Important Israeli Issue: Indigestion

Israeli ChefsThere are deeper pieces written about Israel.  They dive into the critical geo-political discussions of history, borders, ethnicity and religion.  This post is about food.  Yes, Israeli food.  While it may not be on the front page, it is a highlight that should not be lost in a discussion of this wonderful country.

Of course if you are traveling to Italy or Latin America, expectations will certainly focus on  the cuisine.  That is not the case in Israel.  Yet, it is at the large, full and colorful Israeli table that life is worked out over warm breads, complicated spreads, charred meats and deep Golan Heights’ wines.

So why the title, “Indigestion.”  The indigestion doesn’t come from the significant topics and the intense Israeli mannerisms, it simply comes from the amount of food.  There is a deep love for people and community in this culture and it shows at the meal table.  The tables are filled with enough that no one will be left out and that all will leave full.

Each meal was served family style.  I don’t do well with family style or at a tapas place.  I’m simply too competitive.  There was no competition at this table.  This was family…others were first, everyone looked out for everyone else and most incredibly, you couldn’t out eat what they provided.

There was only one time that a plate did not return full.  We were eating a catered picnic at a park just a mile or so from the Syrian border.  Our table devoured a delicious burrata covered in balsamic and tomatoes.  We were so taken by the flavor that our compulsion was to ask for a second.  We forgot that this was a picnic in the middle of nowhere.  Needless to say, we did not get seconds…for the first time.

Israeli DessertWe usually didn’t need to ask for seconds at a meal simply because there was so much.  Each meal started with a broad spread of salads and dips.  Dinner would include two main dishes served individually, first a fish and then a beef.  Following the meal there was always a broad selection of a half dozen or so desserts, fruits, chocolates and a mash of sesame seeds called Halvah.

The last dinner of the week, a few folks returned their steaks.  The steaks looked great, my traveling companions were just full and didn’t want to waste the food.  A confused chef came out to see what was going on.  It was a bit of an awkward cross-cultural moment.  The lesson is to take the steak and eat a bite or two if at all possible.

I found this bounty not only in restaurants and hotels but in individual houses.  We stopped at the home of a family of Aramaic Christian near the Lebanon border.  While we only had a moment at their house, they set an entire table for 14 of us.  They had a number of desserts and coffee, tea and drinks.  They were ready for an event, unfortunately we were Americans on a schedule.

I had a similar experience on a street corner of Nazareth.  There was a group of Muslim men drinking Turkish coffee.  Sitting around a hookah with their coffee, they invited me to join them.  The coffee was strong and had the smell and taste of delicious cardamom.  For them the moment was for coffee and conversation.  Unfortunately for the American, the moment was the next moment.  It was a miss.

There are many cups and plates to be enjoyed in community, but you wont find a serving spoon.  Again, being American, I would request a serving spoon for the dishes and servers would comply.  I then sat next to Senior Fellow on Israeli Affairs and she told me, “They don’t have serving spoons because they see everyone as family.  You don’t need a serving spoon when you are with family.”  I discovered that “double dipping” is deemed just fine in Israel.

Isreal MealThe real blessing of a meal in Israel isn’t found in the delicious food, the copious amounts or the community culture, it is found in the length of meal and depth of discussion.  Not unlike an Italian dinner, though not as late, dinner in Israel takes a couple hours.  It’s not just about the courses, it’s about the real conversations about varied lives lived together.

If you needed one more reason to go to Israel, here it is.  Go for the food.  The deepest experiences of Israel are not a meal, but your deepest experiences will be enhanced, remembered, noted and savored around a delicious, broad menu shared in community with others, who are also experiencing the beauty and depth of Israel.  Take it in!


Allies and Associates

We pick them up on the way.  As we move through each day we find allies and associates.  It’s the job we have, work we do, what we do, places we shop, where we drink, friendships we make, neighborhoods we live.Childhood Associates

Most of these associations are done without intentionality or purpose.  We just end up at that place, with those folks or doing that stuff.

In our early years those places, folks and stuff were narrowed by limited travel and a simplified focus.  With each year, these associations grow.  They not only grow in number but in complexity.  “I have a portfolio of work” or “I live bi-coastal.”  And even if we have only one job and one home, we have childhood friends and “new” friends, old activities and new activities, much to which we have said, “Yes” and very little to which we have said, “No more.”

The Old Testament tribe of Israel came into their promised “Yes” through the domination of the Promised Land.  They were instructed to eliminate everyone in the land as they progressed into possession.  They did not.  This means that there were people living among the Israelites for which God did not intend them to live.  Joshua 23 encourages us, in this retelling, to be careful with our allies and associates.

As we pick up our broad variety of allies and associations each day they impact us.  Joshua warns that, if we don’t pick carefully, “they will become snares and traps.”  If you are not properly aligned, it will actually wreck your life.  Joshua said, “you will perish from this good land.”

God fights for His people.  He works on our behalf.  God makes great promises to each of us.  He fulfills His promises (“Not one has failed”).  We are to hold fast to Him.  As we ally and associate, we are to hold fast to his direction.

Have I collected “snares”?  Am I heading into “traps”?  Are there situations to which I am blind because I have “thorns in my eyes?”  Is my back being whipped by what I’ve asked myself to do?  If this is true, let them go.  Let them go, now.  Have no fear.  These snares, traps, thorns or whips are more than just pain.  They will lead to death in life.  Release.

Remember that you are picking them up today.  New allies and associates.  Commit your day to God and ask Him to bring the right people, places and opportunities into your life.





Proofreed My News Letter.

“How can I get more people involved in our vital work?”  This was the question a colleague asked me.  “Our work around the world is so important and there are so few that are even aware of the issues, let alone involved.  What are some creative ways beyond newsletters and blog posts (ugh) to educate potential volunteers, donors and advocates?”

I worked up an answer and I thought I’d share it with you.  We all have causes for which we care and would like to see more people involved.  If you don’t have time to work on a causes, these ideas would work to educate possible customers, employees or even investors.


Great question, Julie.  Here are a few thoughts collected from years of failed experiences and training notes taken on hotel napkins.  None of these events are fundraisers.  These are all “friend-raisers.”

I’ve done umpteen events.  My favorite event is the house party.  This is where a key volunteer or Board member invites friends, neighbors and/or ncolleagues to their house for an evening.  They provide food and drink (although I always offer to pay).  I bring in a mission expert who speaks briefly about the work.  There is a time of questions and answers.  It’s a wonderful little night.

transformation-discSpitball.  Give a sharp crowd information about an issue you are dealing with in your field work.  Outline your current solutions, aka programs.  Ask them to brainstorm ideas for how it could be improved.  Ask them to critique.  What would they do?  What would they like to see us do?

Disappearing Task Force.  Rally a group of potential donors to meet together four times to answer a specific question.  You can start by doing it on the question you are asking me, “What can we do to educate possible volunteers, donors and advocates about our work?  Help me think about how to best do that work.”  Maybe it’s even a long working lunch but if you can get them over three or four sessions they are in.  Ask for their advice.  People love to give it.

Salon Event.  Variation of a house party.  Invite people over to a hosted event at a home or a luncheon.  Give them a provocative question to discuss.  “How does the Gospel invite our participation in the lives of the poor and oppressed of the world?”  You may even give them the question in advance.  Then let people talk.  This is not moderated.  There is no correct answer.  This is just pure joy.

Jeffersonian Dinner.  If the Salon Event is a variation of the House Party, the Jeffersonian Dinner is a variation of the Salon Event.  Again, invite people to a home or meal.  The people do not need to know each other.  Bring in an expert (could even be yourself) to moderate a discussion around a topic.  You can look these up Jeffersonian Dinners on the internet.

Book Group.  Read a book with a small group of donors like “How Helping Hurts” “Whole in our Gospel” or even “Memorize This” (that’s mine).  It’s a short-term commitment.  Just the book during weekly meetings for two months.  Simple.

