Strong Hands On My Shoulders

I remember a class in educational leadership that I took during my doctoral program. The class had a special meeting on a Saturday to accommodate a visiting professor, the president of a community college. I admit, I had a bad attitude that morning, “This isn’t fair, to make us come to class on Saturday. And, this guy is going to lecture us all day.”

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Movin’ Piles: a Call to Faithfulness

Years ago I heard a wonderful illustration of what it means to be “real.” Here goes: There are three types of Christians. First, there’s the TOP-OF-THE-PILE Christian. You have seen these folks. You ask them “How are you doing?” and away they go: “Top of the pile! Movin’ and groovin’ with Jesus. Growin’ and glowin’ in Him.” Really? All the time? You can’t be that way all the time, it is not realistic.

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YOU, A Spiritual Leader? YES!

Spiritual leadership! This is a different kind of leadership, and it includes YOU. We have leaders in all segments of our world: politics, the military, education, business, business, social services, the church, etc. Now, all this “leadership” is good and I have consulted and taught leaders in all these areas. But, this is not the kind of leadership I am speaking of in this blog.

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A Compassionate Person

I’ve known and worked with a wide diversity of people in the last 40 years of pastoring and teaching. I’ve worked with people who lived in homes that were so big and so beautiful; frankly, it made me nervous to go inside. And, I can remember a fellow with crooked teeth and scars on his face who, every Sunday, walked from the Union Gospel Mission to sit on the second row in church.

Here is what I know: Scratch any person, and they will bleed. Everybody carries a load. I would like to put a badge on every person that reads, CAUTION! HUMAN BEING. HANDLE WITH CARE.

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Listen

There was a wonderful story carried in Reader’s Digest many, many years ago. It is the story of Arthur Gordon. He was a successful man but under an enormous amount of pressure. He was feeling ill and went to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment. The doctor knew him well enough to know that this was not a problem that was physically based. And, this was a doctor wise enough to not mask the symptoms with medicine but to treat the true cause of the problem.

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A Godly Person

Being a Godly person. That’s a challenge. Sometimes I feel like I’m not very good at it. That’s when I have to remember that I’m not the one who makes me “a Godly person.” Jesus does the work in me; it is my challenge to cooperate with what He is doing.

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A Living Reminder of Jesus

A week ago, the school where I teach (Trevecca Nazarene University) celebrated the opening dinner of the school year. And, it happened to me again. An individual hurried up to meet me and in great overtures, complemented my on my exceptional skills at the piano. I quickly explained that I don’t play the piano. However, the gentleman continued thanking me for sharing my musical gift. It took two more explanations before he realized that I am not the person he thought I was. When he finally realizes the mistake, we both laughed as he explained, “You look just like him.”

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She Sold Her Possessions and Moved; that’s Faith!

We use the word faith is two very different ways. First, there is “the Faith,” meaning accepting the doctrines and beliefs of the church. There are a few places in the Bible where faith is used in this way, but not many. Second, there is “faith that trusts,” meaning faith that results in action, putting your trust in God. This is the meaning of faith in most of the Bible.

Let me give you a human example of faith as a verb: May 2012, my wife and I celebrated our 10th anniversary.* It was more than a decade ago, I asked Shirley to marry me. I shared my heart with her, “you are the one I love, and I want us to build a life together.”

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Stay Focused

  It is hard to focus when surrounded with distractions.  Imagine the driver who is balancing a morning coffee, holding his cell phone, dictating a…

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Remember Your First Love*

It is not easy to admit, but in the stress of life, we get distracted, spiritually distracted from the “first love,” our love for Jesus Christ. Let me outline four times and ways we are distracted and need to remember our first love:

#1 QUESTION: When do I need Spiritual Restoration?
ANSWER: When your heart is dead, and you are going through the motions.

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