Poor in Spirit (“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.)
- I am sensitive to the enormous gulf that separate my nature from God’s divine nature.
- I can do nothing without God.
- I do not resent God’s showing me my shortcomings.
Those who mourn (“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.)
- When life gets hard, I turn immediately to the help of the Holy Spirit
- Past breaking have purified me.
- I have no bitterness toward God for my past misfortunes.
- I will harbor no bitterness over the rigorous training of nobility (good character) as God molds me and shapes me.
The meek (“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.)
- My eyes are fastened upward on God.
- I need others in the body of Christ.
- The God of the body of Christ is more important to me then my position in it.
Those who hunger and thirst (“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.)
- Righteousness is more important to me then food.
- I thank God whenever I learn something about Him or acquire a new spiritual insight.
- The character of Jesus controls me more and more.
(T.W. Hunt) (ESV)
In reading an article on leadership on What Leaders Really Do I thought about my training for ministry and my experience for over 30 years and asked myself, “Was I trained as a manager or leader?” First let me share a little from the article. It said that managers; plan, organize, and solve problems and leaders; set direction, align people and provide motivation. It went on to say that organization needs both managers and leaders. I also believe that a person can move in and out of these roles depending upon the circumstance.
Leaders focus on change and managers focus on stability. If this is true we need more leaders. Things are changing!!! We can’t stop the change but as leaders we can direct, influence, and guide change. To answer my question I was trained as a manager. In talking with others most where also trained as managers. Please share how we can be better equipped as leaders. Thank you in advance for your post.
Over the past couple of weeks I asked myself a question: What is the greatest need in the churches in the Metro Association? I know there are many needs in each church but what is the greatest in and among our churches. What came to me was “love”. That God REALLY loves us and REALLY wants us to love others. Jesus’ prayer for His followers (us) was that we love each other (John 17). Local church members need to love each other and we need to love our sister churches. This is what the world sees. How can you express this love for other churches and not see them as competition? From time to time I hear the under tones of this competition when I am out in the churches. Just think about it and ask God to direct you.
“God give us a vision, and then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of that vision. It is in the valley that so many of us give up and faint. Every God-given vision will become real if we only have patience.” (Chambers)
What is this statement saying? What are you thinking after reading this? What do you do when the going gets rough?
From “My Utmost for His Highest”
Jesus did not say make converts to your way of thinking, but He said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him.
Today we have substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, and this is why so many people are devoted to causes, and so few are devoted to Jesus Christ. People do not really want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started.
The above are quotes from Oswald Chambers, what do you think? take care my friends.
Your relationship with Jesus and His Church if the foundation for vision. Make sure your vision is based in scripture.
It is so important to understand your current situation. You need to see where you are in order to better see where you want to go. Spend some time on this. Get feedback from family, friends, and work associates. I like to call this “Painting a picture of your current reality.”
Lay out a Vision
Vision is such a powerful thing for both an individual and organization. Without vision a person or organization will die. It may exist for a while but it will not grow. This is the place you want to dream. It is a place to find your “sweet spot” for living and working. Work with this and search your “soul” for this vision.
Ask – Are you committed to the Vision?
Yes, do not leave the vision yet. If you are not totally committed to your vision, “stay home”. It is not too late to tweak or change your vision. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the strongest, how do you feel about your vision? Is it a 4, 6, 8, or 10? If your response is below a 7, slow down and continue to explore your vision.
Test – Check it Out
Experiment, test, and explore what you want to do. Check out the territory. Send out scouts. Study about this future you have envisioned. Do not be afraid to step out in faith. Get out of your comfort zone. Where will this dream, vision, or direction lead you in 5 years?
Every – Journey Begins with the “Next Step”
Take the “Next Step” (more on that next week). Your journey toward the vision is taken one step at a time. Pray that God will guide your steps. Begin to set some goals.
Take Care My Friends
Where is Prayer???? Prayer seems to be something that is close one moment and then far away the next. Why do many of us struggle with prayer? I do take some comfort that others struggle as well: Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, etc. They have all said so. Below are some thoughts about prayer:
When a doctoral student at Princeton asked, “What is there left in the world for original dissertation research?” Albert Einstein replied, “Find out about prayer, somebody must find out about prayer.”
- Modern Skepticism (doubt)
- Time Pressures
- Add yours:
- What does prayer look like from God’s view?
- What does prayer look like from our view?
“Grace, like water, descends to the lowest part. Streams of mercy flow. I begin with God, who bears primary responsibility for what happens on earth, and ask what part I can play in God’s work on earth.” (Yancy)
How do we begin with prayer:
- Doubting (in ourselves)
The Son of God prayed, the one who spoke the world into existence, he felt the need to pray!!! Why should we not feel the same!!
Take Care My Friends,
“So in the biblical witness we have this dual nature of meditation on stillness and action. On the one hand we are called to silence, to stillness, to quieting ‘creaturely activity,’ as the old writers often put it. On the other had we are called to action, to right behavior, to obedience to the will and ways of God.” Richard Foster
Do you tend to lean one way or the other with stillness and action? Or do you have a good balance between the two? For me I struggle with the stillness side of this balance. When I go on a retreat after 30 minutes I am ready to do something. Is our society set up to keep us from stillness? More particular is our faith/religion set up to keep us from stillness? We certainly don’t measure stillness like we do our actions. We don’t ask on our reports, “How many of our members have a quiet time everyday!”
I have heard of people going off for days of stillness and I am asking, “How do they do this?” Now I study my Bible every day and I pray every day, but is there something more?
Center Down and Gathered are two Quaker terms used to let go of all distractions and feeling; breaking down the wall between our separate personalities. These are strange terms to me. Any one would like to share about this?
I am currently reading the book “Learning to Soar” by Avery Willis and Matt Willis. So for it has been a good book. In this post I want to share some insights I have gleaned.
“If you want to learn to fly, messing up is inevitable, but giving up is unacceptable.” Wow. The writer tells about how a baby eaglet is forced out of its nest. The parents brush away all the soft feathers in the nest and make the living conditions uncomfortable for the little eaglet. (We would get arrested if we told our children to sleep on the floor, it is time to get out! Don’t try this at home!) So the little eaglet becomes very unsettled in its new arrangements. The eaglet begins to take more risk in leaving the nest.
Once they begin to fly on their own they fall and crash many times. They have two choices: lay there and die or get up and try it again. This is a time of testing for the young eaglet. We all grow through testing in our lives. Think on these four things:
- Maybe the test is to humble us.
- Maybe the test is to reveal our heart and see if we are really serious about following Jesus.
- Maybe we will find that we hunger for God when we are separated from Him.
- Maybe this is to mature us in our faith.
What do I do when I fail/fall? Know that God is not far away. When the little eaglet is getting out of the nest, the parent eagle is not far away. The parent eagle has experienced getting out of the nest and all that goes with that. Well, guess what, so has Jesus. He has experienced suffering and pain, just like us. He knows, He cares, and He saves!!!
Take Care My Friends,