that we can truly be an example, and then share the same life-giving message that we have received with others who are traveling with us. Perhaps that is what Jesus meant when He said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

Isn’t it time that we got serious about our destination as well as the destination of others? How about you? Are you drowning out the truth of God’s Word in your life with all of the noise of the world? Or, are you applying His truth to your life so that you can become a “lighted path” to illuminate the way for “all creation” to find Jesus and make heaven their ultimate destination? Come on. Let’s fasten our seatbelt, put our seatbacks in the upright position and prepare to do more than just hang on for the ride! Let’s together make a difference in our community for the cause of Jesus Christ. Let’s help others make their pre-flight preparations today! Share your life with others!

July 1, 2009

Some day...

That elusive and often times only dreamed about day when all things that we want to do, become, experience, and live out will all of a sudden just happen! Some day I’ll travel the world. Some day I will spend more time with my kids. Some day I will love my spouse the way God intended. Some day I will discover my purpose in life. Some day I will…

Whatever your someday is; just maybe it will be today. Right. Not necessarily. One day recently I found my mind wondering while I was stopped at the traffic light of a major intersection on the edge of town. I was just winding down on my way home from the office. As I sat there, I noticed off to my right front was a gentleman in an extended cab Dodge Ram pickup truck waiting in the northbound left turn lane for his green left turn signal. Now I know that what I have described so far is typical of any city in this nation; however, as I said earlier my mind was wondering. And as I was wondering, my thoughts carried me far away from the reality of merely a drive home from the office. I began to analyze the life of the gentleman in the Dodge pickup.

I estimated that this man was in his mid fifty’s. He had a well-groomed goatee, wore a baseball cap and had an enormous belly, which seemed to wrap itself around the truck’s steering wheel. His tattoo-covered arm was hanging a bit tightly out the rolled down window of his truck. Between his thumb and index finger he loosely clung to a half smoked cigarette, which he thumped routinely to remove the tobacco ashes from the end.

As I watched this scene I wondered to myself, “Is this his someday?” Was this the dream he had for himself when he was a child? Was this where he wanted to be at this point in his life? Is he living out his life-long dream? And then it occurred to me…is this what I dreamed of when I was a child? Is the current life I am living the one that I had high expectations of living when I reached the age that I am now?

As my thoughts began to drift through my life from childhood to where I am today, I realized that I had dreamed many dreams for my life. Some of those dreams I had actually lived out and experienced. However, many of those dreams were still, to this day, only a dream. In fact, some of those dreams were no longer a dream at all. Some had become a mere rubbish pile of brokenness, failure, disappointment and impossibilities. Some had been totally forgotten about and there were even some that I was extremely elated about their death, since they were dreams that could have caused me great grief if they had come true.

But as I experienced this journey through my mind, there was one thing that pricked my heart more than any unrealized dream of my past. I discovered that, for some unconsciously thought out decision in my life, I had almost quit dreaming at all. Oh, no! Me?! Quit dreaming? Why? The very thought of no longer dreaming began to feel quite eerie to me. This had to change. I must dream. We all must dream. It is the pursuit of a dream that keeps us all in the game. It is actually the Lord’s desire for us to dream. He created in us a passion and a capacity to dream of things that could be. And yet, it seems that I have lost either my passion for dreaming or my capacity to dream. God forbid? I must correct this deficiency in my life…today! Now! This very moment I must decide to dream…dream of what could be, dream of what should be, dream of what would be if I allow the Lord to have complete control of my thoughts, my actions, my talents, my passions, my abilities, and…oh yeah—MY DREAMS!

Are you living in your SOME DAY? Are you still dreaming of what could be? If not, allow me to encourage you to dream. In fact, you should dream BIG! Allow your passions and intellect, through God’s help, to dream of that which appears to be impossible. See just what God can do through you. Seek to live out your God ordained SOME DAY!

How do I begin to dream?

