Closing The Loop (1 Habit of The Most Focused Top Performers)

Closing The Loop (1 Habit of The Most Focused Top Performers)

It’s time for another MEGA-learning from the sheer gold vault of lessons, modules and learnings of my former supervisor…

Have you ever had SO MUCH going on at work or at home that you seem to riffle through one issue to the next, but never really gaining resolution?

Do you feel like someone on your team (family or work) is just an idea, program, initiative MACHINE, but you’re left wondering: ‘who was supposed to keep track of those?!” and “where are we at on that deal anyway?!”

Here’s a simple one: did you ever wonder why your training or resourcing event didn’t have the impact or traction that you desired?

I believe the answer lies within 3 simple words:

Close. The. Loop.

Well simply said, not always simply done…

I would define closing the loop like this:

Def. intentionally revisiting anything you start, until you’ve brought it to a finish.

This could be any idea, request, action item, program or initiative. Check in and continue to do so until you have reached agreed-upon resolution or success. 

The most simple illustration is this:

Last year I proposed a team goal of walking my people through a hospitality training.

It was your basic format where I had each team member read some case study material in advance then I would go around 1:1 with each person and walk them through an agenda of bullet point principles.

You see I actually thought my job was done at that point… you know, like “well I did the training, had 100% attendance and got the content out there so everyone must be ‘trained’ now, right?”

Here was the simple brilliance of what my supervisor encouraged me to do next…

He said what you should do now is go around 2-3 weeks later and first watch each one of those team members in action and see if they are actually implementing the new theories and techniques.

Watch them and ask them: how are you applying the material that we covered almost a month ago now.

That was closing the loop: do the training, check back in on the training. (Otherwise what was the point of the training?)

And that is the first principle of what closing the loop is all about

#1 Closing the loop essentially asks the question: “so what?”

You see, it’s not good enough to simply be a great idea man. The logic is totally intuitive: we all know that great visionaries and idea people would be nowhere without the doers and systems thinkers to enact these great ideas.

So in essence, the art and discipline of asking “so what?” “what’s next” is your accountability structure for testing outcomes and effectiveness. That brings us to point #2…

#2 Closing the loop means having someone consistent and focused enough to constantly ask that question.

If you aren’t that person, if you can’t perform this, what I’ll call “adapted discipline,” early or often enough then maybe this is your next hire, maybe this is your next volunteer recruit.

Because I’m convinced that team members who operate this way are absolutely the top performers in every organizational level… any organization, at least, that cares about actually working their mission and vision through their strategy into a reality.

And I introduce the idea of adapted style because probably not just anybody can do this well forever.

It has to be within someone’s “natural” style of leadership. Hence the sense of urgency you may need if you don’t already have this strength available on your team.

#3 Closing the loop is fundamentally about execution and implementation

If you feel forever stuck in the ideation stage, the brainstorm session, the dream cycle it’s not long before you realize how badly you need this way of thinking to positively infect your culture and DNA.

Ideas, programs and strategies never moved to implementation (which requires constant reassessment) are just that: sweet dreams. But closing the loop is not merely about doing, it has a built-in review gene…

#4 Closing the loop serves as a constant barometer for success, efficacy and effectiveness

Everyone wants to make progress, but few people know how to measure it.

Fewer still have the time or money to hire outside consultants to conduct, compile and analyze the data that will explain progress.

So here is your simple and free skill: the quickest measure for success is to build constant loop-closing opportunities and questions into the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly fabric of your organization.

Back to my illustration above: how did the training go? I don’t know, let’s go around and find out. I didn’t have to compile massive amount of numbers or data, I simply had to go ask and watch. Ask the team members what they were using and watch them in action.

#5 Closing the loop people are note-takers and note-takers are history-makers

That’s what we used to say to our teenagers at church: “note-takers are history-makers.”

The truth is: even the simple practice of writing or typing notes for something that is communicated to you is a quick and small way of closing the loop. How?

Because it’s is proven that when you are learning through listening (auditory style) and you connect that to moving your body or hands (kinesthetic style) to connect what’s going in your ears, you have a better shot at retention, growth and learning!

Well the same is true in your organizational leadership: you must have someone who is tracking the status from ideation>implementation and implementation>review.

Let me put it more plainly: no one can remember everything, so write it down, write it down and later on revisit by closing the loop.


