Progress Not Perfection {Don’t Give Up}

God listens, give up, despairWhat you own, where you work, what you wear, where you live – these things do not define who you are. The culture we live in will try to convince you that you must survive life successfully in a certain way. Some who are believers in God will even try to tell you that you cannot become what your heart desires because of your gender, race, age, or income. This is man’s law and has nothing to do with God’s definition of who you are or of what you are capable. The Father has never expected perfection from you. He knows life is messy, but desires progress for you in becoming the amazing person He created.

What is the dream in your heart that won’t keep quiet? You were created to do that – imperfectly! There is no limit with God in who he chooses, calls, and equips for certain tasks. Your future is guaranteed by His Spirit, not dependent on what characterizes your physical life. You were created by God to submit to His leadership of love and to walk in a trusting relationship with Him. He wants you to enjoy your spiritual inheritance as a child of the King, and walk in the destiny He has planned for you. He knows life isn’t easy, so He is always with you to strengthen and encourage your heart.

When the Father sent an angel to tell Mary that she would conceive and give birth to the Messiah, the response of her heart was excellent: “May everything you’ve said about me come true.” She was just a young girl, about 14, willing to say yes and walk out her destiny. The angel responded to her, “For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

Let the false self with all its efforts of perfection and self-protection fall away and allow the real you God created to shine. Some are afraid of letting too much of themselves show even to God, but not you. You are receiving more of who you are and you are coming to know that if He loves you so much, that He will be the safest place for the revealing of who you were created to be.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord.

‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'”

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Who you are is defined by the realization of God’s unconditional love that goes down deep into your heart, renewing the mind, and healing the soul. The result is a deep peace inside that comforts, encourage, and propels you forward!

“Who knows but that you were positioned here for such a time as this?”

Ester 4:14

Loads of love & grace….

Robin2016-05-25 13.20.43

From the desk by the window where a slow, gentle, healing rain is falling outside, soaking into dry ground. 

Want more? Three (3) new spots just opened up for Spiritual Life Coaching clients! I’m hoping to get those filled soon. Please share with your friends – my speciality is helping women who feel stuck, who are in transition, and those who need to capture more confidence and significance! I’m just an email or call away: robinlewiswords@gmail.com or (843) 319-5390.

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, July 25, 2016

You Are A History Maker and Just May Be A Hero

I can almost hear you, “Me? A history maker?” I know, I felt the same way until I understood. It is common for most of us to think in terms of a history maker being someone like the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution or fought for liberty. People like George Washington, Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Martin Luther King, Jr. But we too are history makers – every day, every moment.

The voices of culture and tradition want to define your life and make you dependent on their approval and acceptance. These voices say that your identity is linked to your position, income level, skin color, or circle of friends. These voices want to fill your mind with fear, doubt, and insignificance. They want to define and paint a picture of your life that’s less than who God says you are. This is small-scale living.

The truth is you are a masterpiece and you might just be a hero.

A few years ago, I took classes in an art gallery and learned that a Master Artist is one who has learned all the rules of shape and color, of texture, brush strokes, and canvas, and then breaks those rules in such a way that creates something new, one-of-a-kind, a can’t-be-duplicated work of art, a masterpiece.

Ephesians 2:10 (AMP) says, “We are God’s own masterpiece, recreated in Christ Jesus with a new start so that we may do all the good works for which we were created, taking the paths which He prepared for us ahead of time, so that we can walk in them and live the good life God thought out, prearranged, and made ready for us to live.”

journey masterpiece

You are a can’t-be-duplicated, without-rival, highly valued creation by God who rightly defines you. He created you to be a person who connects with Him for vision, a man or woman with a voice that is here to create positive change and make a difference for the betterment of mankind. God chose the timing of your birth to be in this generation. He chose the talents, spiritual gifts, and dreams that would be developed for the purpose of your life. And He chose your gender. Whether you are a man or a woman, you have been made in God’s image and have been created to be a person of power, love, and great influence.

Like an inspiring work of art, you are here to lead others into their greatness. As you grow into a person of authenticity, you experience freedom to move in your strengths, giftedness, and passion because your authentic self will always display your uniqueness. A false self will only display a clouded, partial version of who you are to be. You are designed to be an overcomer, not a copy. You are created to be a problem solver, not one who just accepts things as they are. You are fashioned to be a one-of-a-kind, greatly valued individual with a purpose.

