Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Celebrate the Baby Steps

I've heard the definition of leadership is taking a group from "where they are" to "where they need to be." Vision is knowing "where they need to be." When God puts that in your heart, you desperately want to be there NOW....not months or years from now.....RIGHT NOW! There is a fire in your belly to see it through to completion. There is so much that needs to be done to get there, which can be completely paralyzing because the goal seems so far away. So how do you keep from getting paralyzed by the distance between "where you are" and "where you need to be"?

Here's my secret: Instead of getting mired down in the frustration of what is not happening yet, I have to celebrate the small steps we are taking in the right direction. There have been way too many times I did not celebrate the little victories because I was so frustrated with not being at the final destination yet. To keep the frustration from dominating my mind, I choose to focus on those little steps toward "where we need to be." The funny part is that most people don't see those baby steps. They don't pat you on the back in recognition of the of those positive forward nudges. Many times, people who follow you even question why you're doing what you are doing. As long as you have a clear picture of where it needs to be, the path toward the goal becomes more obvious. Just follow the path. Take the next step...however small it is....and celebrate the fact that you're not going backward or stagnating, as so many do. Remember, you won't know if those baby steps are victories unless you have the final destination in mind. So we can't ever forget where the final destination should be! Don't beat yourself up for not being there yet...just know you're getting there!

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." -Proverbs 19:21

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Book Recommendation

There are a few national pastors that I enjoy following by reading their blogs, reading their books, and listening to their messages every now and then. Mark Batterson, the pastor of the National Community Church in Washington, DC is one of those thinkers who constantly challenges me. When I was given the chance to preview his new book, Primal, before it's nationwide release I jumped at the chance. Primal is a call to rediscover the love for God that has been diluted, convoluted, and distorted by our modern lens. My first, of many, highlighted quotes is from page 3, "I couldn't help but wonder if we have accepted a form of Christianity that is more educated but less powerful, more civilized but less comapssionate, more acceptable but less authentic than that which our spiritual ancestors practiced."

Batterson calls on believers to rediscover what it means to love God with your heart, soul, mind and spirit...what he terms as "compassion, wonder, curiosity, and energy" as the answer to rekindling this lost Christianity of our culture. This book is chocked to the hilt with many illustrations from science (my favorites), pop culture, and literature to show the wonder that we need to rediscover. The result is a clear challenge for all of us to bust out of the modern mediocrity miring us down. The title reveals the heart of this challenge: getting back to the heart of our faith by being awed at the wonder of the God we serve, His work around us, and the Word He gave us. I highly recommend this book as a jumpstart to your new year!

You can purchase it directly from the publishers here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Update on Matt Chandler

Here is the link to the update shared on Matt Chandler's church website. I wish there was better news to post, but I firmly believe that God is in control.

Apparently, the brain tumor is malignant. Please join with me in praying for Matt's healing and for his family as they go through this difficult time.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Matt Chandler- One of my heroes...

Over the past few years I have been greatly inspired by Matt Chandler, who pastors the Village Church near Dallas, Texas. He's one of those clarion voices in the American church landscape sounding the call for clear biblical preaching and progressive methodology. Recently, at the age of 35, he was diagnosed rather abruptly with a brain tumor. Within a week he was scheduled to have the tumor removed. The video below was a message he recorded just days before his surgery for his congregation to watch in his absence. As I watched the video I kept thinking about the Steve Fee song we do often here at Good Hope, "Glory to God. Glory to God. Glory to God forever!" It is so easy to praise God when everything is smooth and going our way. My prayer is that each of us will see every circumstance, good and bad, as opportunities to echo back praise to God for His goodness through it all! Consequently, the surgery went well and Chandler is recovering in the hospital. They await tests of the biopsy some time this week. Keep him in your prayers!

Here's the link to the video: