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Showing posts from January, 2015

“Christian churches are not, as a rule, model communities of good behavior.”

A thought by Philip Yancey (2014-10-21) from his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? (p. 263). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
This is a thought by Eugene Peterson in his introduction to the book of James and share here by Philip Yancey.And he continues, “They are, rather, places where human misbehavior is brought out in the open, faced and dealt with.”
I was a pastor of churches that were hospitals.A place where hurting people came to be healed, emotionally, relationally, physically and spiritually.And the truth is we were not “model communities of good behavior.”We were for the most part a mess but we were people who knew that God loved us and that each other loved each other and accepted each other.That to me is what the church is.
As Philip says, “We must always remember that we bear the news of that lofty good as humble pilgrims, not as haughty power brokers. Somehow Christians have gotten the reputation as…

“Without recognizing our own emotions, we will be poor at managing them…”

A thought by Daniel Goleman; Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee, (2013-07-23) from their book, Primal Leadership, With a New Preface by the Authors: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Kindle Locations 618-619). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
In finishing the statement they say, “…and less able to understand them in others. Self-aware leaders are attuned to their inner signals. They recognize, for instance, how their feelings affect themselves and their job performance. Instead of letting anger build into an outburst, they spot it as it crescendos and can see both what’s causing it and how to do something constructive about it. Leaders who lack this emotional self-awareness, on the other hand, might lose their temper but have no understanding of why their emotions push them around.”
Know thyself is so important.At one point I realized that my moodiness was hurting me in my relationships.I was hard to b…

“When people feel good, they work at their best.”

A thought by Daniel Goleman; Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee, (2013-07-23) from their book, Primal Leadership, With a New Preface by the Authors: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Kindle Locations 379-380). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
And a lot of people today are not working at their best.
They continue, “Feeling good lubricates mental efficiency, making people better at understanding information and using decision rules in complex judgments, as well as more flexible in their thinking. Upbeat moods, research verifies, make people view others— or events— in a more positive light. That in turn helps people feel more optimistic about their ability to achieve a goal, enhances creativity and decision-making skills, and predisposes people to be helpful.”
That is true with your friends and the people in your family.How does your family feel when they head out to school or to work?Do they feel good or …

“Negative emotions— especially chronic anger, anxiety, or a sense of futility— powerfully disrupt work, hijacking attention from the task at hand.”

A thought by Daniel Goleman; Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee, (2013-07-23) from their book, Primal Leadership, With a New Preface by the Authors: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Kindle Locations 362-363). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
And so many people come to work each day and they live each day with something negative that is effecting their emotions and in turn will affect their work and of course their relationships.
The authors share a couple of examples.“For instance, in a Yale study of moods and their contagion, the performance of groups making executive decisions about how best to allocate yearly bonuses was measurably boosted by positive feelings and was impaired by negative ones. Significantly, the group members themselves did not realize the influence of their own moods.”I think I would want my boss to be in a good mood when he is thinking about my bonus.
Another one, “For instance,…

“Both good and bad moods tend to perpetuate themselves.”

A thought by Daniel Goleman; Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee, (2013-07-23) from their book, Primal Leadership, With a New Preface by the Authors: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Kindle Location 356). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
I have found in my own approach to life, both of those to be true.The people around me always were afraid of what mood I was in and usually it was a bad one.Until I came to the place in my life that I realized that I was hurting myself and those around me with my bad moods and started striving to get control of my emotions and of my moods.
Here is what the writers here say, “Both good and bad moods tend to perpetuate themselves, in part because they skew perceptions and memories: When people feel upbeat, they see the positive light in a situation and recall the good things about it, and when they feel bad, they focus on the downside. Beyond this perceptual skew, the st…

“Unless we love natural goods — sex, alcohol, food, money, success, power — in the way God intended, we become their slaves, as any addict can attest.”

A thought by Philip Yancey (2014-10-21) from his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?(p. 80). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

“In the way that God intended” is the key to a fulfilled life.
Philip says, “When I leave the doctor’s office after an annual checkup I have a clearer picture of my ideal health, which will include exercise, proper diet, and careful attention to some nagging ailments. From time spent with God, I have a clearer picture of spiritual health too — not an anxious, furrowed-brow perfectionism or an uptight legalism, but a relaxed confidence in God’s love and a trust that God has my very best interests at heart.”
Philip continues, “I cannot imagine anyone following Jesus around for two or three years and commenting, ‘My, think of all he missed out on.’ More than likely they would say, ‘Think of all I am missing out on.’”
So what are we really missing out on?

“Living ‘in the world,’ we can look for natural opportunities to dispense grace — not just words — to those around us.”

A thought by Philip Yancey (2014-10-21) from his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?(p. 74). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Consider this… Philip says, “What would it take for church to become known as a place where grace is ‘on tap’? All too often outsiders view us as a kind of elite club of the righteous. An alcoholic friend once made this point by comparing church with AA, which had become for him a substitute church. ‘When I show up late to church, people turn and look at me. Some scowl, some smile a self-satisfied smile — See, that person’s not as responsible as I am. In AA, if I show up late the meeting comes to a halt and everyone jumps up to greet me. They realize that my desperate need for them won out over my desperate need for alcohol.’”
Oh that we would see that and convey that.The world doesn’t need condemnation, judgment and criticism.It needs love and it has been given the good news that God lov…

“The issue is not whether I agree with someone but rather how I treat someone with whom I profoundly disagree.”

