Monthly Archives: March 2012

What Are You Building With?

Growing up we were told numerous stories that usually had a moral or a bottom line that helped to shape our ideals, values, and character.  The most famous architects that most of us know are a little trio known as The Three Little Pigs. The Three Little Pigs only built one house each and two of them fell down, but we all know about their work and what happened thereafter.

To me the overarching lesson of The Three Little Pigs is what you build with matters. Many times in life people build their lives out of materials that won’t last. The use some materials because they are common and easy to find. This allows for quick construction, without a lot of hard work, but it also leads to unstable structures built on unstable foundations, that certainly won’t stand the test of time.

There are also those that build out of beautiful materials. Beautiful materials have the advantage of being pleasing to the eye, but many times they are not strong enough to hold together when the winds begin to blow and ultimately fail. Finally there are those who build out of the strongest things they can find. They look high and low for strength not worrying about how it looks or how difficult it is to find because they know that strong things stand the test of time.

The truth of the matter is our lives are the greatest architectural displays that any of us will ever create. It is great to have some times of ease, and certainly nice to have a life of beauty but most important is a life that will last in times of trouble. When we build our lives based on a foundation of wisdom and continue to build with good sense we begin to make a structure that will be beautiful but will also stand the test of time. Wisdom and good sense are rare materials but they are available to all who seek them out. When you retire or ever reflect upon your life…what will your friends, family, and career say about you?  Will it say that you just haphazardly went through life building unhealthy relationships or will your life testify that you built things that lasted.  When we go the extra mile to find the right materials we build houses that will last no matter the storm.

What Are You Building?
Pastor Derrick Phillips

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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


Secrets of The Successful

  I have been working and studying diligently for our churches leadership development training and curriculum…  In my studying, writing, and preparing, I found a common thread that inspired me to write today about the secrets of successful people.

It’s often very easy for us to see a successful person or organization and make the assumption that their success is based on what we can see.  In my studies and also having the opportunity to watch some successful people very closely, I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of the success is from things we can’t see.  Here are some of that I’ve outlined:

1. They are people of integrity.  The more you get to know these people, their families and the organizations they lead, the more I am ministered to by their integrity.  They walk the talk.  The closer I get to these people, the more impressed I am with them because they ooze integrity.

2. They have a genuine humility.  They don’t think they know it all.  They are teachable.  They are learners.  You enjoy being around them because they aren’t full of themselves.

3. They are secure.  They aren’t threatened by other people’s success.  They are kingdom minded.  They are willing to put great thinkers and leaders around them, and let them flourish.  They don’t need to take the credit.  They don’t need to be in control of everything.  They don’t need all the power.  They don’t put other people down or make other people look bad, so that they can make themselves look better.

4. They are givers.  I’ve noticed that they are extremely generous.  They aren’t stingy, but instead they give like crazy.  Tithing is just the starting point and not the ending point for these successful people.  They are generous to the church, the poor, the hurting and to projects around the world.  You would never know it from a distance, but generosity is what these successful people are all about.

5. They are good with money.  They handle their personal finances well.  They rarely have consumer debt.  Most of the successful people I know are completely debt free or only have a house payment.  They save and invest for the future.  They are extremely wise with handling their personal finances.  I’ve also learned that the way successful people (leaders) operate their personal finances is normally the way they operate their organization’s finances.  These successful people normally lead financially sound organizations.

6. They have a great work ethic.  Laziness is not in their vocabulary.  They work circles around most people.  They have a “do whatever it takes” attitude about getting the job done.  These successful people don’t need to punch a time clock or have somebody look over their shoulder to produce results.  They are highly motivated and will work 45 to 50 plus hours a week without any supervision.  You would never know it from a distance, but these people have a great work ethic.

7. They push through pain.  These successful people deal with criticism, hurt, back-stabbing and people walking out on them and their organization, but they keep moving forward.  They have developed a high pain tolerance.  They get knocked down, but they always get back up.  They know how to take a licking and keep on ticking.  These successful people are also not afraid to make the tough and painful decisions.  They know how to play hurt, and sometimes they have to play injured.  You would never know it from a distance, but these successful people consistently persevere through pain.

8. They stay on course.  Successful people have a vision for their life and organization, and they stay on course.  They have a goal for their life, family and organization, and they work towards those goals.  They are not living life aimlessly.  These people are very focused on where they are and where they are going.  They don’t get distracted, nor do they get off course.

Pastor Derrick Phillips


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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


How Much Are You Worth?

It has been said that we determine the value of our own self worth from the people in our lives that mean the most to us. We can also get our beliefs about ourselves from those we meet casually or even just once. Impressions that people make on us can have a profound impact on our self image. In other words, if the people in our lives give us a sense that they love us and we mean something to them, then we feel like we have value and are worth something.

The problem with that thinking is that over the course of time people’s feelings can and often do change. People’s opinions can shift. If you truly base your own self worth on someone else’s perspective, what might happen to you (mentally) if those same people turn their backs on you? What might you do if one of those people is your spouse and now they want a divorce? How do you reconcile the fact that the person who promised to love you forever, no longer does? How would you feel if your parents hid the fact that you were adopted and now your own opinion of yourself has shifted?  What happens when the job that you worked so hard at, decides to terminate or fire you?

