Sunday, May 30, 2010

Real Fishers Live a Life of Praise to Christ!

"I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me." ~Psalm 13:6, nkjv

Ever ask.. what did King David, the world-changer, know about gaining the victory over adversity?

Good question! Well, he certainly knew that it had a lot to do with making a conscious choice to praise the Lord wholeheartedly ..regardless of what people thought of him.

Of course he wasn't out to make a crazy scene in misrepresenting or in strangely scaring others away from God, nor was he trying to draw attention to himself like he was all that and a bag of chips. But David indeed understood the importance of worshiping the Lord in Spirit and in truth.. ahead of all other righteous activities that he could do. It was an everyday thing with Him—an ongoing lifestyle of close relationship and rejoicing.

"I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me" (niv).

"I've thrown myself headlong into your arms—I'm celebrating your rescue. I'm singing at the top of my lungs, I'm so full of answered prayers" (vv. 5-6. amp).

Yes, "it is good to sing praises to our God"—at all times (Ps. 147:1).

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven, to His feet your tribute bring;
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, evermore His praises sing. ~Lyte

I personally enjoy getting honest with the Lord in prayer. I love to see what He will do!

I also love to sing to the Lord (bad voice and all) as well as to read over and over again how David would pray, make music, and sing praises.

Yes, David made the choice regardless of what he felt like, to 1.) Hear from God after getting real with Him vertically, 2.) To express his deep love by praising the Lord, and even 3.) To dance publicly in worship unto God.

Those in the world want to dance in the flesh with each other.. sometimes very sensually. In the world this just kinda fits in with the whole drinking culture (that often includes other chemicals and extra negative stuff too) and this arouses them in a lustful sort of way. Be different from them.

Yes, that type of partying ain't for believers! We have a totally different kind of elixir of joy and fellowship and inner celebration ..that are totally pure and safe. Our type of partying is actually edifying and it makes us want to live right, witness of Christ's love right, and always be right in our hearts! In fact it gives me joy unspeakable when I praise Him.

You can have this too! It's just hard to properly describe, but "…the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh. 8:10).

Could a world-changer today have too much joy? No! Should a fisher of people never express humor and stop laughing? No! Should you and I cease to sing to Christ from the heart? NO! NO! We of all people, have the greatest reason to sing and celebrate! The Son has set us FREE! No more bondage. With other gods, sure they'll have it - not us who walk in the Word! But we won't be all smug about it. 

If you or I didn't experience the J-O-Y of Jesus that springs from a life of worship in Him, who in the world would even want what we have to offer them—the Gospel free of charge?  

Question: Do you ever get real honest about the things that you are going through or are you wearing a mask and pretending? I challenge you to stop play-acting and to pray for your friends and foes sincerely.

Ever feel real low, Christian, or like you are fighting feelings of depression? I encourage you to give thanks every single day! We all have more than we deserve now.. and we can find stuff to be grateful for if we look!

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and My God." ~Psalm 42:5

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God." ~Psalm 42:11

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God." ~Psalm 43:5

David got feeling blue at times but he would encourage himself in the Lord. He verbalized, "How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? ..Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.. But I will trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me" (Ps. 13:2-6, niv).

If you find yourself wearing a spirit of heaviness, try on a garment of praise!!!

Ever hid out inside of a dark cave because someone you really loved was out hunting you down like a dog?

You remember how David was hounded for a long time by his jealous spear-chuckin' boss, Saul. Well David didn't give up on his faith, even though he had to get out of dodge quickly.

He was on the run if you will, living as a full-on fugitive for years in a nation where he was the national hero as well as the anointed ruler. It sure didn't seem fair, but God hadn't fallen off His throne. How did David deal with all that junk? He kept on exercising his will to trust in his first love—His lovely loyal Lord! He hung in there by faith, praising God in the good times and in the bad times—worshiping the Lord even when he just didn't feel like it.

