Confrontation 101

I had a great lunch meeting today. The food and atmosphere at Great Seasons Cafe in the Shoppes at Bellgrade were both top notch; it was great to see a friendly face (Ryan, my friend from Powhatan!) as I walked in. I highly recommend this place for lunch (the only option, other than Sunday brunch or catering). It was excellent.

The meeting part was great, too. A bit surprising, as I wasn’t aware that my friend and co-leader from PCC needed to confront me about something. But she did.
This woman leads with grace and a ton of energy. She’s positive and passionate and I have learned much from her. The real-life work she does affords me a glimpse into the life of a woman in business in a way that is foreign to me. I deeply appreciate her presence in my life and in our church.
Today, we talked over all sorts of chatty things and then she slipped in the primary reason for the meeting with a question. Turns out I had said something in a recent meeting that caught her by surprise. The topic at hand was in her area of leadership, and I neglected to give her prior knowledge of some action I had taken. She let me know that she was taken aback, was a tad bit concerned, and – without saying so – that I’d really screwed up. I stuck my foot in my mouth, big time.
I’ve been confronted before, for good reason. I’ve done all sorts of stupid, thoughtless things. But I have never been schooled with such grace and dignity. I sat down with a friend today who gently, without personalizing the offense, told me that I could have and should have done things a lot better than I did.
I apologized; it was due. I truly was sorry. But I walked out of that meeting with a deep feeling of gratitude because somebody took the time to carefully share with me the fact that I had made a mistake.
Too often, we are offended or we witness mistakes and we seize the opportunity to right the wrong and educate the offender. It feels good to be on the side of right, and our human nature might revel in that just a bit more than necessary.
Today, I was the recipient of grace, from a believer who is truly living out the concept of “love one another, as I have loved you.” That lesson sinks clear to the depths of my soul. Makes me want to be a better person.
I think that’s how we’re supposed to be doing life.

Guitar Hero?

I read this today on Steven Furtick’s blog and I was blown away. I’m re-posting it here, with all credit to him. He was targeting aspiring ministers, but there’s a hard truth here for every person who is interested in spiritual growth.

The point is – think about this, willya? And think about where you’re at in the grand scheme of things.

I know I sure am….

“If my generation isn’t careful, we may fall into a Guitar Hero mentality toward ministry:

Everybody wants to be a rock star, but no one wants to learn the chords.

It’s hard work to study God’s Word. To pray for breakthrough. To do spiritual battle on behalf of those we lead. To charge forward in faith for the cause of Christ. To run a church with the highest standard of excellence.

Be willing to pay the price. Or please go do something else with your life.”

How willing are we?

God Can Do Anything, You Know…

I had a phone call early (for me, anyway) this morning.  It was a friend who wanted to share something from the Bible that she felt was really pertinent to our church right now.  

It’s a scripture verse I’ve read before, but in light of the week’s events and the undercurrent of electricity and anticipation that I feel about our the future, it spoke powerfully to me today.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

My friend emphasized the part about glory in the church and encouraged me to seize that.  
It’s resonated in my head and heart all morning.  I sought out that verse in The Message, knowing that Peterson always gives a slightly different slant to the words of scripture that ALWAYS prompts me to think and often touches me deeply.  Here’s his take:

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!”

I’m keeping that close to my heart today, this practical voicing of an immense idea:  God can do anything, you know…

Oh, yeah.
It makes me wonder what’s going on, what he’s working within you, deeply and gently, to create something that you can’t even imagine.  It’s happening in many of us.  It’s happening in our church.
Oh, yeah.  
What’s he doing in you?
Scriptures from Ephesians 3


This made me cry today.

I’m floored when God reveals some part of life to me, when I – in my utter self-absorption – am running around caught up in all the minute details of my life, and things like this are happening right around the corner.
God of mercy, grace and compassion – give us your eyes to see, and hearts to understand the painful challenges facing the people around us.  
The ones who give care.
The ones who receive care.
The ones who don’t care.