Conference call with Leadership.  Put together and have the President, Vice President of Programs or even a Country Director share about their work.  Allow people to ask questions.  Make sure that the leader offers some juicy insider knowledge.  People love that almost as much as giving their opinion.

Authentic Experiences of Mission.  One Saturday morning do a simple walk where people carry water the average distance a momma in Kenya walks with water.  Do it as a group.  End at some hipster coffee shop where you can discuss…and drink some water.  ‘nother idea…have someone build a shelter to the size and specifications of an average shelter in South Sudan.  Do a dinner party in it.  Struggle.  Be uncomfortable, people.

Thank You Note Work Party.  Gather people at another hipster coffee shop, share some stories and have them write Thank You notes to your donors…or mine.  Have the hipster coffee shop provide the coffee.

Have peopole proof red your news letter or blog posts.  It’s not only work that needs to be done, but it informs them too.  It’s “workucation” – proven to get the job done and expand peoples’transformation hearts.


That was my email.  Hopefully it gives you some good ideas.  What are some things you have tried?  You can share below.

CRISTA: 4-Star Rating

Charity Navigator VerticalCRISTA Ministries, for the third year in a row, was just rated a Four-Star Charity by Charity Navigator.  Charity Navigator is an independent organization that serves as a  watchdog by evaluating charitable organizations.  Their website,, sees 10 million visits from potential donors per year.

CRISTA scored a 92.22 out of 100 on the Charity Navigator scale.  Scores of 90 or higher deem a Four-Star rating.  Only 10% of the organizations graded by Charity Navigator receive a Four-Star status.

As a part of their rating process, Charity Navigator gave CRISTA perfect scores in Accountability and Transparency, Program Expense ration, Administrate Expense ration and Fundraising Expense ration.  CRISTA’s Program Expense Ratio of 90% is 5% above the 85% threshold for a 10-point score.  The Administrative Expense ratio of 4.2% is well below the 15% threshold for a 10-point score.  The Fundraising Expense ratio of 5.6% is also well below the 10% threshold for a 10-point score.

With such a limited number of organizations receiving a Four-Star status by Charity Navigator, CRISTA is honored by the rating.  We are an organization that believes in the Biblical model that says if we are faithful with the small details, all those reviewed by Charity Navigator, God will entrust us with His significant work.

“Alert the Mainspring”

Over breakfast, I sat with a mentor and confessed.  He was ready to receive my penance and give me his avocational absolution.  It was a blessed time with this dear brother.

After my act of contrition, I said, “I don’t know.  Some of this just seems like my default…sarcasm, criticism, judgemen…” And he cut me off with a stern correction.

“No!” he said.  “Your default position, just like that if you hit restore on a computer, is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, self-control.  This is how God made you.  This is what the Creator put inside of you.  Anything else is programming.”

It rang as truth.  It has continued to be a reminder to me.  From my first of days, I have had programming that altered greatly from my created state.  While I had parents that loved me, I came home to a house with two alcoholic parents.  My college years, weren’t my brightest.  I’ve been hurt, pushed away, cutoff and it has caused pain.  I don’t think my journey is unique.  We’ve all picked up a few dings.

Just this weekend our family was talking about our personal Myers-Briggs and StrengthFinder results.  Our adult kids were discussing “who they were.”  As young people, this is a primary task of their stage in life.  I’d love to say I stopped them and reminded them of this time with my mentor and their “default position,” but I didn’t put it all together until now.

Who we are today, our “ENFP” or “Connectedness” or “Two winging Eight,” is a results of who we were created to be, our “default” position given to us by God, and years and years of living in this world.

Next door we have a two-day old (yes two days).  Yesterday his plum red face and head covered in hair was wailing.  He wanted something or was uncomfortable and he was letting the world know.  Just three days ago, he knew nothing of discomfort and wanting.  All he knew was that when the time came, he was to inhale and grasp.  Everything else he has learned and it is being programmed.  The default position is changing.

