EnCOURGE Your #Weaknesses

Encouragement is life-giving words empowering people we journey with to step out into their goals

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24)."

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).”

“in courage.”  God first encouraged us… “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word (2 Thes. 2:16-17).”   God encourages us to walk “in courage” for Jesus. What has someone spoken into your life that touched you deep down, acknowledging your deepest passions and skills, and gave you a vision of how you can walk in that?

I remember I started speaking and teaching in front of small groups as a student at the University of Oklahoma. A good friend, Brad Brickell, spoke encouragement into me by saying that I was gifted at speaking. I was floored because I have a speech impediment because of cerebral palsy, and it was very prominent during that time.

In my daily quiet time, I was reading about when God gave Moses a God-size mission to be His spokesperson. Moses responded in Exodus 4:10: “Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’”

 I thought, “YES, that’s me!” It was so comforting to know that the great Moses who parted the Red Sea and proclaimed God’s words boldly had a speech impediment too!!! God’s response to Moses was words of life to empower him to speak “in courage”: The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.'” -Exodus 4:12

I have spoken around the world from Pepperdine University to universities in other nations such as Haiti and Brazil sharing about God’s power through my weaknesses, encouraging people to live for Jesus courageously in their weaknesses! More than a speaker, I pray to be known as “an encourager”. E-mail my wife to book me at your event (marissa@toddlollar.com).

How has someone encouraged you to live out your purpose, encouraging you in your God-given gifts, talents and passions? Please share below. How are you going to encourage someone in your life this week?

Originally posted 2015-01-19 07:00:00.

Are YOU REALLY Sorry?

Breakthrough In YOUR Identity

I rolled by a laundry mat at 11:00 p.m. and saw a hanging sign that read… “Sorry, we’re close.”  I thought, you don’t have to be sorry, it’s 11:00 at night!  What am I going to do? Come back tomorrow and say to the employee, “Hey, I walked by at 11:00 last night with my dirty laundry… you should’ve been open.”
sorry we're closed
That sign has a phrase I could’ve had around my chest because I have said that phrase most of of my life, “I’m sorry”.  This phrase was so common out of my mouth that I started repeating it for all types of situations I could not control, for things that were not my fault and for things that were, as if that is a reason to speak over my whole identity that… “I am sorry.”  
In my journey with Jesus in my 20s, I began to have older guys befriend me and disciple me.  I use to be sorry for everything, for existing, then someone started living life with me, speaking into me who I am in Christ.  The first two verses of the Navigators Topical Memory System is anchored in knowing who you are in Christ:
  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
  • I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NIV)
In Christ, you are a new creation!  The old is gone! The new is here! You’ve been crucified with Christ!  You no longer live. BUT, Christ lives in YOU!
The Webster’s Dictionary defines Identity as “a person’s conception and expression of their individuality.”  A secular view of Identity is how you conceive yourself; therefore, express yourself. Here is a biblical definition that is even more poignant:  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”:   (Proverbs 23:7a KJV).  One day in a quiet time, I wrote this in my journal: 
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells me I am in Christ.  Galatians 2:20 says to me Christ is in you.  When you put your faith and trust in Christ, He becomes your identity.  Are you trying to “find yourself” or trying to answer the question “who am I?” Look to Jesus.  
  • Do you ever wonder who you are?
  • What Bible verses remind you who you are?
  • Think of someone you can meet with this week to discuss and memorize a Bible verse about who you are in Christ.

Feel free to continue the conversation and comment below the blog entry.

Originally posted 2014-07-28 01:00:10.

#Wheelchair #Skiing: Don’t Try This At Home

Who is your strength?

skiingI don’t necessarily like to read instructions, but you know what, there are times when it sure would be nice to receive instructions. There was one time in particular when instructions would have been very helpful for me.

The first time I ever went snow skiing was right after I got my masters. About 7 of my friends and I decided to celebrate by snow skiing at Winter Park, because they’re known for wheelchair skiing. They asked me if I wanted to ski by myself or have an instructor. Well, I’d never been skiing in my life, so I asked for an instructor.

