#684 - YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS ABOUT HONOR

Since returning from my summer sabbatical, God has been requiring of me that I give honor to others in ways that I, if I'm being honest, am not the most comfortable with. Here are a few things I'm learning:  

  1. Honor communicates gratitude.
  2. Honor attributes value. 
  3. Honor should be extended when it is earned.
  4. Honor doesn't have to be earned to be extended. (Respect is earned, honor is extended.) 
  5. Honor should be given both privately and publicly.
  6. Honor, when not given privately first, is disingenuous. 
  7. Honor requires humility because it's not about you. 
  8. Honor is a form of dying to self.  
  9. Honor is a way you become less so someone else can become more. 
  10. Honor shows preference for someone other than yourself.
  11. Honor, when reciprocated, feels great.
  12. Honor, when not reciprocated, feels lousy. 
  13. Honor can't be given expecting anything in return. 
  14. Honor strengthens the body of Christ.  
  15. Honor honors God. 

Who might God be requiring of you to honor?

#681 - THINK AT LEAST 10 YEARS OUT

So much has been said about seizing the moment. Living in the present. Taking it one day at a time. And I'm all about it! (Who needs to carry the burden of what's going to happen in the future when the present can already be so overwhelming.)

ON THE OTHER HAND...

When it comes to influence and impact, we've heard this said before as well,

We overestimate what God can do in 1 year and we underestimate what God can do in 10.

As I look at the type of influence I want to have in people's lives, the type of influence of I want our church to have in the city, the type of disciple-making movement I'd like to see multiply...

I NEED TO THINK FARTHER OUT.

Deep impact doesn't happen over night. Systemic change doesn't take place in an instant. Trust isn't built over the course of days. Life transformation can't be rushed. 

THE MOVEMENT CHURCH has been going for almost 5 years, and I feel like we're just starting to see what is possible if we keep at this thing!

So as much as what you do today is of extreme importance, the timeline you are giving yourself to experience the results you desire is equally important.

Pick an arena where you desire to have deep, real, long-lasting impact. Then, commit yourself to that work for 10 years.

Don't be perplexed by the amount of time it is going to require to build something deeply influential. Just accept it. Great things don't grow overnight.

#680 - FALLEN HEROES

I am grieved by how their sin stains.
I am frustrated by how their flesh won.
I am sickened by how their victims suffer.
I am devastated by how their family aches. 
I am saddened by how their church struggles.
I am overwhelmed by how their actions impact.

I AM SOBERED BY HOW THEIR STORY COULD BE MINE.

BUT...

I am thankful because God's love heals.
I am hopeful because God's grace restores.
I am joyful because God's purpose remains.
I am grateful because God's justice exposes.
I am prayerful because God's power overcomes.
I am cheerful because God's Church perseveres.

I AM MINDFUL BECAUSE GOD'S WARNING IS THIS:

"Take heed lest you fall." 

#679 - THE DISTANCE NECESSARY

LEADER...

Bless to the extent that you want to be blessed.
Honor to the degree that you want to be honored.
Support to the level that you want to be supported.
Affirm to the magnitude that you want to be affirmed.
Encourage to the depth that you want to be encouraged.

DON'T HALF-ASS IT. 

The farther the "distance" you travel in loving people well, the more you resemble Jesus Christ who went as far as one could possibly go to give of Himself for the sake of others...

HEAVEN TO EARTH.

#678 - THIS KEEPS ME HUMBLE

  • God created me.
  • God blessed me with good health and a fully functioning body.
  • God gave me parents who introduced me to Jesus.
  • God revealed Himself to me at a young age.
  • God saved me.
  • God stayed close to me even when I didn't want to be close to Him.
  • God gifted me.
  • God called me.
  • God surrounded me with people who believed in me.
  • God placed opportunities before me I could have never created.
  • God filled me with His Holy Spirit.
  • God delivered me from sin I could never deliver myself from.

But it's not just about what God has done that keeps me humble. It's also about what He continues to do!

