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Relationship Dynamics


If we grow up using self-protective tools in relationships –
Unless we learn the tools of connection
We will end up recreating the same broken relationship dynamics
That we experienced growing up.

Danny Silk

Father, I stretch my hands to Thee


Father, I stretch my hands to Thee

Father, I stretch my hands to Thee,
No other help I know;
If Thou withdraw Thyself from me,
Ah! whither shall I go?

What did Thine only Son endure,
Before I drew my breath!
What pain, what labor, to secure
My soul from endless death!

Surely Thou canst not let me die;
O speak, and I shall live;
And here I will unwearied lie,
Till Thou Thy Spirit give.

Author of faith! To Thee I lift
My weary, longing eyes:
O let me now receive that gift!
My soul without it dies.

Charles Wesley

God and Gomer – Sin and Redemption


God and Gomer – Sin and Redemption

5 Gomer said, ‘I will go after my lovers, Who give me my bread and my water, My wool and my linen, My oil and my drink.’
Gomer claimed ownership of what she had

6 God said, “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, And wall her in, So that she cannot find her paths.
7 She will chase her lovers, But not overtake them; Yes, she will seek them, but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, For then it was better for me than now.’
8 For she did not know That I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, And multiplied her silver and gold-Which they prepared for Baal.
9 “Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time And My new wine in its season, And will take back My wool and My linen, Given to cover her nakedness.

God said that He owns everything and everything that Gomer has is actually His

10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers,
And no one shall deliver her from My hand.
11 I will also cause all her mirth to cease, Her feast days, Her New Moons, Her Sabbaths-All her appointed feasts.
12 “And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, Of which she has said, ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me.‘ So I will make them a forest,
And the beasts of the field shall eat them.
13 I will punish her For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers;
But Me she forgot,” says the LORD.

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
15 I will give her her vineyards from there, And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, As in the days of her youth, As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
16 “And it shall be, in that day,” Says the LORD, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’
17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more.
18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, With the birds of the air, And with the creeping things of the ground.
Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely.
19 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy;
20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD.
21 “It shall come to pass in that day That I will answer,” says the LORD; “I will answer the heavens, And they shall answer the earth.
22 The earth shall answer with grain,
With new wine, And with oil; They shall answer Jezreel.
23 Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people,
You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’

1 Then the LORD said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the LORD for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans.”
2 So I bought her for myself for fifteen shekels of silver,
And one and one-half homers of barley.
3 And I said to her, “You shall stay with me many days; you shall not play the harlot, Nor shall you have a man- So, too, will I be toward you.”
4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince,
Without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim.
5 Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God
And David their king. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days.

From Hosea 2 and 3

Your Heart


Your Heart

There is a battle – a war really, for your heart. Jesus fought and won that war. It cost Him His life.

We also need people to fight for our heart. We want someone to win our heart. Who can it be? Who should it be?

• To know that someone is fighting for your heart is to know that you are worth fighting for.
• To know that someone is fighting for your heart is to know that you are loved.
• To know that someone is fighting for your heart is to know that you are valuable.
• To know that someone is fighting for your heart is to know that you are protected.

• Hearts are worth fighting for.
• We need to fight for hearts that cannot fight for themselves.
• Until they are strong enough to fight for themselves
• Until they can fight for the hearts of others.

There is a battle – a war really, for hearts. Are you fighting that battle?
Are you fighting with Jesus in that battle? It will cost you your life.

Someone fought for your heart when you could not fight for yourself.
You were worth it.
Are you willing to fight for the heart of someone else?
They are worth it.
There is a battle.

There is a war.

Hearts are worth it.

Godly Men and Women


Godly Men and Women

Spiritual fathers and Spiritual brothers do not injure their sisters or any other women – we are all people who are made in the image of our Creator.

Don’t I know about King David in Israel and what he did?
Of course I do.
We all do.
But do you also know about King Joseph in Egypt and what he did not do.
We all know that also.

What is the difference? David acted and then thought about what he had done. Joseph pondered the outcome of his actions and then he acted accordingly.

