The Most Disastrous Thing Christians Do Everyday

We make some of our biggest leadership (and self-leadership) failures sitting still. We blow tremendous ideas by not even beginning them. We waste God-sent visions by allowing dreams to remain dreams.

And in so doing we do the worst thing possible for the waiting world spinning around us… nothing.

[Does any of the following describe your life?]

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Four Points that Show What the Church Really Valued

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Authentic community is the context in which we are to follow Jesus. The scriptures say it, the characters modeled it, and the early church established it.

Community wasn’t a doctrine for the early church, it was the environment. It wasn’t a part of life for a Christian, it was the way of life. It wasn’t just another thing, it was the reality in which they did everything. And really, the idea of following Jesus was unthinkable outside of authentic cross-shaped relationships.

But community and relationships seem to be an afterthought any more for churches. Today the idea of church has been developed under an entirely different guise. When people hear the word “church” they think buildings, denominations, and 60-minute services we check off our agenda until next time.

My generation, the millennials, are leaving “church” at record rates because they see it as an irrelevant institution that has failed to distinguish between right practices and right principles. They look at the church and see an institution that has placed a tremendous amount of weight on rituals and rules rather than relationships.

And that’s sad to me… because relationships mattered most to the early church. When you study the early church in the scriptures you see more of a dynamic and expanding network of messy but maturing love-relationships, and less of a formalized institution where everyone needed to show-up and get-in-line or get-out.

So here’s four things to ponder about the early church that might change the way you approach church today:

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Why You Weren’t Ready for Marriage: What no one ever told you…

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Marriage was created by God. True. But that doesn’t mean it’s magic. And that doesn’t stop people from approaching it like magic.

People spend their whole lives building terrible relationship habits that’ll make commitment near impossible for them. But then get married. And take vows. And exchange expensive rings. And make forever promises about the future that simply don’t add up with their past.

People spend years building bad spending habits, bad credit habits, bad debt habits, bad communication habits, bad conflict-resolution habits, bad anger habits, bad drinking habits, bad addiction habits, bad working habits, bad schedule habits, bad sex habits, bad commitment habits, bad faith habits.

But then despite it all, they get married. Because they must think marriage is magic. They must think marriage can just abracadabra all the stupid they’ve spent years building.

Maybe we’re confused because few are honest about the realities of marriage. Everyone wants to live and tell a fairytale. Maybe it’s because we haven’t gotten real with ourselves and clear with the next generation about how difficult lasting love is.

Love is worth it, trust me. But it takes hard work, just like anything else in life worth having. So real quick, let me do you a favor and share some truth. Repeat after me:

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“God in a Bod” – Three Steps to Do Christmas Right

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On the first Christmas, God showed up and loved out. And it was that simple, ever since the world hasn’t been the same.

*** JESUS’ INCARNATION ***

In smart-Christian circles, they call this incarnation (in my circles we call it “God in a bod“). It’s a word that gets floated around during Christmas as we reflect on the Word becoming flesh. And during this season of my life, it’s a reality that’s having a most profound impact on me.

In as practical terms as possible, incarnation means this…

I step completely into your mess, no matter how messy it is.
I offer myself, at the expense of myself, for the sake of you.
I choose to be fully present in situations I want nothing to do with.

All because I love you.

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How to Measure Love: Going Beyond What You Feel

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Love is not just an emotion. It’s not simply some uncontrollable feeling you fall in and out of. It doesn’t have to be here today and gone tomorrow. Nor does it ever have to leave you, in any relational context, if you don’t want it to.

And that’s because love is measured and maintained primarily by what you give, not what you receive. According to scripture, that’s the love metric: what you give to him, what you sacrifice for her, not necessarily what you feel.

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