Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jesus and His Friends

Mark 2:15-17
"Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with such scum." When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor- sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous but those who know they are sinners."

People with messed up lives find a great friend in Jesus. People described as tax collectors, disreputable sinners, scum, sick sinners. What is profound and amazing to me about this story is not so much that it happened, but that it still happens. Stagnant churches often attract those with lives that seem together. Authentic followers of Christ still attract those with messy lives. While reading this passage today I was deeply challenged to look deep within my heart and ask the question, "Am I more like the Pharisees or Jesus." I love the phrase that says, "there were many people of this kind among Jesus' followers" I wonder if the same could be said of those who I spend time with? Who is drawn to you, who are you drawn to? The final challenge for me was with Jesus statement, "i have come to call those who know they are sinners." When I look at the goodness of God and i see myself in light of his kindness and character, i then should be led to a heart of gratitude. Gratitude that acknowledges my need for Christ and a proper view of others.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Becoming Mr. or Mrs. Right

I am sure that most of my initial readers are single folks. Regardless, all of us at one point have asked the question, "Will I ever find the right mate?" Who you end up marrying is the second most important decision of your life. The problem that most people face is a lack of understanding regarding this process. The truth is, the way you find the right spouse is by becoming the right spouse.

This is what we will talk about Sunday night at Breakthrough . Stacie and I will share together about "Becoming Mr. or Mrs. Right." It is a message that you won't want to miss. If you have yet to listen to the first messages of our "Will You Marry Me?" series click here. I think it will be helpful.

Bring a friend for this exciting week at Breakthrough.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Leadership and Decision Making

Just finished a book by Malcolm Gladwell titled, "Blink." The general concept of the book is pretty fascinating. Gladwell talks about the process of making decisions and the concept of intuition. He challenges us to go with our "gut" in areas where we have expertise. The major insight i gleaned from the book is this, "knowledge does not necessarily lead to good leadership and decision making."

Gladwell writes, "we have virtually unlimited amounts of data at our fingertips at all times, and we're well versed in the arguments about the dangers of not knowing enough and not doing our homework. But what i have sensed is an enormous frustration with the unexpected costs of knowing too much, of being inundated with information. we have come to confuse information with understanding." later he writes, "the key to good decision making is not knowledge. it is understanding, we are swimming in the former. we are desperately lacking in the latter." (264, 265)

I was challenged by this quote. We must be careful not to assume that information merely leads to good judgment. Leaders must seek understanding in any given situation. Judgment takes into account the various facets of processing information and making decisions. When processing information ask questions, "where does this information come from?" (consider the source) "what do i see in this information?" "what principles are beneath this information?"

This is what is helping me today. i hope it helps as you make decisions this week.