Skip to main content

Posts

The Essence of True Leadership

LEADERSHIP: More than just Influence Leadership is not just "influence." It is not just recruiting, training, and unleashing other leaders. It is more than just multiplying oneself. The essence of true leadership is summarized brilliantly in Proverbs 31. This is a series of proverbs which were designed to equip King Lemuel to be a wise and godly leader. He was taught: Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;   Ensure justice for those being crushed.   Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless and see that they get justice .   If you can't do this... Don't lead. (quotation from Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT)

7 Helpful Hints For Developing Your Personal Bible Study Time

Most Christians believe they should read God's Word. Most Christians believe they would benefit from spending time every day in God's Word. Few Christians spend much if any time reading the Bible on a daily basis. Here are seven steps you can take to help you develop your own time of reading, studying, and living out God's Word. 1. Lengthen Your Day If you don't have time to read your Bible, make more time.  Set your alarm clock to wake you 30 minutes earlier than normal. You can still shower and make your coffee first (that way you'll be awake when you sit down to read), but you now have 30 minutes you didn't previously have. This is a minor change that allows you to not give up anything, but still start something new. Before you complain that 30 minutes early is really inconvenient, think for a minute about what you're trying to do. You're trying to find time to read the most important words ever written in the history of mankind... You ca

2 Must Have Experiences for a Successful Life

O God, I beg two favors from you; Let me have them before I die. First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Where is the LORD?" And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name. (Proverbs 30:7-9 NLT )

What If...? (six years later)

----- I first wrote this on June 15, 2006. ----- What if it was a goal of our church to launch one new "community impact center" every year? What if "community impact center" (hereafter CIC) was just a fancy name for a new way of thinking about church? What if these CICs were launched in areas that most needed to experience the new life brought by Jesus (read: impoverished areas; high crime areas; etc.)? What if a major part of the DNA of every CIC was that it would launch a new CIC somewhere else within its first three years? What if that was possible because we unleashed 75-100 people to launch a CIC, and they committed to begin the process of launching a new one as soon as they had 300 regular participants? What if we could launch an autonomous CIC in Muskegon for less than $500,000? What if that CIC included a building which housed a community activity center that was open ever day and could serve as a third place for the surrounding neighborh

Your Anger is a Demonstration of What You Love

Have you ever been so mad that you... ? People do funny things when they are angry. They throw things and hit things and say things they will inevitably regret a short time later. I've known several "manly" men who have broken their hands, fingers and wrists because they punched a wall in anger. Jesus once made a whip and attacked a group of store owners. Does that mean it's okay to get angry? In Ephesians, Paul wrote that we should be careful that in our anger we do not sin. We must never let our anger control us. Anger can be a very destructive force, and usually in the hands of humans it is a negative thing; yet Jesus' anger can actually tell us something about God's love. Anger is often tied directly to love . If our dog Emily eats Liam's dinner while he's not watching he may or may not get angry. If dinner was my world famous spinach, hummus, and okra casserole; Liam will not get angry with the dog. He doesn't love that dish. Bu

American Pickers, Hoarders, and Water to Wine

Jesus makes all things new. His VERY FIRST miracle (recorded in John 2) was turning the water to wine. This wasn't just any old water. It was the water used for ceremonial cleansing prior to celebrations and meals. So think about this: The water used to clean our exterior was changed into WINE, which when internalized brings joy! Jesus was making things new. No longer did people need to strive to make themselves externally clean. That wasn't working anyway! Now, Jesus was going to miraculously change us from the inside out. Just as He miraculously changed the very nature of water, He also changes our nature. It's tempting to hold on to the old. We are, by nature, people who relish the past. American Pickers, Hoarders, Storage Wars, and Auction Kings are just a few of the recent television shows which reflect this tendency of humans to place a high value on the old way. We all have "old" things in our life which we like to hang on to. But it's IM

Avoid the Path That Leads to Death!

Thursday night at Camp Barakel, I talked with just the senior high guys. We discussed the direction of their lives by using a metaphor common to camp, the path. Here are the key ideas: 1. The paths you choose in life will determine your destination Every decision you make is a choice to follow a path that is leading you somewhere. Your life's destination will be the culmination of all those decisions. 2. Every path leads to a destination Some may think they can just "enjoy life" for a season and their decisions won't have consequences until they are "grown up". Wrong... If you choose the path of hard work and discipline your destination will be significantly different than he who chooses the path of parties and night life. 3. You may not see the destination, but you can see the path You must be careful about the path you walk as it may lead you somewhere different than you think. We used the youth from Proverbs 7 as an example. The path he chose L