Friday, August 19, 2016

How to Promote Innovation and Change Introduction



                              Got a big problem, Pilgrim?

If you are not riding the wave of change--you'll find yourself beneath it. Anonymous

Many large organizations develop separate, independent groups and systems to lead innovation. Trying to innovate in an organization while maintaining the health of the current system is very, very difficult. Individuals and systems find innovation extremely difficult.

Revivals and Awakenings in religious life are times when large scale innovations occur. As I read church and political history it is apparent that there are times when God breaks into a large system and causes an outbreak of new ideas, music, ways to communicate and organizational structures. (These things also occur in scientific and political systems.)

In most cases, those in charge of the current ways of doing things strongly resist the new ideas. Sometimes, the ideas become so filled with emotion that conflict breaks out between the innovators and the traditionalists.

Just read the Old Testament and see what happened when Prophets confronted the current kings and leaders with the needed changes. Saul was happy with David as long as the shepherd was on his side. However, when God sent Prophets to crown him as the new king, Saul was very unhappy even though he knew the prophesy was from God.

A New Testament example is Brother Peter, the Rock that is immovable! As he prayed the Holy Spirit showed him a vision to which he responded, "Oh no, Lord. I cannot do what you are saying. I am too committed to my past traditions!"

God had to repeat the vision and commands to eat that which was considered to be unclean. Despite those direct commands from God, The Rock stood firm and said no!

That sums up the problem all innovators have and it is especially difficult because we rarely have God's voice speaking directly into the Elder Board members' ears!

Resistance is predictable. So, what can we do about it, Mr. and Mrs. Leader???

Find out more about dealing with resistance and support our ministry here!



The information that got us to this place will not take us to the next.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Why Did Jesus Not Confront Adulterous Sinners?





Have you ever seen Pastors or Counselors advertise they are uniquely Christian in their ability to change people by simply confronting them about their Sin and sins. "We know that Jesus always confronted so we alway confront sinners" they seem to say.

The fact that direct confrontation does not always or even usually bring positive changes in others does not deter the true believers from preaching a confrontation message.

Since facts about real people do not work, we can examine the biblical text and see what Jesus really did. (One of my favorite ways to deal with folks who say things like, "The Bible ALWAYS tells us to ___________" is by asking them to give me a series of texts that proves that point.)

Let us examine one of the most famous texts in the New Testament. The men of a certain village brought a woman to Jesus and asked what they should do with her. "She committed adultery so should we stone her?"

The people that say they are just like Jesus and always confront sinners may dislike this passage. Here was a perfect opportunity for Jesus to show off with His ability to implement the Law of Moses.

A circle of men demanded that Jesus interpret the Law for them had set a trap. In Counseling jargon it is a Triangle between the Law and the woman as well as a Triangle between the men and the Law. Their question was a gentle and direct invitation for Jesus to get caught in between the side of the Triangles. They wanted Jesus to confront her!

Jesus was too smart for them. He refused. His response was brilliant. It was a model for all of us.

Go to John 8 to read the story carefully.

Name the main characters.

How did Jesus treat the characters?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Why did Jesus Not Heal Everyone....?



Early in my Christian walk I had answers to many if not most of the hard questions about God, Jesus, the Trinity and more. I even knew why God healed some people and not others.

My friend Larry Chrouch, a businessman and teacher of biblical truths extraordinaire, responded so well to to a group of Christian leaders in Norway that I will repeat it here as my current answer. "Why some people were not healed? " the theologian asked, after Larry and Ellen Chrouch related their testimony. The 300 or so Pastors' at a renewal conference had heard them share some amazing stories about God's healing grace and wanted to know what to do or say if a person was not healed.

His answer, as best remember it,was: "After 20 years in the healing ministry I have many more unanswered questions than I did at first. However, I am more convinced than ever that God heals."

Larry was a master of simple but profound sayings that penetrated and summarized a tough biblical mystery with humor. He had a million of them.

So, I join my friend and say, "I used to think the Bible and faith were puzzles that we could answer if we knew enough. Like a crossword puzzle, we can fill in the blanks with our perfect knowledge. 

Now I believe that much of life and godliness is a mystery. 

The mysteries are deeper and the challenges huge but I still believe God heals, saves and delivers. 




Sunday, August 14, 2016

Self Worth of a Leader



For some years I have offered my counseling free to Christian leaders. Several have asked me to help them deal with anxiety, worry, depression, conflicts, marital and family concerns, etc. in many cases the situation boils down to the leader trying to over function. We can call it burn out, workaholism, compulsions, etc. it does not matter what the name, it is a person trying to do what only God can do.

The Olympics has reminded me of a chronic problem of leaders. We compare ourselves to the best in the world when we might well be good enough to play in our city or county. One wag suggested that every Olympic event needs a normal person in the competition so we can compare the top people with the average person.

Many preachers and leaders compare themselves with the top TV Preachers or the top authors. Some even ask themselves, "What would Jesus do?" That is like asking "What would Michael Phelps swim if he were in the pool with me?"

No wonder so many leaders are anxious, depressed and subject to moral failure! They look at Rick Warren and say to themselves, "You should be as successful as he is!" Or worse yet, "I should heal like Jesus did!"

When watching TV golf I warn my wife that the game they play is completely different than the one I play. I am really reminding myself not my wife. Ask, "What did Jesus do, not what would Jesus do!"


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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Life or Death




As Proverbs says, "Life and Death are in the tongue!" However, it also says, "A word properly spoken is like an orange in a silver tray that refreshes the weary traveler". 

The key to Helping and not harming is to follow the Golden Rule. 

Treat others the way you want to be treated. 

This command of Jesus says a lot.

1. This is not a passive statement but very active. 

2. Look for people to treat well. We want to be treated well so reciprocate. 

3. Think about how you want to be treated. Then do it. Do not ask, "What would Jesus do" but "What would I want the person to do if I were in need?"

Support Sweeten Life Ministries so we can equip people to fish!




Silence can be Golden





Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.

Donna S Thomas


Friday, August 12, 2016

Are You Anxious about America's Future?




Well, how do you answer that question? 

Are you frustrated, upset, feeling hopeless?

Do the candidates leave you wishing and praying for a perfect candidate?

For me the answer is Yes!. However, my man was crucified because he challenged the power structure and promoted righteousness.

I admit that as a former news junkie I have stopped a lot of TV watching recently. The media seem to be more unrighteous and malevolent than the politicians.

I know a lot about emotional manipulation and lying but these elections push even my limit of understanding. The lack of morals and ethics from the media tempts my blood pressure to rise and I do not need any assistance in that regard.

I am concerned about the future of an America. I have always thought our democracy was built on the Constitution. It is not perfect but it is a wonderful foundation. Now I see that the judges decide on the way people feel and how they look. I have seen the terrible results of that in Africa, the USSR and Asia.

I thought Americans would alway stand for right and wrong. But now I am concerned that such a foundation is gone.  The Ten Commandments are anathema to many people. The media and some judges hold the laws of Europe to be superior to our constitution. Of that I despair.

The fact that many want to kill the weak and frail is the opposite of our heritage. Righteousness was not at all popular  when our nation failed we change slavery, Jim Crow and other abuses of power. Our nation regained its senses but we seem to be slipping back into the callous disregard for those who cannot protect themselves.

I am thankful I believe in God. Only God has a chance to change things that are such a mess. Will God step in before the crises become so overwhelming that we cannot recover?My answer is "Maranatha!"

Peace. Support our ministry here. We still promote love, joy and peace.