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Tag Archives: wine.

Wine and the Slow Work of God

When I was in Italy, we visited the small, fortified city of Volpaia where we were given an in-depth tour of their winery. Their best, highest quality, and most expensive wines are aged over years in oak barrels. The barrels themselves are only used three times before they are replaced. The cheapest, most plentiful wine is aged very quickly in stainless steel containers. It is easy to offer wine from stainless steel containers in our churches. It is plentiful and quick. The problem is the taste is very different from wine that has had time to age in our hearts. This wine is scarce and slow. Consider this prayer by Pierre Tehilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), the French Jesuit priest and theologian: Above all, trust in the slow work of God.  We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on. Read more.

Leadership, Heaven, and the Love of God

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153 AD) was the greatest Christian leader in Western Christendom in the 12th century. He was a very active abbot with a “sphere of influence” over tens of thousands throughout Europe. I spent a good part of my annual retreat last week pondering just one of the insights from his sermons on the Song of Songs  — that our thirst for God, and His love, only increases through eternity!     All I could think of was what a contrast this was to the leadership seminars and books we promote in our day. Bernard writes that in heaven: We find satiety (i.e. the state of being full beyond the point of satisfaction) without the sense of having indulged too much. We find a desire to penetrate deeper that which is never quenched, yet which has no sense of unrest about it. We experience the eternal and incomprehensible desire that knows no. Read more.

10 Qualities of an Emotionally Healthy Wedding

After 9 months of planning Pete and I celebrated our daughter’s wedding last Sat. with about 180 guests. Out of that experience we realized there is such a thing as an “Emotionally Healthy Wedding.” Here are a few reflections as to what made it such a distinct, rich experience: 1. We Recognized Our Peerage. Our peerage with Christy had been established years ago. (We have done it with each of our daughters in young adulthood). We were not in a one-up, adult-child relationship. 2. We Clearly Expressed that the Most Important Thing for us was their Premarital Preparation. This was part of our gift to them. 3. We Gave a Gift of a Fixed Amount of Money and Let Go. Because this was a gift, they controlled the wedding, not us. There were no strings attached. They made the decisions and asked us for input along the way. 4. We Recognized the Most Important. 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.