FRIEND, PASTOR, LORD OR ALL

friendJohn 15:15
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Receiving Christ at age 19 was the greatest moment in my life. Little did I know that this decision would also develop into a life of tension. Let me try to explain:

1. Early on, I thought I had many friends but because of a decision I made to follow Christ, my friends deserted me and my grandmother and wife  became my closet friend. Jesus was there for sure.

2. New friends came along, mostly from the Christian community but the first few I came to know and commit myself to hurt me and falsely accused me of wrongdoing. I didn’t realize people could be so mean. and oh…btw…Jesus was still there beside me.

3. I committed myself once and again to others simply cause my heart would not allow me to shut off kindness and care. And…I also found a leader pastor in the church community that poured his life into me. Didn’t consider him a friend but more of a father. He seemed to come the closest to the scripture mentioned above in my life. He was my pastor but it seemed like he never withheld  anything from me. (yet later I found he did but only for my protection) Then he died and I was left alone in a wilderness state not sure which direction I should go. Again, Jesus was my silent comfort and strength. He alone brought me through this wilderness.

4. I became a full-time minister and pastor and was told to separate myself from those to whom God has called me to pastor. So I tried but I found the more I tried to separate the more I struggled inside. Who could I talk to? Everything I was learning needed to be shared yet how could I if I was to keep it seperated? Miserable inside. So I talked to my fellow colleagues yet later surprised that whom I confided in was another set up for deeper hurt than ever before. I couldn’t call it a scalpel but more of a wound from that of a knife. Left bruised, bleeding, broken inside. BUT…I must say it once and again, Jesus the Healer still by my side.

5. In the midst of my quit mindset and bruised spirit, Jesus speaks and surprisingly asks me to rise up and lead. How could I say no? It wasn’t a democracy as though I could vote, it was the King of this Kingdom that I committed to long ago. His voice gave me courage and strength I never knew but deep inside I wondered how I could get through…this season of my life. But only He knew what I was made of; the very thing He had built and established could no longer be moved. My Master…day by day…had established something in me that i didn’t know I had. A friendship that knows all hurts, all wounds, all pain and joys of life up to that day.

I know He is My Pastor, My Lord, My Master…but more than that He has become my friend. At His discretion, He reveals Himself as my friend; at other times, My Shepherd…yet all along I know HE IS MY LORD. I gladly serve and honor Him with all that I have.

He is still here today. Forever Faithful…Friend, Pastor, Lord.

DEALING WITH FOOLS

clownThis is a Re-Post from Dan Rockwell on Leadership that I thought was worth posting myself. Immediately when you begin to read the 12 ways to spot fools, several images come up of individuals who display these qualities…then….all of a sudden….you realize  that these qualities are also actions you struggle with yourself. The difference is that the fool never notices it and continues but the wise person does something about it.

Spotting and dealing with fools challenges leaders.

Foolishness has nothing to do with intelligence or talent. Smart, gifted people are prime candidates for foolishness.

Twelve ways to spot fools:

  1. Believe they are right.
  2. Hate accountability and practical strategies.
  3. Love blaming and reject responsibility.
  4. Pursue personal ease rather than challenge.
  5. Expect you to adapt to them.
  6. Reject instruction.
  7. Can’t see their foolishness.
  8. Express frustrations quickly and openly.
  9. Gossip and cut down privately while complimenting publicly.
  10. Act confidently.
  11. Enjoy talking.
  12. Despise listening.

Bonus: Fools don’t seek help. The wise love and seek wisdom. Fools seek their own way because others are wrong and they are right.

Dealing with fools:

Stop talking:

Fools reject responsibility. Stop talking, once you realize you’re dealing with a fool. Talking doesn’t help. They love talking and are usually good at it. Talking drags you into the fool’s world.

Set limits:

Say, “You haven’t delivered agreed upon results. When I bring it up, all I hear are excuses and blaming. You don’t take responsibility. I’m giving this project to Mary.”

They’ll be angry and blame you, but don’t back down. You become the problem when you hold their feet to the fire. Fools despise you when you correct them. They feel you don’t understand.

Set limits for their good and the organization’s. Talking won’t help; limits might.

Establish consequences:

  1. Reassignments.
  2. Remove responsibilities.
  3. Demotions.
  4. Unpaid leave.
  5. Termination.

Fools undermine your leadership, destroy morale, and reject feedback. Deal quickly and firmly with fools, regardless of their talent.

Not fools:

Work with people who receive instruction and adapt behaviors. Express patience. Help them succeed. But, those who reject instruction, limits, and consequences are fools, reject them.

How do you deal with foolishness in yourself?

How can leaders deal with fools?

IN TRAGEDY WE MOURN, IN GOD WE TRUST

In light of the recent shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn, I write simply to address myself and to bring peace to my own heart. My deep broken prayers go out to the parents of all those innocent victims who will face this Christmas with many unanswered questions and unopened gifts that will sit underneath a tree that has lost its meaning. I read a passage of scripture last night that described my rage inside.
Psalms 89:
45 You took the best years of his life
and left him an impotent, ruined husk.
46 How long do we put up with this, GOD?
Are you gone for good? Will you hold this grudge forever?
47 Remember my sorrow and how short life is.
Did you create men and women for nothing but this?
48 We’ll see death soon enough. Everyone does.
And there’s no back door out of hell.
49 So where is the love you’re so famous for, Lord?
What happened to your promise to David?

Please don’t misunderstand, I am not hopeless, nor am I confused about the evil of this day. Certainly, there are many who are wondering why God would allow such a horrific tragedy. Where was He? Why did He allow this? Why didn’t He stop this young man from perpetrating this terrible crime? I am not sure to many of these questions but I have this saying that I always run to: “When I don’t understand, I trust”.

This may be too simplistic of an approach to life and the evil in it but it brings peace to my heart. It always has and probably always will. As I reflect on scripture, I am reminded that evil has always existed ever since the beginning in the first family of Creation. One brother murders the other in innocent blood. You move ahead a few chapters in scripture and you see the evil in Pharaoh giving a mandate to destroy and kill all newborn innocent males. We see this evil raise it’s head again during the season of Christmas and again you read where innocent children were being murdered under the order of Herod the King.

Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under…”

Evil has been there all along. Sin & rebellion has been there all along. The killing of innocent blood has been there all along. Its moments like this that these foolish and selfish acts are highlighted and brought to the surface of our own soul.
WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THIS TRAGEDY? HOW DOES A NATION, A COMMUNITY, A FAMILY move forward from this?
In scripture, Adam and Eve eventually found strength to continue and have other children. In the days of Pharoah, Jochebed refused to abort her child and protect him to become the next leader in Israel. And when you read the Christmas Story in the gospels, you see Joseph and Mary protecting their child in the midst a horrific slaying of innocent children. I can’t imagine the turmoil they may have felt knowing that MANY innocent children were being slain because evil was looking for their child.
I am not sure how we do it as a nation but history shows that these things will only make us stronger. That every family will rise above their hurt and pain and keep moving forward. I am sure yesterday will forever be etched in their heart. They will walk with a limp, but they will walk. They will breakdown and weep, but they will rise back up. Their faith will be shattered and paralyzed for a moment, but they will find the courage to strengthen others and trust God once again.
Evil, you can continue to try and destroy the fabric of our faith in God. You have done this from the beginning. But must I remind you of what happens when people put their trust in God inspite of the evil of the day….It is written…
Ex 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.
peace to my family in Newton, Connecticut,
Pastor Marcus Avalos

IT’S SPEAR SEASON

As a child we always played outside and found whatever we could to occupy time. Jump off houses by hanging on tree limbs, make ramps to jump them  with our bikes and pretend to be Evil Kneivel, but the one thing I always liked to do was to pick up these little spears of grass and run behind people and spear them. They only came in certain seasons but I use to enjoy spearing my friends especially my sister. They would get so frustrated cause they would have a temporary sting and if we aimed right in the back area, their hand couldn’t reach around to take it off their clothes. 🙂

Ever been speared by a friend? Ever feel like there are certain seasons you go through that you feel the sting more often than others. Im sure we can all identify.

