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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Functional Dysfunction

Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice. Proverbs 23:9

Have you ever had the feeling that your words were just not getting through to someone? You see their problem, and you know the solution that will get them to what they say is their desired result. So as a friend, you venture to explain step by step what they should do, how to do it, and what will happen if they follow your fool-proof instructions. You feel like you have done a good thing having helped a friend solve a problem that they had been dealing with for quite some time. Later on you get the startling phone call that they somehow have gotten into the same place that they were before because they did the opposite of what you advised them to do. They ask you for advice, again. The cycle beings, again. You know where this will end up, AGAIN.

The truth is that we often miss is some people actually like being dysfunctional. Or what i Like to call functional dysfunction.  People who only can function in the midst of dysfunction.  If nothing is going wrong then things are not normal.  While that may seem insane, look at the evidence. You know people who never listen to the advice that will get them out of their issues, they just do the same thing and hope for a different result. They do stuff that won’t work, but seem blissfully happy while trying the latest and greatest scheme that does the same thing as the last scheme and predictably fails miserably. Then they come to cry on your shoulder, and you patch them back up. The problem is they leave feeling better and you wind up frustrated. Frustrated because, you know that it is only a matter of time before they will be back with the same problem, and you will give the same solution for them to ignore.

Now is the time for you to do something different. Stop trying to advise people who are not listening. If they are not on listening terms with good advice you should not be on speaking terms with giving them good advice. The truth of the matter is people who are invested in their dysfunction are just wasting your time. It does not make you a bad person if you accept that trying to help them is just frustrating you. It makes you someone smart enough to look for a fertile ground to plant your seeds of wisdom. Don’t worry what they will think when you stop advising them, they aren’t listening anyway.

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

What’s Holding You Back?

This morning I was reading the story of The Rich Young ruler.  (You can read it in Mark 10:17-22)  Jesus told him in verse Mark 10:21 that there was basically ONE THING that was holding him back from being His follower.  (And the guy was unwilling to give up that one thing!)

I’ve been in ministry for over 10 years now…and through my personal experiences and with what I’ve seen in others I’ve basically identified four “one things” that commonly hold people back.

#1 – Money – Jesus said that money is the number one competitor for our hearts.  (See Matthew 6:19-24)  Paul gave specific warnings regarding money (I Timothy 6:6-19).  And…we know from the story, that money was the rich young rulers problem.  We cannot be fully committed followers of Christ if greed is the obsession of our hearts.  God is generous…His followers should be as well.  Ask yourself am I as generous as God wants me to be?  Or am i doing the minimum it takes to satisfy God and my own conscience?

#2 – Anger/Unforgiveness – What Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15 does not get a lot of press, but the importance of His statement is VITAL and ESSENTIAL to you and I having a dynamic, victorious walk with Jesus.  He flat out said that if we do not forgive, we are not forgiven.  (Also see I John 2:9-11)  We cannot pursue Jesus with all our hearts if bitterness and unforgivness dominates our minds and hearts.  One of the things that we miss so often in reading the book of Job is that God DID bless Job and more than restore all that he had lost…but He did so AFTER Job forgave and prayed for his legalistic friends who had done nothing but tear him down for days!  (See Job 42:10).  MAYBE the reason you cannot move forward in your walk with Christ is because you are not willing to extend the same forgiveness you claim that God has given to you.

#3 – Unconfessed Sin – Is there an issue that God keeps coming after that you refuse to let go of.  Remember…He will RELENTLESSLY pursue your heart, not your behavior. AND…to KNOW Him intimately is to obey Him immediately!! We’ve GOT to remember that “delayed obedience” is radical disobedience.  If He’s coming after something in your life it is only because He wants to replace it with something better.  (Read Mark 10:17 again and notice that the Bible specifically says that Jesus LOVED this guy…and out of that love He came after the idol in the guys life!)  My advice here would simply be to let go of whatever He’s after…AND…if He’s clearly spoken to you about an issue then just do what He says…He’s not changing His mind!

#4 – An Ungodly Relationship – You cannot pursue an affair and pursue Jesus.  You cannot have sex with someone you are not married to and pursue Jesus.  You cannot date someone that Jesus says not to date and be close to Him.  Some people have their identity in who they are dating (or having sex with) rather than in Christ…and this ALWAYS destroys our fellowship with Him.

I am sure there are other things that we all deal with…but these are four things that so often hold us back from being who God wants us to be!  Today ask yourself What’s Holding me back, and take steps to conquer it!

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Missed Any Opportunities Lately?

