Garth Brooks

Count me in.  I now know what all the fuss is about.

Went to hear Garth Brooks in concert over the weekend in Birmingham, Alabama.  Definitely a step outside of my routine, but anybody with experience I talked to about the upcoming event told me, “It’s one of the best, if not THE best, concert experiences you will ever experience.”

Yeah, that.

Six of us took a road trip with center-section, row 9 seats.  Close enough to see the sweat and be covered when the confetti dropped.  And as-advertised, it was an extraordinary experience.  In part I felt like an outsider looking in because I didn’t know every word of every song like most of the crowd apparently did.  But on this night it didn’t matter. I was part of something bigger than myself, regardless of my lack of experience.  Garth and his team saw to that.

Now before you “Older Brother” types write me off and resume your search for friends in HIGH places, hang with me.  I’ve had some time to think about what we saw and heard that night. I’ve looked at it through several different lenses.  A leadership lens.  An organization lens. Even a Church World lens. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned that can speak to your world, too. [click to continue…]

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When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21-22).

They’re called watershed moments.  Critical turning points.  They’re moments in time when nothing that follows will ever be the same as before. And for the most significant of those, we may spend a lifetime unpacking what actually changed.

The watershed experience in the life of Jesus described above – when He was baptized – reminds me of the most significant watershed experience you or I could have – the day Jesus comes to indwell our lives.  And just as the experience of Jesus was a triune experience, with the Holy Spirit descending and the Father affirming, so, too was mine.  And the same is true for you, if you have trusted Him as your Lord and Savior.

Just what did you receive at conversion? [click to continue…]

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Time for full disclosure. 

In the previous post I shared ten false beliefs that lead to shame.  You may have your own variation, and probably do. 

Those are mine.  Every one of those came right out of my journal.

Not that I actually believe them, but they are the lies the enemy hurls or has hurled at me over the years.  And given the right set of circumstances, they can be very persuasive.

Maybe that’s why Jesus revealed Himself as the Truth (John 14:6).  God knew it would take a personal relationship with Truth-as-a-Person to ever set us free from the lies of shame. 

Stop. [click to continue…]

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Our granddaughter, Laura Kate, with Elmo’s help, is learning about holes.  The square hole, the round hole.  The star-shaped hole, the rectangle hole.  She’s learning to put the square piece in the square hole, and Elmo tells her how awesome she is. 

At 20 months, that’s pretty good.  Before long, she will graduate from Elmo and his octogons  and stars.  And she will discover new holes to fill.  Deeper holes.  One downright abyss.  And many more complex shapes.

Who Said That?

There’s this quote that’s been ascribed to all kinds of people over the years.  I’ve heard that Billy Graham said it.  Then Augustine.  Or maybe C. S. Lewis.  But most popularly, Blaise Pascal.  The quote reads, [click to continue…]

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The Reach

by Andy Wood on August 31, 2009

in 100 Words, Esteem, Life Currency

Reaching babyEvery baby enters this world reaching out or up. 

Instinctively, we crave knowing that if we reach, somebody will come to pick us up.

Babies grow up, but this desire never leaves.

We learn to mask it, but the question remains.

Many of us learn to be the ones who pick up and hold.  But inevitably, even for pastors and nurses, parents and life-nannies, life takes us back to that First Question:  If I hold up my arms, will somebody – ANYBODY – pick me up?

Be the “yes” to somebody’s First Question.  Tomorrow, it may be you who’s doing the reaching.

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truth-loveThis is about the difference between creeds and deeds.  Action and diction.  Your words and your walk.

I’m assuming if you’re reading this that you want to be known and respected as a man or woman of truth.  That may be a big assumption, of course, since it’s possible that you went to bed last night with the happy memory of somebody you conned.

But if you’re a believer, God has placed a desire in your heart to please Him, and truth is one of the things that does that.  So is love.  So it’s no surprise that the Bible describes spiritual maturity as the fine art of “speaking the truth in love.”

And it is a fine art.  What do you do when words and wishes collide?  What do you say when your honest thoughts and feelings aren’t very loving?

Years ago I was sitting in a therapy group, where a couple of people were talking about their “inner child” and their “inner adolescent.”  It was a poignant discussion by some people who were sincerely seeking healing and growth.  But I couldn’t help but think, “My problem isn’t my inner child, or my inner adolescent.  My problem is with my inner jackass.”

I figured it would be better to stay quiet.  Love?  Maybe.  Self-protection?  No doubt about it.  I said it best when I said nothing at all.

The greatest love tends to show up in the fewest words.  [click to continue…]

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