  • God authorizes whether or not I take another breath.
  • God brings provision into my life.
  • God speaks through me when I speak for Him.
  • God makes it possible for me to think and act in a coherent way.
  • God forgives me of my sin.
  • God extends grace to me day after day after day. 
  • God blesses the works of my hands.
  • God loves me.
  • God upholds me.

There is nothing, and I mean nothing about me that is self-made.

I am God-created. I am God-ordained. I am God-sustained.

TO HIM BE EVERY OUNCE OF GLORY, HONOR, AND PRAISE THAT I AM CAPABLE OF GIVING, FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN!

#677 - ABOUT THE CORPORATE PRAYER MEETING

  • It's not easy.
  • It's not attractive.
  • It's not entertaining.
  • It's easy to start, but difficult to continue.
  • Initial interest lasts 2 months...max.
  • Leadership must believe it's necessary.
  • Leadership must persevere.
  • Leadership must teach people how to pray.
  • God does show up.
  • God does answer prayers. 
  • God does honor the humility of those who attend.
  • Sometimes, you leave the gathering feeling incredible.
  • Many times, you don't. 
  • Answers aren't always found there.
  • God always is.

#676 - ANOTHER BLESSED SUNDAY

Over the church planting journey, there are many Sundays that go by where it feels like just "another Sunday." There are also some Sundays that go by where it is a "rough" Sunday. Then, there are days like today, where I am reminded that God really is involved with what we're doing!

A few highlights from today included:

  • Feeling obedient to God in how He led me to prepare and preach the Word.
  • Extending public gratitude and honor to the 3 full-time staff members of our church.
  • Welcoming and publicly declaring our support of the Westbrook's who will be planting a church in Oakland in 2019.
  • Leading a discipleship training after church with over 50 people! Seeing God move amongst our 1-1 discipleship relationships is a beauty to behold!
  • Spending time with one of my disciplees after the discipleship meeting and being in awe and wonder of how God is transforming him from the inside out!
  • Running 12 miles with my dad! (Nothing to do with church, but still a blessing to be able to do!)

What a day. God is gracious. And I am BLESSED!

#675 - SIMPLIFY

When it comes to simplifying your personal life...

Simplify your wardrobe by having less clothes.
Simplify your home by having fewer things.
Simplify your schedule by having less commitments.
Simplify your finances by having fewer expenses.
Simplify your relationships by having less conflict.
Simplify your phone by having fewer apps.
Simplify your faith by having less doubt. 

When it comes to your professional life...

Simplify your management by having less direct reports.
Simplify your success by having fewer goals. 
Simplify your processes by having less steps.
Simplify your training by having fewer expectations.
Simplify your day by having less distractions.
Simplify your productivity by having fewer objectives.
Simplify your communication by having less messaging. 

Do less. Have fewer. Achieve more.

SIMPLIFY. 

#674 - 5 QUICK LEADERSHIP THOUGHTS

Tomorrow, I'm leading a meeting with several of the leaders from our church. As I prepare to share, here are a few leadership thoughts I am considering passing along:

  1. LEAD YOURSELF > LEADING OTHERS - Would you follow you?
  2. MODELING BEHAVIOR > REQUIRING BEHAVIOR - Do you do what you expect your team to do?
  3. BECOMING SOMEBODY > DOING SOMETHING - Are your team members growing or just "doing?"
  4. ACHIEVING A VISION > COMPLETING A TASK - Are your team members inspired by a dream or are they driven by a to-do list?
  5. DELEGATING AUTHORITY > ASSIGNING RESPONSIBILITY What decisions can your team members make without you?

#673 - WHY PEOPLE DON'T LIKE YOU

I heard Andy Stanley say this in a sermon. The thought is simple, but it is quite thought-provoking. 

IF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE REALLY LIKE, THEY DON'T REALLY LIKE YOU.

We all want to be liked. So, in an effort to be liked, we, often times, hide things about ourselves that we believe aren't likable. The problem is, because we aren't being fully honest, the version of us that people ending up knowing and liking is a false, "cleaned-up" version of ourselves. In other words...

When you lie about who you are, people don't end up liking you, they end liking who they think you are. 

What a tragedy. If you are liked yet unknown, who are people really liking? 

