Swimming Upstream

Disclaimer: this blog post refers to sexuality and is not intended for younger audiences

So yesterday I spoke from our Simplexity series on “Wisdom for the Bedroom” which was essentially a message about sex, temptation and really the world’s vs God’s perspective on the subjects. I definitely felt like we were swimming upstream on this one. Obviously we can’t become a “one-issue” church but the indunation (is that even a word?) of the opposite (non-God) view on sexuality, body image etc is so strong that it’s hard to believe one sermon every 6 months or so will truly make a dent?

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What type of people do you gravitate towards?

This week I was meeting with a group of leaders in a leadership development group I lead and we were talking about who we as leaders gravitate towards. And what we’ve realized is many of us tend to gravitate towards people who are either “nice” or “needy/draining”. I don’t know that it’s an intentional thing but it tends to happen with many of us, particularly those who are leaders. We like to be around nice people because they make us feel good. We tend to gravitate to “needy/ draining” people because they ask for us a lot. Plus, if we’re honest many of us gravitate to people with needs because we like to feel needed. Many leaders have that Savior complex wanting to step in and “save the day”.

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The “sluggard” sermon

Well I’ve received a ton of comments on this past Sunday’s message entitled “Wisdom in the Boardroom” where we contrasted two approaches to work: the foolish (sluggard) and the wise (diligent). I have had a number of comments asking for both the 10 characteristics we shared and the quote I used from a John Ortberg article so here, in print are the notes from Sunday – I truly hope they are helpful as you consider the work environment and your daily life.

The Foolish Approach – The Sluggard
1. Desires but doesn’t act – Proverbs 13:4; Proverbs 21:25
2. Expects without working – Proverbs 20:4
3. Excuses Inaction – Proverbs 22:13; Proverbs 6:9-11
4. Overlooks priorities – Proverbs 24:30-31
5. Unaware of laziness – Proverbs 26:14-16

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It’s about where you start

Everyone wants wisdom. I know it may not always seem like it. I know some people want it on their terms and will not “hear” it any other way. Others want to “figure it out for themselves” through experience. But none of that changes the fact that we want it. Wisdom is the ability to act on knowledge, out of good character and faith. While not a complete definition, it captures much of what we all need. But all of that is not really what I wanted to write about today. Yes we all need and if we admit it, want, wisdom. But I would propose to you that many well-meaning people, even Christian people miss out on finding and living with wisdom. It’s not for lack of desire. It’s not for lack of even trying. I believe the reason we miss wisdom is because of where we start.

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Best Advice

So, according to Google Analytics an average of 178 of you click on this blog EVERY WEEK! Sometimes I see as much as 500-600 hits a week and I think the lowest was like 120. Now let’s just minus a 75 of those for websites that just log into pages etc– that still means over a 100 of you are here each week…. my people! welcome!

So, I’d like to get us all involved here a little bit — (no web stalkers for this post please) share with your fellow blog readers some advice. It could be something you heard from a parent/grandparent/coach/teacher/pastor or it could be something you learned the hard way through mistakes or poor decisions. It could be serious or it could be hilarious (or somewhere in the middle). So now’s your chance people — we need some advice, we want to hear from you on any topic, anything, seriously…

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Come as You are… Part two

“Come as you are” also means you bring your baggage, particularly God/church baggage. It’s true, many of us have a full set of luggage when it comes to God/church. For some of us it’s an anger towards God based on some assumption we made about Him that didn’t come true. For example, we may have assumed that if God loves us then we are supposed to be free from pain and so when pain comes we determine God is not loving. Yet, in that example, we discount or dismiss the personal responsibility of people and the consequence even of some of our own choices. We also often don’t think about how bad something “could have been” had God not been there with us. If our baggage is in this category, it becomes important to understand the impact of sin, be honest about the darkness of our world and truly take the time to see how loving God truly is. In fact as we focus this weekend on the crucifixion of Jesus, it becomes clear that not only does God know pain, but He entered into it and experienced its’ full wrath both to sympathize with our pain but also to conquer the source (sin).

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Come as You Are… part 1

I am amazed how many folks new to Grace have a hard time believing our phrase: “come as you are”. When many in our culture think about God and church we immediately think about a standard and typically one that is too high for us to reach. Church people/God people have it together, or so we think. I’m not sure why we think that way, but many do. Maybe the church has propagated that thinking? We have become known for plastic smiles and externally looking like we have it together. But has it become more of a show than a reality? Have we tried too hard to be something we’re not? And worse: have our efforts of looking like we have it together actually become a hindrance to reaching real people?

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