The bible refers to this in Eph 6, where he talks about the “fiery darts” of the devil that come to burn one’s faith in God and cause them to drift away from trusting in Him. Here is the scripture and check out the meaning below:

EPH 6:16 …above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

Dart – an instrument of war; a light spear. “Fiery darts”  are so called in allusion to the habit of discharging darts from the bow while they are on fire or armed with some combustible material. Burning arrows were designed to destroy wooden shields and other defenses,

You may feel like you are getting speared on these recent weeks and I can totally identify. BUT you and I will rise above all adversity and overcome the tactics of the devil. Those things are designed to burn and destroy your faith but we must play offense and counter the opposition by taking the shield of faith which is the Word of God and begin to speak it in the face of our adversary. God is alive and His Word remains true!

Oh by the way, the only way to get those spears off of our back when they got to those strategic spots and we couldn’t reach. We would ask a friend to help us! SOMETIMES, IN CASES WHEN ITS DIFFICULT TO GET OUR BEARINGS…WE NEED A FRIEND…THEY ARE BORN FOR THE ADVERSITIES OF LIFE.

Do 2 things: Get God’s Word out and begin to speak it and two: call your friend and tell him/her about it! THERE ARE TIMES THAT YOU CANT DO IT ALONE…YOU NEED A FRIEND.

 

Marcus

EXECUTIVE ORDER….YOU

Read an article earlier today from Donald Miller: He said something to this effect:

“There’s another executive whose vision will have a much greater impact over what happens in your life. That executive is YOU. You are the most powerful decision maker in your life. It’s your decisions that will decide what your life looks like four years from now.”

MY INNER CONVICTION:

1. I Am Responsible for the Decisions I make
2. I Am Responsible for the Vision within me.
3. I Am Responsible for the  Strategic Plan to Implement
4. I Am Responsible to place my faith in the God who is faithful to execute His Power when the Gospel Is Preached!
5. Ultimately…I Am Responsible regardless who is in office or whatever culture I find myself in.

Never allow whats around you effect whats In you.
peace:

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER

We had an amazing prayer service downtown Seguin on Thursday, May 3 for national day of prayer. 120 people showed up and most of all, God fulfilled something that He showed me back in 1992 during a prayer session early one morning. I remember praying early around six am and a burden came upon me to pray for a city…did not know what it was but this place was covered in a black cloud so thick that it could not be recognized. I knew one city was Haiti and one day I believe I will be there in response to this prayer so long ago. But the other city, I was not aware of till I kept pressing in prayer. As I prayed, a pin light began to penetrate through the cloud. Brighter and Brighter and stronger the light begin to shine in the center of that city. As the picture began to pan out, I realized it was Seguin, my home town and the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me and said, As you pray, more light will come. Pray and more light will come.” Well, this past THursday, more light has come to this community and its amazing to see God establishing His name once again here in Seguin. I knew on Thursday, that those prayers were a fulfillment of Gods deep desire for this community and so I say like that brother on the movie Moses, “So let it be written, So let it be DONE!” Thank you God. I feel as if I am in alignment with His plan and purpose and He gets all the glory for it! Stay true and faithful to what He asks you to do on His behalf. SO MANY lives are at stake!

For the Kingdom,

Marcus

wpid-IMG_0954-2012-05-5-16-42.jpgwpid-IMG_0951-2012-05-5-16-42.jpgwpid-IMG_0968-2012-05-5-16-42.jpgwpid-IMG_0985-2012-05-5-16-42.jpg