For many years I have labored (I use this word because it hasn't been easy. It's always uncomfortable and many times embarrassing.) to live a life that is quick to reveal the most shameful, regretful, and unattractive things about who I am. I've done this for many reasons, but here are a few that quickly come to mind:

  1. I want to be free - pretending is a heavy burden to carry.
  2. I want to be healed - you can't receive healing for what you won't confess.
  3. I want to be trusted - people are typically only as honest with you as you are with them.

But after hearing Andy Stanley say what he said, there is another benefit to living an honest life before others...

I CAN BE SURE THAT THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE ME, LOVE ME.

If you find yourself dissatisfied with people liking a version of yourself that isn't real, I encourage you to open yourself up, in a real way, to someone you can trust. If they still like you afterwards, you can be rewarded with the joy of knowing they actually like you! If they don't like you afterwards, they will be exposed for never liking you in the first place! Better to find out sooner than later!

#672 - THE POWER OF 15 TIMES

Maybe you haven't been working out like you committed to. You haven't been spending time with your kids or your spouse like you promised to. You haven't been eating healthy like you should. You haven't been keeping up with your spiritual disciplines like you feel convicted to. You haven't been using your creativity like you desire to. You haven't been managing your finances like you set out to. 

WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE.

I was there just two months ago. It's embarrassing to say, but it was the end of May, and I hadn't exercised at all in 2018. Not even once! But, with the Oakland Half-Marathon less than 75 days away, I knew I had to start running again.

I WENT ON MY FIRST RUN, AND IT WAS EMBARRASSING.

3 miles took me 34 minutes and 5 seconds. That is a pace of 11 minutes and 21 seconds per mile. I don't remember the last time it took me that long to run 3 miles. And it wasn't just the time. It was how I felt too. I was breathing heavy. I was aching. It was bad. 

On that day, I briefly wrote about it here, and decided that things needed to change. 

Over the next two months, I ran exactly 15 times. An average of once every 4 days. Not a super consistent amount of times, but consistent nonetheless. 

And after just running 15 times, I am proud to share that last Saturday (my 15th run), I ran 10 miles in 1 hour and 28 minutes. That is a pace of 8 minutes and 52 seconds per mile.

I HAVE NEVER RUN 10 MILES THAT FAST IN ALL OF MY LIFE!

Though I'm older than I've ever been. Though I'm heavier than I've ever been. After just 15 times, I am faster than I've ever been!

The moral of the story is this:

WHAT IF 15 TIMES IS ALL YOU NEED TO GET BACK ON TRACK?  

With your health. With your relationships. With your disciplines. With your creativity. With your dreams.

Not 100. Not 50. Not 1. Not 7. But 15.

I think many times, we get overwhelmed by what is required of us to get "back on track." So we never do. We either overestimate how long it's going to take (and don't get started) or underestimate how long it's going to take (and quit too early).

15 TIMES.

Pick a discipline, pick a habit, and over the next month or so, commit to executing that habit 15 times. More may come of it than you might think!  

If you feel so inclined to, hold yourself accountable to what you're going to do 15 times by dropping a comment below! I would love to support you in your endeavor!

AUGUST 2018

5 MEMORABLE MOMENTS (JULY 2017)

  1. Enjoying Haig/Ruth's wedding with Movement Church family.
  2. Vacationing with Romero's in Kauai, Hawaii. 
  3. Going to Giants/Cubs with Colton and Giants/A's with Rabuco's.
  4. Experiencing mud baths in Calistoga with my wife. 
  5. Running 10 miles at an 8:52/mile pace.

4 GOALS (AUGUST 2018)

  1. Run Oakland Half-Marathon in 1 hour, 57 minutes or less.
  2. Lead an engaging and empowering Staff/Spouse Retreat at Jenness Park.
  3. Read/Take Notes on Preaching/Preachers D. Martyn LLoyd Jones.
  4. Compile Called to Plant mailing list and send first email.

3 HABITS

  1. Fix bed daily. (31x)
  2. Post to edwardpaz.com daily. (31x)
  3. Floss 3x week. (15x)

2 SACRIFICES

  1. No clothes/shoes shopping.
  2. No soda.

1 COMMITMENT

  1. I run the 2018 Oakland Half-Marathon in under 1 hour and 57 minutes.

2018 MID-YEAR REVIEW (MEMORABLE MOMENTS)

This is one of the ways I remember and reflect on the grace and goodness of God in my life! 

