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What To Do First to Make a Profit

The PF Women Team at our Annual Team Retreat  ~ 2018 Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said: It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way. Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory! I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started inve

Betrayal and custom ordering the furniture for my mansion

So I went to the conference in Orlando on Monday and like I said, it was really good.

The first speaker we heard was John Eldredge. I am not a fan, so I was sort of dreading it, to be honest. I was considering the idea of going to sleep on Larry's shoulder when he started speaking and catching up on sleep. Before hearing him, (based upon reading his books) I just wanted to "get through it" but I was pleasantly surprised that he said nothing I thought was heretical. Praise God! was just on listening to God and being led by His Spirit and to one who is living a life led by the Spirit, His message was just a reiteration of what we are already living. But I guess for those who are not in the lifestyle/atmosphere of living the spirit filled life, then it's a radical message. At any rate, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Ed Young spoke on betrayal. It was awesome. He introduced it by calling it the "Elephant in the Room."

At first I was very confused. I didn't disagree with anything Ed spoke about. However I was a tad confused when he began because I have never found betrayal to be an elephant people don't talk about. I realized after thinking about it a while that I mostly talk to women. I try to stay away from stereotypes (one reason I don't like Eldredge's books) and I realize everyone's different, however I find most women are dying to talk to somebody about their betrayal. It's usually not an elephant with women but Larry pointed out that with most men it is a huge elephant. They don't talk about their betrayal for a host of reasons.

I think back to the times we have been betrayed in ministry. Larry usually only spoke to me or our best friend about it but to others he was very guarded and would quote a scripture or say something very benign when asked about it and get off the subject. When I asked him why he said that most men feel stupid when they are betrayed, like, "how dumb could I have been to be suckered by that individual?" So out of pride and feeling stupid they don't even like to admit they were betrayed because they are hurt and embarrassed so much. I find that when it comes to me or my women friends, we care more about getting relief from our pain than we do about looking stupid. It's sort of like the transition stage of labor...when you throw the sheets off and care less about modesty and lose your mind are just hurting like crazy and you want relief.

I know in my case, if it weren't for my loyal friends who listened to me, I would have lost my mind. You know, the more I think about it, it is like a child birth transition...only when you're having a baby and you throw the sheets off and lose your mind in pain, it's for a few hours. In real life betrayal, a few hours is nothing. A deep betrayal can have you writhing in pain for months out of your mind and if not for a few "midwife" women friends to help coach you'd never make it through to the other side of it.

Ed Young brought up a few great points like the fact that your betrayer is always someone close to you (after all if they aren't close enough how could they even hurt you?) Interesting that he brought up Judas and said, "...close enough to kiss you..." Years ago when going though a situation like this the Lord spoke to me about Judas. I was kicking myself over and over daily asking myself, "how could you have let them in your circle? How could you have been so dumb Deanna? How could you have trusted them?". I asked myself this question and I would ask my true friends, "what do I do now that I've made this colossal mistake? Where do I proceed from here?" I wanted so badly never to repeat it but didn't know what to do to make sure I didn't. One day in my prayer time Jesus said to me, "Do you think I was stupid?" and I said, "of course not Lord, I would never think you're stupid." And he said, "I brought Judas into my inner circle, and I knew that it would ultimately not work out with him and he would even face destruction (in his case, suicide) please don't consider yourself an idiot for letting that person in your circle. Your heart was right in the matter and you will still be rewarded no matter how they turned out or what they did..."

That changed my whole perspective and now I never kick myself or feel stupid anymore when somebody betrays me. I realize it has nothing to do with me. Even if there were "signs" or "red flags" and I am tempted to get mad at myself, I remember Jesus and Judas and I say to myself, "okay, number one I'm not stupid and number two, it's never for nothing..." We have to keep heavenly rewards in view. I've always been a person who is administratively minded and I like tasks, goals, accomplishments and rewards. I find if I am getting something for going through something, I can pretty much stay on task and look to the future. Well, keep in mind with betrayal - it might seem like we do nothing but lose, but THAT'S NOT TRUE. The heavenly stuff you get for going through and making it through betrayal is HUGE. And if you don't believe that just look in the Bible at people who went through it successfully. Now when I get betrayed I look at it and think, "what's in this for me? Woo hoo! I'm getting ready to be blessed!!!" (Sometimes if it's a really bad betrayal I look through catalogues to get ideas and give God some more custom orders for my furniture for my mansion - LOL)

Ed also brought up a great point that betrayal not only shows you the truth about your betrayer but it shows you something about the people around you. Betrayal shows you who your real friends are. If you are the leader - it shows you who your true team members are. Betrayal brings CLARITY. When betrayed you go through a shaking and you find out who is really with you. Without betrayal you would probably never know that information. Because loyalty and unity doesn't even have a chance to show itself until there is a PROBLEM on the scene. Through betrayal you find out who qualifies for your inner circle. Recently I blogged about something my friend Pastor Andrea shared with me called, "Everyone Can't Be In Your Front Row." It's true, they can't. You have to select those people very carefully and they must qualify to be there. Part of that qualification is trustworthiness and loyalty. Unless you go through some hard times you can't really know that they are with you "heart and soul." Perhaps this is where the term "tried and true" comes from. Until someone is "tried" how do you know if they are "true?"

