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.
Four critical factors form the foundation of personal and organizational goal setting. When ignored, we will find ourselves, eventually, anxious and rushing, with too much to do in too little time. These include: 1. God’s First Goal for You. My first goal is to be a contemplative who dwells in God’s presence (See Ps. 27:4 for David’s modeling of this). Establishing these daily, weekly, annual rhythms to be with God comes first. 2. The Interior Movements of the Heart. I listen for the consolations and desolations of the Holy Spirit inside me. Does this initiative give me life or death as I imagine myself going this direction? 3. The Gift of Limits. Rebellion against God is tightly tied to making good plans for God that are not His. (See The Emotionally Healthy Church, chapter 8). For example, since I am called to lead out of a great marriage, every initiative is filtered through its impact on my. Read more.
I will quit doing for others what they can and should do for themselves. I will stop perpetuating their immaturity or my false sense of indispensiblity. When tempted to overfunction I will ask, “why do I want to do this?” I will use my extra time to think about my life’s goals.
During my summer vacation (or mini-Sabbatical), I had the opportunity to visit a few churches. I heard some well-delivered sermons with excellent illustrations, sharp deliveries, and technological grabbing support. I had, however, some observations that, I think, are worth pondering about what makes preaching out of a paradigm of emotional healthy spirituality quite distinct. While this is not meant to be an exhaustive list, this is what I would like to say to myself and my fellow-communicators who have the unique privilege to speak for God to His people out of what I heard this summer: 1. This is not about us or our validation. It is not about people moving towards us but towards Jesus. 2. We must preach out of deep place of prayer as foundational to our preparation. 3. Respect complexity. especially as it relates to applications. What does it mean, “God wants us to triumph?” “Position yourself properly?” Praise God sacrificially?” “Trust. Read more.
Leadership is sacred, holy work before God. Whether it be leadership of our own lives, our churches, our famlies or our finances, it is a challenge to mature through the walls and challenges that confront us. It is easier to remain in anxiety, ruminate needlessly, or become reactive when we are stuck. This happened to me recently at New Life around a complex administrative issue before us. As a result I returned to the following simple,but difficult, emotionally healthy skill called, “Bust through the Wall to Maturity.” After working the simple steps below, over many hours and days, God’s pathway became clear. And I found myself flourishing before Him once again. Give it a try: 1. Identify one specific situation about which you have anxiety or feel stuck. 2. To what conclusions might you be jumping? Pass what you think to be true through the “distorted thinking” lens. Ask yourself: Am I doing… —. Read more.