Saturday, January 24, 2015

Spirit Savvy Network ... the way of the Missionary Entrepreneur

by Dale Shumaker

The Way of the Missionary Entrepreneur. I created a blend of being a missionary and entrepreneur as one ...to keep the mission fired up, and learn self-supporting skills (revenue producing skills) that entrepreneurs use.

What seems to hold many back from pursuing their mission is not knowing how to support themselves, make a living as they live out their mission. I see value in learning entrepreneur skills along with the Spiritual principles so we can provide for our needs as we help others with theirs. In this blog, the Spirit Savvy Business, are summaries of best-selling business books along with Spiritual principles to make it work.

That's why I recommend and train on the blend of entrepreneur skills in our lives along with Spiritually-equipped skills... to be a missionary entrepreneur. Spirit comes first, the entrepreneur skills can help.

Study to be the best you can be for the sake of what God has put on your heart to do. Develop a discipline in His Spirit to guide and empower you.  This is the signature that builds you to be Spirit Savvy in all you do. But first, your mission needs to be clear in your mind, Spirit drives it, and you build a discipline in Spirit like a "Navy Seal" in Spirit. It's the way of the Spirit Savvy Missionary Entrepreneur.

See the summary on The Way of the Seal... mission and purpose driven, disciplined in their mission, working very close together and always making sure their fellow seals are okay.

The way of the missionary entrepreneur… a Spirit Savvy Network.


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Monday, January 19, 2015

Spirit Savvy Network … Your Magnificent Mission

by Dale Shumaker

1. Your Magnificent Mission, Finding it, Accelerating it.
What has God brought you to earth to be?

You are marvelously and wonderfully made says the Psalmist.
Before you were born every moment of your life was laid out for you, recorded in His book of your life. (see Psalm 139)
You are born for a purpose, a mission, something God has on his great life plan for you to do. (See Jeremiah 1). You have a part to play and it's important, even if it seems not as important to you right now. If God stamped it on your DNA, it is of great importance. (see 1 Corinthians 12)

It's a magnificent mission God has planned out for you. It's not a secret He is trying to keep from you. He has provided many indicators to help you see it and live it. When it's God's mission for and through you, nothing can get in its way. God's Spirit is unstoppable. Living within His flow, in His Spirit, following His principles, makes you unstoppable.

You may run into snags, roadblocks, along the way, but remember He has overcome the world. When you join with His Spirit, nothing will hinder you from moving ahead on what God has assigned to you.  The process I have outlined in the Spirit Savvy Network, building your own, gets you on that track, and keeps you on track, even when obstructions may show up. (See Romans 8, John 16, Joshua 1)

"I am not of this world," Jesus said (John 8). We are brought into this world for a reason and for a higher calling. As you journey through the Bible you see Moses, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Paul all echo this. You as well have a mission to fulfill and it is of utmost importance for His Kingdom, and for humanity. Your mission may  be fulfilled in this life or for what will come after you. Either way, it's imperative to find it, capture it, refine it and advance it. Many are counting on you because of it.

How do you find your mission?  
Many times very traumatic or dramatic experiences give indicators of what your mission is. You begin seeing it through your life experiences, education, influences, activities you do. All these lead you to a sense of engaging in a cause bigger than you.  When you look over every aspect of your life, something inside you urges you to go a certain direction, a desire to do something about a great concern you have.

Your mission may come out of seeds planted in ashes, maybe feeling left out of a group, an accident, a personal injustice, or seeds from blooming orchards, recognized for a special achievement, meeting a famous person, asked to spearhead a project. You had an experience that drives you to want to do something about it, to help others who are facing an experience similar to what you had. Some experiences are traumatic, others dramatic... both need to be taken into consideration.

A traumatic experience could be an illness, accident, a personal trauma. For example, I stuttered. When called on to read out loud in 5th grade reading class, I was horrified as my turn came closer and closer. It affected my social life, skills in reading and writing. Words were scary to me. It was a traumatic experience for me. What it did though was build a strong skill in gaining rapport with people. I now have a keen desire to want to make people feel at ease around me.

