Who is Next for me?

someone who is next for you means giving someone an open window to your life.
Open windows mean access.
If you want to impact a life you must first be open to that life.  Open windows scare us in our culture.  We like to control what people see and what they know.  Open windows scare us because we cannot control what we allow out nor what is allowed in.
After Hurricane Gustav I was without power for about a week.  Open windows led to a filthy house full of dead love bugs (which I do not love) and dust.  One night while sleeping with the windows open, I began to smell an absolutely terrible stench.  The next morning I figured it out.   The neighborhood sewage treatment location across the street was without power like me.  All of a sudden I could smell all my neighbor’s stink.
Truth is we all have stink.  But we are accustomed to our own stink.  It is familiar to us.  When we give open windows to others with our lives we smell their stink, but we also allow them to smell ours.
The principles of this blog are found in the passage 2 Timothy 3:10-11.  Where do I get the thought of open windows…”you know ALL ABOUT…”
How many people know ALL ABOUT you?
Here are four things people need from you if they are going to be next for you.
1.  Seeing behaviorsets beliefs.
            People learn way more from what they see than what they hear.  Your children do not think you believe what you say…they know you believe what you do. 
2.  Seeing purposes lived out defines promises lived in.
            The purposes and plans of your life define what promises you truly believe.  We can say we believe we are new creations in Christ or that we are more than conquerors in Christ, but it is the purposes of our lives that define for others what promises we actually hold to.  Often our problem is that we say we believe in grace until it means we need it too.
We are so afraid that others might see what is wrong in our lives that we never allow anyone to see what is right in our life.
3.  Seeing patience given reveals love felt.
            We are patient with the people we love.  We are also the most impatient with the people we love, but that is because the people we love have much greater opportunity and ability to test our patience.  Patience is never to lower a standard…it is to love someone in spite of their failure to uphold that standard.
4.  Endurance is seen in the inconveniences of life.
            Character is seen when the inconvenient and difficult is dealt with.  It’s easy to have high character when the going is easy.  It is when the going gets rough that the real is seen.
Making an impact means making an impression.
If you want to leave a powerful impact make personal impressions…one life at a time.

You’re Next

Being next means not being now.
The biggest issue most people have with being next is being second.
Being next for someone is an intentionality everyone needs but few people pursue.  Having mentors and leaders in your life is never accidental it is always intentional.  You must choose those relationships and you must foster them.  Most people today would like to have them but they have this misconception that the onus is completely on the mentor to make the relationship and connection happen.  Not so. 
These truths come out of the life of Apollos as recorded in Acts 18 in the New Testament of the Bible. 
Four character traits necessary to be Next for Somone:
1.  Teachability
     Teachability always trumps talent.
            Everyone has a certain level of talent, but no matter how talented a person is, what causes success is the level at which they are teachable.  Whether it is professionally, athletically, or spiritually, anybody is capable of wasting talent.  Are you willing to maximize yours?  Stay teachable.
2.  Availability
     Value in makes for value out.
     If you want to be next for someone, make their life more full not more filled.
            Your goal is not to fill a busy and successful person’s calendar.  You should strive to free their calendar.  Add into what they are doing so they can have the freedom to add into who you are becoming. Make their life full, not their calendar filled.
3.  Accountability
If you ask for the investment, pay the price.
            Don’t ask for someone else to invest in your life and then be too cheap with your time and effort to honor their investment.  Successful people do not have time and resources to waste on someone who willingly wastes their investment.  Pay the price and be held accountable.
4.  Honesty
     Ask questions.
     They might know the answers, but typically they forgot the questions.
            It’s a very simple reality really.  The person who can most help you go through what you are going through has already gone through it successfully.  The issue is they often do not remember what they struggled with exactly during those days of their life.  So ask questions, it will bring out the answers they learned as you remind them of the questions they forgot.

Ups and Downs

Ups and Downs are not optimal but they are also not optional.

This truth is discussed with elegance and brutal honesty in Ecclesiastes 3:1-15. This passage will be the text for this Sunday’s sermon and the base truth of a 5 week series we are kicking off at both campuses of Fellowship Church.

