Tag Archives: Trey Campbell

Stumbling into compassion

Have you ever had a moment where you tripped or fell and clumsily hit the ground? We all have at some point. In fact, don’t we kind of stumble through life?

When I was working at my first “real” job out of college – you know, the kind that you call a career rather than a job – I was taught a life lesson I have not forgotten to this day. In fact, it will stay with me until I depart this world of dirt.

The receptionist, whom I was friends with, was walking through the common entry way that had offices surrounding it with a stack of papers. All of the sudden, she went airborne and into a door frame. Papers were gliding to the ground in a smooth, left-to-right arced motion. And the sound was the crash-type of noise you only hear in a cartoon. The whole scene looked like a cartoon!

Rather than immediately help her like I should have, I broke into a laughter. She was okay, just a little frazzled and embarrassed. I figured since we were friends, she would have had the same reaction had it been me. That’s when I saw the look on her face. Then I knew something was not right.

1000 Tips 88 Psalm 66.9 feet stumble

Upon analyzing the situation and yes, going over and helping her get up and pick up the papers, her eyes caught mine as we were both on all fours on the floor and I could see a tear form, then trickle down her cheek. I asked if she was going to be alright. Then, she hit me with it. She said she had not told anyone at work because she didn’t want to be treated differently. What she told me was she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This is a disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and from the brain to the body. Balance can be one thing affected by the debilitating disease.

After opening up about it, she felt a little better. But I didn’t. After some alone time soul searching in my office, I decided I needed to be more aware of my surroundings and both my actions and reactions. I wasn’t in high school (or college) any more and it was time I matured. I was mad at myself, but more upset for her. She was the one who would have to deal with MS for the rest of her life. I could overcome being a jerk. And, no doubt, there would be others just like me who don’t ever make it easy – whether intentional or unintentional. I learned from that encounter, but not everyone does.

Every time I read Psalm 66:9, I think of her. When I moved to another state, we did not keep in touch, but I do think back to how she taught me to be a better person through situational compassion. Each individual situation deserves understanding leading to compassion. I stumbled that day more than she did. She stumbled through her adversity. I stumbled into compassion.

We stumble through adversity, but when we put our trust in the Lord, our lives are His. When residing in His hands, we have Him to hold us up. And that’s all we need.

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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There’s light and hope in heartache

In the last month, more than a few people close to me have received either a not-so-good health diagnosis or experienced the loss of a loved one. It hurts me when others are hurting. I get a feeling in the pit of my stomach like a roller coaster dip thinking of their pain or grief.

Gods presence shines brightestBy nature, I’m a “fixer” and want to do something about it. I want healing. I want to mend the broken heart. I want to bandage souls and restore losses. I want to fill the void. I want to bring the pain to an end. But I can’t. Not much I say or do changes the reality presented by the present darkness.

Well, nothing I say or do, but there is a light! Just check out this well-known verse:

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105

The living Word of God shows us the way and guides our feet on the right path – no matter the situation! You can always rely on Biblical truth to be the light that will set you free from whatever your bondage.

The light comes in the form of the realization that God’s Word is truth. God doesn’t promise us a life free of awful things, but he does promise us an eternity free of those things. Living in a world of sin has its consequences. This broken world certainly tries to break us. But in fact, it really it only bends us. Gods light

Recently, I text three Bible verses on how to restore a broken heart to someone I know who is dealing with the loss of a loved one. They were put together in the form you see below on a blog by Nena Podbury. To that end, the subtitle really hit the mark: “When your heart is broken, turn to God’s Word for healing.” Though the blog deals with mending a broken heart (relationships), the following points and verses are what she shared that relates to anyone going through a difficult period:

  1. God has the power to heal your heart.
    He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds.Psalm 147:3 (GNTD)
  2. God is near.
    The LORD is near to those who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope.Psalm 34:18 (GNTD)
  3. God cares for you.
    Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:7 (GNTD)

And you know what? God always has impeccable timing. As I was driving home, there was a song on the radio I had never heard before (or never paid attention). I figured the title out by a line in the song. It was “What Faith Can Do,” by Kutless. This was also worth sharing with my friend and it’s worth sharing with you. As you read the lyrics, think about the hole in your heart or the reality of your struggles.

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining
I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing
I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
Overcome the odds
You don’t have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can!
I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That’s what faith can do
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise*

break into darkness

The lyrics in this song speak to my heart. The lyrics in this song speak to the broken-hearted.

Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

By Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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*Written by Scott Davis, Scott Krippayne, William Scott Davis • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Change is scary. Obedience is scarier.

God’s plan is bigger than we are.

1000 Tips 82 God bigger than we areI have a confession. I struggle with this sometimes. Not in the way I think my plans are bigger and better than God’s, but in the way that I sometimes doubt. Maybe not really doubt, but I will allow a small crack to penetrate my faith. If left unchecked, it will slowly grow into a bigger problem like a chip in a windshield does over time.

Call it uncertainty or just fading conviction… but I sometimes have a hard time seeing the forest from the trees when it comes to how God works. He truly is mysterious.

One thing that helps me is to admit how God truly is bigger in every way. My little brain is not made to understand or question His plan. This is hard for me in my own life, and equally difficult when it comes to my family and friends. I have to realize it’s not for me to comprehend, but to obey. And the obedience part can be as scary as the acceptance part.

When change is involved, we can be conflicted by the shift or transition our lives take. I think lots of us get used to a routine or schedule. And, suddenly when something changes we go into panic mode or survival mode. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Lots of things God puts in our path are for the better. We sometimes just don’t know because of the fear of the unknown. Our comfort zone is not God’s construction zone. He builds us when we are uncomfortable and unguarded. It’s one of the most amazing things about His power and passion for us.

While I might not like the rug of life being pulled out from under me or my friends, I have to remind myself it may be time to let go of the matted, old rug for a new place to stand strong.

Yep, that can be scary. True courage is following in faith. God’s plans are bigger than we will ever be.

The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
Facebook: www.fb.com/leadmeforward1

*The photo above is part of a collection of truths, motivation, and wisdom from Lead Me Forward that can be found here. They are collectively called “1,000 Tips to Becoming a Better You.”

Surprising God

Yes, I fully realize you can’t surprise God. But stay with me on this. You may just surprise yourself.

On the brink of a dear friend’s 30th birthday, and in the course of conversation, she made the following statement:

“I’m excited to find out what God has
planned for me at 30.”

God planI thought this statement was somewhat insightful. After all, she was looking forward to the path God has chosen for her life. For some reason, her statement stayed with me like yesterday’s leftovers – in a good way though.

I couldn’t immediately put my finger on it, but it made me think. I often think about what God has in store for me too at my age. In a few weeks, I will celebrate another year on this rock. I can say this with confidence: whatever it will be, the best is yet to come!

What if the situation was reversed from my friend’s statement above? What if the statement became this?

“I’m excited for God to find out
what I have planned for him.”

1000 Tips 14 greatnessThis statement has to do with taking control of our reason for creation and being active in seeking God’s will for ourselves. Though God is omniscient, what if we lived each day so as to try to surprise God in a good way? What if we rocked His universe by knocking His socks off in how we live, lead, and love? What if we made him turn His head to notice us or do a double take – not for the sinner we are, but for the saint we can try to be?

If we claim to be a Christ-follower, how we live our life determines who we are through Christ. At this very moment, can you look in the mirror and say God will be excited to know what you have planned for Him today? The irony of a plan is it has no value until acted on and results are garnered. That means you need to make things happen and have a consequence from those actions favorable to your original intent.

With that in mind… yeah, I’m pretty excited for both what God has planned for me and what I have planned for God. Obedience and actionable steps for desired results will be how I get through the day. How about you?

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
Facebook: www.fb.com/leadmeforward1

Your self-worth

One of the many blessings of relationships are how they are two-way. I have learned so much over the years from those who have1000 Tips 18 two-way relationships shared their lives with me. I am forever grateful for each and every one of them.

The past month saw me traveling many miles to many places. Each place and each person was an extraordinary gift who had an extraordinary story. All of their stories are far from finished. What page or chapter is next in their life depends on them. All any of us can do is give them the pen and tell them to keep writing.

Just about all the conversations will fall in one to three categories:
   The past – Where they have been
   The present – Where they are now
   The future – Where they want to go

Something I pick up each time is how their “present” is often associated with their self-worth that stems from events in their past. This affects their future because how they see themselves is directly proportional to their present attitude, choices, and emotional state. One’s self-worth can never be either underestimated or overestimated.

