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Showing posts from January, 2019

Get Up! (no more excuses)

JOHN 5:8 - "Get up, take up your bed, and walk." In 1998, I was a boy's varsity soccer coach. One of my players was only marginally talented, so he rarely started games but he was good enough to get into most games for a few minutes. He probably could have been better, but his work ethic was severely lacking. At least once or twice a week, he would begin complaining about an "injury" as soon as it was time for the team to work on their conditioning (which meant lots of running). He used the "injuries" he had suffered as excuses for his poor performance and lack of hard work. I finally had to create a new team policy. Anyone who asked to miss all or part of a practice due to injury was not allowed to play in a game until I had written clearance from their doctor. It was a terrible rule, but it became necessary due to the excuses being made by a few players. We make excuses when we don't want to assume control of our own decisions and actions.

Learning to See Both Sides of Myself

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. (1 John 1:8 NLT) How silly we are when we claim or consider ourselves to be sinless or without fault. This is not something I like about myself, but it is still true; on a regular basis, I fail to represent God appropriately. That's a sin. Every time. One of the things I love about the Bible is that it doesn't paint anyone in a righteous light (except Jesus). We see all the warts of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, etc. This is not something we talk about a lot, but Jesus' disciples were also very conflicted. These men changed the world more than any other group in history, yet they were far from "consistent" characters. Jesus called Peter a "rock". Yet it was Peter who denied his knowledge of Jesus because he was afraid of a servant girl. We know Thomas as a doubter, but he was the one in John 11 who said, "

10 Lessons On Leadership from John the Baptist

"After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” If I were to use one sentence to summarize John the Baptist's leadership style I would say this: John the Baptist was fully committed to building someone else's kingdom instead of his own. When reading Mark's account of the desert prophet, I am struck by the wild popularity of John prior to Jesus' arrival. Yet, even though he could have gained wealth, position, possession and more; John chose instead to lose everything (even his head) in order to point people to Jesus.  Mark doesn't devote a great deal of ink to the story of John, but what he does say is profound. Below are 10 reflections of mine from Mark 1:1-8. John the Baptist was a celebrity who could have greatly benefited from a solid self-promotion campaign. Instead, he chose to point everyone to Jesus. J

5 Leadership Investments from Genesis 2

Many leadership books and lessons have been written using the examples of biblical characters such as Nehemiah, David, Paul and more. Rarely have I seen leadership lessons gleaned from God's creative work in Genesis 2. Today, I'm going to make a couple observations about leadership which are a result of my reading in Genesis, but first let me identify a couple preconceptions about leadership: 1) Leadership is not about power or authority, it is about investing into people . That's why Jesus washed his disciples feet. 2) Leadership is not always measurable.  We invest ourselves faithfully, we pray for the Spirit's work, but ultimately we don't know the results of our investment. Fortunately, God is more concerned with our investment... He already knows the return. So here are a few "Leadership Lessons from Genesis 2" (read the chapter if you need more context!). Whether you are leading a musical group, a group of volunteers in children's min istr