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Our heart’s desire is that you have yours in the coming year. I am sure you feel the same about those in your spheres of influence and responsibility. And so, I offer you three year-end encouragements. Please pass them on.

Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

First, the LORD has promised to give you the desires of your heart. Consider that for a moment. Every desire God has placed in your heart, for every good work He created you to walk in, has been promised to you by the Creator God. Nothing is impossible, if it is in His will… and you meet the condition.

The only thing that stands between you and those desires is your unwillingness to be soft in Him. That is the meaning of “delight” in this verse. Encouragement #1: Be soft like clay in the Potter’s hands.

Second, God has a way for everything – including the way we manage our time. I recently wrote an article that speaks to this subject. Encouragement #2: Make whatever sacrifice is necessary to spend time with the Father that very much enjoys speaking with His children.

Third, humility is indispensable for the Christian… and likely something different than our minds have been led to think. A. W. Tozer, in his book God Tells the Man Who Cares, puts it this way:

I have met two class of Christians: the proud who imagine they are humble and the humble who are afraid they are proud. There should be another class: the self-forgetful who leave the whole thing in the hands of Christ and refuse to waste any time trying to make themselves good. They will reach the goal far ahead of the rest.

God is working in us to will and do to His good pleasure, which is to give us His kingdom (Philippians 2:13; Luke 12:32). He works best in and through those that have committed their entire way to Him (Psalm 37:5). Encouragement #3: Pray for me and others you love in this regard.

God bless you with the desires of your heart.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

P.S. Please continue to pray for An Enemy Lies Within. We are nearing completion, but there is still much to do and funds yet to raise.

Conflict is inevitable. What we do with it can have far-reaching consequences. The attitude we take into a conflict (planned or otherwise) greatly effects the outcome.

It is amazing what we do not realize about the way we think – our mindset, paradigms, attitudes. I had no conscious thought of my approach to conflicts until God hit me with the contrast. Two meetings, both occurring within a week of each other, forever adjusted my conflict attitude. Here’s my story:

In the first meeting – a Bible study of Romans – we had arrived at Paul’s exhortation on baptism (chapter six). As the teacher introduced the topic, you could literally feel and see the tension rise in the room. At least half the participants moved to the edge of their chairs waiting, it seemed, to hear the teacher say something with which they did not agree. Looking back, I am convinced that many ears were closed to hearing, and the Holy Spirit was grieved.

The second meeting was a blessed contrast. As with the first, there were people from various church fellowships and denominations. The passage being discussed was Jesus’ instruction regarding the consumption of His flesh and blood. Someone in the group asked, “What did Jesus mean when He said, ‘unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you (John 6:53).'”

After some time of quiet contemplation, one brother said he wasn’t sure, but thought it meant “so and so”. A second brother added, “And it means ‘such and such’ to me.” Several others offered their opinions.

To be honest, I can’t remember what any of them said about the meaning. All I heard in my spirit was the “and” of their responses – the “and” attitude of their hearts. At no time during the conversation was “no” or “or” used. No one corrected or disagreed with the others. It was truly amazing; so amazing that I almost missed the most amazing thing. Read the rest of this entry »

If we keep doing the same thing, we will continue to achieve the same results. The crises within the church will continue. The societal chaos that is eroding our footing – and infecting our spiritual health – will continue. We must quickly find God’s way through and out of the crisis and chaos (and I don’t mean the rapture).

Somewhere, somehow, we took a wrong turn. When this happens during a road trip or hike, our inclination is to forge on ahead while attempting to find our way back to the main path. Sometimes this works. Most times, we discover that it would have been better to turnaround and backtrack to the where and how we first got lost.

With that in mind, I want to recommend a couple of resources. In doing so, I need to be clear: I am not suggesting either one as a program – something to go do. You will get the most out of these resources if you use them as conversation starters with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Ask the Father, “What is your will here?” Ask the Son, “How do these fit into your church building plan?” Ask the Holy Spirit, “What parts of this are for the renewal of my mind?”

The subtitle for The Benedict Option is “A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation”. This is our reality, and we desperately need a strategy. The Benedict Option will raise your awareness and give you some good points of conversation with the LORD.

Just this morning, I came across a concise and thought-provoking article on church worship. You can access it here. As you read, keep in mind that what matters is what God says. Is this God’s truth? If so, how does it line up with the way we have been worshipping Him? Again, use this for conversation with Him.

In closing, let me encourage you: These are must reads for every workplace leader. We are called to use our influence to advance the kingdom of God. That includes returning to the foundations upon which Christ will build His church. I entreat you to prayerfully, grace-fully, and intentionally use your influence to restore your church fellowship. Be God’s instrument of righteousness.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

I have two matters to bring to your attention in this edition. First, as I mentioned in the 2016 Mission Report, God is using me to write another book: The Lost Foundations. To help keep myself on track, I am presenting each foundation on a bi-weekly basis, via an online video conference.

The recordings of those meetings can be found on our YouTube channel , and on the inLight Consulting resource site. The website also has a handout for each of the lessons. The newest lesson – number eleven in the series – is on “The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit”. I believe this is one of the best lessons I have been used to teach. I strongly encourage you to watch it.

Second, there is the matter of storytelling. I plan to post a couple of articles on the subject in the next couple of weeks: A related Workplace Ministry Tip; and an encouragement regarding the power of storytelling in our overcoming the division that exists in both the world and church. Be on the lookout for those. In the meantime, here is the crux of the matter:

Sharing stories is the way civilized people have been bonding for millennium. It continues today as a way of life in cultures more relational than America. When we invite someone to share their story, we are saying that we care.

We are also inviting God to create something. That something is relationship – The Father’s response to Jesus’ prayer for our unity (John 17:21-23). Furthermore, hearing someone else’s story creates an opportunity to share our own – to be ambassadors of reconciliation.

The Holy Spirit has stirred a desire in my heart for the story of others. I must say, this is a challenge for me. Some might call me a “loner” – perhaps a nice way of saying impersonal, even self-centered. I am “in process”.

The prospects of this discovery are exciting. I hope and pray that you will join me in tearing down the walls that separate us from one another.

Humbly yours and forever His,

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