Your self worth should never be determined by what other people think or the circumstances that prevail in life. You are not a commodity whose value changes with the whim of a fickle market. You are the creation of the Most High God, the Creator of the Universe. You are His child and only what He thinks about you matters. You need to realize that you are more valuable to Him than the value we place on material things such as gold. You are more precious to God than diamonds are to us. Our self worth comes from what God thinks of us. God tells us in scripture that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Furthermore he makes it known that He formed us and knew us while we were still in the womb. God loves you unconditionally…Yes unconditionally, without the cars, the money, the big house, the expensive clothes… He loves you UNCONDITIONALLY!

So know that there is nothing wrong with you when people reject you or people hurt you. Have you lost the value that you had yesterday because today someone no longer wants to be your friend? No. I suspect the problem might be with the other person. Are you somehow worth less today than you were yesterday because someone today cursed you out? Of course not. You are the same special person you have always been. Their opinion has changed or their feelings but you haven’t changed.

Never allow what others say about you or what someone does to you to affect the way you know God feels about you. You are His greatest creation. I often say you are God’s Prized Possesion.. His masterpiece.  There is not another you anywhere else in existence. You are one of a kind and mighty special to Him. Whenever you need a friend or someone to give you a pep talk, God is always there for you.  Know that you were created in the image of God.  Know your worth…and never ever put yourself on sale or discount who you are based on others opinions!

Pastor Derrick Phillips

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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


Time Will Reveal

There is a scripture in Proverbs 1:10 that says, “My son if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them.

As a new Pastor with a new church, I have the luxury of meeting new visitors and guests, and eventually people that become members of the church, many of whom I don’t know.  Ultimately these are wonderful people, but again, people I don’t know.  Knowing someone comes through opportunities presented by time and relationship.  And although I am a new Pastor, I’m not new to ministry or to the management of people for that matter.  I know that time truly reveals the unknown.  Boyz II Men used to sing a song called “Time Will Reveal”

Think about it…have you ever met someone that seemed too good to be true? When you met you just clicked. You had a lot of things in common. You both shared similar stories. You saw the world the same way. You got each other’s jokes. It seemed like this was the person you had been searching for your entire life. You knew that since you had finally found them that everything from this point forward would be totally different. The problem is later on you discovered that you did not meet who you who you thought you met.

When we first meet people we put our best foot forward. We are on time. We are extra courteous. We listen closely and have wonderful responses prepared. We are the best conversationalist ever. We smell good, look good, and dress well. Everything is always perfect in the beginning, but rarely is the beginning the same as the middle or the end. Remember all of us put our best foot forward to entice people into relationship with us. No matter if it is business, church, romantic or otherwise, we always want to make a good first impression to get people to follow our agenda, lead our fan club, or jump on our bandwagon, just remember that may not be who they really are.

You must let time reveal!  This is when you give people the time to show you who they really are. When you meet new people don’t fall too fast. There is always a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings when you meet new people. Decipher through that to get to the essence of who they are. Don’t just go skipping down the rosy red path, because you may find out that those roses are actually carnations.  When you slow down to take a breath and let time reveal you can discover who you are really dealing with. Is he prince charming, or actually a frog with a crown. Is she a dream girl, or actually a beautiful nightmare. Is this the perfect business partner, or the future co-defendant. Are they the perfect member or a menace?  You won’t be able to tell one from the other unless you allow time to reveal all.

Let Time Reveal
Pastor Derrick Phillips

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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


Pigs and Pearls Don’t Mix

Today I would like to share a hard but much needed lesson.  In the gospel of Matthew 7:6, Christ’s teaching admonishes us that as we relay the truth to people we should be careful of who and what we give.  Some people don’t have the capacity to handle it..  What do i mean?

We have all been there at some point…saddened by the fact that we have offered something valuable to those who would not understand or appreciate it. We have given our gifts to friends only to find they are not received or reciprocated…we have contracted our services to employers who could never validate the talent we possess nor the impact we could make…we have loved people who would carelessly discard our feelings and tread on our hearts…we have exposed ourselves over and over again to people who would never recognize us. As we learn to understand and accept our own value, however, we become more discerning as we cast our pearls.

This of course doesn’t happen right away.The journey toward healthy self worth and personal clarity is often a long one…punctuated by many potholes and detours. In the beginning, we don’t realize that we should treasure ourselves and honor our gifts. We just want to be loved, accepted, validated and seen for who we are…so we put ourselves out there…all over the place…only to be disappointed by the masses who find us unremarkable or insignificant. The problem is that we don’t immediately learn from this and adjust our criteria…we fall into a place of feeling misunderstood, unappreciated, disconnected and alienated. We begin to question our own value as the swine trample our pearls.

