Posts tagged Inspiration
My Dad smoked cigarettes for 20 years and didn’t quit until the age of 32. If you’re doing the math in your head right now than you’ve realized he started smoking when he was 12 years old. Both of his parents smoked cigarettes but made sure to tell him that he should never do it himself. Obviously his parents “do as I say, not as I do” parenting didn’t carry much authority. It wasn’t until years later when he became a Christian that he realized this addiction had to go.
A very basic leadership principle is the idea of “what they see is what they’ll be.” The 12 disciples were radically different guys after spending 3 ½ years with Jesus. How they saw Jesus live impacted their own lives forever and motivated them to live in a similar way. As followers of Jesus 2000 years after his time on earth, we have the unique opportunity to model what it means to be fully committed disciples. The biggest challenge to this is in setting our priorities.
Jesus really was counter-culture. He didn’t look like the King the Jews were expecting. He didn’t act religious enough for the religious leaders of his day to accept him. He put God’s priorities above everything else in his life and he radically changed the world. An integral part of evaluating our priorities is asking ourselves tough questions.
Do I spend more time watching TV than I do with my kids? Do I spend more time in recreational activities than I do in deepening my faith in Jesus? Do I model something contrary to what I say? Ouch. When I am bold enough to ask myself these types of questions the answers can be pretty humbling.
As parents, your kids are watching you to see if this whole Christian thing is more than a set of rules, rituals, and religious morality. They notice when you’re in the word, when you’re worshiping with all your heart on Sunday morning, and when your faith exists for more than an hour on Sunday morning. In a culture of so many competing voices, what you do, not what you say, will always be the loudest voice your kids hear.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I recently wrote about how standing in line is made better by reading my Bible and devotionals on the Bible Study app. The comments I received from readers reminded me of this verse:
Isaiah spoke these words to the exiled Israelites as he proclaimed the good news that there would be an end to their plight, that the their “warfare is ended and iniquity is pardoned,” and that the “glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” (Isaiah 40:1-5)
Peter repeats these words and exhorts the early Christians to “love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” (1 Peter 1:22-25)
A good reminder, especially as we debate over politics, gawk at the latest gadgets, and go about our busy days. In the end all of it will fade, but God’s Word remains forever.
When I started working at Olive Tree over a year ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long!), I worked on the content craftsmen team. For my first project, I was given an eBook, more specifically, Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, and asked to format it for the Olive Tree apps.
I was lucky to get an eBook because the formatting is simple, but this eBook presented me with the special challenge to stay on task. I often found myself stalled on a particular section, not because it had complicated formatting, but because the writing had pulled me in and distracted me from my work. I have since moved to the marketing department (which might be for the best considering how long it took me to format this book) and decided I should read the whole of Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer. Here are my thoughts on the book:
It is Well Written
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is well known for his writings like The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together and many have even heard of his anti-Naziism. Metaxas goes beyond the Bonhoeffer that we’ve heard of, covering a lot of ground while still taking time on the little details that leave you feeling like you know Bonhoeffer personally. The passion and excitement Metaxas brings to this biography is evident. His writing is engaging and moves quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the biography and found myself getting lost in Metaxas’ captivating prose.
A group of Olive Tree employees met this morning to pray for Olive Tree, our users, our industry partners, and the personal concerns of our employees. We started our time together by reading from Day 3 of Olive Tree’s 30-Day Devotional, which included a Scripture passage from John 15:7 and an excerpt from R.A. Torrey’s book How to Pray. Torrey writes:
“Now for us to abide in Christ is for us to bear the same relation to Him that the first sort of branches bear to the vine. To abide in Christ is to renounce any independent life of our own…and constantly to look to Him for the inflow of His life into us, and the outworking of His life through us. When we do this, and in so far as we do this, our prayers will obtain that which we seek from God.”
The renouncing of an independent life is true for Olive Tree as a business, but it’s also true for each individual who has devoted his or her life to Christ.
What might it look like for you to renounce your independence in favor of a Christ-governed life?
The Olive Tree office is eerily quiet today with many people making their three-day weekend even longer. Here’s hoping that you are enjoying a long weekend too!
Here are some posts from around the web to add to your reading list this weekend:
A 10-year-old boy from Portland works to end hunger with PB&J.
Who are your heroes? Desiring God challenges us to re-define coolness.
How Blessed are the Poor? Questioning extreme poverty in Nicaragua.
Too many baby pictures in your Facebook Feed? There’s an app for that.
Michael Hyatt explains the Value of Working for a Bad Boss.
Anna Bartlett Warner, born this day in 1827, wrote the popular song Jesus Loves Me This I know.
Have a wonderful, extended weekend!
Ephesians 2:4-5 (ESV)
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.
Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon
14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:14-20 (ESV)