This morning, while reading the book of Jeremiah God really turned my head with the scripture in Jeremiah 46:17…It discusses Pharaoh who was a leader…he had potential…but for some reason he MISSED his opportunity.

It wasn’t that the opportunity wasn’t there…it was that he missed it.  AND…the same thing CAN happen to us if we are not careful.  I began thinking about why we, as leaders, miss opportunities…here are a few reasons.

#1 – Laziness – Opportunities require action…period.  Some leaders get so wrapped up in the way things are, that they never even consider additional opportunities because doing so would require effort.  (See Jeremiah 48:10!)

#2 – Fear – God never gives us the complete picture…God never says, “Do this and this…and if you do then I will do this and this and you will live happily ever after.”  (At least He’s never done that with me…or anyone in the Scriptures.)  He reveals Himself one step at a time…and demands that we have the faith to follow Him wherever He leads us.  (SeeHebrews 11:6)

#3 – Doubt – There are people reading this blog right now who have serious doubts that God could ever use you to do something great for His name…and you’re WRONG!  Gideon wrestled with doubt (see Judges 6) until he realized that God didn’t see him as he was…but rather as who HE had created him to be!

#4 – Pride – There are some people that are so busy looking for the great and awesome opportunities that they miss the “little things” that God places in front of them every day because to acknowledge them would be somehow demeaning because, after all, certain “little things” are beneath people who are pursuing a path of greatness, right?  Uh…the only real problem with that is Jesus…the GREATEST of all time…who, in His pursuit to be completely obedient took time to wash the feet of the men that were going to deny and betray Him.  (See John 13)  If God can’t trust us with the small things…then how in the world could He ever trust us with “big” things?

#5 – Unawareness – We lose sight of WHO HE IS (Isaiah saw Him and was ruined–seeIsaiah 6:1-8).  We lose sight of WHAT HE CAN DO!  He healed the blind, put an Interstate highway through the Red Sea, made the lame walk and BROUGHT THE DEAD BACK TO LIFE.  We read those stories in the Scriptures but many time fail to understand…HE’S THE SAME GOD!!!  HE HAS THE SAME POWER!!!  HE IS NOT LIMITED!  HE WANTS THE CHURCH TO THRIVE MORE THAN WE DO!!!  It’s not that He’s NOT wanting to do great things…but rather than He can’t find men and women who believe in Him enough to attempt what HE is leading them to do!!!

These are just a few reasons, i’m quite sure there are many more…Open your eyes wide today, there could be opportunities waiting on you, but you may be missing them because you are looking in the wrong direction.

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Mad at Me?

The relationships that we develop with people are always based on a level of expectation. We expect our friends to be there for us, and in return we will be there for them. We expect our friends to keep something in confidential that is told to them in confidence. We expect that our friends will be on our side, when the chips are down. These expectations are usually built up over time. We have been in situations where our friends have proven themselves trustworthy, faithful, and dependable. We go merrily along, the best of friends until one day our friend fails to meet our expectations, and then we are not sure if we can be friends any more.

Often times, we get mad at God when like our friends He fails to meet an expectation that we have. When God fails to meet our expectations sometimes we begin to lose faith and wonder what should we really believe in Him at all. After all, if God is all-powerful where was he when I needed him? The truth is we often have misplaced expectations of God. Many times our expectation of God are not based on a relationship with God but rather using God as an ecclesiastical insurance policy. In other words, no matter what I get myself into, I expect God to get me out. If I do things that are obviously stupid, reckless, dangerous, and destructive God is supposed to get me out of my mess.

Today, remember being mad in a relationship rarely solves anything, especially when you have become angry with God. Don’t be mad at God because you make bad decisions. God empowers us to make good decisions but does not force us to make them. In each of us is the ability to make reasonable, sane, God ordained choices, or to run amok. Wisdom comes from accepting the responsibility to make better choices, and to live with the consequences of making bad choices. In reality, when you are in trouble because of the dumb choices you have made, and get mad at God you are missing that it is because of God that your foolishness has not been unto death. All of us have made bad choices that would have been much worse if God had not intervened to save us in the midst of the situation. So take the chance to reset your expectations. God has not let you down because He didn’t get you out of the many messes you created, He kept you through your foolishness so you could live to fight another day.

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Own Worst Enemy?

