greatness gives

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Not one for corny quotes, but WOW! That’s as real as it gets for someone at the start of anything! No matter the place you serve or work or spend your time, you have to make a constant effort to give of yourself to be great.

Without intentional contribution, thoughtful service and motivation to make yourself proud, you’re left producing mediocrity. I’ll go even further to say you’re left being just ‘good’. When I worked at Madison Square Garden, there was a sign in the middle of the corporate offices that read, “Good is the enemy of GREAT.” I’m sure you’ve heard it a ton. But it was different seeing it come to life… The few people that truly lived by that found themselves working at the world’s most famous arena, where most of Manhattan wants to spend their time. It’s a simple concept.

Giving of yourself takes time and effort. It takes more intentional thought – brainstorming of how to be more, come up with more, create more, serve more. And obviously you’ll have to dedicate more time to your project, team, family or work group when you’re constantly giving your best. But deep down, isn’t that what you want? To be the champ who never left anything to chance?

We all know someone who has had something huge just handed to them. Thank you Lord for blessing someone in that way. But for you and your situation, you put in sweat and hard work and overtime to get where you are – which might not be far in comparison to where you want to be!

I want to encourage you by saying greatness gives. Sometimes life takes and takes and takes and it feels like the rivers runnin’ dry. But let it play in your mind when you feel yourself getting tired. You can’t compete with the way someone else’s life works. But you can compete every single day with who you were yesterday. Do not be afraid to start, do not be afraid to give it your all. It seems difficult and overwhelming, but I think it’s secretly the vehicle that takes you to where you want to be.

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Four letters for all of us

Happy Valentine’s Day! Ready to talk about LOVE!?!? I usually don’t either, but you should stay for this one.

Inevitably, we’ve all thought about love in some way or another today. it’s valentines day and the NYC streets are painted with pink, men are dashing in and out of crowds with flowers spilling out of their hands and every restaurant has been booked for weeks. Today I found myself especially thinking about true love and they way people [attempt to] define it; how we give love, and how we receive.

I stand on the belief that love is an action. And I also happen to believe that the truest demonstration of love has already been done.

 Romans 5:6-8 When we were still powerless, Christ died for us. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, and for a good person one might possibly dare to die…But God demonstrates his own love for us: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

In contrast to that beautiful story of grace, we are simply humans. For us, love is a journey through everything we commit to – it’s a constant work. Love takes motivation, practice, conscious effort, constant alterations and changes, and we have to CHOOSE it some days when we don’t really feel like it. Love is constantly teaching us things – it’s a neverending lesson. Substitute the word ‘love’ for ‘life’. They have the same meaning, don’t they?

 We were created to love. Listen, you’re reading the words of a single someone who hates the color pink, painting nails and PDA. But deep down, when the all lights are shut off, when the music stops, when people scatter, when the glam is stripped away and when the heart is left bare in secret – there’s a special longing for love in each of our hearts. We were created for it.

In contrast to this truth, we find another – the things of this world we spend so much time chasing, investing SO much time and effort into, are going to come up short. Not exactly breaking news to you? We spend so much effort loving things instead of people – loving the ideas of possibility instead of absolutes.

The truth is, love isn’t about what we get out of life. True love is when we choose to selflessly serve and give. Love is the root of each good thing we offer to every person, situation and season.

Five examples of love I want the world to see:

  • Romans 8:38-39. Nothing we do can separate us from Him. I live by grace, and every day I wake up and embrace that, is the best day I’ve ever had.
  • 1 John 3:18. My every day goal.
  • John 15:19. This is my ultimate source of comfort. At the end of the day, where does my treasure truly lay?
  • James 1:12. The catalyst for life.
  • John 3:16. This is the ultimate foundation of my life and love that’s offered to us all!

A song to make you feel loved: You are for me – Kari Jobe