Create a top 10 list of friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers that God has put on your heart. Pray for them. Keep in touch in simple ways, such as a quick text when you think of them.
Seek to better understand what makes them tick.
Look for opportunity to go deeper and give them the gospel.
My top 10 list reminds me the eternal work that really matters, the great commission. Often just looking over those names awakens me to be less selfish, pray for people i love and seek the God who wants nobody to perish but all come to Him and be saved.
Thinking of ways to break out the crusty Christian mold. The one i created for myself where i’m made to be a light to the world but all my friends and the people i spend my time with are already Christian.
That won’t work.
So i know i need to intentionally seek out relationships w/ people not in the Church.
One way is to re purpose Facebook.
Going to try to focus more of my efforts at Facebook on reaching out to people i know who are not Christian already. When i do speak about my life and faith, i want to speak in the vernacular not christianeze. When i share about life, i want to include my pain and doubts not just my happy days.
Praying God use facebook as one tool to help me connect with more people He wants me to know.
I identify with the frailty of Oscar Schindler
This is the most moving scene in any movie i know. In fact, IMBD named Schindlers List the best movie ever made.
It crushes me every time i watch it. I so identify with Schindler, if i let myself think about it. Do i dare consider how many opportunities to love and help others, i have certainly wasted?
Yet in some ways, Schindler is, or at least becomes, an exemplary man. As his friend in the scene says, “generations will exist because of what you have done Oscar”. In one sense, i would love to identify with Oscar Schindler and become a person who gave up so much to save the lives of others.
Truth is I identify both with his regret and his desire to do right. I identify with the frail yet powerful tension of his humanity.
Jesus is NO Oscar Schindler
On the other hand, it can be way harder to identify with Jesus. Jesus says in John 18, I told you that I am He,” Jesus replied. “So if you are looking for Me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word He had spoken: “I have not lost one” of those You have given Me.”
While, Schindler looked with awful regret at his car and saw 10 lives he could have saved instead, Jesus felt none of Schindler’s regret. That is stunning.
It is so human, so normal for me to have regret. Especially when i look deeply at the suffering in the world, and compare how i spend my time to the depth of need all around me. While Jesus was certainly fully human with deep emotions, he felt no such regret. He didn’t lose one of those God gave him.
In this sense, i identify far more with Schindler than Jesus.
Jesus identifies with me.
So as i reflect on my role in serving the needs of the world, i feel so much more like Schindler than Jesus. In fact, i feel far less than Schindler, i certainly haven’t accomplished nearly what he did for needy people. Where does that leave me? Full of regret?
It should, if i’m brutally honest. But as so many times before, Jesus steps in and rescues me. Also in John he prays of all who believe in him…
“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”
So a movie like Schindlers List, breaks me down, forces me to face the fact that have so much to regret. I might try to count up my good deeds and ignore the regret so i feel “OK”. But that ok feeling is just a feeling, it comes and goes.
Instead, Jesus, the only man who ever lived without regret, shows up with the amazing love that rescues me from this struggle. He, with the full confidence of God the Father, calls me into friendship with Him. Takes my soiled, regret filled record and replaces it with a new identity.
His one time cross love, makes me clean before God forever. His enduring, patient love forgives me 70×7 times along the way till i actually become a man with more love and less regret.
Thanks to Steven Spielberg for taking me on this emotional roller-coaster. Thanks to God for Jesus making a way to face regret and strive for better.
Just a quick post today. I’m always looking for insight and encouragement to do evangelism. This article, and video, are great insights from two of the best teachers on engaging the world, Rebecca Pippert and Tim Keller. They really do inspire and equip me to engage with the world for Christ sake.
Here’s the resource:
Yesterday i mentioned that sometimes speaking about the gospel to my family feels like a foreign language.
Do this, don’t do that and lots of other rules and corrections are more commonly the dialogue language in our home.
In an effort to change that, I thought of a simple way to practice speaking “Gospel” to my kids. Yesterday i stopped each of my sons and said i wanted to tell them something awesome, pausing for effect…
When they were sufficiently interested, i just told them John 3:16. But not in the normal bible language, i tried to say it in everyday language so it sounded familiar but different enough to make them interested.
Here’s how it went:
Dad: Hey bud, wanna know something awesome?
Son (cautious and distracted): well, ok..
Dad (after a pause): Did you know that God, the guy who made everything and is the most powerful being in the universe, sent his 1 and only son, like you are my son, down here to earth. It was not safe, enemy territory really. It’d be like me dropping you in the middle of Iran.
Son (kinda interested): Huh…
Dad: Why did God do it, you ask?? (even if my son didn’t ask) Because He loves us. Because Jesus agreed to come and show us the best way. And guess what else, if we believe in the way Jesus shows us we will will never die but get eternal life as a gift from Him, did you know that kiddo???
Son (reccognizing John 3:16 ): sure i did,yeah i knew that… then walks away a little puzzled by his weird dad.
So that’s it. The idea is to take common gospel scriptures and say them to my family in an uncommon way during normal life. I need to remember the gospel, they need the gospel too. Finally, getting the gospel deep into my normal life and language will help me to comfortably share the gospel with others.
No i’m not talking about Chinese or Spanish or French.
In 2017 im challenged by God to translate the gospel into the 3 “foreign languages” of my heart, my family and my non-christian friends.
Why do i say these are foreign languages? Because sadly enough, i rarely think or speak in terms of the gospel with these 3 peoples. And when i do, it’s so muddled up with “Christianese” that it doesn’t speak to my normal life and normal experience.
I’m tired of saying i’m a Christian but living so oblivious to the wonder of the gospel. God is calling me to translate the gospel from its dusty, comfortable place in my heart, into the precious pearl it really is and out into my real world life.
I think he wants me to do so by translating it into fresh, relevant language for my heart, my family and my non-christian friends. Let me give a quick explaination:
- My heart- I can so easily breeze through my devotional time and 10 minutes later i forget what i just read. Instead, when i read a verse and try to translate the language into a more common way of talking, i’m engaged and hold on to it longer- sometimes even think about it all day.
- My family- This one makes me so mad at me. I can go weeks, no exageration, weeks without telling my wife and kids the good news of Jesus love for us. Rather i get caught up in “parenting” them with lots of do’s and don’t and go to bed at night wondering why they don’t see christian faith as something real and special and meaningful.
- My non-christian friends- Saved the worst for last! Do i even keep in touch with many non-christian friends, or have they fell aside as i became more and more dug into the Christian world. And when i do interact w/ them, am i comfortable chatting easily about the most important thing in the world, the gospel, heck no i’m scared to bring it up. Why because the way i’d say it is to Christiany, the words that make sense to me and my christian friends are just jibberish to them. If the gospel is really the best news for all mankind, i need to be able to say it in plain language.
So thats my challenge for 2017, 3 foriegn languages. My fear is that it’s like my 2 years of Spanish in highschool. I took the class but nowadays about all i can do is count to 10 and say a few colors, could’t actually talk to someone in Spanish.
My prayer is the simple, pure beautiful gospel of the crazy, sacrificing love of Jesus for the me, my family and my non-christian friends become fluent to me and good news to them. Help me God!
Some of my posts will be just my sharing resources with you that have helped me discover and do my calling. Well, one of the best is Dan Miller and the folks at www.48days.com There is so much valuable content on finding and doing work you love, no matter what kind of info you like:
- Great blogs
- A 48 minute weekly podcast covering all things work related… and more
- Tons of free materials
- Great books, workbooks, career development tools and live events
- An excellent social community at www.48days.net for you to connect with others seeking work they love
- A list of great coaches in every specialty
I have been personally blessed to meet Dan, Joanne and the family in Tennessee for several of their live events. They are genuinely caring people.
Here is more of the story about how Dan has influenced me from the point-0f-view of my service business.
To live your calling you must know your core purpose. It will be insight from God that speaks to your heart. Over time, it will sustain you in good times and bad ones.
The apostle Peter knew his core purpose. In fact, Jesus told him it 3 times for emphasis, “Peter, Feed my sheep”.
For this week’s devotional exercise, read, pray and study how Peter’s core purpose guided him the rest of his life. Acts 1-14 tells many stories about him. Also, read his letters, 1 & 2 Peter with that core purpose in mind.
In your journaling consider:
1. How did Peter knowing his core purpose guide him the rest of his life?
2. What does this teach you about knowing and doing your core purpose?
This devotional is part of an 8 week devotional series I have developed for my coaching clients to help them seek God during the coaching process. If you would like a copy of the entire devotional send me an e-mail request to email@example.com
Occasionally I will create a short post from a devotional exercise I use with my coaching clients. Here is the first one.
I truly believe coaching or life development is a “sacred” process of– us doing but God leading. Our thoughts alone are not big enough for God’s plans for us. We need to hear from Him by meditation in His word.
Therefore, along side of my 8 week coaching process, clients do a daily devotional created to get them asking God about their unique purpose in Him. Here is one devotional exercise we use to help you clarify your life mission:
Week 4, Day 1: Read Romans 15:18 then all of Romans 15 on Paul’s life mission. Paul’s mission can be summed up in verse 18, “I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God in what I have said and done”
Try to complete this statement Paul made with one or a few ideas of your own mission:
I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in _____________________________
Here’s an example using my life mission:
I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in helping people find confidence to do God’s will in their work.
Take your time with this. Think, pray, sit with it for a while. Then get something down on paper even if it isn’t your ultimate life mission. Over a few days, “try it on”. As you do life and work, ask yourself if you can say what Paul said about his mission: “I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God”
This is between you and God so you needn’t share it here in the early stages. On the other hand, others will eventually see the “glory of Christ” as you live your mission for Him. So, if you would like to post your ideas here for feedback or to encourage us, we would be honored.
I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below. Acts 2:19
Can wonder be a part of our work lives?
You know wonder… Awe. Surprising delight. A moment you just didn’t expect and can’t repeat but which stays with you for a long time.
But for real, what is wonder to you? Some of us may have to go way back to remember, but try. Is it…
- A two year old bursting into laughter for no apparent reason.
- Or a puppy frolicking in a yard with grass so high she nearly disappears until she jumps. (We just got a puppy so I can’t help but mention that one.)
- How about a mountaintop view that goes on for hazy miles in every direction.
Just as importantly, when do you experience wonder? On the weekend when you take a hike? At home playing with your kids? Never?
What about during the 40, 50, 60 hours a week you are at work?
Do you ever experience wonder then?
Is that a dumb question? Or just a naive, idealistic one?
Isn’t our work time for shuffling papers? For grinning through our gritted teeth as we say “yes” to our rotten boss? Or for paying the bills, and hanging on till the weekend?
I don’t claim all the answers here. I know there are some work situations where surviving another day is a pretty good day. I’m not trying to make light of your struggles at work.
I’m just here to get you thinking. To get you uncomfortable with less than God’s best for your work and life.
Here is what I do know. Wonder is not only important to a happy life but also an integral part of the fabric of eternity. Work too, is a big part of our lives (and i could argue a part of eternity also) . Therefore, shouldn’t the two, work and wonder, overlap occasionally… even often?
But how might wonder at work show up? Certainly it depends on who you are, what kind of things bring you wonder. But if what brings you wonder, could combine with what you do for work 50 hrs a week then, Wow!
It might look like:
- Keeping the office environment so neat and orderly that the entire staff feels at home, at work.
- Feeling the satisfaction of taking an old, beat-up piece of furniture (maybe leather 😉 ) and restoring it to beautiful, like new condition.
- Seeing women marred by poverty and prostitution set free to live healthy productive lives
- Treating each customer so great that everybody asks for you when they come in to the restaurant
- Saving lives by discovering life-saving brain surgery techniques
- Bringing hope and life to disabled people all around the world, as a quadriplegic yourself!
Can you imagine work where you’d experience wonder often? Work where you are so good that your customers experience it through your work? Do you know anyone who seems to have wonder in their work? What would it look like to you? More importantly, what can you do to make it happen. I should say to make the opportunity for wonder, happen?
The appearance of wonder itself, we can’t manufacture that. For wonder creation is God’s department. We can only position ourselves to be ready for it. But don’t worry, our God “will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below”.