We have to remember too that God allows some things too because He knows ultimately it's not good for us. Or He exposes things for our protection. Sometimes we think someone was "with us" and they never really were. And sometimes it takes something difficult to expose that. One of my favorite preachers, T.D. Jakes, says God gave him the "gift of goodbye." I love this and I've shared it here on the blog and in my preaching before but I'll share it again...because this is a keeper... (cut this one out and put it where you can see it daily if you're in a tough spot right now...)

Let it Go ~ by T.D. Jakes

There are people who can walk away from you.

And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk away from you: let them walk.

I don’t want you to try to talk another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. I mean hang up the phone.

When people can walk away from you let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.

The bible said that, they came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not forus. For had they been of us, no doubt they would have continued with us. [1 John 2:19]

People leave you because they are not joined to you. And if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay.

Let them go.

And it doesn’t mean that they are a bad person it just means that their part in the story is over. And you’ve got to know when people’s part in your story is over so that you don’t keep trying to raise the dead. You’ve got to know when it’s dead.

You’ve got to know when it’s over. Let me tell you something. I’ve got the gift of good-bye. It’s the tenth spiritual gift, I believe in good-bye. It’s not that I’m hateful, it’s that I’m faithful, and I know whatever God means for me to have He’ll give it to me. And if it takes too much sweat I don’t need it. Stop begging people to stay.

Let them go!!

If you are holding on to something that doesn’t belong to you and was never intended for your life, then you need to……
If you are holding on to past hurts and pains ……
If someone can’t treat you right, love you back, and see your worth…..
If someone has angered you ……..
If you are holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge……
If you are involved
in a wrong relationship or addiction……
If you are holding on to a job that no longer meets your needs or talents
If you! u have a bad attitude…….
If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better……
If you’re stuck in the past and God is trying to take you to new level in Him……
If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship…….
If you keep trying to help someone who won’t even try to help themselves……
If you’re feeling depressed and stressed ………
If there is a particular situation that you are so used to handling yourself and God is saying “take your hands off of it,” then you need to……
Let the past be the past. Forget the former things. GOD is doing a new thing for 2006!!!
Get Right or Get Left .. think about it, and then…

“The Battle is the Lord’s!”

Okay, I'm back, it's me again... (LOL) Wowza! Everytime I read that (or practically anything that man says), I wave a hanky and shout even if I'm in my office by myself!

That's good stuff. We have to realize the full context of God's Word when it comes to relationships. The same Word of God that instructs us to love extravagantly also instructs us, "Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him." Titus 3:10

Part of what comes with maturity is realizing boundaries. I have to admit, at one time I had none. I just thought God wanted us to throw our heart out there to everybody and love with wild abandon. But what does scripture tell us? To guard our heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Thank God when we become Christians, it doesn't mean we have to check our brain - or our heart - at the door! Then I also did a study on boundaries and discovered Jesus Himself had boundaries and for our spiritual and emotional health he wants us to have them too. This is also why the Lord gave us whole BOOKS of the Bible containing instructions on church discipline and problems, so leaders would have wisdom on how to handle God's church and matters like this when they occur. (Tip: I always read through those books of the Bible several times a year just to remind me...I find it very helpful to go over "the manual" again and again...)

My friend I just encourage you today, if you are going through a betrayal keep in mind when you LET IT GO at the same time you are letting go, you are getting ready to RECEIVE... you can join me in ordering a bunch of heavenly custom made furniture...and clothes...and shoes... (keep in mind you are getting a heavenly crown but you are going to lay it down and give it GO FOR THE MANSION ACCESSORIES...because according to scripture you are going to keep the mansion.) LOL


Angie said…
I have recently been through a shaking/betrayel and this couldn't have been more timely. We are carefully climbing out, but I feel so guarded. I've told my husband several times over the past three months that I don't think I can allow myself to have close friends anymore...but then I also realize I need friends.
Thank you!

My heart goes out to you. I've been there so many times. During one of the worst (when we had a church split of sorts and were in a small town) I didn't even go out fo the store for a while (a few months) and Larry did the grocery shopping because when I would see people it would be so upsetting. The pain was so great at times...indescribable. I will be praying for you and please know you have a kindred spirit who understands.

Tara Sloan said…
Thanks Deanna... we needed this one today...

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