Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Charge ... set yourself free

by Dale Shumaker

The Charge by Brendon Burchard explains the ten human drives we have to make us feel alive and how to activate them. The Charge challenges you to live your best life. A charged life is a consciously designed existence that feels evenly engaged, energized, and enthusiastic. A near fatal car crash forced Burchard to face three questions: 
Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?

We live in one of three lives. We live a life caged in the past, in the expectation of others. Or many live what they feel is a comfortable life, in work, lifestyle, circumstances, but  we ask, "How did I end up here, where did my ambition and excitement go? Or  we can live a charged life. The first two options(caged, comfortable) wonder if they will survive or will I be accepted and succeed? The Charged life asks am I living my true and actual potential; am I living an inspired life and inspiring others?
The focus is on serving and contributing to the world, asking not what I am getting from the world, but asking what am I giving to the world?

The Chargers, those living a charged life have these attributes:
1. Open and servant in the moment
2. Future oriented
3. Challenge seekers
4. Deeply interested in and authentically connect with others
5. Self-reliant
6. Creatively driven
7. Meaning makers

The Chargers decide to transform their lives from caged and comfortable to put life into their lives. 

Ten Human Drives that Drive us

Five Baseline Drives.
1. Control: the desire to regulate and influence of overall life experience. Control outlook and character, whether we are purposely acting out our highest selves.  Control for new, adding satisfying new experiences in our lives constantly, with novelty and challenge. This can be as simple as a get away every 90 days, eating at a different restaurant, seeing a new show or entertainment event, a travel adventure, expanding a peer circle, or develop a new skill. Control your workflow and participate only in projects you can be fully invested in and be part of from the beginning to end. (Burchard has a 1-page productivity sheet at his website for free download, TheChargedBook).

2. The second baseline drive is a drive for competence.
The more competence you feel, the more confident you are in trying new things, and taking on new and bigger challenges. Understand your world, successfully perform in it, and master it. Competence determines what you give attention to, your choice of tasks and activities, your effort level, adaptability and resilience, whether you lead or follow. Assess and direct your desire to learn, set a real challenge with coaching, integrate success and attach your identity to those times in your life when you accomplished and achieved something important to you.

3. The third baseline is congruence. Are we congruent with who we think we are? Unify your self image with who you are and who you want to be. Set new standards for yourself and be that. Be living into your future and how you define yourself. Set your mood meter and have positive, sustained, even emotional energy about yourself... so that your emotions are congruent to what you want to feel in life. Keep your word and follow through with it. It's not just doing what we say, but doing what we know we should do from start to finish.

4. The fourth baseline drive is the drive for caring. Be a person of heart, kindness to others, care for others' emotions and experiences. Care for yourself and do what replenishes it... proper sleep, nutrition, exercise, meditate, drink water. Be vulnerable and allow others to care for you. Ask for help where others can help you. Read books, use counselors. Be more present, interested and attentive to others. Use the "Wow" word when someone shares with you and ask them to share more.

5. The fifth baseline drive is the drive for connection. We value connection so much we sometimes spend way too much time with some people far more than they deserve. Good connections stir up our brain candy, dopamine, making us feel euphoric. Define and design your ideal relationships. What kind of friends do you you really want. Practice positive projection. You get what you look for and if you project positive traits and expectations to others, they tend to live up to them. Find and cultivate growth friends. What friends contribute to you feeling energized, inspired, puts you in a good mood. Get in touch with some you need to stay in touch with. Renew and cultivate the relationships that give you zest and energy.

The next five are forward drives taking us beyond the baseline drives which create stability and love, so we can move on to challenge ourselves. Forward drive moves us to the challenges we want to take on in our lives. They shake us up so we can ultimately feel satisfied. They are harder and more uncomfortable, we experience more resistance to activate them. They are future oriented and demand boldness. Change kicks them off into our new future, challenge makes us more engaged, creative expression amplifies satisfaction in life, contribution makes our drives matter building pride and fulfillment, consciousness transcends ourselves to connect with something greater. The forward drives are of a higher order, but are the most important, all in motion, to live life at its happiest and most satisfying level. 

The Drive for Change moves us into the future. It is something new in all areas. Change into the person you can be. In every new effort our life expands.  Ask yourself if you both welcome and cause change. Change is the only path to your dreams, it forces you to move from here to there.  Make change about gains, not losses. Focus on the benefits of change, not fears of loss. Expect process pain, keep your eyes on the benefits. Get clarity, think big, and be bold.
Make real choices about
want you want, and don't want;
do more of
this, no more of that;
when this happens, do that;
always choose this, not that;

do this now, then that.

