Dr. Henry Cloud wrote a significant book entitled Necessary Endings. Cloud wrote, “When we fail to end things well, we are destined to repeat the mistakes that keep us from moving on.” He shares observations why pruning may be essential for an organization to move forward; why many leaders struggle to understand that endings are a natural season in life; the difference between pain with a purpose and pain for no good reason; hoping versus wishing; three kinds of people; creating urgency and motivation for change; how to handle resistance; and, many other excellent insights that best position leaders to succeed in the future.
Colossians 1:9,10—For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.
Addicere has serious problems. She is obsessed with pornography and she dares not take even a sip of alcohol or she will soon be drunk. This young woman is amazingly talented and comes from a home with loving parents who raised her with strong moral values. Yet despite their good example, their daughter is on a road that will end in tragedy if she does not come to a crucial spiritual understanding.
I want to know You. Let Your Spirit overwhelm me. Let Your presence take over my heart. Repeatedly the worship leader led us in singing those seventeen words that if analyzed meant far more than we could imagine.
Kathleen and I are trying to find the right company to help us refinance our home. Each of the four brokers we spoke with gave us compelling reasons to refinance with his or her particular company. We were uncertain as to who was really giving us the best option. Finally, we sat down with a broker in his office and listened as he explained why his option was the best for us. Before he went into his pitch he told us about his family and about a solar energy project he was working to help people bring their energy costs down. At some point in the meeting, I distinctly in my heart “heard” the Lord tell me that this was the man who would help us refinance. It was sort of a surreal moment. Yet, I instantly had peace about our choice and course of action.
In 1931, a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place in Rwanda. Believers in several nations prayed for God to transform Rwandan lives. Consequently, men and women became deeply convicted of their wrongdoing and in true repentance humbled themselves confessing their sins. Those who had wronged others apologized and made restitution. At the center of Rwandan revival, new believers were called Abaka, which meant “those on fire.” As A.C. Stanley Smith wrote in his book, Road to Revival, joy constantly reflected in the faces of these believers and everywhere they went they modeled powerful testimony.
Perhaps one of our most unstated worries is that we might not get into heaven. Does this thought trouble you? I suspect the reason many Christians hesitate to talk about this is for fear of being thought less spiritual or identified as a doubting Thomas. Yet, before Christ came to earth, during His life in Israel and following His resurrection, people’s apprehension towards the afterlife has always been a real and meaningful dread. Read what Paul wrote to the Galatians in the verses of meditation below:
My college class motto is “Strength As One.” I believe it is more profound than we realized when we selected it. What makes our class special is a collective sense that our ability exponentially increases through our unity. Implied in our unity is an understanding that we are accountable to one another.
Guatemala is a beautiful land, vibrantly green, abundant with fruit trees with types of fruit I had never heard of, let alone eaten. The people in Independencia (the village where we ministered) are gracious and loving. Even the February climate was balmy, punctuated by occasional rain showers that cleared the humidity. Each day, we sensed the Lord’s blessing in specific, clear ways. For example, day one: we need a translator! On the way to the village, we met a Cuban pastor from North Carolina who graciously volunteered to help us all day! Incredible! Day two: we purchased land from Arturo, a 79 year-old patriarch who loves the Lord. As we got to know him, he showed us his Bible. Inside was a picture of him standing next to my father. Then he told us his son lived in Japan. It turned out that Fernando and his wife, Makiko, were part of a Japanese church that heard about our ministry and months earlier, gave money to help us purchase property. Incredible!
I’ve always thought it amazing how our society glorifies the quarterback but completely misses the water boy. The hero has no heroics without a supporting cast. If a team achieves victory it is the result of teamwork. In this context we should understand the value, function and place of spiritual gifts.
Some day I look forward to talking to Obed-edom the Gittite. After God killed Uzzah for touching His ark, (he grabbed it when the oxen transporting it stumbled), King David was afraid to bring it to Jerusalem. Instead he left it at Obed’s house.