High Expectations

There is a high level of expectation and excitement at the beginning of the school year. Students are pumped and you hear things like: “I’m following Jesus, baby! Nothing will slow me down!”

You can feel the energy in the air and it’s quite electric. Girls and guys look their best, act their best, and say their best.

Imagine a diamond ring in a display case. Everything about it sparkles and glimmers. 

I think this is awesome! Students should be excited. In fact, they should come to school expecting great things to happen.

Miraculous events take place all throughout the school year at Rhema and I truly believe it’s because there’s a multiplied level of expectancy.

It would be harder for me to believe that 300+ faith-filled, Spirit-filled Christians are hanging out in one place and God didn’t show up on a daily basis.

However, I am always a bit skeptical for the same reasons I get excited…

Being overly emotional leads many Christians astray. The need to be “spiritual” is dangerous.

rbtc-sealI often wonder how we can be any more spiritual than “I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body.”

So what’s with the need to be more “spiritual”?

I believe it boils down to a misplaced sense of what it means to be significant, yet trying to gain significance by impressing others leads many Christian leaders down a road of empty accolades.

True significance is only found in Christ. No man or woman can meet that need.

As the school year progresses (or you’re preparing to come to Rhema next year), here’s my encouragement to you: 

 Always be excited.

Always be real.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Walk in the reality that you’re approved by God and called into ministry by God.

And know that you’re a vital part of the Rhema family, a part of Brother Hagin’s God-given commission to “Go teach my people faith.” 


Thank your pastor

Pastors have a tough job. 

They are called to shepherd God’s church, which is kind of like herding cats….

It doesn’t help that everyone has a different idea of what a pastor’s role is supposed to be. 

And they have to work hard to stay off the pedestal their church members want him or her to stay on. 

Here’s a funny video by The Skit Guys that highlights their daily struggle:

Be sure to thank your pastor tomorrow. 

They need your encouragement–not your criticism. 

Showing kindness

Today at church we talked about kindness. 

I was voice interpreting and did pretty good. (I’ve only done it a five or six times so it was stop and start.)

The critic inside me was screaming, though, that I didn’t do a good job. I tried not to listen but it was hard. 

Maybe I can’t do this…

But I persevered because my mentor is teaching me to not give up, to give myself grace. 

We talk a lot about extending grace and kindness to others. And we definitely should!

My problem is that I’m great at giving it to others and terrible at giving it to myself. 

The voice I was hearing was me–expecting to not mess up, which is impossible because I’m a beginner. 

Talk about unrealistic expectations. Geez…

If we want to be gracious, merciful, and kind to others we must first understand that grace, mercy, and kindness is for us too. 

As Christians, God tells us to show others the love He gave to us. 

We can’t show love–or any of God’s characteristics–to others if we haven’t received it ourselves. 

Let’s remember this week to be kind. 

Start with yourself and go from there. 

Expect more

I had a band director in high school who struck fear into the hearts of students. Everyone loved her—she deeply cared about us all—but mediocrity was not acceptable. Many times I came home thoroughly chastised for not knowing my part.

The cool thing is that our band always made it to the state competition and always placed at the top of our class. I whined a good bit because she was “so mean,” but now it’s clear that my teacher taught her students the importance of discipline.

Today discipline is a dirty word.

Teachers can’t expect their students to do excellent work. Parents can’t expect their children to do chores or even to behave. That’s too much pressure. Their poor little psyches can’t handle it!

I’m not bashing children—I love children!—but undisciplined, lazy children turn into undisciplined, lazy adults. I feel bad for the children who grow up with no expectations. Life is not going to be kind to them.

Furthermore, it saddens me a bit that no one expects young adults to act as such. I am twenty-two years old. If I start acting infantile, please don’t label me as another hopeless cause from the upcoming generation!

Challenge my behavior. Expect more.

Isn’t that what we all need? To be challenged? For the bar to be raised a little bit higher?  I think a change would sweep across this nation if the older generations would expect something more than immaturity from the younger generations.

Discipline and responsibility—any good character trait really—is not obtained at the grocery store.They are learned behaviors. Who’s supposed to teach us?  

Don’t throw the younger generations under the bus. Help us to become strong, mature adults who make a difference in this world.

After all, we are the future.