The Drive for Challenge. Stretch your self concept, skills, beliefs, mental and physical capacities. There's a difference of being busy and being challenged. Rise above the mundane. Hit the gas pedal of your potential hard, activate challenge, engagement and progress in life. Choose fulfilling challenges. Demand singularity of focus, stretch your efforts and capabilities, score your performance, sense completion(we did it, finished it, succeeded), allow sharing of experiences and achievement with someone else. Focus on the journey and don't fear rejection. Some will reject you but don't let that distract you. Significant  rejection rarely happens as we may make it seem that way. Ignore your critics and have sympathy for them as they lack the courage you have to pursue a bigger challenge. Stay in the present and enjoy the journey. Celebrate daily effort. Push yourself to do great things for great causes.

The Drive for Creative Expression is the inspiration which comes through physically and socially manifesting our unique talents, strengths, and perspectives. Activating this drive is one of the fastest strategies for finding happiness and fulfillment. Apply creative expression in all areas of your life. Study people and design. Watch people and their unique manner. We can pick up some unique things within our selves. Create more and share more. Do new things and share it with someone else. It can be something physically your create, or a new idea you tried... show it or share it with others.

The Drive for Contribution. When we feel like we are contributing to the world we gain a profound sense of meaning and purpose. Give of yourself. Being who you are is contributing to the world in a significant way. A manager of bank tellers can contribute to the lives of all they manage. Give to others and broader causes with a goal to make an impact. Find endeavors you find meaningful. It's about choosing the right activity, getting involved in the right cause that you find novel, challenging, socially connected, meaningful and make us happy. Mentor other people. We all have life experiences that we learned from. Help others going through, or involved in the same thing. You don't have to be an expert but a good friend who's been there.

The Drive for Consciousness is living at the highest level. A traumatic experience may push us to transcend into a higher level of consciousness. Focus your consciousness. Be conscious of your thoughts, your emotional and your physical energies, your behavior, others' behavior, and your progress. Transcend to what is infinite, of a higher meaning and purpose than just this world. We have a drive to enter in this. Be conscious of the present moment, coincidence and intuition, of love. Live a life of virtue and faith. Live in a state of wonder of everything, every thought, every encounter. Life is full of wonder. Notice and live in it.

Celebrate your existence. More on The Charge at

In Set Yourself Free, Robert Heidler outlines a process for deliverance
from what binds you, habitual habits, reoccurring sins and indiscretions in your life. It takes repentance and constant attention to relieving ourselves of what has a hold on us that we struggle to let go. It can be depression, anger, stealing, lying, moral breakdown. In many cases we don't want to do these things and feel bad afterwards. Each time we may ask God to help us not do it again. But many times they reoccur.

So daily attention is needed. The Lord's prayer, if prayed daily, deals with temptations. "... lead me not into temptation, and deliver me from evil. Forgive me my sins as well as I forgive others."  This, repeated daily, helps to protect us.

Also having a close support partner that we can confide in strengthens our ability to resist the mental attacks of Evil that flash through our minds.  When left to dwell on, it will give birth to outside action, a response to it. With someone to share these moments and who believes in the the Power of Jesus and God's Spirit to overcome, we get immediate strength.

In some cases we may not have someone to confide with, pray with, and support each other. Heidler outlines a personal process we can follow. It would serve us well to do this more in-depth, within a concentrated time frame, weekly or at least monthly.

Be careful not to let guilt get a hold of you for not having steady, constant victory. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you, obey His directions, then rejoice that His Grace is with you.

From Set Yourself Free, follow this process.

1. Confess your sin, as you are aware of it. Many times while doing devotions or spending time with the Lord, the Holy Spirit will bring something to mind we need to deal with. Or we may have failed in our life walk in the Spirit and we feel we can't approach God on a matter. It is then we should confess it to the Lord and ask Him to help us.

2. Renounce the sin. When we do wrong, that the Spirit as shown us as wrong, we should renounce it openly, out loud.  Disown it, and reject it as being part of your life.

3. Release others. That is to forgive others. Unforgiveness is an attempt to keep a grudge against someone who has hurt us. It is important to release grudges, bitterness, resentment from our spirit and forgive the other person... who has harmed us intentionally or unintentionally.

4.Restore what you have taken or damaged. If you have stolen, cheated, said bad things of another, restore what you have taken, and speak to the other person to seek forgiveness. This is very hard to do, as it is humiliating and our pride will many times hold us back. Restitution where possible is vital to settle the matter in your spirit to be sense freedom in your Spirit.

5. Submit to authority. In all circumstances be respectful to all authority you encounter... from government officials, police, a business owner, parents, those older than you, Spiritual leaders, those in service to others.  The Scriptures say to submit one to another. When in doubt, be a servant to all, and cover all the bases of humility, meekness, and expressing respect to others. The Scriptures go on to say, when you entertain strangers, you may be entertaining Angels.

