Who’s on Your Shopping List?

I heard a shocking statistic.

There are 143 million orphans in the world today.

143million.orgThen I heard of a website www.143million.org that offers several ways that people can invest in helping to improve the quality of life for one of these children. I was especially drawn to a project called “410 bridge” www.410bridge.org

You can read about it there, but it provides a great way for you and your family to connect with children and villages in Kenya, Africa. So, can you make some extra room on your Christmas list?

Passion to Help People or an Obsession to Reach Goals?

It is time to rediscover faith in the unshakable kingdom of God that is so secure that those who live in it and under its authority have the courage to love with no strings attached…

Bill Robinson writes in his book, “Incarnate Leadership“, “Perhaps our desire to be good leaders has elbowed its way in front of our desire to be imitators of Christ.

I have been investing a lot of time lately in books that offer help for those who aspire to lead in these chaotic days we are living in. A recurring theme is that we must lead from the middle of things. The platform for leadership is in loving, learning and serving in the places where we desire to lead.No Strings Attached

In order to do that, we need to rediscover what it means to love with “no strings attached“.

People who have grown disillusioned and clearly skeptical of leaders who are stuck on top of the pedestal will resist us if we love with an agenda. If we are careless we can make even the goal of “converting” people to faith in Jesus Christ a selfish agenda. Is it more about relieving our obsession to reach the goal of them “making a decision” and/or “praying a prayer” or about actually helping them experience the love and grace of Jesus?

It is time to rediscover faith in the unshakable kingdom of God that is so secure that those who live in it and under its authority have the courage to love with no strings attached. We can do so because we have experienced and have total confidence in the magnetic pull of the Spirit of Jesus once someone begins to get a taste of His goodness. I guess I am saying that He is the only one who is pure enough in heart to truly love with an agenda. Or maybe it’s because He doesn’t confuse obsessing over reaching an end goal with a genuine passion to help people experience His kingdom.

Prayer: Father, help us to rediscover a life of love and service in your Name. Help us not only to do the kinds of things you would do, but depend on you for the right motivation… loving with none of our own strings attached so that you can draw our broken chaotic world to the realness of your kingdom.

Help for Giving and Receiving Difficult Truth

If you find yourself needing to express truth that may be difficult for the other person to receive… remember these guidelines…

It was a huge encouragement to see a good crowd come out to our vision meeting last night. Pastor Jim did a great job discussing several crucial insights on the shifts we are making and who we need to be in order to make those shifts. There were many testimonials shared concerning the growth people are experiencing and how great they feel about who we are becoming. And there also several that shared some difficult criticisms and concerns with strong feelings attached. All in all, I am really glad we had the meeting. The conversations after the meeting were especially helpful.

In this time of transition as a church we need to walk in love and maturity. If you find yourself needing to express truth that may be difficult for the other person to receive… remember these guidelines, taken from “Incarnate Leadership” by Bill Robinson:

  • First, I will have a hard time hearing truth if I am busy defending myself.
  • Second, I will have a hard time identifying truth if the assault feels more like it’s more for your good than mine.
  • Third, I am not capable of accepting truth from you if the attack feels personal.
  • Fourth, I will stop thinking about truth if you make claims about my motives – and I would rather you ask me what they are than tell me what you think they are.

Great food for thought.