JANUARY

  • Officiated Potts’ Wedding
  • Completed Fast
  • Led Devotional at Mega Metro Missions Conference
  • Brought onto City to City Bay Area Church Planter Incubator Faculty
  • Preached in Texas at Propel Conference

FEBRUARY

  • Appointed Acts 29 Bay Area Co-Lead
  • Preached Compelling Prayer Series 

MARCH

  • Spoke at Main Session for MOVE Conference
  • Developed friendship with Kyle/Lolly Collins
  • Enjoyed trip to Savannah, GA with Rebekah
  • Obedient to God in preaching SEXOLOGY Series

APRIL

  • Experienced an incredible Easter Sunday
  • Officiated Francisco/Harney Weddings
  • Enjoyed trip to Cancun with Rebekah
  • Launched calledtoplant.com 

MAY

  • Led LGBTQ Workshop at Acts 29 US West Conference
  • Enjoyed Acts 29 Us West Conference with 11 of our church leaders 
  • Officiated Laurence/Vanessa Wedding 
  • Blogged everyday for 5 months straight

JUNE

  • Enjoyed Weekend to Remember with 16 couples from theMOVEMENT Church
  • Officiated DeLafuente Wedding
  • Preached at JFBC Sunday Services 
  • Swam with Merritt in Lake Nottely in Georgia

#671 - WEEKEND TO REMEMBER (DAY 1)

On the first day of the Weekend to Remember marriage conference I am attending with several other couples from our church, my big takeaway was this:

RESPOND TO FEELINGS WITH FEELINGS AND RESPOND TO FACTS WITH FACTS.

This was a principle given during the session on communication, and I can see how this can be super helpful to how my wife and I communicate moving forward.

If she shares feelings with me, I need to share feelings with her. If she shares facts with me, I need to share facts with her. Nothing is worse than having your feelings responded to with facts, and your facts responded to with feelings!

So simple, yet so helpful!

#669 - A WEEKEND TO REMEMBER

In 2 days we will take 17 couples from our church to A Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference in Burlingame. 

To think that over 5 years ago we started the church with 20 people and now we are taking nearly that many married couples to a conference to invest in our marriages is a blessing. 

I am excited. I am expectant. I am praying. 

I am praying God speaks to us clearly. I am praying the Holy Spirit convicts us deeply. I am praying that Jesus meets us intimately. 

I am praying that during this time away from the normal routines of life that God would give each of our couples a renewed sense of intimacy with and passion for each other.   

I am praying that not only our marriages would be strengthened but that, also, the relationships and bonds between the married couples in our church would be strengthened and deepened as well. 

Marriage is to be a reflection of God's covenant love for His people and His people's covenant love for Him. May the married couples at theMOVEMENT come back from this conference being a more accurate reflection of that love!

Heavenly Father, do a deep work in our married couples this weekend. A work that is marked by the power of your Spirit. A work that transcends conference information. A work that can't be explained by anything else than Your sovereign hand. Do it Lord. In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

#668 - RUNNING AGAIN

Today, I did a timed run for the first time since I ran my last marathon in December of 2017 in under 5 hours.

3 miles in 34 minutes.

I am not a fast runner by any means, but this was particularly slow for me. (This is what happens when you don't work out for a while! "If you don't use it, you lose it!"

But, with 74 days to go (Sunday, August 12) before the 5th Annual Oakland Half-Marathon, this was a good reality check for me. My goal is to run my fastest half-marathon yet, and to do so, I've got a lot of work to do! 

I'm inspired.

LET'S. GO!

#667 - MEMORIAL DAY

The freedom to sleep in. The freedom to enjoy good food. The freedom to buy new furniture for our home. The freedom to be entertained by NBA playoff basketball. The freedom to enjoy a good movie.

These were the freedoms that myself and many others enjoyed on this Memorial Day.

Honor, respect, and gratitude are due to those who died to make these freedoms possible.

Thank You.