Both of these examples are in the Bible. There is a reason for that. God works in both of these ways. If men sin, they can confess, repent, and change their ways. But, there are also men who contemplate, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, what they are about to do and act accordingly.

So the decision is yours. Cause damage and destruction that God has to redeem or be Jesus to your world and cause blessing, love and healing.

What would Jesus do? That is the question for us men today.
Can you imagine Jesus looking at porn?
Can you imagine Jesus touching a girl or woman inappropriately?

The current focus on sin is causing so much damage.
The Biblical approach was/is to focus on Jesus.
Focus on what He can and will do in your life instead of focusing on sin.

It is not complicated.
The power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you!

Getting on the School Bus – part II


Getting on the School Bus – part II

There was a protocol to getting on the school bus years ago. It was well known and, in my experience, it was followed. It is apparently not followed anymore.

Yesterday it happened again. Sure enough, the big children went across the road and the littlest one was last again. He or she, with back pack on back, was last to reach the bus and without help clambered up the steps.

So, I waited until the children were on the bus and the bus had gone.

Then I spoke to a parent who comes to the bus stop. I mentioned to him that we were told how to get on the bus back when I went to school – little children first, then girls, then big boys. His response was: “It would not work to tell the students how to get on the bus.”

Yesterday, the children went across the road – who ever gets there first gets on first – a little first grader wearing a backpack is always last and has to get on by himself. What are we teaching these students by that situation?

What were we taught by the years-ago protocol?
It taught us to be responsible.
It taught us to be responsible for those who may need our help
It taught us to be respectful. Little ones first. Girls next. Big boys last.
It taught us proper behaviors.
It taught us respect.
Anyone violating that protocol was thought of as disrespectful and downright rude. It was enforced by the dignity of the community.

It also prepared us for life. What is the current practice preparing us for? My sense is that community is lost in favor of: you are on your own, make your own way.

People spoke into our lives if we were not behaving properly. No more. Not even in the church. The boss on the job. The neighbor man or woman. A friend. Someone who I did not even know. There was a sense of right and wrong. Wrong brought correction or at least admonishment. No more. Individual autonomy is the new religion and the social ‘structure’.

Community is vitally important – we cannot live without it. It is the framework for life. We are not our own. We are bought with a price. We need each other. We are members of each other. We cannot just eliminate each other and/or live as the survival of the fittest or remove those who do not fit our parameters. We are responsible for each other.

Getting on the bus of life is important. Let’s make sure the little people are helped to get on first, then the ladies and, lastly the men. Men, take up the task and the torch in preparing the next generation to be vital members of the communities of which we are part. That will preserve the dignity of the community. That is the call on our lives.

“My Aircraft”


“My Aircraft”

On Jan 15, 2009, US Airways flight 1549, an Airbus 320 with 155 people on board, took off from New York City enroute to Charlotte.

The First Officer was given charge of the take off. They climbed to 3200 feet where the aircraft struck a flock of wild geese. Both engines ingested the large birds and both engines lost thrust. The powerful aircraft immediately became a glider.

Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was the captain. He quickly assessed the situation and said, “My aircraft.” The First Officer immediately responded, “Your aircraft.”

The Miracle on The Hudson is old news now but, on that fateful day, the captain of that ill fated flight took charge of the situation. He later would explain that “we had well delineated roles and responsibilities.” He would also explain his role in taking command of the situation. He emphasized the individual and corporate roles in the emergency.

He was ultimately responsible for the integrity of the flight. As soon there was an emergency he claimed, “My aircraft.” His First Officer immediately cooperated, “Your aircraft.”

There was a rapid loss of power and an immediate loss of speed and altitude – an emergency indeed. Captain Sullenberger’s immediate, involuntary, bodily response was rapid increase in pulse, blood pressure and instant total focus.

He had three options. Two were immediately ruled out. The only option remaining was to land in the Hudson River. So, in the most densely populated area of the United States, the Captain safely landed the aircraft in the Hudson River. He had 300 seconds to make the decisions and implement the actions that would determine the destiny of the flight and 155 lives.

