Archive for January, 2012

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Finding One’s Voice and Touch….

January 26, 2012

I want to introduce my readers to two very important people. They are the grandchildren of two of our dearest friends. They just arrived into this crazy world a few days ago. These two will face some immediate challenges as they come on board. They were born prematurely.

Meet Landon who weighed a whopping 3 lbs and 2.5 oz and the petite Avery who upon arrival weighed in at 2 lbs and 6.5 oz.

20120126-122958.jpg20120126-123015.jpgThey are so small that a wedding ring could slide up their arm to their shoulder. Neonatal experts tell us that there is typically a 10% chance of survival for newborns that are born this small and premature. We all celebrate the fact that Landon and Avery are strong, doing well, and appear to be on target to exceed the odds and live long, productive, and happy lives. When you scrub up for visits to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), guests are often taken back by the many tubes and machines that connect a needy new born. There are often IVs in the navel and feet, monitors on each side of the child’s chest and a respirator/feeding tube in the child’s mouth.

The medical staff working with the children tells parents that it is vital for these newborns to hear you and feel your touch. They encourage parents and guardians to carefully caress the child while telling the child over and over how much you love them. It is essential that a newborn fighting for their very existence hear this affirmation and feel the touch. They have to be able to connect the voice of their parents with their touch.

I just spent a couple of minutes reflecting on that medical recommendation. It offers a valuable life principle…touch them and speak to them. The potential impact and encouragement that we offer our fellow human beings is not just centered in our voice but in our touch as well. Could it be that the secret to becoming a great parent, grandparent, neighbor and leader is found in recognizing the need to always connect one’s voice and one’s touch. When the two become one…something special is present.

 

 

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Let’s Talk Politics……

January 19, 2012


The Republican Presidential Primary is in full swing.  The past several months have had some very strange twists and turns including religious non-publicized tax returns and both moral and marital issues.  Voters have seen it all!  From those that have settled their support on Romney, Paul, Santorum, Perry, Gingrich or Huntsman, we hear much of the same thing, “We do not have a candidate that really knocks our socks off, a leader we are anxious to follow.”  The next Presidential election is being tabbed as the “lesser of evils.”  

 

 

Could it be that the element lacking is the principle of leadership?  Are any of these people really great leaders?  True authentic leadership is rooted in servanthood.  Our government was founded by men and woman who really cared and had a tremendous desire to serve others.  In those early foundational and constitutional days, they received very little for their service.  It was as if their service was in its purest form.  Servanthood is not about a position or skill.  It’s about an attitude.  Each of us have undoubtedly met people, elected people, and witnessed people in our government who have poor attitudes.  Helping people is not at the top of their list.  Sensing and detecting that their leader does not have a “servant” attitude becomes a major turn off. 

 

It is crucial that elected officials be willing to “serve.”  Servant leadership is never motivated by manipulation or self-promotion.  In the end, the extent of your influence depends on the depth of your concern for others.  

 

The truth…..the best leaders desire to serve others, not themselves!  

 
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Refreshing…..

January 15, 2012


In an age where people feel entitled and without responsibility, Pittsburg Steelers defensive back, Ike Taylor tweeted this after the recent loss to the Broncos:

 

“First off congrats to Tebow and the Broncos.”  Taylor went on to say, “Second, I want to apologize for playing the worst game at the wrong time. I apologize to my teammates, the Steeler nation, and family.  Luv y’all to def.”

 

Man, when I heard that, I was surprisingly refreshed.  Here is a guy that just owned up.  We live in a culture where there is so little responsibility.  Our marriages, work, parenting, friendships, and obviously our spiritual relationship to God are often starved of responsibility.

 

 

 

Special Note:  Thanks to Lee Bates who contributed research in this blog.

 

 

 

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Apples and Oranges….

January 12, 2012

Apples and Oranges

I wonder how many people out there can identify with me as  “technology challenged.”  I have had the same computer for almost seven years. Recently it went haywire.  The “technology elite” in our office spent days convincing me to buy a Mac.  “Go Apple” they kept saying.

I asked the logical question, “What are the advantages to a Mac?”  The answers were quite surprising.

  • They do not get viruses
  • They are extremely durable
  • They are incredibly reliable
  • They are easy to use (which is a joke for me)
  • They are faster
  • They are “more hip” and represent “Bling, Bling.”

Somewhere there must a site with the, “Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Mac!”  Eventually I was persuaded.

I wonder what makes a life durable, virus proof, and reliable.  Each of us understands that with time everything will malfunction, break down, and finally just wear out.  But some people endure at a much greater capacity than others.  The reasons might be internally and externally driven.   The Psalmist says, “Glorious and majestic are His deeds, and His righteousness endures forever.”  Paul shares incredible optimism when he shares in 2 Timothy 2:12, “…if we endure, we will also reign with Him.”

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Cleans Slates and Fresh Cement…

January 11, 2012

A new year is upon us…

  • A clean slate on which to write
  • Fresh cement in which to leave our footprints
  • New days to live in that no one has ever lived in before

 

There has to be “a forgetting that which is behind” and a “moving toward that which is ahead” mentality.  Every new day is a day reborn.  Sometimes when we see a whole new year facing us we struggle to get the full impact of that concept.

 

This year you will write history.  As you write history, with your unique personality, a whole new chapter will be written.  Many may read it or few may read it…it all depends.

 

Churches also have personalities and they, too, will write their own chapters.  They are the corporate personality of all the parts. Whatever we are together this year is what our church will be, nothing more, and nothing less.

 

What will our lives say this year?  What do you want to write in the fresh cement of 2012 that will harden for all men to read?  What will our church write?  Will the world care? Will it matter?