A thought by Philip Yancey (2014-10-21) from his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?(p. 26). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Philip continues, “We Christians are called to use the ‘weapons of grace,’ which means treating even our opponents with love and respect. As usual, Jesus shows the way. When the Pharisees taunted him as ‘a Samaritan and demon-possessed,’ he denied the accusation of demon-possession but did not protest the racial slur. He rebuked the disciples for their call for violence against the Samaritans. Pointedly, he made a Samaritan the hero of one of his finest parables. He went out of his way to visit a Samaritan village and commanded his Jewish disciples to take the gospel to other such villages. Eventually the disciples got the point: when Samaritans became Christ-followers with ‘great joy’ after Jesus’ ascension, they received the Holy Spirit through the ministry of Peter and John — the sam…

“The fundamental task of leaders, we argue, is to prime good feeling in those they lead.”

A thought by Daniel Goleman; Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee, (2013-07-23) from their book, Primal Leadership, With a New Preface by the Authors: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Kindle Locations 79-80). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
What a foreign thought.Most would say that the fundamental task of leaders is to get a job done no matter the feeling of the ones they are leading. But they say, “At its root…the primal job of leadership is emotional.” And “That occurs when a leader creates resonance—a reservoir of positivity that frees the best in people.”
They continue, “We believe this primal dimension of leadership, though often invisible or ignored entirely, determines whether everything else a leader does will work as well as it could. And this is why emotional intelligence —being intelligent about emotions— matters so much for leadership success: Primal leadership demands we bring emotional in…

“It makes all the difference in the world whether I view my neighbor as a potential convert or as someone whom God already loves.”

A thought by Philip Yancey (2014-10-21) from his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?(p. 44). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Let me ask you something.How do you feel when you know that someone looks at you as a person that they want to convert to their view?
I have a very good friend who is a San Francisco Giants’ fan.He loves the Giants and I love the Los Angeles Dodgers.Now what if he looked at me totally from the standpoint that he was going to convert me to being a Giants’ fan.I mean all he does is tell me how much better it is to love the Giants.They have won the World Series 3 out of the last 5 years.He just knows that I should want to be a Giants’ fan.But he doesn’t criticize me.He just accepts me.He is my friend.
Philip says, “I’ve yet to meet someone who found their way to faith by being criticized.” But we do that all the time don’t we?
Philip shares some thoughts that the priest Henri Nouwen had from a…

“It takes no grace to relate to someone who looks, thinks, and acts just like me.”

A thought by Philip Yancey (2014-10-21) from his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? (p. 37). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Now if Christ would have taken the attitude that He only wanted to be with someone just like Him then for sure He would have never come to earth.I mean He was God.But we have a tendency to only be around people just like us but that isn’t what He did.
Philip quotes Jonathan Sacks, who was the former chief rabbi of Great Britain and he said, “The Hebrew Bible [Old Testament] in one verse commands, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ but in no fewer than 36 places commands us to ‘love the stranger.’ ” He adds, “The supreme religious challenge is to see God’s image in one who is not in our image.”
And then Philip says, “All too often Christians take the opposite approach. Some demonize opponents, branding them ‘secular humanists’ or ‘heretics’ or ‘perverts,’ and then retreat into a …

“God has a large stake in how we love.”

A thought by Philip Yancey (2014-10-21) from his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? (p. 35). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
That is so true.He sent His only Son down here because of His real love for us.He totally put it on the line when He did that.And then after Jesus, His Son was killed but then rose from the grave Jesus then left and went to be with God again and He left it all to us to do what He started.He said in the first part of Acts 1 that we were to continue doing what He, Jesus had begun.
Philip says, “John adds that through love we make known an invisible God: ‘No one has ever seen God ; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.’”
He continues, “Here’s a good test of how well we love: Are other people glad to be with us? Somehow Jesus managed to attract the kind of people frowned upon by most religious types, and yet those renegades clearly liked being with…

“I doubt God keeps track of how many arguments we win…”

A thought by Philip Yancey (2014-10-21) from his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?(p. 34). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

He then finishes the statement with, “God may indeed keep track of how well we love.”So how are we doing on that list, I wonder? Philip shares earlier in this book, “Jesus ‘came from the Father, full of grace and truth,’ wrote John in the preface to his gospel. The church has worked tirelessly on the truth part of that formula: witness the church councils, creeds, volumes of theology, and denominational splits over minor points of doctrine. I yearn for the church to compete just as hard in conveying what Paul calls the “incomparable riches” of God’s grace. Often, it seems, we’re perceived more as guilt dispensers than as grace dispensers.”
Yes we need truth and we need to share truth but the world really needs grace and love.
Philip says, “When we make condescending judgments, or proclaim …