How Do You Know If Your Servant’s Heart is Focused in the Right Place?

It’s Pretty Simple Really…It’s All About What Your Focus Is On

If you have siblings or children, you know how things typically progress with each new child. With the first there is a level of inexperience that leads to caution and overzealous instruction. With each following, things seem to relax.

A woman with five siblings (three sisters and two brothers) told a story about one night talking with her mother. They were talking about how the mother had changed from the first kid to the last. Her mother agreed that she had mellowed a lot. “When your oldest sister coughed or sneezed, I called the ambulance. When your youngest brother swallowed a dime, I just told him it was coming out of his allowance.”

Experience is a good teacher.

Most of us are familiar with the story of Mary and Martha. Luke 10:38-42 In this story Martha welcomes Jesus and His disciples into her home. Doing this kicks her servant’s heart into full swing. Hosting people is a lot of work.

While Martha was working to get things ready…Mary went in and sat down with Jesus and the disciples and was listening to Jesus. This upset Martha.

We all know people who excel at hosting. Some of this comes naturally, some is from experience.

A few weeks ago, we had my wife’s family in for the weekend. Debby fixed enough food for three meals a day for twenty-five. (There were only six of us) It’s not that any of us needed that much to eat…it was about her showing her love for them. It’s what her grandma would have done.

Serving others is a good thing…if we don’t lose sight of why we’re doing it.

Mary and Martha were different. All of us are different. These differences lead us to do different things. What’s important to one person isn’t to another.

We don’t know exactly why Martha or Mary were doing what they were in that moment. What we do know, is that in a few days after Jesus was with them, He would be dead.

This is why it is critical that we do what we do with our focus in the right place.

Serving others for the wrong reasons is no better than not serving them.

We need to be careful to focus on the right thing at the right time. Three things we know about focus –

  1. Our time is limited, the demands are endless – We can choose where we spend our time. Don’t let demands have control.
  2. Focusing on the right thing is living with no regret – We don’t know the future so focus on the most important thing now.
  3. You will never have enough time for everything, focus on the right thing – There will always be too much to do and we can’t do it all. We can choose what to neglect.

Make sure to focus on Jesus and what He wants. If we do this…we will be serving in the right way.

Do You Hear That? It’s the Sound of Being Called to Serve

It’s Up to You to Open Your Ears and Listen Carefully So You Do the Right Thing

How many Christians does it take to screw in a light bulb?

That’s a good question, but first…

Once again, this week we were blessed with a message from a guest speaker. Thanks to Sara Pines for her willingness to share God’s message in the absence of Pastor Lee!

Most of us are familiar with the story of Mary and Martha found in Luke 10:38-42.

In this passage Martha and Mary welcome Jesus and his disciples into their home. Martha is working hard preparing a meal and setting the table, trying to get everything ready. As she’s working, she gets frustrated with Mary, who is sitting in the other room listening to Jesus while Martha is working.

In her frustration Martha goes to Jesus and says, “Lord, doesn’t it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!”

Jesus replies, “Martha, Martha! You’re worried and upset about so many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I used to struggle some with this Scripture.  

It seemed to me that Martha’s work to serve Jesus was the more important task. The problem is that Martha had made this decision from her own worldly perspective. She had neglected to open her ears to what Jesus wanted her to do.

This is not to say that what she was doing was wrong or right…It is about partnering with God and getting His input.

Serving isn’t the same as slavery. Slavery is forced. Serving is voluntary.

Serving doesn’t have to be something monumental. It can be as simple as showing kindness by opening a door or simply smiling at people we meet.

Having the heart of a servant includes:

  • Using Jesus as our role model
  • Choosing to be last, not first
  • Showing God’s love by loving others
  • Considering other’s needs before your own
  • Using your God given gifts to serve God

Serving others lights up the world around us. In Matthew 5:14-16, we are told to be the light of the world.

“A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, and no one lights a lamp and puts it under a clay pot. Instead, it is placed on a lampstand, where it can give light to everyone in the house. 

Make your light shine, so others will see the good you do and will praise your Father in heaven.”

Back to the question, how many Christians does it take to screw in a light bulb?

None…As Christians we are the light of the world.

Listen carefully to God and find out how you can serve Him best and light up the world around you.

Spinning So Many Plates at the Same Time Can Make You Dizzy

It’s Up to You How Many You Spin

This title might seem familiar, and it should. I used a very similar one for a post in March of 2018. That post’s focus was on trying to run a business without a plan.

This post is going to address a different question that has been coming up in almost every construction conversation I’ve had over the past several weeks. These discussions have been with other contractors, sub-contractors, my team, customers, and even with people in other industries. This is not a new topic but seems to be reaching an increased ‘plate breaking’ point.