I am a part of a small resource-lean organization that is entering a season of fairly massive rediscovery.

If we hope to see any traction in our renewed structures, we have no choice but to excel at closing the loop.

Here’s the reality: for you this tool may not be about winning, it might, literally, be about surviving.

I use the word focus in the title for a reason; if you don’t begin the disciplined process of staying focused by closing the loop, your job and your organization may not be around tomorrow.

Maybe you feel this same way; I suggest starting small: start taking notes to track progress and start asking the question: “so what?” You may not look or feel smart doing that now but over time it will reap a harvest. (Galatians 6:9)

Asymmetrical Warfare (The Power Of The Cross)

Asymmetrical Warfare (The Power Of The Cross)

Sometimes I consider the hilarity of how long it takes me to remember that power grabs are never the way to real transformation.

The only real path is to lay power down.

Have you ever felt in the midst of a power struggle? Ever felt like your influence, control or very leadership call was at stake because it was being threatened by other power brokers?

Well let me ask it a different way: have you stormed out of a meeting (internally of course, no one physically storms out of meetings anymore) feeling ill-at ease because you didn’t have voice?

In my mind that’s still a power issue… because your voice is tied to influence and influence is tied to what kind of power you are allowed.

Don’t you just love being fed your own words sometimes? Well it was nearly 6 years ago-my 1st real year in church ministry work-that I began to realize the truth about laying down power.

I can remember even coaching another member of our staff on what appears to be an everlasting principle of ministry leadership and it is this:

The lowest man wins.

The first person who can lay prostrate on the ground, in the face of someone who is grabbing for power, wins.

And I mean this naturally and spiritually.

Naturally… think about your favorite people to work with or be led by… are they pompous, prideful and power-hungry or are they humble and meek?

The lowest man wins.

Spiritually… think about almost every word Jesus said to the very last that bound him to that instrument of torture and death: if you want to be first, you must be last, if you want to gain your life you must forsake your life.

The lowest man wins.

Mike Erre has this incredible podcast about “power over VS power under.” It’s a lovely reminder for us all.


In last week’s post I wrote essentially about humble leadership. That, ostensibly, was not the title or purpose of the post, but that is the precise example put on display by John the Baptist in John 3:30.

Well it turns out that last weeks post, along with that scripture passage, was written and directed for me, to me, about me for the following week (this week).

Somewhere in there I think I even prayed for humility… I’m telling you it’s so stinking true what they say “be careful what you wish (pray) for… cause you might just get it.” Well, done and done… I was put in my place this week.

And honestly, I can say it was good; it was very good.

In Patrick Lencioni’s great book, The Ideal Team Player, he outlines this concept of hungry, humble and smart-that’s the ideal staff, team member, person.

When I heard him speak at a conference exactly a year ago next month, I knew instantly which area I needed the development in: humility. And then this week it seemed that God was doling it out in kind.

First I was put in my place organizationally.

Then I realized the scripture, that I thought was meant for someone else (the one from John 3:30-I must become less and he must become more), was actually meant precisely for me.

Then I’m reading in a book about how really leadership is all about adding value to other people’s lives, not how smart I look or sound OR advancing my ends.

Leadership, at it’s best, is literally just about seeing other people win.

So it was left and right-healthy portions of humble pie. And it was cool; because I need it.


You ever been in a fight with a friend? But you realized that it was ridiculous at some point… like how did we get here and what are we even talking about right now?

I got into a little spat with one of my closest friends about a week ago over something that we both care deeply about and have potentially different views about how to approach it.

After we texted back and forth (to no avail in my mind at least), we finally spoke on the phone it was settled in moments. He texted me after and said, I think half jokingly, ‘I’m glad we’re not fighting anymore.’

And it’s so funny because my thought instantly in that moment was this:

I wasn’t fighting you… in fact, I ain’t never fought a man a day in my life.

And here’s the scripture passage behind what I meant:

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

As hard as it is to imagine the spiritual realm in today’s postmodern age of ‘trust only what is proven and palpable,’ in an instant I knew this was what was happening; as simple as daylight.


Now an appropriate question would be: what do these 3 stories have to do with each other?

