You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Christian Living’ tag.

I ride my bicycle to commune with God; the exercise is icing on the cake. Our conversations are most often about people He has me praying for, conversations I need to have with others, or lessons we are preparing to write or teach. Every once in a while, God uses the ride to show me something about myself and/or His kingdom.

Here’s one from the other day.

Distractions are a big part of cycling – passing cars and approaching dogs in particular. Most are not a threat, but it only takes one. Having to deal with them on a regular basis has taught me to allow distraction when necessary, and then get back to matter at hand. It has become a natural part of the process.

I wish I could say the same about hills.

Hills are different than cars and dogs. They don’t generate the same adrenaline spike as a ferocious dog on the loose or a driver passing on a hill. In fact, they don’t scare me at all. On the other hand, they last longer, the distress builds over time, and the distraction is real and present discomfort and pain.

Hills are a major distraction to my communion with God.

For me, hills are a metaphor for the challenging seasons of our lives. These may be momentary, lengthy, or any amount of time in between. God has used the hills in my life to reveal a few things about myself and my relationship with Him:

  1. The more I focus on the pain, the greater the pain becomes.
  2. When I set my mind on things above, the hill is not only less of a distraction, but easier to navigate.
  3. The approach I take has a dramatically positive effect on my mental and physical response to the effort after cresting the hill.
  4. It occurs to me as I write this that having a riding partner to remind me of these things – and encourage me in them during the climb – would be an incredible blessing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

At inLight Consulting, our mission is to encourage, edify, and equip Workplace Leaders to become disciple makers and transformation agents.

Isaiah 58:13-14 contains some incredible promises.  I read it every Sunday morning.  Check it out and consider the following:

The way we remember and honor the Sabbath Day is a shadow of our appreciation for the LORD’s Sabbath Rest.  Do we call it a delight and honor Him in it?  On that day, do we do our own ways, find our own pleasures, and speak our own words?  Is the Sabbath Day still important to us?

Remembering the Sabbath Day was important enough to the LORD to include it in the Ten Commandments. Many who read this will be quick to say, “But Rob, we are no longer under the Law.”

Of course, of course!  Praise God for the work of the Lord of the Sabbath! We walk in liberty. However, we are not free to do as we please. We are bondservants. Our pleasure should be His.

Let’s be careful not to confuse ourselves. Would we say that the LORD is no longer concerned with murder, adultery and worshipping other gods? Of course not! The Ten Commandments are still important to the LORD.

This raises some interesting questions. Could it be that our neglect of one commandment has led to back-sliding with the others? Is it possible that our failure to honor the Sabbath Day inhibits our pro-life message? Are we hypocrites to push for movies without the vain use of God’s name? 

What must our children be thinking?

Furthermore, we must recognize and acknowledge that this is more than a practical, observable issue. As with all things important to God, the spiritual ramifications of this are much more significant. 

What must the LORD be thinking?

Read the rest of this entry »

It seems we have embarked on a series of articles about the way humans think, and what they think about. If that is the case, then this is the third article in the series. The first two are 3 Realities of Workplace Leadership and Did Jesus die, sacrifice and suffer so we wouldn’t have to?

Here is the premise of the series:

The church in America desperately needs a reformation. Where do reformations begin? Romans 12:2 encourages us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Perhaps, in this Age of Reason, we need a reformation in the way we think.

We have gotten lazy with our thinking. We trust our thinking way too much. Those of us that preach and teach trust the thinking of others more than we should.

The way we think, and what we think about, is commonly called our mindset, worldview or paradigm. Everyone has one, though many do not recognize that they receive and respond to external stimuli through a mental filter that has been developed throughout their lifetime.

We are born with a mindset that has certain predetermined settings. Other come through learning. A baby crying when its hungry is not a learned behavior. Learning to manipulate with emotion is learned and developed. Both predetermined and learned behavior can be unlearned. Our minds can be renewed. Read the rest of this entry »

God often challenges us to become or do something that is impossible.  For some, that is simply making it through one more day.  I have a friend who is paralyzed from the waist down.  Facing the day with thanksgiving and joy are not automatics for anyone in that situation.

How does he do it?  He does not wake up considering the challenges that face him, whether he is capable of overcoming them.  He simply chooses to get up.

When God calls us to do or become something impossible, we often deceive ourselves by focusing on the difficulty of the doing or becoming.  In these moments, we must remind ourselves that God is working in us to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).  He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

The doing and making are God’s business.  Our sole responsibility is the choice of participation.  Oh, but our minds, they do like to play tricks on us.  Rather than face the difficult choice, we contemplate the impossibility of the doing or becoming.  Consequently, we are often distracted from the great things God would do in and through us.

Don’t let that be you.  Don’t fall for the deception.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
Psalm 37:5

God bless you with focus on the choice.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

Have you ever noticed how capable humans are at ignoring the things that we don’t want to deal with?  We construct blind spots simply because we do not want to face the reality of our situation.

This also happens in groups.  Here is a case in point.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10

In my humble opinion, this is the most power-filled verse in the entire Bible. Three of God’s “power” words are included:

  1. Be strong (endynamoō): The root is dynamis – the explosive power of God.
  2. Power (kratos): The dominion of God – the power of His authority to reign.
  3. Might (ischys): The ability and force of God – to accomplish what He intends.

This is what Paul is talking about when he goes on to encourage us to put on the whole armor of God. This is what it takes to stand against the wiles of the devil. Get your head around that!

As leaders in the Workplace – that includes all segments (business, religion, education, government, etc.) – we are responsible for leading others into this kind of radical life. Note carefully: This is the normal Christian life!

But how can we lead them into something that we have not experienced ourselves? Are you as frustrated as I am? Where is the power? What are we doing wrong?

Read the rest of this entry »

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Psalm 37:5-6

One of the tricks our mind tries to play on us is the interpretation of Scripture to meet its preferences, and prejudices. This is perfectly normal… for the carnal mind.

But, we have the mind of Christ. We are empowered and responsible to think differently.

Consider Psalm 37:5-6. My carnal mind would prefer “commit your way to the LORD” to mean, “Here is my plan God, please bless it.” My carnal mind will pursue this line of thinking, hidden away in my subconscious. To avoid this deception, I must be diligent in my suspicion of the way my mind is thinking.

Jesus came to help us with that. His expression of Psalm 37:5-6 is “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” It is important to note that Jesus made them disciple makers. That’s a lesson for another time. The point here is that God’s planning process is a following and making process.

Let me be clear: Failing to follow Jesus will result in the failure of God’s plan for you. Refusing to be made is a refusal of His plan.

Read the rest of this entry »

Now that we have positioned ourselves to hear God’s instruction, and discovered the purposes of God in His call to more, we can begin to explore His process for planning. I feel the need to share – here at the beginning – that God’s way for planning is not like anything you may have experienced in the world.

There are many ways that the kingdom of God is contrary to the world (e.g., love your enemies, the greater serve the lesser). Planning is one of those things. In fact, planning as we know it – work breakdown structures, contingencies, etc. – have no place in the kingdom of God.

This is a hard thing for a process-oriented problem solver to share. I love planning. Task lists are my thing. It is hard letting go of what you are good at.

That is why, when God called me to the more of Workplace Ministry, the first thing I had to die to was my propensity to create and own the process. At first, I thought God’s issue with me was my desire to own and control. While that was something He would deal with, the bigger consideration was the method of planning itself. Read the rest of this entry »

With the world around us accelerating toward darkness and confusion, we – God’s vessels of light and instruments of righteousness – need only be ourselves. We do not need great arguments and proofs. We do not need to have our rights recognized. If we would simply stop living like the world, they would not be able to ignore – nor deny – the witness of Jesus Christ’s life in us.

Faith without works is dead. There is a lack of doing what we believe and say. This is a truth that has been encouraged here many times. It is a truth we must pursue.

However, there is another issue in the church; one that has diseased every stream:

We cannot get our minds off of the things of this world!

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3

This is more at the root of our failed witness; for, as Jesus instructed, you must forsake before you can follow.

Read the rest of this entry »

God has blessed me with the desire and health to ride a bicycle. Cycling is not only a great way to stay healthy; it is also a fantastic way to meet with God. Exercise, being outdoors and communing with the Creator – what better way to spend a couple of hours?

Cycling is a joy to me. So, when I get the chance, I like to share that joy with others – helping them learn to ride. In the process, I have learned that learning to ride is a transformative experience.

  1. You must get over your fear of riding. Whether you are just learning, or venturing out on more trafficked roadways, fear will take the fun out of cycling. In fact, fear is a distraction that can make your ride less safe.
  2. You must learn, not only how the bike works, but how it works for you. Get caught in the wrong gear while climbing a steep hill will leave you walking. Shifting in anticipation of a change in terrain will become natural over time – but only with practice.
  3. You must trust your bike to get you home. A bicycle is meant to take you places – new places. Time spent on the bike builds trust in its dependability.
  4. Going with others is more fun; and it is safer. Finding a good riding partner – or better yet, a group – simply makes cycling a more enjoyable experience. As it is with most activities, there is safety in numbers.
  5. The more you ride, the stronger you will be; and the farther you will be able to venture out. The only way to get cycling strong is to cycle. The reward is an expansion of adventure possibilities.

I think it is fair to say that the kingdom of God is like learning to ride a bicycle. When God calls us to a new assignment (and He does so more often than we realize), the Holy Spirit commits Himself to our transformation. He becomes our cycling coach.

Read the rest of this entry »

I began writing this series for those in my spheres of influence who expressed a feeling of transition in their lives; that God was up to something. Over the years, I have recognized this as God’s call to a new kingdom assignment – His call to more of the good work that brings Him glory.

The question in these situations is always, “What does He want me to do?” While the question is reasonable, our expectations for the answer are often misguided. In our get-it-done, “what have you done for me lately?” world, we fall into the trap of, well, just getting it done; so we can move onto the next thing.

Execution without planning is foolish. Planning without first understanding the purpose for the plan, even more so. This is particularly true when our “company” is going through transition. As hard and contrary to our nature as it may be, we must step back and slow down. That has been the message and purpose of this series.

It all boils down to two questions: Who is the Boss? Will I trust Him?

Admittedly, this series is longer than I expected (congratulations to those who have hung in there). At this point, we have journeyed through two of the three phases God encouraged me to cover. The first, positioning ourselves, prepares us for the second, discovering His purpose.

It is important that these phases be completed in sequence. There is more going on here than the collection of information. God always uses these opportunities to draw us to Himself; and He will not continue to participate in the process until His intentions are accomplished.

Read the rest of this entry »

Archives

My Twitter Feed

Pages

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: