Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Leader Worth Following

Those who ask quickly and often when they will be ‘in charge’, have not yet fully learned how to serve. 

 

A leader worth following has first followed well.

 

Grasping quickly for power only proves you have not learned what it takes to build a solid foundation on which to stand.

 

True leaders carry towels, not hammers.

 

 

If your true desire is holy, eternity-reaching impact, lay everything down.

Dreams.

Desires.

Plans.

Preferences.

Results.

Relationships.

 

Take your hands off from all of it, for a moment.

In the silence, be still.

 

Let your heart be reminded that He is God, and He is good.

Then, wait.

 

Let Him pick up what He has ordained for you, and place it in your hands.

If He does not place it back in your hands, it is not for you to pursue.

If He does, receive it, run with it, win with it, conquer with it. 

Everything empowered by Him succeeds against every obstacle.

Everything not of Him is destined to fail.

Every time.

 

The ultimate leader is the one who follows the Ultimate Leader. Find someone who closely follows Jesus, and follow them closely.

 

Then you will become a leader others want to follow.

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The One

 

The One whose grave is empty.

Everyone else’s grave  ~ and remains ~  can be found.

 

The One who chose to do everything to reach us, invite us, save us.

Others require their followers to earn their own way.

 

The One who was blameless, yet paid the price for the guilty.

All other gods elevate themselves, condemning the masses.

 

Every time we write the year, we acknowledge His life.

Others…..rarely do we remember when they were alive.

 

The One who conquered death  –  not for Himself, for me.

 

The One who rendered hell powerless  –  so I can find my way Home.

 

The One who holds my face in His hands and says “I told you I would be here…”

 

The One who catches my tears, hears my prayers, encourages my feeble steps, chastises my foolishness, restores my soul…

 

The One into whose arms I can fall when I need to feel safe.

 

The One into whose lap I can crawl when this child needs to cry.

 

My warrior, king, defender, protector.

Redeemer, restorer, healer…..friend.

 

I can laugh, dance, cry, kneel, celebrate, serve, pray, give,

defeat any adversary,

heal others’ hurt,

share the power of life,

simply abide…

 

All because He is alive,

                                       He is the One,

                                                                    and He claims me as one of His.

 

Abba…..Daddy….the power of being loved by You is overwhelming. To You I run, in Your arms I fall. Your victory I celebrate, Your grace I embrace.  You are The One….

~  Amen


When Silence Screams

Don’t rush past this day. It is more important than most people know.

Anyone can chirp “Sunday’s on the way” when they already know the Story.

When you can’t see the end of the Story, when you are sitting in the depths of the valley where everything you care about is gone, ‘chirping’ sounds like fingernails on a blackboard.

Step into a disciple’s sandals the day after Jesus died. It is there that we find strength for the piercingly silent valleys in our own lives.  

Some have given up to thoughts of failure.

 Others have given in to despair.

 Much of the world goes on as it always has, oblivious He was even here.

“My best friend has just died!”

‘What I thought about God has been crushed!”

Everything inside you is screaming…..and heaven is silent.

Instinct  –  and self-sufficient pride  –  tells us to do something, to fix it somehow.

We feel like we have to have answers to every question, to somehow make sense in our finite minds the depths of an infinite God.

Deep inside your spirit you are hearing “Be still. Be silent.”

Be still and know that He is, in fact, God. And He is ultimately good.

When you can’t see His hand  –  and when you’re not sure you like the things you can see  –  learn to trust His heart.

 Sit still.

Allow the silence.

Allow the words He spoke in the past to soothe your hurt, calm the chaos in your mind.

Listen, don’t speak.

Observe, don’t expound.

And please, don’t “chirp”.

Because He is, in fact, God.

Especially when the silence screams.

Father, the valleys are so not okay in my head, or my emotions. Help me to sit still, to trust, to hear You in the silence.  Lead me to the place where it is well with my soul, because You are there….   ~ Amen


Good Friday, 2

Fierce Love

What we think we know about love is so tragically limited, stifled by selfishness, poisoned by pride.

We love fleetingly; He loves us fiercely.

 

We love “until”, fierce love knows no limits.

When hurt, we protect ourselves; fierce love pours itself out more.

“Not my fault” as we back away; fierce love steps forward and pays our debt.

We demand justice from those who do us wrong; fierce love prayed for their forgiveness.

“There’s too much pain, this can’t be God”; fierce love resoundingly declares no pain is too much to redeem the ones He loves.

When others walk away, we re-think decisions & priorities to win their temporary approval.

Fierce love follows through to victory no matter who stays or goes.

In our suffering, we turn inward; fierce love never ceases speaking grace-filled words to lead broken people Home.

