What are your core values?

And how do you demonstrate them in your life?

“We don’t do what we believe in; we do what we value.” 

That statement has stuck with me for over twenty years.  It was spoken by our adjunct professor in my first doctoral seminar in 1994.  Here was his point: Often, when we say we believe in something, what we mean is that we agree with it in principle

We don’t do what we believe in; we do what we value. Click To Tweet

We believe in honesty until a “little white lie” gets us out of a jam.  We believe in living within our means until we see something shiny that’s on sale for a limited time only.  We believe in God but can’t really bring ourselves to surrender our lives to Him.  I could go on and on, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

What we truly value, on the other hand, is not demonstrated in our statements, but by our actions.  If I say I value something, but don’t truly invest myself in doing it, I don’t really value it; I simply believe in it.

I don’t know when the term “core values” first came into vogue, but it has been popular for some time for businesses, organizations (including churches), and even individuals to identify their core values.

According to businessdictionary.com:  A core value is “A principle that guides an organization’s internal conduct as well as its relationship with the external world. Core values are usually summarized in the mission statement or in a statement of core values.”

Not long ago, I spent two days in a LifePlanning process.  As a part of that, I identified four core values by which I intend to operate in the world.  I am sharing two of them with you this week and two of them next week.

I share them as (1) an explanation of why I communicate the way I do, (2) permission for you to call me out if I violate them, and (3) an example to challenge you to consider your own core values.

Core Value #1“Gospel” means “good news.”  Part of my calling is to proclaim (sometimes speak, sometimes write, sometimes demonstrate) the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is incredibly important for me to remember that the word “gospel” literally means “good message or news.”  That why I’m not big on whining, criticism, or getting sucked into politics.  I must demonstrate this core value by not being a jerk and by living joyfully.

Core Value #2Focus on the road ahead.  I believe there is always something new and amazing over the next hill and around the next corner.  To make that belief a value, I must demonstrate this value by being completely present wherever I am and constantly learning something that will prepare me for the next step.

Your core values will be different from mine.  You may even disagree with mine.  You may even want to argue with mine.  (It would be pointless, but you could do it).  I’m actually not very concerned about what you think of mine.  I would, however, love to hear about yours.

Why?  Because our lives and our values matter to God and we are on this amazing journey of life together.  

To share your thoughts on core values:

  • Comment below to share them with me publicly.
  • To share them with me privately, Email contactgerrylewis.com

093 – Embarking on the Journey to Amazing [Podcast]

You can choose Amazing

 

Welcome to Season 3 of the Your Church Matters podcast. In this episode (93) I’m launching a new season with an explanation of a phrase that changed my life, encouragement that Amazing is possible, and a caution about two roadblocks that will keep you from Amazing.

 

 

The phrase that changed my life: “Now go and be amazing!”

The context/framework in which I use it: We are most amazing when we are amazed by God and join Him in His amazing activity in the world.

 

Two Roadblocks that will keep you from amazing

  1. You don’t believe amazing is possible.
  2. You are not willing to explore.

 

How you can help me help others:

  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and give us a rating and review. 
  • We are also on Stitcher.com and Google Play, so if you prefer one of those formats, please subscribe there.
  • Share the love by clicking on one or more of the social share buttons at either the top or bottom of this post.

To comment on this episode or leave a question for a future episode:

1. Comment section below

2. Email: contactgerrylewis@gmail.com

3. Voicemail: 817-929-0643

4. Direct tweet @drgerrylewis

*Special thanks to Keith Cooper (Guitar Music)

*Special thanks to Nathan Woodward (Saxophone Music)

2017 is going to be Amazing!

I hope you haven't already given up on it

“Now go and be amazing!” 

I simply spoke the phrase that popped into my head.  And it may have changed the course of my life.

I was sitting on a bench overlooking the Trinity River on an unseasonably warm December day in 2014. I was recording the introductory episode of my brand new podcast, Your Church Matters with Dr. Gerry Lewis, that would be launching in January, 2015. 

I had been telling a little bit of my story, by way of introduction, and my plans and dreams for this new podcast that would remind pastors and church leaders that, “No matter where you are, your church matters to God and your ministry IS significant.” I signed off with, “Now go and be amazing.”

Two years and 92 episodes later, that’s still the final tag of every episode.  I am so convinced that I am supposed to be amazing and share amazing, that I developed a new personal mission statement in October, 2016:

“I guide explorers along their next steps toward amazing.”