Our problem? We don’t believe it. More people are held back by self-limiting beliefs than by any other barrier. We will always live out what we really believe is true or possible for us. It’s time to let the real you emerge, the beautiful parts, and the places where you are strong. For this to happen, you must be intentional about your personal growth. There are parts of you that need to be healed and strengthened. When you choose to trust and receive, you become your truest self, enabled by God to fully live with eternal significance.

artist, creator, canvas, masterpiece

In 2015, America watched my home state as the Confederate Flag was removed from the statehouse grounds in Columbia, SC. The news reporter kept repeating, “You are seeing history being made.” Events of historical significance are distinguished and memorable, but do you think of the importance of your own life in creating history? With your life, you are writing history! Your life has an impact on others around you and on the generations yet to be born. Generations after us will look back and discuss some of us who realized the power of our choice and voice and used them to set the stage for the future. Some of us will be thanked and honored and some of us will be ridiculed and shamed. Don’t let the authentic you be painted over or muted by the brush strokes of the world that seek to diminish your beauty and purpose.

We are all history makers, for better or for worse, and if we pursue Him, God will help you become all He originally intended you to be – a leader, a history maker, and a person characterized by confidence and joy. Our stories were written to be joined with God so we can know first hand His ability to restore! No more boxed in, insignificant living. With authenticity, you can learn to lead like the unique, significant history maker you are. History may write you down as a hero. How you walk out your one life with God will determine how history views you. Set your focus on Him and live with intention to bring transformation into your world.

Love & Grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window on a cloudy Saturday where the trees are waiting for rain.

You’re invited to email Robin L. Lewis at robinlewiswords@gmail.com about Spiritual Life Coaching or to book her to speak. Visit her website to subscribe to her inspiration blog at www.sozolifeleaders.com.

Life Satisfaction Assessment: how do you score?

question, uncertainty

 

If asked, most of us would say we are dissatisfied with some area of our lives, and some of us would admit to several areas where we would like to see improvement. We easily recognize the disappointment and regret we feel that characterizes the lives of so many, yet we struggle with knowing how to actually live our lives. Many feel stuck not knowing how to take steps for change and growth while others live in some form of denial, assuming they will eventually achieve the life they want. Make it your aim to break free of this denial and realize that the choices you make every day impact and determine the rest of your life.

Below is a tool I use with my Life Coaching clients to help them gain more self-awareness by identifying areas that need change. This tool is partnered with “The Principle of the Path” by Andy Stanley, a book that teaches that if you know the destination you desire, but are not taking steps that lead IN THAT DIRECTION, you will actually arrive someplace else and miss your goal, living a life that is less than what God purposed for you.

Using the 10 life areas in the list below, rate yourself 1-10 with 1 being very dissatisfied and 10 being extremely satisfied.

  1. Spirituality / Faith
  2. Career / Callinghappy, sad, emotions, happiness
  3. Money / Finances
  4. Health / Exercise
  5. Friends / Family
  6. Spouse / Significant Other
  7. Physical Environment
  8. Personal Growth
  9. Fun / Recreation / Hobbies
  10. Future Plans / Goals / Hopes

All these life areas are a visible part of your outer, obvious person, but the pleasure or disappointment you experience in each area is directly related to your inner, sometimes secret person. In what areas are you the least satisfied? In those areas you need to choose specific steps that create a direct path to help you achieve the change and growth you desire. “Direction – not intentions, hopes, dreams, prayers, beliefs, intellect, or education – determines your destination.” (Andy Stanley)

Next, think about what current beliefs, thoughts, and habits need to change in order for you to take the necessary steps to attain your goals and enjoy those areas of your life.

Example: Your goal is to retire at age 65 and travel, but you are not putting much money into savings. To arrive at the destination you desire, changes must be made in your spending and saving in order for you to achieve your goal of retirement and travel.

Example: You think of exercising to become more healthy and strong, yet you never schedule the time. You just hope that your body will last until you die without weakness or disease. Unused muscles weaken so that your hope will not become reality without intentional steps in that direction.

Life is a process that never stops. The necessary changes will require an investment of time and intentional course correction.

directionRemember, our direction determines our destination; without the necessary steps simply hoping and praying won’t get you there. Our choices every day build into outcomes, and our decisions today invariably have ramifications later in life.

