Leaders Who Last

11 05 2010

 

Just finished Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft, leadership development pastor at Mars Hill in Seattle.

This is a short book definitely worth the time reading for anyone in ministry leadership. (Pastors, Youth pastors, etc.)

What I like most about the book is Kraft’s idea that Christ is our foundation for leadership! Obviously this is a biblical concept but many books either seem to assume this idea or just leave it out altogether.  Early on Kraft stresses the importance of maintaining the Spiritual Disciplines, not as a means of earning Grace, but in response to it.

I don’t want to spoil too much of the book for you, but my personal take away was the evaluations listed after each section.  This is a book that I will put on my shelf in an accessible place so that I can reference it periodically in my own walk.  As a leader I must constantly reevaluate my purpose and vision to make sure that I have not strayed away from the path God has set for me and His people.

Hope you’ll read this book and learn well from it…

Click here to see an interview with Dave Kraft about the book

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Mother’s Day Sermon 2010

6 05 2010

At the end of the day, motherhood matters because we are charged with the awesome task to train the next generation and, together with their fathers, arm them to be warriors for Christ.” – Mary K. Mohler

Still doing some studying for the message Sunday morning, but as I read and reflect I thought I’d give you the basic outline of the sermon…

First off, my “Series” for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is “Faith Legacy.” As I’ve blogged about before I’m trying to emphasize the importance of parents cultivating their children’s relationship with Christ.  My title, Motherhood Matters, is not really creative or original but it grasps my proposition that motherhood is a high calling.

My text is only one verse: 2 Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”

Here’s why we honor our mothers, not only on Mother’s Day, but also year round:

I. Mothers have Purpose- A mother’s primary purpose of course is to have a child! That may be by birth or adoption. Notice, I did not say a woman’s primary purpose is to have a child.  There are some godly women that God has not called to motherhood.  Although, I still believe all women are born with a certain “mothering” instinct even if some are not called to be mothers.  Anyway, a mother’s ultimate purpose is to pass on her faith legacy. I know that some would say “Well, yes, faith legacy is important, after I clothe my kids and feed them, and take them to school, and clean the house, etc.” But what I’m saying is if a mom is fulfilling her ultimate purpose of handing down her faith legacy then all these other things will fall into place (see Matt. 6:33).  In Timothy’s life we see a faith that was passed down from his grandmother, to his mother, and then to him.  Why are there so many pages of “generations” at various points in the Bible? Why did God tell Israel to do things like leave a pile of stones in certain places, write down records of events, etc.? Because handing down the faith from one generation to the next is God’s idea!

Not only do we honor mother’s because they have purpose, but also because,

II. Mother’s have Power-  Do you know what Moses, David, Jesus, Paul, Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, and Cuatro have in common? We all have a mom!  Let’s look at grandmother Lois in our text.  How does she have power? Let’s look at Timothy- He was the pastor of one of the greatest churches we see in the New Testament: Ephesus.  Lois’s influence on her daughter and grandson played a part in God’s redemptive plan! Since she was faithful in sharing the Scriptures (O.T.) with her daughter and grandson, Timothy was molded by God to do great things (see 2 Tim. 2:14-15).

I want to ask all moms: How will you use your power? Do you know what Stalin, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Darth Vader all have in common? They all had a mom!  Now, I’m not saying that bad people have bad moms and good people have good moms, but what I am saying is that mothers have tremendous power in shaping the minds and hearts of their children.  You see, if as a mother your ultimate purpose is to pass on your faith legacy, then God has given you the power to do so! How? Look at Deuteronomy 6:5-7!  Mom- Use your power and influence to teach your children about God and His ways. 

It’s great to bring your children to church, but if that’s all you do for them spiritually it’s not enough.  Pray with your children (more than just meal times), read the bible together, talk about the things of God.  And here you might say “Cuatro, you don’t understand, I don’t have a husband, or my husband is not a believer, or my husband is not as committed to Christ as I am.”  I do know those situations can be tough and are not God’s ultimate design for the family.  But look at Acts 16:1…Eunice (Timothy’s mom) was a Jew and her husband was a Greek! The point is, don’t excuse yourself from your calling as a mother, even if your husband is not cooperating.  Motherhood is a special, beautiful, and high calling! Never let anyone tell you that you aren’t making an impact in this world… You have more power than you even know!

A last note on a mom’s power is Titus 2:3-5.  Mom’s that no longer have children living at home still have a huge role to play in the church!  What kind of faith legacy are you older moms/women leaving for these younger moms/women?  Who will walk alongside this younger generation of moms and show them what it means to be a godly wife and mother?  Let’s face it, there are just some things that only women can teach other women (men have no clue)!

Finally, not only do women have purpose and power, but,

III. Mother’s are people too- Another thing I know for sure about Lois and Eunice is that they were human beings.  And the thing I know about human beings is that we mess up (Rom. 3:23).  In fact, take a look at another biblical mother found in Matthew 1:5.

Do you remember Rahab? She was a prostitute in the city of Jericho!  But God used her to be in the lineage of His Son, Jesus Christ.  The only type of people God uses are those who are broken!  So, even if you are not the perfect mother, stop trusting yourself and turn to Christ.

The point is not to read this and go away with added weight on your life and feel like a failure. The point is to feel the calling and conviction of God to be a biblical mother, and turn to Christ as your foundation for being a godly mom. If God can use a prostitute to be a mother in the lineage of Himself, then He can use you to make difference in your home, church, and world.

I hope those who aren’t moms that read this understand a little better about why we honor them.

Dads, tune in for Father’s Day…





When to Seek Revenge

5 05 2010

1 Samuel 25:38 “And about ten days later the LORD struck Nabal, and he died.”

Interesting way to start a blog, I know.  In the book of 1 Samuel we find the story of Nabal and David.  The gist of that story is this: Nabal wronged David, and David was on his way to take revenge.  Abigail, Nabal’s wife, intervened before David could carry out his vengeance.  Barely a week and a half later God took care of Nabal as He intended.  If David would have carried out his vengeance it would have caused him much greater grief in the long run.  Instead, by the Grace of God, David was persuaded to allow God to handle the situation…

How does this apply to us?

Well, I think all of us have been in a situation where we have been wronged by someone else.  There’s no doubt that Nabal was the one who insulted David.  We’ve all also probably had the opportunity to carry out our own form of vengeance.  In fact, most people probably felt David had every right to carry out his plan against Nabal.  Perhaps you too have been encouraged by friends and family to respond in vengeance against someone who has done you wrong.

The Bible, however, is clear on how God feels about this:  Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

The truth is that God handles our situations much better than we do.  There may be times in ministry or other areas of your life where people honestly deserve to be mistreated by you because of some of the things they have done.  However, if we can have patience and trust God, He will take care of it!

Now, this doesn’t mean we sit back and get ready to see God smite somebody within 10 days! Pray for the person who has offended you!  The best thing that can happen is for God to show him or her the wrong so that you and that person may be reconciled… Most (if not all) of the time we take things into our own hands we make a huge mess out of it.  Remember too, that just because you may be doing everything right doesn’t mean the situation is going to go away.  We live in a fallen world and sometimes relationships are broken and it can take a long time to heal.

 This also doesn’t mean that you are to be ran over all the time by others.  It’s okay (and commanded) to let others know when they’ve wronged you (Matt. 18:15).  But if you are asking yourself “When is it okay for me to take revenge?” The answer is NEVER! Leave it in God’s hands…