Whether it is through a newspaper column, blog, podcast, writing/developing resources, or personal coaching and consulting, my purpose is to walk alongside those who believe amazing is possible and who are willing to go on a journey of exploration to discover it.

As a follower of Jesus, I believe that we are most amazing when we are amazed by God and join Him in His amazing activity in the world.  So, when I encourage a pastor, church leader, or other Christ-follower to go and be amazing, that is the framework in which I’m operating.

We are most amazing when we are amazed by God and join Him in His amazing activity in the world Click To Tweet

But I also know that just about everyone has an idea of what amazing looks like, both in personal and work life.  And while I personally believe that a life that is not faith directed will fall short of its full amazing potential, there are some things that will keep anyone from their next steps toward amazing, regardless of their faith perspective.

I offer two roadblocks here for your consideration:

1. You don’t believe amazing is really possible.  You believe life is about what happens to you.  You believe that life is directed by fate or karma and that the best that you can hope for is a bit of luck.  You seriously underestimate the power of your choices.

2. You are not willing to explore.  You are risk-adverse.  You fear the unknown more than you fear the status quo.  You avoid anything that takes you out of your comfort zone or requires you to learn something new.  You are trying to navigate life looking in the rearview mirror of your past rather than through the windshield of the road ahead.

You cannot choose what will happen to you in 2017, but you can choose how you will respond.  You can choose to believe that your life matters to God and join Him in amazing.  You can choose to risk the adventure of the road ahead and join other explorers on the journey.

Will your 2017 be amazing?  You get to decide.

Are you interested in working with me one on one to discover and take your next steps toward amazing?

Click here to get information about Strengths Optimization CoachSulting

Email me your inquiries at contactgerrylewis@gmail.com

What did the dog say?

[Delayed] Final ADVENTageous post of 2016

NOTE: BECAUSE OF HOLIDAY TRAVELS AND GRANDCHILDREN ON THE BRAIN, I FORGOT TO UPLOAD THIS POST.  I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE IT HANGING.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Have you heard on the radio, or seen on YouTube, dogs and cats singing Christmas songs? They are kind of cute the first time!  After that … not so much.  I know that some people are convinced that their animals can talk to them.  Maybe I’m just not a good animal whisperer, but I don’t get what they are saying most of the time.  And I don’t spend a lot of time speculating.

There is a little Christmas song that does some speculating on what some animals might have said if they were present at the birth of Jesus.  The Friendly Beasts” (also known as “The Gifts of the Animals,” among other titles) has been recorded by such notables as Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, and Garth Brooks.  The song is thought to originate in Twelfth Century France.  It was originally written in Latin as a part of The Donkey’s Festival which celebrated the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt during Herod’s persecution (see Matthew 2:13-15).  The modern words were written in the 1920’s and attached to this ancient tune.

In this fourth and final Life Matters “ADVENTageous” series during December, let’s speculate on what animals might have been present when Jesus was born (the Bible doesn’t mention any), and let’s pretend that we can understand their account of this most significant of all births.  Approach it with childlike wonder.

Jesus our brother, kind and good was humbly born in a stable rude. And the friendly beasts around Him stood, Jesus our brother, kind and good.

“I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown, “I carried His mother up hill and down; I carried her safely to Bethlehem town. I,” said the donkey, shaggy and brown.

“I,” said the cow all white and red, “I gave Him my manger for His bed; I gave him my hay to pillow his head. I,” said the cow all white and red.

“I,” said the sheep with curly horn, “I gave Him my wool for His blanket warm; He wore my coat on Christmas morn. I,” said the sheep with curly horn.

“I,” said the dove from the rafters high, “I cooed Him to sleep so He would not cry; we cooed him to sleep, my mate and I. I,” said the dove from the rafters high.

Thus every beast by some good spell, in the stable dark was glad to tell of the gift he gave Immanuel, the gift he gave Immanuel.

This song speculates that the animals gave to Jesus what they could.  What have you given this Christmas season to the One who came for you because your life matters to Him? Have you offered Him yourself?  Have you made room in your home for Him to be the center of attention?

By the way, if you heard dogs barking on Christmas Eve, I’m sure they were wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2017!

Here’s a fun rendition of the song

Here’s your ticket to the Big Event

Come and worship!

As a blogger and newspaper columnist in Texas in 2016, I am pretty much free to write what I want and to do so with little risk.  About the worst thing that could happen if I offend people is that (1) They would stop reading what I write and (2) The newspapers would stop running the columns of this guy that is causing them such grief.  Since I try not to be the source of offense or grief, probably my greatest risk is that readers or newspapers will just get tired of me and send me on my bloggity way.