Think about this: Your self-worth – do you see your self as worth it or worthless? Here are a few things I’ve picked up from my conversations I would like to pass along:

1) YOUR PERCEIVED REALITY IS YOUR REALITY. This is something I often mention in my talks on campus or one-on-one. The way we perceive things becomes our reality because that’s how we know it to be. This does not mean it’s the truth or everyone else’s reality. It’s just how our brain computes what we want to be, think should be, or assume to be based on what facts we think we have. Our reality can be assumptive. Our self-worth can’t be tied entirely to how we perceive ourselves and our surroundings because our brain, heart, and emotions can play tricks on us and get the better of us. Be open to the truth about who you are and who you want to be. Own it.

2) YOUR ATTITUDE IS CONTROLLABLE. Your attitude becomes part of your reality mentioned above – so how you talk about yourself and see yourself in the mirror determines how you FEEL about yourself. Your self-worth – good or bad – can be tied to the positivity or negativity surrounding you. Don’t listen to the people who tear you down. Surround yourself with uplifting people who will build you up. If you don’t have a high opinion of yourself, find those who do. You need to be your own loudest cheerleader and encourager. Attitude takes effort, so you might as well make it a favorable experience for yourself and others rather than a miserable one.

3) IT’S OK TO LOVE YOURSELF. Many of the young people I get to hang out with love hug yourselfthings about themselves, but I question if they love themselves. Habits are developed over time and through repetitiveness. Get in the habit of finding the things about you that are lovable and use this as a foundation. Say positive things in the mirror and feed your mind with positive reading. If you are being negatively reinforced, do your best to break-free to be a positive force. You are NOT dependent on anyone or anyone’s opinion. You have to love yourself to love others – start being your own best friend. If family or relationships have ruined this for you, maybe some alone time is needed. Remember – you are always stronger than you think you are. Stay true to who you are and who you want to be.

4) THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON THE PRESENT, NOT THE PAST. The choices we make now can eradicate or build on the ones we have made in the past. We all have the power to make decisions that can change the course of our life trajectory. The past does not play into this. It is the future that will be affected. Write your new chapter, don’t rewrite past chapters.

5) WE ARE ALL BROKEN, BUT NOT BEYOND REPAIR. It doesn’t matter if you are hiding, running, or limping through life. It’s temporary and can end now by facing your fears, addressing the situation, or making changes. The first step is admitting it so you can address it. Get help – including professional help from a trained counselor or therapist (there’s no shame in this) – if you think you need it or are encouraged by people you trust to get it. You are not a lost cause, you are a “because.” – Because you were made in the image of God, created with a purpose and are a person of value. Your life is precious in so many ways. Your demons holding you hostage will be forced to release you because you are stronger than they are. You just need to realize it and rise to the occasion.

To answer the question… regarding your self-worth – YOU ARE ALWAYS WORTH IT! YOU ARE NEVER WORTHLESS.

To anyone who needs to read this on this day: Your value has never changed. Your self-esteem has. Don’t confuse your self-worth with your true worth. You are loved. Always have been – since before you were even born.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. – Luke 12:6-7

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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You determine your waste and your impact

Jim Johnston, a pastor at The Bridge Fellowship in Lebanon, Tennessee ended a sermon with two points I thought were very insightful.

They were intuitive and I related because I feel we generate so much waste in our lives. And I’m not talking about landfills. I’m talking about a perfectly good waste of our lives. Jim’s points were:

  1. Don’t waste your wait.
  2. Don’t waste your influence.

I have a confession. I’m guilty of both. In the time I’ve been waiting for something to happen with my passion of wanting to help others, I have been more dormant than I should have been. What Jim made me realize is while waiting for one thing, you should be working toward something else.

The other waste he talked about was that of our influence. We all have influence, but just in different degrees. In addition to influence, I have two other things: opportunity and connections. We all do. Through opportunities and connection, we can grow our influence. 

What are some things you are wasting in your life? Fill in this blank as it pertains to your life: Don’t waste your ___________________________________ .

This is one of mine: Don’t waste your impact.

There was an old man who lived in a retirement home who wouldn’t speak to anyone. Day after day he would solemnly look out a window from his wheelchair. Over time, his family quit coming around. They couldn’t connect. They felt he was a lost cause. No one could ever get him to speak – to the point where the staff gave up on him thinking he could no longer talk. For years he gazed out that window. No one knew what thoughts were going through his mind, if any.
One day, his health took a turn for the worse. He became bedridden as he tail-spinned into the last days of his life. He would slowly cock his head toward that window and keep the same position all day long. 
As his condition worsened, he slowly motioned for the priest who was there to read him his last rites. The priest doubled over to hear the faint whisper of the hoarse voice that had not made audio waves in many years. This is what he said:
“For years, I’ve stared out that window. Each day I ask my self what I could have done differently so as to not waste the life I was given. There were no answers in the trees, the sky, or the people walking by. As time went on, I began to feel sorry for myself. 
I have wasted a life that was made to impact, to serve, to build. My life is ending and all I have to show is regret. My legacy does not exist. But before I breath my last breath, let it be known I shall not die in vain.