A dramatic experience is something positive that has made an imprint in your mind that stays there. It could be winning a Spelling Bee in elementary school, to being named employee of the month where you work. It makes a strong mental imprint in who you think you are.

When in sixth grade, the teacher asked the class to write a story using our imaginations and making it the most imaginative story possible. After she read all out stories, she identified someone who she felt had the greatest imagination in the class. The teacher recognized me as being the most imaginative person in the class. That stuck with me. I see things as they could be, in a way others may not see. This indicated a gift I had for my mission of guiding others to fulfill their mission. I many times can see the potential of an idea beyond what someone else sees. And I can come up with innovative ways to accomplish a mission outside of a normal path.

To recall what experiences have shaped you, it takes times of reflection, dwelling on Spirit principles. As you read Inspired Scriptures from the Bible, ask God questions about who you are and what you are about in His Kingdom, God will little by little bring experiences to mind that form the foundations of who you are. These are signs of God's mission for you in your life.

Those who seek God's Spirit will not be disappointed and will be found by God. In these times of reflection, inner awareness, we start to see the indicators or how magnificent and special we are. Pay attention to what you do, what comes natural, what gives you a great sense of fulfillment when you do it.

Do this.
Find a quiet place where you won't be interrupted. Set aside an afternoon, a weekend. Write down all your experiences, times of education, work experiences, activities that come to mind. What did you do well, that seemed to come easier for you than others, or stands out in your thinking?

Now Discover Your Strengths says to consider top-of-the mind-thoughts and reactions, your yearnings, what you learn quickly with less effort than others, and what gives you the greatest satisfaction in doing. Also note what makes you feel "strong" when doing it.

What has happened to you that was traumatic emotionally for you and affected your attitude toward others because of it?  What was dramatic and you have never forgotten it? Is there something that gives you a strong desire to do something about it?   Where do your experiences and desire to see change meet? When experience and desire meet, and you see your life experiences have been preparing you for it, a mission is more than likely being identified for you.

Have you seen something that you felt should be changed or someone should do something to help, to make a difference. Did the words, "someone oughta" come to mind? "Someone oughta" do something about this. Maybe that someone is you. And you ought to do something about it. This can be a mission indicator.

Pay attention to the still small voice that tells you ... "what about this." Use a journal, electronic device or a notebook, to record what comes to mind. Keep a close ear to the "desire" factor. There are times God puts the desire in your heart, but you may not feel equipped as you would like to be for it. This is where openness to learning new things comes in the picture.

After taking time to record your thoughts about how you are made up, for what could be a mission in your life, meet with a trusted friend. Share your desires, hopes, experiences behind them. What do they see in you... gifts, abilities, interests that stand out from their perspective. Or your friend could do this exercise too, and you share what you see in each other. This would be an ideal way to gain additional insight (and develop your friendship).

One caution:
Only share your personal thoughts with someone who knows, loves you, who will encourage and be an inspiration to you. Avoid sharing personal thoughts with someone who you don't know very well or who tends to see what is wrong with an idea before considering its possibilities. A sounding board partner is a great help in sorting out what drives you, gives you a sense of mission in doing it.

In the Scriptures you see that Jesus took only a few of His disciples to the Mount of Configuration where He in Spirit met Moses, Elijah. (Matthew 17)   He saved some things for only those close to Him. 

Your Magnificent Mission may be in your vocation or alongside your vocation. Some live it through what they do for a living. Others use a vocation to support their Magnificent Mission. While others have a support network for it.


Consider this.
The goal is to hear God's voice, what His Spirit, who created you, is nudging you to do. Humility is important, before God and as a person, to genuinely hear His Spirit. He will put on your heart what he wants you to hear. (Hebrews 8)  Allow yourself a time of innocence as when you were a child to think about what you desired to be someday. Jesus said that unless you become as a child you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 18) He will reveal what the Kingdom of Heaven is for you. This time of innocence and open-heartedness is crucial to see, hear what God has you to do.  Humble yourself before God, His Spirit will speak to you.

