Taking a Step…

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Over the last several months I feel the Holy Spirit has whispered to me a few times that I need to open myself up again to doing more speaking.  Being a speaker was a dream of mine from years ago, but it was always something I talked myself out of or believed I was not gifted enough to do or was told everyone wanted to be a speaker that was in ministry, but it wasn’t for everyone. I remember sitting at the National Youth Workers Convention year after year and dreaming of the day I would get my shot. Earlier this spring I got a chance to speak at an event called Twelve for the youth at my church Cross Timbers Church in Argyle (www.crosstimberschurch.org) and that gave me a new passion for speaking again. I used to speak at quite a few events but always limited by my commitment to the local group I was currently pastoring.

Fast forward to last week as I am doing a self-paced social media training called Side Hustle Social Academy put out by former Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson East and her Husband, NFL player Andrew East and others.  In that training we were asked to write down things on notecards we were good at and thought were marketable but we were not taking full advantage of in our life or business.  I wrote down speaking and writing.

This week I attended a phenomenal entreprenuers’ conference called Habitude Warrior Conference in Southlake.  At this conference they offered the opportunity for people attending the conference to come early the second day if they were aspiring speakers.  They would get the opportunity to be coached by the weekend speakers, and perform a 1 minute motivational talk in front of those same professional speakers as judges.  From there the judges would pick three speakers who would get the opportunity to speak at the conference in front of all the weekend participants and deliver a 2 minute talk.  Based on the applause of the audience one of those three aspiring speakers would win the challenge and get the opportunity to speak at a future Habitude Warrior Conference in another city as a regular speaker as well as other things to help launch their speaking career.

I tried to get the competition out of my head.  Fear told me I shouldn’t do it.  I looked at my weekend schedule and decided it wasn’t possible.  At the same time, I could not shake the feeling that this was my opportunity and that I would be mad at myself if I skipped it.  I decided with the help of my wife and a few friends to do it.  I was nervous, I barely slept the night before the 1 minute talk in front of the speakers and the other participants in the contest.  I was so nervous that on the way to the hotel the morning of the event while rehearsing my speech in the car I drove the total opposite direction that I should have taken to the hotel.  This only added to the stress of the moment.

To make a long story short, 21+ people showed up to try to win this competition and I was blessed enough to be one of the three finalist.  The feedback and support I received from the other speakers was life changing for me.  I ended up not being the final winner by what I see as a small margin, but I think it put a fire in my soul to speak again.  The opportunity to speak at this incredible event for the live and internet audience reminded me that when we have a talent that God intends us to use it.

So what does this mean? Real Estate is my career but I am opening myself up to receiving opportunities to speak again.  Motivational speeches, sermons, youth groups, schools, business events, camps, sports events, book signings, author events, entrepreneur meetings, conferences, real estate training classes or anything else you can dream up that I would be a fit for.  I am not sure what God wants in all this only that I cannot ignore these three recent whispers.

If you are interested in how to book me to speak, purchasing my books or more info please head over to www.darrellhalk.com.

 

I Can’t

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Last Wednesday I did something that surprised me… I benchpressed 265 pounds.  I know what some of you may be thinking: so what, that’s not much or why are you telling us this.  It is significant because in my life benchpress was always something that I believed I would never be good at or achieve any weight that would be seen as socially acceptable for a guy my height.

For years I always told people I am not good at bench press, I am not strong in my upper body but strong in my legs or some variation of why I wasn’t good at it.  Every time I laid down under that bar, the narrative of “I can’t” blasted through my mind before I ever picked up the bar.  I heard the voice of the older players in high school basketball offseason laughing and telling me to “stop playing with kids toys” when they saw the lack of weight I had on the bar.  Fear of failure gripped me, fear of the bar dropping on my neck and a gym full of people laughing caused me to give up before I started because I wasn’t good at it.

I tell you this because this fear of failure didn’t just affect me on the weight bench but in life.  I am growing in this area, I am confronting the things that once paralyzed me.  I tell you this because I know many of you are letting “I can’t” dictate what steps you take or don’t take in life.  I have found in my instances where I thought I can’t that I actually could.  Even in the things that I still realize I can’t, I have a God who can and still does miracles every day.  I realize that faith over fear brings with it a more fulfilling life.  Does God care that I went from maxing 135 lbs. in high school to 265 lbs. today? No, he doesn’t care about my numbers but he does care when one of his children is believing the lies of Satan which cause them to sit in fear rather than stepping out to be the best and healthiest version of themselves possible. Don’t settle for the lie of I can’t, be a doer and lean on the one who can even when you can’t.