  1. Prioritize your life. Many times we find ourselves spending too much time dealing with those things that claim to be urgent rather than dealing with those things that are genuinely important. This not only keeps us excessively engrossed but it also prevents us from realizing any quality reflection time in which dreams could be born.
  2. Clearly identify your dream. What is it that you are most passionate about? What talents do you possess that could be used to bring fulfillment to your dream? What experiences have you had that have driven you closer to your dream? Set aside some time every day to allow yourself to think about who you are, what you want to do, and where you want to go in life. Then take the time to write down your thought and ideas.
  3. Give your dream to God. Once you have identified what your dream is, give it to God. If it is not the direction that He wants you to go, then allow Him to tweak your dream in any way He wants to. God made you for a purpose and He has a wonderful plan and dream of His own for you. Ask Him to bless your dream, refine your dream and then assist you in engaging the talents (which, by the way, He has given to you), abilities, and knowledge that you possess to fulfill your dream.
  4. Stand up to your giants. Anyone who has a dream is going to face a giant or two. Those obstacles, roadblocks and doomsayers who could kill a dream in a hurry. Fear, failure, finances, knowledge, training, critics, schedule…all of these and more will try to distract you from your pursuit of your dream. Keep your focus, believe in yourself and trust in the Lord. Remember, “God can do anything…far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)
  5. Consider your resources. What is your personality? What are your talents and giftedness? What is your education? What is your commitment level? All of these will contribute to the fulfillment of your dream. Also, you should become a reader. Readers can accomplish much more than non-readers. Reading brings knowledge, ideas, self-mentoring, creativity and many more extremely positive and valuable aspects to your table of dreams.
  6. Set goals and move forward. Begin to take the necessary steps to make your dream become a reality. Start by setting small measurable and attainable goals. This will insure that you stay committed and encouraged about the accomplishment of the overall dream. Be sure to write down the progress you make at each level and review your goals often. You may also want to share your dream with someone who you know believes in you and will cheerlead you on to success. As your dream begins to materialize, you may need to reevaluate and possibly even revise your plans and goals. Don’t let this discourage you however, because this is a very normal and necessary part of dream fulfillment.
  7. Allow failure to become your greatest teacher. Quite often you may find that one of your plans or steps along the way just simply do not work. Back up, learn from your mistake, make adjustments and once again move forward. Realize that every thing you try will not be successful; however, always allow yourself to learn from your mistakes.
  8. Finally, celebrate your successes. Always take a moment to thank God for His help and blessing in seeing each step of your dream become a reality. We must understand that without God in our lives we would never reach our destiny. But, “with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

April 4, 2009

A Touch of Greatness - Part 4

To become great we must serve others. (O-T-H-E-R-S) (cont'd)

R – Remember, recognize, acknowledge, and affirm others and their dreams.

Romans 16:3-16 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them. Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.

S – Serve the greater good in others. By adding value to other people we ultimately add value to ourselves and in the process uncover and dig out our true GREATNESS.

Find your hidden greatness by serving others and LEAD ON!

March 31, 2009

A Touch of Greatness - Part 3

To become great we must serve others. (O-T-H-E-R-S) (cont'd)

T – Thankful and thoughtful. We must learn to be thankful and have a grateful attitude toward life. We should live life with the attitude of the new hire kid. Remember when you landed your first real job. Wow. You didn’t even know where the bathroom was, you may not have even known what they were going to pay you…but it didn’t really matter to you. You were happy, excited and grateful just to be there. Why can’t we live life that way?

We should express thoughtfulness towards others. Grateful to serve others. Grateful to invest in someone’s life. Grateful to have the opportunity to be of service. This kind of attitude would turn all of our “have to’s” into “get to’s”. Man would that evermore change the landscape of humanity!!!

H – Hear with your heart and help with your best.

Acts 15:35-39 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord. Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing." Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,

To discover our hidden greatness, we must be willing to overlook others faults, listen with our hearts and then reach out with our very best to encourage, train and empower those whom God has put under our leadership.

E – Encourage others to dream and live their dreams.

Ruth 3:1-6 One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for? Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do." "I will do whatever you say," Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.

Greatness comes from helping others dream and live out their dreams.

March 29, 2009

A Touch of Greatness - Part 2

So, how do we find the greatness that is hidden inside of us? It all has to do with our focus. We must quit focusing on ourselves and begin to focus on others. It is what we do for others that makes us great.

The disciples were arguing this thought in Luke chapter 22 verses 23-27.
“Then the disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing. And they began to argue among themselves as to who would be the greatest in the coming Kingdom. Jesus told them, "In this world the kings and great men order their people around, and yet they are called 'friends of the people.' But among you, those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Normally the master sits at the table and is served by his servants. But not here! For I am your servant.”

