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Tag Archives: temptation

Limits, Loaves and the Power of God

To embed emotionally healthy spirituality into your church (i.e. a serious discipleship model that involves The EHS Course and The EH Relationships Course)is slow…very slow. As I shared at my final talk at the EHL Conference 2016 last week, if we are not to be derailed, we must grasp two core biblical truths – limits and loaves. My greatest sins over the last 30 years of leadership have revolved around embracing God’s limits. It remains my greatest temptation to this day – enticing me into rebellion, anxiety, and impatience. Like you I am limited, for example, by my time, my age, my physical energy, my gifts and talents, and the ministry context/people God has entrusted to me. As a result, it is easy to grow frustrated and look for a quick fix, especially when it comes to discipleship. If we define a disciple as a follower of Jesus who surrenders to His will and. 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.

Exponential, Church Planting, and the Temptations of the Wilderness

This past week I presented two workshops at “the largest gathering of church planters in the world” – at the Exponential Conference.  Over 5000 people attended while another 20,000 leaders watched through a live webcast. It was extraordinary to see so many men and women with a passion to serve Jesus and offer their entire lives to advance His kingdom in the 21st century. I was in awe of God as I listened to speakers and learned new things about what God was doing in different parts of the world. As I interacted, however, with young pastors, missionaries, superintendents, and denominational leaders, it became readily apparent (to me at least) that at least four temptations threaten to derail what God wants to do through His church going forward: 1. Drivenness – Cattle are driven. Sheep are led. The word doesn’t belong in our vocabulary. The primary call for us as preachers/leaders/pastors is to embrace a. Read more.

The First Thing To Do Each Day

Seth Godin wrote a great blog called, “The First Thing You Do When You Sit Down at the Computer” each day. He says, “If you’re an artist, a leader or someone seeking to make a difference, the first thing you do should be to lay tracks to accomplish your goals.” I think he is right – for artists and leaders at least. If you are a Christ follower, however, the first thing you are to do is “to get up and go” to the place of grace like the younger son in Luke 15:11-24.  Soak in the unconditional love that God bestows on you. Let Him heal your shame and celebrate over you “with music and dancing.” Dare to believe that you are His beloved. Adam and Eve lost this sense of their blessed identity and listened instead to the voice of temptation. In their hiding God sought them, asking “Where are you?”  God. Read more.

Centering Prayer: Entering the Apophatic Prayer Tradition

Be still and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10) At our staff meeting yesterday, I introduced “Centering Prayer.” I shared from the notes below and answered a few questions. Then we took ten minutes of silence together before the Lord.  Their overwhelming positive response truly surprised me! While my life has been significantly impacted over the last four and half months by this, I was unsure of what to expect. The following notes are quotes and insights from my Sabbatical journal. They come from the following three books:  Thomas Keating’s, Open Mind, Open Heart, Cindy Bourgeault’s Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, and Basil Pennington’s Centered Living. Introduction: There are 2 primary ways of praying in the church:kataphatic – prayer that uses words, images,  e.g. Scripture, icons, song, worship and; apophatic – prayer that is beyond words, thoughts and images. There are many ways of prayer. Centering prayer is only one form, a form. Read more.