Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Being Challenged

I'm privileged to be in a cluster group of pastors in my district. We have been reading and studying some great research information in the areas of church leadership and congregational development. Our group happens to be facilitated by our district superintendent, who does a great job managing all of our personalities!

I share this with you because I find the experience to be uplifting and challenging. I love the synergy that comes from being in a room of like-minded leaders. The ideas flow and the atmosphere is very positive. But I also find myself being stretched and challenged. Most recently, our discussion led me to make several personal commitments in a key area of my ministry. I had become a bit lazy about a couple of things. The iron sharpened the iron. I'm regaining some focus. I am thankful for the challenge.

Who is challenging you? What iron-sharpening things are you purposefully involved in? Who is holding you accountable? Think it through. If you have that in your life, please share how it is working. If not, will you consider finding that group of like-minded people and stretch in your faith walk? Be encouraged. It really does help.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

On Flu Shots and the Flu

I know. You can't get the flu from a flu shot. If you get the flu, it's from a different strain than what you were inoculated for, or you get a milder version of what you would have if you hadn't gotten the shot. I received a flu shot from my doctor a week and a half ago. I had a pretty good case of the flu this weekend, even missing church. Ok, I probably didn't get the flu from the shot - the flu bug was going through our day care all week. Kids and staff alike were sick. I guess I was not exempt. I am grateful to my wife for her excellent care and my daughter Bekah who called out "quarantine" if I even tried to walk out of the bedroom!

Over the years I've known Christians who believe that once they receive Jesus (their spiritual flu shot) they are supposed to be immune from the problems of life. Of course, seasoned spiritual veterans know this isn't the case. Life happens. Problems come. Jesus even said we would have trouble in this life (John 16:33). But in that same verse He told us to take heart because He has overcome the world! That means we have One who speaks to the Father on our behalf (1 John 2:1) and we have the presence of the Holy Spirit to empower and guide us through life (Read the Olivet Discourse found in John 14-16). How we respond to the troubles of life is indicative of our trust factor.

I'm no longer under quarantine. I'm once again "exposed" to the bugs of life. It sure beats hiding under the covers! And who knows - I might even get a flu shot again next year!