Champion Life Church’s Team Cadence

March 3, 2011

We are 45 days away from launch! Things are picking up and getting really exciting! We have been having some great meetings and our team is growing. This past week Pastor Larry taught on, Champion Life Church’s Team Cadence. The Cadence is something we came up with in one of our leadership meetings. We want the Cadence to be something that is ingrained in the hearts of the people of our church. You can read the list below and listen to Pastor Larry teach on each principle by listening to the podcast here!

Remember, we are launching on Sunday, April 17th at 10:30 a.m. at Black Hawk High School! Spread the word! We are honored to have you journey with us!

We love and appreciate you!

-The Champion Life Church Staff

A championship team can only accomplish the plan and purpose of God when it’s in step with the TEAM CADENCE. Champion Life Church has 10 awesome leadership nuggets to make a life-changing impact.

SERVANT-LEADERSHIP >>>like JESUS
Serving others never fails = Love speaks!

CELEBRATE and CHAMPION EVERYONE  >>>like the STEELERS
Make people feel like a Superbowl M.V.P.

THE VISION, BABY! >>>like COKE-COLA

Be in the Moment, but never lose sight of the Big Picture.

TEAM DREAM : WE NOT ME >>>like SOUTHWEST
Keep preparing, Keep learning, Keep asking, and Keep helping us improve.
BE SMILEY and FUN, YET GET’’ER DONE >>>like EAT-n-PARK
Do whatever it takes quality service.
CONTRIBUTORS OVER CONSUMERS >>>like NIKE
Take pride, initiative and ownership in your area

W.I.N. (WHAT’S IMPORTANT NOW) >>>like RUTH’S CHRIS STEAKHOUSE
First class over-the-top excellence.

INTENTIONAL HOSPITALITY >>>like DISNEY
Act on and for the best interests of the person.
LIVE TO GIVE >>>like RED CROSS
Generosity and Appreciation wins every time.

YOU MATTER ; YOU ARE VALUABLE >>>like FACEBOOK
No job is too small or insignificant.


There is No Plan B

February 8, 2011


“Leaders are dealers in hope.” -Napoleon

Human nature always tries to have a back-up plan in case our original plan doesn’t work out. In the Kingdom of God, God never has a back up plan! God’s plan for redemption was to send Jesus. John 3:16 says, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

No Plan “B” needed. There was never any back up plan in God’s mind.

II Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God’s purpose has not changed; He wants all mankind to win.

God’s plan is for the Church and His children to fulfill its destiny in our generation. We believe the Church is the Hope of the world. We also believe that those who are followers of Jesus Christ, sons and daughters of God, are here to share the plan of redemption and share the good news.

Champion Life Church’s purpose is to provide hope to people so they know they are winners and champions in God’s eyes. Our mission is to make victorious disciples of Christ who influence change with the love of God in our world.

As we are preparing to launch Champion Life Church on April 17, 2011, we are excited about the mission God has given us and to do our part in Beaver County. We see ourselves as “dealers of hope” to encourage individuals that with God all things are possible.

Remember, You are a winner and special to God. You are part of God’s plan. Even if you have gone off track or missed a step, God’s plan for you remains the same. Just ask God for help, get back on track, and know this, God doesn’t have a back up plan. ~Larry


The Assignment

January 12, 2011

Do you remember getting homework assignments when you were in school? We were all given assignments, some we liked, some we didn’t like, and some we just did not care about. However, every assignment you were given served the purpose of getting you to your graduation day.

Our walk with God is not much different. God’s given everyone an assignment.

The greatest part is that your assignment right now is ultimately connected to your destiny.

We can see this through Jesus’s life:

Jesus had an assignment. In Matthew 9:35 it says, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” That was part of his assignment and destiny. His assignment enabled Him to spread the good news and provide hope for the world.

Kim and I have a new have a new assignment! We are honored that God is calling us to start Champion Life Church in 2011. We have had several assignments before this that got us to this one.

Champion Life Church has an assignment. Champion Life Church’s mission is to make victorious disciples of Jesus Christ who influence change with the Love of God in our world.

The purpose of Champion Life Church is to be a life-giving, non-denominational church (affiliated with the Association of Related Churches) that is casual, fun, and passionate, both in mission and in worship. Champion Life Church will be a Family Centered and relationally authentic church with first class youth and children’s environments. We will share the message of the love and goodness of God and His Word to live the victorious, spirit-led, faith-filled life with a focus on serving our community.

We are expected to fulfill our homework assignment and give God all the glory.

You have an assignment. Whatever your assignment is right now, whether you like it, hate it, or wish you had a different one, recognize that this assignment is connected to your destiny, mission, and purpose. Be faithful. Go after it. Complete the assignment. In time, God will bring you new assignments, and He will take you places you’ve never dreamed of.

Our prayer for you in 2011 is that you’ll complete and fulfill the assignment God’s give you!