Share this message with the world: Giving up is the most unacceptable form of giving. Give your life away to others to so as not to waste your impact.”

With that, he drew his last breath and passed peacefully.   

1000 Tips 7 giving up givingI know this: I don’t want to one day be an old man and look back on a life of regrets. I owe it to my children and those who I love and build  relationships with to not waste one minute of potential impact.

Why? Because I’ve been the recipient of such impact.

 

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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The photo above is #7 of what will be “1,ooo Tips to Becoming a Better You.” You can see more at https://leadmeforward.com/1000-tips-to-becoming-a-better-you/

 

Magical Kingdom Musings

“See if you can find any glimpses of God’s Kingdom in the Magic Kingdom.”

This was a text I sent to a friend who was going to Disney World with her family. She’s a prayer warrior and shines God’s light where ever she goes. I figured it would be fun to task her with this thought while she was there.

Disney 2012 (2)

In thinking about the two times I’ve been to the Magic Kingdom, I was contemplating in my head the similarities and differences between what Walt Disney’s interpretation of “where dreams come true” and another Kingdom altogether – that of God’s.

As best I can put together, Disneyland was known by the nickname Magic Kingdom prior to Walt Disney World being built in Florida, in which the Magic Kingdom theme park was built. Disneyland’s official tagline is “The Happiest Place on Earth.” But the tagline for Magic Kingdom is “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” The slogan of Disney Parks is the one mentioned above, “Where Dreams Come True.” I know, it’s confusing – but therein lies the magic!

I’m not looking for this post to create discord nor do I want to argue the merits of the Disney effect. Just to be clear, I have nothing against Disney World and the Magical Kingdom other than the long lines and high prices. For those who like theme parks and traveling to a fantasy world to escape the realities of the real world, it makes for some great memories and family time.

When you have such a place where people flock to make those memories and seek a temporary bit of happiness, I wonder if they find what they are looking for? Is it just that? Temporary? You see, any time we have a chance to get away, what ever we’re getting away from is still there when we get back. It’s still there when we return to reality.

When you return from a trip to Disney, or any other travel, you physically unpack your luggage. It all goes in the wash. The flight of fancy is over. The castles in the air come crashing down. While your luggage is emptied, your baggage is still there until it too is unpacked and cleaned out. The Kingdom of God, on the other hand, is eternal.

An escape to a magical place that makes you feel happy is a good way to spend a week. But what about the other 51 weeks in the year? The question here becomes, how can you make where you are the “happiest place on earth?”

I believe it’s in our packing. Not cramming our shorts, swimsuits, flipflops, and sunscreenpacked suitcase in a 2 x 3 box on rollers. It’s packing (preparing) for the other Kingdom – the one not with a mouse and castle, but a Lamb and throne. Our packing list is fairly light. It includes a simple prayer asking Jesus to come into your life. There’s nothing magical about that. Jesus, through His death on the cross, paid the price for us to enter the Kingdom. He paid the high ticket price so we would not have to. We all got Fastpasses! If we ask for it. That’s all. No more, no less.

Anything else you choose to pack is superfluous. But what ever you have room for, cram it in: acts of kindness, words of encouragement, purposeful prayer, enough faith to move mountains, cheerful giving, exceptional grace, thoughts of purity, loving your enemies, practicing the Golden Rule, saying please and thank you, and whatever else you come to do to live the life God created you for. We’re all brothers and sisters on this “family vacation” we cal life.

Can you find any glimpses of God’s Kingdom in the Magical Kingdom? Absolutely! We were all made in God’s image. God wants us to be happy. If having a tea party with the princesses makes you happy, that’s fantastic! Just don’t make idols out of the those things. Realize it’s not the temporary getaway that has a lasting happiness. It’s the other Kingdom that will give us ever lasting joy.

*Photo of my family at Disney in 2012
Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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Tough times call for interceding with additional mortar for the gaps

I wanted to share a past Facebook post written by a good friend, Jennifer Otto. In the last several years, Jennifer, her husband Travis, and their family have been “under attack.” These attacks come in all forms – from illnesses, to the death of a loved one, and even fire damage to their home.

