Success is first and foremost doing what God has asked us to do, doing it his way, and in his timing. Years ago, when I was first wrestling with redefining success, I imagined what it might be like to come before God’s throne at the end of my earthly life and say, “Here, God, is what I have done for you. New Life now has 10,000 people.” Then he would respond, “Pete, I love you, but that was not what I gave you to do. That task was for a pastor in another part of New York.” Have you ever considered that your ministry, organization, or team may be growing and yet actually failing? Think with me for a moment about some of God’s faithful and, hence, most successful leaders: Jesus said of John the Baptist, “Among those born of women none is greater than John” (Luke 7:28). Yet, if we were to create. Read more.
Geri led us in this contemplative experience as a New Life staff team last week. On the “planning” retreats we take two to three times a year, we generally take a half a day focused on our internal lives with God before launching into our external work for Him. Enjoy this personally or as a team. Fire – by Judy Brown What makes a fire burnis space between the logs,a breathing space.Too much of a good thing,too many logspacked in too tightcan douse the flamesalmost as surelyas a pail of water would.So building firesrequires attentionto the spaces in betweenas much as the wood.When we are able to buildopen spacesin the same waywe have learned to pile on the logs,then we can come to see howit is fuel, and absence of the fueltogether, that makes fire possible.We only need lay a loglightly from time to time.A firegrowssimply because the space is there,with openingsin which the. Read more.
Geri led us in this contemplative experience as a New Life staff team last week. On the “planning” retreats we take two to three times a year, we generally take a half a day focused on our internal lives with God before launching into our external work for Him. Enjoy this personally or as a team. Fire – by Judy Brown What makes a fire burn is space between the logs, a breathing space. Too much of a good thing, too many logs packed in too tight can douse the flames almost as surely as a pail of water would. So building fires requires attention to the spaces in between as much as the wood. When we are able to build open spaces in the same way we have learned to pile on the logs, then we can come to see how it is fuel, and absence of the fuel together, that makes fire. Read more.
The Wall Street Journal noted that part of the reason for the massive destruction in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan was due to a failure to acknowledge its’ size and power as it approached their shores: “They had simply failed to imagine a storm so large. That failure of imagination, combined with residents’ skepticism …had a deadly and devastating impact. As of this weekend, the death toll reached 5,235 with a further 1,613 missing…They grossly underestimated the havoc the storm would wreak.” Are we grossly underestimating the massive storm that may have already hit our shores? I have been gathering statistics from different researchers for the past six months on the state of the church. Here are a few data points I discovered: An estimated 8 out of 10 youth from evangelical Christian homes walk away from their faith by age 23 (Brown 2006). Less than two out of five who believe the Bible. Read more.
Geri and I arrived in NZ with a full cup and began a 3-city tour, in different parts of the country, each separated by a plane flight. This was akin to getting on the bus “SPEED” – with fifteen-hour days (teaching an EH Leadership seminar from 9:00-4:30 and a 7:00-9:15 EH Marriage Seminar in each city.) We thought the travel days would be recovery days but they turned out to be a different kind of “work” – traveling by car and plane, encountering storms, 2 days of lost luggage, as well as the unpredictable factors that come with being in a new culture. By the end of the week, we were sadly exhausted. Too many people, too much work, and too little silence and downtime. Partnering with WillowCreek New Zealand was a joy. The issue revolved, primarily, around our decisions. We asked ourselves: “What does an “emotionally healthy,” global partnership, speaking tour look like? How. 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.