pruning

Time to Retool

Leaders make hard decisions. We are constantly balancing resources to achieve the strategic goals of the organization. Sometimes it means pruning the good to make room for the great. Rarely are these moves made without some level of associated risk. We rely on the best information available to us at the time. Organizations are living and ever moving organisms. They have a life that can be compared to a garden or vineyard. In this context, the leader is the gardener and there are times and seasons for tilling, planting, water, fertilizing, and harvesting. Year after year you assess the market looking for new opportunities or improved methods and processes to gain efficiencies which in turn generates additional resources for reaching new markets. There is no room for doing the same things and expecting improved results.

Continuing with status quo becomes mundane and the harvest likely mediocre. At some point you measure the yield then determine what needs to change. The farmer and gardener would say its time to prune and graft. The organizational leader must retool, reshape, prune, and otherwise find ways to make needed resources available to move the organization forward. Simply said, this is easier said than done in the context of an organization.

Maybe it’s a new season for you. It may even be time to rebuild from the ground up. Depending on the overall health of your organization, it may be time for a radical shift. Radical can be threatening. Radical is often misunderstood. For the sick, diseased, or dying organization a strategic intervention may be required.

Change is never easy. The pruning process will be messy, but messy with a purpose and a purpose that holds a brighter future. There can be joy in the midst of change. There’s an air of anticipation and hope for the leader and the team. They are dreaming again instead of droning away with mediocrity. In the planning of their ideation session it has been rewarding to see their renewed energy. There is wonder and enthusiasm around defining the pruning that will make room for new growth.

Appointed for Abundance

I have come that they might have life; and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 God has appointed you for abundance as you abide in Him today.

When I feel the weight of the world, burdens of the day and the limits of my abilities, will I believe Jesus’ promise? So many well-meaning believers throughout the years have claimed these verses for their own gain and prosperity that some of us have been left wondering. Life is hard! The reality of loss, pain or opposition often goes right to the heart and leaves us...well...wondering. Why? Because life is hard! Yet, too much wondering will lead to wandering. When you are in those times or seasons, what keeps you going? Do you give up or press on?

No matter what you are facing today, listen to the charge from the writer of Hebrews, let these words sink deep, "But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved" (Hebrews 10:39). Will you believe today the promise that God through His son Jesus Christ has come to give you life, and life to the full?

The enemy’s work is to "steal, kill and destroy" (John 10:10). That’s his aim, and he’s a good adversary. I've heard it said the enemy doesn’t care anything about you, he just wants to destroy the Word in you. You pose no threat to him. The threat is the power of God through the promise and truth written on your life, "hidden in your heart" (Psalm 119:11). Will you believe today? Let us stand together as the Church, united and full of life today!

Let's look a little deeper biblically to the work of the Father.  Let's turn back to Hebrews for insight and instruction. Discipline, it's hard and painful. It might feel like "steal, kill and destroy," but what it is really? "God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness" (Hebrews 12:10). "It produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those have been trained by it" (verse 11).

Now, let us look at Pruning. Once again, we see the handiwork of the Father as the good gardener. Yet, it doesn't feel very good. "He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful" (John 15:2). How many of us want more fruit in our life? I’m the first in line. How many of us want to be disciplined and pruned? Well, not so much...is there another way? Not so much! We are being conformed into the image of Christ, justified and walking in a journey of sanctification that will yield the fruit of righteousness, peace and abundance in our life. Let us be wise with regard to God’s discipline and pruning in our lives. Our greatest pain may be our greatest blessing.

Let us be wise and aware of the enemy's tactics to steal, kill and destroy. Let us stand firm under opposition, threat and lies. Let us also hold on to the truth that the Father loves us even when it hurts. There is a pain that will not destroy but ultimately bring life. "I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last" (John 15:16, NIV). In the King James Version it reads, "Fruit that remains." So today, what do you do? "Remain in me, and I will remain in you" (John 15:4).

God has appointed you for abundance as you abide in Him today.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ" (Philippians 1:9-10).