Morning Musing: Zechariah 4:6-7

“So he answered me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord of Armies. “What are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain. And he will bring out the capstone accompanied by shouts of: Grace, grace to it!”‘” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Leadership is tough. It’s easier to manage. Now, that doesn’t mean management is easy, but it’s easier than leadership. When you’re managing, your job is simply to keep things running smoothly. You’re not trying to go anywhere; you’re just trying to stay afloat. But leadership implies direction. You’re trying to actively move an organization–that is, a group of people–forward somewhere they haven’t been before. The challenge is that even on our most adventurous days, we are all creatures of habit. If you’re going to lead anyone anywhere, then, you’ve got to convince people who are settled to get unsettled and go on a journey whose end they cannot see. That’s tough. Even the best leaders need encouragement along the way if they are going to accomplish anything significant. God knew this, and in Zechariah’s next vision, we find Him offering some encouragement.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Romans 3:9-10

“What then? Are we any better off? Not at all! For we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin, as it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There is a difference between encouragement and reality. They may point in the same direction, but they are not the same. Given that, which is better? Is it better to offer encouragement that deviates from reality, or to simply drop reality on the table and let it be what it is? I guess the answer to that depends on who’s being asked. Some people would rather wave away reality and find some bright side to their situation even if it isn’t truly real, while other folks just want the unvarnished truth and they’ll figure out how to deal with it later. Why am I thinking about this kind of thing this morning? Because we are entering graduation season. Let’s talk about it.

Read the rest…

Hope for Today

Jesus is Risen! We celebrate the truth that has shaped the whole world more than anything else. Check out yesterday’s Easter message. I hope this is a blessing to you. Thanks for reading and listening.

Hope for Today

One of the shows Lisa and I enjoy watching is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. We loved it when it was on years ago and we are very much enjoying HGTV’s revival of the series (although the excessive amount of product placement and in-show advertising is getting a little old if one of the producers happens to be watching this). One of the best parts of the show for me is the big reveal moment. I love seeing all of the different expressions of joy and delight that people have when they see their new home for the first time. Some are more subdued. Some are wild and over the top. Most land in between those two extremes.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Habakkuk 3:17-18

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though the flocks disappear from the pen and there are no herds in the stalls, yet I will celebrate in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

The news lately seems to be getting worse every day. I see the daily infection rates and the growing death count and my heart sinks just a bit each morning. It breaks for the tragedy these families are facing. It breaks for the hopelessness that has to be clawing at the hearts of the healthcare workers who are bearing the load of seeing patient after patient die in spite of their best efforts. It breaks for the children—including mine—who don’t understand social distancing and just long to play with and see their friends again. What do we do when chaos seems to reign just a little bit more each day? Here at the end of his collection of prophecy, Habakkuk offers us a way forward.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Psalm 34:1-3

“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will boast in the Lord; the humble will hear and be glad. Proclaim the Lord’s greatness with me; let us exalt his name together.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

How are you supposed to be happy when everything is falling apart around you? Let’s face it: The news that keeps coming out about the coronavirus isn’t good. The number of cases grows every day. The number of deaths goes up too. More and more states and nations are shutting down…everything…in their attempts to limit the human contact responsible for the virus’ spread. All of the things to which we would normally turn to distract us from bad news are being shut down as well. How do we avoid falling into the trap of perpetual negativity and despair?

Read the rest…