So how does this little one stay true to his God-created state?  How do myself or my kids regain the beauty of what God gave to us?  How do any of us live life with a connectedness to our Creator?

The classic Oswald Chambers daily devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest,” gives us thwellspringe start to the answer.  OC writes, “He (God) does not alter human nature; He alerts its mainspring.”

We can define who we are through assessments.  We can refresh and start a new through confession.  We can strive and work through our own might.  But the real work is done when the Creator “alerts the mainspring.”

This happens when we ask God to restore to us the fruits of the Spirit…peace, joy, goodness, patience.  Call upon His son and our earthly example, Jesus.  Live to love Him and our neighbors.  Spend each day looking to live as He created us to be.  It’s a day to day, step by step process that starts with an “alert.”

There has been years of programming.  This won’t be a quick switch, but if allow God to alert the mainspring in your “soul” – the center of your being – the fruits of the Spirit will become more real in your life.

Plus, it’s truly who you are.  Just wanted to remind you over breakfast today.

Two-Years Bittersweet

Last month I celebrated my two year anniversary here at World Concern.  Reflecting on the time strikes bittersweet.

World Concern, as a part of CRISTA Ministries, has offered me an incredible opportunity to learn.  I had two primary areas of study in this new job… 1) Deliberately walking with giving partners and 2) The field of global aid and relief.  I may have known something about the first, but the second has been a steep learning cure.  That learning curve is more significant because of the volume and velocity of today’s international relations and global poverty issues.

It has been sweet to work in this environment.  My grandfather was here at day one of CRISTA Ministries, then King’s Garden.  I have history.  The work is significant.  The sweetest gift has been the encouragement for me to use my gift.  What I do well is wanted, used and that flame is fanned.

Mason and DetroitAs sweet as the place, has been the people.  I get to work with some of the most amazing, loving, giving people across North America.  I’ve traveled to dozens of cities across the continent and been simply amazed by the World Concern donors.  They love Jesus and love others that many don’t even recognize.

So why bitter?  I touched on it a little bit in that last line.  There are so many people in the world today that need help and most of them are not even recognized by us in the western world.  It’s sad how little we hear about the poor and oppressed.  It’s sad how little we hear of the dark places of our world.

The bitterness has pushed me to place and people where I can encourage their engagement.  It’s added to the sweetness.  Maybe that is the point of “bittersweet.”

“Enough Leftover for Pizza”

We have a God that wants to bless us.  He is not afraid to hear our large prayers.  He is ready for our specific requests.  His only expectation is that we are attentive to the small details.  If we do so, he is ready to bless us with the big stuff.  You can read more on this topic from my recent post by clicking here.

As a follow up to that blog post, I wanted to share the following story.  It points to God’s provision and our work to be and pray specific.

I ran a training conference for a few hundred young leaders from around the world.  It was a residential conference, so the students lived in the dormitories on this beautiful, urban college campus.

Students came with a lot of luggage and large bags because this was a three-week training conference.  Coming from around the world, we were moving in students all day.  To make for an easy move-in, students propped open the exterior doors.  Once in their rooms, they opened windows to get fresh air in the rooms that had been vacated by the college students a few weeks earlier.

The hallways were full of laughter, smiles and conversations as these young leaders left their dorms for the general session across campus.  They left with so much excitment and expectation that they didn’t think about closing doors or windows on this beautiful college campus.

When the students returned to the dorms after the orientation, many found that their luggage and bags had been ransacked.  Opportunistic thieves came through propped open doors and open windows and had helped themselves to wallets.  The police said that they had probably been watching us move in all afternoon and when we left the doors open, they took advantage.

We worked through dinner gathering a list of what was stolen.  We were lucky that it was only wallets.  Clothing and computers had gone untouched.  The problem is that these young folks were planning on three weeks of spending money so they had a lot of cash.  At the end of dinner we announced that we would be taking an offering that night at chapel to help the students recover.

