Few times in the year present more pressure and stress than the week before Christmas and Easter. In fact, the demands feel so overwhelming that we often lose our own center in Jesus. So allow me to offer, in a few words, three reminders that may help you this week: Jesus wants you more than your leadership. You were called. Chosen. You didn’t initiate your discipleship. He did. Why? First, to be with you, to enjoy loving union with you. Any work we do for him is to flow from that place. The Eastern Orthodox church, historically, has placed a healthy emphasis on breathing and prayer as a tangible way to abide in Jesus. Close your eyes for a few seconds now. Inhale and exhale slowly, and allow his love to wash over you. Jesus is building his church – not you. Jesus said: I will build my church and the gates of hell. Read more.
It is hard to be a Christian at Christmas, especially if you are a pastor or leader. These are at least five mistakes that we often make: We skimp on our time with Jesus in our work for Jesus. We speak of profound spiritual realities, but our hearts slowly shrink because we have so much to do. We become perfectionistic. We forget that to be human is to make mistakes. Eugene Peterson says it well: “Perfectionism is a perversion of the Christian way. To impose it on either oneself or another…is decidedly not the way of Jesus.” We do more than God asks. When we do more than God asks, we open the door for all kinds of disorder and chaos. We engage in faulty thinking. Mark Twain once said, “It isn’t what you don’t know that hurts you; it is what you know that isn’t so.” We forget our greatest gift is who. Read more.
Unmet and unclear expectations create havoc in our churches, places of employment, friendships, and families – especially around holidays like Thanksgiving. Of course you’re coming to Thanksgiving this year. We’re important to you, aren’t we? I’m so disillusioned. I expected that you would make an effort to get here early to help. If you cared about me, you would take time to ask me how I was doing. I can’t believe they didn’t ask what they could bring to dinner this year and just showed up! We expect other people to know what we want before we say it. Most of our expectations are unconscious, unrealistic, unspoken and un-agreed upon. Clarifying Expectations is one of the most important skills we teach in The Emotionally Healthy Skills Course. The principle is as follows: Take a few minutes to consider the expectations you have around this Thanksgiving – ones that that may leave you angry, disappointed,. Read more.