LifeSpringHarrisonLeaders

"I am the vine; you are the branches." (John 15:5)

Summer is Here – What’s Your Plan?

Have you decided on a summer plan for your group yet? With the beautiful weather and lots going on, it is not uncommon for groups to slow down or stop meeting for the summer since attendance is more erratic. I’d like to encourage you to NOT stop meeting and in fact to NOT slow down at all for the summer!

 

One of the reasons this happens is that with vacations and various events, we don’t see as many people and sometimes we just hate being stuck inside when it is so beautiful outside, but let me give you a couple of things to think about before you decide how to handle your summer schedule.

 

God gave us the beautiful summer weather – Thank Him for it and don’t spend less time with him because of it! Don’t punish Him (and ourselves) for His gift…

 

Satan loves to create space between us and God – If we succumb to the temptation to be or do less for His kingdom, whatever the reason, Satan is poised and waiting to capitalize on that. Don’t get caught in the trap!

If there are less people, we don’t stop gathering, instead we use the opportunity to connect deeper with the ones who are there!

Go on vacation, enjoy the weather and thank God for His wonderful gifts. If you’re gone for a small group meeting, engage your apprentice or encourage people to get together for a meal while you’re gone. Don’t let Satan convince you that it just isn’t worth meeting as regularly. Satan will use that thought to create a self-fulfilling prophecy! It is worth meeting even when attendance is down. Know that God will bless you for your effort no matter how many people come!

 

As leaders, we lead by example. Be aware that if we are less committed to meeting, attending or serving because it is summer, others are watching and will follow our lead…

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May 29, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Time to Lean In

Often when life is hard, we want to isolate ourselves while we figure things out and want to be left alone so that we can try to fix or figure out our problems. Satan is very effective at telling people the lie that ‘this is what strong people do’ and that ‘we shouldn’t let others see us in our weakness’… As leaders, this can feel very true at times… A very wise friend of mine told me some years ago, that it is the strong who seek help and get stronger. Advice I’ve tried to keep and passed on to others ever since!

When things are hard, it isn’t time to pull back, it’s time to lean into your friends and family. Be honest, share your burdens and be vulnerable. God will honor that in you and help you grow stronger through it!

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tourist or  Archaeologist

As we’ve been studying Revelation in our group, I keep going back to what Matt Proctor said at the beginning of the book Victorious. He explains how we won’t be able to understand a lot of the references and information in Revelation without deeper study than a 121 page book will cover . It’s like someone who visits someplace for a week. They see lots of sites and learn a lot in a really short time. Compare them to the archeologist who goes there for years to study and dig deep into the facts and who can add lots of details and context to the things they learn.

It’s got me thinking that being a tourist in Revelation is okay. The question is, who in my sphere of influence is a tourist in the Christian life where they stop by for a visit, but never really dig deep to learn more. Worse yet, are there areas of my Christian walk where that is me?!?

March 20, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Listen and then Listen Some More

I was talking with someone in my group recently and they were sharing a challenge in their life that I could really relate to. I found myself anxious for them to finish their story so that I could share my experience and then tell them how I solved that particular problem. I had some really great stuff to offer that I was confident would help! As they finished, I was just starting to speak and I suddenly remembered that there was something better to say.

Instead of sharing my wisdom, I asked: “So what do you think you should do about that?” – I could see the wheels begin turning and as they thought about it, they came up with their own solution which was almost the same as mine, but much better… mostly because it wasn’t mine. As the owner of the solution, they are now much more vested in seeing it occur. All I had to do was encourage them to pursue it and tell them that I was going to ask them about it next week. Being helpful is much better and often easier than being smart!

March 6, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Enthusiasm and Passion

Edward G. E. Bulwer-Lytton said, “Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm. It is the genius of sincerity, and truth accomplishes no victories without it.” I agree with him wholeheartedly and will go so far as to say that passion and enthusiasm will do more to grow your area of ministry in terms of size, scope, effectiveness and enjoyment than any other single thing we can do! I know some will want to disagree with me as a matter of principle (Go ahead Ed, I’m waiting…), but I think I’m pretty safe. We will see – Tell me if you think I’m wrong!