“I knew we had to land on the water in just the right attitude. Nose up just right, not too high, not too low. We had to land as gently as possible. I knew the wings had to be level or we would crash.” A wise man.

As an aviator, this pilot had a hierarchy of decision levels:
1. Aviate
2. Navigate
3. Communicate

This captain has since done studies in leadership.
1. Leaders have a sense of call to leadership.
2. Leaders know the purpose for their lives.
3. Leaders live authentically, in the way they talk, drive, etc.
4. Leaders check their ego at the door.

He notes some other needed qualities of leadership
1. Make deviations when needed
2. Know how to deal with complexities
3. Have a “robust system” to be able to deal with life
4. Cultural implications impact our ability to deal with life

There is a modern trust and confidence in avionics. Pilots are trained to use the modern electronics. That training can replace the ability to fly the airplane in the absence or the malfunction of the modern equipment. Pilot error is frequently the cause of crashes. Pilots who are misled by incorrect signals or are unaware of important signals will eventually fail and the lack of wisdom will take its toll.

Where are the leaders today? In the cockpit or in the pulpit or at the breakfast table – where are the leaders?

Untrained leaders cause failures. Egotistical leaders cause disasters. Captain Sullenberger flew 20,000 hours over 46 years. He is a leader in life and in the cockpit. He has proven that quality. He knew how to respond in time of crisis. He knew that he was responsible. He did not allow cultural implications to control his beliefs and actions.

The life and leadership of this pilot can teach us lessons in leadership. His example can restore our purpose to live a life of leadership. As fathers, mothers, business leaders, Church leaders, school leaders, etc. we are called to be leaders.

When the time came for landing he said, “Brace for impact!” There are times when life comes to that. We, as leaders, need to call the people to the unfortunate experiences of life. When we have done all we can do, we call our people to brace for less than best terms of life. We then support them in those difficult situations.

The most important part of his observations about leadership is:
“Leaders check their ego at the door.”
The greatest danger to leadership is the ego – the self. Self is the greatest enemy of truth, accuracy, and real leadership. Egotistical leaders will always lead the people astray. They will always refuse to back down even when they are wrong. They are not and cannot be real leaders. They cannot lead their people.

When you are flying 600 miles per hour at 30,000 feet the last thing you need is an egotist in the cockpit. When you are part of a family or church or mission or business or school or …. The last thing you need is an egotist in the cockpit. What you need is a man of knowledge and wisdom. Egotism and wisdom cannot exist in the same leader. They are mutually exclusive in the cockpit and in the pulpit and at the breakfast table.

Miracle on the Hudson was not a miracle at all. It was the diligent action of a wise, trained man working with a good team. Certainly God was in this as in all situations but God places people for His purposes.

While I know little of the personal life of this man, if a man can be trained and learn to fly and respond in impossible situations in the air, can we not call and train men to lead the church? Men who will avail themselves to the same level of expertise and diligence as the Apostle Paul. Men who can respond to serious and trying times. Men who can and will check their ego at the door. Men who will do what needs to be done irrespective of cultural implications and expectations? Men who will put the truth of God first in their lives and decisions. Men who cannot be controlled by the pressure of their peers. Men who are focused on living and doing what is right in every circumstance.

Sulley stayed on the plane until everyone else was off. Later in interviews, he did not allow sensational talk show hosts to make him a hero. He carefully explained his options and his actions. He did not allow the incident to make him bigger than life.

Apostle Paul had no time for impostors. He demanded excellence of himself and others. He had no time for false brethren or “super apostles.”

Perhaps God has brought you to this time of life for such a time for a specific purpose. As Mordecai told Esther, “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.

What is the call on your life today? You may not save an aircraft full of people but God has a purpose for you. Are you ready? Are you trained? Are you prepared? Are you willing to accept responsibility and command control of the situations of life in which God has placed you? If you are co-captain, are you willing to say,” Your aircraft” and take orders. Have you checked your ego at the door?

You may be the one God has called to make a difference today. Your difficulties may have prepared you to be a leader. Be that leader today and be ready for the time when God calls you to a specific emergency. You are in the Kingdom for such a time as this.