Somewhere, we bought the line that poverty is noble, that sickness is a blessing, and that Heaven is when things really start happening in our favor. Yet, a quick look at the Father of our faith shows us something radically different...
In fact, Paul writes that one of the reasons Christ redeemed us was "so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles..." (see Galatians 3:13-14).
Abraham's story begins in Genesis 12:14, when he is 75 years old! So, this concept may help some of you who feel like the best years are in the past, that there's not enough time in your life-calendar remaining to do something that matters. His life didn't start until well after most people retire.
Early in his story, we see his grown nephew, Lot, get "kidnapped." So, Abraham does what any 75-plus year old guy would do- he goes to war and actually defeats five kings (Genesis 14:14)!
(I know- 75 year old guys don't pick fights,...
Every bridge breaks down to one piece of wood. If you know WHERE you want that bridge to go, you can build that bridge anywhere as long as you build it once piece at a time.
A few years ago we renovated our house. We bought an old, old house (as in "1903" old- it had already seen more than 100 years when we purchased it). By the time we got it, it had been through two world wars, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights movement, and several renditions that invovled carving up a once-big house into tiny apartments.
It needed a lot of work.
I wasn't really a carpenter. I'm still not. Up to that point, though, I'd only used a screw gun (read: cordless drill) a few times. I could swing a hammer. And I knew how to do basic repairs on a bicycle (I know- this has nothing to do with carpentry or houses at all, other than the fact that you usually store your bike at your house... just pointing out that I had some tool experience). I'd never used anything with a compressor- like a...
You can go anywhere you want to go- if you FIRST admit where you are. We know it's true. That's how we find out how to get to the coffee shop (like the example in the video above). It's how we take vacations. It's how we change jobs, move houses, and even select our classes in school.
In each of these instances, we simply decide where we want to go... then we "own" where we are now. From there, we move forward to our destination.
There's no shame in it. In any of these cases. We know that in order to move anywhere, you have to know where you're standing right now.
Here's the problem, though. When things get "more serious"- when it's a big dream we're pursuing, particualarly something we feel that we should already have achieved...
* how many of us thought we'd be farther along in life by now?
* how many of us have compared our ditch with everyone else's highlight reel, thinking we should have better kids, more stuff, and a bigger whatever...?
* how many of...
In our task-driven, production-oriented culture, we often look at WHAT we want to do, first. However, the greatest thing is not WHAT we do or even HOW we do it... it's the WHO, the people you ride with.
When you get that in order, everything else seems to take care of itself :-)
Let me back my bus up and explain...
Professor Jim Collins studied what makes some businesses ultra successful while others are simply successful. In his book Good to Great he noticed the “great” companies start from a different point of reference than the “good” companies.
Collins used the analogy of a bus- and likes companies to them. Most “good” companies work through the following process:
* What- they first decide “What” the bus (read: the company) will be like. At this point, they usually define the mission of the organization.
* How- companies that will be successful then move on to not only defining what they will do and what they will be...
When I was in college, finding "The Will of God" was the buzz phrase of the moment. It seems every few years the Church-as-a-whole cycles through a new trend-
* Like contemporary music vs. hymns
* Doing church "campuses" online
* Social justice
Now, don't misread me. None of these issues are bad- at all. Part of growth and maturation is a willingness to ask questions and wrestle with them honestly.
So, back in the early 90s (yeah, that long ago), everyone was writing, talking, taking classes, and asking the big questions about "The Will of God." We all wanted to know it. We wanted to find it. We wanted to live it. Certainly, given the option of being "in it" or "out" of it, we wanted in...
At some point along the way here, a wise pastor told me, “Instead of chasing the will of God simply seek God.”
The Bible tells us that truth is embodied- not in facts and figures and data- in a person. Again, truth is...
I participated in this exercise at a leadership workshop one afternoon in which the facilitator lined us against the back wall of the room, asked us to make a paper plane, and then had us toss them one-by-one, launching them across the room.
* most planes took a quick nose dive...
* a few made a bit of distance and then veered radically to the right or left
* two made it across the room
You read that right. Two made it across the room. Two of, like… 40 or so.
The facilitator then did something interesting. He had the two people who launched their planes the farthest each take half the room and show them how to make a plane. It didn’t take long.
In fact, the instructor put a clock on it. We had 60 seconds to be instructed, to make the new planes, and then to get back in line.
When we returned the second time, to hoist our creations into flight, that second time, the majority of the paper...
If you're a "task-driven" person (I've been told I'm one of them), this one might zoom right past you. Literally. It's driven by me for years. In fact, I'm just now starting to "get it."
Let me back up.
A few years ago I read where John Maxwell wrote something like, "If you want to go fast, go alone... if you want to go far, go with a team." (I'm not sure which book I read it in- he's written something like 70-plus books and is still cranking out fresh content each day- but this quote is definitely his.)
The problem for me... is that I want to go fast.
* Sometimes, it's because I only have a limited amount of time to get things done (we've got a huge family, so not a lot of wiggle room in the schedule).
* Other times it because I don't want to endlessly discuss something that we're going to decide to do anyway (I hated those group projects we got assigned in college classes, for this reason- can't we just make a decision and get on with it!?).
* More often that not,...
- Andy Jenkins
I see people falling into two extreme camps when it comes to using essential oils:
One group thinks you’ve got to have the precise oil that matches the body system you’re to support or the symptom you’re wanting to address. So, this group spends copious amounts of time dog-earing pages in large desk references book, they create color-coordinated codes for their highlighter usage (which often requires a decoder ring to decipher), and they have logs of notes about what they used at which time.
I’m not knocking them. I actually admire this group. I wish I could be more like them.
After attending a healing workshop, a health convention, or speaking at some venue and rubbing shoulders with some of these folks I’ll often think, “Hmmm… I should really be more disciplined. If I could only tackle one new oil a week and learn about it, I’d be SO MUCH MORE knowledgeable in just a few months.” Then I envision...
- Andy Jenkins
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a relatively new term. In fact, you may not know anything about it unless you actually have it- or unless someone you know does. Its effects have been around for centuries, but the visibilty of our vets is giving us new language and ways to understand it.
The Mayo Clinic says PTSD is "a mental condition that's triggered by a terrifying event..."
Though common in soldiers, PTSD can show up in anyone, anywhere. In other words, you might find PTSD in...
* Victims of rape or other forms of abuse
* People who endure a tramautic event, such as a car wreck, plane crash, or natural disaster
* Pastors who've been kicked out of churches
* Men & women who've been fired or consisntently overlooked for job advancement
* People who've endured divorce (even relational rifts in your family can give rise to symptoms)
(A few years ago we adopted two boys from Africa. Since that time, we've seen how relationally difficult...
- Andy Jenkins
One of the big focal points of the Old Testament is the Tabernacle. The Lord gave very specific instructions about the building of the Tabernacle, the furniture and relics that were to be placed inside, and the adornment of the priests who would administer specific sacrifices. And, God gave specific instructions about the Tabernacle and even the oils used in it.
He was clear that those priests were to be anointed with a specific blend of essential oils which He relayed to Moses. And, He directed them how to create the Holy Incense which would be diffused in the Tabernacle, creating an aroma that was pleasant and uplifting.
Here’s what God told Moses about the anointing oil, the oil that was to be used on the priests as they were set aside for service:
“Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, 250, and 250 of aromatic cane, and 500 of cassia,...