The speaker that night asked the students to give.  This was a newly forming community, so we didn’t know what to expect.  We had come up with a figure for how much we needed.  The speaker said, “We need $4,536.”  He could have said, “We need about forty-five hundred” or “We think we need about $4,536.”  Instead, he spoke boldly to the amount, boldly to the work of the investigators in aggregating the total and boldly to the need.  “Let’s pray for $4,536” and then he prayed and passed the baskets.

After chapel the leadership team gathered to count the cash.  These were young leaders in ministry.  They didn’t have much, so most of the giving was in ones, fives, tens and even coins.

We carefully added everything up.  First, groups of dollars, then groups of tens, groups of hundreds and thousands.  We worked to pull it all together like children having busted open piggy banks.

As we looked at the running total and the pile of money remaining, we all thought, through wry smiles, “We are going to land on exactly $4,536.”  Could that be?  Could this be some kind of amazing miracle?

Well, we didn’t land exact.  Our final total was $4,548.  We were $12 over.

The speaker didn’t let the possible miracle go unnoticed, he said to our team, “That is how God works.  He gives you exactly what you need and then enough for a pizza.”

Cards and wallets were found by police a few days later in the bushes near a casino.  There wasn’t any cash remaining.

We distributed the funds from the offering to the victims.  The story of the tally became lore during the three weeks.  It changed the way those students prayed, praying specifically.  It also changed our mindset when we all ate pizza.


Pray Specific for Baggage Fees

This month at World Concern, we are praying for $1.96 million in new funding.  That is $1.96 million to be received in this 30-day month.

I had someone say, “Why not just pray for $2 million?”  I thought, “Because after the diligent work of our accounting and income processing people they have determined we need $1.96 million.”  He responded, “Have you met accountants?  You should pray for $2 million.”  Needless to say, this guy was in sales.

When I look at the Bible and the use of figures, numbers and currency, God does not round.  It wasn’t “about 10 disciples.”  They didn’t catch “around 150 fish.”  Baskets didn’t return with a “few loaves.”  Twelve, 153, 5 and 3, 70, 40 and a whole bunch of other numbers were used in exact figures in the Bible.

The God of the Bible is an exact God.  We aren’t whirling out into space on an approximation…”I’m glad that worked.”  He has numbered your days…God is not thinking you will live “for awhile.”  Recall that this is the Lord that knows the very number of hairs on your head.

In the Jewish mindset numbers were very specific.  They didn’t round up, down or simply change figures, because numbers meant something.  Specific numbers were important in the Biblical times, they were important to God and they should be important to us.

Figures may be intimidating.  Even as I share raising $1.96 million in one month, you may think, “Holy cow” (we’ll get to that).  By having an exact figure, we may miss the target and that is disappointing.  We don’t want to be disappointed, especially in our efforts, prayers or especially, God. Our figures are not intimidating to God.  He had a plan.  This is the Lord that owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  Most of the time we just need a cow.

This isn’t just about numbers, God also wants us to do the work.  The Bible is clear that if we are faithful with the small things, God will bless us with the big things.  J. Robert Clinton of Fuller Seminary calls it the 16:10 Principle.  It’s based on the verse, Luke 16:10, that says if you are faithful with the small things, you will be faithful with the big things.

Should you really expect God to answer your prayers for $1.96 million if you don’t even have the ability to truly know if you actually need $1.97m, $2m or $1.7m?  The scripture and personal experience has shown me that if you are not faithful with the small things, like being specific, God will not bless you with the big things of life.

For a time I was managing a number of ministry budgets that were in deficit.  This required a deep dive into ministry operations and budgeting.baggage.jpg

As I poured over budgets and talked to Executive Directors, there was one consistent.  They all had various issues, from lack of income to a bad hire to an event that lost money, that put them in the red.  But there was one expense that all of them had in common.  Each of these ministries had paid a baggage fee for a plane trip.

In their season of mandated money micromanagement, I asked, “Why?”  They responded, “It was just easy.,” “I didn’t have time to pack,” “Wasn’t sure what to do.”  This was the themes to the answers…a general lack of planning and inattention to the small things.

So then I started to look at surplus budgets in-similar organizations.  Those ministries did not have expenses for baggage fees or book orders from a local book store or a large Starbucks account bill (and Lord knows I like my Venti Frap).

Now does $25 for a baggage fee make a difference?  Not in $1.96 million.  What it pointed to is that they were not being thoughtful of the small things.  The thought was that $25 doesn’t matter.  They are correct.  It is a small amount.  It should not be sweated.  Yet, there should be a mindset that says, each little bit counts because it is all God’s and I will act and plan like that it true.

So the accountants have done the work.  We’ve check the figures.  We trust a big God.  And we are praying for $1.96 million this month.  Join in the fun.  Pray with us and let’s see what God does as we push to the end of the month.

Concussed by CEO Change

Unfortunately, I have had my share of concussions.  First, it was youth football.  Today its from packed snow while skiing and chip-seal while cycling.

I was recently diagnosed with another concussion.  The diagnose was three weeks after the head bang.  For a few weeks, I didn’t have good balance, forgot things and had higher levels of anger.  It was an odd existence first diagnosed by my wife’s observation and then the doctor’s examination.

The same time as my physcial concussion, our organization experienced a corporate concussing.  Our President and CEO of 12-years announced that, at 73-years old and having completed what he had set out to do, he would be moving on.  It was a bonk on the head of our busy business world.

Business GuyThis isn’t my first CEO transition.  I’ve been through others.  One was a violent bonk, after an SEC investigation and firing by the Board.  The other was a long process that still doesn’t seem entirely complete even though a new president is at the desk.  It may not have been violent but was no less challenging because of the length.

Not unlike a concussion on a person, an organization is impacted…

Lack of Balance — Everyone can feel a little out of whack with a CEO transition.  The higher you go in the chain, the more the unbalance.  People wonder about their own job.  There can be a general lack of security.

Memory Loss — In wondering about the future, organizations can drift.  “Will our mission objectives change?”  People can put mission work on hold or even lose sight all together as they spend their energy on future thinking rather than current implementation.  “Should I do this if our leadership is changing?”

Anger — Yes, anger.  Some internal employees won’t be considered for the job and they think they should be.  Some won’t like the selection.  Insiders may even apply and get mad for not getting the job.  There can be frustration, disappointment and outright anger.

So what do you do?  How shall you respond in the midst of a transition?

I couldn’t find a concussion protocol in the Bible, but I did find Jesus, Inc., a Family of Ministries, being rocked.  It’s in Mark 4 starting at verse 35.

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36a Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. 

Jesus kept moving.  He didn’t look to be the new CEO of the crowd.  He knew his mission and he kept after it.  The next step in the Great Mission was to step into a boat.  What is your next step in your portion of the organization?

36b There were also other boats with him. 

You may want to invite other people into this transition period with you.  Gather advisers that have experience in managing change.  Ask for their help.  Ask them to pray.  This is a key season, you will  need as much help as you can get.

Not all boats are there to help.  Some are just there to watch …criticize …complain …critique.  I wish this wasn’t the case, but it is true.  Everyone one, fans and critics, are watching your organization in this season.  You are being watched, please act like it.

37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.

This boat is in a serious storm.  There is a strong possibility that it may sink.  Your organization probably will not fold during this season.  That would be rare.  This is none the less a very serious time for your mission and you should act as such.  Your firm is in a furious squall.  Everyone needs to be aware and on-point, doing top notch work.

38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.

Jesus was asleep.  While in the storm, he was doing the very human act of napping.  Everyone does it.  Not a big deal.  You will notice in the life of Jesus that some of his most human of activities are followed by the most miraculous of results.  Take for example, his death.

HirinBossman Twog a new CEO is a very human task.  Every corporation does it, some many times.  A proper view of a CEO hiring is that this will be more than just a human act.  This will be an chance to take a human action and move the organization into miraculous opportunities.

38b The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

The disciples called on Jesus.  There is no more important action.  In the midst of your corporate transition or your own personal insecurity around a transition, call on Jesus.  He is the great teacher who is ready and available to help.

I also find it interesting that they ask if he “cares.”  Not “Save us!” or “Get up!” but “Do you care?”  In the midst of a transition, those in your organization will  wonder if anyone, including their boss and peers, cares.  Show you care.  Say you care.  I have a personal aspiration during our current transition to tell two dudes a day, “I love you.”  It’s important for folks to know that someone cares.

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”  Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

The result of calling on Jesus was a miracle.  It doesn’t say that the wind and waves simply died down.  No.  Everything went immediately calm.  Jesus is going to do (actually is doing) miracles in your organization, especially in this season.  Be on the look out for them.  What amazing thing is God going to do?  Note them.  Talk about them.  Celebrate them.  They are going to happen (again, they already are).

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

At the end of this interaction, the disciples are left asking “Who is this?”  They were afraid of a storm but when they saw what Jesus did, they had a great fear.

My hope is that when you get to the other side of this CEO transition that every individual will be moved to exclaim, “Wow!”  Ask, “How did that happen?”  And consider the greatest question ever asked, the only question that will be answered by every person – today, yesterday or tomorrow – “Who is this?”

So in summary, how should we live in our corporate concussed state?

  1.  Keep Moving.  Keep after it!
  2.  Call on Others.  Ask people for help.
  3.  Recognize the Season.  It’s a key time…and YOU get to be a part of it.
  4.  Look for Jesus in Simple, Human Activity.
  5.  Call on Jesus.  Pray.
  6.  Look for Miracles.  Jesus will respond and stuff will happen.
  7.  Take time to to consider, “Who is this?”

Your organization may be “concussed” during this CEO transition but…

A boat with Jesus in it may be swamped but will not go down.

A bush with God in it may burn but will not be consumed.

A tribe of God may wander but will not be lost.

And a organization with Jesus Christ at the center may be concussed by transition but as they work through it will come to know the truth of  “Who is this?”

Time Trust

It was a four-hour drive from Chicago to the outskirts of Detroit and arriving just after midnight, I was ready for bed.

Clock RadioI had a 9 a.m. meeting that morning, so when I got to my room I went to set the alarm.  I noticed that the time was off by an hour.  Since we had just gone thorough the spring time change, I tried to change it.  There was no buttons to adjust the time.  I then noticed it was some kind of Wi-Fi-controlled clock.

In that moment, I had two choices in defining the time.  I could trust…

  1. My blurry-eyed, travel-worn version of time or
  2. The cheap bedside clock with the “Wi-Fi” logo.

Of course, I went with my version of the time.

That choice got me out of bed an hour late, to the free hotel breakfast buffet minutes after it had closed and to my meeting just barely on time.

It turns out there is a time zone line between Chicago and Detroit.  I may have landed in Central Time but now I was in the Eastern Time Zone.  The Wi-Fi-controlled clock radio — controlled by the internet, the World Wide Web, by the way — was correct.

We aren’t supposed to trust everything given us by the internet, but the time…  Could I not trust the internet for the time?  Did I really think that I could do better?

(Disclaimer — This was a few years ago when I did not allow my cell phone to automatically change time zones…messed up the calendar…insert Blackberry joke…and we used nightstand clocks, people)

The point here is not the telephone, use of technology, time zones, travel, tiredness, or nightstand timepieces.  The point is control.

Rather than trusting the tiny time clock, I trusted my naïve knowledge of that territory’s time.

It is a small but telling example of the need to read the signs around me and trust what they are telling me.  That includes conversations, events, people, attitudes, seasons, movements…and some Wi-Fi enabled devices…reading it all.

This work is not difficult like reading the future, it’s actually as easy as reading the time.