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Posted by on Nov 21, 2015 in Blog, Kingdom |

How Do You Connect Good Deeds and Good News?

How Do You Connect Good Deeds and Good News?

This week I had the opportunity to facilitate one of the gatherings for our New Evangelism Paradigms Leadership Community.  Nine churches are journeying together for two years in a collaborative effort to develop new pathways to engage those far from God who will not be reached through a Sunday morning service.  This week’s gathering focused on how to make the connection between “good deeds” and the spreading of the Good News.  And despite popular sentiment to the contrary, conducting good deeds does not create an automatic link to God. You’ve probably heard a quote attributed to Francis of Assisi (despite the lack of any compelling evidence linking Francis to this particular quote): “Preach the Gospel at all times.  Use words when necessary.”  The idea expressed in the quote rests on the assumption that, when the people of God serve others through love and good deeds, those witnessing will directly link their benevolence to God. However, as my colleague and Externally Focused Church author, Eric Swanson, pointed out, left to themselves, people will...

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Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Blog, Life |

Be a Daily Learner

Be a Daily Learner

I came across this quote in an article I read a few years ago: There is divine beauty in learning… To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. – Elie Wiesel The quote by itself is spot on.  But if you know the person it is attributed to, it becomes much more powerful.  From Elie Wiesel’s bio on the Elie Wiesel Foundation website: Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania, which is now part of Romania. He was fifteen years old when he and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz. His mother and younger sister perished, his two older sisters survived. Elie and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died shortly before the camp was liberated in April 1945. When I was fifteen years old, my biggest concerns revolved around sports, acne, and my daily ability to corral my hair.  I...

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Blog, Life |

A Focus on Giving Thanks

A Focus on Giving Thanks

Is seems that so much of our culture is focused on the negative.  Even the people that are supposed to be carriers of positivity and peace appear to be much more interested in turmoil and strife.  You don’t have to spend much time in this atmosphere of malaise before you begin to feel its effects, seeping deep into your bones, robbing you of the joy and contentment that once shined brightly within you. It’s depressing. As difficult as it can be at times, we must make the choice to see the world through different lenses.  Our focus must be steady and sure, otherwise our gaze will drift and our resolve weaken.  Its no easy task to be ‘other than’ what appears all around us. But then things that really matter are seldom easy to attain. So in a month where more of us turn our attention toward things we’re thankful for, at least more than what seems usual, I’ve made the commitment to be intentionally thankful.  It’s part of an overall...

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