They are by no means the only ones to go through tough times. There’s lots of hurt and pain in this world. The difference? How they handle it and who they turn to. They fill the gaps and keep both each other and others strong so the enemy has a harder time penetrating their spiritual armor and walls of defense. What you will read below is indicative to not only who they are, but who they are becoming. This was a Facebook post from Jennifer in its entirety (photos added):

Considering where I work, this was a great illustration for me this morning!! Love the Ladies that I can call upon at any moment to “stand in the gap”

The word “intercede” comes from the Latin “inter” meaning “between” and “ced” meaning “go”. So it literally means “go between”.

wallThink of a brick wall, in particular, the mortar in the joints between the bricks. That mortar “goes between”, or “intercedes”, between the bricks to bind them together and strengthen them. Without the mortar “going between” the bricks, the wall would collapse.

wall 2If you want to break down that wall, the easiest way is to start where there are gaps in the mortar. You start chopping and chipping at those sections and soon the entire wall will lack the support it needs and will give way.

That’s just what the enemy of our souls does. He and his cohorts look for those weaknesses in us — places where there are gaps or chinks in our personalities or spiritual armor. Even if we are not consciously aware of those areas, our enemies are! They have spent years watching us, studying us — looking for those things that cause offense in us, or where we’ve compromised truth for self-advancement or exaltation. They know where the pride, contentious and resentful triggers are, or where we’re vulnerable to a religious spirit or divisive spirit. And they know which people, incidents, and conditions are most likely to have the greatest impact and cause us to lose our spiritual balance.

They don’t target the areas where we’re strong; that would be spiritual suicide for them. They target our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities, our besetting sins [our friends & family members may not know about them, but the spiritual forces in the heavenly places do!]. They look for old, recently-healed, or not-yet-healed emotional wounds, or habits about which we feel some shame or guilt [like smoking, gluttony, too much TV, too much internet or social networking, etc.], or those matters we’ve confessed to others as being weaknesses or problems in our lives.

So, when we intercede for one another, our chief purpose is to fill in those gaps in one another’s spiritual armor and hold up that person so the enemy can’t gain an advantage over them. Likewise, when we fail to intercede for one another, we’re virtually giving the key to that person’s spiritual house to his/her enemies for them to wreak havoc, to steal that person’s peace or joy or health or even their financial security.

Just as we wouldn’t build a brick wall and intentionally leave gaping holes in the cement joints, I would go so far as to say it’s malicious for us to not “go between” / “stand in the gap” for our brothers, sisters, and our religious and political leaders. Jesus said, “By this all shall know that you are My disciples, if you have love toward one another.” [John 13:35]

How can we say we love one another and not pray for each other?! It’s impossible! It’s a contradiction and a lie!

From having Travis and Jennifer as members of a past LifeGroup and knowing their family for over seven years, they are gap-fillers. There have been times when they have needed others to patch their walls, and other times when they have shown up with mortar and trowels. This is what community through Christ looks like. It is helping others and interceding when the gaps are being chipped away. We could all do a better job of having mortar and trowels on hand to patch up and reinforce our lives.

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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Intentional Legacies – Part 1 of 3

In this three-part blog series, we will look at living with intentionality. The content is derived from talking points from a “Spiritual Time-Out” for the leaders at Southwestern Advantage.

The legacy we leave behind is determined by those we impact. At present, we are all in the process of building our life’s legacy. This legacy will be our leave-behind when our life concludes. In other words, we should be intentional in how we live, so as to leave a lasting influence to those we love.

Part 1: I will intentionally give what I have

So, besides being the go-to groceries of choice during snow storms – what do eggs, bread, and milk have in common? The commonality is they all have an expiration date. To live a life that will endure past our personal expiration date, these three things will help:

A. Give generously with what you havegen-er-ous
Your “haves” in this case are all the things you can give away. This goes beyond your money. It can include your time, gifts and talents, resources, and love. This is a decision each of us needs to make that turns not into a preference, but rather, a practice.

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
– 2 Corinthians 9:7

A friend of mine, Richard, fixes cars for single moms. Brian is always giving away food or firewood. Another friend mowed the yards of widows for free. You see, being generous with what you have is done out of love and with pure intentions. This is typically done with the expectancy of nothing in return. You give what you have for the sake of loving and serving others. This is living with intentionality. This is living by example for others to see. The example was the one set by Christ.