So what now? Don’t attempt to get it all together in a month. Choose 1 or 2 areas from the list and write down the next step you need to take in order to begin to change that part of your life. You don’t have to take giant steps, small steps will do. Set goals for the next 6 months and track your progress. You will find yourself feeling more optimistic and confident as you see favorable change begin to take place. You will realize that you really can adjust, grow, and alter your life’s direction for the better. The more fulfilled you become in living the life God created for you, the higher your general happiness and joy and the more you positively influence those around you.

Life Coaching helps you through changes like these. In the beginning change is hard, in the middle it can be a little messy, but in the end the life you make can be fulfilling as you realize your accomplishments. Take heart and refuse to let go of hope. Ask a friend to hold you accountable and encourage you forward. The choices you make each and every day do matter. Make better choices for a better life and remember to always seek God. He promises that His Word can light your way. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your Word is a lamp for my feet and light for my path”. When we commit our lives and choices to Him, He helps us know the way forward.

Keep growing,

Robin

From the desk by the window where I’m working on my choices as the sun shines in warm.

For more info on Sozo Life Coaching for Women, contact me today! DON’T WAIT ANY LONGER – this is your time, dear one.

Email me today: robinlewiswords@gmail.com

(c) Robin Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, July 4, 2016

Struggles Prepare You For Success {don’t skip God’s preparation season}

This post was published in the Morning News on Sunday, May 22, 2016. I pray this is a blessing for you where you are – in your waiting, in your struggle, in your own unique period of preparation!

struggle, promotion, timing, Joseph calling, OsThroughout life, difficult times happen to everyone, but the person intent on personal growth finds a way to maximize the experience and gain from the lessons learned; whether personally or professionally, today’s struggle can prepare you for tomorrow’s promotion and success.

In the bible, Joseph walked a very difficult road for much of his life. It seemed that his circumstances would never improve. As a young man, he was given a dream from God that he would one day rule over others. But the reality was Joseph would be sold into slavery by his own brothers, purchased by an Egyptian as a house servant, and accused of sexual misconduct by his boss’ wife! He was thrown into prison for many years yet he continued to be faithful and serve those around him. Prison was where he began to be promoted in positions over sections of prisoners. The Lord continued to give Joseph favor even though his circumstances had not changed. What was he to do?

Never forgetting the dream he’d had, Joseph kept trusting God and became willing to be content where he was. He didn’t know how God would bring his dream to fulfillment, but God was using the long years of waiting to prepare him. Joseph would come to be positioned to rule the great nation of Egypt and there by save millions of people from starvation, including his own family. When they came face to face, Joseph helped his family see the bigger picture of what God had been doing in his life.

“I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt.  But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives and to preserve many others. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.” (Genesis 45:4-8)

God desires to be just as involved in our lives today as He was in the life of Joseph. He uses our periods of waiting, struggle, and dryness to prepare us for something bigger. Whether your calling is to business, community, or something individual, know that not everyone walks through a Joseph calling, but many do; and the experiences are usually related to the magnitude of the call on your life.

Many who are destined for greater impact lose much along the journey, so if God has purposed you for greater things, expect to walk through times that don’t make sense, where God seems silent. He has not forgotten you and will bring you to a place of success and restoration according to His timing and purpose for your life.

My Spiritual Life Coaching Clients who have walked through difficulties learn that our part is to submit to God, learn to trust Him, and continue to seek His direction. Our lives need God’s refining work for our strength and integrity to be developed.

While Joseph was “Called” as a young man, he wasn’t “Commissioned” into his destiny until many years later. Just as Joseph allowed God to refine and prepare him, so can you. Even in prison Joseph was being made ready and matured in his gifts and talents. While it may appear small, those very experiences would catapult him forward to rule over the nation and save many lives.

Maybe you, too, feel called to something great, destined to also to “save many lives” in some way. Don’t shortcut the season of preparation and continue to forgive those who “sell you out”. Be determined to serve faithfully where you are and seek God for all He wants to do in and through you. You may very well be a modern-day Joseph! The all-important middle years of “Preparation” that requires waiting and trusting will serve to have you ready for success.

Keep growing, 

Robin

From the desk by the window where the sun is rising on a cool Monday morning.

women sitting togetherRobin L. Lewis is a certified life coach, speaker, and writer who specializes in encouragement and confidence. For more information, email Robin at robinlewiswords@gmail.com and get free updates at www.sozolifeleaders.com/blog.

Don’t We Want the REAL Definition? {the truth of who a woman is}

 

Bible pageHave you ever looked up a word to find that the real definition was quite different than what you had believed it to be?  How did that change your understanding of the sentence or the verse?  Completely, right?

When we get the real, true definition of something it changes our perspective and can change us in the process.

The most significant surprises for me have had to do with God’s definition of….me.  I had struggled with who I was, struggled with insecurity and fear and many times felt like I was somehow not worth as much because I was a woman.

I found as I studied and prayed to understand that there was a lot that I’d been taught or had modeled for me as a child that simply wasn’t true, or it was a mixture of truth and error.

There are many things in the world that attempt to define us.  What are the main influencers in our lives? Our parents, teachers, friends; our church, community, education system, and traditions; our environment, media, workplace, and choices; our life experiences and words spoken by us or to us, all teach us about life.

The truth is that anywhere else we look to find out who we are, to find out if we’re acceptable or good enough, is always going to let us down.  Sometimes we are looking to our spouse, our friends, even our church to tell us we’re OK and approved of.  Those things won’t ever give us what we need.

The things of the world will leave us thinking about what we can’t do, can’t be, will never get over, or what we will never become.

Then what we’re left with is a heart that has grown heavy with wrong beliefs, fears, and hesitant, negative attitudes about ourselves that hide who we are really intended to be.

luggage heavy

Each of us has a belief system that has been constructed over the years of our lives and many of us have packed our life with what’s inside due to wrong beliefs about ourselves, others, or God.  The results are usually fear, inadequacy, unforgiveness, bitterness, self-doubt, rejection, low self-esteem – the issues we carry around inside ourselves.

We can have wrong beliefs inside, and even though they may be wrong, they will still guide our thoughts, feelings, behavior and life results — because we BELIEVE them.

What I truly believed will be lived out in my life. Romans 12:2 was written to believers.  “Do not be conformed to the image of the world; instead, let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”  This tells us that our minds are capable of being renewed and that God knew we would need that renewal to come into agreement with what He says is true. Do not take your blueprint or schematic from the world, but learn how God thinks and learn to think that way.

1 Peter 1:18-19 says, For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value.  It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.”  God doesn’t want us to live an empty life, but to live a full, intentional life of value and purpose, knowing who we are as His children.  We were created to make a difference and with a pretty big assignment!  Genesis 1:26-28 is still our assignment from the very beginning:

26 Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 And God blessed them [granting them certain authority] and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate it [putting it under your power]; and rule over (dominate) the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

Before we can fill the assignment given in Genesis to come alongside our husbands and brothers, we have to invite the Holy Spirit to lead us into what is true.  We have to pick up the Word, we have to make the truth our own.  We have to be willing for God to show us where we have inherited wrong beliefs or where we’ve been taught incorrectly.  We have to let Him ENTER INTO where we still secretly hurt over things that have happened to us or places that stink with guilt over what we’ve done to others.

There are places, especially in the South, where Christian women have been more influenced by culture and tradition than by the Word of God.  We have tended to either want to do what others do, believing that is best, OR become what others want us to become.  A lot more than men, women many times tend to allow others to choose for them what their life will be like.  That’s not what God intended.

This kind of believing about our identity can leave us with vacuums in our lives, feeling unfulfilled, but the Holy Spirit can fill these places of emptiness.  We begin to change by discovering our true identity and value.

How do you want to feel about your life?  What do you want to believe could be possible for you?  What dreams in your heart have been covered over or gifts and talents restrained because someone said it’s not “lady-like” or my favorite, “a woman is not permitted to do that”?   Luke 1:37 – “For nothing is impossible with God.”  Gabriel said that to a young lady who was going to conceive and gift birth to the Messiah.  God has always used women to do great works, not just men.

In Genesis, He gave the same assignment to both the man and the woman.  So why does it surprise us that He would have great things for us to do today?   God created with intention a purposeful, blessed team, an alliance.  He knew it would be too much for the man alone.  Genesis 2:18 tells us that He understood His creation, that it wasn’t good for the man to be alone, that he would need someone else, a strong helper.

genesis 1

Our Hebrew word for helper or help-mate is the word ezer –  e-z-e-r.

Ezer means strong helper, in God’s image or like God, one that aligns with God at every possible level to share His heart, love what He loves, and join Him in His work in the earth.

An ezer is a theologian, created to know God and make Him known.  Created to reproduce the likeness of God in others.  An ezer is created to walk alongside others in authority, protecting and co-ruling in a Kingdom way to advance the influence of the Kingdom of Heaven where they are.  An ezer is a disciple, a mentor, a leader, one who serves, one who brings their spiritual gifts into fullness.

Ezer is a military term, therefore, an ezer is a warrior, called to action in every relationship, season, neighborhood, and walk of life.  An ezer is a staunch ally in the life of faith, not in the background of everyday activities, but in the foreground where leadership, prayers, and decisions happen.  The word ezer declares strength!

In fact, the word ezer is used 21 times in the Old Testament.  Out of the 21, 16 of those references describe how God comes alongside Israel as a very strong Helper in times of trouble!

You’ll find ezers in every aspect of life – the home, church, workplace, community, and government.  An ezer is part of a powerful union, a team, an alliance formed and purposed by God.  Are you ready for it?

An ezer is a woman.  That word translated ‘help meet” or “helper” – yeah, that word is ezer.  That is you.  God said “It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will create an ezer for him.”

This little word, ezer – just 4 letters – is the beginning of you knowing who God created you to be.  This word that God chose gives you identity, value, legitimacy, and permission to walk in the life He created and dreams for you.  It’s the definition of who you are in the Kingdom of Heaven AND in the earth.

We are ezers from birth.  Marriage is just one major area where the ezer stands with the man in battle, but it by no means exhausts the possibilities.  Neither man nor woman are limited by where God can call them and use them to be a blessing and bring the Kingdom of Heaven’s influence.  Being an ezer is the core of who a woman is and as such is not dependent upon season of life or circumstance.

blessed alliance bibles

In Genesis 1:26-28, if the call to rule and subdue the WHOLE EARTH means anything, God calls the ezer to join the man in every sphere of life; not in COMPETITION, but to COMPLIMENT each other.  It takes the man and the woman together to learn to display the full image of God.  Each one is an image bearer in God’s likeness with different attributes.  In other words, we need each other.

God’s plan to reveal Himself to the world involved both MALE & FEMALE.  Adam needed Eve’s gifts and strengths to fulfill his calling, and she needed his gifts and strengths, too!  She was called to enter his struggles, bolster his faith, encourage his obedience to God.  Each was called to promote the faithfulness of the other in a relationship of equality and blessing where they reproduce more ‘image bearers’ that today we call disciples.

God’s never thrown out His original blueprint for men and women to bear His image together.

So…in our search for meaning and significance, this definition is the beginning of who you are.  This is the real definition of who you are.  This is not an angry-liberal-feminist voice.  We weren’t made for that – we don’t need that.  We just need to do whatever God calls us to do, knowing He will strengthen and equip us to do it.  So jealousy and competition can be things of the past.  God is doing a new thing among women today, just like he did about 2,000 years ago.

When Gabriel came to Mary and told her she would give birth to the Messiah, she said, “May it be unto me as you have said.”  The literal interpretation of that would read…

“May the Word of the Lord be created in me.”

That’s my prayer for each of you.  That the Word of the Lord would be created in you, that the truth of your identity, value, and significance would begin to replace any false ideas of who you are, or what you’re capable of, as a woman, made in God’s image.

We are God’s image bearers, we are ezers.  Chosen by God to soldier and live alongside our brothers as a Blessed Alliance, advancing Christ’s Kingdom in the hearts of people all around us, bringing change in our families, churches, communities, and world.

There is no higher calling than to be who God created us to be and bring the influence of His presence where we are, in the way He calls us to carry that out.

If this is who we are, what are we doing with it?

Do we remain where we are, like we are, or do we pour into others what God is pouring into us?

We can choose.  We can remain in the box that others want us to stay in, but wouldn’t you rather live with enthusiasm and experience more of who God designed you to be?  Wouldn’t we rather live expecting God to do miracles and amazing things through us who are here on the earth?your story isnt over yet

We MUST gain a larger view – of ourselves and of the Kingdom of God – of what is possible through our lives as God empowers us to carry His love.  We are half the church and our story is not over yet – it’s just beginning.

