85% of Christians are stuck at a personal Wall in their walk with Christ. It may be that another 85% of leaders are stuck at a Leadership Wall also. In Real Power: Stages of Personal Power in Organizations, Janet O. Hagberg develops a helpful model that integrates the essential place of the Wall in our lives as leaders. We tend to have one particular stage that best describes where we are now. Note you have to pass through one stage to get to another. Each builds on the ones that go before it. And it is possible to remain stuck in our leadership at a certain stage and choose not to move forward. The following are the six leadership stages: Stage 1: Powerlessness – We feel powerless, like we are being pushed around, controlled, and taken care of by others. We are dependent on others to get things done and need approval for almost. Read more.
“Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for mine eyes have seen your salvation… LUKE 2:28-30 Christians say with Simeon: “Our eyes have seen His salvation.” The Jews reply: “We have not seen His salvation, we are waiting for it.” The presence of the Messiah is a mystery; it cannot be said to everybody, and it cannot be seen by everybody, but only by those like Simeon who are driven by the Spirit….The mystery of salvation is the mystery of a child. Its nature is visible and invisible, it is here and not yet here…Salvation has the nature of a child….He who wants a salvation which is only visible cannot see the divine child in the Manger as he cannot see the divinity of the Man on the Cross and the paradoxcal way of all divine acting. Salvation is a child and when it grows up it is crucified.. Read more.
Geri and I left, last night, for a one-month global partnership trip to New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore. We are going both to give and to receive as we embark on a pilgrimage to be encountered by God. For most of Christian history, going on pilgrimage was understood as a spiritual discipline for devout believers. The first Christians learned about pilgrimage from the Jews who made the journey to Jerusalem each year for the three major feasts. It was only natural for the early Christians to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. After the excesses and abuses connected with pilgrimage during the Reformation, Protestants dismissed the entire concept as unnecessary. This changed in the 20th century as Protestants, along with Roman Catholics and Orthodox believers, been returning to Israel in significant numbers. It is common to meet believers making pilgrimages today to Jerusalem, Rome, Ephesus in Turkey, monasteries, and Santiago de Compostela in Spain. A. Read more.
Most Christians are more focused on the here-and-now than on the then-and there, i.e., our future life that is anchored in heaven (Heb.6:19). Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1647-1652) and his sculpture of Teresa of Avila. and the angel with the spear, portrays the following episode from her autobiography where she describes her encounter with God. We see in her a picture of our greatest longing: I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could. Read more.
Here are my final 3 books that have shaped my walk with Christ: Fill These Hearts, Christopher West All of us are here because of sexuality. God has built it not only into our bodies but into the core of the universe. To read Christopher West is to ignite one’s heart about all the ways God has given us to know Him and satisfy our deepest hungers. The study of God (theology) is built right into our bodies. Dance of Anger, Harriet Lerner I have found that anger is a very complex, misunderstood emotion and causes a lot of pain by being ignored and/or abused. We’re not any holier for stuffing it and worse off if we explode. Christians need to learn how to acknowledge and process anger. Lerner practically unpacks the emotion of anger. Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer, David Benner David’s book brought me to heaven each time I opened it reminding. Read more.
What would happen if Christians could be honest about: Why there is so much religious pathology in the church. (There is quite a bit of pathology in all fields – from business to athletics to academia to construction workers.) Why so many young people leave the church. (Our spiritual formation often does not prepare them well for the doubts that come with leaving the “nest”. Yet this can be, at times, a healthy differentiation process for their development.) Why so many Christians don’t deal with their own “stuff”. (It is the same reason many non-Christians do not – it is very difficult.) Why we don’t live what we believe. (Few people in all walks of life do. This takes great integrity and awareness). Why life is still hard. (“He sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” Matt. 5:45. This will not change this side of heaven). Why there is so much hypocrisy in. Read more.