Well whether you’re asking that or not, I’d like to know the answer…

Here are some common denominators:

  • they are my personal learnings from just the past 7 days
  • they are what God is showing me, speaking to me, teaching me
  • they are, I think, all rooted in 1 major point…

And it’s that point that I want to land today.

Here it is: asymmetrical warfare.

Asymmetrical warfare is defined simply this way:

warfare involving surprise attacks by small, simply armed groups on a nation armed with modern high-tech weaponry.

Here’s how I would paraphrase: a war being fought where the seemingly smaller and seemingly insignificant and seemingly easy to overcome and seemingly disproportionate side actually keeps winning.

One of the greatest ploys of the ‘evil rulers’ is power… AND one of the greatest, and most asymmetrical, responses to that ploy is the transcendent power of the cross (through a humble dying to oneself).

If power is the spearhead tactic of the enemy then humility is the power of the cross.

The fact is: there is a war waging all around us and I’d say if you’d like to stop forfeiting more battles, then join me as I learn to take up the asymmetrical power of the cross.

Leadership Lessons From John The Baptist (Know Your Lane)

Leadership Lessons From John The Baptist (Know Your Lane)

So much of confusion and frustration in leadership comes from not having clearly defined roles or expectations.

And one of the great things that role confusion and frustration leads to is serious identity crisis, which leads to purpose crisis, which I’ve even seen lead to a bout of depression and anxiety in some.

It’s actually a very interesting concept that our church leadership has been investing ourselves in recently.

It’s this John Piper idea of Be. Do. Have. (VS the way of the world which is Do. Have. Be.).

One of the problems with the above scenario is that the order is all out of whack…

What typically happens at work or life is:
First, you have problems in your role or expectation and;
Second, you develop a potential identity crisis.

When you know your identity (and hence the shape your leadership calling should take), the doing will always be secondary and thus less crippling when it doesn’t go your way.

I was reading about John the Baptist recently and I saw something which I think is powerful for keeping an accurate and fundamental understanding of our leadership lane. (Lane: defined as the straight and narrow path of which you are uniquely called.)

There are at least 7 amazing leadership principles from John chapter 3 and it starts off with one of the most amazing proclamational statements about identity I have ever heard of.

It comes from John 1.

Basically John is doing his thing (the whole wilderness stream-side baptism deal).

People are coming to him from literally every walk of life. Soldiers, tax collectors, your everyday Jew, which is an impressive sight unto itself. (Because it makes an early statement of how the Church is composed of people who are welcome… from every possible walk.)

But apparently there are some other, more “hardcore,” Jews who come up on John with a line of questioning (from their higher-ups) about who John is proclaiming to be…

Like ‘we’ve heard about you… there’s rumors… what’s up… who are you… are you someone special that was foretold about in the scriptures of old?’

To which John does something amazing… he says:

23 …in the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“I am a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”

ONE: Leaders stake a claim.

Unreal.

The way he stakes a claim in his founded and true God-breathed identity is just remarkable.

The boldness and confidence to stake an Old Testament prophecy for yourself, that was all yours… I just can’t even imagine what that must have been like…

Today, staking a claim could look like all sorts of things, mostly though it has to do with the all-out stubborn resistance to compromise your commissioning. It could mean:

  • refusal to make unethical decisions or go along with unethical practice
  • refusal to settle for a job that is not your lane
  • refusal to water down what you were called to produce

But we have to start there, because it shows you just how much of a direct and crystal clear understanding he had about himself, his namesake and his life’s work.

But he goes on in chapter 3 and says some things that should give every leader pause about their identity, calling and lane.

23 At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism. 24 (This was before John was thrown into prison.)

TWO: Leaders go for broke

It’s kind of sad actually but I fear for most of us “career christians,” this whole ‘getting carted off to prison’ thing becomes quite unsurprising to us…

Partly, I presume, because we have read the other instances in the Gospels where this was frequently taking place but also for a much more profound reason:

We have virtually no frame of reference for what it would mean or look like: having a willingness to go to these depths for our faith, our Jesus, for the saving of this world.

Something that John reminds us about leadership is the absolute comfort and familiarity around death and dying…

death and dying to oneself,
death and dying to ones resources,
death and dying to all the things we may hold dear for the greatest cause there ever was.

25 A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing. 26 So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”

THREE: Focus on the real target (which is never you)

Another temptation, as someone who was raised in the church, is to succumb to the notion that some Apostles and Prophets spoken about in the Bible are untouchable.

