May 13, 2012
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I took our dog outside recently so she could do what needed to be done. Lucy is a 50 lb black lab / cocker spaniel mix. I leashed her up and walked her outside, but left the front door open. As I stood on the porch, and Lucy was walking around, our cat sneaked out the front door and paused on the porch. Lucy loves our cat–so much that she would eat her if she could. But Lucy didn’t see her. The cat slowly crept past her until she was out of harm’s way.
I couldn’t help but think that Lucy missed her chance and she didn’t even know it. Then I wondered, “How many times have I missed an opportunity because I wasn’t paying attention?”
Work. You get wrapped up in the duties of the day and just hope you can survive until tomorrow. Or worse, you were wasting time on your phone because you knew you get finished, but your work was not done well. Did you miss the chance to make a positive impression on your boss?
School. You’ve thought about taking some classes or going back to finish your degree, but you just haven’t done it yet. Have you missed the chance to increase your knowledge?
Home. You really want to lead your family and be the right Christian example, but instead of having family devotions, you spend your time on Facebook. Or you love your spouse, but you’re not doing much to show it. This may the scariest of all. Have you missed the chance to train up your children in the way they should go? Have you lost the opportunity to build your family’s legacy?
Witness. If losing the chance to be right husband and father is the scariest, then losing the chance to witness is the most common. In all the areas above, how many people in your life (not strangers) need to know how Jesus has changed you? How many people will not accept the gift of salvation because you didn’t share it with them? I hope that sobering question guides your and my actions today.
April 11, 2012
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Did you know Newt Gingrich in his younger days looked very similar to Radar from M.A.S.H.?
I would like to suggest four similarities between denominations and public education.
1. They both have problems. If you are involved in either a denomination or public education, you know that there is no shortage of problems. Leadership, vision, communication, local involvement, and community outreach are just some of the issues that can plague both types of organizations.
2. They are both filled will people doing their best. This one gets overlooked many times. I have often been quick to criticize organizations while forgetting the people who are doing good. Sure, there are people who aren’t doing their best, or whose best simply is not good enough, but let’s not neglect to recognize those who are working hard to ensure the organization is meeting needs and demands.
3. The strongest opponents are often not involved in helping better the organization. I’ve seen it in the denomination and in the public school. Those who complain and murmur the loudest and the most are usually doing the least to help. If an organization is important enough for you to complain about, shouldn’t you be working hard to make it effective? In both organizations, there are ways for lay people to get involved and generate change, so there is no excuse.
4. If it is harmful for you or your family, you should leave. Ed Stetzer recently wrote about this. You may care about the organization, and you may be trying to help better it, but if it becomes detrimental for you or your family, it’s time to leave. Leaving an organization (especially one you care about) is difficult, and there are situations that would cause you to not be able to break off all ties (such as personal relationships or paying taxes for education). But if you do decide it is time to move on, let go of the complaining and bitterness. It won’t help you succeed in your next venture.
Are you actively involved in a denomination or public education?
Is there a time you had to decide to leave?
October 27, 2011
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When people find out that we’re planning to move to Chicago to plant a church, we get a variety of responses. But when Chicagoans find out that we’re going to the Albany Park neighborhood, we only get one response: So, why Albany Park?
It’s a valid question.
Here’s the first part of that story:
God has been moving in our hearts for several years toward Chicago. My wife, Kim, was born and raised about an hour south of Chicago, and I have always loved going to visit the city. And our love for the city quickly turned into a love for the people of that city.
So in October 2010, we decided that instead of going to live in Chicago, maybe we should go in order to plant a church. After much counsel and prayer with and from several people, we knew that we needed to move forward. One of the first things we needed to decide was a specific neighborhood that we thought we should go to. We did a Google map search for churches in Chicago. The pins overwhelmed the map, but as I zoomed in, I noticed that there were two fairly naked spots. Pin-less, if you will. One of those neighborhoods was Albany Park. We planned a trip to the Windy City and explored both neighborhoods, seeking God’s direction along the way.
From the first day, we sensed that Albany Park did indeed need a stronger gospel presence. There were few churches and thousands of people. Along the way, we have received several confirmations, but I’m saving that for Part 2. Stay tuned.