Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2008

5 Tips for Tough Conversations at Work

One of my weak spots as a leader is having corrective conversations with people. Whenever I know I have to have one a fear monster arises within me that makes me want to ignore the problem and avoid a confrontation. But following through on these situations is essential. It helps me develop the disciplinary edge that all great leaders have in some form.

Here are 5 things I am learning about these conversations:

1. Have them as quickly as possible - don't put them off, it just raises the chance you'll end up avoiding them in the end
2. Have a plan - don't have a hard conversation off the cuff, think through what you want to say and any possible objections the other person might have
3. Make sure you are calm it is best to take a brief period to let the emotions settle so you can sort out what you want to focus on the most
4. Be consistent with your expectations - make sure the same offenses are dealt with equally among all the people you manage so you cannot be accused of f…

Light Up the Darkness

I watched I Am Legend last night. Didn't enjoy it all that much - too many impossibilities and, what I considered, a terrible ending.

One of the few interesting parts of the movie was when Will Smith quotes Bob Marley,
"the people that are trying to make the world worse never take a day off , why should I. Light up the darkness.”As I Christian I take too many days off. How about you?

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." - Jesus, as quoted by Matthew 5:14-16

More Leftovers

Here’s another way of getting at how God uses marriage to change us more into the image of Christ. One of the recurring themes through-out Scripture is the idea of light and darkness. Over and over again the Biblical writers equate what is righteous with light, and what is evil with darkness. In Christian marriage God uses a spouse like a flashlight to point into the dark corners of people’s hearts and shine light on the junk that resides there so that they may be transformed.

I Noticed Something About Parenting Today

I'm at Caribou today and there is a women here with her 4-6 year old daughter. Cute right? Except the fact that mom is sitting at a table flipping through newspaper ads listening to her iPod while the daughter kicks her little feet and stares off into space.

Seriously lady, is your music that important?

All of which convicts me. How many times have I ignored my kids for TV show or a book, or God-forgive me, a blog post? Ouch!

Sermon Prep Left-overs on Marriage

One of the biggest lizards I’ve struggled to kill is my selfishness. Like the old Subway slogan and Frank Sinatra song says, “I want it my way. But the Bible teaches something different.

In Ephesians 5:25 the Apostle Paul writes:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Men, do you know what a high calling this is?!

Matt Chandler is the Pastor of a place called The Village Church way down south in another country called Texas, and he said something very profound about this text. He said, that of all the commands in the Bible, the command for men to love their wives like Christ loved the church, is quite possib…

Revival

Del Fehsenfeld Jr. wrote much about the idea of spiritual revival and one of the things he said so beautifully was this:
Revival is the moving of God's Spirit, through the power of His Word, to the hearts of His children, that resurrects to new life those areas which have been lying stagnant, dormant, or out of balance, and that results in new love and obedience to Jesus Christ.

Marriage Advice

Every Daddy's dream for his daughter....
Find a rich old man with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel!

100 Push-Up Challenge

My wife has expressed to me that she likes a nice set of pecs and shoulders; I don't have those and it is time to do something about it. Tomorrow I will begin the 100 Push-Up Challenge. It is a six week program designed to strengthen you enough to do 100 consecutive push-ups at the conclusion of your training. You're welcome to join me. Leave me a comment if you're interested.

Softball Recap

Rough night on the softball diamond. Our team got absolutely smoked by a loaded team, made up of other people from our church. I had a rough time getting the ball on target to first, launching two throws over the first baseman's head. I hit the ball well, going 1-3, reaching once on an error. I also learned that you get called out if you accidentally step on home plate while ripping a line drive to the opposite field.

Probably the biggest lesson of the game was how competitive and frustrated I get when my team plays poorly. I want to throw something, I am tempted to give up, and I start judging people. Bad stuff. I'm going to want to work on this.

Today and That Day

Love this quote from the great reformer Martin Luther,
“There are two days on my calendar, today and that day."(from The 9Marks Blog)

God in Christ

“The Lord willingly and freely reveals himself in his Christ. For in Christ, he offers all happiness in place of our misery, all wealth in place of our neediness; in him he opens to us the heavenly treasures that our whole faith may contemplate his beloved Son, our whole expectation depend upon him, and our whole hope cleave to and rest in him.”—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, III.20.1

Ten Leadership Thoughts from 1 Peter 5

From Pastor Jamie Munson at Mars Hill Church...
Ten things to remember, according to this [1 Peter 5:1-11]:Jesus is the Chief Shepherd.Leaders are entrusted to shepherd the flock.Leaders lead by example, willing and eager.Don’t expect a lot of accolades in this life.Model godly submission.The humble will rise; the proud will fall.The enemy is seeking leaders to devour.Expect some suffering and difficulty.God restores, confirms, strengthens, and establishes you in Jesus.All glory and dominion belong to God.

