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March 2007
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May 2007

Random Reading

I love to chew on information, and the web is perfect for my hyper-click mind.  I can pop into some information, follow the thought through to another website and explore via a dozen articles or blogs.

Today I ran across a thought that challenged me to stop and think about it--on The Incomplete Leader.  The premise is that OBVIOUSLY, the leader can not be perfect in every fashion.  No one is totally able to lead in all areas, and leaders need to grab hold of that concept and find freedom in it.  Here is a quote:

The researchers break down leadership into four capabilities: sensemaking (understanding the context in which an organization and its people operate), relating (building relationships within and across organizations), visioning (creating a compelling picture of the future), and inventing(developing new ways to achieve the vision). Rarely will someone be skilled in all four areas.

But truly competent leaders will accept being incomplete, diagnosing their own weaknesses and compensating for them by  finding the right people to provide the qualities they lack. “It’s the leader’s responsibility to create an environment that lets  people complement one another’s strengths and offset one another’s weaknesses. In this way, leadership is distributed  across multiple people throughout the organization.”   

I want to freedom to know in which area I excel, and the wisdom to grow in my area of expertise.

Click here and here for more info.


Stretching

I have a hard time with understanding my capacity.  I am always pushing myself to add more, to do more, and to go one more place.  I really do not understand why, but I am starting to realize that I have limits.  It might sound strange, a grown man finally realizing that I have limits, but it is the truth.

I have always thought I could learn anything, if I just put my mind to it.
I have always thought I could go anywhere, if I could just squeeze in the time.
I have always thought I could make one more call, preach on more sermon, and write a best-selling book.

My life has always been to squeeze more into an ever-decreasing amount of space.  I have fifty hobbies that I would like to start, a hundred places I want to visit, and thousand things I want to experience (and that isn't including the five thousand books that I still want to read!).

What I have been realizing lately is that I must decrease, so Christ must increase.  That is the fundamental principle/relationship that guides my life.  Jesus Christ is the North Star by which my purpose, morals, and essence rest.  I cannot give Him a sliver of my time, but must allow him to permeate every corner of my life.

I want my limits to be expanding...by God.  I don't want them expanded by my interests, my hobbies, or my desires.  I simply want to be stretched by Him.

"I want to know Him, in the power of his resurrection."  -Paul


American Girl

We have made our girls' dreams happen.  Yesterday, we went to the American Girl store in Chicago.  We hopped on the train and headed downtown.  Caught a cab to the Field Museum to see exhibits galore.  Then took the Metro to Chicago Ave., walking the last couple blocks to the store.

It was amazing.  Hundreds and hundreds of little girls and their moms and grandmas, spending money like drunken sailors, all for dolls and their accessories.  My first questions was, "Who is into this more, the moms or the kids?"  My second question was, "Who thought of this racket?"

Our girls have saved their own money, if they wanted to spend some on doll clothes, that is fine.  But it does stick in the back of my mind that a doll costs more than the monthly salary in Moldova.  But then again, a new suit costs three times the monthly salary, and then I would move on to toys, 4-wheelers, rifles, purses, etc. 

So instead of that, I will just remember the good time I had with the girls, watching their faces as they looked through doll heaven, the overload factor of too many choices, the joy of carrying dolls the entire time, and the continual changing and rechanging of doll outfits. 

Such is the life of a father of females.


Easter

"FOLLOWING JESUS doesn't get us where we want to go. It gets us to where Jesus goes, where we meet him in Resurrection surprise: "My Lord and my God!" 1 
                                                      Eugene H. Peterson, The Jesus Way


A Learning Posture

"Humility is wisdom's constant companion, or as Alvin Taylor puts it, 'In the twenty-first century, an illiterate is not one who cannot read or write, but one who is unwilling to learn, unlearn, and relearn.'"  Earl Creps

In today's world, it matters less what you know that your ability to keep learning.  As a missionary, I am continually challenges by the need to transmit the message of Christ across cultural barriers, through a foreign language, with all its individual nuances and meanings.  I have spent many hours studying Russian, trying to determine how I can speak with a different grammer structure, unique sounds, and another way of thinking.

I realize that same language learning posture is essential for each follower of Christ today.  We are all trying to carry a message to another culture, and one that is increasingly becoming farther from our way of thinking.  When the church uses Christian and biblical terms, the world is increasingly staring at us, thinking, "What language are they speaking?"

I believe that each of us must build learning relationships into our life, where we have other people, both younger and older, that can teach us about the language of today.  As a missionary, I want to understand how the world thinks, speaks, and acts.  I am carrying the greatest message that the world has ever seen, and I want to be a learning.

Humble yourself.  Ask for help.  And build a learning posture into your life.


Stuck

Stuck.

I am stuck in Amsterdam, and will not make it in time for my sermon tomorrow.  As that airplane climbs, my hopes sink.  There aren't any more flights out today, and the church in Freeport can't move Sunday to another day of the week!

Stress would have filled my mind in the past, but I'm finding myself with a lot mroe peace now.  I'll eventually make it home.  Nancy can preach and share about Moldova.  And life will go on.

Another bump in the road, but we will eventually make it there.