The Leaders We Deserve

As we continue in our journey through the book of Judges, things are getting ugly. God keeps raising up leaders to help the people when they are in trouble, but the stock of people from which He can draw is getting pretty poor. As a result, rather than leading the people, these men are merely reflecting them. There’s a lesson here for us: Our leaders are ultimately going to look like us. What kind of leaders are we meaningfully going to be able to produce? Let’s talk about it.

The Leaders We Deserve

Have you ever seen a movie in which a great leader calls a people to rise above themselves and do great things? That’s a pretty broad category of mostly good movies if you think about it. There is one, though, that stands atop the rest: Braveheart. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what scene I’m talking about. The Scottish clans are all lined up on the hill waiting to run into battle against their English oppressors. They are hopelessly outnumbered by the British regulars. And then William Wallace rides up and down their ranks and speaks courage and confidence into their very souls. The most famous passage of the speech ended like this: “And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”

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What Will You Leave Behind?

This week as we get back into our series, Going It Alone, we’re talking about legacies. How do you want to be remembered? Your answer tot that question matters a great deal. Whatever you might affirm verbally, your behavior will always bear out what you really believe. A strong, good legacy can last for generations…but so can a weak or ugly one. Let’s talk about it.

What Will You Leave Behind?

How do you want to be remembered? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind after you’ve left this place? That’s a question most folks wrestle with at some point in their lives. It’s something that everybody thinks about whether they are a follow of Jesus or not. Christians don’t have any kind of monopoly on that kind of thinking. In fact, for folks who aren’t followers of Jesus, this is an even bigger deal because if there’s nothing after this life, then the legacy we leave behind is the closest thing to immortality there is. And so, for many, many people, the idea of their legacy is a really important one. But, not only will we leave a legacy behind us, but we are also the heirs to someone else’s legacy. Most of us are the way we are and have experienced the things we have experienced because of what someone else did before us. It may have been your parents. It may have been your grandparents. It could have been someone else as well. It could be that you’re doing the things you’re doing as a conscious effort to continue the legacy of one of these people. It could be that you’re doing them as a conscious attempt to thwart it.

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It Matters

Something special for you for Mother’s Day this morning. I had a great time celebrating the moms in my life yesterday and I hope you did too. What follows is a reminder of just how important the work they do really is. Thanks for reading.

It Matters

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this season to be over. Like, really ready. I know things won’t be the same on the other side of this, but I’m ready for them to not be like this. A great man passed away this past week and I was honored with the chance to celebrate his life yesterday. That makes two funerals for two great men two weeks in a row. In normal times that’s just part of being a pastor. Pardon my crassness, but socially-distanced funerals suck. That’s not how things are supposed to be. Going to the grocery store with a mask on is frustrating. Seeing people in the store and not being able to shake hands or have a close conversation is awkward still even after seven weeks of this. Doing school packets with kids at home and trying to work around that is a drag. It’s hard to be productive even on days when they all play really well together after the schooling is over. It’s all wearying as a starting point.

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Now or Never

As we continue in our series, Going It Alone, the next judge we meet is named Barak. Barak’s story reminds us that when God calls us to something, how respond matters, but not always in the ways we imagine. If we want to be used by Him fully, we’ve got to be willing to go where He goes and do what He does. He won’t necessarily punish us if we don’t, but He won’t have to. Sometimes life really is a now or never game. Thanks for reading.

Now or Never

Have you ever gotten a call you didn’t want to take? What excuse did you give to the person who answered the phone? You were in the bathroom? You were “indisposed”? You were running errands? What? You used to be able to get away with that kind of thing at home, but with the recent takeover of video conferencing, it gets a bit harder. When the other person can see you, it’s harder to hide. I heard someone the other day say that she now keeps makeup and a mirror on her desk so she can freshen up quickly before getting on the phone. Welcome to the new world, right? Oh for the days when you could just hit a button and ignore the call, or even make up a quick story the other person couldn’t possibly know was not quite as true as you made it sound. Actually, I probably shouldn’t endorse lying now that I think about it…

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Patterns

As we continue in our new series, Going It Alone, we talk about the thing that has more power over our lives than just about anything else. Know what this is? Our habits. Israel set in place some habits and we have as well in our own lives. The question is: Where are these habits taking us? Join me as we look at where they took Israel and how we can be sure they’re taking us where we most want to go.

Patterns

So, I have been told on occasion that I have a habit-forming personality. Personally, I think this is totally preposterous. I mean, sure, I have to eat grapes in sets of two (then my mouth is better balanced), carefully nibble the shell of jelly beans or M&Ms before I eat the core (then the gooey insides don’t get stuck in my teeth so badly and I can savor the flavor longer), I have to totally unpack from a trip as soon as I get home (then I don’t have to do it later), collect things obsessively when I buy part of a set until I have the whole thing (who wants an incomplete set of something anyway?), and generally get ready in the same order every morning (that way I don’t forget to do anything), but those hardly mean I have a habit-forming personality. Right?

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