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Tag Archives: decision

Our Marriages are meant to be…

Our marriages are meant to be our first ambition in life.  When we marry we make a vow to love our spouse exclusively until we die. That vow informs every decision we will make the rest of our lives. When a man or woman take a monastic vow, they take years to move through a process that typically takes 6-8 years. First, they are observers, then postulants, and eventually novices. After that they take temporary vows, usually for two to three years, until they finally make permanent vows. At that point, they change their name, divest themselves of all their wealth, and commit to be part of a particular community the rest of their lives.  Every decision they make from that point forward is informed by that vow.  In the same way, if we are married, we have made a vow. That vow informs every decision we make. The pace of the church, and. Read more.

The 4 Questions in “Christian” Decision Making

Christian leaders ask 4 “beneath-the-iceberg” questions before making important decisions and plans: 1. How might my shadow be impacting my decisions/plan? Is this about me proving something? Am I looking for validation from others? Is this about my own ambition? Am I free from my anxieties, disordered desires, and unhealthy attachments? Do I need to talk with a trusted friend first? 2. What impact will this decision have on God’s call for me to lead out of my marriage or singleness? Will this lead to a diminishment in my oneness and closeness with my spouse or enhance it? As a single leader, will this decision hurt my closest, delightful relationships and ability to have a joyful life outside of work? 3. Am I making this decision from a non-anxious, anchored place of loving union with Jesus? Is there a sense that I am striving or making something happen? Am I abiding in Jesus (John 15:1-5). Read more.

The 4 Questions in "Christian" Decision Making

Christian leaders ask 4 “beneath-the-iceberg” questions before making important decisions and plans: 1. How might my shadow be impacting my decisions/plan? Is this about me proving something? Am I looking for validation from others? Is this about my own ambition? Am I free from my anxieties, disordered desires, and unhealthy attachments? Do I need to talk with a trusted friend first? 2. What impact will this decision have on God’s call for me to lead out of my marriage or singleness? Will this lead to a diminishment in my oneness and closeness with my spouse or enhance it? As a single leader, will this decision hurt my closest, delightful relationships and ability to have a joyful life outside of work? 3. Am I making this decision from a non-anxious, anchored place of loving union with Jesus? Is there a sense that I am striving or making something happen? Am I abiding in Jesus (John. Read more.

Ishmael

I preached yesterday on Abraham and Sarah’s impatient decision to move ahead of God as they waited for His promise of Issac (Gen. 16:1-4). It is hard to pass judgment on them since I have birthed many an “Ishmael” in my life. Sarah skillfully develops a plan that had worked well for other “ministries” of their day. The only problem is that it was not God’s plan for them! Strategic planning, goal setting, determining our priorities and our “to do” lists are all essential leadership skills. Yet I am also aware how easy it is to use my goals and plans to eliminate the mystery and mess that come with following our living, “wild” God.  So I developed this little “Ishmael Test” out of my pondering that I shared with our church family yesterday: 1. Am I afraid to ask God what His will is in this situation? 2. Am I uncomfortable exploring my hidden. Read more.

Rest and the Double Life

Last Sunday I preached on “Rest: Learning from Jesus” (John 12:1-8). I loved preparing, praying, thinking, and delivering it. I felt exhilarated when it was over. My schedule was relaxed after church. I met with a single mom and a couple of others congregants and visitors. I then realized I could make my 14 year old daughter’s soccer game. Geri and I generally take turns and I had been at Saturday’s game, but I thought it would be great to surprise them both. So I got into my car and began driving like a maniac – cutting though lanes, squeezing between cars in NYC traffic, pressing just a little harder on that accelerator. In the process, I cut off one of our associate pastors who was watching all this and laughing hysterically with his 17 year old in the car! They had just heard me preach my magnificent message on “Rest: Learning from Jesus.” When. Read more.