“Spirit lead me, where my trust is without borders…”

 

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Darrell Halk
Realtor ®
Brokered by ERA Cornerstone Realty
972.832.1749
darrell.halk@era.com

Asking the Right Question

In the last few weeks I have had more than one person approach me about feeling a lack of passion or dryness in their pursuit of Christ. Many seem to associate Christ with feelings of shame and guilt, so they want to avoid Him all together. So many of us have become so accustomed to living a legalistic, rule based Christianity that when our performance fails we cannot escape the guilt of our failures. Many of the thoughts below came from what God has helped me learn in my journey, what God taught me this Summer in studying to teach Bible Studies for Camp 220, and hearing others teach this summer.

First thing I need to remind you, IF you belong to God, meaning you have a relationship with Him, then Romans 8:1 tells us there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This verse has meant so much to me, because it promises that in the midst of our failures God in his grace and mercy forgets our trespasses against Him. It is almost as if God is telling us I do not condemn you, QUIT CONDEMNING YOURSELF. Quit living a powerless Christianity swallowed up with guilt. When God looks at you as a Christian, he does not see your failures; He sees Christ’s righteousness that has covered you.

Zephaniah 3:12-19 is a beautiful picture of the joy that God finds in who we are. God sees someone worth singing over, he has taken away his judgments over you, he fights for you and he is near to you. God says you are so worth all Jesus did.

So first we must see ourselves in the way that God sees us, but second we must ask the right questions about how to get back the passion and zeal that seems absent. Many times we begin with the question how can I pray more, how can I read the Bible more, or what can I DO to draw closer to God? I believe this is the wrong question to begin our thought process.

1.) The question is not how much am I doing to draw close to Him, it is how much am I letting Him do in me?

Does he have my whole heart?

What things in my life steal my affection for Him?

Am I living out Philippians 3:7 that everything compared to Christ seems like dung, poop, or rubbish? It is not an obedience problem as much as it is a love problem. When Jesus has all of our affections no one has to tell us to pray, or read our Bible, we just desire to do it. The prayer is not God help me increase my Bible study time, but help increase my love for you, help remove the things that steal my affections from you… Come and have my whole heart.

Many of us are like the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2, we are checking off all the duties of a Christian, but we have lost our passion and love for him in the midst of doing things for Him. The question must come what am I letting him do in me?

Have I surrendered my spiritual gifts and passions to be used by him? These gifts are not accidents, but are intended to be used by him for his church. Some of the most excited students in my youth ministry right now are those who have realized their spiritual gifts, asked God to take those gifts and use them and seen God begin to work in them and through them. It is in giving God complete control that our passion and desire to be in word and pray increases.

2.) The next question we must ask is by whose power am I living in? 1 Corinthians 4:20 says the kingdom of God is not in Word but in power. Paul tells the people if he comes he will not judge their closeness to God by what they say, but by the power which they live by.

What are you living in that takes God’s power to complete? Are you living by his power or living in what is comfortable and manageable for you? The reason most Christians never move forward in their walk with Christ is they spend their whole life walking in and praying for things they can accomplish without God.

What are you letting him do in you? Have you been just a follower in words or are you living each breath, each step by his power?

3.) How big is your view of God? What God is able to do in and through us is relative to what we believe he is able to do. So many Christians spend so much time arguing what God can’t or doesn’t do anymore. I am persuaded that if we worship a small God who has a list of things he can’t do and we have a holy spirit who is mute and serves as just a glorified conscience then we limit what God is able to do in us and through us. Check out Mark 9, part of our drawing into a powerful life changing relationship with Christ is admitting the areas of unbelief and saying God help me believe in the depth of your power.

Is your God manageable, understandable and full of things he can’t do or doesn’t do anymore or is he the powerful God of the Bible? Part of letting him do what he wants in us is having an accurate view of Him.

4.) Lastly, we will all spend time in the desert or times of dryness; it is how we navigate through that time that tells if we fully belong to Him. It was in Jesus’ time in the desert (Matt 4) that he was tempted, he responds by clinging to Scripture. In dryness we must cling to the Word, not as a duty but because we need it.

What are you allowing God to do in you?

By Our Love

I always intend to write here, I really do, but somehow some way I find other things to occupy my time.  Today I HAD to write, something is stirring my spirit and I cannot put it aside.  I guess it even relates to some of the blogs I have posted in the past but this one is more than anything directed to all of us as who labor as Pastors.

This verse has been really birthing repentance in my heart for the last few days as I have thought on it, meditated on it and have sought to be intentional about living in light of it.

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.

