Check Your Squad – Life With Lisa E.

 

 

tribe, squad, network, circle, team

The following is a guest post from LifewithLisaE.com.

We watch a lot of sports in my house.  I had brothers growing up and I was a cheerleader. Screaming and yelling on behalf of my team seems to be a part of my DNA, skirt or no skirt. Having grown up in Chicago, I am a home-team girl who will cheer for any Chicago team on the television.

However, during my pre-teen and teen years, watching the NBA playoffs was very frustrating even though we got to watch Michael Jordan progress into one of the greatest players to play basketball. Why? Because just about every time we got to the playoffs, we faced the…ahem…Detroit Pistons. (Insert booing.) And for a while, our season ended when we faced them.

Currently, the NBA and its fans and media are salivating over Stephen (Steph) Curry and he’s being compared to Michael Jordan. Also, the media is questioning what can be done to stop him. A media personality brought up how NBA teams in the Jordan era came up with Jordan’s Rules. The rules basically added up to stopping Michael Jordan by any means necessary. And usually there were some hard fouls involved.

The strategy of playing against one man and not the team is a dangerous one. Why? Because If a team is solid and has a deep enough bench, they can still get the win, even with the star being limited which Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors have demonstrated. And think about it, if all the defensive effort goes in one direction, the rest of the team gets a chance to develop.

The Bulls were already pretty good defensively. But during these scrap sessions with teams determined to stop Michael Jordan, the perimeter shooters got better. The centers got better. And eventually, the TEAM became unstoppable. And Jordan? He developed into the clutch leader they needed. He is well known for playing while hurt, sick and what seemed at times nearly dead. The result? Six championships. Michael was the star, but true success came when they all determined that he couldn’t get it done alone.

Neither can you.

Basketball is well-known as a team sport. What many hesitate to admit is that life is best lived in a team as well. We all have something we can learn from a coach and skills we can develop as part of a team. The lesson: we can’t be so concerned with occupying center stage that we miss the opportunity to learn how to “pass the ball.”

What does that accomplish?

It teaches humility. It underscores the willingness to offer an assist to help someone else get their stats up. It also keeps you aware of the others in the game. Sometimes our circumstances want to suggest that life is more like solitaire and we’re in it alone, having to start over again when the cards don’t fall in our favor. I’ve gone down the solitaire path. Ask me, I would much rather play on a team!

Think about it – opposition exists to take you out of your ‘game’ every day. There are lessons in the fights and failures that happen along the way. However, you and your team are meant to function like the Bulls of the 90’s. They learned how to win by gathering around their star. They began to protect him and developed their own skills – physically, mentally and emotionally. And, they stopped playing into the antics of the opposition.

And the star? He maintained his cool and simply executed, even in adversity.

What is God requiring of you as the star of your team? Do you have the right team? Do you allow the battles to get into your head, or do you just play your game, no matter what?

Our best example: Jesus. He never defended himself against the subtle accusations or the blatant ones. He continued to lead His team of disciples into victory.

What’s your team’s record? Take a moment and check your squad. Decide if you need to make substitutions, or just strategize and practice so you can step your game up.

About LifewithLisaE.com

Lisa E. Williams’ past was filled with unhealthy and broken relationships that brought her to ground zero emotionally. God met her there and during her journey from that place, He laid the foundation for the heart-wholeness she now enjoys. Today, her desire is to see other women recover from heartache, learn the lessons of their experiences, and reap the rewards of healthy, prosperous relationships in every area. If you would like to learn more, connect with Lisa at www.LifewithLisaE.com.

 


What hecklers at Lakewood church taught me about waiting

please wait hourglass illustration with progress bar

I attend Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria Osteen pastor the church. There’s often a lot of controversy around Pastor Osteen’s sermons. Mention his name amongst a group of people and I’m sure there will be strong opinions for and against him. Some say he is a “prosperity” preacher. I think he’s a “hope” preacher.

I’m not writing today to defend Pastor Osteen or Lakewood church. Nor am I writing to convert anyone or change anyone’s mind. I’m simply writing to share a transformational lesson I learned in the midst of an unfortunate situation.

I went to church this past Sunday as I always do to worship God, be uplifted in my spirit and receive an encouraging word. This Sunday was a bit different. Throughout the sermon while Pastor Osteen was speaking, random men would stand up, shout something I couldn’t make out and wave their bibles in the air. One by one they did this until ultimately 6 different men stood up to disrupt service in the house of Lord. Each time they were removed by ushers who happen to also be law enforcement.