Not that there is anything wrong with some occasional controversy, you understand.  There’s just not a lot of risk in my context.  Not so for James Montgomery (1771-1854), an English poet and newspaper editor. Twice imprisoned for sedition as a result of his controversial editorials, he championed the causes of the poor and downtrodden, especially focusing on the abolition of slavery and the exploitation of child chimney sweeps.

However, one of his poems, “Angels from the Realms of Glory,” met little controversy when it was first published on Christmas Eve, 1816.

This is the third in our Life MattersADVENTageous” series during December.  As you read these words, I invite you to imagine a traditional nativity scene. 

Each guest at the scene receives the same invitation: Come and worship, Come and worship, Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Angels from the realms of glory, Wing your flight o’er all the earth; Ye who sang creation’s story, Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.

Shepherds, in the fields abiding, Watching o’er your flocks by night, God with man is now residing, Yonder shines the infant Light;

Sages, leave your contemplations, Brighter visions beam afar; Seek the great desire of nations, Ye have seen His natal star;

For the final stanza, we move from the ancient nativity to present day worshipers anticipating the Second Coming of Christ.

Saints before the altar bending, Watching long in hope and fear, Suddenly the Lord, descending, In His temple shall appear: Come and worship, Come and worship, Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Our lives matter so much to God that He came … And will come again.  This is the message of Advent: The Coming of the King!  As you prepare to celebrate Christmas, I invite you to a sense of wonder.  Neither the size of your gathering, the extravagance of your decorations, nor the abundance of your food or gifts (or any lack thereof) is what truly matters.

This is the message of Advent - The coming of the King! Click To Tweet

Luke 2:10-12: But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

How about some good music for a great cause? (Good through December 22)

From April 17-28, 2017, I will be traveling to Ukraine with the Singing Men of North Central Texas.  This will be my 4th trip to Ukraine with the Singing Men since 2010.  We have seen more than 20,000 people register decisions to become sincere followers of Jesus during these music mission trips.

As members of the Singing Men, we are responsible for our own travel expenses. So, in preparation for the next trip, I’m highlighting the availability of my most recent CD, Distant Music: The Prayer.  All proceeds from the sale of this CD will go toward my Ukraine Trip expenses.  The regular price is $14.97.

I am offering this for a limited time for $5 off.  That is $9.97 with Free Shipping!

Distant Music

To get your discounted copy, click on the add to cart button below.  Your item will show up on the shopping cart on the right hand side of the page.  Please enter the coupon code ukraine17 and hit the apply button to get your $5 discount.  You may then check out.

 

All my books in the Amazon Kindle store are on sale for 99 cents! (Good through December 31)

Rev3

Why “Bible Study” Doesn’t Work: The epic failure of evangelicalism’s favorite discipleship method – and how YOUR CHURCH can do something about it (Regular price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

30 Days Cover

30 Days of Wisdom (Regular price – $2.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

Culture Wars cover

Culture Wars: In search of spiritual Jedi (Regular Price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

Life Matters, Vol II

Life Matters: Volume 2 (Regular Price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

10 Mistakes Cover

10 Mistakes Pastorless Churches Make (And Recommendations for Avoiding Them (Regular price is 99 cents, but the price is going to $2.99 January 1) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

All my books in the Amazon Kindle Store are on sale for 99 cents

99 cent sale is good through December 31

Rev3

Why “Bible Study” Doesn’t Work: The epic failure of evangelicalism’s favorite discipleship method – and how YOUR CHURCH can do something about it (Regular price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

30 Days Cover

30 Days of Wisdom (Regular price – $2.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

Culture Wars cover

Culture Wars: In search of spiritual Jedi (Regular Price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

Life Matters, Vol II

Life Matters: Volume 2 (Regular Price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

10 Mistakes Cover

10 Mistakes Pastorless Churches Make (And Recommendations for Avoiding Them (Regular price is 99 cents, but the price is going to $2.99 January 1) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

Special End of Year Book Promotion: All Kindle books on sale for 99 cents!