The very first time we went up the slope, I knew this was going to be beyond me, and I knew I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My instructor tied himself to my ski sled, and then said “Okay Todd, go.”

So without instructions, I started skiing down this hill. My only experience with snow skiing was watching speed skiing on the Olympics where they go straight down the hill. So there I was, going straight down this hill, gaining speed every second. The wind was smashing into my face and my face felt like it was lagging behind me as I sped down this hill constantly picking up speed.

Suddenly, I saw a tree in front of me. A big tree. I knew I was going faster and faster and was about to slam into this tree. As if having Cerebral Palsy and being in a wheelchair wasn’t enough, I was about to have some serious issues after smashing into a tree at this speed. I was helpless and weak, and my only hope was the instructor behind me with that rope. All of the sudden I felt myself stop as the instructor pulled the rope 10 feet in front of the tree. He said “Todd, you’re supposed to take very wide turns to slow down! The straighter you ski the faster you go.” Now you tell me!

I had to totally depend on that instructor in my weakness. If it wasn’t for him, I would have slammed into the tree, and if it wasn’t for him, I also wouldn’t have been able to ski in the first place. If I hadn’t let myself be weak in order to try something new, I wouldn’t have been able to experience the next 3 days of skiing down mountains and having the time of my life.

In our weaknesses, God wants us to enjoy life and have fun. He wants to steer us away from crashing; He wants to be our strength. Even with our weaknesses, we can enjoy life, living a full life for Him as He is our power.

What weaknesses in your life could be a conduit for you to lean on God, experiencing His power through those weaknesses?

What is your first step this week toward experiencing strength beyond yourself ?

How can you encourage someone this week to live in God’s power through their weaknesses?

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Originally posted 2014-05-05 08:00:40.

4 Urgencies To Execute In Your Life

Marissa and I recently experienced the blessing of leading a

What a blessing it was to officiate this couple's wedding. Marriage portrays such a beautiful picture of the Good News of Jesus to the world!

What a blessing it was to officiate this couple’s wedding. Marriage portrays such a beautiful picture of the Good News of Jesus to the world!

sweet Godly couple in their premarital counseling. I officiated their wedding and it was impacting because they are the counter-cultural but Kingdom example of institutionalizing urgency in life by not waiting an extended amount of time to be married. God’s word directly states: “For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:2‬ ‭NLT).” It’s time for you and I to live daily with the return of Jesus on the forefront of our minds!

Here are four urgencies in my 20 years in ministry that I see followers of Jesus need to execute in life:

1. Give your dead friend life. How many friends do you have who do not have Jesus? The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:1 calls them “dead”. Converse about the Good News of Jesus with them and ask them to trust Jesus! You know the One who can give your friends life! Jesus proclaims: “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life (‭John‬ ‭5‬:‭24‬ NIV).”

2. Ask her out today or marry her. Marriage is the most tangible way to experience the Good News of Jesus. The apostle Paul declares this: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault (Ephesians‬ ‭5:25, 27).”‭‬ ‭If you know the Godly lady you want to pursue, ask her out, get to know her heart and marry her. Learn from Ashtin (read picture caption). I’m available to officiate your wedding!

3. Start having children. This is a major way God’s Good News is passed on. I’m speaking to you married couples who have been married for awhile and are still waiting for the perfect American scenario. You don’t need that perfect salary, perfect car, perfect house and all your selfish good times before your start your family. That’s what the world thinks. This is extremely selfish and not Christ-centered. It’s not Kingdom living! This is: “Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up (Deuteronomy‬ ‭6:4-7‬ ‭NLT).”‬‬ Start passing down your faith and build your family in 2017! If you cannot physically have children, become foster parents and become a blessing to one or more of the thousands of children in the foster care system.

4. Give today. One of the callings each follower of Christ has is to give. We don’t give to get but we give to bless. But, when you give to bless, you receive blessings. “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians‬ ‭9:7-8).”‬ ‭

One way you could start executing urgency in your life TODAY is by giving to this ministry:

Originally posted 2016-12-18 06:00:25.