I did a podcast a year ago based on a mentoring conversation I had with two young Bulgarian pastors who were visiting with us in New York City. Their questions revolved around the following theme: “Why has God allowed so much suffering in our lives when we are serving Him faithfully?” This year they returned with more understanding on this question but continued to struggle as to why painful Walls continued to block their dreams. Our discussion was so significant that I decided to record a podcast to revisit this very important theme. God has a great plan for you. But if you are going to become the extraordinary human being He intends and be a blessing to the world, you too will have to navigate the dark nights that will come your way. God purged Moses, Abraham, David, Daniel, and Hannah, for example, of deep-rooted sin and emptied them for a life of. Read more.
For years I heard the maxim: “Only the one who has learned to be silent is prepared to speak.” I would also add: “Only the one who has learned to be silent is prepared to lead.” Think about it: Paul, after his conversion, spent three years in a silent retreat in Arabia. Jesus spent thirty years of silence until he opened his mouth and began to teach. John the Baptist spent his adult life in the desert before he brought a word from God. Ezekiel said, “For seven days I sat in silence and was dumbfounded.” Job seven days in silence until he opened opened his mouth in anguish. Habbakkuk and Samuel waited before the Lord before they spoke. How can we learn to lead out of silence in the midst of our noisy world and churches? Slowly practice silence…. before, during, and after our words. This is a life work, and it can. Read more.
I read Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother with ambivalent emotions. It is true that many Chinese parents raise stereotypically successful kids (at least as defined by academic achievement and upward mobility) through discipline, parental intensity and a narrow view of what constitutes intelligence. But I think Howard Gardner’s seminal work on seven types of intelligence -linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, musical, interpersonal, and intra-personal — is more holistic and more in line with God’s view of what makes “intelligence.” Nonetheless, I believe there is a “Tiger Pastor” in the Western church, and in me. I was trained as one actually. What might a “Tiger Pastor” look like? To begin, I think they are: 1. Workaholics. Life is growing the numbers in the church, the buildings, the budget, the next hill to climb.There is little time for life outside of work for play. Life is, sadly, very narrow. 2. Delight-deficient. Again, there just. Read more.