Archive for the ‘Just A Thought’ Category

Have you ever stood in front of the microwave and said “come on, hurry up”?

We are all so busy and live in such a fast paced world full of anxiety and the call to get things done. I wonder just how well we are able “be still and know” (Psalm 46). I know it is hard for me sometimes.

Paul asked an interesting question on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). He said, “Who are you, Lord?”. From time to time maybe we should ask that question along with “Lord, what would you have me do?”, then be still, spend time in His promises and His power and listen to what He has for us.

Telling the microwave to hurry up is futile, so is living life without Jesus and knowing who He is and being about His work.

Love and Hate

Posted: October 16, 2013 in Check It Out, Just A Thought

It seems like we have always been told how bad it is to hate. However, recently I have seen a different perspective on hate. I have been reading a leadership book by Dr. Henry Cloud called     “9 things a Leader Must Do”. I’m trying to learn to be a better leader.

One of the chapters is called “Earn A Black Belt In Hate” which struck me as odd. Through that thought process and looking into scripture and praying, the Lord has taught me something. In the book Cloud says that we can tell a lot about people in what they love and what they hate. That makes a lot of sense. He also points to the Book of Proverbs and specifically Proverbs 6:16-19 which says; There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Cloud points out that people who hate things like arrogance, lying, innocent people being hurt, harmful schemes, evil practices and things that stir up dissension would be good people to have around because you can depend on them. Jesus said in Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” I have a note in my Bible that says ‘mourn over their own sin’. Which is something I and maybe all of us need to look at more closely. How do we view our own sin?

Matthew 22:34-40 is The Greatest Commandment, and Jesus says; “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

I get that this is a very basic lesson but sometimes we need to be reminded of the basics. Love what is good, what is of the Lord and be about it. Hate what is evil and especially our own sin and flee from it. I don’t know about you but I needed to see that in my life…again.

Ever wonder why your decisions keep producing outcomes that are less than what you hoped for?  Maybe it’s because the thinking that determines your decisions is not based on truth.  Maybe it’s only wishful thinking.  Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  And yet…many of us make decisions all day long that are based on assumptions that are just not correct.

Some time back Andy Stanley talked about this concept in a message called “Breakaway.”  Here’s what he said, “Your thinking determines your decisions and your decisions determine your outcomes.”

Next time you find yourself standing a midst the debris field of a bad outcome, ask yourself: “What are the deeply held beliefs that led me to make the decisions that produced this outcome?”  That’s where you might find an adjustment to your thought process.

This is a blog post which comes from: MarkHowellLive.com

Have a great day!

Yesterday Pastor Dave talked about praying with your wife. Here is a link to an article that will help you get started if you are feeling uneasy.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/strengthening_your_marriage/spiritual_intimacy/beginning_to_pray_together.aspx

Here’s a little encouragement for you. Like anything worth doing, it’s hard to get new habits started but this is one that will be of great benefit to many, many couples. Do the hard work, talk to your wife about praying together and just get started. Let it feel odd at first, its OK but the push through the odd. In the end it will be a major win.

Bearing Not Overbearing

Posted: June 12, 2013 in Just A Thought

In Titus 1 verse 7 and 8 there are two lists. It lists ‘vices’ and ‘virtues’ that Paul uses to describe to Titus what he should look for in the character of the men who would be appointed elders in the churches on the island of Crete.

These character traits are not just for elders or those who may become elders are they? Of course not. They are for all of those that follow Christ. Everyone who has been saved should, through the work of the Holy Spirit, be striving to be free from the ‘vices’ in our lives.

In verse 7 the first ‘vice’ or quality that an elder is  listed as “not overbearing”.  Let’s take a look at that a little closer. Overbearing is described as self-willed, haughty or domineering; dictatorial; rudely arrogant. Things like pride, selfishness and lack of care for other people come to mind. Have you been around overbearing people? Are you in a place where you have to be around an overbearing person? Overbearing people are not enjoyable to be with; it’s that plain and simple. They think they know more than anyone else. They think that they are more necessary than they really are.

What’s the other side look like? What does it look like to not be overbearing? Well, think of the word “bearing”. One definition is that which carries weight or acts as a support. Or, think of load bearing, capable of bearing a structural load, withstanding a weight or strain. Quite the contrast isn’t it?

God’s standard, which we are incapable of meeting on our own, is set very high. This is why we need His Son. Look at the “one another’s”. Here is a link to the list on our GROW Group leader tools page:

http://growgroupleaders.bethel-church.org/blog/files/2009/09/Biblical-One-Anothers.pdf

It would seem that the one who carries the load or supports the weight of people around him is the one most likely to live out the “one another’s” in his life. He is the man that is bearing or able to bear the burdens of others, the one who lifts others up, who encourages people and moves them forward spiritually. Those overbearing dudes don’t do that. Their actions and words tear others down and discourage people. In other words, the shepherd cares for the sheep; he doesn’t beat them up, make them feel unworthy or bring harm to them.

Are you a bearing guy or an overbearing guy? Can people bear to be around you or not? Just somethin’ to kick around and think about. Have a great rest of your day…

Undercover Boss

Posted: April 23, 2013 in Just A Thought

Have you ever seen the show Undercover Boss?

If you haven’t the basic premise is that a company executive will go undercover and out in the field to check the pulse of their company. The exec will pose as someone who is a new hire or is there to learn about the specific industry.

In a typical show the undercover exec will find some people who are not living up to the company expectations and some folks who have not only embraced the company’s  values but are exceeding expectations.

Each episode ends with the company exec meeting with the people who ‘trained’ them and revealing their true identity. Typically those who are working hard, going above and beyond are rewarded in some way and those who are not doing so well are at least given a chance to improve. Those are the basics of the show.

So I got to thinking about what we do as leaders on a day in day out basis. While watching Undercover Boss, I’m always struck with this question (and I get that it’s all crafted for TV) why does it take a company executive to recognize people?

As leaders we need to look for teachable moments. They can happen at home, at work and in whatever groups that we are involved with, they are all around us. Recognizing the great things that the people around us do will encourage them to keep going and bringing attention to the not so great things will help them grow. In other words, speak the truth in love!

Leading is a tough job because people are involved. Balancing how we lead is even tougher. Recognizing the good and great in people and coaching them through the not so great is what good leaders do. You may not be a leader yet or you may only be leading a few either way, think about the future.  As a leader what do you what to be known for, what you do or what the people that you lead do?

Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you had so much passion for doing a specific thing. It’s that time in your life when you feel, maybe you know, that God has called you to something.

 I don’t know what that thing is for you, but you know God has called you to do a work.  You begin by putting effort to move forward and pushing hard to accomplish the thing you have been called to do.  Some would say, your hair is on fire and you’re running fast.  No obstacle is too big and nothing can stop you, because you know in your heart that the effort is important and it could change people’s lives. 

 The next step, you send out a call for people, some friends, to come along side of you and share in this great work.  Like the night before Christmas, you filled with anticipation to see all the people come out to help with you calling.

 The response may be great. But maybe the response isn’t so great. The quantity isn’t the important thing. The important thing is the hearts of the people who do come. This is an important time, you can easily get side tracked from your original work by concentrating on the reason more people are not responding. Or you can continue with a small group that the Lord has provided and continue your forward motion. Check out what happened to Gideon’s army in Judges 7.

 There is a great story in the Book of Nehemiah about how Nehemiah’s enemies were trying to get him off task. Nehemiah’s had a simple answer for them to not get side tracked. He said, So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)

 Go read the story and know that the call may only be answered by a few and that’s OK,  Jesus and 12 men changed the world forever!