Had a board of directors meeting last night… love those guys! We’re all so happy with the continued forward momentum of our lives and ministry… every week, this becomes more and more apparent! We are growing like crazy right now, the stories of transformation are almost too many for us to hear them all! And this is just the beginning…
Spring is coming soon… I can SMELL it in the air! The birds are starting to chirp in the mornings! Our koi fish are up from their wintery abyss… before long our FROGS will RIBBITING from their rocks again!
Soon, I’ll write a few SPRING blogs… about LEVERAGING the ENEGRY OF THIS SEASON to BREAKTHROUGH in different areas of your lives. I’m not quite feeling it all the way yet… but it’s building up!
Here’s a clip from Make Me a Legend chapter 15: Bow Lower as You Climb Higher! (unedited) I’m about 9 pages from finishing the entire book… having to climb over a million demons to write these final pages! From the resistance, it’s very obvious: I’m sitting on the next shot heard around the world! And that makes me tingly!
sometimes, I fear success…
Even though this is not the final chapter in our great journey together, it is the chapter I’ve chosen to write last. I saved it for last, because I felt like God needed to do so much more in my heart before I could say this like it needs to be said. I never want to be a hypocrite on purpose, or in ignorance… so I have to be honest with you, my dear readers: I’m still working so hard to walk out so many of the things I’m writing about in this chapter! Please pray for me, that I will become everything I’m asking you to be. Just like you, I want to be so much more like Jesus… and sometimes I still fall way short of that.
I think often, of all the men and women who once stood where I am standing at this moment… all the beautiful Christian people who started out with a similar degree of humility towards others… and a perfect dependence on God. I think of all the men who once loved their wives, and cherished their families, and desired nothing in life except to run a faithful race. I think about how many times they must have prayed, “Please God, don’t let anything in this whole world ever drag me away from you. Please, don’t let me ever forget where I came from. God please, don’t let me fall down and make a fool of you in front of everyone!” And then, after five or ten years of being worn down and worked over, they wake up to an entirely different eviler version of themselves. In total perplexity, they have to wonder, “What happened to my heart? Oh dear God, how I’ve lost myself!” This is why I fear success, sometimes!
the angry mobs
Every time another high profile leader collapses, I pray so hard for God to bend down in mercy to help them up! I get outraged with all of the merciless people in our world, who so arrogantly sidestep their own failures… to expose a broken person! And while many of the newscasters, talk show hosts, and self righteous church folks mock them for months, I fall down on my face in real tears for these humiliated people, and their suffering families!
I never join with the angry mobs… never ever point my arrogant finger in judgment! I never want to be the person who knocks a strong man down, or kicks a knocked down man. Instead, when a mighty person falls, I shake all over with the fear of God! I always spend those horrifying moments digging far into the depths of my own heart. I keep telling myself, “Chuck, you have no idea what kind of pressure that leader was under that led to such a failure! And Chuck, if you even think for a minute this could never happen to you, then think again… because you have never known that colossal degree of internal erosion… the kind of pressure that person has faced these past so many years. Someday, soon enough, you’re gonna have your shot! Someday, you will stand on their mountain! And in that day, you will see how much more violently, the wind blows up there! So, don’t brag because you’re doing so well these days. You’re only facing a few diaper demons, and look at how easily they still slap you around at times!”
Remember what God said to Jeremiah? “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?” I guess this is why we need to read and re-read chapters 9 & 10-and dedicate plenty of years to our extravagant foundation. This is why we need to grow slowly! We have to master the footmen before graduating up to the horses! We have to crawl at each next level on our knees, knowing that it’s violent up there… and if we do not graduate in humility, if we do not graduate with a bigger faith… if we don’t learn to trust in God in a much bigger way, then we will be crushed with what lies ahead.
Even with a perfect foundation, even if we should memorize all the great principles gushing from the pages of this book, even with a sold out stadium of frenzied fans and all the best mentors, peers, and apprentices… even then, we must dedicate especially to the preservation of our lowly hearts… because, if we ever lose our heart, we lose everything!
what if I fall?
Sometimes, I think that my dreams may actually happen, and in a single day… I will rocket into the public eye as the next high profile Christian leader! The thought of bringing hope to millions and leading so many of them to my savior… it’s too wonderful for words! And then I think about how fast money, and fame, and the exaggerated praise of fellow humans could get so out of control.
What if I can’t handle success? What if I can’t assemble the correct team for properly managing the millions of dollars laid at our disposal? What if I can’t handle the seductiveness of those celebrity crazed women who prey on powerful men? What if I become arrogant, impatient, and mean spirited? What if I burn out and lose my willingness to sacrifice? I would rather turn back now, than to gain this whole world and lose my soul!
so much to risk
1Timothy 1:15-16 “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”-and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life!”
God has done so much for me. Right now, I’m still so obsessed about him! When I pray, several times each day, I still pray like I did when he first saved me! I still cry during a good worship song, and I’m not ashamed to bow on my knees in front of any audience! I feel like my heart is in the right place. Even though there is still so much more I want to change about myself, I love the person I have become! Please, don’t mistake my gratitude for conceit. I am a very thankful man… and I never want to forget how I feel right now!
God has given me the very best wife in the entire world. We’ve been married for 20 years this summer. Emily is my best friend! I can’t even describe to you guys how much I love her! And my kids, dear God I love them too… and now, while they are young adults; I think they still look up to me! God has given me so many loyal friends… and every one of them knows how much they mean to me! God has given me a Christ like compassion for all the destitute people in my world… I actually cry real tears when I walk up on a suffering person… it eats me alive! Anyone that really knows me… they will tell you that as of today, there is nothing more important than preserving the condition of my heart! There is nothing more important to me than my relationship with God, my witness of him to this world… and the way I love my wife and kids!
saving my future–and yours
Of all the chapters in this book, this is the one I’m sending ahead of us… to save our future! It’s the chapter I plan to read every year for the rest of my life! I can’t explain to you how much of a pressing obligation I feel about hurrying to write this! I don’t even want to walk out of my office one more time… I don’t want to lay my head down one more night, before this message is penned! It’s the message I’m afraid I may forget as I succeed… the one I’m writing before my heart has a chance to harden!
I always want to be the beautiful person I am today. I don’t want success to corrupt me. I always want to value the message I am above the messages I preach. I want the open book I’m living each day, to be far greater than any of the books I write. When I talk about fearing success… I’m protesting the very real threat of me being a better person today, than I may be five years from now! Does this make sense?
So many people stop being great once they succeed! They forfeit the inner beauty that caused their rise to prominence. I think this is why so many people are going to love my book. Because it’s written from this regular guy, while he’s still depending on God for his next breath… a guy who’s living wholly in the arms grace. People identify with this!
The chapter is all about PRESERVING your HEART! I’d love to know how you feel about this clip… so leave a few comments (if you can) and have another most triumphant day! Love you all…
Dream Big, Live Bold, and Make the Difference!