Who’s Filling Your Cup?

As human beings we have basic needs. Some are physical like food, oxygen, water, sleep.  We also have needs for our inner being or our soul.  This includes the realm of our emotions.  This is what fills our cup and keeps us going.  There are four basic soul needs that all of us crave.  We are all created with these needs and we all search for ways to meet these needs everyday.  Most of the time we look in the wrong places to meet these needs.  So here they are:

  1. Acceptance – Knowing you are loved and needed by others.
  2. Identity – Knowing you are individually significant and special.
  3. Security – Knowing you are well protected and provided for.
  4. Purpose – Knowing you have a reason for living.

These basic needs are the driving force behind what motivates us in life.  Just like we crave food and develop an appetite, we crave emotionally to have these needs met on a regular basis.  If we go too long with these basic needs unmet, we become depressed, anxious, fearful, angry, lonely, and numb.  These are needs, so we must have them met or we cannot survive.  The problem is that the way we seek to meet these needs is primarily through other people or things.  When we do that three things usually result:

  1. We will be disappointed with the results, no matter how well things go.
  2. We will lack the inner resources we need to love others the way we should and confront life successfully.
  3. We almost always will be hurt or offended eventually by the one we trust.

When we trust in people and things our inner security is dependent on someone or something we cannot predict or control and that is limited.  Often our ability to give is dependent on what we get from from others.  If I am not getting what I want, then I don’t give what I know I should.  This leads to a life of disappointment and frustration.  When our expectations are that others meet these needs it creates a negative atmosphere of tension in our relationships.  It can even push the people around us away and create a gap in our relationships.  We are constantly disappointed with the people around us, because they can never live up to our expectations of meeting these four basic needs.

The answer is to put our trust in God to meet these basic needs.  When we trust in God our inner strength and security are dependent on God who is faithful and has unlimited resources.  Our ability to give to others flows from God living in us.  When others are not giving to us, we can still love generously and unconditionally which strengthens all our relationships over time.  Our lives are filled with an atmosphere of blessing, satisfaction and optimism because our perspective has changed from other people to God.  Our expectations of others changes, which takes pressure off of them and us.

So, who is meeting your basic needs?  If it is other people, let me encourage you to turn to God and ask Him to meet those needs of acceptance, identity, security and purpose.  As your relationship with God grows those basic needs are met in a deeper and more significant way.  The results are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control.

Road Trip to Atlanta


I am on a trip to Atlanta GA to learn from some other leader’s at some well run high level churches.  I have spent the last couple of days hanging out with different leader’s, listening to their stories and asking them questions.  As a leader it is important to keep growing and getting better at what we do.  Taking the time and energy to go and meet with people on their turf is a great investment for yourself and your team.  Many times you can glean some nuggets of information that can lead to fresh ideas that can lead to improvements in your leadership and the organization you run.

Seeking out mentors is a great way to stretch yourself and get outside of your normal routine.  It forces you to think of questions to ask and to be more observant to your surroundings.

Here are some takeaways so far on this trip:

  • We are all struggling with similar issues.  In talking with these leader’s it was clear that they face many of the same problems and challenges that my team and I face.  This includes individually and corporately.  The scale is sometimes different, but the issues are the same.
  • Most people are very willing to share what they know and take the time to meet if you ask.  Many times we think that the people we admire from a distance are too busy to spend time with us.  You never know until you ask.  This trip has taught me to be a bit more bold in seeking out people I can learn from.  It also has challenged me to be more generous with others that are seeking my time.
  • Leadership is the driving force behind successful organizations.  I can see why the churches I have met with are successful, they have great leader’s.  These men and women are humble and real, yet persistent and courageous.  They are all growing and stretching and trying to figure things out as they go.  They know the vision and are working as a team to make it happen.
  • The food in Atlanta is amazing.  Eating is always a highlight on trips like this.  I love to take in local cuisine and have some fun.  Getting away on a trip like this is a great way to relax and allow your creativity to grow.  I pay attention to the service I get at restaurants and try to even learn from them on how to treat customers and give people a good first impression.

I have a couple more days down here and will share some other nuggets later.  So who are you going to seek out this year to learn from and grow in whatever area you are leading?  It could be another mom or dad that you can learn some parenting skills from or someone to help you grow in your marriage.  It may be someone in the same position you have or a position you would like to have.  Maybe it is someone that could help you grow spiritually or emotionally.  Whatever area you want to get better in, seek some people out that you can learn from and then make the call.


Contentment Leads to Happiness


What does contentment mean?

“Contentment is realizing that God has already provided everything I need for my present and future happiness.”

In the New Testament, the words content and contentment are translated from arkeo, which means “to be satisfied; to be strong,” and autarkeia, which means “to need no aid or support; sufficiency of the necessities of life.

Be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” Hebrews 13:5.

Six Thoughts about Contentment:

  1. Contentment is contrary to human nature and must be learned.

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance” Philippians 4:11.

  1. Contentment begins by knowing the purpose of Life.

“I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death” Philippians 3:10.

  1. Contentment requires distinguishing between needs and wants.

“But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that” 1 Timothy 6:8

“So do not worry , saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘ What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-33.

  1. Contentment is based on a recognition of mutual need.

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” Matthew 4:4

  • Discontentment begins by desiring self-sufficiency.

Genesis 3:1-6

  • Discontentment leads to covetousness (Greed).

Then He said to them, ‘Watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”  Luke 12:15.

  • Covetousness produces idolatry.

The Tenth Commandment Exodus 20:17

  1. Contentment is achieved by exchanging things for more of Christ.

“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things, I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ” Philippians 3:8.

“He is no fool, who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot

  1. Contentment allows us to gain things of greater value.

The Parable of the Sower.  Matthew 13:18-23

Contentment is valuing God-given relationships more than earthly possessions.

Matthew 26:6-16

Mary of Bethany & Judas

Contentment is realizing that I am indestructible until my work is done.

Book of Nehemiah


Contentment is avoiding the bondage of personal expectations.

Joshua 7


Contentment is rejoicing in the way that God designed me.

Luke 19:1-10