Dec 272013

If you have once again struggled to find the meaning in this Christmas, know this- the blood oath made by Jesus Christ more than a millenium before, became real that night…

The prosecutor hurled his accusations:
“You are not who you say you are.”
“Your rules are not fair!”
Finally, the Defendant on the throne said,
“I have no more words, I will show you.”

The Son stepped from beside the throne and became Joseph’s son. (Luke 2)
and with one simple substitution,
God for man,
Faith became fact,
and a 33 year proof began.

Humble beginning in the stable,
Violent victory at the cross!
Firmly and forever crowned-
Lion of Judah,
Lamb of God,
Son of Man.

The proof of the most challenged equation of all time was complete.

God = love

Mathematical equality.
Everlasting synonyms.
John’s summary statement. (1 John 4.16)

and every year at this time we celebrate the lowly beginning of a crashing victory.
A victory proving the Father’s right to save me by grace.
A victory started as a tiny baby,
finished as grown man who jumped to his death on the cross.

Jesus, you are the living Word.
The Living Voice,
the walking message identifying your Father.
We praise your Name!
We celebrate You showing us the Father in Your birth,
Your life,
Your death.
Send Your Spirit to fill this heart and this house.

Dec 212013

Several months ago, I was having a really bad day.  I had received some challenging news that I was unprepared to face.  With feelings of depression, hopelessness, and no small amount of anger setting in, I was unable to face my staff who depend on me for leadership and support.

So what did I do? I went straight to my boss, burst into her office, pushing for some serious talk time. And she did exactly those things that cause me to count on her. She validated my feelings. She did a reality check on my facts. Immediately went to the source to correct the issue. Sent me on my way confident in the work we had already done together.

Jesus knew about this need. He was very clear about the source of His power.

“I have received authority from my Father”. Revelation 2:27 NIV.

Jesus knew that without regular time spent with His Father, to renew, to refocus, to remind, to repurpose, He would lose strength and lose sight of His mission. He was on a three year game-changing mission. He had an impossibly short time to do something so shocking, so unique, and finally, so violent, that it would change the thoughts of a universe for all time. 

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 NIV.

He knew where to go. He had no question to Whom He should turn.  Through His short life, he modeled this for us over and over. He proved it’s value finally through a victorious mission.

Someone told me something about leadership once, and I’ve found it to have lasting value.

When you’re down, go up!

When you’re up, go down!

What do these cryptic words mean? When you are emotionally down, when you’re mission focus is blurry, when you are confused and discouraged about your value or direction, go up! Up the food chain, up the org chart, up to your boss, up to your Heavenly Father, up to a caring parent. Someone who can handle all of your garbage, your discouragement, your confusion, and your anger. Someone who can remind you of who you are. Someone who can get you standing upright again.

When you’re up, when you are clear on the mission, when you have value to share with those around you, when you are strong enough to support and affirm,  go to those who count on you for leadership. They could be employees, children, fellow students. If you’re not ready to do that, go up! Rant in your boss’s office, take a prayer moment in the car before entering your home, go where you need to go to get your game face back on.

Jesus knew where to go for renewal, to get His game face back on. And so do you.

shared in the workplace 12.16.13 Thanks Heather!

Related posts: about the importance of my leadership vibe and leading with my values.

Dec 082013

I had an idea at work the other day. I know that’s shocking to some of you… but I did! I was kind of proud of it and was looking forward to having my name linked with it. And then, the most shocking thing ever! Someone else had come up with my bright idea! MY idea! My personal, brilliant, creative, innovative idea.

 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,  for whoever is not against us is for us. Mark 9:38-40

So…. apparently Jesus didn’t have that problem. He was trying to teach His disciples that the mission was more important than the man.  The message more than the messenger. Effect more than credit. That’s kindof tough on the old ego.  We naturally want to be recognized for our brilliance and creativity, don’t we?

Jesus kept His eye on the mission: to reflect His Father’s loving character and to heal and save idiotic humans who were trying to kill Him. No time or energy to waste on ego or fame. If something or someone furthered that mission, He was for it… and them!

So how can I copy this? When an employee comes up with a great idea that I have also generated, acknowledge them for it with affirmation both privately and publicly. When a colleague promotes a new concept or cause that you were planning to initiate, find a way to team up with them by your willingness to follow their leadership. Support them with creative effort and cheerfully compliment them to others.

As a church family, are we willing to support community efforts that don’t have our name on them or do we feel the need to duplicate every service to ensure that our denomination or congregation is recognized?

What about within the home? As a parent, do I really need to be the guy with all the bright ideas, or can I lift up my children by leading questions and conversation, ready to praise them when they have a lightbulb moment.? As a marriage partner, are you willing to take second chair, acknowledging your spouse and supporting them in an idea that could have been yours?

Father, let me copy your Son by letting others succeed rather than seeking recognition, by letting good be accomplished around me, no matter the source.

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