The world may minimize, rationalize, deny, or medicate their losses, but God calls us to a different path in the new family of Jesus. Simply put, grieving well is a core discipleship issue – especially for those of us who lead. Consider a few of the great men and women in Scripture who were great grievers and great leaders: Isaiah, Hannah, Jeremiah, Moses, Mary, Paul, Peter, and most importantly, Jesus. Unless we courageously allow our losses to break open our hard hearts, we will project or inflict our unprocessed pain on others. But if we follow God’s pathway for us – paying careful attention to our pain, waiting with him in the confusing-in-between, and letting the old birth the new – we experience a stripping away of our false selves in order to become the new men and women we were truly meant to be. We move from spiritual babies with an incessant need. Read more.
I covered over my losses for years and years, unaware of how they were shaping my current relationships and leadership. God was seeking to enlarge my soul and mature me, while I was seeking a quick end to my pain. For my first seventeen years as a Christian, I treated grief as an interruption, an obstacle to my path to serve Jesus. In short, I considered taking time to grieve a waste of time that prevented me from maximizing my leadership. “Just get over it, Pete. It will pass,” I would mutter to myself. The problem here is that this is unbiblical and a denial of our common humanity. The ancient Hebrews physically expressed their laments by tearing their clothes and utilizing sackcloth and ashes. Jesus himself offered up prayer and petitions with loud cries and tears (Heb. 5:7). During Noah’s generation, Scripture indicates God was grieved about the state of humanity (Gen. 6).. Read more.
Limits are often the last place we look for God. We want to conquer them, plan around them, deny them, and fight them. We attend leadership conferences so we can step out in faith and break through the limits before us. The problem is that when we fail to look for God in our limits, we often bypass him. And we get ourselves, our families, and those we lead in a lot of trouble. Why? Because in God’s economy, the obstacles before us are often the path itself. When God sets limits before us, he rarely provides a reason or explanation. Limits do, however, confront us with his authority. They force us to make a decision – to trust his goodness or to rebel against him. For this reason, limits take us to the heart of the spiritual warfare that rages around our leadership and relationship with Jesus. In this podcast, we will consider. Read more.
One of the greatest spiritual challenges for every leader revolves around how we frame and respond to the limits God places around us. Yet receiving limits as a grace disguised touches the core of our relationship with God and thus the core of our leadership. I began exploring a theology of limits in 1996 in the midst of my own spiritual, leadership, and marital crisis. This theology has continued to deepen and broaden for me over time. My interaction with young, middle-aged, and older leaders also confirms this is one of the most critical issues we face as pastors and leaders – personally, biblically, and practically. We are not alone. Paul wrestled with it. So did John the Baptist, David, and Jesus. In this podcast, I begin offering a biblical framework to understand limits as disguised gifts of grace coming from the hand of God to us and our leadership. At the same time,. Read more.
I am fragile. When I get out of my rhythms of being with God, I am dangerous. I make unwise decisions; I over-function; I cross boundaries; I fail to be present to those I love; I become anxious; I rush. In fact, the finding of God’s rhythms for my life, and living them, is a matter of life and death – for me and for those I serve. And I am not alone. We are all fragile. This podcast is an invitation to get deeply anchored by deliberately structuring your life in ancient spiritual practices that have stood the test of time. In particular, I focus on the revolutionary practice of Sabbath-keeping and God’s invitation for us to stop and rest for a 24-hour period each week. This inevitably leads to many new insights about God and ourselves. As one person wrote: “Tell me one thing that is productive or efficient about it? The. Read more.
Most leaders are starved for time. We cram as much as possible into our to-do lists, trying to maximize every spare minute we have. We’re often scattered, distracted, overloaded, and tired. So, instead of being who we are and where we are, we are frequently on the way to someone or something else. Amidst the busyness and hurry of life, few of us have a sustainable, long-term plan that answers the question: How can I live and lead in a way that is calm, relaxed, and filled with contentment in Jesus? The answer is found in deliberately structuring our lives around God’s rhythms, in ancient treasures of spirituality that I have been integrating for over two decades: Daily rhythms Weekly rhythms Annual rhythms Larger rhythms every 7-8 years Let me invite you to Part One of this very important theme, a topic that comes up in almost every conversation I have with leaders. And. Read more.