Of course the moral of the story is probably obvious by now: We must learn not to give our precious selves to those who would not appreciate us…we must not expect someone to recognize our gifts who has not the ability to do so…we must not determine the beauty of our spirit by those who are blind to it. We are meant to be treasured, honored, loved and respected. In order to receive that, however, we must start by treasuring, honoring, loving and respecting ourselves. This means we must incorporate awareness as we cast our pearls. When we achieve and embrace that, we will draw those people into our lives who recognize us as the phenomenal gifts that God made us to be.  So next time you you begin to give someone something of value, remind yourself….Pig and Pearls don’t mix!

Pastor Derrick Phillips

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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized


Need A Tow?

This morning after I dropped my son off at school, I had to run a few errands… you know the usual dry cleaning, bank, post office….and as I travelled down the highway, I noticed a tow truck on the side of the road with a car on its bed, and the hood up.  The driver appeared to be on the phone under the hood frustrated with the situation and calling for assistance.  I took note because the tow truck appeared to be new.  This was an interesting sight and the vivid imagery of a question I heard a few weeks ago that kept replaying in my head….”Who tows the tow truck driver?”

What happens when the person who is busy rescuing everyone breaks down and needs to be rescued themself?  It is a powerful metaphor of many of us today, who are running constantly in life, rescuing everyone, saving the family, preaching to save souls, taking the kids to the doctor, soccer practice, and dropping of the teen at their part-time job.  But really…who tows the tow truck driver? who operates on the surgeon whenever they become ill?  Where does the pharmacist go when he needs to be medicated?  I know the answer may be simple, but the principle is that everyone needs relief at some point.  Every now and then you have to stop and take some time for yourself before you break down while in the midst of saving everything  and everyone else around you.  The pressure can be overwhelming but you can make it… David said in Psalms 61:2, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Many times as a mother, father, pastor, confidant, or friend we deny ourselves the right and liberty of saying, I NEED HELP!  Rescue Me!  Today, I’m praying for tow druck drivers everywhere:  Mothers, Fathers, Pastors, Publicists, Husbands, Wives, Bosses, Supervisors, and anyone in general who is currently running constantly with no relief.  Take care of yourselves before you break down!  Ask yourself today, Do I need a tow?

Pastor Derrick Phillips


Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


At The King’s Table

Many times when I reflect back on growing up, I always think about how it seemed I never belonged to the “In” crowd.  My mother wasn’t wealthy, so I didn’t have a lot of the newest sneakers and latest fashions that other kids had.  As a matter of fact, I can remember often feeling a little like an outsider.  I wasn’t a star athlete or one that all the girls were vying for my attention.  I was just me.  Although I didn’t excel in some areas, I did manage to find my place somewhere along the way.

But, anyone who went to high school, knows about the “In” crowd. The “In” crowd was made up of kids whose parents bought them a car when they turned 16, had the latest sneakers, and brand name clothes.  It was the table where the popular people sat for lunch.  It was the place to be. The conversation seemed better. If you were there, you had arrived at the top of the social ladder. At that table, you had those who were at the top, but you also always had someone trying to get in. You remember, the person who wasn’t quite in the “In” crowd, but was always trying to work their way into the crowd.  They tried to go find clothes like them, act like them, or wear their hair or make-up in similar styles.

It’s sad to say but many people have never really left the “In” crowd mentality. Many people have dedicated their lives to trying to become a part of the “In” crowd or certain circle of influence. We have an image or set of friends in mind that we believe that if we can just be a part of that circle, we will have all that we ever dreamed of.  Or maybe if I wear this or drive that, it will say that I have arrived.  The simple fact is you will never be able to talk your way into the “In” crowd. At a certain point, you have to realize that YOU ARE THE COOL KID, and that God has already created a habitation for you to exist.  But sometimes we are so focused on another man’s success, that we fail to see and realize our own potential to flourish and do greater!

Proverbs 25:6-7 says, “Do not exalt yourself in the king’s presence, and do not claim a place among his great men; it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here,” than for him to humiliate you before his nobles.”

Let me share something with you…  Sometimes the group or crowd is only there to assimilate themselves in order to validate their own insecurities. Until you have established within yourself that there is no table, no crowd that is better than you, but only tables that become better with you there,  you will never be happy. When you realize who you are, you will see that there is no place to rise to. You will only see the need to become only what and who God created you to be.  When you have become who God has for you to be, you will be invited to every table that you ever wanted access to. Being a child of God, gives you favor in the sight of those who you need access to. Many times, it is not he/she with wit and charm, or the greatest resume or even money who gain access, but rather he/she who has the favor of the Lord. Today, be the best that you are. Realize that the favor of the Lord is worth more than any table you can talk your way into. The favor of the Lord will get you called to tables that you can’t even imagine.

Already at The King’s Table
Pastor Derrick Phillips

Prayer: Father, I thank you for your power in which you uniquely created everyone of us to be.  I thank you for preparing a table before us, and allowing us to flourish at that table.  Help us to continue to be who you’ve called us to be, and for that we will never be ashamed.  We love you and we thank you for calling us to your table.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen!

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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Uncategorized