Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Highlighting both Grace and Truth

The Grace of God, written by Andy Stanley (senior pastor of Northpoint Church) is an excellent book which goes far to grasp the depth and consequence of grace in the relationship between God and believer. It would be an effective tool for a small group or class as a study guide, or for personal growth.


The practical application of Biblical lives and circumstances-- to understanding the principles which come out of that truth, and then working all of that into a personal faithful response is the great takeaway of Stanley’s work.

It is packed with story after story from the scriptures and carefully reasoned so that it makes not just an impression but a difference in the life of a believer. It’s simply really effective teaching, not burdened with clich├ęs or legalism.

Stanley has a great sense of humor, and strong sense of why people struggle in accepting grace and really struggle with giving grace, which makes The Grace of God an enjoyable as well as edifying read.

Grace, when believed and lived out is powerful and Stanley’s work captures that reality. If the reader is familiar Stanley’s sermons from Northpoint Church, a lot of the writing will be recognizable. However, the compilation of so much work into one piece, more than accounts for this duplication.

The Grace of God will be time well invested, and would also be a great gift for another.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How to Look at People: The Good, Bad and Ugly

Most people you dislike aren't as bad as you think. Most people you admire aren't as good as you think. Look to Jesus. (something I saw on Twitter)

This piece of pithy wisdom is true, but what does this really look like on a Monday morning? What does it mean to, look to Jesus?

I think to look to Jesus is to first consider who I really am, the real consequence of being saved—as one who needs saving. That’s always humbling and eases my dislike of others, as I am no picnic myself.

It reminds me Christ saved me and not look to others for that role or response. Those I admire, I admire for good reason—they are easy to love or respect or both. However, they are neither the creator nor sustainer of my soul—and they, like me need the ongoing work of a savior.

To look to Jesus is to bring him into every relationship, even the ones that have much joy or much irritation. It’s a perspective that adds His attitude and personality (grace) so that two become three, and that math make the equation much more sensible and not so defined by just positive or negative emotions.

The presence of grace really can make the ugly, beautiful and allows for unhealthy admiration to be replaced by healthy appreciation and affection.

It is a secure launching pad for a Monday morning. Fresh French Roast is a nice add too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thoughtful Consideration of Blogging

http://vimeo.com/5682808

NT Wright, Bishop of Durham (I love that title) packs a lot of wisdom in this three minute response to blogging/technology.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Does It Translate?

John Maxwell, noted author and sage just published a book on the Five Levels of Leadership.  I have not read the book, but I did glance at the graphic (perfect shortcut when I am already behind schedule and it's only 9:23 am). 

It's vintage Maxwell, but what occurred to me this morning is does it translate to other relationships outside of the work world?

Does it, for example, translate to parenting?  Why do my kids follow me?   What about my roles at church or in volunteer realms...why do people follow me? 

Why is that question even important?  I think it's important, even if I can't truly know why others might join in working with me or what motivates my kid's trust...but it's an important consideration because a faithful life is a combination of constant humility and exaltation.

People of faith should have followers, or a following.  Others should trust them for the reasons at the top of the pyramid.  Yet, their work should be marked with humility, with an others-first perspective. 

I look at the bottom of the pyramid and I cringe and think, how many people engage with me because, "they have to."  How often would my children think that? 

Maxwell says this is a process not a position, which I think is true (he will be so affirmed by my validation).  It's an interesting way to look at how others might see us, how they look at the opportunity to work with us. 

To engage at the top of this descriptive would be a positive thing, to look at working partnerships or family relationships as a blessing not an assignment--what a more powerful purpose.

As I work through tasks both inside and outside the home, I intend to remind myself, why would someone want to work with me?  What am I doing to move the relationship beyond an assignment and more to an opportunity?

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Roswell, GA
Loves to find the answers to three questions of a sound Bible study: what does it say, what does it mean, what difference does it make?