We get one life, you and I.  Don’t you want to know more of who He created you to be?  God’s definition of us carries in it all the identity, value, and significance we will ever need.

We just have to learn to believe it. Your story isn’t over yet.

Grace for the journey,

Robin

(c) Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC – May 2016 (originally posted August 2014)

Sources: All books by Carolyn Custis James at http://www.whitbyforum.com/; Grace Church Ezer Women’s Ministry at http://chrystiecole.com/ezer-body-matters/; Why Women Matter by Loren Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton.  Loren Cunningham is the founder of YWAM (Youth With A Mission).

 

Leadership Vacuums Gather All the Dirt

Is this familiar?

You’ve been asked to lead something – a task group at work, a bible study, or a committee – and when you try to take your position, others monopolize the time, the room, or the conversation. Every time. You come prepared, yet aren’t sure how to manage those you are supposed to be leading in order to accomplish the goal. If this has happened to you, then I need to let you know something: you’re not leading.

leadership vacuum, dirtWhere there is a leadership vacuum, something will always fill it. It’s usually a person with their own agenda, someone with other ideas, or that certain one who always needs the platform to let everyone else know something awful that happened in their life. Again. Your leadership vacuum is gathering all the dirt it can hold and will continue until you unplug it and assertively take your rightful place. (That’s not mean, that’s leadership.)

Leadership vacuums gather all the dirt. – Robin Lewis

In 1995, I was hired for a ministry position on a local church staff. Due to personal issues, the pastor had resigned 2 months prior. I watched as several strong personalities sought to fill the leadership role in order to influence the direction of the church. The Deacons finally hired a temporary administrator who had no tact, did a lot of damage, yet who still had to fight off others who wanted to further their own agenda. It was a circus for several months until a permanent pastor who was a strong leader was found.

One of my coaching clients called this morning with a similar problem. She leads a bible study group at her church where a few individuals are frequently sharing about their problems as prayer needs and consuming the time scheduled for bible study. Her concern that she should have compassion and her pause in leadership created space for something else. This particular client is a strong leader in business, community, and family, yet sometimes struggles to know how to keep order in the bible study group. As we talked, I shared with her that she isn’t truly leading and that has created a leadership vacuum and others are filling it! We discussed offering options to the group from the beginning of the study time and she decided to lead in the future by letting them know they would be focusing on bible study. If they had a prayer need, they were welcome to share it with her afterwards, that she would be available for 20 minutes, or they could email the prayer request. Then without hesitation, she will then begin the bible study she has worked to prepare.

This method is not mean, it’s leadership! And it’s good leadership because the participants are going to receive what they showed up for (bible study) and go home on time. It gives the option to remain to share a prayer need in a specific block of time so that the leader isn’t there until midnight (Because that is what a good Christian should do? Not!) or send a detailed email.

Leadership is not a method used to control others (founded on fear). Leadership influence, trust,  order, and healthy boundaries. Leadership is characterized by honor, respect, and serving those you lead (founded on love). Leadership isn’t developed in a day but in the day-to-day. A person who cannot be led will never lead others. If you are in a position of leadership, you are tasked to lead. If you don’t know how or are unsure of your direction, then find a mentor. In my nearly 30 years of ministry and business, I’ve seen many individuals lead poorly and a few lead well. I’ve learned from both. Because I want to be effective in all I do, I continue to keep great mentors in my life.

Leadership ability determines a person’s level of effectiveness. – John Maxwell, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Age is not a determining factor! If you’re older, it doesn’t mean you’re a leader and if you’re young, you’re not disqualified. If you currently hold a leadership position or would like to one day, become a lifelong learner on leadership. Then you will be able to lead effectively and mentor others as future leaders.

I coach women of all ages and work with teenage entrepreneurs up to seasoned people who are still seeking to grow. I happily recommend John Maxwell’s book mentioned above because his writing is based on biblical principles of leadership.

vacuum, 3 stooges

There will always be those seeking to take or weaken your leadership position – and yes, even in the church. Learn how to stand firm with assertiveness, great communication, and remember to pray to become the leader God created you to be.

