Why are endings and transitions so poorly handled in our ministries, organizations, and teams? Why do we often miss God’s new beginnings, the new work he is doing? In part because we fail to apply a central theological truth—that death is a necessary prelude to resurrection. To bear long-term fruit for Christ, we need to recognize that some things must die so something new can grow. If we do not embrace this reality, we will tend to dread endings in the same way our wider culture does, as signs of failure rather than opportunities for something new. You Know You’re Not Doing Endings and New Beginnings Well When . . . • You can’t stop ruminating about something from the past. • You use busyness as an excuse to avoid taking time to grieve endings and losses. • You have a hard time identifying your difficult feelings (sadness, fear, anger). • You often find. Read more.
Everyone has a shadow. Shadows are those untamed emotions and behaviors that lie, largely unconscious, beneath the surface of our lives that constitute the damaged versions of who we are. They may be sinful; they may simply be weaknesses. Most importantly, they lie concealed just beneath the surface of our more proper selves. You know it’s your shadow when: You are defensive when someone corrects you or points out your flaws. You are triggered by a person, or circumstance, saying things you often later regret. You act out inappropriately when under pressure. You dismiss others when they bring up a difficult issue about you and your behavior. You keep doing the same thing over and over despite the negative consequences. You are angry, jealous, and envious – a lot. You do and say things out of fear of what other people think. You become busier when you are anxious rather than more reflective. You. Read more.
Bruce Gangnier’s sculpture of Moses Striking the Rock captures the one of the great temptations of leadership. Moses was commanded by God to speak to the rock so his “church” (2-3 million strong) might have water to drink. Instead, out of great frustration and anger, he struck the rock twice with his staff (Numbers 20:7-12). Moses never sees the Promised Land. Many of us miss the joy and peace of leading others in Jesus’ name (our Promised Land) because we are anxious, fearful, angry, frustrated and tired. The people get their water, as the Israelites did, but we pay a steep price. I have struck the rock more times than I want to count. Why? There are 2 temptations: 1. To build our own kingdom. We become unsure if we can trust God to grow our churches. So we help Him along, initiating programs and ministries to move the church along without consulting Him. 2. To force things because. Read more.
Many of us live inhuman lives because we believe inhuman rules like “don’t be sad”, “it’s bad to be angry”, or you’re weak if you’re afraid.” I will give myself license to feel all my feelings and not mark any of them as bad or weak. ALL my feelings are “guests” sent to teach me something. I won’t put them in the driver’s seat and let them control me or put them in the trunk and ignore them. I will pay attention to them all and then decide what to do with them.
You know you need a Sabbath when: The only time you are alone is in the bathroom. It takes you over thirty minutes to fall asleep because your mind is racing about things you forgot to do. You think rest is standing still in traffic. You go to check your e-mail for a moment and are still there an hour later. You cannot remember anything you ate the last 3 days. You drove upstate for an hour and had so much on your mind that when you arrived, you are not sure how you got there. You don’t know what day it is. You find yourself jealous and angry when someone else is enjoying life. When you can’t remember the last time you sat down to eat breakfast When you tweet during movie, text during dinner, read e mail during meetings and classes, and learn about your spouse’s day from Facebook. Sabbath is as. Read more.
The journey into a profound spirituality for me began when I said, “I quit.” Take the following assessment below and see if you need to quit: You need the approval of others to feel good about yourself. You are angry, sad, or disappointed and feel guilty about it – or don’t want to admit it. You believe you don’t have choices. You do for others what they can and should do for themselves. You are so focused on others that you rarely consider your own hopes and dreams. You say “yes” when you would rather say “no”. You have difficulty speaking up when you disagree or prefer something different. You’re becoming a less loving person instead of a more, loving person. You are resentful and tired because you regularly “try to do it all.” You are afraid to admit your weaknesses and flaws. If two or three apply to you, you may need to. Read more.