To become great we must serve others. (O-T-H-E-R-S)

Let’s begin with the “O”.

O – Offer your very best.

Philippians 2:25-30
25 Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, a faithful worker, and a courageous soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need. 26 Now I am sending him home again, for he has been longing to see you, and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill. 27 And he surely was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him-- and also on me, so that I would not have such unbearable sorrow. 28 So I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him, and that will lighten all my cares. 29 Welcome him with Christian love and with great joy, and be sure to honor people like him. 30 For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while trying to do for me the things you couldn't do because you were far away.

Epaphroditus was a nobody, however he gave his best.
1. He was a people lover, He ministered to Paul and when the people back home heard he was ill it stressed him out to think that they were worried about him.
2. He was a risk taker, he risked his own life to serve Paul—most people would have pampered and served their own need.
3. He was a tireless worker, He worked so hard at the ministry he was called to that it literally caused his illness.
4. He was a servant leader. Paul sends word to the church to give him a hero’s welcome because of his uncompromising servant leadership.

To uncover our hidden greatness we must learn to offer our very best.

March 28, 2009

A Touch of Greatness - Part 1

Leadership effectiveness is determined by how we choose to live out our life. The choices we make will ultimately determine who we become—good, bad or indifferent. Our world is made better or worse just by us becoming the person that we choose to become. Therefore, we must understand that when we choose to be less than God created us to be, we are not the only ones who lose. The whole human race loses. The Kingdom of God loses. When we choose to be our best and live out our best, that is when we discover the hero inside of us.

Peter was a classic example. He was a commoner, a nobody…a fisherman. But Jesus called him…Jesus saw in him a touch of greatness. However, in Matthew Chapter 26 we see Peter in all of his failure, his sorrow, his lack of courage, his NOT SO GREATNESS as we watch him deny that he even knew Jesus.

How terrible. How could a man who walked with Jesus and saw the miracles and heard the teaching…how could that man fail so miserably? Easy. Peter was still in the building process, he was still just dreaming, he was still discovering his greatness. It was hidden—but only for a short while longer.

For you see…Jesus was blowing the dust and cobwebs from Peter’s life. He was removing the rubble of failure out of his life and preparing Peter for his greatest hour yet. Just a few pages later we see Peter in all of his all of his GREATNESS! We see him as the most improved disciple and a great leader who delivered the awesome message on the day of Pentecost.

Jesus wants to do the same for you. There is greatness hidden in your life as well. It is hidden under your scarcity mindset, your rubble of failures, your unfulfilled dreams, or your crushed heart.

But Jesus is blowing all that away, He wants to help you realize the potential He established inside of you. Jesus understands that one person recognizing who God intended him to become, one person understanding the potential of a dream lived out is enough to turn the world upside down for his cause. It was enough for Peter and the disciples.
So how do we become great? What must we do to allow God to pull out our hidden greatness? Over the next few days we will use this blog to unpack some truths and take a closer look at what it takes for you and I to truly become great. So get ready to discover your hidden touch of greatness and Lead On!

March 23, 2009

Heroic Leadership

Recent events in my personal life have caused me to become keenly aware of what true leadership is all about. Leadership is such a mixture of vision, character, integrity, motivation, and management. It requires that we engage ourselves completely—from our intellect to our compassion. If we are to truly and effectively lead it will cost us many times more than we are readily willing to spend of ourselves.

But to become a quality leader we will press through and engage ourselves totally—mind, body, and spirit. We will willingly expend whatever it requires to insure that those we lead will become empowered, motivated, inspired, equipped, determined, compassionate, Godly, and full of integrity and high character. We must not only teach and instruct those we lead, but we MUST model the discipline of those teachings in front of those we lead so that they may see and understand that leadership is best lived out integrated in our lives without compromise!

That is why I have come to the realization that real leadership—the leadership that can be referred to as HEROIC LEADERSHIP—must always begin in our homes with our families. You see, if we can’t lead our own spouse and children effectively, we will most certainly be as lost as a ball in high weeds when it comes to leading those we work with and fellowship with outside of our homes.

Come on, you can do it. Get in the game, call the next play, and lead heroically. If you don’t, WHO WILL!?

March 22, 2009

David Found Strength

"David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God." 1 Samuel 30:6

In this passage of scripture we find that David and his men have returned from the Philistine territory where they were willing to go to battle with the Philistines against the Philistine's enemies. However, the Philistine commanders did not trust David and felt that David and his men would turn on them. So they sent him and his men back to Ziklag where David's camp was set up. But when David returned to Ziklag, he found it burned to the ground by the Amalakites. The Amalakites had also taken their wives, children and possessions captive.

In verse 6 we see that David's men have blamed him for what has happened and they are about to turn against him and stone him to death. What I find to be the most intriguing part of this story is the very next line where it reads, " But David found strength in the Lord his God." That is powerful! Here we find David with NOTHING! He has lost his wife and all his possessions to his enemy and now his friends are about to turn on him as well. Most of us would give up and quit. But not David! He turned to God with whom he had a great relationship and found strength to go on in the face of great adversity.

The result? Well, in the remainder of that chapter we read how David defeated the Amalakites and rescued all of the wives, children and possessions completely. In verse 19 we read, "Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken." Wow! Now that is leadership at its best. Take heart, find strength...and LEAD ON!

March 16, 2009

A Good Man

The watchman said, "It seems to me that the first one runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok." "He's a good man," the king said. "He comes with good news." 2 Samuel 18:27

When people see you coming, what do they say? Are you a good person? Do you bring good news?

As leaders, it is imperative that we maintain a good reputation and always make sure that our leadership is worthy of follower-ship! We need to make sure that we are spending our influence in a way that will produce a quality product in the lives of those we lead. The organization that we are leading will only be as effective and influential as we are. It is a very sobering thought when we realize that the lives of those we lead are dependant upon our leadership.

Spend your leadership as if it was an investment from which you desired a return and you will never be disappointed! Lead on!

January 2, 2009

The 'Do Over' Shot

It was a typical day on the links during the 1920’s. The morning air was fresh and crisp as the sun began its work to dry out the yawning blades of grass. The men gathered at the first tee box of the St. Lambert Country Club in Montreal, Canada just as they did every Saturday morning. There was the usual small talk as each one began to swing their clubs in an effort to loosen up their bodies for the upcoming eighteen-hole game. One at a time, three of the four men drove their golf ball nicely out to the middle of the fairway. The fourth man, David, teed his ball up and began to align himself up with the number one fairway. He carefully calculated his practice swings to insure that the ball would land precisely where he desired in the fairway. He approached the ball, drew his club back and swiftly followed through with a mighty swing of his driver.

David had really pounded the ball. It traveled a much greater distance than the drives of his comrades; however, David’s ball did not come close to traveling in a straight line. Therefore, it did not land in the fairway as David had hoped. So, almost instinctively, David teed up a second ball and quickly drove his second tee shot right down the middle several yards further than he had even hoped for. As he reached down to pick up his tee he said to his partners, “that was my ‘correction shot’.” However, knowing David Mulligan the way his playing partners did, they preferred to name the shot after him. Now, many years later, golfers worldwide have benefited from the ‘do over shot’ that is referred to as a mulligan.

The Bible tells of a man named Simon Peter who understood the potential of a ‘do over shot’. When he was placed in a situation of denying Jesus or identifying with Him, he chose to deny that he even knew who Jesus was. It was definitely not Peter’s best shot. After the third crow from the rooster, Peter walked away leaving behind all his dreams, hopes and potential. He walked right back into his previous lifestyle believing that the game was over. Peter assumed that since he looked like a fisherman, sounded like a fisherman and smelled like a fisherman; then perhaps all he would ever have the potential to become was a fisherman. Wrong! Jesus offered Peter a ‘do over shot’. Perhaps the first mulligan ever recorded was granted to Peter. Not only was Peter restored and given a second chance, but he became a great apostle and leader to usher in the New Testament church.

As January 2009 rolls around we find that God has done it once again. He, in all His grace and mercy, has extended to each of us a mulligan—a ‘do over shot’. God is the master of the ‘do over’. No matter what you’ve done or where life has taken you, there is always an opportunity to use one of God’s mulligans to get your life back on track and to achieve your potential and reach your destiny. So select your club, tee up your ball and take your best shot now. It’s a fresh new year just waiting for you to stretch your potential, maximize your opportunity and do something of great value for the Kingdom of God.

Swing hard and aim straight!