-Larry and Kim


IMAGINE IF…The Dream Becomes Reality!

October 26, 2010

Tuesday night is usually “Family Night” in the Bettencourt home. We have dinner with our 4 girls, turn off the TV, cell phones and the computers and just hangout and play a game. Last night we played the IMAGINE IF game and had lots of fun.

Have you ever imagined running a marathon? Well it starts with talking a walk around the park and setting a goal to run a 5K race. Have you ever imagined shedding 10 pounds? Well it starts with simple decisions to cut back on 100 calories a day. Whatever you can imagine, you can do.

Have you ever imagined finding a place that loves and accepts you for who you are, not for what you do or have done? Well, we have not only imagined it, but we will purpose to create an environment where God’s grace and love will overwhelm you.  We wholeheartedly believe that “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and there is nothing you have done to make God love you less.”

Over 18 months ago, Kim and I started sensing the Call of the Lord to start a church in Chippewa Township of Beaver Falls, PA. This dream of planting a church and doing our part to reach and love people is now a reality. In about 6 months, on April 17, 2011, “the dream becomes reality.”

Our hope and desire is that CHAMPION LIFE CHURCH will fulfill its part along with other wonderful churches in our area to “tell the GOOD NEWS that God so loves the world and He sent Jesus Christ, His Son to be our Savior.” Another desire is that we want to see that others believe that their dream can become a reality, also.

If you are interested in finding more out about the vision of Champion Life Church, our launch team gatherings, our informational meetings times and dates, please email us at LB.CHAMPIONLIFE@GMAIL.COM or call the office at 724-473-2213. We would be so glad to serve you in any way.

Hey, don’t ever forget that God created you to love you and desires that you would believe that you are destined to win!                                                              ~Larry and Kim Bettencourt, lead pastors

 


ANNOUNCING CHAMPION LIFE CHURCH

October 12, 2010

"CLC logo"

NEWS FROM THE BETTENCOURT’S! Kim and I have an exciting announcement to share with you our family and friends.

THE CALL! God has been speaking to our hearts for over a year that He has been preparing us for the next phase of the call of God on our lives. With much prayer, counsel from my Pastor, the Finishline Ministry director’s board, and wisdom from our mentors, we are answering The Call of God to plant / pioneer a church. We have been approved and invited to become members of the ARC, Association of Related Churches, a national thriving church planters organization. The ARC network has a great record planting great churches mainly due to their passion to reach the lost and the equipping process of thorough training and a coaching network.

24 YEARS AGO! In 1986, I never would have imagined that when I came from New Orleans, LA to Beaver Falls, PA to play football and attend Geneva College as an eighteen year-old young man that this was a part of the destined plan that God had for me: to marry my lovely wife, Kim; have 4 beautiful daughters; serve in ministry in Western PA; and now, to start a church in Beaver Falls, PA (Chippewa Twp.). The name of the church is “Champion Life Church.” Our launch date will be in April 2011. How interesting is this, my first youth ministry volunteer position, as a college freshman, was working with Young Life at Blackhawk High School in Chippewa Twp.; and now by the grace of God we will see this church launched to touch lives where I had my start in ministry. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, it says it all, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for good not bad, a hope and a future.” Wow, only our good God could destine this!

PRAYER COVER! Pray for us as we are stepping into this Call and work that is in front of us, as we know God’s grace will sustain us, as we prepare to see the Kingdom of God expand. We will be updating you on our timeline and news as we move forward. Hey, if you have any questions you are welcome to contact us. We love you so much.  ~Larry and Kim

 


SERVE

July 2, 2010

To serve is to live. (Frances Hesselbein)

Matthew 6:33 (nlt) “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

Here’s a life changing equation: Servant leadership = Putting others first.

The key to a successful life is to serve one another. It’s the key to living a satisfied full life. When you make the conscious daily lifestyle decision to serve others, you are allowing the love of God to spread to the world. We add a little JOY to the world.

I remember learning from my youth pastor as a teenage many moons ago this simple expression that has stuck with me. The way to have J.O.Y. in your life is by living these three simple values: J=Jesus first, O=Others second, and Y=Yourself last.

It’s the little things we do that make a huge difference that can brighten up someone’s day. Hey, wash the dishes for you spouse, open the door for someone, ask someone how’s their day and listen, catch your kids doing something right and tell them, call a family member just to check in, and the ideas go on and on.

Go make a difference in someone’s life today- serve them!

To serve is to live and to live is to serve! -Larry


ETERNAL HEALTH CARE

March 27, 2010

ETERNAL HEALTH CARE YOU CAN NOT AFFORD TO BE WITHOUT


With all the recent talk of the newly forced government run health care, it has made me focus more on GOD CARE. God’s eternal care for you and me. Life has enough thrown at us in our daily responsibilities that it can be overwhelming to add one more care at us. The cares of this world can tempt us to remove our eyes off of the One, who CARES for you.  1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He CARES about you.”

Whatever may be occupying your mind that causes you to carry these cares of your past, the future, your relationships, the bills to pay, the kids, the promotion, etc., you must remember: Jesus CARES for you!

Right now, Jesus cares about what you are going through. Jesus did not abandon Peter in the water, the Samaritan lady at the well, the outcasted lepers, the woman caught in adultery who was thrown at His feet, or YOU! You are enrolled in the heavenly “health care.”

Even if others or family forsake or forget me, The Lord will care for me and take me in. (Psalm 27:10)

Hey, it’s GOD CARE: God cares about what you care about! `Larry

PS- Eternal Health Care involves Eternal Heart Care which is knowing Jesus! (Romans 10:9-10)


KINGDOM DEPOSITS

November 13, 2009

Hands lifted upKingdom deposits make eternal investments.

Recently, I had a banking conversation with my daughter Bethany. We talked about making deposits into her account that will service her in the future. I was reminded that taking care of God’s kingdom is making life deposits into others lives. What we do now, definitely impacts the future!

What we do and what we say influences the kingdom of God. By showing the same love to those around you that God has shown and given you, you are making kingdom deposits. Never underestimate the act of a simple, loving decision. Simply lending a helping hand, speaking kindly to a sales attendant, or sharing your faith and experience of God’s love and grace to a coworker all makes a difference.

Live life on purpose.

In Matthew 6:33 (GWT), the Word says, “But first, be concerned about His kingdom and what has His approval. Then all these things will be provided for you.”

Let’s live kingdom minded, making deposits. Daily kingdom deposits make eternal investments.

-       Larry


Africa Ministry Highlights

October 23, 2009

Crusade In Dungumvura, Zimbabwe

Kim and I were honored to be able to spend eighteen days in Africa during October 2009. It was a great and awesome time; however, we did miss our four daughters. Yet, making the eternal investments in the people of Africa was well worth it. The privilege of ministering God’s love and bringing His good news to people, some who have never heard the gospel, can never be replaced.


Mutare, Zimbabwe

We went to Mutare, Zimbabwe, into the Dungumvura Township, to be a part of Steve Olivier’s “Life World Outreach” crusade. Each day, I ministered to Steve’s Zimbabwe staff in devotions. During a three-day pastors leadership conference, we taught pastors simple leadership truths and about who they are in Christ. 

I had the wonderful privilege of preaching two nights at the six-day crusade. There was an estimated four to five thousand people in attendance. Thousands of people gave their heart to Jesus! Hundreds of people were healed by the power of God. It was amazing to see these precious people hungering for the things of God.

Lusaka, Zambia

DSCN1308

In Lusaka, Zambia, at Miracle Life Family Church, with Pastor Walker and Haley Schurz, we were able to teach church leadership to the pastoral staff. We also taught a youth leadership session and preached to the church’s youth group.

On the third part of our trip, we got to enjoy the beautiful country of South Africa. We went to Pilanesberg National Game Resort Park in South Africa, where we took a safari. We enjoyed two days of driving through the reserve to look at God’s wonderful creations and the beautiful scenery of Africa. We even saw two lions eating a hippopotamus!

For more photos of our amazing trip, check out my Facebook page by clicking here.


FOR YOU

September 21, 2009

Pic-City-FOR YOU“If God is FOR YOU who can be against you?” (Romans 8:31)

We all need support. It’s encouraging to know that we have friends that will say, “Hey I’ll be right here FOR YOU if you need me.”  Everyone needs that type of friendship. However, you may feel sometimes that you’re all alone.

The truth is, “No matter what, God is FOR YOU even if you can’t find anyone who is.”

Know that God is FOR YOU, not based on your goodness, but His.

“For I know the plans I have FOR YOU,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

As important as it is to know that God is FOR YOU, it is equally important to realize that He has made YOU FOR greatness.

God has called you to make a difference. So walk in the assurance today that if God is FOR YOU, who can be against you, because He has ordained YOU FOR His purposes!     ~ Larry


AFRICA HERE WE COME !

August 28, 2009

SteveOliverCrusadeKim and I are very excited to share with you about the incredible mission we will be taking part of in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Africa. On September 22, we depart to serve and minister the good news of the saving truth of Jesus Christ and Biblical leadership principles.  We are so honored to goto Africa!

First, we go to Lusaka, Zambia, to minister with Pastor Walker and Haley Shurz of Miracle Life Family Church (www.africaoutreach.net ). This church is the largest church in the nation of Zambia, with well over 3,000 in weekend attendance. We will teach leadership to their church staff, have a youth leadership seminar for the youth leaders, and preach to the church’s youth group.

Second, we will go and meet with missionaries, Steve and Dee Olivier of Life World Outreach (www.LifeWorldOutreach.com) that holds outdoor field crusades in Zimbabwe. I will assist Steve with a crusade in the Eastern region of Zimbabwe in the city of Mutare. I will preach a few nights of the 6-day crusade and we will also host a 3-day pastor and church leaders training conference.

We will be making an eternal impact and eternal investment in the lives of the precious people of Africa. We ask you to support us in two ways: first, and most importantly, in prayer and second, in finances. Prayerfully consider if you would like to give; and if you are unable to give at this time, please know we equally value your prayers.

If you feel led, please make out your check to: Finishline Ministry. In the memo of the check write: AFRICA. All donations are tax deductable. Mail to:
FinishLine Ministries
2090 Route 68 W
Zelienople, PA 16063

We are grateful for your partnership and prayers.    - Larry


TIME OUT TO TUNE IN

August 21, 2009

Call a TIME-OUT in order to TUNE IN!

Life is moving at craziness TimeOutspeed. It’s important to slow down. You must slow down on purpose. Regularly, what I do is call a “Time-Out Day.” REST TO REFRESH: A day to turn off the phone, don’t check email, turn off all the media; I just enjoy my family and enjoy my God. I may read or nap or go on a lunch-date with Kim. This helps me “tune in” to the important priorities and values of my life.

Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington DC, says, “When your routine, becomes routine, you need a change to your routine.”

Be careful of being blindsided by the “rush of routine.”  Upon recognizing that life is getting too routine or you have been getting in a rut, just go ahead and call “Time-out!”

In a sports game, coaches call time-outs for a few reasons: A) Sometimes, they just need to slow the game down so everyone can gain focus and composure. B) Sometimes, a time-out is called strategically, to plan a play. C) Other times, a coach calls a time-out and just gives an encouraging pep-talk.

In Psalm 46:10a (NIV) we read, “Be still and know that I am God.”

It’s in those times of stillness, when we carve out and stop the pace of life, that we are able to really hear, apart from all the noise and clutter around us, how much God is for us. We can hear the Spirit’s gentle whisper saying, “It’s going to be all right.”

Do you need to call a time-out in order to tune in today? Is it just to slow the pace of life down? Or to sit down and think about you’re next steps? Or is it just to hear an encouraging word or whisper from the Lord saying how much He loves you and how much He is for you? Hey, guess what, call that “TIME OUT” and win!   -Larry


MASTERPIECE

July 3, 2009

CreationYOU ARE GOD’S MASTERPIECE!

Over the years, each of my girls have drawn and/or colored a picture of “Daddy and me”. I have simply cherished those art renditions by my children. They have become something special that I look at from time to time.

In Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) says, “For we are God’s MASTERPIECE. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

God highly values you. In God’s perspective, you are that valuable masterpiece, created and ordained by Him. It’s like when you go to the art museum to look at beautiful paintings and sculptures created by talented or historic artists. You admire their works and their creations. Well, our God looks at His work, you, with the same purpose.

Likewise, as Eph. 2:10 says, God values us as his rare, special, prized, invaluable, incalculable, cherished work of His genius. And our Loving Father doesn’t make mistakes.

“The Master always leaves His imprint on His creation.”

God has placed His imprint on our heart and His signature on our lives.  Let us rise to a higher standard in our belief in how much God loves, values and cherishes us.

Your value to God is not based on what you do or don’t do for God, but on who you are – His MASTERPIECE.    

~Larry


NOTHING

June 11, 2009

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Romans 8:38-39 (msg) 

“None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that NOTHING—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”

You need to be convinced that there is nothing in your past, present or even your future that can hinder God’s plan for your life and His continual love for you.

Nothing means nothing!

Even thinkable or the unthinkable acts could never hinder the embrace of God. We must never underestimate the power of love. Not only the love that God has shown to us, but the compassion and love that we can show to one another. When we show and share God’s love, it can make an everlasting impact on another’s life.

I heard Pastor Allen Speegle say, “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and there is nothing that you have done to make God love you less.”

The reality of this truth can set you free. If God doesn’t allow “nothing” to hinder his act of loving kindness toward us, lets not allow “nothing” to hinder us from serving him to our full potential. Put it Behind Ya: keep advancing!     ~Larry


FRESH START

May 28, 2009

iStock_DiveInIn Psalm 51:10 (The Message) it says, “God, make a fresh start in me, 
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.”

The great thing about our loving Father and His abundant grace for us is God gives us a FRESH START. As a matter of fact, every morning reminds us of a fresh start and it is renewed to us day by day (Lamentations 3).

Everyone likes it fresh. Subway says, “Eat Fresh!” I personally like fresh-baked bread. Fresh clean-smelling towels. Fresh-cut flowers.  Fresh-grown vegetables. Fresh ocean breezes. God is into giving us a fresh start. In Psalm 51, David has just been dealing with guilt. He comes to understand the grace of God as he recognizes that God allows him to make a fresh start. David also realizes that God can create a “Genesis,” a new beginning from the pain and from the mistakes of his life.

