The Power of Common Ground

There is a “power” that multiplies whenever human beings collectively agree on anything, whether good or bad—it is the power to do the impossible!”

“Unity is strength…When there is teamwork and collaboration wonderful things can be achieved.” – Mattie J.T. Stepanek

Big, impossible, life-changing, world-altering, incredible purposes and missions cannot be accomplished alone.

There is a “power” that multiplies whenever human beings collectively agree on anything, whether good or bad—it is the power to do the impossible!

finding-common-groundOur team at Courage Worldwide has lived this truth firsthand. We all agree it is wrong for a child to be sold for sex. Because of that common belief and our emphasis on unity, we believe that we can do what some would call impossible. We believe we can build a home, a Courage House, for victims of sex trafficking in every city in the world that needs one. We believe we can engage a million people to build a thousand homes in a hundred cities and countries during the next ten years so that hundreds of thousands of children can be rescued, restored, and told the truth that they too were created on purpose, for a purpose.

These individuals that I have the honor of working with at Courage Worldwide are my battle buddies. They have my back and I have theirs. Without them I could not do what I am created to do. Together we are able to accomplish more, faster, than any of us could alone.

Small groups forge bonds that allow members to see in others what they cannot see in themselves.

When a group discovers that its collective identity and destiny is more powerful than their own individual ones, they will accomplish more than they dared to ask or imagine. They will literally change the world around them. While doing this work there is a bond that is forged among individuals who are pursing the impossible that is extremely strong and rarely broken.

We all need someone to believe in us, cheer for us, and kick us in the butt when we need it! The people I work and serve with see my potential much easier than I do. They encourage me when I get down. They pursue me when I doubt. They challenge me when I am tempted to give up, and they love me even when I fail.

The Fight of Your Life

“ Rise to the challenge of bringing your dreams to life! Do not be discouraged by resistance, be nourished by it. Success is the experience of rising to the level of your true greatness.” – Dr. Steve Maraboi

News flash. There is a war being fought over you and your destiny. Your purpose is to fulfill your unique destiny, and this will be the fight of your very life.

ForgiveOnce, I was put in a situation where it felt like I had been shot in the back. I felt deeply betrayed by someone I thought I could trust. In battle terms, I was wounded by friendly fire. I was shocked. How am I supposed to proceed? Just forgive and forget? How will I trust them ever again? Then these words came to my mind: If it is so hard for you to let people go, then be slower at letting them in.

I can do that? It isn’t mean?

Just because they ask you, that doesn’t mean you have to say yes.

Somewhere in my Southern and Christian upbringing, I thought you had to let everyone into your life. I thought being nice meant letting people run all over you. Now I realize that is not necessarily true. Trusting the wrong people can lead to “friendly fire.”

In the army, one fights friendly fire with a tactical pause and silence. We need to do the same. Fire away at the enemy but be silent when the shot comes from a friend.

You also need wisdom and discernment about adding people to your life to minimize these types of attacks. Before giving them access to your home, your heart, your family, and the destiny you are fulfilling, you must have evidence they are trustworthy. Do background checks; talk to those with whom they are in relationship with, with those they have worked for or with; don’t be afraid to do your “due diligence.” If the individual is offended, that should be considered a “red flag.” Keep these four simple things in mind before trusting someone, they may be a plant by the enemy to rob you of your destiny:

  • Go slow.
  • “Hear” from your Creator.
  • Gather evidence.
  • Guard your heart.

While we cannot judge a person’s heart, we can judge their “fruit.” We can pay attention to their actions, choices and words. So be careful; watch out for friendly fire. In the fight for your destiny, the purpose of friendly fire to stall your plans and make you quit. Don’t let it! Keep the big picture in mind. Remember the small battles are just a piece of the war. Allow the “friendly fire” to train you; see it as a part of your boot camp to prepare you to fulfill your destiny. When your training is complete, you will be a fierce warrior – bold, confident and dangerous! You will be a water walker, giant slayer and history maker.

You may not be a reader of the Bible, or familiar with Jesus, but I’m sure you have heard about Him. He kissed His betrayer and let him go, then continued with His mission. We’d be wise to do the same.

It Takes Trust

“Whether it’s a friendship or relationship, all bonds are built on trust.Without it, you have nothing.”- Unknown

When my son Austin, was in the fourth grade, I was asked to teach his Sunday school class. The lesson that day was on trusting our Creator. When the boys all arrived and were settled in their chairs, I asked them to come up and form a line in front of me. I asked Austin to take the last place. I asked the first boy to come stand about two feet in front of me, with his back to me. I then asked him to close his eyes and cross his hands over his chest.

design2-1024x1024Then I told him to “fall backwards.”

His eyes flew open and he turned around, shocked. I repeated the instructions, got him in place again, and said, “Now fall backwards.”

 He couldn’t do it.

None of the fifteen boys in the line could do it.

Then it was my son’s turn. Confidently, he stood in front of me, back turned, eyes closed, arms crossed, and with complete trust he fell back into my arms without hesitation. He did this because he knew me. He had a history and a relationship with me, thus he trusted me.

Trust cannot be rushed. It is evidence-based. It is established through experience. We learn to trust another person, or even a product, over time. Trust is birthed from a history of faithfulness. Trust is a peace that settles in our soul and originates from a deep, intimate relationship or knowledge of another. Trust is achieved slowly during the routine, daily dialogue of our lives. The more trust that has been established between two individuals, the more that other person is invited to speak into our lives and our circumstances.

On any given day human beings can fight fires, save lives, get an education, buy a home, get a job, build a building, paint a picture, invent a device, and have a baby all without divine intervention. We are wonderfully and fearfully made. But if we are to tap into the divine, then we are going to need to be trained in attempting things that look impossible and are certain to fail without help. That is why we need to go through boot camp: to learn to trust others, ourselves, and our Creator.

The Potential to Be

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

The U.S. Army provides their recruits with a new identity as they attend ten weeks of boot camp. The army knows it will be a while before their behavior mirrors this new identity. As a part of this process, the new recruits memorize and recite, out loud and often, their creed and core values to make the army’s belief system and values their own.

The Soldier’s Creed

I am an American Soldier.

I am a Warrior and a member of a team.

I serve the people of the United States and live the Army values.

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and

proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.

I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.

I am an expert and I am a professional.

I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies

of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.

I am an American Soldier.

The army knows what I’ve learned: if recruits believe they are U.S. Army soldiers, they will act like U.S. Army soldiers. In the beginning stages of my journey of purpose, just like our new army recruit, I had not yet embraced my true identity. I was more comfortable with who I was instead of who I was created to be. My past looked like it disqualified me from a future of divine purpose. I had no obvious talents. I talked too much, listened too little, spoke with a southern accent while frequently butchering the English language. I write like I talk, I hate to leave home, and I have no college degree. I’ve been divorced, had an affair, despise math, and am frightened to death to try anything I’m not good at. When I looked at me through my own eyes, I didn’t see much potential; my identity screamed mediocrity. Like our young army recruits I needed to go through boot camp if I was ever going to own my identity. I needed classroom instruction on “who I was,” and you may too.

I took a page from the Army and created my own creed, establishing who I believed I was created to be instead of defaulting to one I had become due to the negative tape in my head. I read my personal creed out loud and often daily for ten weeks! It was a part of my personal boot camp and the results were amazing. At first it took a great deal of courage and I felt a tad bit ridiculous talking to myself in the mirror UNTIL I began to come in agreement with that creed and become the person I believed I was created to be. It was amazing. I became who I said I was. I was finally having the courage to be me. What about you? Try writing your own creed and speaking it out loud to yourself for ten weeks. Let me know what happens.