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Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

I’m a bargain shopper.  When making a purchase, I like to look around to make sure I’m getting the best deal.  I’m the type of guy that walks in the store and head straight for the clearance rack.  Before I order something on line, I do a Google search to see if there’s any coupons floating around in cyberspace.  Every so often, I run across some amazing deals.  At other times, it’s difficult to get the deal I want.  As much as I shop around, every once in awhile I have to bite the bullet and realize that this product or service is going to cost me full price.

In leadership, we sometimes get things at a bargain: low cost, high return. A fifteen minute conversation proves to be life changing.  You pray for a person for one minute and God answers it in a big way.  You preach one of your old sermons and it impacts the life of your church.  You thought it would cost you time and energy and God sends you a 80% off coupon.  You rejoice because you didn’t have to pay a high price!  There are some things, however, that only come at a premium price. No matter how much you shop around, it doesn’t come cheap.  No coupon.  No mark down. No clearance.  No deal.  You can choose to embrace the cost and go to the next level, or be fruggal and stay where you are.  There are equipment, events, and life lessons that are high cost, high return.  They often require a level of risk.  You may have to preach a sermon on a topic that you are extremely uncomfortable addressing.  You may have to drive hours to have a thirty minute meeting with someone influential.  You may have to carry the emotional weight of a vision until it comes to past.  In 2 Samuel 24:24, David said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing.”  David realize that every thing that pertains to God doesn’t come cheap or easy.  Things of high value sometimes comes at a high cost.

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We closed out our H2O series this past weekend by handing out over 1,200 bottles of free water in downtown Silver Spring.  Originally, we were going to hand them out at the Silver Spring Jazz Festival.  When we arrived at the scene, we discovered that they were selling water.  We concluded that cutting into their sales won’t be the best witness.  One of our volunteers, Shaye, came up with another idea.  We ended up handing out water in front of the movie theater where we meet!  When people asked, “Where do you guys meet?” We could say, “Turn around.  Our location is right behind you.”  This may sound like a cliche, but it happens every single time we give something away in our community.  People ask, “Why are you doing this?”  When they discover that we are a church just simply showing love to the community, there faces light up with surprise, joy, or an “it’s about time” look.  One guy summed it up well, “Free water on a hot sunny day?  That’s what I’m talking about!”  We also raised money for two weeks to provide clean water for people living in Africa.

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I’m working on finishing my messages earlier on in the week.  I did last week and it made a big difference! That means, I have to save some of my admin stuff for later on in the week.  It felt a bit awkward working on non-message stuff on Friday, but it was a breather to have it out the way and enjoy my Saturday.  For the past few weeks, my Saturdays have been eaten up by final “touch ups,” which usually lasts all day.  Since the message is floating around my brain much earlier, God has the room to give me more insights and creative ideas.  Today is Tuesday and I’ve done most of my research.  Yeah, God!

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7:22 in Atlanta made a bold move recently. It makes me wonder how many of us have to make the same decisions as it pertains to our various ministries, churches, organizations, etc.

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One of my greatest challenges I’ve faced recently has nothing to do with failure, but success.  It has always been part of our The Bridge’s vision to reach people that don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Our Red Line stops are set up to do just that.  The amazing thing is that it’s happening!  Not only is it happening, but people are coming back!  Like many of us, I have been programmed to try to “win” people to the Lord.  I’ve been taught that you have to do something to make people believe.  In some way, we feel like we have to be in control of the spiritual journey.  We can’t.  In actuality, it is the Spirit of God that draws men to Himself.  We just get the opportunity to be a part of what he’s doing.  My heart breaks as I look into the eyes of Red Liners that are in need of a Savior.  There’s part of you that wish you can save them, but you can’t.  This generation want to seek God on their own terms and time table.  Yet, that’s the key; that they seek Him.  Scriptures says, those who seek Him will find Him.  By the way, the Red Line has nothing to do with the Spiderman red suit I’m talking about tomorrow :-).

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There was a street light in my neighborhood that was blown for several weeks. To be honest, I think it was for several months. What made this light so special was that it was the only one that lit up the path leading to our condo. Out of all the street lights in our neighborhood, ours was the only one that refused to work. I have to be admit. I have been bitter at our condo association for weeks. “How dear they take our condo fees and not keep up the grounds! That’s a breach of contract!” I complained and complained and complained. I then began to feel God convicting me. He challenged me stop being a complainer and become a solution to the problem. Before leaving out of town a few weeks ago, I called our condo association and left a voice message around 5:00am. Someone promptly returned my phone call and let me know that they were not aware of the situation. Boy! Was I convicted! Ouch. However, they assured me that they would begin resolving the problem right away. Last night, as my wife and I returned from a romantic evening at Color Me Mine, we returned to a working street light. Sometimes the problems we complain about are the ones God wants to use us to solve.

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Tight Fisted

I spent a chunk of my time yesterday preparing for Sunday’s message.  Man, was I challanged by what God revealed to me about generosity!  I’m looking forward to sharing with The Bridge folks on Sunday.  Jesus said, “If we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly.  If we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully.” It’s a pretty simple law, but I’m not sure how much we buy into it as Christians.  We can always tell based on how much we sow.  Giving is not loosing.  It’s sowing. A farmer knows that he is cheating himself by being tight fisted with how many seeds he plants in the ground.  Why don’t we get that?  The farmer is at rest knowing that the seeds for the following harvest is in the coming harvest.  Why don’t we get that?

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