Notes from the leadership journey!

Category Archives: Reflection

Think You’re Safe?

Yesterday, I read through Jeremiah 7, and I thought about people who think they’re “safe” because they go to church, or something like that, but really don’t walk with God or obey God.

The prophet Jeremiah says on God’s behalf, “Don’t trust in lies: ‘This is the Lord’s temple! The Lord’s temple! The Lord’s temple!'” (Jeremiah 7.4, CEB).

God challenges this idea, saying …

No, if you truly reform your ways and your actions; if you treat each other justly; if you stop taking advantage of the immigrant, orphan, or widow; if you don’t shed the blood of the innocent in this place, or go after other gods to your own ruin, only then will I dwell with you in this place. (4.5-7).

God tells the people what they can do with their so called acts of worship: “Add your entirely burned offerings to your sacrifices and eat them yourselves!” (7.21).

God corrects the people …

On the day I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I didn’t say a thing—I gave no instructions—about entirely burned offerings or sacrifices. Rather, this is what I required of them: Obey me so that I may become your God and you may become my people. Follow the path I mark out for you so that it may go well with you.” (7.22-23)

Instead of being teachable, repenting of their sin, and experiencing transformation, “they didn’t listen or pay attention. They followed their willful and evil hearts and went backward rather than forward” (7.24).

And, God laments …

From the moment your ancestors left the land of Egypt to this day, I have sent you all my servants the prophets—day after day. But they didn’t listen to me or pay attention; they were stubborn and did more harm than their ancestors. When you tell them all this, they won’t listen to you. When you call to them, they won’t respond. (7.25-27)

May God forgive us when we are stubborn, when we become blind, and when we stop listening to God’s guiding voice! May we always remain teachable so that God can continue to lead us and form us!

10,000 Reasons to Give Thanks

Inspired by Psalm 103, worship leader and songwriter Matt Redman cowrote the song, “10,000 Reasons” with a Swedish friend, Jonas Myrin. In Psalm 103, David lists several reasons why his heart is full of worship for God. So, Redman and Myrin made a list of their own reasons and noted they were barely scratching the…Continue →

Leaders Go First

“Leaders go first.” It’s a fairly common phrase. I thought of it the other day as I was reading 1 Chronicles 29. King David, nearing the end of his life, is preparing the nation for its new king, his son, Solomon. Specifically, David is making preparations for the building of God’s temple. The temple was…Continue →

God is Always With Us, Fighting for Us!

Why is there a Christmas? I believe there’s a Christmas because “God’s faithful love endures forever!” That’s a phrase that appears over and over in the Old Testament (mainly in the Psalms). It includes the Hebrew word, hesed (appears 248 times in the Old Testament), which describes God’s faithful love, loyalty, and devotion. God’s faithful…Continue →

The Lord is Great!

Recently, Adam Weber, pastor of Embrace Church (a United Methodist Church) posted a prayer on Twitter that has stuck with me … https://twitter.com/adamweber/status/408802801804779520 This prayer, and this attitude, is essential for staying humble and hungry. Focusing on God’s greatness keeps us humble. God’s greatness keeps us wanting to know God better. You can see this…Continue →

Keeping Our Distance

Recently, I was reading in Exodus 20 and the words describing what followed the giving of the Ten Commandments grabbed my attention … 18 All the people were seeing the thundering and the lightning, and heard the sound of the horn, and saw the mountain smoking—and when the people saw it they trembled with fear…Continue →

You Can’t Do it Alone!

Recently, I re-read Exodus 18 where Moses receives a visit by his father-in-law, Jethro. It’s a well-known story, especially among Christian leaders. It’s often used to make a case for team-building and delegation. After observing Moses do all of the work by himself, Jethro advises Moses to find and equip capable people to share the…Continue →

Gathering or Scattering?

As I look back over the past twenty-five years of following Jesus, clearly my greatest passion has been God’s mission — engaging in it and leading others to engage in it, too! I’ve always been challenged by Jesus’ first words after the resurrection: “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you!” (John 20.21,…Continue →

Seasons of Adversity

When we encounter adversity, we naturally want to get through it as quickly as possible. When we get knocked down, we want to get back up and get on with it as quickly as possible! But, often, it simply takes time, sometimes a long time, to get through seasons of adversity! It’s easy to lose…Continue →