Check Out – 4 Types of People Leaders Must Not Listen To – Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger
15 August 2016

Wise leaders listen to wise people. Because the people we listen to impact our decisions, our attitudes, and our perceptions, it is critical that we listen to the right people. A leader who listens to the wrong people is just as foolish as a leader who doesn’t listen at all. Here are four types of people leaders must not listen to:

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Source: 4 Types of People Leaders Must Not Listen To – Eric Geiger

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Check Out – Real Knowledge and Real Unknowing | Renovaré

Chris Hall for Renovaré
16 August 2016

Last week I mentioned the via negativa (the way of negation) and the via affirmativa (way of affirmation) as helpful paths for getting to know God better. Let’s explore the way of negation further with the help of John of Damascus, a wise mentor from the eighth century whose book The Orthodox Faith is regarded by some as the first historic instance of a “systematic theology.”

John carefully points out that “it is not within our capacity … to say anything about God or even to think of Him, beyond the things which have been divinely revealed to us,” and for this reason, the things we say about God “do not indicate what He is, but what He is not.” Here John is clearly following both the positive and negative paths: He affirms that truths about God have been revealed to us – real knowledge – while also writing that these truths help us to understand more about what God is not than what God is. Why adopt this use of negation, the method of declaring what is not true about God in order to get at what is true?

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Source: Real Knowledge and Real Unknowing | Renovaré – Renovare

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Check Out – The Key to the Keys to the Kingdom – Dallas Willard – Renovaré

Dallas Willard for Renovaré
15 August 2016

As we enter the busy back-to-school season, I’m reminded of this famous advice for the growth of the soul from Dallas Willard: “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”  While I’ll admit that there is great wisdom in that advice, I must also admit that I have a terrible time heeding it. So this week I’d like for us to focus on learning to slow down for the sake of our souls, to trust God even in the busiest of times. We’ll start with this essay from Dallas: “The Key to the Keys to the Kingdom.“

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Source: The Key to the Keys to the Kingdom – Dallas Willard – Renovaré – Renovare

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Check Out – Too Perfect: When Being in Control Gets Out of Control | HeadHeartHand Blog

David Murray for HeadHeartHand
15 August 2016

Over the past few years, I’ve been surprised at how many times “control” issues have emerged when counseling Christians with anxiety or depression. (It’s been a major factor in marital counseling too.) As I couldn’t find any Christian books which dealt specifically with this subject, I bought Too Perfect: When Being in Control Gets Out of Control, put on my Calvin spectacles and started reading.The book emerged out of the challenges and frustrations the author, psychiatrist Allan Mallinger, faced in trying to counsel obsessive people. Like other mental-health professionals, he found “obsessive people often are controlling or cerebral or distrustful or secretive or emotionally constricted or resistant to change or all of the above.”

Yes, they often have many virtues such as being hard-working, reliable, self-controlled, honest, etc. But their striving for excellence in themselves and others makes them too perfect for their own good. As Pascal said: “When we would pursue virtues to their extremes on either side, vices present themselves.… We find fault with perfection itself.” Their perfectionism means that are never at ease with themselves or with anyone else.

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Source: Too Perfect: When Being in Control Gets Out of Control | HeadHeartHand Blog

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Check Out – 5 unexpected things that can help make you mindful

Lauren Saccone for Headspace
12 August 2016

In our modern lives, we’re always running from here to there in the rat-race of who’s busier. Even our downtime is filled with chores and to-do lists. When you’re careening through life on a mixture of stress and caffeine, pausing to acknowledge a single moment can seem impossible. But adding mindfulness to your life has been shown to improve your health and happiness. As someone who’s found a way to even leave a yoga class furious and stressed out, I decided it was time to apply some mindfulness to my life.

What I found out is that you don’t have to be tucked away at a retreat or be free of responsibilities to live in the present and appreciate the little things. Meditation and mindfulness are skills, and like any skill they just take a little practice. Here are a few of the curious, unexpected, and ultimately rewarding places I’ve found mindfulness in my daily life. There’s no right or wrong way to achieve this mindset. Find what works for you, and explore the countless ways even the most tightly wound person can learn to live in the now.

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Source: 5 unexpected things that can help make you mindful

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Check Out – The Call I Have Heard All My Life … – My Soul In Silence Waits

My Soul In Silence Waits
12 August 2016

I have heard it all my life A voice calling a name I recognized as my own. Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper. Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency. But always it says:  Wake up my love. You are walking asleep.