Untouchable meaning: we fail to take into consideration their humanity in light of their authority, their inerrancy, their word or deed.

I think we do a disservice to ourselves (and others!) if we neglect one of the most contextual pieces for interpreting scripture: the fact that every Biblical icon, besides Jesus, was still a human being full of sin and general shortcomings!

I think we see that here in the way that John’s disciples were fiercely loyal to him even to the point of becoming envious and spiteful of Jesus attracting away their crowds!

To their credit, Jesus was still a new figure and the fact of him being the one and true Messiah was far from widely accepted at this point, but maybe, just maybe we see here a glimpse of how John could have done a better job pointing his fiercest companions toward the ultimate target and not his charismatic self.

Also, it’s a powerful reminder that it’s never about the crowds. It’s always about people. Good leaders know the difference.

27 John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.

FOUR: Understand that YOU ultimately don’t produce results.

There is one source and giver of all things and that’s God. As leaders we need this pride check:  Every. Single. Day.

28 You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’

FIVE: All the work we do here is just about preparing the way

We are given a limited time here on earth, truly in the scope of eternity… so what does preparing the way look like for you.

As leaders we really must get busy living or get busy dying and SETTLING on devotion to your lane is a form of slow death.

29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success.

SIX: part 1, descend into obscurity

Notice that it says bridegroom’s FRIEND… it doesn’t even say ‘best man’ or ‘first mate’ or ‘fellow priest;’ it says “friend!”

I was taught one invaluable principle for officiating weddings and it was this: become invisible. This day is not about you so do your best to prop up the bride and groom and then fade into obscurity.

This is our call in leadership, it is a lane of assuming humility.

30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

SEVEN: part 2, descend into obscurity

This last verse is one of my favorite throughout the whole of the Bible. I think it is because I am so aware of how prideful and selfish I truly am.

I need this verse as a daily mantra.

I need this verse before and after every meeting with a leader.
I need this verse before and after I step on stage to preach.
I need this verse before I walk in the door at home and before I step out in the morning.
I need this verse when I rise and when I lay my head.

This is it. It’s everything… He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. He must become enlarged in my life and the life of others around me and I must be reduced to insignificance.

 

Extraction: The Art of Actualizing What’s in Your Head

Extraction: The Art of Actualizing What’s in Your Head

Have you ever had something in your head that you needed to get out? Some vision, idea, program, talk, training, “how-to” guide… some thing you needed to move from abstract constellation of thought into a clearly outlined, usable thing?

When I was transitioning from my last church job my supervisor-a man whose analytical genius is always bent toward better execution-suggested that I write down a general who, what, when, where, why for my successor. 

When we would check in for our weekly 1:1s, a greater and greater percentage of our time was devoted to passing the baton (of information and how-tos) well.

During our time together he would drive me deeper and deeper into cataloging the most important standard operating procedures held under the 2 or 3 major hats that I wore. 

I will never forget what he said one day toward that end. He said very simply, “we need to get what’s in your head out.”

As basic as that might sound it triggered something in me…

For starters it made me think: what are the hundreds of little things I do each day that no one knows about, that’s not in writing somewhere, that no one told me to do, but it effectively gets my job done. 

And while, at the end of my transition time, I did not produce a list with every one of those hundred items, I was able to produce the broader strokes of my past deliverables. 

The second thing my supervisor’s comment triggered was a an affirmation of this blog actually. 

The whole point behind this writing discipline was two-fold: 

1, as an external tool to inspire, influence and ignite something in others and;

2, as an internal tool of recapping all that I had learned in the past year-a sort of personal development journal for the sake of never forgetting all the amazing takeaways.  

Herein lies the first principle of what I will call Standard Mental Operating Procedure Extraction or SMOPE for short:

(1) SMOPE requires a pause in our daily mental activity so that we may become more conscious of what’s behind our daily decisions and actions. 

The answer to my rhetorical question above (have you ever had something in your head that you wanted to get out?) is: of course you have. Everyone has…

I just think that most people sell themselves short on this level of thought life and ideation.

Most people will go about their work and leadership never having given a second thought to why it is they do a certain thing the way they do!

