Wednesday, March 18, 2009

LIfting Exercises, by Lon Alderman

1Thessalonians 5:12-13 (The Message)
And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!


If you hadn't heard, church leadership is challenging! The demands and expectations of the job are off the charts! Once upon a time being a church leader was a high status and low stress occupation. Not anymore! I think it is pretty safe to say that the opposite is true today!

One of the cool things on our church calendars is the "Pastor Appreciation" month! I've actually communicated with the guy that started this movement! (BTW, please pray for Jerry!) What I'd love to see is for this cool month of celebrating our church leaders to spill out into the rest of the calendar. Toward that end, I've started compiling a resource of different ways to encourage church leaders. Here's the link: Lifting Exercises

Please consider telling me about the ways you lift your leaders and I'll share them with our fellow "Lifters"!

Happy lifting!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Which half?, by Lon Alderman

Matthew 14:28-30
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

"Come," he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"


Peter was doing it! He was walking on water! However, in the midst of this miracle, Peter gets distracted. His focus on Jesus is broken as Peter concentrates on his surroundings. Granted, Peter is in the midst of a storm, but he was in the storm when he first stepped out of the boat. Something changed! Now his eyes are on the storm, not Jesus. And he begins to sink!

It is at these times in our life when we see the glass half empty. We focus on the negatives of our surroundings. We concentrate on the storms and not on Jesus. Selfishness fills our heart and we start to sink!

There is another way to view the glass, and that is to see it half full. This is attained when we focus on Jesus in the midst of the storm. With our eyes on Christ we see His amazing blessings and His perfect provision right there in the middle of the storm! Gratitude fills our heart and we walk on water!

Matthew 14:31-33
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Keep your eyes on the Son of God!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Out of the Mouth, by Lon Alderman

Proverbs 10:11 (The Message)
The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well,
but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.

What flows from our mouths? Are we a source of life or abuse?

Our mouths can speak the words that bring encouragement to anyone we meet. Out of our mouth we can build up and give life to our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family. Even in the most dire storms in life we can deliver the silver-lining with the words we choose.
We always have the option!

Our mouths can speak the words that destroy anyone we meet. Out of our mouth we can tear down and rip to shreds our neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family. Even in the most wonderful sunny day we can deliver the dark storm cloud with the words we choose.
We always have the option!

The choice of words is ours: "deep, life-giving" or "dark cave of abuse".

What will come out of your mouth, today?


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