Wrapping Paper vs the Present

  

On the surface there shouldn’t be an issue, but I’ve been in church leadership roles for long enough to realize there is an issue. What am I talking about? Well, when speaking to mature Christians about church life and services most will tell you that they want to see believers grow and unbelievers reached. The say things like it’s about the “Word” being preached and the transformation of lives truly happening. They often are frustrated with the lack of true change and impact that seems to be becoming the “norm” (from thier vantage point) in lots of churches. They long for substance and solid growth. These are the things that I would consider the “present” – this is what we all want to see happen. This is the fulfillment of Jesus’ call to “make disciples”. It’s critical and I believe more needed today than ever before in history! Where I personally struggle is when accomplishing this goal requires a change in the “wrappings”/the atmosphere/approach/attitude of “how” church happens. I’ve been disappointed to see many believers who I look up to and respect highly all of sudden create major issues about the styles without examining the substance that was being accomplished and the reasons/drivers underneath the styles.

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The Power of a Moment

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While it’s only 60 seconds, we all know how powerful it is. Life can change with simple news shared in a moment of time. It could be the first time you lay eyes on him or her. It could be the birth of a child. It could be a job change, promotion, firing etc. It could be a statement said in anger or an encouraging word said at the perfect time. Moments can change the trajectory of our lives. But here’s the thing with moments, we often don’t see them coming. In fact many of the “moments” that have had the most impact on our lives may not be the ones we think would. We might put a lot of emphasis on a decision like a college we attend or a job we take – but could it be much more ordinary moments that make a difference? And what if we invited God into our moments. What if we invited God not just into the big moments, the key decisions…. but what if we invited God into the everyday moments? What if we invited God into our family interactions? What if we invited God into the times of challenge and difficultly? What if we invited God to reveal to us what is really happening in our mindset and approach to life?

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Convert Control To Trust

  
Part of the positive fall-out from a struggle (a few years ago now) with anxiety is a recognition of a battle with control. I realized then and continue to realize now that when we try to carry, be responsible for or control something that is beyond our control or bigger than us (or something we aren’t intended to control) it produces anxiety. While I’m reluctant to declare complete victory over anxiety or worry, it has become a small and rarely present part of life in large part to three skills/ decisions God has provided. I offer them as “one traveler to another” in hopes of benefitting others.

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