Raw Reflections from the Journey

Sunday, October 18, 2009


We've received a number of encouraging notes and calls this week that have said about the same thing. They come because we continue to reach out to the local and trans-local community of believers for support, encouragement and intercession and perhaps as prompted by the Holy-Spirit. It is good to live out calling in community!

"Don't give up. You're making a difference in the lives of others and that's going to come with difficulty."

"I know you are warring against principalities and powers. Marriage done right is a powerful weapon against the devil."

We're looking to history, both Biblical and secular, for encouragement. What others have done, we can do.

First, the secular.

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. - Winston Churchill

And now, the Biblical.

Jesus. He completed the mission He came to do. Period.

What one man can do another can do. By His life in us, as He strengthens and sometimes carries us...we can do, one day at a time, one conversation at a time.




Monday, October 12, 2009

Leading Only as You Are LED

Recently I asked the Lord how much He wants to do with a vision He's given to Jill and me to build an organization to convene Christian Marriage and Family Coaches to pray with and for each other, to learn together, and to partner in initiatives to disseminate Christian Marriage and Family Coaching.

"I'll build it as big as your humility is deep"

He told me something like this before. In 2004 He used us to convene a group of clergy and community leaders to lead the development of a community marriage initiative, . After the first meeting I prayed and journaled, "Why do I get to do this" I asked? "Because you won't steal my glory" was His reply. It was both an affirming commendation of my character, but also a warning. I heard, "I know that it is in your heart to give to ME the Glory for bringing this to pass" and "If you try to take any Glory for yourself I will block it and discipline you."

I was talking with a friend last week about the an upcoming Association prayer and planning meeting. "I'm scared and excited", I said.

"I'm scared to become active in casting vision and convening people around vision again. I've been there and it can be great, but it can also be like Frodo's journey to do the noble thing he was called to do(Lord of the Rings); dangerous and difficult." Plus, I know that we cannot lead anything without subjecting those that follow to the current state of our character and comptencies. People get hurt and they eat the fruit of whatever God is processing in the leader's life."

"I'm excited because it has been 5 years since I was highly active in convening, vision casting, inspiring others to action for a vision from God. I'm a different person with better developed character and a bunch of relevant experience. I want to exercise those muscles again."

My friend is a leadership coach with a lot of experience observing and supporting leaders through undulating seasons of activity-preparation-activity-preparation... "I'm excited for the insights you've gained through this", he said. "A big challenge for leaders is keeping the humility they've gained once they become active in leading again."

The tension between working as it it depends on you (diligence, passion, etc.) and praying as if it depends on God is real. So how does one lead with all their might while simultaneously depending whole-heartedly on the Almighty?

The way I/we are engaging this round of activity is in confidence out of what we have seen and heard (signs of God's activity and sounds of confirmation from friends, and our own discernment in listening prayer before the Lord), and humility to the Lord's daily leading in regard to what He wants. We have vision and desires, but no foregone conclusions that we will marshal or manipulate people to accomplish because it is something that we want. We will invite participation, but after that it is God's to speak to and compel if it His plan to assign them to something He wants done.

This mode of operation seems to be a balance between leading as He wills us to while continuing in a prayerful listening posture that we lead only as He blesses. Does this sound reasonable?

It is God who wills in us to act according to His good purpose (Philippians 2:13)

AND "I have been (am being) crucified with Christ, and I no longer live (less of me is living and more of Him is living in me, day by day), but Christ lives in me (more and more as I surrender to Him day by day). The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who died and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

How do you walk this tightrope of leading as you are led?