Fully Alive

Notice Luke 10:30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now, go back and read it again. Did you see the man’s physical condition? Jesus didn’t describe the injured man, as unconscious or lifeless, Jesus says the injured man was half dead.  Not almost dead, nearly dead but half dead.  So, if he was half dead then he must have been half alive.  Half alive means there is hope. Half alive means “keep trying.” 

That’s who this podcast is for, the half dead who are still half alive. For those who need a lift. Encouragement around you and passion from above. A spiritual change of events and a spiritual change of your ambitions. You need a lift from above. Isaiah 59:1  Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 

Men committing to the depth of prayer and its extreme value will find this audio/video most helpful. Prayer is the hallmark of a godly man and may be the very best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Subscribe and Like the Highpoints podcast – it would be most appreciated.
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  5. FIRSTMEN 3 Confession

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed without the express written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal, or professional counselling.

Living on Empty

People have lived – sometimes down and sometimes up. Some by our own choosing – some by other’s choosing. God’s hand is reached down, not to back hand us, not to spank us, not to hurt us but to lift us. Psalms 136:12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever. He is with me, never alone and “With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm.”

It’s your turn to grasp the hand that will help you up. Empty means there is capacity for fullness. Brokenness means there is an opportunity for healing. Pain means there is an occasion for healing. Down isn’t bad because the next hand you feel will be the hand of God. Weak isn’t bad – you have just realized how much you need His strength. Many have walked this road and many have found the way out, many felt a divine lift from above, the lift that pulled them back on their feet.

Men committing to the depth of prayer and its extreme value will find this audio/video most helpful. Prayer is the hallmark of a godly man and may be the very best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Subscribe and Like the Highpoints podcast – it would be most appreciated.
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  4. FIRSTMEN 4 Context
  5. FIRSTMEN 3 Confession

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Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the express written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or professional counselling.

How Do I Know I Am Making the Right Decision?

HOW DO I KNOW I AM MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION?

Most leaders admit this has been a tough year for decision making, because the lines have changed. I have been scheduling my month with a pencil and lots of eraser. There has been a lot of changes this year and probably more coming. How can I make accurate decisions when there are abrupt changes I was not planning for?

First, recognize there are two types of daily decisions: the ones made for you and the ones you make yourself. Decisions others made for me must be met with flexibility. Decisions made for me must be met with predetermined perimeters.

EXAMINE THE DISTINCT AND DEFINITE RULES FOR DECISION MAKING:

  • Decisions have the power to take you up or bring you down.
  • Decisions may have good or bad consequences
  • Decisions may be made by someone else if I do not make the right decision.
Men committing to the depth of prayer and its extreme value will find this audio/video most helpful. Prayer is the hallmark of a godly man and may be the very best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Subscribe and Like the Highpoints podcast – it would be most appreciated.
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  5. FIRSTMEN 3 Confession

THREE PEOPLE TO CONSULT BEFORE DECIDING:

  • God – Pray about your decision-making process. Ask God to influence your heart and mind to be prepared for the best decision, not just a good decision.
  • Spouse – probably no one knows you like your spouse and probably no one knows what is best for you, like your spouse. Oftentimes, a spouse may not have the answer you wanted to hear but gave you the answer you needed to hear. Intuition goes a long way in the decision-making process.
  • Mentor or elder: Getting an honest and open opinion from an experienced voice can bring peace and confidence. Reach out to the sage for advice on the future because he knows how the past responded.

Encouraging the Pastor’s Wife

Photo Used by Permission from a rural church Pastor’s wife, Emily.

Her tears came freely, she had buried her hurts for months, maybe years. It wasn’t just the words, “Let me do it, this isn’t good enough.” It was the feeling of rejection she had felt for years, not good enough, she thought. Now she shines with the presence of God and knows God has approved her.

It may be beneficial, in the mentoring process of a pastor or leader, an occasion will arise to invite the spouse. Bringing the spouse into the mentoring process often will complete the conversation, bringing fresh insights.

For this session we are zeroing in on the need for the Pastor’s Wife to see the importance of her ministry and the appreciation needed. Often overlooked but increasingly valuable, particularly, in the rural church setting.

When we identify the subject of depression attacking the Pastor’s wife, it comes with vengeance. The rural church pastor may hear most of the troubles of the members, woman feel free to call her to reach the Pastor. Her husband is most likely, bi-vocational, leaving little time for her or the family. The Pastor’s wife may get discouraged and depressed.

Four reasons depression and Pastor’s wives need our attention.

PROXIMITY: we have personally ministered with pastors and their spouse going through bouts of depression and this strikes too close to home.

PROBLEM: possible depression issues are a real problem, oftentimes, hidden in secret, for fear of false judgements. I talk with pastors and their spouse, who are discouraged, depressed, overwhelmed, and disheartened, I have to ask myself, “Have I done enough?”

PEOPLE: My wife and I pastor a church. My daughter in law is a pastor’s wife. My daughter is an assistant pastor’s wife; we are people and we bear the burden of caring for others at the expense of caring for ourselves.

Men committing to the depth of prayer and its extreme value will find this audio/video most helpful. Prayer is the hallmark of a godly man and may be the very best thing you can do for yourself and your family. Subscribe and Like the Highpoints podcast – it would be most appreciated.
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  4. FIRSTMEN 4 Context
  5. FIRSTMEN 3 Confession

According to a recent news article, a recent survey stated 40% of individuals are facing depression or anxiety, the Covid-19 lockdowns has added to the pressure; along with the constant barrage of negative news; uncertainties of school starting, and the pressures of social distancing in public places, including churches.

We may never know what a Pastor’s wife is thinking but this is the point: SHE NEEDS A FRIEND.

My wife and I have seen the scars, the hurts, the mistreatment, the pain, and the tears but that is okay! A woman must spill her heart, tell her story, and share her feelings. We have seen the tears as they pushed through their silent “soul cry.” My wife recently texted to a church member in another church, “your pastor’s wife needs a friend” and quoted Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times.”

Pastoral statistics reveal depression and anxiety strike the ministry, it is in the ongoing process of the shepherd and the sheep but simply, hiding the hurts increases the pain, SPEAK OUT.

Pastor’s wives are often in the background while the pastor serves in the frontline. Often, her family lives in another state, her church has their own families, and she misses several family gatherings. Finances are often crippling to personal shopping, finding children’s clothing, budgeting for groceries and even, dining out.

For pastor’s wives, who face insecurities, uncertainties, anxieties, and instabilities, REACH OUT.

PASTOR’S WIFE please do this TODAY!

  1. Reach Around: Call a close family member or friend and honestly, tell them you are hurting.
  2. Reach Out: to denominational leadership, they are willing to talk to you.
  3. Reach To: Call an elder pastor or mentor and ask to meet with them.
  4. Reach Up: Pray and tell God you are hurting.
  5. Reach Across: Get outside to a park, take a day off and find a new hobby.

Recently, a young wife, faced with grueling demands in ministry began to reach out to a college friend, they both needed a close relationship to pray with, share scripture, open to and be honest with. In a brief phone call recently she admitted, “Oh, yes, this had been so great and worth getting up at 5:30 am; three times a week, we both needed it.” You could hear the joy in her voice, a complete change from three months ago when she was given to angry tones and pent up emotions.

CHURCH MEMBER please do this TODAY!

  1. TELL your Pastor’s wife how much you appreciate her; send her a card or call her.
  2. PRAY for your Pastor’s wife, she bears the burden of church members, she defends her husband, prays for him, and protects him; she needs your everyday prayers.
  3. TAKE your pastor’s wife out to eat, take her shopping, include her in a woman’s activity. Remember many pastor’s wives are living on a limited budget, especially if they have children.
  4. FRIEND: Be nonintrusive; you are not her friend because you want the latest news, do not bug her with your trivial gossip; do not make the matter worse. She needs a friend not another burden.
  5. GIVE: Slip her shopping money, buy her a gift, tell her you were thinking of her or arrange for a Pastor’s Wives Appreciation Day.
  6. FAITHFUL: Above all, be loyal to your pastors. Never leave them guessing about whether you support them or not. She may feel her husband has a ministry, but she does not – let her know her ministry to YOU is invaluable.

YOU can make a difference in YOUR Pastors’ wife.

Let us continue to pray for pastor’s wives across the nation.

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Need encouragement? Buy LIFT, Living in Fullness Today BUY

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed without the express written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or professional counselling.

Fifteen Days – Special Edition

Finding yourself at home without your normal routine and relationships may be considered as an uncomfortable repose but can this fifteen day “stay at home” be considered as a needed solitude and sabbatical? 

Can we have a slow down and not a melt down?

What can we learn from the Word of God?
Will God speak into our lives?

No NOTES download in this Special Edition

Highpoints Podcast

In our solitude can we learn from the Word of God? Will God speak into our lives?

Seven Steps to Subdue Conflict Part Two

If you don’t need this now – you may, someday. In Seven Steps to Subdue Conflict Part One we discussed the value of Communicating Carefully and Affirming Positively. In Seven Steps to Subdue Conflict Part Two we examine the power of staying with the facts, note taking, starting off right and maintaining the proper attitude.

Highpoints with Jim Laudell

Shred gossip with facts, dismiss fairy tales with facts and silence all lies with the facts.

Leading From the Heart

Reading a chapter, each day, in the book of Proverbs not only provides wisdom but also speaks to your heart by giving guidance in the practical areas of life. Wisdom gives you the “gut” answer, building confidence. 
When you read the book of Proverbs, you expect wisdom however, the word most often connected to wisdom is the word, heart. 
Follow the weekly podcast, Highpoints with Jim Laudell for insights that will start everyday with fresh energy.

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Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

What God wants to do is speak to your heart so you can know what is in His heart.

LIFT Living in Fullness Today

The joy continues.

I am so thankful and humbled by the response to my new book, LIFT, Living in Fullness Today, published by Harper Collins Christian Publishing.

Lift is what God does to get people off the ground. Lift is what aerodynamics does to get airplanes off the ground. LIFT is needed in every man and every woman’s life, everyday.

On Launch Day we watched as people posted, “I got mine.” And every new picture and post brought tears to my eyes as I watched my dream come true. I wanted to see people encouraged on a national scale, enough with the blame game, criticism, laughing at others, putting others down and division. People need to be lifted not downgraded. Lifted not scorned. Lifted not shunned.

Launch Day and the day after proved to be amazing. God kept amazing me. On Launch Day, LIFT, went from Amazon’s Best Seller Rating on Spiritual Growth Books #16,698 at 8:30 am to #365 by 9:00 pm. And, Kindle downloads, the day after on Amazon’s Best Seller Rating #55 in Christian Prayer and #283 in Christian Spiritual Growth.

I asked several people, including my congregation, to believe in prayer, specifically on Launch Day, that God would be glorified as the CEO of LIFT. It wasn’t the money because writers don’t get rich but it was a message needed among thousands.

Thank you! To the many people who bought the book, thank you! For the many people who posted their picture with “I got mine,” thank you!  For the many pastors who ordered multiple copies for their staff, thank you! For the many people who prayed and believed with us, thank you!

If you haven’t ordered LIFT here is a link for both paperback and Kindle download. Blessings to you.