Our fallen world increases daily in despair; fierce love painted HOPE with every drop of Blood

Left to ourselves we are tragically lost; the fierce love of the Cross declares to all we have been eternally found.

Abba…..Father….’thank You’ will never cover the gratitude in our hearts for the fierce love so freely poured out in Jesus’ Blood at Calvary. As much as we know how to love, we love You……   ~  Amen


Good Friday, 1

 

It was so certain, so solid.

And it shattered.

 

Generations of believing, years of seeing, hearing, growing, pointed to success.

And it crumbled.

 

Trust the Teacher.

The Teacher is accused, condemned, crucified.

 

Trust the ‘system’.

Injustice permeates every dusty footprint, every prejudicial word, every deadly blow.

 

Trust your friends.

Barely had controversy started and they ran.

 

The earth itself senses the tragedy and cries out in pain.

 

You’ve just watched your greatest Hope die,

Everything you thought you knew seems wrong.

Everyone you thought you could trust  has gone.

 

You are alone, trembling.

 

Where will you go, what will you do now?

 

Father  –   I run to You. Hold me close, don’t let me go. I pray for the strength and courage to run to You  ~  not away from you  ~  when I don’t understand what You are doing.   ~ Amen


Maundy Thursday, 2

 

The most significant dinner meeting in all of history.

 

Eternity’s most prolific professor delivering one final, personal, life-changing lesson.

 

 

Know that you are loved, to the point of sacrificial death.

 

Know that you will be filled, with a power great enough to change the world.

 

Know that you will grow, if you stay connected.

 

 

Abide.

 

Don’t operate as the world does; they refused wisdom long ago and have been wandering aimlessly ever since.

 

Don’t chase the world’s love; it hates the Holy, so it will hate you if you remain Mine.

 

Abide.

 

Let me grow you, prune you, use you to benefit the eternal kingdom.

 

And wherever you go, whatever you do, keep listening for My voice.

I will always be speaking to you somewhere, somehow.

If you do not hear My voice you either aren’t Mine yet, or you have clogged your ears with something less than what I have to offer you.

 

Abide.

 

Don’t just visit for the weekends or shuffle Me through your calendar like a time share.

I do not intend to be a tolerated portion of your life; I intend to be the center of it all. Only when I am, will you find true peace.

 

Abide. Take up residence in Me, and I will totally surround you.

 

You cannot handle this world alone.

 

I have conquered it for you, so……..abide.

 

 

Father, forgive me for being a part time disciple. I praise You that You are a full-time savior, redeemer, and friend. Hold me close to you, I desperately long to abide…..

~  Amen

 


Maundy Thursday, 1

 

Maundy: the ceremonial washing of the feet of the poor; specifically, remembering Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet before the Last Supper.

 

Some of the most profound lessons are taught before any words are spoken.

Jesus knows he is less than 48 hours away from the most unjust trial history has ever witnessed. The most tragic case of police brutality is about to occur, with him at the center. Everything, everyone is about to be stripped from Him in tragic, unfathomable ways.

We get a sense of something negative and work to build a hedge around us, rally the troops, circle the wagons.

He poured Himself out for the very ones who hurt Him most deeply,

John tells us He knew Who He was, that His time was coming to completion, and that He would soon be returning to His rightful place in Heaven. So He did the most powerful thing, taught the most powerful lesson, left an unforgettable picture in the mind of all disciples everywhere.

 

He laid aside His garment, took up a towel, and washed feet.

 

Dirty, sweaty, smelly feet.

 

Human nature gets an idea we’re “all that” and steps away from people and tasks we think are beneath us.

 

Christ-like nature finds a way to serve, give, care for others’ needs in deeper and more powerful ways.

 

One more Maundy thought….He also washed Judas’ feet.

 

With the same tenderness and care as all the other disciples  –  because none of them knew who the betrayer was  –  He washed the feet of the very one who had sold Him out for the price of a slave.

 

I wonder if the pieces of silver in Judas’ pocket made a sound when he moved to place his foot in the basin?

 

Jesus knew. And still He chose to wash his feet.

 

Two applications: if we are truly desiring to become more and more like Him, we will find ways to do the same for those who have hurt us.

 

And…we must all set our pride aside long enough to realize that we, too, have betrayed the Lover of our soul and Creator of the universe.

 

His response just might be to remind us that He desires to cleanse us from head to toe with His mercy and grace. 

 

Will you sit still long enough to let Him? Let Him wash every part of your lost, broken, betraying self on this Holy day….

 

 

Father….my words fail. Wash me, cleanse me, forgive me…..  and empower me to do the same.   ~  Amen