Monthly Archive for July 2016
Back when the kids were about 10, 12, and 14 years old, respectively, and we were fairly new to Teague, we owned a 12′ metal boat. It was barely sea-worthy. Many days the boys would fish the Teague City Lake with this questionable dinghy. Well, after a contracting job was done in Fairfield, the customer wanted to give us a motor for the boat. The motor had not ran in 7 years. He said it never ran right for him, and he “assumed” it was a fault in the way it was made. This is the kind of motor you attach to the back of the boat and guide along with a tiller.
Most of these types are 6 horsepower of less, but not this one. It was twin cylinder and 12 horsepower! Way too much for our feeble craft. We got it running , but it seemed weak in its performance. We assumed it was just the way it was made, but really it was having trouble getting air through the carburetor. So we puttered around the lake one day with 2 of my kids on board, me at the back trying to tune it up as we motored along.
With one slight turn of the needle valve the thing took off like a rocket! All three of us are now stacked in the back of the boat next to the motor, gliding along at what seemed 100 miles per hour, at a 45% angle, making a zigzag pattern that would be the envy of any wasp. Wow, what a surprise!
After it was all over we talked about our assumptions. We assumed the motor had some problem that would never be remedied, but it was a simple adjustment that made it come to life. All that power was there, the whole time, for the asking, simply by lining up one little thing.
Was reading Acts 13:1-4 today and that was far as I got. I noticed something. There is no problem with God having the power to affect His own world. He has chosen to use us in this affecting and transformation of people. He could do it all without us, but then what is the point if He did it that way?
What I noticed was the “adjustment” these believers were making to “line-up” themselves with the power of God. It was while “they were ministering to the Lord and fasting” that the Holy Spirit said to set apart Barnabas and Paul for a great work. Verse 3 says they “prayed and fasted.”
I think secretly we think God lacks power to change much of anything. As if He has relegated Himself to just let things run their “natural course.” I thinks it is an “adjustment” problem residing in us. I have made bad “assumptions” of late. How about you? JWP
I hope you are the kind of believer who thinks “missional” as you go through your day. We all have a choice here. On the one hand, we can scramble to deal with the next situation in front of us, make no review of it, then on to the next, or we can be “missional” as we deal with each situation, hoping for divine interruptions. We can become activity junkies living with no rhyme or reason, which drains hope, or we can live out of the new life we have in Christ and begin to tie these situations together as one on a quest. What is your mission in life? What has God called you to be? How will that calling affect the world? Are you living just for you and yours, as they say?
As we start into the fall of 2016 to readjust our focus to “mission living,” we need your input. On a personal level to whom are you being “salt” and “light? ” Collectively as a church, what can we do to connect to those who are searching for the real Life that only Christ can give.
Our studies will explore the books of Thessalonians. Not only will we get a clear picture of end time events and our mission in those times, but we will see a maturing church and find out how they stayed on the path to a fullness in living, and the joy of walking with the Lord. I hope you will begin to read the book of Acts and 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, particularly Acts 16 and 17.
You may want to pick up the small book, “Surprise The World: The Five Habits Of Missional People,” by Michael Frost. (Navpress, about 5 bucks.) An easy read and easy to remember. I am amazed at how a little shift in thinking can open the door to an adventure of faith you may never have experienced before. I have been refreshed by knowing that we have all we need, right now, to make a great impact on our community and our friends and relatives. Looking forward to having meetings where we consider the “what if” ideas, inspired by prayer, to change our church, our town, and our world. JWP
Are You a Window Person or a Mirror Person?
A window and a mirror are both made of glass, have a frame around them, and are used for seeing things.
But they have two totally different functions. You look through a window to the world outside, and you look into a mirror at yourself.
I have found that there are two totally different kinds of people when it comes to life and leadership . There are externally focused people, window people, who look outside at others passing them by; and there are internally focused people, mirror people, who look inside themselves for the solutions they need to move forward.
Which of these two are you? Answer the following four questions:
1. Do you assign blame or find solutions?
The first characteristic of a window person is that they look to the world outside and critique it. Rather than participating in the toss-and-tumble of real life, they stand on the sidelines and find fault. Window people are professional critics who see problem after problem and ask, “Who screwed up here?’”
A mirror person, on the other hand, takes a totally different approach. Rather than passing the buck onto someone else, they accept responsibility. If they participated in causing a problem, they own it and fix it. If they didn’t, they help find a solution. This question is never far from their lips, “How can I help?”
2. Do you give up power or do you become self-empowered?
The great irony of being a window person is that you think you’re so smart, sitting smugly on the sidelines cynically criticizing the work of others. But that’s a position of powerlessness. Quite simply, when you’re not involved in finding solutions, you give up your power to others whom you have no ability to control. You are at their mercy.
By looking into the mirror, internally focused people see the one thing they can control: themselves. And by controlling their response in any situation, they become self-empowered in every situation. Few things can stand in the way of a self-empowered person.
3. Do you approach issues as a victim or as an equal?
Lack of power and control, then, makes a window person a victim, and all victims, by definition, have villains. Instead of working with other people just like you who are trying to do their best, you view yourself as working with sinister people who are out to get you. This point of view poisons your relationships.
Mirror people bring confidence and strength to their relationships. They don’t play the victim, but approach others as respected peers, an equal to an equal. Even in a bad situation, they believe the best in others, withhold judgement, and ask questions for clarification (as opposed to making accusations).
MORE: Resolving Conflict at Work Without Victims and Villains
4. Do you take input personally or receive it as useful information?
Finally, window people take a totally different approach to input and feedback. Because of their victim mentality communication is always personal, seen as an attack on them. As a result they feel compelled to fight or take flight. That’s what we do when under attack, right? The villain is either attacked in return or withdrawn from completely. Both destroys communication.
A mirror person, approaching issues as a peer to a peer, an equal to an equal, doesn’t assign emotional meaning to a conversation. Input received, even if it’s about them, is a way to become more knowledgeable. And knowledge is power. As a result, a mirror person is able to communicate calmly and collaborate effectively because it’s not personal. It’s just information.
How do you become a mirror person?
Okay, how do you become a mirror person and not a window person?
Recognize that we’re all born window people. We come out of the womb pointing our finger at others and assigning blame. It’s part of the human condition. We become mirror people by the choices we make. Here are two.
In every circumstance you face, first ask and answer this question: Who am I? That is, look deep inside yourself and discover the values you embrace at the very core of your being. Define those values personally and live by them uncompromisingly. They are your moral center. Your rock. Your anchor.
Secondly, ask and answer this next question: What do I do well?
From your moral center flows a functional capacity for excellence. This is the unique ability you possess that allows you to thrive. It’s your personal tool box, a set of gifts and talents you can access at any time to solve pressing problems.
These two dynamics, character and competence, are the choices you can make to become a mirror person. Character, your core values, and competence, your unique ability, clearly defined and consistently deployed allows you to control the one and only thing you can control in any situation: yourself.
In this way you’ll be ready for anything that life and leadership throws at you.
( I found this a while ago and do not know source; Jimmy Petty. Though it might help as we plan out the fall ministries at the church)