B. Quality over quantityqual-over-quan
This is best exemplified in a parable about the widow’s offering in Mark 12:41-44. Jesus watched many rich people put in large amounts of money in the Temple collection box. A
poor widow dropped in only two coins. Jesus told the disciples the how the widow gave way more than the others because she gave all she had, while they only gave a tiny part of their amassed fortunes.

Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put n large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, as poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
– Mark 12:41-44

The quality of what we give is determined by the the intentions of our heart. The widow’s legacy lives on through Jesus’ story to show us how we can be treasured without having the most treasure.

C. Remain vital and green
Psalm 92 says the godly will flourish, and in old age will produce fruit and remain vital and green. Any one who passes their influence and wisdom past their last breath in life to others will no doubt have lived a life of vitality and growth. They will not be a tree that bears no fruit, nor will they be a dried up branch that withers and is thrown into the fire pit.

fruit-bearing-treeIt stands to reason, anyone who remains vital and green in all seasons of life will live with intentionality and generosity with the fruit their life produces. They have a bountiful harvest and are willing to share it with others to increase their yield.

Who are some people you know who have been vital and green and left a lasting legacy?

But the godly will flourish like palm trees and the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.
– Psalm 92:12-14


If you will be intentional about what you have to give, you will actually leave more than you ever thought you could.

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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Is your bucket list just boxes to be checked off, or a life of meaning?

god-wrote-bucket-list-coverI saw a book at the airport with an interesting title, so I bought it. It was titled What If God Wrote Your Bucket List?, by Jay Payleitner.

The basis of the book is if God wrote your bucket list, it would not include things like swimming with sharks, skydiving, or kayaking the Colorado River (one of mine). But what it WOULD include would be, as Payleitner put it, “fewer things to do and more things to embrace. Things to appreciate. To choose. And sometimes let go.”

I always learn something when it’s either a new idea or an old idea presented in a different way. So far, my biggest take-away came in the first chapter. Payleitner wrote about setting goals. Nothing new here, but again, when presented with a spin, it becomes fresh once more. He wrote, “…your goals for your life are not nearly as important as God’s goals for your life. In other words, please don’t be surprised if all your careful planning and goal setting gets set aside by the master planner himself.” That’s exactly what happens. God’s plan for us is bigger than we are.

This motivated me to put together some bucket list items for my life that are bigger than I am. I still need to refine them somewhat and think about how I will fulfill them… maybe even set in some time frames, but this is a list I will print out and refer to on a weekly basis so I can see my progress and where I need to focus. I’ll likely add to it as well. Lots of self-reflection went into this while on a work trip, alone and out of the country. There’s no better time for concentrated thought and prayer than when temporarily away from life’s many distractions. In a country where all of my first-world problems are minuscule, my mind is very clear. In no particular order, here it is:

Take time to retreat

  • Withdraw to focus on my mission, purpose
  • Surrender my time in order to surrender my life

Leave a lasting legacy for those I love and respect

  • Who will I be remembered as?
  • What will they remember me for? (got this from the book)

Make an impact on others

  • Through the Lord – share what I know, grow God’s Kingdom
  • Increase faith – theirs and mine
  • Be an example – a better example of a leader/human/Christ-follower

Develop a stronger prayer life

  • Communicate better – prayer is 2-way
  • Build a better relationship with the Trinity (all 3 – Father, Son, Spirit)

Quality time with those I love

  • This is some of the most important time spent
  • Put the focus on them

Make where I am my mission field

  • Be continual and faithful
  • Be present and focused
  • Be service-minded

Be unconditionally uncomfortable

  • Take chances through faith – with those I love, acquaintances, and strangers
  • Let the waves of life swell and ride them!
  • Take a stand – being faithful to the Lord is not easy or popular

Study sources of inspiration, motivation, and Spirit-filled wisdom

  • More Bible time
  • Books, videos, and other sources

Put what I learn and live into words

  • Write, blog, share to inspire

Show gratitude. Share Gratitude.

  • Be thankful for those who are blessings in my life – let them know
  • Be grateful to God for entrusting me with the things I am blessed with

And there you have it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I still have a bucket list that includes milestones and fun things bucket-listI want to accomplish. But after writing this list, those things seem trivial. No, a better word is fleeting. Those things come and go but do not necessarily make me the person I want to be – the person I was made to be. This list keeps me honest with God’s goals for my life. I’ve skydived, been to Europe, and rode a bike down a volcano. Though, I would like to milk a cow and have a book published.

What about you? What would your bucket list look like if you penned it with God’s goals for your life in mind?

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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