Monthly Archives: December 2018

December 11, 2018 God with us

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Good morning, DearHeart.

We are always growing.

Ever-changing.

Through difficult times, scanning our environment to decide whether or not this is a safe place … choosing our response … ‘will I exercise my right here to fight or will I take flight?’ Recently, I was thrilled when asked how I successfully made it through a difficult conversation. I shared:

I planned for it.

I knew the agenda.

I walked in prepared.

My preparation included inviting Christ into the room with me. Into the very chair in which I would sit. Asking His Holiness to meet me there, to be waiting for me as I entered,

as I sat down,

to weave through my thought process,

to guide the words I heard,

and to be in the words I spoke.

“God, be with every part of this process. Be with me. Be with us.”

And, He was.

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”   (Matthew 1:22-23 NIV).

Sometimes I can read the Christmas story & miss things due to the familiarity that has grown over the years.

Immanuel.

A single name that means so much. ‘God with us.’

After the resurrection, Jesus is commissioning the disciples & says to them:

“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”   (Matthew 28:20 NLT).

Immanuel.

‘God with us.’

Again we are told in Hebrews 13:5:

“God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (NLT)

‘God with us.’

Wake up.

Invite Him in with you.

Never will He leave or forsake you.

Go.

December 10, 2018 JESUS

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“…he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.” Luke 2:21 NIV

Good morning, DearOne.

It doesn’t happen often, but I inherited a soapbox gene from my dad. You really haven’t heard anything til you’ve seen Verle Coon completely wound up and making his point. You know you have witnessed pure passion when you witness it. He’s mellowed a lot in recent years so instead of daily bouts of frenzy, we only get one or two a year. A few of his grandsons let that same strand of DNA loose occasionally, too. When it happens, even if it is a touchy subject … just knowing it’s origin always makes me grin a little inside.

I’m a little worked up this morning. If you were here, I’d probably climb on my platform and slather you with a soapbox rant. Here’s my plight: why is it Christmas and we aren’t hearing the name “Jesus” at every turn?

Could it be that the Christ Child has been pushed out?

Could it be we have no room?

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was NO ROOM for them in the inn.”  (Luke 2: 6,7 NIV)

A birth.

A manger.

No room.

Funny that we know that. Yet – my racing thoughts are wondering … are we really any different today?

Cards to write.

Parties to attend.

Gifts to buy.

Baking to be done.

Cleaning the house.

Wrapping the gifts.

Decorating the house.

Relatives to visit.

Lights to be hung.

Meals to be prepared.

Stockings to be hung.

Well, you get point. Still no room. We must choose to make room for Christ in our lives.

Let’s go on this mission together. Let’s see how many times we can say the name “JESUS” each day through this season. Let’s truly get passionate about bringing Him into absolutely every minute of our days. Oh, the thrill of honoring Him by bringing Him into every talk. Let His presence bless you and me and everyone each day as we meet folks on this Jesus journey. May each soul walk away from us lifted by the presence of Christ from our talk.

Wake up.

Count how many times you say “Jesus” today.

Go.

December 6, 2018 lead

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Good morning, DearHeart.

As our sons were growing up a common talk we’d have with them was that others … especially younger folks were always watching them. The power of their words, influence, attitude, work ethic, relationship with Christ, was always on display. And, even as young boys, they were leaders with followers.

They also decided along the way … well, to put it simply … and blunt … leadership is messy. And we all interact with leadership in some way.

Whether it is at school, work, church, with family, or relationships, our lives are impacted by leadership. If our desire is to lead well, we must continually develop and our leadership will require everything of us.

Great leadership is rare because it takes work. And, it is ever-changing.

It takes intentionality.

It requires sacrifice.

It takes resolve.

It involves heartaches,

disappointments,

and mistakes.

It requires apologies.

It entails a daily dose of humility.

It means relentless growth and

frequent failure. (sigh).

Extraordinary leadership isn’t easy, but it is possible.

I’ve always thought the secret to extraordinary leadership lies in this verse, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all you strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31, NLT)

When you operate from a point of loving your people well, you get to witness little victories trickling from the people you lead as they lead others. You also gain courage to grow your skills through the challenges.

Notice today those who are following – intentionally, and unintentionally – those who are watching from a distance. Notice the power of your influence.

May we be committed to our growth because our God is committed to us through the long haul.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
(Philippians 1:6, NLT)

Wake up.

Continue growing.

Go.