"I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High." ~Psalm 9:2, nkjv

"I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High." ~Psalm 7:17

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms." ~James 5:13

Is praise of Jesus Christ the switch that turns on the light of effective witnessing for you.. the abundant life, and the joy of life.. even when it's become way "dark" outside? If it is, then sinners will see the glory and the favor of God on your life! Ms Kelly said, "PRAISE THE SAVIOR, YE THAT KNOW HIM! WHO CAN TELL HOW MUCH WE OWE HIM? GLADLY LET US RENDER TO HIM ALL WE ARE AND HAVE!" Perhaps you still want this quality of life?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Directed Fishing for Peeps

Let's say after many hours in the same sitting position over large oceans your plane finally arrives in India, Christian, so you grab your iPod, sunglasses and backpack.. you de-board down the stairs onto the tarmac in the hot sun and suddenly you are surrounded by new smells, new sights, new sounds, and literally thousands of people who have not yet heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Not even once. 

Many have never even heard about the name of Jesus.

 

Opportunity galore!

 

Exciting huh.

 

Sure, you've been given a Mandate to go tell, but you can't tell everyone there and then fully explain the truth that they need so badly to hear.

 

Well, maybe if everyone in India had a computer and they followed you on Twitter.. then you could start.
Ain't gunna happen; let's get real.

 

The Task seems impossible!

 

Do they even speak your language? You can't send a phone-tree message out to many cuz who even has a cell phone.. or likes that kind of thing?

 

But you have a heart and desire to love and reach everyone with the unchanging truth. Beautiful!
Hey, you're really into Jesus, practical service, witnessing and stuff. So what do you do—where do you begin?
How will you obey?

 

You and I must start where we are and be directed in ministry by the Lord of the Harvest—the One who sees the big picture. Jesus is the One who prepares hearts and already knows who is open or ready. He adds to His Church. He alone saves from the guttermost to the uttermost. 

 

"There's a difference between just serving and serving at the direction of the Lord. When the Lord is in it, He can fill the nets. When the Lord is in it, He can make it prosperous. You can do the same thing in the same way and apart from the Lord. You're gonna pull up empty nets all night." ~chuck SMITH, SR

 

"JESUS is the difference between activity and ministry!" ~doug WARWICK

 

"Be fishing where the Lord directs and let Him fill the net." ~debbie STONER

Directed service (by Christ) is much better than mere service ..allegedly in Jesus' Name. God doesn't want our efforts wasted... CONTINUE READING...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Whaaat.. Social Media For Ministry?

What can me and my friends do out on the web?

A whole lot constructive!

It's SO time for us to go public with Christ and bring some attention to Him as well as to the most worthy of all horizontal causes.


Will you allow God to use you to fish for your peeps ..and even help others do this equipping of fishers in the best kind of fishing endeavor on the planet? Are you ready to come out of the closet for Him.. using social media? Ok, how about using any tool or method for that matter.. short of compromise? And listen, I'm not talking about becoming a pushy person or a drag be with or to talk with. I'm talking about being a real friend to people ..yes for many. You up for that.. or are you up for Christ starting to help you be up for that? Why don't you have a talk wth Him 'bout it.
"Kurt, what are you even talking about dude.. fishing huh?" I'm simply bringing up one of the most important things that any of us can be a part of. Yup, if you call yourself a Christian, and choose to accept this mission, you've gotta learn about what's expected of you in this area! How?


Let's be genuinely sincere, explain and simplify how we say it. 
"When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall surely die!' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand." ~Ezekiel 33:8, nkjv
"The ultimate of the Spirit-filled life is sharing Jesus with others" ~Ron Dunn
"The fruit of the uncompromisingly righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives for God, as a fisher of men—he gathers and receives them for eternity." ~Proverbs 11:30, Amp
I love my old pastor, Chuck Smith, who is still great at simply teaching the Bible simply. He loves people and I love how he puts a hook in every Message. Wish there were more like him and that I was more like him. Wish we all were more like Christ, the most excellent Fisher of men! You do too huh.
Want to get His Gospel out there?
Listen, if your message is hyper-complex, don't expect it to be...

Continue Reading..


Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Exhausting Toll...

When I think of all the stuff that many in so called religious "hierarchy" have to contend with—among likeminded people and in themselves—yikes!

It would probably make my head swim.

The Pharisee's envy of Christ's growing effective ministry back in the day is still a very curious thing to take a look at.

We'd all be wise to avoid comparisons and jealousy.