And that is a fundamental component of principle #1: it’s not pausing to think about what you just decided or did, it’s pausing to reflect how or why you did it that way. 

I should back up and give some definition 

SMOPE is the standard operating procedure of your mind. You do it, almost unconsciously, every single day… you plan, you act, you execute.

And there is most certainly a very particular mental model or procedure you use that you could go your whole life never thinking about distilling or bottling that very good thing in order for your very good “way” to ever go beyond yourself.

This brings me to point number two…

(2) SMOPE is all about extending your legacy beyond yourself. 

Whether it’s in the example I listed above about a simple job transition or it’s the CEO of a Fortune 500 company working through a major succession, the difference between good and great is extension beyond yourself. 

Why is this so critical-the ability to pass your excellent mental methods of success and growth? Here’s an example from both the church and marketplace context. 

Take the multi-level marketing example. Say what you will about them, the bottom line is this: you have a product or service that, assuming authentic quality, you can spread like wildfire through multiple tiers of people leading others and multiplying their methods. 

In other words they train and equip those below them to achieve similar results.

Now whether it’s multi-level marketing or just any scalable business where you include the large-scale training of people, there was someone along the way who distilled and bottled what was in their head.

The companies and organizations who have the best ability to do this will also continue a proven legacy that goes beyond any founder or CEO.

The church belief and process of discipleship is no different. This example is one of the most deeply held beliefs of our organization.

Jesus did it; Jesus commanded it and it is essentially the one central model, method, vehicle-whatever you want to call it-way to spread the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection and grow the church. 

Now, even though there may be no two churches alike in what they will call their discipleship process or system, the point remains the same: Jesus took what was in his head, heart, spirit he spoke about it, he lived it and he invited 12 other men along to see, do and multiply. 

The churches and faith-based organizations that create a plan for discipleship (and actually work their plan!) will also experience a proven legacy that extends across the generations. 

There’s another thing you should know about SMOPE.

(3) SMOPE is the ability to move from unknown, unformalized, unstandardized (however, not random) thought life to a clearly outlined and action-oriented system of organization.

This is the crux of the issue. It’s one thing to pause and intentionally think about the why and how behind your decisions and actions. It’s another thing entirely to distill and bottle that product into a clear and scalable tool.

This third principle and step is really where you will live. While it is truly an ongoing discipline to begin holding every thought captive (and training your people to do the same!), the main gear and life-cycle of this process is slowly and intentionally taking the mental operating procedure and putting it into tangible malleable material. 


Closing Thoughts:

As 1 of the top 5 fastest growing restaurant chains in America, Chic-fil-A just opened it’s 2000th restaurant… that is not a typo. That is not an extra 0. TWO THOUSANDTH location. 

I’m sorry, maybe it’s just me (and I know there are chains with more locations in the world), but I sat amazed when I read this in a Business Insider article weeks ago! And I’m still talking about it so there! 

I mean how many reference points can you have for thinking about a scaled, legacy-oriented thing like that. 

And it’s not like someone said one day, ‘well this whole selling chicken thing is going well, how about we open another store and go on ahead and let the managers of that place just do whatever they see fit in their own eyes’

NOOOOO they said, ‘here’s what makes us great now go and do the same… cause we took the time to distill and bottle that sucker!’

Consider a more personal example: maybe you’re a high level leader or maybe you know a high level leader (that’s all of you!) we have a tremendous opportunity to make sure that the following conundrums recieve an excellent response…

What was that marketing method he or she used in a down market?

How was it that he/she filed that year during tax season?

What did he/she always do with that one difficult customer?

How did he/she deal with litigation in this one case?

That high level leader and, who knows, maybe the executive team who worked with that leader for years-they know the how and why behind their standard operating procedures but shoot, does anybody else outside their own brain space?!

Action:

Regardless of your position in the organization, take a step today and catalog, record, WRITE DOWN the why or how behind a few things (just 1 thing even!) that you do well within your scope of responsibilities… you have no idea; it could just be the thing that gets distilled and bottled to over 24,000 locations in 74 countries (Starbucks)…

 

Anger and The Filling Of the Holy Spirit

Anger and The Filling Of the Holy Spirit

I struggle with anger.

I have, I wonder sometimes, replaced one addiction for another. They say (recovery and rehab “experts”) that’s what happens anyway… you give up on one thing and you replace it with another intoxicating habit.

