Further Thoughts on My Greatest Leadership Challenge

I have given expression to my greatest leadership challenge before–leading myself, and it is a dynamic that I continue to want to steward well. With that in mind, consider these thoughts rooted in a recent reading of John the Baptist’s simple words in John 3:30, where he declares, “He (that is, Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease.” When I […]

To Be Like Mary

For any of us, and particularly for those of us embedded in vocational ministry, living life as did Zechariah is all too common. Perhaps you know his story well. Luke 1:5 and following spell it out for us. He is a priest of the Most High God, invited to serve in the Temple in Jerusalem. It is his joy to […]

“With You I Am Well Pleased”

When was the last time you really, truly felt loved and appreciated? Like you were special? That someone, anyone, really delighted in . . . well . . . you? The ancient Israelites wrestled with these questions. They felt forgotten. Abandoned. Lost and desperate. Isaiah 63:19 gives a hint of this, at which place their emotions spill forth as they […]

Sheep Without a Shepherd

Jesus’ move to yet one more spot along the Sea of Galilee brought about more drama. This time, at what appears to be the height of his public ministry, five thousand men, plus what we might expect are thousands of women and children, press in to connect with him. The word “overwhelming” must surely come to mind. Consider the account […]

The Cost

To be associated with Jesus is costly. There is not a neat and tidy association with him. We see that even among his own family and friends Jesus himself had a hard time (cp. Mark 6:1-6). We see that Jesus, quite aware of the toll following him may take on his disciples, prepares his followers for opposition when he tells […]

Reputation vs. Relationship

Right at that moment when we think Jesus may be watering down the essence of being rightly related to God, we realize that he is actually raising the bar quite a bit higher. The question about fasting, offered by the disciples of both John the Baptist and the Pharisees, as recorded in Mark 2:18 and following, provides an excellent opportunity […]