Without wise leadership, a nation (church, business, or community)  falls; there is safety in having many advisers. – Proverbs 11:14

You were created in God’s image. That means you are here to influence and lead, but you can only lead with what you have. Never stop learning and never be satisfied with your personal growth level. Maintain a growth plan and keep pursuing your potential and your passion. Your leadership will follow the line of your destiny and if you seek to live your life with God leading you, instead of gathering all the dirt, you will succeed.

Lots of grace for the journey!

Robin

From the desk by the window where the sun is shining brightly after a thunderous rain!

(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC

Robin 4

 

For more on leadership, spiritual life coaching, or to book me to speak at your event, email me: robinlewiswords@gmail.com.

Please visit my homepage for more info on my Coaching, Speaking, and Writing! Your life and journey hold incredible significance and purpose. Book your FREE coaching session today – no strings attached, I promise! My clients are exceeding their goals in growth, change, and relationships! Come be part of my team and see where your progress takes you!

 

Stumbling Along in Following God {when seasons shift}

Are you having some trouble following God’s will right now?

Dutch Sheets, one of my all-time-favorite Bible teachers said, “I find that I stumble into the will of God more times than I find it on purpose.” That helps me a lot for when I have trouble knowing God’s will, I can still be confident that He will get me where I need to be even if I stumble into it.

Many of you are feeling an uncomfortable shift in your life this year. It’s OK. It’s God getting your course corrected. So if you wake up most mornings wondering if you’re still in your right mind or feeling out of sorts, just keep leaning on Him. He can get you right where you need to be. (Learn to be aware of His presence with you. Pray honest prayers. Read your Bible. Listen for His subtle leading.)  

woman thinkingYou may be in a physical shift from one job to another. This may be a mental shift as your thinking is changed in an area. But this is definitely a spiritual shift. (Remember, everything is spiritual because you first are spiritual!) Everything is about getting you in a better, more blessed, more free place looking more like His Son. 

How do you handle it? Let yourself be keenly aware of how much you need God’s help and direction. (That means you don’t know everything you need to know.) The challenges you face are far too great to handle alone. To walk with God in humble dependence is the most strong, blessed, and protected place you can be! Practice resting your mind, will, and emotions, and let Him “train you in trust” while you wait.

How long will it last? That is between you and God. Your shift and season may be similar to another, but will be uniquely different from anyone else. This is about you and God, so let it be… about you and God.

Why is it so hard to submit and follow? Because we think we know best! We think we know what our life should look like and be like, but without God our life will never have the meaning and outcome He has in mind. We want God’s best, but we usually don’t want the trials, work, introspection, change, and personal growth that goes along with it.

Comparing yourself to others is a dead end. There are many famous TV pastors or authors with followers who say, “I want to do what you do!” They  see the glory in it and may want to do it, but do they realize the price that’s been paid to get there? Jesus faced a similar question from Peter in John 13:37 who boldly proclaimed, “Lord, I am willing to lay down my life for you!” To which Jesus responded, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, I say to you, a rooster shall not crow until you deny me three times. Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in Me.”  (John 13:37-14:1)

We think we are strong enough. We think we are ready. But our Father knows our hearts and what we need next. He is faithful to lead us through preparation, shifts, and changes that are right for us individually. While many are not easy or comfortable, and some are downright hard, hang on for He’s not finished yet and neither your past nor your present gets the last word!

Listen – I understand. In my life, I’ve experienced many shifts and literal moves that seemed crazy at the time, but looking in that wonderful rearview mirror it’s easy to see how the Lord was faithful in every step.

For today, can we just say something honest like this? “Lord, help me, I’m an unblended mess. This is hard, but I am willing to be made willing to take the next step with You. Give me a desire for what pleases Your heart. Protect me and strengthen me for what is to come.”

You’re going to do alright. You are unconditionally and greatly loved. You are held in very strong hands. So get still and listen.  Practice resting your mind, will, and emotions, woman, walk, road, directionand let Him “train you in trust” while you wait. 

When this shift is over, you will stand in a new place. A place that maybe you weren’t expecting, but a place where you know with more certainty than ever that the Father’s eyes are upon you and His hand is guiding you. You are living a journey to remember. 

Lots of love & grace,

Robin

From the desk by the window where the robins are resting in the yard, taking all they need, and then taking flight!!

Want to find out more about how Spiritual Life Coaching can help you go forward? Email me at robinlewiswords@gmail.com. No one has to do life alone.