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We are all stubborn.

Its only good to be stubborn when you are right.  If you are stubborn and wrong, it can be dangerous.  Especially if it deals with spiritual right and wrong…as that kind of stubbornness is eternal.

Are you currently being stubborn and continually finding yourself in the middle of conflict?  If so, it is usually because of only two possibilities.

When two visions are stubbornly in conflict and one is right and one is wrong…then it should be easy to correct this problem…the one that is wrong needs to be asked to change or leave. 

The greater challenge is when two people/groups, who are both right, are being stubborn about something.  The most common way this happens is when two individuals or groups have “right” visions for the future, but they can’t get unity on just one.  Usually one of the right ways is simply not right timing anymore.  (When people say, “That’s how we’ve always done it,” they are right in how they used to do it, but it is no longer good timing to do it that ‘right way’ anymore.)  Two right ways stuck in disagreement are always a great challenge.

What do you do now?  Who gives in?

It depends who the leader is, and the vision that leader has brought to the table.  Leadership matters.  Leadership is influence.  Is the leader you are being stubborn towards higher in position than you in the hierarchy of the institution?  (Please don’t tell me that you work in a non-hierarchical atmosphere)  If you say that…you’re not only stubborn, but naive too.  The buck always stops somewhere.  If the buck stops with you, and you still aren’t moving forward, then that’s another blog about courage for another time.

Organizations / Churches / families / businesses / individuals, get stuck when, ((‘Who is the leader?’)) can’t be answered with unity.

Where does the buck stop?  (This question is a huge problem with too many people/orgs) If you are not the leader and can’t entrust the leader with the ‘buck-stops here’ and the vision…then you have to move on…get your roots out of the way…or you’ll derail the whole thing.  Why would you want to derail the direction, mission, vision of something good?  Pride, Jealousy, Greed, Arrogance, Anger, did I miss one?

Obstacles remain obstacles because of the lack of courage in the highest leader.  The whole vision will remain stuck if the leader doesn’t know how to courageously remove the tree growing in the middle of the tracks.

Be careful with stubbornness.

We stubborn people need to deliberately have our roots grow down deep.  May we, in our lifetime become towering trees with deep and healthy roots. And may we be intelligently stubborn with where we choose for those roots to grow.

Here’s where your roots should thrive…

“Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”  Ephesians 3:17-21

If you are encountering ‘trees’ with deep roots continually blocking your path, contact me, and we can talk through some godly strategy and wisdom about the business of tree removal.  I’ve experienced it multiple times, and each time I handle it, it gets a little bit better.  Not easier.  Better.

 


Church and the learning Tower of Pisa

SethGodin.com just wrote a blog asking…”What’s inside the Leaning Tower of Pisa?”

The answer is Nothing. It’s a hollow tube.

One of the most photographed buildings in the world is empty.  But people do not care. It is an iconic building and wows people from all over the world.

I love that this is opposite of the reality of the Church.  The Church’s building sits empty most of the week…but it’s old news that the Church is not a building.

You are the Church. The bride of Jesus. The body of Christ.  Get a couple of people like you together, and God is there with you!  Grasp that!

The big question is, why aren’t people wowed by the Church all over the world?

There are negative and positive answers.

We know the negative reasons.  Do you know the positive ones?  Here’s one to remember…

“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?” 2 Corinthians 2:15-26

That Scripture asks a very pertinent question in its last verse.  Who is adequate for such a task?

The answer: YOU!  You are adequate just as you are.  Oh, you might have to pick up your cross of sacrifice and live differently than you currently are…but that doesn’t make you inadequate.  It just makes you leaning…limping…wounded.  But that is what makes you remarkable.

I’m not sure I can trust anyone who doesn’t walk with some sort of limp…or lean. The Bible is loaded with  historical records of people that limp and lean.  I’m grateful for my wounds that cause me to now limp.  Your limp tells a story of victory and conquering.  Or it should.  If you’ll allow it, that thing, that wound, which caused the scarring that makes you limp, will make you even more remarkable…yes, your leaning can make you incredible.  There are millions of beautiful buildings around the world…but the ones that lean…they have looooong lines of curious gazers and photographers.

You are adequate.  You are never empty, if you are the Church.  You are worthy.  You can live your life in such a way that some people will go crazy wanting what you have.

Its not easy.  You’ll have to lean into Jesus more than you think is even possible.

 

 

 


The Bible…Its way more than what culture has made it.

The Bible.
It’s definitely not (Basic. Instructions. Before. Leaving. Earth.) That’s laughable and falls way short. Remember… “The Word became Flesh and dwelt amongst us.” The Word is the Creator in tangible form.

The Creator of all, engaged 40 ‘writers’ who did not know each other, who were spread out on 3 continents, over a 1500 year time span, all sharing details that validate each other’s message received. Even if some got added, or some got lost over the centuries…the person of Jesus and it’s main message did not.

At its minimum The Bible is a library loaded with tragedy and triumph, hero’s and horrors of mankind that will capture your intrigue and capture better than a movie.

I have read it, studied it, prayed through it, and critical-eyed it. At its fullness, It is alive and relevant. Cutting. Life changing. The Scripture, in its completeness, is Jesus prompting you to rise and shine and live life to its full. It’s your wisest friend of hope, and your greatest rebuke of correction.

Have you just read it? Don’t just read it. Listen deeply to it. Slow down. Clothe yourself in it and with it. Take it in…Slow down in this short life! What’s your hurry? What are you working so hard towards? Where you going? How fast did your last 20 years go by? Your next 20 will go faster and then what?

Absorb The Word with the faith of a child…Daily, for the rest of your life. Don’t doctrinize it, systematize it, or theologize it like some foolish worldly education standard.

Become it.

Then you will fully be as you were created to be. It will be the greatest challenge of your entire life and you will celebrate its accomplishment in you for eternity with the others who did the same.


We used to do that! …

It requires great humility to move forward without letting our past experience affect our future…even if our past was a huge success.

Maybe our best, yet to come, will happen from fresh discovery, and not innovating from past successes. Do you need to think way outside of your knowledge and past experience circle, and ask questions about how you can do your future better, be a better you, parent, leader, coach, church…etc…? Who will you ask? Initiate that correspondence today. But…keep in mind…

“If you always do, what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” That’s not true of success.  That quote is only true when it comes to sin, evil, bad habits, coasting downhill, racing to the bottom.

If you want to go up…you will not be able to use the “same-ol-same-ol” that  you used in a previous success.  I repeat, your past success doesn’t guarantee your next venture’s success.  So, as  you initiate the correspondence to ask someone for their advice and opinion…keep in mind, that they arrived at success with different teammates, circumstances, cultures, etc. than you have.  What worked for them is no guarantee it’ll work for you. It might…but do you really want to build success by copy-catting someone else?  You have to be you.  So…take to heart what this art shows.  Maybe you just need to get up every day and be faithful to the circumstances and people you encounter, and then trust the end results to work out accordingly.


You mad at the Church, bro?

You mad bro?  

You mad at the imperfect Church?  Mad at the crowd that makes her up?  Mad at how they follow that leader who is imperfect too?  You think to yourself, and verbalize to others around you, “How could they!?…Can’t they see how imperfect it all is!!?”

Most can’t tell how angry you are, but I do. I see you. I hear you. I know you. More importantly…your Creator notices, hears, and whispers into your angry deaf ears. Your anger makes you think you are hearing God’s voice, but your internal screaming is so loud, you miss His gentle whisper. You’re not hearing God’s will, you are hearing your own shrill.

So you have an angry plan. And you love it when a plan comes together!

Your anger drives you to be on your A game.  You feel good!  You are motivated like never before.  You feel so alive, confident, and empowered!  You are good! Your anger hypnotizes you to fall in love with your idea. Your anger cements in your expectations, and your anger has you on a passionate high, assured of your success.

My friend…You aren’t mad at the Church.

You’re just mad.

Unhappy. In actuality, your anger, originated in hurt.

Your hurt isn’t working for you. Forgive. Whoever-Whatever…forgive! I know you don’t feel like forgiving.  Do it anyway.  Be free.  Be smarter because of your hurt, not dumber.  Being dumber will only hurt you more and then you’ll get more angry.  If you’re not careful, you’ll be so hurt, your anger will lead you to find a theology that proves how wrong the Church is, and that downward spiral of death, will have you actually believing someday that Jesus didn’t really raise from the dead, you’ll convince yourself He’s not the Messiah…you end up in hell.

If you’re mad, bro…You’re already in a hell. Don’t force it into eternity.

Stop it!

Repent. Ask God for forgiveness…for being mad at the crowd for following that leader. That leader who hurt you. That Christian who sinned.  That crowd that sheepishly and blindly follows. Ask for forgiveness for thinking you can do it better. Ask for forgiveness for being angry at The Church for her imperfections.

Let it go.

Let joy return.

Jesus is the Hope of the world, NOT the Church.

The local Church is just an imperfect conduit to Jesus.  Love the Church again. Jesus died for her. There’s no greater love than that. Love the…

Imperfect.

Messy.

Beautiful mess!

Church.

You.

 

 

 


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