How Affliction Brings Us Closer to God in His Word

From John Piper at Desiring God...In this week's Taste & See Article, I pointed out from Psalm 119: 67 and 71 that God sends affliction to help us learn his word. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. . . . It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. I didn't ask how affliction helps us understand God's word and keep it. There are innumerable answers, as there are innumerable experiences. But here are five: 1. Affliction takes the glibness of life away and makes us more serious so that our mindset is more in tune with the seriousness of God's word. 2. Affliction knocks worldly props from under us and forces us to rely more on God which brings us more in tune with the aim of the word. 3. Affliction makes us search the scriptures with greater desperation for help rather than treating it as marginal to life. 4. Affliction brings us into the fellowship of Christ's sufferings so that we fellowship more …

Softball Update

The softball game I'd waited three weeks for was rained out after an inning and a half on Sunday. By the time the lightening had stopped the entire infield was under water. I was 1-1 though on a nice single up the middle, raising my season average to .500.

The Adventure Begins

Robert Runice, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who gave the homily at Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding, had a marvelous word. He said,
“Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made. The prince and princess on their wedding day. But fairy tales usually end at this point with the simple phrase, ‘they lived happily ever after.’ This may be because fairy tales regard marriage as an anticlimax after the romance of courtship. This is not the Christian view. Our faith sees the wedding day not as a place of arrival but the place where the adventure begins.”

Eastman Wedding

In a couple hours I'll be officiating the wedding ceremony of some friends of my brother Jeff. I have known the groom for about 5 years as he's been playing hockey with my brother at Bethel. It has been a privilege getting to know he and his bride over the last few months. It is an outdoor wedding so we are praying for no rain tonight! Here's a couple pictures of the groom (my brother is in the background of one of them):

Another Twins Game!

Yesterday I went to the MN Twins/Baltimore Orioles game thanks to my friend Josh! We sat in his dad's company seats which were directly over the Twins dugout, right on the fence. That means I watched all the players walk into the dugout right underneath me. I stared over the railing and wished someone would toss up one of the hundreds of bags of seeds and bottles of Red Bull stashed on the steps. It was a sweet game, and I'm grateful that my wife lets me do fun things like this as opportunities come about.

Religion vs. Gospel

Religion is, "I obey, therefore I'm accepted."

Gospel is, "I'm accepted through what Jesus Christ has done for me, therefore I obey."

*I should have noted these quotes are from Tim Keller, not me. My apologies.

Trusting Jesus

I got some very encouraging news yesterday at work that could have some wonderful ramifications for our family over the summer. Of course nothing is set in stone but I'm excited about the possibility of what could take place. I'm posting this because the news came on the heals of some pretty trying times earlier this week where I was wondering what God was up to. Stephanie and I made a decision on Saturday to be completely faithful with our church giving, despite the fact that we had no idea how all the rest of our needs would be met. This week hadn't been filled with great "blessings for our faithfulness" and I heading up to work yesterday morning I was fighting feelings of discouragement and doubt. Thank you Jesus for teaching me to trust.

Twins Game

I'll be at the Twins/Yankees game tomorrow night. It is nationally televised on ESPN. Check it out. Maybe you'll see me!

Stepping Out and Asking for Help

For longer than I care to count or admit I have been without any strong Christian male leadership in my life. Sure I have been around Christians; I have been reading books and listening to podcasts and I have been attending church, but what I have not been doing is getting together on a regular basis with men who love Jesus deeply and who love me enough to ask me hard questions and correct me when I'm wrong. About the closest thing I have had to this is my counselor (yes I have one that I see every so often) but he is no substitute for men who see me on a consistent basis.

After thinking about the lack of this accountability in my life, and after looking around and praying about how God may bring it about, I decided to approach a man out of the blue at our church about such a thing. he is a guy whom I have come to respect by listening to whathe says and seeing how he uses his life.

Amazingly, this man had been pursuing a very similar type of thing with another guy in our church…