All my books in the Kindle Store are 99 cents. (Good through December 31)

Rev3

Why “Bible Study” Doesn’t Work: The epic failure of evangelicalism’s favorite discipleship method – and how YOUR CHURCH can do something about it (Regular price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

30 Days Cover

30 Days of Wisdom (Regular price – $2.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

Culture Wars cover

Culture Wars: In search of spiritual Jedi (Regular Price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

Life Matters, Vol II

Life Matters: Volume 2 (Regular Price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

10 Mistakes Cover

10 Mistakes Pastorless Churches Make (And Recommendations for Avoiding Them (Regular price is 99 cents, but the price is going to $2.99 January 1) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

092 – A special year end episode [Podcast]

Last podcast of 2016

a-special-year-end-episode

 

Welcome to Season 2 of the Your Church Matters podcast. In this episode (92) I’m sharing the final podcast of the season.  I’m going to take the next few weeks off to enjoy the Christmas holidays and prepare for Season 3.  I have some special year-end promotions going on right now that I hope you will take advantage of and enjoy.  I’m looking forward to seeing you back in 2017 with a refocused Season 3 of Your Church Matters!

May your Christmas and New Year be Amazing!

 

 

Promotion #1 – All my books in the Kindle Store are 99 cents. (Good through December 31)

Rev3

Why “Bible Study” Doesn’t Work: The epic failure of evangelicalism’s favorite discipleship method – and how YOUR CHURCH can do something about it (Regular price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

30 Days Cover      

30 Days of Wisdom (Regular price – $2.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

Culture Wars cover    

Culture Wars: In search of spiritual Jedi (Regular Price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

Life Matters, Vol II   

Life Matters: Volume 2 (Regular Price – $4.99) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

10 Mistakes Cover

10 Mistakes Pastorless Churches Make (And Recommendations for Avoiding Them (Regular price is 99 cents, but the price is going to $2.99 January 1) – Purchase Kindle for 99 cents

 

 

Promotion #2 – How about some good music for a great cause? (Good through December 22)

From April 17-28, 2017, I will be traveling to Ukraine with the Singing Men of North Central Texas.  This will be my 4th trip to Ukraine with the Singing Men since 2010.  We have seen more than 20,000 people register decisions to become sincere followers of Jesus during these music mission trips.

As members of the Singing Men, we are responsible for our own travel expenses. So, in preparation for the next trip, I’m highlighting the availability of my most recent CD, Distant Music: The Prayer.  All proceeds from the sale of this CD will go toward my Ukraine Trip expenses.  The regular price is $14.97.

I am offering this for a limited time for $5 off.  That is $9.97 with Free Shipping!

Distant Music

To get your discounted copy, click on the add to cart button below.  Your item will show up on the shopping cart on the right hand side of the page.  Please enter the coupon code ukraine17 and hit the apply button to get your $5 discount.  You may then check out.

 

Promotion #3 – Affiliate Promotion – 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever goal setting course with Michael Hyatt (Good through December 15)

Affiliate Promotion means that if you purchase through my affiliate link, I receive a generous commission from Michael Hyatt.  I recommend this course and have already registered for it myself.  There are 3 different options available.

bye-registration-open-1

Click here to check it out

 

Promotion #4 – Affiliate Promotion – 7 Steps to Taking Control of 2017 free LIVE webinar with Michael Hyatt (Good through December 14 – Only 3 sessions remaining)

As of the time of this recording, the only remaining webinar sessions available are December 13 at 10:00 a.m. , December 14 at 10:00 a.m., December 14 at 8:00 p.m. (All Central Time)

bye-webinar-cover-slide

Click here to choose your time

How you can help me help others:

  • Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and give us a rating and review. 
  • We are also on Stitcher.com, so if you prefer Stitcher, please subscribe there.
  • Share the love by clicking on one or more of the social share buttons at either the top or bottom of this post.

To comment on this episode or leave a question for a future episode:

1. Comment section below

2. Email: contactgerrylewis@gmail.com

3. Voicemail: 817-929-0643

4. Direct tweet @drgerrylewis

*Special thanks to Keith Cooper (Guitar Music)

*Special thanks to Nathan Woodward (Saxophone Music)

There’s plenty of room here.

You don't need a big house to make room for Jesus.

theres-plenty-of-room-here

Four years ago, Mrs Sweetie and I added a Sweetie Suite on the back of our house.  One benefit is that we have lots of room for guests, they can have one whole part of the house to themselves, and Grandpa can still go to bed early.

We have joked about the Lewis B&B.  Of course, the second B depends on our schedule.  But we can handle several for the first B and we will enjoy some during the Christmas season.

