Tag: purpose


Sunday Inspiration: God Knows “the Text” of Your Life

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.” 2Sa 22:25 TM

You can be successful yet still feel empty inside. Solomon’s life proves that. He was the world’s wealthiest man, as well as one of the most famous. Yet amazingly he begins the book of Ecclesiastes with these words: “Everything is meaningless” (Ecc 1:2 NLT).

Solomon discovered that a fulfilling life can only be built on two things: relationships and purpose. And the first and foremost relationship you must establish is with God. Once that happens you discover your life’s purpose. And as you start walking in it your joy and fulfillment knows no bounds.

Self-help gurus tell us, “Look inside yourself and you’ll find the key!” But how can you uncover the plot for your life by simply examining your life? You’ll have more luck following “the yellow brick road”! No, “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.

Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone” (Eph 1:11-12 TM). Your life’s purpose has already been determined by the greatest mind and the kindest heart in the universe: the mind and heart of God.

You say, “But things aren’t working out too well for me right now.” We all have times like that. But here’s a promise you can stand on: “He makes everything work out according to his plan” (v. 11 NLT). God knows “the text” of your life. Pray and He will reveal it to you.

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/god-knows-the-text-of-your-life

Sunday Inspiration: Test The Waters (Part 2)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given.” Gal 6:4 TM

One pastor writes: “I could have taken a hundred gifts and ability tests as a young man and never discovered that I was gifted at teaching, because I’d never done it. It was only after I began accepting opportunities to speak that I saw the results, received confirmation from others, and realized God had gifted me to do this.”

Unless you’re willing to risk getting involved, you’ll never know what you’re good at. Sure you’ll make mistakes—and some of them may be so discouraging you’ll want to give up and not try again. But if you turn your mistakes into learning experiences you’ll not only discover what God has called you to do, you’ll grow and become proficient at it.

Paul writes: “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that…Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life” (vv. 4-5 TM).

Then he adds: “Let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit…therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all” (vv. 9-10 TM).

Today take a serious look at what’s left of your life and decide to make it count. Some of the saddest words in life are on a tombstone that reads: “When I came to die, I discovered I had not yet lived.” Don’t let that be said of you!

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/test-the-waters-2

Sunday Inspiration: Test The Waters (Part 1)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“We each have different work to do.” Ro 12:5 TLB

Bob Buford was a successful businessman who felt God calling him to some kind of ministry. He just wasn’t sure what, so he decided to test the waters.

He brought together a group of pastors of large churches to see if they could benefit from the kind of organizational expertise he had. The cost of doing this was low enough that had it been a dead end, he could easily have focused his search elsewhere. If he’d impulsively quit his job as CEO and taken a staff position in a church somewhere, he might have missed his calling and jeopardized his chance to keep searching. As a result, today he has a ministry that literally impacts the world.

Now, you can’t just walk away from your previous commitments. Amos transitioned into the prophecy business while he still had his shepherding job to fall back on. Paul kept his tent-making operation running when he went into church planting.

Discerning God’s will requires time and patience, and most of us have bills to pay and families to take care of. So what should you do? Keep your day job—but test the waters!

And remember you’re not alone. God’s more committed to your success than you are. When you feel like He’s given you the green light, gently push the accelerator and move forward.

Playwright Arthur Miller said: “It’s wrong to remain in a situation you know is a mismatch for you…God didn’t place you on this earth to waste away your years in labor that doesn’t employ His design or purpose for your life, no matter how much you may be getting paid.”

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/test-the-waters-1

With Every Great Purpose Comes Passion…and Challenge

When I decided to focus my career coaching skills on helping people pursue their passions, it was with the belief that passion yields purpose. The passions divinely instilled in each of us give us the ability to carry out our unique purpose on this earth, despite the challenges that come with our pursuit of purpose. And every great purpose will always include challenges. Passion is the spark that ignites our purpose. It’s also the grit that keeps us moving in our purpose despite obstacles or the temptation to give up.

Beware of the Lure of the “Easy Life”

When I started promoting paNASH’s services, I got a lot of followers on Instagram from those who assumed I was doing similar work to theirs. But they were promoting something different. Something writer Tom Kuegler refers to as:

“The digital nomad/laptop millionaire infomercial of the hot couple sitting on the beach sipping Mai-Tai’s and checking their PayPal account every 3rd drink only to find thousands of dollars rolling right in.”

They promised if I followed their cute little finger-pointing emojis to the posted link, they’d tell me how they achieved the “easy life” and how I could too. I could follow their cookie-cutter formula and spend the rest of my life laying around on a beach chair. As much as I love the beach and enjoy much-needed relaxation, I think I’d get bored doing that every day. Just like how the newly-retired 65-year-old discovers playing golf everyday gets pretty boring after a few weeks.

Eventually we long to be productive. And there’s no cookie-cutter formula to help us discover our unique purpose or know how we should be productive. There are various methods to figuring it out. Some are more tried-and-true than others. But we each have a different path to discovering our purpose.

One of my clients described the coaching I provided her this way:

“Going through our coaching sessions is like taking my car through the car wash. The car wash gets all the dirt and bugs off the windshield, making it clearer to see what’s ahead of me. I’m the one who still has to drive the car in my own direction. But at least now I can see where I’m going and feel refreshed. I have so much more clarity about my career path and my path in life.”

The Universal Desire for Purpose

Last week, I got to witness true passion and the universal desire for purpose. I found myself in the middle of the Amazon jungle gathered with pastors from small villages situated along the vast Amazon River. These pastors have a deep passion for providing care to the forgotten people of the Amazon. Their purpose is to show God’s love to their fellow natives and to share the Gospel, regardless of the challenge or the sacrifice. Through their actions, they let their people know that even though they’re isolated from the rest of the world, they’re not forgotten.

To fulfill this purpose, they traveled by boat, many for days at a time, to the annual  jungle pastors’ conference to learn things they can take back to their villages and their churches. The team I served on also had a long journey to the conference center in the Amazon jungle. We gave up the comforts of home such as air conditioning, hot water, and standard plumbing to teach them. But our sacrifices were unlike the sacrifices I heard of from the pastors and their wives.

purpose

Through those with the skill for translation, I heard the story of one woman who traveled nearly 36 hours to attend the conference. Her husband had to stay behind in their village to work his other job. She told us of her and her husband’s vision to build a new church in a poor far-away village. When we asked her how far away, she responded in thick Portuguese, “A seven-day boat trip.”

This is no seven-day river cruise on a luxury liner like the ones you see in those “don’t-you-want-my-life?” Instagram posts. She and her husband will soon take this long and treacherous journey in piranha-infested waters. It will require them to leave their grown children, perhaps never to see them again. This is real passion. Real purpose. Real nobility. With real challenges.

Don’t Play the Comparison Game

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking the efforts of the passive income tribe. I’m sure they’ve faced struggles and challenges of their own because we all do in this lifetime. And perhaps their approach to work frees them up to pursue something more than just a lifestyle of permanent vacations. Something meaningful and purposeful that for whatever reason they choose not to share on their Instagram account.

The problem is when we start playing the comparison game. On one hand, If we compare our lifestyle to the glossy Instagram lifestyles, we can easily become jealous. On the other hand if we compare our contribution to the world to someone else’s greater contribution, we can experience feelings of worthlessness.

The goal is to focus on your own unique gifts and how they fit with your purpose. Don’t worry if your purpose seems small. In fact, one thing I kept hearing over and over last week was:

“You may never get to see or know the bigger impact your small role on this trip has made. But it’s much bigger than you think.”

I just had to do what I was equipped to do. And trust it was making a far-reaching difference throughout the Amazon whether it felt like it or not.

It took me up until a couple of years ago to fully understand my own purpose and how my God-given talents and past experience fit into that purpose. I realized my overall purpose is to increase productivity by helping people answer the call of their purpose. This is true in both my career and my volunteer service.

Sometimes this means helping people get “unstuck” in their fear of what they’re being called to. Other times it means helping them realize their talents and skills because they can’t see in themselves what others see in them. Oftentimes it means encouraging and cheering them on as they take their first wobbly step outside their comfort zone. All while providing them various tools to give life to their vision and accomplish their mission.

My purpose is not the same as yours or anyone else’s. Therefore, I have to focus on my own journey and not compare it to anyone else’s.

Nothing is Wasted

I was able to take what I do in my work here in the US and tweak it to fit a different audience in the Amazon jungle. (Something I never dreamed I’d be doing!) While what I was teaching didn’t require me to step out of my comfort zone, where and to whom did.

I went to the jungle to teach local pastors the importance of having a vision and a mission statement for their churches. While most churches in the US have such statements, this was a new concept for several of these pastors. I showed them how the mission statement can be used to help them make tough decisions their churches may face. I also showed them how to teach their individual congregation members to do the same for themselves. This is so they can make God-honoring decisions when facing the daily struggles of jungle life.

purpose

Presenting with my translator Harold Pinto

This class evolved from the tools I use with my clients in my coaching efforts and from the on-demand program Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic.

And those tools and programs all evolved from my previous work with recording artists in the music industry. When helping my young artists develop their image and brand, many of them couldn’t tell me what made them unique from other aspiring artists. Therefore, before we could create an authentic image and brand for them and their music, we had to back up and figure out what made them unique. Since this happened so many times, I had to come up with a process for not only helping them figure this out, but also how to articulate it to their fan base and potential labels.

I no longer work in the music industry. But being able to trace back where my teaching came from confirmed that God doesn’t waste anything. I NEVER could’ve dreamed in a gazillion years God would take what I’d created in my previous role all the way from Music Row to as far as the remote villages of the Amazon jungle!

Embrace Challenge

When you’re faced with challenges, instead of running from them or becoming paralyzed by them, learn to embrace them because they can lead to a greater purpose. Don’t be fooled by all the “life’s-a-beach” Instagram posts. And certainly don’t compare your life to the carefully edited lives displayed on social media.

Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’ve reached a dead end. In fact, one of the pastors leading the Brazilian team of missionaries said this last week:

“Airplanes don’t lift off until they reach the end of the runway. When it seems like you’re at the end of your road, that’s when things are about to take off!” Pastor Filipe Santos

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Taking off from Miami to Manaus, Brazil

Be open to the ways your interests, talents and strengths can be used to fulfill your purpose in life. Let’s face it. We’d all be good at sitting in a lounge chair on a beach. But what kind of contribution would we make in this world if that’s all we did? How would we truly know what our purpose is on this beautiful earth if all we did was soak in its beauty without ever getting our feet wet or our hands dirty?

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The view of where we landed was Instagram-worthy, but there was more spiritual beauty to behold as our boat went deeper into the jungle. (Left: the Amazon River from the beach in Manaus; Right: a village served by Justice & Mercy Amazon)

Discover Your Purpose While Helping Others

paNASH is now donating 45% of the sales from the the on-demand program Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic to Justice & Mercy Amazon. Your purchase of the on-demand program will help pay for a pastor’s expenses to attend future conferences.

The conference provides these pastors with the training and education they otherwise would never find in the Amazon jungle. It fills the gap caused by a lack of opportunity for formal education. It also gives the pastors renewed energy and hope as they return to their villages where they wear many hats. Not only do they serve the spiritual needs of their village. They also oftentimes serve as the only provider of medical care to their people. And some also serve as farmers to provide agriculture and food to their people.

The pastors have limited financial resources to make the long trip to the conference, but once they arrive, they learn many new things to take back to their villages to better the lives of their communities. The jungle pastors’ conference is the centerpiece of all the work Justice & Mercy does in the Amazon. This includes medical assistance, child sponsorship, emergency food relief, support for special needs kids, mission trips and training, and school construction.

Purpose

Therefore, when you purchase this on-demand program, not only will you learn how to better your own life by creating a purposeful mission statement to live by, you’ll also help Justice & Mercy accomplish their mission and achieve the above results.

You can also help by purchasing a copy of my second book, SUP: Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a Stand Up Paddleboard for only $12. I personally will donate 100% of the profits from book sales to Justice & Mercy Amazon and mission trip expenses.

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The 12 Days of Purpose

Can you believe Christmas is only 12 days away? The holidays can keep you busy with gift buying, decorating, baking, and traveling (whew, I’m tired already!). They can also be a good time to discover what your purpose is in this current season of your life. Especially if you are contemplating a big change for 2017, including a job or career change or promotion, a start-up business, a retirement, etc. If so, here are some things you can do over the next several days (or any time of the year) to help you clarify, articulate, and present your purpose.

Clarify Your Purpose

Day 1:  Spend some time reflecting on what kind of person you want to be and to be known for (think in terms of traits instead of accomplishments). What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? And most importantly, why do you do the things you do? (Recommended reading: Start With Why by Simon Sinek.)

Day 2:  Take an inventory of your strengths, limitations, accomplishments, and how your skills benefit others. List the things you’re good at, the things you’re not good at, your biggest failures and the lessons you learned from them, and your reasons for why you like to do the things you do best.

Day 3:  Be open to constructive criticism. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, clients, etc. what they perceive to be your strengths and weaknesses. Note the things that show up as patterns and the things that surprise you.

Day 4:  Based on your own personal inventory and the feedback from friends, write down what you think makes you unique from other people who do what you do. See if you can think of additional things that make you unique.

Day 5:  Determine what makes your audience unique. Who are they (recruiters, potential clients, fans)? What do they care about? What’s their biggest challenge or need? How do your skills meet their need? How can you serve them with your abilities?

Articulate Your Purpose

Day 6:  Once you’ve determined why you do what you do (Day 1), write out your “WHY” in the form of a vision statement. A vision statement is your goal of what you want to accomplish with your skills and abilities. For example, the paNASH vision statement is, “I believe everyone should find the courage to discover and pursue their passions despite the obstacles they may face. I want to see people actively pursue their passions with flair (‘paNASH’) and confidence, along with responsibility to their purpose in life.”

Day 7:  Write your mission statement. Your mission statement is HOW you plan to carry out your vision/your WHY. For instance, the paNASH mission statement is:  “To serve, educate, and encourage others by assisting them with the discovery and pursuit of their passions in a way that honors their purpose and their own vision for success, while amplifying who they are personally and advancing them professionally.”

Day 8:  Craft your Unique Selling Point (USP). In 140 characters or less, create a statement that summarizes the unique impact you have on your audience. The paNASH USP is: “Putting your passion into action!”

Package & Present Your Purpose

Day 9:  Make sure you’re able to back up your message with a summary of your credentials and accomplishments. This can be in the form of a resume, a LinkedIn profile, client testimonials, reviews, letters of recommendation, etc.

Day 10:  Post your message on your social media platforms, your web site, your business card, and other professional collateral.

Day 11:  Foster and maintain relationships with strategic partners and your audience. Share your purpose and expertise in a variety of outlets, including blogs (your own and others’ where you can guest blog), article posts on LinkedIn and Medium, media interviews (print, online, radio, and TV), comments on others’ posts, etc.

Day 12:  Most of all, learn how to present your message and purpose with confidence and professionalism.

Do you need help with any of these steps? paNASH can help you clarify, articulate, and present your purpose and personal brand with professional etiquette and confidence. Click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.