Most of us have seen plate spinning acts in some form or another. When I was growing up, I remember seeing Erich Brenn performing his plate spinning act on the popular Ed Sullivan Show. I remember him running back and forth, trying to keep all the different plates spinning at the same time. It was amazing. (Be sure to watch this video)

I’ll bet you’ve felt just like him.

Most businesses are operated in a way that feels a lot like trying to keep all those plates spinning at the same time. Just like the performer who keeps putting more and more spinning plates up on the end of sticks, we keep trying to do more and more.

There is a limit to how much we can do. We can only run back and forth keeping the plates spinning for so long before they start falling and breaking. This means there is a maximum number of people that we can provide service to, before things begin falling around us.

Why do we continually keep adding more plates?

That is the million-dollar question. There seems to be some inherent traits that self-employed people are born with that causes us to continually take on more. I believe that it is directly connected to having a servant’s heart. We have a God given talent that someone needs the benefit of. We instinctively say yes to help those in need of it.

The problem of course, is that there is a limit. A limit to how much we can do, to the amount of time we have each day, to the number of people we can help. And we instinctively know this. When we say yes to that next thing, the voice inside our head says, “How are you going to do that?”. We shrug our shoulders and say yes anyway.

Trying to do everything makes it hard to do anything well.

This is a problem that has been around as long as people have. The question is…What are we going to do about it? How are we going to get this plate spinning madness under control? I keep asking myself this question over and over.

The answer to this question is inside each of us and there are as many answers as there are people asking the question. The answer starts with realizing the problem and recognizing that we have control over it. We can choose to answer it or pretend it doesn’t exist and keep spinning more and more plates.

This is where things begin to get tricky. Looking for and figuring out your answer, the one that is exclusively yours, takes time. I know that you are already too busy spinning plates to add another.

If you don’t spin this plate you will never keep the rest spinning.

Over Promising Is Easy When You Have A Servant’s Heart


But It’s Not A Good Business Plan


At the risk of sounding like (or writing like) a broken record I want to discuss the big issue of promising to do more than we can. I have written about this on several occasions focusing on different aspects of this struggle.

Five Ways to Stop Over Promising and Under Delivering

How to Create Realistic Expectations for Customers – Part 1

Honesty Is the Best Policy – I Don’t Care How Hard It Is 

I may be overly optimistic, but in my experiences most of the professionals that I work with and/or associate with are driven by a selfless desire to help others. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t selfish people out there, but I believe they are the minority.


The problem arises when overly zealous unachievable statements are made and then not followed through.

Much of the time the over promising is encouraged by the person receiving the promise. I know when given an answer that wasn’t what they wanted; customers have pushed me into saying things that I knew weren’t possible. I let them do this because I wanted to help them realize their dream.
I have done the same thing to my suppliers and subcontractors. When trying to achieve a schedule, I urged them to give me answers that both them and I knew they couldn’t meet. This isn’t right or fair to anyone involved.

I have been dealing with this ‘over promising’ issue a lot lately. It was echoed this past week when I listened to a Michael Hyatt podcast about “How to Delegate Even If You Don’t Have a Team”. It encouraged me to not give up on shoveling this particular mountain.

How do we solve this problem?

First thing is to figure out what works best for you. This may be the hardest part…I know it is for me. Not every idea or plan is going to fit your needs. We are all different and this means our systems will be too. I’ve tried different things and give up when they don’t work immediately. The most important thing is to persist.

Prioritize your to do list – This is probably the hardest thing for someone with a servant’s heart. Everything on the list is given ultimate importance and this is where the problem starts. There simply isn’t enough time to do everything. So how do we prioritize the list. Michael refers to the Eisenhower Matrix in the podcast. Like any system, it’s a good way to organize tasks, but only if you use it.

Delegate – Sharing the shovels needed to move any mountain is a good plan as long as you have someone to share them with. Delegating is a part of the productivity plan in the Eisenhower Matrix. There are a lot of unconventional ways that delegating can be done. Thinking outside the box is a great plan, you just can’t stop at the thinking, there has to be some doing. Michael shares ideas for this in his podcast as well.

Say NO – This is probably the hardest thing to do with a servant’s heart. We want to help everybody. The problem is there simply isn’t enough time to help everybody. Saying no is the only way we can do our best work, it’s the only way to serve well. The Lysa TerKeurst book, “The Best Yes”, is a great resource for helping to prioritize which things we say yes to and why. Most servants don’t want to tell others no but wouldn’t that be better than to give them an over promised yes.


When we attempt to help everybody, we really don’t do a good job of helping anybody.


We can have the best intentions when we say yes, but “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Unaccomplished good intentions are not the best way for us to truly serve others well.