Continuing our Life Matters “ADVENTageous” perspective during December, I’m thinking of another song, “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne,” written by Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott (1836-1987).  Emily, who wrote quite a few poems and hymn texts, especially for the chronically ill, published 48 of them in a little book entitled “Under the Pillow”.  She was perhaps influenced by her aunt, Charlotte Elliott (1789-1971), who wrote the well known hymn “Just As I Am”.

This Christmas hymn was written to teach children about the birth of Jesus.  In each of the first four stanzas there is a “but” that teaches how the One who should have been welcomed, was not, and how important it is for each of us, individually, to make room in our hearts.

Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown, when thou camest to earth for me; but in Bethlehem’s home there was found no room for thy holy nativity. O, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee.

Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang, proclaiming thy royal degree; but in lowly birth didst thou come to earth, and in greatest humility. O, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee.

The foxes found rest, and the birds their nest in the shade of the forest tree;  but thy couch was the sod, O thou Son of God, in the deserts of Galilee. O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,  there is room in my heart for thee.

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word that should set thy people free; but with mocking scorn, and with crown of thorn, they bore thee to Calvary. O come to my heart,  Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee.

The final stanza assures a welcome in Heaven for those who make a place in their hearts here.

When heavens arches shall ring and its choir shall sing at thy coming to victory, let thy voice call me home, saying “Yet there is room, there is room at my side for thee!” And my heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus, when thou comest and callest for me.

John 1:10-13: “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

Grandpa and Sweetie are looking forward to our Christmastime guests.  We are also committed to making room, every day, for the One to whom our lives mattered so much that He left a throne for a manger.

How will you make room in your heart today for Him?

 

How about some good music for a great cause?

From April 17-28, 2017, I will be traveling to Ukraine with the Singing Men of North Central Texas.  This will be my 4th trip to Ukraine with the Singing Men since 2010.  We have seen more than 20,000 people register decisions to become sincere followers of Jesus during these music mission trips.

As members of the Singing Men, we are responsible for our own travel expenses. So, in preparation for the next trip, I’m highlighting the availability of my most recent CD, Distant Music: The Prayer.  All proceeds from the sale of this CD will go toward my Ukraine Trip expenses.  The regular price is $14.97.

I am offering this for a limited time for $5 off.  That is $9.97 with Free Shipping!

Distant Music

To get your discounted copy, click on the add to cart button below.  Your item will show up on the shopping cart on the right hand side of the page.  Please enter the coupon code ukraine17 and hit the apply button to get your $5 discount.  You may then check out.

I’m taking an ADVENTageous perspective

The posts and sounds of December

im-taking-an-adventageous-perspective

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Of course, in some places, that started months ago.  It is, after all, convenient to be able to buy your Zombie Halloween costume on one aisle and your tinseled garland (or is it garlanded tinsel?) on the next.

Other signs of the season: people with cuts, bruises, and dark, baggy eyes still recovering from Black Friday shopping; credit cards hot to the touch from the friction of holiday-pace swiping; turkeys who survived Thanksgiving starting to look over their shoulders again; critics getting ready for every “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Xmas” sign.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

During the month of December, I have decided to give Life Matters an Advent flavor through some Advent/Christmas Carols.  Full disclosure here: growing up in a small, traditional Southern Baptist Church, I don’t remember even hearing the word “advent”.  So, for anyone with a similar background, here’s the Wikipedia version.

Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.   

    Advent is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday … At least in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian and Methodist calendars, Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25, which is the Sunday between November 27 and December 3.

    Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.

Charles Wesley (1707-1788) was one of the most prolific hymn writers in history, publishing the words to over 6,000 hymns in his lifetime.  Charles and his brother John were ordained as Anglican clergymen, but they pushed the envelope of their tradition by emphasizing personal and methodical study and application of Scripture and personal relationship with Christ characterized by holy living.  The hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” is one example of that emphasis.

Come Thou long expected Jesus
    Born to set Thy people free
    From our fears and sins release us
    Let us find our rest in Thee
    Israel’s strength and consolation
    Hope of all the earth Thou art
    Dear desire of every nation
    Joy of every longing heart

    Born Thy people to deliver
    Born a child and yet a King
    Born to reign in us forever
    Now Thy gracious kingdom bring
    By Thine own eternal spirit
    Rule in all our hearts alone
    By Thine all sufficient merit
    Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Our lives matter so much to God that he “came” to us in Jesus. My prayer is that we would enter this season with an ADVENTageous perspective.

Our lives matter so much to God that he “came” to us in Jesus. Click To Tweet

What is something you will do this week to focus on the coming of Jesus?