I attended the C3 Pastors Conference last week and was really shaken by every single message that was preached.  Some were delivered by ministry legends like Ed Young Sr., others by pastors I had oftenly judged with scepticism like TD Jakes and Ed Young Jr and others by pastors whose name I had never heard like David Hughes, Leon Fontaine, Dr. John Cross, Samuel Chand, Dino Rizzo and others.  All that to say, I am different because these guys listened to God’s Spirit and shared from the depths of their soul what God had spoken to them.

It got me thinking, especially in light of all of the publicized attacks on Ed Young Jr, Pastor of Fellowship Church in the last few months, why do we as pastors seem to ” eat our own” so to speak.  It is obvious that Ed is anointed and gifted by God to be a voice to help those without Christ see their desperate need for them.  So in his time of attack, why are we blogging about him, slandering him, speaking out against him when I am sure most of us only know of him personally what the media has told us is truth.

What does it gain for us or the kingdom for us to be the cheerleading bloggers that are adding to the fire of those who are questioning his motives? It sickens me that  sometimes I feel it gives us some kind of joy when we see one of the “big dogs” in Church leadership fail because then we can pat ourselves on the back and feel better about our shortcomings as leaders.  All of us who pastor know how difficult being a pastor is, the behind the scenes stuff that can steal our joy and exhaust us if we do not stay intune with God himself for filling, contentment and power.  Many of us know the pain of slander that has been aimed at us or our family.  So why are we the ones sitting behind our comuter screens firing darts of accusation at one of our fellow co-laborers for Christ?

Don’t we believe that Ed needs prayer from us right now? If the pastors aren’t willing to stand with their own who will? Whether we agree with his actions, his theology, his method of ministry, he is still one of us. One of us who is impacting lives all over the globe for the kingdom. Rather than perpetuate the slander, lets unite to pray!

I was also convicted by my quickness to judge or be skeptical of the motives of pastors that I really knew little about.  I will tell you I felt pretty foolish that I had long been skeptical of TD Jakes when I heard him preach God’s Word Friday.  This man allowed God to work through him in a way I have seen few others do. He spoke with power, he spoke biblically, but most of all he allowed the Spirit to use him as a vessel. His message ate my lunch, gave me hope, pointed me toward Christ and helped trim away some dead branches in my life.

I guess in all of this the principal I learned is we can spend a lot of time slandering other leaders, jumping on our blogs and facebooks when another leader “fails” legitmately or by our standards or we can be a people who stand with one another, pray with and for one another.

Does the world know we are followers of Christ by the way we love each other or conversely do they see people who are quick to cast a stone at easy targets. God is telling me to put my rock down, that unless I have not failed as a leader then my stone belongs as an ornament of the dust rather than a weapon of accusation. Honestly I think this is a universal principle, who needs more prayer than our government leaders right now? Who needs to know the Lord more than the celebrities and atheletes that we see fall into moral failure?

We can continue to comment on our opinions of peoples failures or we can become serious about standing in prayer before God as broken people praying for other broken people, I know the road of change God is leading me down. I have no voice nationally, no one knows who I am in the Christian world but my prayer is that the things God has convicted me of will affect and resonate with Christian leaders around the globe

Praying, Loving and Standing with other broken leaders,

Darrell Halk

Faith Required…

I just finished reading a book by Francis Chan entitled Crazy Love .  I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to live out Christianity in the crazy radical way that God has called us to pursue Christ.  So much of what he said really resonated with my heart but one reflective question he asked has been spinning through my mind for the last few days.  I thought it would be awesome to share that quote with you today.

“What are you currently doing in your life right now that requires faith in God?”

A life lived for Christ, is a life lived based on faith.

Practical Applications for Ministers

Yes, yes, it is finally new post time.  I found this list of practical applications for ministers from a chapel service led by Dr. Jimmy Draper Jr. at SWBTS.  I think this was from my first semester there, but I am not sure.  I thought these might be helpful for other ministers out there.

1) Don’t neglect your personal relationship with God

2) Make time for your family

3) Everyone needs encouragement- be kind

4) Never make decisions when you are depressed or discouraged

5) doubt never means yes

6) be open and honest- be transparent

7) answer all phone calls, mail and email

8.) don’t let anger be a pattern of your behavior

9) Few people make mistakes on purpose

10) Let your preaching be from the Bible

11) There is no excuse for being unprepared to preach

12) Don’t flirt with temptation ( Ephesians 4:27: 2 Corinthians 4:2)

13) Cooperate with your fellow believers

14) Be a good steward of your position, influence and all your experiences

15) Pour your life into a few people

16) Cherish and protect friendships

17) Give credit to others

18) Keep cpnfidences

19) Lead by example

20) No premadonnas in God’s service- you have to earn the right to be the leader

21) You’re not always right so admit it

One Thing

 

I have begun reading a book called ” One Thing” by Sam Storms and already it is renewing my spirit and my focus.  There is one quote that I thought I would share with you today regarding our purpose on this Earth.  Storm says, ” You weren’t created for boredom or burnout or bondage to sexual lust or greed or ambition but for the incomparable pleasure and matchless joy  that knowing Jesus alone can bring.  Only then in Him, will you encounter the life-changing, thirst-quenching, soul-satisfying delight that God, for His glory, created you to experience.”

