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Meekness is the Leverage of Leadership

In today's world, meekness = weakness. God does not view it that way, however. The Bible says of Moses,"Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth." (Numbers 12:3) And in a world where power is everything, Jesus entered the scene in a wooden manger surrounded by barnyard animals. He grew up in an humble village, the son of a carpenter, of modest means. He lived His life serving others, yet Jesus was certainly the most influential …

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How to Bring Joy to Your City

I love that part of the story of the early church in which God allows persecution to scatter the Christians from Jerusalem like ants. The Bible says that everywhere they went, they preached the gospel (see Acts chapter 8). Phillip, in particular, headed to a city in Samaria and became the earliest cross-cultural missionary. When he preached there, the citizens listened and embraced Jesus. The Bible sums it up by saying, "So there was great joy in that city." (Acts 8:8 …

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Living In Continual Repentance

The Protestant Reformation's beginning is usually marked by the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenburg on October 31, 1517. He began the document with these words, When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ (Mt. 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. A life of repentance? Really? Doesn't that seem... sad? Not if we understand what repentance really means. Repentance isn't sorrow, though …

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Fast, Fluid, Flexible… and Flourishing

Movement is life. I recently watched the blockbuster hit, World War Z. I had been anticipating it for a long time, and it didn't fail to impress me with it's non-stop intensity starting two minutes in and not ending until the credits roll. There is a moment when Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is trying to give advice to an Hispanic couple about their need to change locations often in order to stay alive rather than staying barricaded in one spot like sitting ducks. As he speaks …

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Getting Off the Wrong Path

You are where you are because you have followed a path. You've made a series of choices that have brought you to your current spot on life's map, and the Bible lets us know that our default direction is always down the wrong path. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 ESV There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Proverbs 14:12 …

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Throw Off the Leisure Suit: Get Unstuck!

Tony Morgan has released some pretty great books, many of which are available as free ebooks (which are actually books, but with an "e"). He's just released a new follow-up book and it's well worth checking out. Here's his description: The first eBook in this series, The Leisure Suit Trap: 8 Reasons Your Church Is Stuck, focused on why churches are stuck, defining the challenge at hand. This second installment addresses how your church can get unstuck. That leisure suit may …

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We Need That Old Time Religion!

I'm writing this article to a generation that might never have heard the old song, Old Time Religion (so I included a clip from an old movie for you). I grew up in an old-fashioned church. We had an old building, built in 1833, and an old cemetery with civil war era headstones. We sang old songs on old instruments and most of the old people that were my heroes when I was younger have gone on home to heaven. You may be preparing yourself for one of those "we need things to …

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The Difference Between Launching and Orbiting

If you've ever watched a space shuttle launch, you know that it's an enormous production. A ton of preparation goes into the event, potentially millions of eyes are watching, and there is a tremendous risk being taken that results in the payoff of having a shuttle in orbit. And when you see the shuttle on the launching pad, you realize that most of the stuff that starts up into the atmosphere is fuel. As the shuttle nears its orbit, the nearly empty fuel tanks fall away. Once …

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Jolt! by Phil Cooke. Make Change Work For You

Change is guaranteed to be consistent. Our personal growth is not. I first met Phil Cooke at a conference at Prestonwood Baptist Church a few years ago where he signed a copy of another of his books for me - Branding Faith. Listening to Phil speak to our breakout session about media and branding fed my hunger to know how to communicate more effectively. Phil has a knack for such tough subjects. In his latest work, Jolt!: Get the Jump on a World That's Constantly …

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Everything Is Changing Again!

That's how God keeps growing us. He never lets us sit still. Even if we spend our entires lives in one place geographically, things are changing inside us and around us all the time. Our family has been through a lot of changes over the last year and a half. We've added Sam to the family and moved across the country to southern California to join the staff of Saddleback Church. Even my responsibilities here at Saddleback have changed from simply trying to kick off a …

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