Sunday, September 20, 2009

Paying Tribute to Small Church Pastors ... Becomes a Prayer Opportunity

SUCCESS, WHAT IS IT?

OCTOBER 1980-JOURNAL ENTRY~Much reevaluation today. Marilyn and I talked for almost an hour after returning home from the all day LaHaye Seminar. I’ve had to realize a different standard of measuring success for our church. People are leaving again and again to other churches and ministries who have grown and gained from us. It’s still the Lord’s church and I must release it again and again to Him. Marilyn insists I must not count these years a failure, even thought attendance and offerings are down.


OCTOBER 2002-REFLECTION- I wish to pay tribute to leaders who serve smaller congregations. To those without paid staff, may I say you are exactly where our Lord was when He walked the face of the earth. He spent the last three years of is life with twelve men. Interruptions were His ministry. Likewise, alone time with the Father was high priority.


Many are asking the same question that plagued me twenty-two years ago. I am told that 80% of local congregations in the U.S. are made up of less than 125 people. (Written in 2002) Does size and offering mean success or failure? Not by our Lord’s standard of measure.


Success is not the key, faithfulness is.


The call to ministry has everything to do with who we are. To serve Christ is the greatest work in the entire world. How I thank the Lord for those who have answered that call! To you, near and far, may God give you the capacity to stand for truth in a world gone crazy! Marilyn once reminded me, “God is adequate regardless of my appearance, performance or status.” Find your passion and pursue it with full heart and mind!


“I’M ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED THAT NOTHING-NOTHING LIVING OR DEAD, ANGELIC OR DEMONIC, TODAY OR TOMORROW, HIGH OR LOW, THINKABLE OR UNTHINKABLE—ABSOLUTELY NOTHING CAN GET BETWEEN US AND GOD’S LOVE BECAUSE OF THE WAY JESUS OUR MASTER HAS EMBRACED US." Romans 8; The Message

SAYING YES TO GOD-bob and marilyn yawberg- Vol. X # 17 / ( Rewritten 9/16/09)



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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Strengthen Your Soul For Leading


>>>Note: Click on the headline to access the compilation of quotes, take time to read through each section then stop and ray as the Spirit leads ...



Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership

Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry

Ruth Haley Barton

InterVarsity Press, 2008, 228 pp., ISBN 978-0-8308-3513-3

To order this book click here.

Barton is cofounder and president of The Transforming Center, a ministry to pastors and Christian leaders. She has served on the pastoral staff of several churches and is a trained spiritual director and retreat leader. She is the author of four additional books. The author draws heavily on lessons from the life of Moses -- whose whole life can be viewed through the lens of his private encounters with God-- to help us experience God in the middle of leadership.

"Strengthening the soul of our leadership is an invitation that begins, continues and ends with seeking God in the crucible of ministry. It is an invitation to stay connected with our own soul--that very private place where God's Spirit and my spirit dwell together in union--and to lead from that place." (210)

1. When Leaders Lose Their Souls

"So how is it with your soul?" (24)

"Spiritual leadership emerges from our willingness to stay involved with our own soul--that place where God's Spirit is at work stirring up our deepest questions and longings to draw us deeper into relationship with him." (25)

"The temptation to compromise basic Christian values--love, community, truth-telling, confession and reconciliation, silent listening and waiting on God for discernment--for the sake of expedience is very great." (27)

"…those who are looking to us for spiritual sustenance need us first and foremost to be spiritual seekers ourselves." (29)

"The discipline of solitude is a key discipline for all those who seek after God." (31) This is in contrast to the activities and experiences of leadership that can be very addicting.

2. What Lies Beneath

"A leader is a person who must take special responsibility for what's going on inside him- or herself, inside his or her consciousness, lest the act of leadership create more harm than good." (38, quoting Parker Palmer, "Leading from Within")

"Solitude will do its good work whether we know what we are doing or not." "One of the primary functions of solitude is to settle into ourselves in God's presence." (41) "Most of what happens in solitude is happening under the surface, and God is doing it." (42)===>Click headline to access complete listing . . .



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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Stressed? Read this, then exhale in prayer ...

Stress

A lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked
'How heavy is this glass of water?'


Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, 'The absolute weight doesn't matter.

It depends on how long you try to hold it.

If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.
In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.'

He continued,
'And that's the way it is with stress management.
If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later,
As the burden becomes increasingly heavy,
We won't be able to carry on. '

'As with the glass of water,
You have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.
When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.'

'So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down.
Don't carry it home.
You can pick it up tomorrow.
Whatever burdens you 're carrying now,
Let them down for a moment if you can.'

So, my friend, Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now.
Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a while.


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