God is into do-overs. God gives mulligans. God gives second, third, and fourth chances… No matter what your day, your week, your month, or your year has been like just remember that you can “Put It Behind Ya.”

(Check out Larry’s new book “Put It Behind Ya.”)

Don’t always be focused on changing. But focus on improving.”

When you focus on changing it leads to frustration. When you focus on a consistent daily experience and encounter with God, you will end up improving your life! Taking one day at a time allows you to see God’s grace to erase the past and enjoy the present.”

Psalm 51:12 reveals how God will give you “fresh wind” for you sails. Keep sailing for a fresh start.

-Larry


FILTER

April 24, 2009

abstract water worldProverbs 18:21 (The Message) says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.” 

We need a good filter! For our mind to function properly, it’s vital to filter our words before we speak. O, how I wish I would always think before I speak! We do not want to be one of those people who speak their minds whenever and wherever.

Our words can be “damaging” or “developmental”! Lifeless words damage others and yourself. Words that add value “develop” our purpose and destiny.

When water comes out of the faucet, it may taste fine, but when it is filtered it becomes pure. The more we filter our thoughts and our words before we speak, the purer they will become. Pure words produce positive life.

We want to filter and think before we speak, so that we add value! We do not want to cause hurt or pain unintentionally or hastily by speaking words without recognizing the power of their influence. Choose today to speak love!       -Larry 


PUT IT BEHIND YA

April 7, 2009

Put Behind Ya coverGod sees you as victorious–as a winner and a champion. However, circumstances in life don’t always make us feel that way.

Life is not fair. It is filled with ups and downs, wins and losses, good and bad. Yet in these life experiences, God can mold you and prepare you to be a vital help to others. You cannot erase the past, but you can PUT IT BEHIND YA.

In my new book, I share three easy steps to getting beyond your mistakes and moving forward. These steps are

1.     Endure it…

2.     Survive it…

3.     Go on!

God’s Word says, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

In Put It Behind Ya, I show how the principles and illustrations of God’s love and grace will help any person no matter what season of life your in. Remember, Jesus Loves You!

To purchase a copy of Put It Behind Ya click here.

 


GOT INFORMATION ?

March 19, 2009

yelling1Do you ever feel that there is so much information that you can’t keep up with everything going on? The information overload syndrome. 

Too many times, I have found my time with God to be focused on getting information and putting Bible facts in my head as opposed to simply spending time in intimacy with God, in order to have my heart filled with His love and His grace.

At times, Kim and I have gone out on a dinner date and I find myself filling her with facts instead of just sitting there listening, enjoying her presence.

Do you find yourself spending time with God for knowledge’s sake verses spending time with God simply for intimacy? I find that if I center my time on information and not intimacy, I will limit God’s voice speaking into my life.

 I’m learning the truth of Psalms 46:10 which says, “ Be still and know that I am God…”

I have found that it is not so much reading my Bible or going through my prayer list that brings me into greater intimacy. My best times with God are sitting on my bench in the morning or taking a walk with Him. It’s times of just being quiet and knowing His voice and how much He loves me. I believe God wants us to be transformed in His presence.

 My thought is that instead of spending time with God on a transactional basis, where I give something to God and God gives something to me, I’m preferring to spend time with God on a transformational basis where His love transforms me into His image and His power.      -Larry 


REBOOT

February 20, 2009

restart-screen1You’re sitting at your desk, looking at your computer screen, and trying to view a news clip or movie preview. After what seems like hours of waiting, it suddenly dawns on you that maybe, just maybe, there are too many applications open. There are so many applications open that everything is simply overloaded. Maybe, it’s time to reboot.

Are you “ON” all the time? Are you always available 24/7? Do you always say, “Yes”? Sometimes we get so busy building “OUR” kingdom and forget its all for “HIS” kingdom.  We are here on this earth to build the kingdom of God. Amazingly, we are “HEIRS” to the Kingdom of God! 

 

What you maintain in your own ability, you have to sustain in your own ability. 

 

Take time to “REBOOT.”  When you reboot you restart: restarting is refreshing.  God wants you refreshed.  Live in grace in the ability of God.  Relying on my ability cause me to end up short. By tapping into His grace / ablity, you will accomplish more than you can imagine.

Lamentations 3:22-23 The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

Sometimes, we need to interrupt our “routines” in order to gain proper perspective.  Sleep in. Take a nature walk.  Do a lunch-date with your spouse instead with the work gang. Pick your son or daughter early from school and go get some ice cream. Read something just for fun and not information. Take a new route. Mundane routines lead to mundane lives.

