Influence

Portrait of Invisible man in the hood isolated on black

Then there was that time I burned a hole in the back of my bathrobe.

Fortunately, I wasn’t wearing it at the time.

For reasons I can’t remember, but that made perfectly good sense back then, I was up in the middle of the night and trying to read.  For some reason the light wasn’t quite right, so I threw my robe over the lampshade.

A few minutes later I was interrupted by the unmistakable fragrance of stupid. [click to continue…]

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Be the Light

I don’t think I’d have to argue long to convince you we’re living in a dark world.  Tune in your favorite news source and it seems that it’s a daily reminder that whatever was dark yesterday has only gotten darker today, and – get this – the only “fix” for it is to change the rules and make yesterday’s “dark” today’s “light.”

Pardon my cynicism, but pay attention to what everybody is calling “evil” today. All other things being equal, a decade from now people will openly declare it as “good” or “right” or necessary.

I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be surprised that the world has its own answers to the messes it’s in.  Even now, in the United States of Iowa, one Democrat and 72 Republicans are mixing it up with the locals, presenting themselves as the light of the world.

I think you know better. [click to continue…]

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Lawyer attorney in classic polish gown covering eyes with blindfold

I hate to start a piece with a bunch of disclaimers, but I think I should.

  1. This is a little off my reservation, but only a little.
  2. This article is addressed to Christian people who still believe they are or should be an influence in the culture and society. If that doesn’t describe you, there isn’t much of value for you here.
  3. This article is addressed also to those who have a growing sense of frustration that the America you thought you knew is a thing of the past.
  4. This is going to come across as very cynical, but I don’t mean for it to – I am actually very hopeful that you and I can be salt and light in this world.

Still with me?

OK.

I had an “Aha!” moment the other day.  You may have figured this out a long time ago, and maybe I’m late to the party, but hey, I was a 10-month baby. [click to continue…]

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Two boys go hiking with backpacks on a forest road bright sunny day

Are we there yet?

No.

When are we gonna get there?

Five minutes sooner than the last time you asked.

We’re never gonna get there.

We’ll get there.

When?

Soon enough.  Look outside and see how far we’ve come and how fast we’re moving.

Are we there yet?

+++++++

I’ll bet you’ve had a few conversations like that if you’ve ever been on a road trip with kids (or maybe a few adults).  And inevitably, the younger he or she is, the sooner this question pops up:

Why does it have to take so long to get there?

And the only right answer, which they can never seem to grasp at that age, is, because to get there, first you have to go here.  And here is where we are.  But we can still enjoy being here until we get there.

The Christian life has its own version of “There Yet.”  [click to continue…]

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three candles 2

As you celebrate in the silent night or the joyful noise that is your Christmas, I joyfully lift my prayer to the Father of lights on your behalf – praying that you would discover the unique inspiration that comes from knowing what an inspiration to others you can be.

I pray that on this day you would find your way to the Chamber of your Beloved, to rediscover the awakened intimacy that comes from having your soul restored, realizing again the central message of Christmas, that you are completely loved.

I pray that in the coming year, when you engage with the terrible and the trivial in this world, that when others are desperately looking for the light of truth and hope, they find it burning brightly still in you.

[click to continue…]

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Multi-ethnic Group

I once heard someone say that every Christ follower is a missionary or a mission field.  And when you cease to become a missionary – that is, a functioning ambassador for Christ – you become someone else’s mission field.  Whether that’s true or not, one thing is certain: every believer has been given the mandate to impact other lives positively for a living Christ and His gospel.

Yes, that means you, even though you most likely don’t consider yourself a missionary in the classic sense of the word.  But I want to remind you that you quite likely stand on the spiritual shoulders of a first-century Apostle who had this to say:

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

This man dedicated his life to sharing a message of hope, grace and forgiveness for one purpose:  winning.  But not winning in the sense of producing a gaggle of losers in his wake.  No, he said winning meant that those who heard his message became fellow partakers of the good news.  That meant an ongoing relationship.  And when you read the letters Paul wrote, you see that he did that very thing… he kept “partaking” in the gospel with them… showing them its implications, giving and receiving its encouragements.

So what about you?  Who are the potential “fellow partakers” in your world?  Who are the people you are uniquely positioned to influence?

Before you give me that “aw shucks” kick in the dirt or your eyes glass over, let me show you three ways to answer that question.  Answer these three questions and you’ll find three fields of influence in your life: [click to continue…]

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Lighthouse 3

A lighthouse in a harbor stands on solid ground,
Declaring simple truth to all who would see.
“Here I stand,” it calls to the ocean.
“No wave formed against me will ever prosper
I bow at the mercy of no storm or sea.”
On a firm foundation the Lighthouse in the Harbor
Refuses to surrender, sound the retreat or compromise.
It stands in simple splendor, against the tide.
Though it may show signs of wear and aging,
Though it may look unimpressive to untrained eyes,
The Lighthouse in the Harbor yet still stands upon a rock –
And you… yes, you… are that Lighthouse in the Harbor. [click to continue…]

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Soul to Soul

by Andy Wood on February 5, 2014

in 100 Words, Insight, Life Currency, Words

Communication

“In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.”  -Mark Twain

 In communication, clarity rules.

But logic is only one way people make sense of things. [click to continue…]

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Moonrise 2

When the clock tolls the launch of a new dawn
And people start stumbling toward their routines,
There in the early light of day many are searching for more –
They’re looking for the light…
They’re looking for you.

When the morning meditators do their thing
And the quiet prayers of hidden millions ascend to heaven,
There in the expressions of thanks and need and hope
They’re looking for the light…
They’re looking for you. [click to continue…]

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leadership failure

Nobody who takes on a leadership role sets out to blow it.  I’ve never heard of a CEO who dreamed of halving his market share, a pastor who fantasized about getting the right foot of fellowship, or a government leader who longs to go from hero to zero.

But leadership failure happens.  Often. And while it can happen quickly at times, usually there are warning signs.  Unfortunately, most of the time we wait for hindsight to convince us of what foresight and insight have probably been hollering all along.

If you’re a leader, or have the ear of one, you may want to pay attention to these seven warning signals before it’s too late. [click to continue…]

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