Maybe you are down right now…maybe you are up…maybe your family is down…maybe your family is up…maybe…

We like to think all downs are the result of failures so that we can avoid them, but the truth is that some downs are facts not failures.

So, what do we with them? How do we live out faith and hope when the facts of life cause hope to be hard to hold onto and faith seem far away?

Join us Sunday as we learn together. You can find service times and locations at http://www.fellowshipchurch.cc

Perhaps you received a link of this blog from a friend via email or social media.  I hope you take that as your friend expressing concern for you.  They are also expressing compassion towards you about the things you are facing in life and their desire to encourage you in whatever season you are in.

Wrapping up Next

Well I did a good job blogging the beginning of Next but not the middle nor the end.  My apologies.  So here is a catch up blog.
Some big truths for being ready for next things in life.
The most important step in your life is the next one.
Today if you are living in rebellion you are one step away from righteousness.
If, today, you are living in righteousness you are one step away from rebellion.

Next is now.
If you want next to change then change now.
Who is next to you in life influences what is next for you in life.
There is no greater influence on your next what than your now who.

Who is next to you includes 3 types of people…
1.  Those next to you.  (Similar in life experience and maturity.)
2.  Those you are next for.  (Further along in life experience and/or maturity.)
            These are the people investing in your life.
3.  Those who are next for you.  (You are further along in life experience and/or maturity.)
The topic for two more blogs for this week are…
How to be next for someone.
What the person next for you needs.

Who is next to you?

“Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33b
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20

Who is next to you in life?

Who speaks encouragement and truth into your life?
Who speaks discouragement and falsehood?
Who speaks the love of The Lord?
Who speaks gossip?
Whose corruption effects your character?
Whose actions shows others who you are?

Who you are next to in life has a huge impact on who you are next in life.

Who is next to you?

(Our topic this Sunday at Fellowship. 8:30, 9:45, or 11 AM at our Prairieville campus or 10 AM at our South Ascension campus. We would love to see you Sunday.)

Three Next Issues – Issue 3

The Gap of the Future

This one is harder to see even in the story because it was not yet a part of the story. God told Ananias he would show Saul how much he would have to suffer for his name. And Saul, who became Paul, most certainly suffered for the glory and Gospel of Jesus. Interestingly enough, God did not tell Saul that information on that day. Saul learned that as he went along. God did not tell Saul, I am going to make you the greatest missionary of all time and I am going to inspire my Word for others to learn about me through you or you are going to share the Gospel with the Gentiles. He simply told him, go to Damascus and wait.

You cannot be faithful with what is past.
You cannot be faithful with what is next.
You can only be faithful with what is NOW.

You do not know what is next…not really.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Here is the tough truth about your plans. They are unknown and unnecessary.
They are unknown to you because you have no idea what is next anyway.
They are unnecessary to God because he does not need your plans to fulfill His purpose.

So quit living consumed with the plans you are making and live consumed with the purposes of The Lord…Now!

Because Next is Now! The most important step in your live is the next one.

Three Next Step Issues – Issue 2

The Gripe of the Present.

Saul and Ananias had reasons to gripe. Saul could have griped against The Lord about him being blinded by God. (was the really necessary, God?) But he did not. He chose to fast for 3 days and wait upon The Lord. When The Lord moved he chose baptism before breakfast. Confession before concessions. He wanted God more than grub.

Ananias did gripe…briefly though. He said, God do you know who Saul is? You sure about this God. That is one bad dude. Then he heard from The Lord and obeyed.

Do not allow your desire for what is next to disillusion you about what is now.

Next is Now.

If you want a positive next you have to move in a positive now. If you want a next full of grace and truth you have to live in that grace and truth now.

How do we disillusion ourselves about now?

We typically make things out to be bigger and badder than they really are. Both in a positive and negative way. We see everything as great when there is still more to do or we see all as lost when there is still hope on the horizon.

Griping about now will never make a greater next.