Today is a new day, go and enjoy it!  - Larry 


ASSUMPTIONS

January 28, 2009

assumptionLife happens! Time flies bye.  I have just finished a two-year master’s in organizational leadership program.  In my view the time went fast.  On the other hand, in the view of my wife, Kim and daughters it was a long time with lots of hours of reading and writing.  I made the assumption that our views of time were the same.  Basically, an assumption is  “something taken for granted.”

It gets so easy to make assumptions about the most important people in our lives.  No one likes to be taken for granted.  Usually you do not take others for grated on purpose, you just get so caught up in “eating the elephant” that you end up with your eyes on the less important. 

 “Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” Henry Winkler

Two helpful tips to fill the holes assumptions create:

  1. Showing “Appreciation” and saying “Thank You.”
  2. Knowing when to take the time to do what matters most- “Communicate and Listen.”

(To my wife: Kimmie, I say, THANK YOU for your unselfish, faithful, caring, committed heart… I Love You.)

So be reminded, become a bit more intentional about the value of relationships.  “No one likes to be an assumption.”  

 

What would you say is a tip to fill the holes that assumptions create? 


Adding Value

January 14, 2009

value-added

Life is ADDING VALUE TO OTHERS. 

Never take something out of someone, put something IN them.

What kinds words or nice action can you do today that will brighten the day for another? Amazingly, it is the simple words that are filled with love that can make the biggest differences in someone world. Stop and think about the people, who took time to listen, encourage, and befriend you.  I’m so thankful for what has been deposited in me because of the investments of others.

Become that person that others want to “be with you” versus “be away from you.”

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.  –Winston Churchill

Expand your circle of love.  God’s love never fails… -Larry


EPCOT & EXCELLENCE

December 27, 2008

epcot-disneyJust recently, my daughter Anna and I were in Disney’s EPCOT.  I love Disney.  My family and I have had to joy of going to Disney numerous times.  It’s awesome because my N’Awlins childhood friend/brother, Joe Saragusa’s is a pastor of an awesome church in Celebration, FL (free housing), and his wife; Carol works at Disney (free tickets).  Epcot decorated for Christmas, the warm Florida night air, the magical closing fireworks, and being with Anna and the Sargusa’s made for an awesome evening.

At Disney, you always are taken back by the care and quality of the parks attention to detail to provide you with the ultimate experience.  It’s the way they go about things.  Disney never closes… they just let you know the park is open to this _x_ time. 

What separates Disney from the rest of the parks in the world is its EXCELLENCE.  Excellence in appearance, service, and experience. Their approach to making you feel valuable and important is top notch.  As a matter of fact, our Father God is more than that. God is a God of excellence and so are you to God.  Genesis 1:31, after God made man, he stopped and looked over His most precious creation and said, “It is VERY good.”  You matter to God.

Look an excellence from another view.  In 1 Corinthians 12:31 “And now I will show you the most excellent way.”   

Just before this verse, it tells us about the gifts, talents, and callings we have for the Kingdom of God, however without love our service ends up being in vain. Love must come before your gifting. Try being excellent in the way you love people. 

Your calling is limited without LOVE. 

Excellence is a habit! It’s intentional. Loving others as the way that God loves and sees them is a habit. It’s intentional. Take excellence a step further by loving people and seeing people the way our Father God loves and sees you.

  • See people’s HEART not just their habits.
  • See people’s DESTINY not just their deficits.
  • See people’s POTENTIAL not just their problems.
  • See what people CAN DO not just what they can’t do.

Just think if you intentionally onetime each week for one year make a decision to show love to someone, you will have made a difference in lives of over 50 people- this is a New Year resolution.  Become excellent in the way you love.  By this you will model to others a more excellent way.  Live strong by loving strong!  -Larry


Merry Christmas- The Family Pic

December 24, 2008

bettencourt-card


Café Au Lait and Beignets

December 3, 2008

In New Orleans, the famous Café Du Monde coffee and Beignets (French donut) Stand is a 365 day/year-24 hour/day operation.  The Café Au Lait coffee is the best in the world.  I love that place and have most likely eaten 1,000’s of those beignets over the course of my life.

Just recently, I was back home visiting family, speaking at a church, and attending the Monday night Saints football.  A high priority stop I had planned was to go to Café Du Monde to live it up and scarf down beignets (You never count calories while visiting N’Awlins).  You know it’s good when your finished and you have the evidence of powdered sugar all over your face and shirt. And then, I heard my mother’s voice inside of me saying, “A little sugar makes things a whole lot sweeter.”

That’s Truth!   The world and those we come into contact with everyday need “just a little bit of sugar.”  KINDNESS makes everything a lot sweeter.  If you visit Café Du Monde and get an order of beignets, they will be covered with powdered sugar- it’s the magic.  It gets everywhere and everywhere; and you will leave with a remembered experience. So, I ask, what’s sprinkling from your life? Will your time with others be a “remembered experience” or a “regretful experience?”

Blaise Pascal said, “Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” So when you come into contact with someone, just remember to sprinkle some kindness on him or her. This endeavor can be a 365 day/year-24 hour/day moment.

·      You’ll never realize the impact of a smile.

·      You’ll never realize the impact of a ‘thank you.’

·      You’ll never realize the impact of a ‘How are you today’ and really listen.

·      You’ll never realize the impact of a “God Bless You!”

Making a difference occurs one KIND act at a time.  What you sow, you will reap. As agents of God’s love- Let’s shower others with some sugar (LOVE)!  – larry


CHASING???

November 19, 2008

bull_runWhat are you chasing? Or more reality, what’s chasing you? Ever feel like the guy in this picture?  Running so fast from it all, you hope you just make it.  This is an annual event in Spain called the “Running of the Bulls.”  Seems fun? Seems stupid to me?    

Chasing after what?  Deadlines? Undone assignments? Bills? You name it, whatever?  “Life happens fast.” Instead of being lead by the Spirit, we are lead by the urgent or need to accomplish or please.  Our minds get racing and chasing. What matters most is chasing after the heart of the Father!

A while back, I was playing some game with my two of my little daughters.  At least three times, Rebekah had to say, “Dad, it is your turn.”  Finally, she got my upset, and said, “Hey, would you PAY ATTENTION.”  Ouch! Rebuked by a 6 year old.  I wish I could have blamed it on my A.D.D., if I had it (many say I do).  Needless to say, that moment woke me up to begin to consciously S-L-O-W down.  What’s the hurry?  So go ahead and take some time today and schedule what I call- “Making Difference Time.”  Go and have coffee with your spouse.  Take a walk.  Spend a day with your parents. Call an older, wiser, lonely friend.  Play a board game.  Oh, all of this is better, if you can turn off the cell phone and computer.

If I’m not careful to “BE” fully aware of my life and day, I can get so caught up chasing after whatever or the whatever is chasing after me, that I miss the significance of the new day that God has given to me. We can get so chasing after good stuff: doing for God, serving at the church/community, school stuff, etc.  However, I’m growing intentionally to enjoy just BEING in the moment wherever I am.  It is OK and legal just to “chill” from it all.  We live in this technologically advanced, cool world, but if we are not careful, we can get caught up in the “high tech and low touch” syndrome and miss moments from His presence and relationship.  STOP DOING AND JUST BE!   -Larry


BIG!!!

November 14, 2008

ngc602_hst_c7201GOD IS BIG! And yet, our Father God chooses to live IN YOU. This is an amazing picture taken from the Hubble Space Telescope. God made that, and that’s sweet. You and I are His # 1 creation and the # 1 desire of His heart.  What we deem is a “big” thing in our eyes is very minute in God’s eyes. 

Luke 12:7 says, “The very hairs on your head (and legs!!!) are ALL numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than…________________________ (just fill in the blank).”

How many times do you get so focused on the ______X_____? 

It is a matter of focus and what are we beholding.  Start beholding your Jesus.  God is big, yet He is concerned about every detail of your life.  It’s a huge start to believe the LOVE that God has for you.  The more you recognize that God is way bigger than your faults, fears, failures, and future; you can begin to enjoy the life God intends for you to live.  

Stop magnifying the situation or issue, and start magnifying God.  You may recall having a magnifying glass as a kid (i sure did kill alot of ants…), well now you have a “Magnifying Glass” that is called the WORD OF GOD.  Get your eyes in the Word and your head up on the “awesomeness” of God; and you will have a whole new perspective. (Psalm 34:3 “Come magnify the Lord with me.”)

Sure, you the thing you are going through is real, yet do not allow it to capture your faith and allow it the become bigger than God’s plan and purpose for your day.  GOD IS THE BIGGEST!!! -larry


SPEED RACER.

October 30, 2008

“Go Speed Racer, Go Speed Racer, Go Speed Racer go….”  Growing up (like I have finished), the Speed Racer cartoon was my favorite.  Wow, I would watch every episode. The excitement of Speed, Racer X, Sparky, the monkey, etc. was for me adventure in everyday.  That’s what I call the simple life: TV in the 70′s.   

As I recall while reflecting upon my life, I acquired an “addiction to speed.” By speed, I mean the rate at which I fly and move through life; not “speed” like the drug.  But honestly, I have acted so impatiently at times, it may have appeared that I  was drugged up.  I have missed so many opportunities and memories because I was there, but not there.  All I wanted to do is finish my list and get to the next event.  I used to hurry to do nothing.  As the saying goes, “Speed kills.”  Speed sure can kill times with God, times with love ones, and times of being used by the Holy Spirit. 

By growth and becoming fully present, I have learned (and still am learning) to SLOW DOWN and obey the speed limits- the God set ones, the natural ones, and the traffic ones (well, that’s an area of struggle).  

ENJOY THE JOURNEY!!! This has been a personal motto of mine for over 5 years.  I have learned to call TIME OUT and hit PAUSE.  Making this principle a part of my life, I have enjoyed more times with my wife; enjoyed more of my girl’s games and school concerts; enjoyed bed time prayers, enjoyed more sunrises; and enjoyed more of our immediate family’s soup picnics. 

So it is time to HURRY UP and stop doing some things.  Engage in what counts!  3 reminders: Enjoy Family, Enjoy Friends, and Enjoy the Walk of Faith. – Larry

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”   It’s a “Walk of Faith.”  


TWISTER!

October 22, 2008

TWISTER! You played the Twister board game before?  Just a few days ago I was playing Twister with my two little daughters, 8 and 10 (my two teenaged girls no longer think it’s cool to play twister with dad…life is going by too fast).  We were having fun, well they were having fun, I was just enjoying laughing and playing with them- truthfully it gets painful having to squat down in crazy stances for a long time.  So, I caused myself to fall and just become the spinner (that’s freedom for me).  Next, my one daughter leg-pushed the other one down, and then I heard, “Why did you do that stupid?”  All right, no major crime, but a poor choice of words.  Next, came time for the “daddy” life-lesson.

Psalm 19:14 >>>May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, 
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

The game, Twister takes no account for our mouth. The words of our mouth are related to the area of our “self-control quotation.”  Many times, I have let my words fly off and cause damage. I am learning to be careful with all my words. Most times I succeed, and other times, I need to re-examine and repent. 

WORDS coming forth from our mouths can:  1) HURT, 2) HEAL, 3) HELP, or bring 4) HOPE.  Make it a point to cause your words to be be full of life and lift others up.  Be thoughtful in the placement of your words, just like in the twister game, or you’ll come crashing down on someone you love.   Larry

 


THE JOURNEY…

October 17, 2008

Take a quick look back and see how far you have come in just one year. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his ways” (Psalm 37:23). It is amazing to recognize the progress we have made in the Lord. How you have grown! What you have learned! What you have completed! Hey, you have come a long way in just one year.

The Journey of a 1000 miles begins with one step.

Any endeavor worth pursuing will take persistence. The call and destiny upon your life will not be completed without facing obstacles. Hey, that is why our God has asked us to “walk by faith.”

Since finishing the Chicago marathon last Sunday, I have been asked what got me started with the desire to run over 26 miles? Well, after talking with some friends, Barry and Chris, Aunt Linda from New Orleans, and reading about Oprah (if she can run so can I), who all told of their experiences of running, I made that choice. Honestly, when I first started, I could barely run 1 mile. But with a goal of finishing in mind, I set out on a journey of training to run.

“The rewards of completion out weighed the pains of discipline.” No matter what road God has asked you to take, it all begins with the step of faith. Keep stepping with trust on the journey that God’s path takes you on. You are a finisher… Larry


Finishline!!!

October 13, 2008

Finished the Chicago marathon today… that’s 26.2 miles of running.  I ran the race with one of my most favorite people in the world, Bubba Smith. The day started out great with the sunrise over the Chicago’s Lake Michigan and a refreshing cool breeze.  Focused on the sites of the city and 45,000 runners enjoying themselves and spectators cheering us on, I was just in awe of the some many people that showed up to encourage loves ones, friends and runners, like me.  

Obviously, the goal of running a marathon is to finish and accomplish a personal goal: some run for joy, others run for competition, and still others ran for charities.  I ran this marathon (my 2nd one) to raise money for a freind of mine, Ron Butchle’s 2 year-old son, Nate. Ron is the varsity head football coach of Seneca Valley High School.  Nate has a cancer called, LCH-Langerhen’s Cell Histiocytosis, which is a rare form of blood cancer.  Coach Ron has used a saying that he would use to motivate the team- “Keep Swing” to encourage himself and stay positive for his family.  I had a running shirt made with the slogan: Keep Swing Nate.  While running, I heard over 50 times from people that I have never met encouraging me, “Keep Swing Nate.”   I would just say, “Thank you” at least for the first 20 miles, then i could only nod and smile.

Encouragement is powerful!  We all need encouragement. Encouragement helps you accomplish things you would never believe that you can achieve.  Let’s become encouragers.  

There was one poster that i saw 3 times while running.  It was the encouragement that affected in a powerful way. The poster stated, “YOU ARE ANOINTED TO FINISH.”  About mile 19 or 20, i hit the “wall.” The wall in a marathon is where you begin to think, “I want quit.”  Then I saw the sign again, “you are anointed to finish” at mile 22 and it gave me the courage to believe that I could finish.  And, i did.

Let me encourage you, no matter where you are in your life and no matter what’s going on, “You are Anointed to Finish.”  Keep pressing on to the FINISHLINE that God has set for you. “You can do it.” – Larry


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