God wants us to draw near to Him.  When we are humble, and put our own thoughts to the side, we hear His thoughts. He tells us what to do and how to go about it. Noah, Moses, Jesus, all sought and followed God's voice. As we stay close to Him, His Spirit guides us. (see Zephaniah 3)

A humble mindset is essential for finding and fulfilling your mission. What God wants to do through you will require His help and guidance. Being humble like a child keeps the heart open, eager to hear, eager to learn, being teachable. We need all the help we can get, and learn as much as we can.

Along side this is being forgiving. Sometimes we are motivated to get even, or "I'll show you" attitude. Healthy Spiritual motivation comes out a forgiving heart toward our past failures, someone hurting us. Bitterness, getting even, doing something just to look good will poison the purity of a God-Inspired mission. These attitudes block hearing God's voice... which is good, honorable and pure. With a forgiving spirit the doors stay open to hear clearly and learn from your own past mistakes and mistakes of others. (see Colossians 3) Humility is the essential ingredient of character of being forgiving, so we don't get our emotional voice mixed in with hearing God's voice. He speaks through a humble heart. (see Psalm 51)

Refining and advancing your mission is imperative as a personal responsibility for living out your significance as a person. As part of a business venture, your vision of your mission not only drives you, but financially supports you as you advance your cause, your mission. It keeps you going. So you never give up or quit. Ideally, it is to make your Magnificent Mission as one with your work, business, vocation.

Scripting your movie. 
Climb that mountain. There was once a young man who lived in a valley with mountains on both sides of him. He would spend time, after taking the cattle to pasture, sitting on a hill thinking about climbing to the peak of the mountain. He told a few people who lived in the valley about wanting to climb to the peak one day. They discouraged him from even thinking about it. You don't know what's there, they said critically... it may be dangerous and you may get hurt. 

One day he decided to climb up that mountain to the peak and see what it was like. As he started out, he ran into a lot of difficulties. Twisted his ankle, fell and was scratched by bushes and old fallen branches. Making it half way, he faced hardship and struggles along the way. Doggedly-determined, he kept climbing. Then he ran across an old cabin.

An old gray-haired man, on the porch on a rocking chair, was watching him struggling in his climb up the mountain. The old man asked him what he was doing. The young man said "I am going to the peak of the mountain to see what's there." The old man signed and responded, "So you have never been there before." "No," the young man said. "I have a home up there too," the old man said, "I come to my cabin to get away," the old man inserted.

Striking up a conversation, the old man began explaining to him the ways of life at the peak, and its unlimited possibilities. The young man was even more excited about getting there. Although the old man cautioned him and said, but first you must learn the ways of the peak, and leave the way you live in the valley.

The young man said, let me go tell my family and friends in the valley that I now know how to get to the peak.  He hurried back to the valley but his friends and family only made light of his discovery and didn't want to leave the valley. They even made fun of him wanting to go back up to the peak, not wanting to look beyond the valley they were in.

The boy returned to the old man's cabin, and the old man began teaching him the ways of the peak, how to live there and the new things he will see that he can do.

The moral of the story: When you get a vision for something better, it may be hard at first. You may need to walk away from criticism, the unbelief of family and friends. But if you embark on the journey, even painful at times,  someone will show you how to get the rest of the way. It all begins with faith, like Abraham (Hebrews 11), who begins a journey although not having a clear road-map on how to get there. Begin, you can learn as you go, and Super-natural help will come along the way. 

(See Peaks and Valleys book summary, at the Spirit Savvy Business blog. Also, I would encourage you to read the Scriptures I have noted above. I haven't given chapter and verse, but the whole chapter so you can read it in context. The Bible is powerful if you read it on purpose. You will see how it relates to your mission effort.)

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