Remember in all we do, His glory should be the focus and the issue.

Wisdom from Mr. Magorium

 

Well here I am with another installment of the bald man ramblings.  This Sunday night I went to the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium at the dollar theater.  Most of the movie was outlandish, maybe better described as a play-land for people with ADD. 

In spite of that, there was one quote in the movie that really made me think. It was when Mr. Magorium tells Mahoney, “Life is an occasion, rise to it.”  Although his point was about succeeding in a worldly sense, God really spoke to me in that moment.  I took it as we are only here on this Earth but a short time, life is but a vapor or an occasion, and while we are here we should rise to that occasion. 

Rising to the occasion as a Christian is not about succeeding financially or stepping up to lead a business but as Paul says in Philippians 3 that we would be found in Him, know Him, fellowship in His sufferings and lay hold of that which Christ saved us for.

I want to rise to the occasion.  I want to lay hold of that which Christ laid hold of me for.  I want my life to be about knowing Him.  I want to be found in Him.  I want my life to reflect back to Him the glory he deserves.  I want to become all he wants me to become.  I want to reach the goal for which he called me heavenward.  I want to be holy. I want to be like Him.

Philippians 3:12 “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”

Next Up: Quotes and discussion from Sam Storms book “One Thing”

Calling God’s People to Prayer

Well I am back in the land of the living. I have a lot to write about stuff that God has been showing me in the past few weeks but I wanted to use this post to plead with all of you to go to God in prayer for my dear friends John and Kelly Sherrill. Their story is below and I invite you to go to their blog. The blog will bless you as you see God’s people stand up in the midst of trials. More than that John,Kelly, Jadon, Jack and Baby Kyle need your prayers as the walk through this journey.

This story begins with 5 people. John, Kelly, Jadon, Jack, and Kyle (he is only 23 weeks old… and he is still safely tucked away in his mommy’s belly) In an hour’s time Kyle made his way into the world. 1 pound, 5 ounces- 11 and a half inches long. This family will never be the same.

This child is a warrior. He has the spirit of a Lion, and more courage than a whole pride. He is fierce, and fearless- and he is teaching us to fear the Lord- and to believe that God is in our midst and healing even now. Join us as pray, as we praise, and as we journey through this life as lovers of God and all His glory

http://www.prayforkyle.com

Guess whose back, back again

That’s right blog readers of America, the bald guy is back to share my heart with you.  A verse that has been really speaking to me this week is Philippians 3:3.  In this passage Paul proclaims, ” for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.”

This verse hits me for many reasons.  First I think it gives us a clear picture of what a true worshipper looks like.  This is helpful in our discerning process in trying to determine if someone is a false teacher or a true worshipper of God.  This is what the church in Philippa was facing as the Judiazers were teaching false doctrines about salvation and confusing the new Christians.

A true worshipper:

a.) Worships in the Spirit of God

This proclamation is reminiscent for me of the John 4:23-24 passage in which Jesus says that he is seeking out the true worshippers, those who worship Him in spirit and in truth.  True worshippers are filled with God’s Spirit and rely on his direction.  Someone who is labeled as a true worshipper must have evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in their life.

b.) Gives all glory to Christ

I had a professor in seminary named Gordon Borror who proclaimed that in every breath, thought and action in our life that God’s glory should always be the issue for us.  Someone who is a true worshipper of Christ does not seek fame for his own name, but to make Jesus famous.  I love 1 Peter 2:9b which proclaims we are,”… a people for God’s own possession that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;”.  Our purpose in existence is to proclaim how awesome Jesus is.  If we come across someone who is proclaiming to be equal or better than Jesus, we can bet they are a false prophet.

c.) Puts no confidence in his own flesh

A true worshipper realizes what the old hymn says, ” Without Him I could do nothing. Without Him I’d surely fail. Without Him I would be drifting, Like a ship without a sail.”  Without Christ I am without hope, and I am utterly powerless.  Without Him, I am truly nothing. He gave me purpose, he adopted me into His family and I have no reason to boast except in what He has done.

Thoughts?