Last night my wife and I attended our own small group, and as would be expected one week before one of our nation’s most historic holidays, Thanksgiving, the topic we covered was all about thankfulness; what it means and what we as individuals are thankful for.

It got me thinking though.  Have you noticed that Christmas seems to be creeping up in the calendar more and more every year?  Each year it seems Thanksgiving gets more and more hidden behind the Christmas tree, Black Friday, continuous Christmas songs on the radio, and stores decked out for all the Christmas shoppers.  Certainly, we still see Thanksgiving in commercials, parades, football games, and in specially marked isles at the store.  But, infused in the midst of it all is the massive dominance of Christmas’ future arrival.  It almost seems that mainstream America see’s Thanksgiving as a necessary nuisance along the path to gifts and eggnog. Continue reading “Thanksgiving”

The Faith, Hope, and Love of a Christian Leader

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

– 1 Corinthians 13:13

Leadership is a topic of deep conversation, debate, and strong opinion within our culture today.  Many believe that leadership is about demanding results.  Others feel it is an art of persuasion.  Some think leadership is about power and dominance.  Still others feel that leadership is simply an expression of intellect.  And to some degree or another, there is a place for all of this within leadership – minus the dominance, that is.  A good leader does produce consistent results, has a strong gift of persuasion, knows how to yield power, and carries influential intelligence.  Leadership, however, goes a bit deeper than all this.  As believers, through the gift of scripture, we have access to what the One who personifies true leadership says about it, and thus, the Christian leader efforts to add His characteristics to their life.

There are many passages we could focus on, or dive into.  For now, I’d like to lean upon the words of the Apostle Paul found in the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13.  This famous chapter of scripture concludes with one of the more well-known verses, and in it, the Apostle Paul shares with us three major words; faith, hope, and love.  Though one would not normally attach these words to leadership, I do believe that they are foundational for those who lead within the Christian faith.

Let’s dive into each of these words individually. Continue reading “The Faith, Hope, and Love of a Christian Leader”

I Have Nothing, Father

“’Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” – Zechariah 4:6

How often have you felt incapable, out of place, lacking strength or knowledge or wisdom or courage?  How often have you felt insecure, and tired?  Have you ever felt lost, blank-minded, and empty?  Have you ever felt that you had no vision for a particular moment or season of life?  Have you ever simply said, “I have nothing, Father.”

It amazes me that despite all my experiences with God, all the times He has come through for me, or others around me, that I can still find myself in this very place – lacking faith, and feeling that the tools He has given me to navigate my daily life are locked away in some dark backwoods shed along with the key to access them.  I am dumbfounded by the fact that I can ever think that the God and Creator of the universe is somehow on the opposite end of that universe – too far for me to reach Him, or Him me?  I know this not to be true of the God I serve, but yet I still find myself in these places from time to time, often allowing my emotional state, and the knowledge of my own inadequacies, to dictate my actions and suffocate my knowledge of the faithful One.  Though I can feel alone in this issue, I am aware that this is actually a corporate struggle within the Church. Continue reading “I Have Nothing, Father”

Four Fingers High

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” – 2 Timothy 4:7

Last week, in fulfilling one of my regular functions as a Section Leader, I sent an email to the members of my section community to share an invitational reminder with them that our monthly section party was just days away.  In that email, I shared something that I felt would be good to pass along through this blog as well – with a few additional thoughts included. Continue reading “Four Fingers High”

Practical Advice: Things to be Mindful Of

Recently I was forwarded information from another New Life Church pastor regarding an incident that took place shortly after the gathering of a church small group in another state.  With it I was encouraged to pass along some coaching about security matters.  As I considered this, I felt that this would be a great week to not only cover that topic, but a few others as well.  So, as this trimester moves forward, here are a few practical things I wanted to raise our awareness to. Continue reading “Practical Advice: Things to be Mindful Of”