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Tag Archives: gift

Lead Out of Your Singleness

For the first 1500 years of the church, singleness was considered the preferred state; it was considered the best way to serve Christ if you were a leader. Singles sat in the front of the church. Marrieds were sent to the back. After the Reformation in 1517 AD, single people were sent to the back and marrieds moved to the front – at least among Protestants. Yet the New Testament describes, and deeply affirms, two types of Christian singles. The first is a vowed celibacy, for those who “renounce marriage because of the kingdom of heaven.” They freely choose not to marry but to set themselves apart in a total, exclusive and lifelong gift to Christ and His church. A very few are invited to receive this grace and gift from him (Matt. 19:11-12). The vast majority of Christian single leaders fall into the category of dedicated celibates. This term encompasses a broad range. Read more.

Sabbath: Receiving Revelation in Rest

When we miss the gift of rest, especially Sabbath rest, we miss so much of God. First, God comes to us with insights and truths that can only come when we rest. Our minds are not filled with our to do list or goals. The soil of our souls remains fallow and God is able to refresh her with fresh nutrients. Goals we think are important, we find out, are irrelevant. His love becomes our experience. We learn to trust Him with the church, with our problems, with our worries. Secondly, we free the people we serve. They see a prophetic sign and wonder that we are no longer slaves to work. We are not under powers and principalities of evil (Deut. 5:12-17). Our identity is in God’s love and goodness, not what we do. Thirdly, we save our communities and cities. We communicate, in a different way, that God is on the throne.. Read more.

Sabbath: Receiving Revelation in Rest

When we miss the gift of rest, especially Sabbath rest, we miss so much of God. First, God comes to us with insights and truths that can only come when we rest. Our minds are not filled with our to do list or goals. The soil of our souls remains fallow and God is able to refresh her with fresh nutrients. Goals we think are important, we find out, are irrelevant. His love becomes our experience. We learn to trust Him with the church, with our problems, with our worries. Secondly, we free the people we serve. They see a prophetic sign and wonder that we are no longer slaves to work. We are not under powers and principalities of evil (Deut. 5:12-17). Our identity is in God’s love and goodness, not what we do. Thirdly, we save our communities and cities. We communicate, in a different way, that God is on the throne.. Read more.

AA, Two-Steppers, and Leadership

AA has Twelve Steps to recovery for their program. The twelfth step is an act of gratitude when recovered alcoholics help other alcoholics stay sober. The gift received is passed along as the final step. In AA they speak of people who are “two-steppers” — people who take Step One (accepting they are powerless in their addiction) and then jump directly to Step Twelve (helping others) without the in-between steps where the hard work lies. They try to pass along something they themselves have not yet received. The desert fathers (3rd-5th century) talked about this temptation also. It is one of the great temptation I face, and I think we all face as leaders, talking about things of God that we have not lived. “Another brother spoke…about matters of which he had no experience. Theodore said to him, “You’ve not yet found a ship to sail in, not put your luggage aboard, not put. Read more.

AA, Two-Steppers, and Leadership

AA has Twelve Steps to recovery for their program. The twelfth step is an act of gratitude when recovered alcoholics help other alcoholics stay sober. The gift received is passed along as the final step. In AA they speak of people who are “two-steppers” — people who take Step One (accepting they are powerless in their addiction) and then jump directly to Step Twelve (helping others) without the in-between steps where the hard work lies. They try to pass along something they themselves have not yet received. The desert fathers (3rd-5th century) talked about this temptation also. It is one of the great temptation I face, and I think we all face as leaders, talking about things of God that we have not lived. “Another brother spoke…about matters of which he had no experience. Theodore said to him, “You’ve not yet found a ship to sail in, not put your luggage aboard, not put. Read more.

The Delays and “No’s” of God (Pilgrimage Reflection #1)

Due to a tragic plane crash at the airport in San Francisco, our trip to New Zealand was delayed – for one day. We “lost” a valuable day of sightseeing in that beautiful country before we begin a series of Emotionally Healthy Leadership and Marriage seminars. 400 years ago Vincent de Paul said, “(The one) who hurries delays the things of God.” I have delayed many of God’s good plans through my impatience over the years. How interesting that this is God’s first gift to me on this trip. In fact, God has been delaying to my plans for over thirty-five years as a Christ-follower. Whether I was leading our college fellowship, relating to Geri, advising our children about their future, engaging in plans for New Life Fellowship Church, dreaming about new writing projects, or imagining a vacation, He has said “no” to many of my “good” ideas. I remember tonight that I am. Read more.