I believe the greatest enemy to success is ourselves. We are our own worst enemy. We have been made in the image of God. We are creative beings. We are power-packed full of potential. We are super talented. The only problem is we are our own worst enemy. Think about this question: How are you your own worst enemy? Is it a lack of discipline, impulsive decision-making, debt, time management, bad habits, neglecting your family, disobedience, integrity issues, laziness or attitude? If we are going to reach our full potential, we must overcome the number one enemy, OURSELVES!

Why do we sabotage our own destiny? Why are we our own worst enemy? Why do we have self-destructive behavior? Here is a quick list of reasons:

1. Our parents and the environment we grew up in have a tremendous impact on us. Unfortunately, many people grew up in an ultra dysfunctional home. Many people never overcome their childhood dysfunctions.

2. Many people think their behavior is normal because it’s all they know. It’s scary when you are your own worst enemy, and you don’t even know it.

3. We don’t like change. When we have been doing something for years, it’s easier to keep doing the same thing rather than change. It is a sad thing when we keep doing the same thing even though it is destroying our relationships, career and even our own life.

4. Some people never surrender to the control of the Holy Spirit. One of the fruits of the Spirit is discipline. We human beings can be very undisciplined. The only way we stop being our own worst enemy is through extreme hard work and discipline. We need the Holy Spirit’s help!

Today, my prayer is that you ask yourself how have you sabotaged your own destiny and purpose?  Ask the Holy Spirit to take control of you so that you can achieve the potential that has been under arrest.

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Out With The Old

Good morning I pray that everyone is having a wonderful and productive day!

I recently had a conversation with someone, when asked how they were doing said, “Oh its the same old same old.”  But they were frustrated because they were trying to and accomplish new things but still using the same old methods.

In the gospel of Mark 2:22, “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

How many of us are crying out for something new to happen in our life?  Whether it’s a new career, a new outlook, newness in our relationships, a new change to happen in our ministry, our life, or our vision….we all from time to time like to see new things happening.  But what often ruins our new seasons is the remembering the good ole’ days of the old seasons in our life.  Because God is a progressive God he wants us to grow and become better.  Though we should never discount or forget where we came from, we must never look so long at the past that we forfeit the blessings of our future.

The problem that most people face is not that God hasn’t given us anything new, it’s just what He desires to give us cannot fit into the box, container, or paradigm of the old. Its the equivalent of pouring New wine into old wineskins.  Whenever, you pour new wine into old wineskins, the new wine is ruined because the old wineskins has expanded as far as it can go!  Stop frustrating yourself trying to get someone or something to expand beyond its capacity.  Your new season, your new opportunities, your new talents are here but before you go trying to put them in through the methodology of the old…take time to ask God to help you embrace the new!

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Stuck in Neutral?

 This morning, I was sitting in the waiting room while my car was being serviced…nothing major, just regular oil change and maintenance.  The techs and service managers all know me on a first name basis, but today there was someone new who assisted me.  I gave him my keys and took a seat, but he came back a bit alarmed and said, “Mr. Phillips, I got some bad news..Your car is not moving…did you notice it driving differently this morning?”  I said no and went to take a look and I said, “Um….sir did you notice the car is in Neutral?  I don’t know how to do a lot of work on cars but I do know it won’t go anywhere in neutral.”  We laughed but I began to think…

Have you ever felt like you or your life was stuck in neutral?  Your motor is running, you’re pressing the gas, but unfortunately you’re not going anywhere? Could it be that you’ve been living life in neutral? One thing I do know is there is no power in neutral. Neutral won’t take you anywhere.  Whether it’s a life, or a family, or a ministry, or a career, or a church in neutral it’s as useless and powerless as a car without an engine. Being in neutral is being indecisive, indifferent, not making a choice and sticking to it!  In the book of Joshua 24:15, he commands the children of Israel to “….choose ye this day, whom you will serve.”  Being in neutral is the equivalent of being stuck between moving forward or going in reverse.

You see, God doesn’t empower us to live our lives in neutral. He wants us to be clear and decisive about our committments and our relationships.  People that live their lives in neutral are dangerous; today they are with you, and the next day are gone with the wind. Most of the time it’s not the devil who defeats us, it’s the our indifference, indecision, neutrality and inability to commit. It’s our indifference that produces impotence, our powerlessness.  Even God understood this principle because people who are stuck in neutral are lukewarm.  Revelations 3:16 “So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Take some time this week to make some decisions to move and stick to it. Take some time to access what friends and relationships are just idling in neutral.  Ask yourself what areas in my life are stuck in neutral?  Your ability to move forward is predicated on shifting your life into gear.  Shift!….The road to purpose awaits you!

Pastor Derrick Phillips

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Uncategorized