What Is It That You Want to Be Remembered For?

It’s Better to Answer This Question Sooner Rather Than Later

Too often the driving force behind our actions is selfish and inward focused. Even when we’re doing good work that helps others, we turn that around to being about us.

In Luke 10:1-20, Jesus sent people out to share His message. When they came back, they were excited about what they had accomplished. They said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed when we spoke in your name!”

Jesus told them, “Don’t be happy because evil spirits obey you. Be happy that your names are written in heaven!

We need to think about why we do what we do.

We shouldn’t do good things for the wrong reason.

Satan started out as an angel but lost his direction and fell from God’s grace. He could have done great things but instead….it became all about him.

Some missionaries were in a country where one day they found a big snake in their house. They went and got one of the local’s, who came and cut the snake’s head off with a machete.

He went back outside and told them to wait before they went back inside, because the snake’s body is still squirming and they could be hurt.

As he was thinking about this, one of the missionaries realized that this is like Satan. Even though God has already cut his head off, he is still causing damage to anyone who gets too close.

Be sure to keep your distance.

A few months prior to his death Martin Luther King Jr. preached “The Drum Major Instinct”. He told his congregation what he would like said at his funeral: “I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.”

King’s sermon was an adaptation of the 1952 homily “Drum-Major Instincts” by J. Wallace Hamilton. Both men tell the biblical story of James and John, who ask Jesus for the most prominent seats in heaven. At the core of their desire was a “drum major instinct—a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade”.

King warned his congregation that this desire for importance can lead to people feeling superior. Conversely, King preached that when Jesus responded to the request by James and John, he did not rebuke them for their ambition, but taught that greatness comes from humble servitude.

As King put it, Jesus “reordered priorities.”

King concluded the sermon by imagining his own funeral. Urging the congregation not to dwell on his life’s achievements. He asked to be remembered as one who “tried to give his life serving others”. He implored his congregation to remember his attempts to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort prisoners. “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter”

It’s important that we do good for the right reason.

There Are Miracles Waiting at The Edge of Our Faith





That Faith Only Needs to Be as Big as a Mustard Seed


We really don’t believe in miracles, we say that we do, but not really. Our faith is almost nonexistent. We sell ourselves and God short. It’s no wonder that we live lives of mediocrity.

Even the apostles, who had witnessed Jesus perform miracles doubted. He told them, “If your faith were the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Dig yourself up and plant yourself in the sea.,” and it would obey you.” Luke 17:5-6 I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a mustard seed, but they’re tiny.

Faith requires action.

Imagine yourself at a circus watching all the amazing trapeze artists and high wire acts. After the tight rope walker goes across the high wire the ring master asks the crowd if they would like to see him ride a bicycle across. Everyone applauds and says yes. Next the ring master asks if they would like to see him go across with someone riding on his shoulders. The applause and screams are louder than before. Then the ringmaster asks…who will volunteer to be that person? The crowd instantly is quiet. Oh, ye of little faith.

We’ve been put here for a purpose. To live out that purpose to its fullest requires faith and action.

Faith starts with forgiveness.

Anger stops the flow of miracles. Forgiveness releases them. We think holding back forgiveness is punishment to those who have wronged us…it isn’t, forgiveness benefits the forgiver as much as the forgiven. It clears the blockage and opens a clear path for miracles to flow through.

Faith is all about believing.

We only need to believe a mustard seed amount for miracles to happen. It’s sad how many people don’t even have this much faith. God will never expect us to do more than we can. The problem is that we don’t believe. There are examples of amazing things all around us if we will just look. The more we believe in God and ourselves the bigger the miracles will be.

Faith concludes with serving.

Serving is the result of putting our faith into action. Our specific purpose is to serve God and others using our gifts and talents. Serving others is not demeaning, it is the fulfillment of our purpose. Small acts of service ripple through out time and space ending in huge miracles.

We are made in God’s image but live in a fallen world. It is hard to see through the haze of the fallen world to the miracles that happen. In the story of the mulberry tree above, it says, if you have faith, it will obey you…it doesn’t say anything about seeing it.

We witness miracles every day that were started by someone else’s faith and action.


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.

Sharing the Shovels

Moving the Mountain One Shovel at A Time


One of the most difficult things that I struggle with is delegating. By nature, I try to do everything. It is my business and serving my customers is my responsibility after all. This can only work if I limit what I’m going to do. I can’t use more than one shovel at a time.

The last several years I have been working hard to figure out who exactly God has designed me to be. What are my strengths and what are my weaknesses. As I have worked through this process I have reached the conclusion that God’s intended purpose for me is helping as many people as possible find solutions for building their dreams, even when they may not know they’re looking for them.

There is a limit to how many people I can help by myself though. In Exodus 18:13-26 Moses was trying to solve all the issues of all the people. There were so many people that needed help and he couldn’t help them all. His father-in-law saw this and recommended that he share the load and put his energy and focus on what God had designed him to do…not everything. If I am going to help more people and help them well I must share my load, just like Moses.

One of the problems of delegation is that too often sharing of the load is done without much clarity or planning. Positions are just filled with the first warm body that comes along and says yes. Rather than helping to carry the load, this often just makes it heavier. If you have ever had this experience, it makes it that much harder to share the load the next time.

There are some towering mountains on the horizon that need moved. As I move forward into this new year I am going to pass out some shovels. I am going to be careful and intentional about who gets what shovel. I need to make sure that the shovel and the person using it are a match.

One of the mountains that needs moved is delegating. Just this week I passed out a couple of shovels. Even if it is not natural for me, it felt good. We are going to move big mountains this year.