I could go on and on about how disrespectful their actions were to God first and foremost for the church is His bride. Secondarily, to Pastor Osteen and the entire congregation who happen to believe in his anointing and came to worship God. But this blog post isn’t about those men.

I was honored that day to be in the presence of Pastor Osteen. He stood before his congregation to share his prepared message and a random man stood up, shouted, and disrupted the message. Pastor Osteen didn’t get mad. He wasn’t visibly frustrated. He didn’t say anything mean or disrespectful in retaliation. He simply praised God, held his hands up to the sky and waited for the heckler to be removed. Once things we settled, he’d start back up again. 5 or 10 minutes later another heckler would stand up following suit with the first and disrupt service. Pastor Osteen remained calm and gracious. He made a few jokes, praised God, waited for the heckler to be removed and continued with his sermon. Again and again he did this. Six times ultimately. He was determined to finish his sermon and to let God finish what He had started in him that Sunday morning.

Pastor Osteen lives his message. His sermons are his truth. He always says don’t be discouraged, run your race, don’t ask why me, stay in faith. I got to witness exactly what that looks like first hand. He was an example to his congregation. It transformed me. I’m the one who would get annoyed, frustrated, roll my eyes at people. I’m the one that would be crying, asking, “Why me?” I’m the one who would give up, convinced it was happening for a reason and wasn’t meant to be.

Pastor Osteen showed me a different way last Sunday. He showed me that it is possible to not be easily frustrated or discouraged. He showed me it is possible to reach your end goal despite interruptions and disruptions along the way. He showed me how to wait it out. I’m not just talking about hecklers disrupting service, but whenever life or plans get disrupted we (I) don’t have to lose faith or get discouraged. I can choose to stay calm, praise God, give that thing a moment to be removed, and then continue towards my destiny. Sometimes all we have to do is wait in good spirits when things aren’t progressing as planned.

Thank you hecklers for creating the atmosphere by which this lesson could be taught. Thank you Pastor Osteen for being an example to all of us.


What’s in Your Glass?

Excellent

This is the age old question. Do you see the glass half-empty or half-full?

Although I like to consider myself a positive, optimistic person the truth is I see the glass half-empty more often then I’d like to admit.  I have a decent, well paying job.   I own my own home and two rental properties. I have a family who loves me. I’ve traveled the world and I just turned 30 four months ago. But I’m not married, I don’t have kids, I only have a hand-full of friends, my peers at work are getting promoted and I’m not.  And the list goes on and on.  There’s a lot to be thankful for in my life but a part of me feels I haven’t started living until these other things are added.

How do I fix this?  How can I see the glass half-full and why should I even try to? Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Therefore, I’m instructed by God to think on things that are excellent or praiseworthy.  I’d gather that that means to focus on what’s in the glass rather than what’s not in the glass.

So, tell me – What’s in Your Glass?


Sorry for Being Me Part 1 – Begin Again

Begin Again

I was scrolling down my Facebook timeline and I saw a friend’s post.  He talked about how he tried to make his life better and just be better in general. He ended his post with “Sorry for being me.” I was touched yet saddened by his post. The first post I scrolled down to see after my friend’s post was from Joseph Prince.  His post said, “One moment of God’s favor can turn your life around. Be conscious that His favor surrounds you today. (Ps 5:12)!” I shared this post with my friend. I don’t know if it meant anything to him. He never responded or acknowledged the message.

What I do know is that it is so important and beautiful to know that God does turn lives around.  We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve done and said things we wish we hadn’t but at the end of it all God can still turn our mess around. We don’t have to stay there.  We don’t have to drown in seas of sorrow and regret. How sad is it to not know that you can always begin again with God.  Not only can you begin again but you should make it a life long habit to always begin again.  Begin again each day with new grace, new appreciation.  Begin again in relationships, career, finances.  Beginning again simply means not staying stuck where you are.  It means starting anew with a fresh perspective. We can begin again in areas of our lives that aren’t even “broken.”

Beginning again is all about growth and reflection.  I believe in the quote from Joseph Prince.  Psalms 5:12 says “For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.”  We’re surrounded with God’s favor and that’s means we’re always equipped to Begin Again.