How long will it last? - 2/26/2015

The other day I was listening to the morning news while getting ready for the routine run down I-10 to drop the kids off at school and then off to the office. There was the typical series of sensation that filled the first fifteen minutes of the hour; you know, local crime, global chaos… all the uplifting stuff.

After the first commercial break the anchor on the local channel started the annual coverage of Punxsutawney Phil for evidence of whether or not the winter will continue or be cut short. To be perfectly honest, since we don’t have many groundhogs in my neck of the woods, and mostly associate the two words ground and hog with a delicious breakfast meat, I didn’t pay much attention to coverage because mornings are pretty busy at our house and traffic can be a nightmare if you leave late.

As I was driving down the highway, I was listening to my children talk about what they were going to do that day. They were chatting about everything from a fourth grader fretting about a science test to a kindergartener without a care in the world, and suddenly seasons and their lengths meant a lot more to me. Earlier I had been watching that rodent on the news and had not given it much thought. But now I was quietly asking the Lord for time to slow down the season so it could last a little longer as I heard the harmonies of my childrens’ spirits collide with their competing voices. “Dad, can you turn up the radio. I love this song!” “No turn it down I have to study!” “Dad, I want two breakfast tacos, two biscuits, and four bowls of coco puffs! I am starving! I haven’t eaten since last night!!!” That came from the Kindergartner! How I will miss the drive to work when there are no longer those voices to fill it.

When it comes to seasons we really have no control over how long they will last. Their course is set in the Heavens by the sovereign hand of an Almighty God. When do not determine their beginning nor influence their end, but we are entirely responsible for what we do while they last. I may not be able to keep my children from growing up too fast, but I can certainly give them all of the support, encouragement and instruction possible while we share this time.

It goes without saying that there are many seasons in life. Ecclesiastes reminds us there is a time and a place for everything under the sun. Joy, sorrow, plenty, want, peace, war, living, and dying. They are all in there. What we must not do is cherish one and not embrace the other. We have to understand that there is an opportunity for us to learn something from every season in life, and trust God to give us the chance to appreciate it while it lasts.

If I dread the next season of life, I forfeit the opportunity to enjoy this one. If I grudgingly endure this one, I will probably enter the next one with a terrible attitude and not be prepared to maximize whatever opportunity it presents. Either way, for better or for worse, I have to remember those four words so often read over and seldom absorbed from the scriptures, “It came to pass.”

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The Power of Leverage - 2/17/2015

I am privileged to be able to have a cup of coffee and a conversation with my father on a regular basis. Many times these moments give me the opportunity to share the most entertaining events that my four children treat me to on a regular basis. Other times I give updates regarding matters taking place in an area of ministry, or concerns in my life that his years of wisdom and experience can certainly guide me through. I look forward to these unscheduled instances because I know they are precious and sacred times that shape my life in so many ways.

One particular conversation that shaped my life took place 15 years ago. I was just out of the University and anxious to begin taking a more active role at Cornerstone Church as a member of the ministry staff. I sat across from my father’s desk in his office after handing him a cup of coffee. He likes two creams and a sweetener…I like mine black. I believe the only thing that belongs in a good cup of coffee is your lips. As we visited my father made this statement; “If I could only combine the wisdom I have today with the energy I had in my 20’s.” Now, I am certain you have heard this same thought expressed at different times and in different ways, but it was how this statement struck me, and the reply I gave, that really changed my life from that moment forward.

“Leverage Me!” I said. “What?” Dad quickly replied. “Leverage me, let me be your energy and you be my wisdom. You know what I need to do, you know how to do it, and if you will tell me I will give it all of the effort and strength that I have.” It was just a brief exchange but it made an incredible impact on my future from that point forward.

Leverage is typically used as a financial term. It describes what happens when someone who needs additional resources to accomplish their goal enters an agreement with an individual or entity that has those resources and then is enhanced by the additional funds to grow and progress toward their given objective. In the exchange with my father, I was not going to gain financial capital, but mental, emotional, and spiritual capital. He was gaining the resource of my youth and I was gaining access to his experience. It’s what I describe as “Generational Leverage”, when individuals from two different generations strengthen each other with the strength, energy, encouragement and wisdom that they each need. The Bible speaks about a time when the Spirit of the Lord will send His messenger to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. (Malachi 4:6)

The consequence of these two generations not turning to one another is a curse. Look at the world around you and see how many problems are created because of the separation of fathers from their children. There is a great deal of emotional, financial, spiritual, and social turmoil that has been created because of a fatherless generation. It is time that one generation embraces another, and for the elders to share their wisdom with the younger, and in exchange for their willingness to put all of their effort forward, they each are working together toward the goal of sharing the reality and truth of God’s Word and His great love for a lost a dying world.

This is why the mission statement of John Hagee Ministries was expanded years ago. “It has always been to take All of the Gospel to All of the World.” Now with two generations working together we have leveraged that statement to say, “All of the Gospel to All of the World and Every Generation.”

I recently discovered a great resource for generational leverage available to you on a daily basis. It is the newly launched website It is a place where generations of Christ’s followers can come and receive resources that they need in order to gain strength to accomplish the great goal of establishing “His Kingdom” rather than trying to building their own. The vision of the founder James Robinson is to bring together “tributaries of wisdom”, where those who are concerned about the direction of this nation can “gather for news, wisdom and inspiration.”

I encourage you to take a moment and check out this exciting new resource. I also want you to consider how you can create some generational leverage of your own. Maybe you can share your experience with those who could use a word of wisdom, or maybe you can lend a hand to those who need a little extra strength. Either way the more we work together the less our lives will fall apart.

Thank you for spending a moment with Matt

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