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Source: The Call I Have Heard All My Life … – My Soul In Silence Waits

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This is My Story: The Ripple Effect (Mark 3:13-19) [Podcast]

The ripple effect of being available to Jesus | Rob Westwood-Payne

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On Sunday morning, we concluded our series on telling people about God’s story. In this podcast, Cadet Rob Westwood-Payne explains that every Christian should make themselves available to tell God’s story because of the difference it can make in the world.

Check Out – Beyond Our Labels | sacredmargins

Allen Carr for sacredmargins
11 August 2016

Back when I lived in Texas, I used to play basketball with a group of guys during lunch 3 times a week. This is a game that had been going on for what seems like forever. I first played with these guys when I just a skinny high school kid and had returned to play with them again after more than a decade. The group changed throughout the years as people moved in and out, but the core was always there, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It’s one of the things I miss most about Texas. One day while several of us were waiting for our turn to play, we were talking about life — our families, jobs, etc. Someone asked me about my ministry and so I told them about my church and what was going on with the youth group. One person who was only there occasionally gave me a puzzled look and exclaimed, “Wait, you’re a pastor?! You don’t act like a pastor.”I didn’t really understand how to take that at first. Did I not act like a pastor on the basketball court? What would that look like anyway? If I got elbowed on one cheek would I have to turn to them the other? Would I be handing out blessings for turned ankles? Because my first thought was that I had not lived up to some expectation this person had.

It bothered me for a few days.

After I thought about it a while, though, it has become a special moment in my life. Because this guy didn’t see my as a “pastor”, he saw me as a person. Devoid of my title and position, I was just Allen, the guy on the basketball court.

Wearing the title of “Minister” can feel confining at times. When I first meet people I dread that moment when the conversation turns to profession. Not because I am in any way ashamed at what I do — I am very proud of my work. Rather because as soon as someone knows I’m a minister, the dynamics of the conversation change.

A wall goes up. People start talking about different things and using different words. I’ve even had people immediately find a reason to leave the conversation.

It feels like that as soon as that label is exposed, that’s all people see.

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Source: Beyond Our Labels | sacredmargins

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Check Out – 3 Traits of People Leaders Should Listen To

Eric Geiger for Lifeway Leadership
10 August 2016

Several years ago I found myself in a conversation with a political consultant who has run national campaigns for candidates seeking election. We were on a flight, and he asked about my profession. I tried to explain “executive pastor” to him, and after a few more questions he concluded, “Sounds kind of like a chief of staff.”

He shared how in his world “chief of staff,” though not an elected position, is way more influential than most people think. He explained that it is the “chief of staff” who manages what information the senior leader receives and thus naturally informs the view of reality. His point was, “who the leader listens to, what the leader hears, impacts everything.” Think about the weight of that statement. The culture and direction of entire organizations, churches, ministries, and institutions is driven in part by whom the leader listens to. The person a leader listens to impacts much of the leader’s decision-making, direction, and perception of challenges and opportunities.

Leaders must listen to others, but wise leaders ensure they are hearing the right voices.

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Source: 3 Traits of People Leaders Should Listen To

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Check Out – 3 Ways to Steward Your Own Failure | For The Church

Michael Kelley for For the Church
10 August 2016

When was the last time you failed?

I don’t mean messed up – I mean failed. Genuinely failed. Maybe you didn’t perform as well as you would have liked to at work. Or perhaps you had been anticipating a conversation at home, and when it finally came time to have it, you lost your temper. Or you set some kind of other personal goal that, try as you might, you just didn’t live up to.

And you failed. Sometimes, that failure is something you just push passed – it’s just another goal or another conversation or another whatever. But sometimes, when you’re really invested in something or someone, and you experience failure, it clings to you. You can’t get rid of it. Even though you might not talk about what happened all the time, it’s nevertheless never far from your memory, and when you find a quiet moment, you’re brought back to that single moment when you realized you had truly, undeniably, irretrievably, failed.

That hurts. And it hurts over and over again. Failure is a heavy emotional weight, but it can also be a very good teacher. Maybe, in fact, the best teacher.

Of course, we could look at the learning we gain from failure in a pragmatic way – we can examine what we did wrong and then put corrective action in place to make sure we don’t repeat the same thing. But there is also a deeply spiritual aspect to that self-examination. When we think about our souls, our ongoing pursuit of Jesus – failure is a great teacher here, too.

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Source: 3 Ways to Steward Your Own Failure | For The Church

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