I gave up booze 3 years ago this August. And while I’m not convinced that I am an alcoholic (I’ve probably been drunk 2 or 3 times in my life), I do believe that I might be a user.

So I’ve given up alcohol and before that it was probably pornography, but what about today? Am I an anger addict? Do I need anger management?

Don’t get me wrong-I don’t run around punching holes in walls or throwing things (at least when people are looking or indoors), smashing phones, getting physical with people… I’m not verbally abusive. But I do get temperamental, impatient, aggressive, angry in a way when it comes to my kids in particular (having 5 under 5 might have been a little ambitious after all).

So maybe I’m my biggest critic… maybe I’m not an anger junky… but I struggle and I fall short… tremendously short sometimes. I feel weak in this area, incapable, insufficient… sometimes at a total and complete loss of how to get better.

And yet somehow, someway I’m meant to get in front of a bunch of people this weekend and preach on the following subject:

how the filling of the Holy Spirit makes you live an altogether different life. 

Basically it’s like this: on our own-our own power, will, ability, effort we will always and forever fall hopelessly short of living any kind of good, true or just life.

But the premise, LITERALLY OF THE WHOLE NEW TESTAMENT, is that though we can’t on our own, with the Holy Spirit (i.e. The power of the living God inside ourselves) we can.

See this is where it gets interesting. I am a fallen and broken man. And I’m supposed to get up in front of people and explain the truths about how the beginning of God’s power, through the Holy Spirit, meets precisely at our end.

Our end is where He’s beginning.

That’s actually the meaning of the verse, “my power is made perfect in your weakness”  (2 Corinthians 12:9) it means that his strength, his power, his ability is made complete, it comes to a whole when we can no longer ‘keep it together, get it going, try our best’

Well here is what, in part, I have decided to share with them.

I learned about what is really the word with a million meanings; it’s the Greek word used in Ephesians 5 for Paul’s instruction to be “filled with the Spirit.”

He’s just finished outlining all these behaviors and lifestyle choices (of his time-yes indeed still prevalent today) like greed and slanderous talk, promiscuous sex and getting wasted at parties (literally that’s what he says-told you not much has changed).

He says the old is gone (he’s talking to a whole bunch of folks who are saying yes to the Jesus way for the first time-no Judaism as a starting place-just from pagan to follower “overnight”) and with the new you can expect to look, smell, think differently.

And he says this can come only by means of the Holy Spirit. He, in fact, states it as a command, “be FILLED with the Holy Spirit.”

So what of this Greek word?

It’s the word plēroō

I’ll briefly unpack at least 3 different meanings of just his one word.

The first is like the filling of a sail thereby carrying the ship along. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit then and only then will we witness some movement.

That’s what we are after isn’t it? Enough of this definition of insanity! Enough of this stagnancy! Let us move from this place!

The second is like the drenching of a preserved meat with salt. It is a level of saturation that one just cannot shake. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit such that it permeates our every breath then and only then will we witness a different life.

A salty life, a life of flavor and preservation, a legacy that lasts… that’s what we’re after isn’t it?

The third meaning is about control. I have no metaphor to describe this last aspect but it is very simple:

You will produce that which consumes you. What you are filled with-that thing will control you.

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will be controlled by the Holy Spirit and my oh my what a thing will that be to behold…

That’s what I want. That’s what I want for me, for my family, for my faith community, for the worldwide body of believers.

That’s all I have for you this week. Though you will see that I have attached the 12 steps below. I just always come back to these. Because they are the mental/emotional prescription or doorway to work in conjunction with the spiritual one I’ve given above.

I’ve said it before but for those who want to work on whatever issue they battle in their life-social, emotional, chemical-it doesn’t matter; these steps if taken seriously, I think could usher in serious levels of health that you never thought imaginable.


CELEBRATE RECOVERY 12 STEPS AND BIBLICAL COMPARISONS

1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.

For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Romans 7:18 NIV

2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13 NIV

3. We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1 NIV

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. Lamentations 3:40 NIV

5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16a NIV

6 We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10 NIV

7 We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NIV

8 We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31 NIV

9 We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 NIV

10 We continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 1 Corinthians 10:12

11 We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and power to carry that out.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Colossians 3:16a NIV

12 Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore them gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1 NIV