Now to the typical bystanders at that time, everything must have seemed pretty thrilling, exciting, invigorating, or perhaps even somewhat glamorous. I can almost hear the sounds of rejoicing and jubilation. The large crowds kept gathering. There was a demand, a hunger, a spiritual thirst. Yup, it was all there!

Scriptural deliverance plus. Lives being changed forever!

Oodles of needs are met, real wonders are worked, and publicity spreading just like a California brush fire.

I love how the common people were taught in a way that they could easily understand. The cookies oughta be placed on the lower shelves where us children can reach them.

Fame follows. The mockers and the curious show up, and then there's some physical and emotional stress added into the mix. 

Pressure!

If Christ gets swarmed, he won't be able to deliver the groceries if you will ..as well as He'd like to. Hey guys, grab a boat just in case (that's my free translation)! Nothing will be allowed to hinder!

Some had honest questions.

Deep feelings of concern for all—it was there. And the fishing-team was getting trained to minister.

As word continues to get out, this only tends to draw the masses more—people who respond in ever-increasing numbers. Wow!

And this invariably attracts the attention of those further away in distance, which are also searching for truth, for life, for love, for answers, and for hope!

Fulfillment, significance, meaning in this brief life. Can we have this?

Some simply needed a miracle for their families.

And who doesn't want to get near a Person that will appropriately address their needs ..with POWER?

Here's how the Bible describes this situation, "But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they heard how many things He was doing, came to Him. So He told His disciples that a small boat should be kept ready for Him because of the multitude, lest they should crush Him. For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, 'You are the Son of God.' But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known. And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons" (Mk. 3:7-15 nkjv).

Can you imagine the broad range of expectations? Some of em very reasonable and some far from realistic or good.

Enter: the religious leaders.

As many in the crowd became overjoyed, there were undoubtedly others who began to feel devalued, neglected, overlooked and then frustrated. Oftentimes with crowds there are spot-light-craving individuals who feel insignificant and semi-ignored.

Feelings of disappointment begin to fester and go way beyond what's even normal.

In the midst of all the growth that was happening, the sinister enemy-adversary slips into the scene. And what does he do? You know how he likes to cause confusion and problems. He likes to add-in interruptions and distractions—anything to keep people from gazing at, and hearing from Christ, their ultimate Solution.. anything to try and impede the powerful work and anointing of the Holy Spirit!

Even in our day at times, Mr Lu-Cifer with his creepy minions will prompt insidious attacks on those who lead. And as imposing forces collide in battle after unseen battle, the pressures will of course intensify unto critical mass. CLASH!

No worries, the highest authority, Christ, and those on His team will come out to be the victors! It's a prayer and trust kinda thang.

In spite of all the darkness and strangeness of this world's system, people by the droves continue to be drawn towards the practical truth of God's Word. Perhaps you too need a new brand beginning in the Word of Life—a new birth experience?

Do you fell the need for some solitude, for some rest—inner rest—some incredible peace and purpose? Hey, what would prevent you from coming to Jesus right now on His terms.. just as you are, but at the same time with a willingness to repent and be changed by Him?

That's what it's going to take.

You know deep down inside that God does have a non-scary plan to use you for His purposes. He wants to make you a blessing for other people who hurt and have needs. Why don't you try talkin' with Him about all this in your own words. He'll hear you and take it to heart.

Mark Twain once said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away.. catch the trade winds in your sails." What an adventure lies ahead for you! If you only knew! I never ever regret giving my life to Him. And Christ is waiting with open arms. He has so much cool stuff (understatement) to show you.

It's fun when you're getting through to people who matter! Your heart always wants to give out so much more to help, yet your body says "Hey there, you should have taken a break like an hour ago!" Some moments you run out—SO DONE—but then the Spirit rushes in with torrents of living water flowing to give you a second wind if you will. Who of us has experienced this like our Savior has? Not me, but we can all taste of this life.

"Be steadfast... in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain." ~1 Corinthians 15:58

Failure is not defeat unless you just quit. Christian, if you don't quit, you can't lose.

"Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" ~Galatians 6:9
 
"The service that we give to Christ, if steadfast we will be,
Is sure to reap a rich reward that someday we will see." ~Sper

At times, the toll of an effective evangelism and equipping ministry is none other than spelled out in two words: physical exhaustion. Jesus Christ, who was one hundred percent man and one hundred percent God got tired, but He can show us how to deal with this type of exhaustion.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cool Pet's Just Ain't Enough

once had an orange stripped cat, 
and a dark shepherd dog.. 
man, he could leap off a log n pounce on a frog! 
 
friends, they'd both be there to visit me on my path in the fog.
tiger and blitz, 
no liger on the fritz!  
 
also had jack, a hairy monkey my back that..
i just wanted to smack..
but every time I tried..
he'd never seem to pack! 
always hated bein' so far off of the track.


no real pet that someone could forget.
must be more? 

waited for You to show.. no, no, no 
so where did You go?
felt like a loner all out in the snow. 
really needed You to show... 
n then never go.
 
and then You were there, 
how fair...
yup, in spite of my long hair.

why? just to let me know how You care.
and there's zero to compare!
so how can I now share?
"You open Your hand 
and satisfy the desire of every living thing. 
the Lord is righteous in all His ways, 
gracious in all His works.
 
the Lord is near 
to all who call upon Him, 
to all who call upon Him in truth.
 
He will fulfill the desire.. 
of those who fear Him; 
He also will hear their cry.. 
and save them." ~Psalm 145:16-19
 
though you're un-see-able 
..it's good that You're there!

so powerful
You're unshakeable
never breakable..or rakeable.
fully uuuunquakeable!

o yeah, yeah... yah, yeah..
so glad You are here.

no monkey business since you arrived.
no time to connive, to jive, or keep takin' a dive!

you're my unshakeable..
no pet.. 
but what a Relief!
unremoveable.. unreproveable! 
Jesus, You're so unmistakable!

Monday, May 17, 2010

h2o coming down ..strong

hi. 
umm gudmornin'.
uggg.. already?

I love you.
whatever You want - yes!!! 

those words "yes Lord" can be my motto today. ok? 
deal?
sure, for a week, a month, a lifetime...
what do ya say?
i say hilfe!

location: a biggy sized midwestern town.  
slept in some. watched Saving Private Ryan after midnight.
why? dunno really. guys love bravery and action!

7:25 am.
seven year old spotted dog waiting for a game plan.. staring at me.

getting warmer out. humidity.
summertime ..striving to fully emerge.
semi-speedy mountain-bike ride.
clouds growing darker up in the sky.
visiting with friends awhile.
rain started pouring down …hard.
h2o ..overkill as is often the case.
a little windy. 

still wanna write about odd things..
about normal stuff like trials, and 'bout Jesus…
wanna scribble over struggles, failures, dangers, temptations, victories..
you know, that which is common to ordinary prayin' folk like me.
desire to see their eyes and smiles again...
as i tell em the whole nine Yards!
don't know them all. some i do.  

feel glad for the rays of sun light and His immeasurable love
..coming at each of us in different ways each day.
and for His glory that somehow bleeds through
..all the seasonal gloom and fast paced mundinity.
Christ gladly answers prayer,
with genuine care.
..sometimes..
sure - when it's right!

wanna get with more honest individuals. 
met two no nonsense airport executives. 
didn't talk a whole lot. 
felt more like listening up..
even though i'm not so good at that. 
interesting stories!

rain upon us. awaken! 
reign over us!
“will You not revive us again,
that Your people may rejoice in You?” ~Psalm 85:6
“..revive us..
and we will call upon Your name.” ~Psalm 80:18b 
no more shame.. and to you the fame!
“..breathe life into our lungs so we can shout your Name!” msg
don't feel like runnin' ahead of Him, or lagging behind.
who needs my quickie solutions..
that won't work?
no one. zip.
He's worth waiting for…
cuz He's done it before. always on time!
and He'll be there for you too.. if you just ask Him to.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Got Any Spare Pocket Change?

"Loving-kindness and mercy, truth and faithfulness, preserve the king, and his throne is upheld by [the people's] loyalty." ~Proverbs 20:28, amp.

 

Like the title? No worries, I'm not appealing for surplus funds. I wanna address an influencer's track record of victories and failures. These will make a huge difference with their own credibility-factor and that's what I want to talk about. It's about trust and respect.

 

The "wins" that they each gain will of course be necessary for them to effectively continue on in leading people in the right direction. Forward momentum (or at least some progress) takes an earned trust.. one person by one by one at a time. It calls for real spirituality, making a personable connection, credibility and strong loyalty for the influencer to go on. People will buy into the leader, the minister, or the witness, before they buy into their group or Master's plan.

 

Trust; that is the very foundation of influencing or evangelizing other people. The level of respect they feel is also very important.

 

Witnessing of your faith calls for relational bridge-building short of spiritual compromise. And with trust, you cannot take shortcuts. Shortcuts will only become long-cuts.

 

I want to follow Christ closely because of trust. Trust is like pocket change. With every single wise decision made, you add. With every bad decision you make, you take away.

 

Of course people are very forgiving of occasional blunders, but if you keep making hasty and horrible decisions, you are in trouble. We must appropriate the wisdom of God instead of the world's wisdom if we want to become fishers of people or good leaders.

 

If you lose people's trust. The game so to speak is up. It's finished!

 

Are you a person who would like to help lead others in a positive way or ..best of all.. be used in leading them to faith in Jesus Christ? Are you a minister, a leader, an influencer..or at least someone wanting to be? It'll take more than passivity.

 

How can I describe what I am trying to convey? Well yes, think of it as tokens or spare change..

 

It's like serving and earning and also spending some pocket change (not my new idea. I heard about using tokens in the '70s). 

 

But every time you make a wise decision as an influencer, it will put some jingle, jingle, jingle in your pocket. And each time you make a poor decision, you must give up some of your change to the people that you are looking to influence. Is it your aim to help, edify and influence others in a Good Way? At any given time, each and every one of us are either being a good influence or a bad influence when we are in contact with other people. We're either being a good witness or a bad witness if you are a Christian, and all believers are called to witness right.  

 

Track with me further with this idea. Now all influencers have been entrusted with a certain amount of change when they start off in their new position or role. And from that point forwards, they each will build up their change or have to pay it out according to how they use their heads, hearts and God-given abilities.

 

Bad decisions will cost each one dearly and there is no respect of persons in this. We all reap what we sow. And this type of thing will go on and on until the influencer completely runs out of their change, dies or gets raptured. Remember no matter how big or small your bad decisions are ..when you run out of change.. you as an influencer are out of change. Done!

 

Can Christ help you at that point when you run out early? Sure, He's a God of the second, third and fourth chances, but He in His grace will probably will have some valuable lessons for you to learn. 

 

Don't run out.

 

Influencers who keep making wise decisions and logging real successes under their belts.. over time will build up a pile of surplus change (again, I'm not at all talking about having an aim for huge personal financial gain, or even trying to use your position of trust to get stuff for yourself here, as so many ministers and leaders try to do these days. I'm simply talking about trust, helping others, and maintaining credibility—making the most of your impact for the glory of God)!

 

And if the influencer unintentionally makes some blunders (hey, none of us are perfect..) or maybe a couple bad decisions, they will still have the trust of their constituents.

 

Do your homework with the Word and walk above reproach with Him in the holy fear of God. We want to make zero blunders and thus avoid letting His wonderful people down. Regardless of your career or ministry choice, win and re-win the people's trust by obeying the Lord according to His Word. Better yet, abide in Jesus and win them to a saving faith no matter where you serve.

 

"No one is born with godly character. But by studying God's Word and listening to His Holy Spirit, we can learn to hate falsehood and love integrity."  ~C.P. Hia

 

"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out." ~MaCauley

 

"Lord, shape my life as only You can, guiding each day by Your loving plan;

Take what You need and give what You will; my life is Yours to use and to fill." ~Branon

 

It doesn't matter if you are in it fulltime, bi-vocationally or simply a volunteer lay person. All believers are in full time ministry unto Christ, other saints and unto the lost.

 

More questions regarding wins, losses, trust and real winners…

- Does the so called "winner" consistently practice what they preach, or do they breach the trust by having a "do as I say, but not as I do" attitude? You know that a real winner wins by practicing the truth.

- Is the person constantly adding value and meeting needs among their constituents?

- Are they feeding their constituents with good uplifting information that's accurate or just fleecing em, using mixed information? 

- Ever notice a foolish president of a country or company shoveling out the change and making speeches to keep disappointed followers on board with him after being caught in a major blunder? What can we learn from that? Trust is lost quickly and gained slowly.  

- Ever been apart of a group where the veterans and leaders go out the back door faster than the visitors come in the front? There might be reasons that are overlooked.

- It's a challenge to influence or lead well in any situation, but when a shortsighted, bullheaded, stubborn leader feels they must shell out big change for damage control/"image repair" against an inordinate self-inflicted attrition rate.. due to sticking with their own plan instead of inquiring and listening for God's, then the organization is in trouble. It's sad when their followers in turn will typically also be paying along with them just to keep their leader afloat.

- If the influencer is a Christian, are there people actually getting saved and equipped as a result of their ministry?

- Are the followers being protected, mended and challenged, or do they need to be protected from their leader-influencer and his family?

- Have you broken a trust upwards or outwards yourself and now don't know what to do about turning things around.

 

"Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity" (Prov. 20:28, msg).

 

"Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne" (nkjv).

 

Some basic observations..

- Paul believed God was trustworthy so he chose to become trustworthy as well (Acts 27:21-25). We become like the influencer we hang out with. Are you trying to flourish by faith in a hostile work environment, Christian? Read about Daniel and wisely apply God's Word as he did. Trusting the Lord to turn problems into opportunities!

 

- Sometimes a trendy new church has been established right around the corner pastor, and the fickle five hundred are soon over there to try out the latest fad etc. Just keep plodding away in teaching the Word in an excellent way. Keep obeying the Lord along with caring for His people. Slow healthy growth is much better than flash in the pan explosive numerical growth. Let the Lord worry about the numbers. I hate to see an avalanche of people bailing out, especially away from a local church due to petty issues or the followers believing lies, but sometimes the elders or pastor have made some seriously bad decisions, have swept things under the rug and they are simply out of change.

 

- If the top influencer and his organization are headed south (I mean human boss, pastor, or organization is doing badly), and you work real hard under that person to gain wins that will turn the org  northwards again.. you could be working there in vain and you might even catch some blame for it failing. Try to help, but don't be in a sicko organization long. If the top influencer refuses to address the main problems, all you efforts normally won't fix their trajectory. Pray for his success. Wisely appeal with respect. Think about what is best for all the people involved. Be ready to bail out when the time is right.

 

Many leaders, lost or saved, will often do their best to keep the focus off of their inept or egotistical family-member-employee or even off themselves if they are solely to blame. Personal family security and retirement plans can come into play at another's expense.

 

I want to give people the benefit of the doubt, be realistic, and positive most of the time, and the Word clearly instructs us as to how we are to treat those who don't deserve our trust. Around the time when I am absolutely sure that trust is something I will grant only to those who earn it, I'll read a passage like 1 Corinthians 13, which call for some level of trust whether it's deserved or not in some cases. Paul said, "[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (v.7, niv).

 

So, should I go on and simply trust a convicted embezzler with my organization's or family's bucks? Will I trust a suspected child molester with my children? No way! That would not be a loving thing to do would it be. But God's love can extend the kind of trust that allows those who have been caught in evil doing to prove that their confession, regret, and repentance are genuine. Was full restitution made? Love, (with wise precautions and boundaries in place) can give people the kind of trust that recognizes what God can do in and through a repentant heart.

 

Listen, when the repentance is really there, the sinner will not even demand the same privileges or freedom back that he or she had once enjoyed before blowing it. There will be an understanding of what blessings we deserve—zip!

 

- Wise leaders take their sweet time in choosing winners for their inner circle as well as for basic responsibilities with their organization. And other wise influencers also take their sweet time in accepting employment or a position from such to begin with. Like attracts like. Careful; prematurely opting to serve under a dim, underhanded or cynical leader with huge blind spots can cost you some years in the desert.

 

- If the top influencer in an organization (whither that is a secular, para-church, or local church group), keeps gaining success after success ..due to them applying some practical savvy and know-how, but some of those in his or her inner circle keep messing up with sin, then those underling-blunderers can greatly slow down or even stop the momentum of the entire group. Hire slowly and fire quickly (with grace when it's best for the group).