6. Recommit to God. Repentance means to turn from sin and to God. When you have renounced the sin(s) you identified, turn back to God. He welcomes you, and deliberately turn to Him in worship, obedience, service. Constantly recommit your life to His service and purposes for you in your life.

7. Abide in Jesus. In John 14, Jesus talks about abiding in Him, He is the vine, we are the branches. Keep asking yourself if you are walking in Fellowship with Jesus and who He is and what you share together. Be One in Him, and live in Him as One. So when others see you, they also see Jesus through you.

Keep in mind, when we sin, or do things we feel are not pleasing to God, He will welcome us back quickly. So be quick to confess wrong doing, and Ask Him for His Presence. When we do this, we keep the sin from becoming a habit and it keeps us from becoming desensitized in doing it. We can sear our conscience if we continue without repentance and dealing with it. Although, as the flesh is weak, He understands and quickly welcomes us back when we are quick to ask His forgiveness. Do this process as much as needed and you will overcome and live in Holiness as the Scriptures declare.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Open Heavens ... praying for others

by Dale Shumaker

In Open Heavens, Augusto Perez leads us into how the Lord trains us to pray for family, friends, others. 
The following is an excerpt from his book.

In the beginning level of intercession, prayer is a friend praying to a friend for a friend. This is how God begins to train us in the art of intercessory prayer. The Lord teaches us to be persistent and persevere in prayer until we pray through and receive an answer.  We learn how to ask, seek and knock.

If the Lord is showing you something, do not start just to pray for it, but wait until the Lord shows you how to pray. Maybe you will only speak protection and blessing on someone. Perhaps you will stand in the gap and repent for someone, or you may release the will of the Lord on them through a decree or you will go into warfare on behalf of them.

Wait to see what the Lord really wants to do. Do not push through it impatiently, but pray and stay with it until you are through and feel a peace in your spirit about it. Do not give up before it’s time. You will feel it, and know when it is time to stop. You need to let the Holy Spirit lead you.

Intercessory prayer is exciting and awesome, but it is hard work. It is more than just praying for another person’s needs. It sometimes may mean not only praying for another person, but praying as another person. How can you fully pray on behalf of another without fully understanding their given situation and what is on their heart?

The Lord sometimes gives the intercessor the ability to enter into the Spirit and feel, know and experience the very conflict and agony that person is going through. The intercessor will sometimes experience the same pain and anguish in the body of that other person. The intercessor will begin to groan, wail, travail and feel despair.

This can be very confusing if you don’t know what is taking place. What is happening to you as an intercessor is that you have literally become that person in the spirit, and are praying as that person in the Spirit, petitioning God on behalf of that person. Jesus is the greatest intercessor ever. He is praying for you. Every time you sin, He intercedes for you.

Travail is “to writhe in pain”. The process of child birth again illustrates this very well. Just like a mother experiences labor pains in giving physical birth to her baby, the same is true in the spiritual realm. For every person that is born again, someone has interceded and travailed for them (Isaiah 66:8; Romans 8:26-27; Galatians 4:19). Most Christians today do not even pray for the lost, let alone travail. No wonder so few people are being won to the Lord in this nation.

Intercession and travail is very different from normal devotional prayer. You can pray that kind of prayer at any moment, but not travailing prayer. Intercessory prayer is imparted by the Lord and is the kind of prayer that comes with a burden. This is a feeling of sadness, concern, even anxiety. You may or may not know for who the burden is.

Sometimes the Lord may bring the face of the person or name to mind
. Immediately you may feel unusual sympathy or concern for the individual. This is how God calls us to pray. But unless you take time to give yourself to intercession, you will not experience “parturition”, the actual joy and relief that comes with having given birth to the will of God and having “prayed through” (Isaiah 66:8).

When you intercede for people like this, you may experience excruciating agony and pain like in childbirth, actually feeling a person’s grief, pain and loneliness. When the Lord places a burden on you to pray it is called: “The burden of the Lord”. This is a supernatural experience where God is allowing us to feel His burden, sadness, love and grief. You become pregnant with a burden that is given by the Lord and you travail or groan in delivery until it is accomplished.

Remember that the Holy Spirit will only intercede through those who are both willing and obedient. If you are, simply tell the Lord you are both available and willing. Then as you start to feel deep within an intercessory burden begin to stir, come apart and allow the Holy Spirit to move upon you until that for which you are burdened is birthed. Lack of travail is the reason why we do not see results in winning the lost to Christ.

More from Augusto Perez at:
The Appearance Ministries website