 

February 20, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This is No Time to Pray

Our group has been doing a study about taking responsibility for ourselves. We are currently in a chapter titled “This is no Time to Pray”. My reaction to the title was pretty strong until I got deeper in and I realized just how right it was. The point was to say that we are often trying to pray in place of taking action. There reaches a point in time where God tells us “This is not the time to pray. Get up and do something!”

As we are changing the vision and mission of LifeSpring, we are also changing the tactics we use to accomplish them. As leaders, action is going to be required of each of us. We need to be praying about that action, but if all we are doing is praying, the time for action is coming. Do you know what your next action step is?

February 6, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Being Perfect

I have been trying to make some deliberate changes to be more productive with my time. Part of the change is that I leave Outlook off for most of my day which is what prompts me to do things like write these articles. 🙂  By the time I realized this  morning that I had forgotten to write this week’s I decided that it was too late and I should move on. Maybe no one would notice… A few minutes later I saw the image below and read the article below on a blog I follow.

 

Displaying image001.jpg

 

Another part of my change will now be to quit trying so hard to seem perfect. If I acknowledge my imperfections and let God fill my cracks with gold – something beautiful can happen. Better late than never and better the picture of something real than a fake perfect looking offering!

 

Forget your perfect offering 

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
– Leonard Cohen, Anthem

Forget your perfect offering. In conflict and conflict resolution your perfect offering gets in the way.

It gets in the way if you’re so worried about saying exactly the right thing that you paralyze yourself and so say nothing. Or hold back until you’ve held back too long, then burst with the frustration of it.

It gets in the way if you believe you’ve got it all figured out and present your solution to the other(s) involved, awaiting their nods of approval. Your anticipation of agreement sets you up for misery, anger, despair or frustration if they don’t view your offering as perfect as you do. Expectations of others responses are the stuff of disappointment and missed opportunity during conflict and negotiations.

Forget your perfect offering. Speak from your heart, with all its flaws and foibles. Expect that you – and they – will be imperfect as you sort through the problem. That’s the good kind of expectation to have because it gives you freedom of movement.

Embrace imperfection, the cracks that let the light in. Allow yourselves to be imperfect humans, trying to live your lives with a little grace, getting it wrong some of the time, getting it right much of the time.

http://lenski.com/forget-your-perfect-offering/

January 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Discipleship?

I wanted this article to be about discipleship because of the upcoming discipleship summit, but as I am riding my bike this morning,  I am inspired by the image below. It was created by French journalist Lucille Clerc in response to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris.

When I saw it, I couldn’t help but think about how God has used the challenging times in my life. I mean no disrespect to those killed by terrorists, but I see in this image how God has used some of my times of distress and need to grow and improve not just me, but  those around me as well in a kind of multiplication effect not unlike discipleship. So it kind of is about discipleship,  but not in any way I was planning. To me, the image reinforces James 1:2-4 and how God will use our bad times for good if we just let him and how good He is at taking our hard stuff and using to help and bless others…

What do you see?

yesterday - today -tomorrow

January 9, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Talking about Jesus

My Life Group recently finished the book How Good is Good Enough by Andy Stanley. It deals with a lot of the questions surrounding the question of ‘Who goes to heaven?’. As we talked about it, we talked a lot about the issues that come up when we share our faith with others. One thing that came out as we talked about it is how little of that conversation is about Jesus. It seems that there’s a lot of conversation about sin, judgment, right, wrong, who’s right, what’s wrong with Christians, etc., but it seems like we don’t get to spend a lot of time talking about Jesus… I suspect Satan has a hand in that!

As we approach the Christmas season, it’s a great time to have a conversation about Him. One of the conclusions we came to as we talked was that asking someone what they think about Jesus is a great way to start a conversation about faith and life. What better time of year than now to ask that question?

December 12, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Redeeming our Choices

Have you made a decision recently that you regret? Have you committed a sin that you KNOW you know better than? I know I have all too often found myself in exactly this place. One of the great things about being a child of God is that:

  1. a) He already knows what we did – It doesn’t always feel great to realize this, but stay with me
  2. b) He is not just willing, but wants to forgive as needed
  3. c) If we let Him, he can redeem that choice. The consequences won’t go away, BUT if we confess our choices and sins to Him, He can make good come out of it if we just let Him work in our lives.

It’s a freeing thought – You can let go of the guilt Satan wants to hang on you by confessing and changing. No matter what the situation, He can make good come out of it if we let Him!

November 14, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment