Posts Tagged: "growth"

Lent Day 18… The Challenge Is To Keep Discovering The Green Growing Edge

The hard thing when you get old is to keep your horizons open. The first part of your life everything is in front of you, all your potential and promise. But over the years, you make decisions; you carve yourself into a given shape. Then the challenge is to keep discovering the green growing edge. —Howard Thurman

Today is my birthday. I’m 45 years old.

Something about that number is appealing to me. It’s not the age of a young ‘un. And it’s not the age of a mummy either.

Even though I haven’t started receiving advertisements in the mail from the AARP (yet), I am old enough to know how easy it is to get stuck, or to just coast through life, or to quit changing, learning, and growing.

Howard Thurman is on to something… the challenge is to keep discovering the green growing edge.

Speaking of God’s people planted in God’s House, Scripture says:

They will be like trees that stay healthy and fruitful, even when they are old. —Psalm 92.14

Like trees that stay healthy and fruitful. Like people who keep discovering the green growing edge. That’s the challenge.

And while there are plenty of bad examples of aging, there are also… Read More

To Give Space

An excerpt from Jean Vanier’s book Community & Growth:

To welcome is one of the signs of true human and Christian maturity.

It is not only to open one’s door and one’s home to someone. It is to give space to someone in one’s heart, space for that person to be and to grow; space where the person knows that he or she is accepted just as they are, with their wounds and their gifts.

That implies the existence of a quiet and peaceful place in the heart where people can find a resting place. If the heart is not peaceful, it cannot welcome.

* [I want to add a little note here on the subject of having a peaceful heart: Plato suggested a metaphor for the mind—that our ideas are like birds fluttering around in our brains... but in order for the birds to ever settle, we need periods of calm and quiet, solitude and reflection.]

To welcome is to be open to reality as it is, with the least possible filtering.

I have discovered that I have many filters within my own self where I select and modify the reality I want to welcome: the reality of the world, of people, of God and of the Word of God. I select what pleases me, boosts my ego and gives me a sense of worth. I reject that which causes inner pain or disturbance or a feeling of helplessness; that which may bring up guilt feelings or anger or a broken sexuality. We all have filters created from our… Read More

Grow Innerly Rather Than Outperformingly

Quoting from Luci Shaw’s book Adventure of Ascent

Today, an email message from an organization known as Training Summits, inviting me to become part of a team of executives and visionaries—trainers whose agenda it is to help their trainees to “outperform.”

I’m willing to admit that there’s a certain value in efficient, forward-looking planning and training, but the word outperform bothers me somehow.

Schadenfreude is all too likely to… Read More

Doing Great Things Without Becoming Darth Vader

Leadership—specifically Christian leadership—is a messy business. It’s messy because it’s never pure. The motive behind what we do is a mixture of Ego, Ambition, & Holy Calling. And there is this shadowy dark side that goes along with our leadership strengths – what I call the Underbelly of (Christian) Leadership.

Is it possible to do great things without abusing power, inflicting damage on others, becoming a control freak, or leading with a sense of entitlement (breaking rules to satisfy personal desires)?

Is it possible to do great things without becoming Darth Vader?

In my opinion, it’s not.

Let me clarify: If the goal is ME DOING GREAT THINGS, I will inevitably abuse power, inflict damage on others, become a control freak, and lead with a sense of entitlement. If it’s about me doing great things, I will become Darth Vader.

Not too many years ago, my goal was to someday have a church of 10,000 people. And my motive was a mixture of… Read More

Lincoln Only Wants Pennies & That’s Just Fine

Lincoln is one of our pastors’ kids. He’s three years old and stinkin’ cute.

The other day I heard him say in a concerned voice, “Where’s my pennies?” His mom helped him find his little penny collection and Lincoln quickly stuffed them in his front pocket with a pleased look on his face.

Watching the whole exchange, I thought, “That’s fun. Lincoln must be learning about money and wants to make sure he’s carrying some with him all the time. Cute – he’s participating in the economy.”

I decided to give him some pennies to add to his collection – so I went to my office in search of spare change… Read More

Part of the Adventure is Knowing How to Grow & Change

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Part of living the adventure is knowing how to grow and change.

Spiritual growth (growing in our relationship with God) isn’t something we do once and complete – it is a daily necessity.

One of my pastors would always say: “you grow daily or die gradually.”

The apostle Paul said:
“I pray that you will keep on growing.” (Philippians 1:9).

What we learned last year, last month, last week, or even yesterday isn’t enough for today and tomorrow.

Because today is a new day, bringing new challenges and new demands.

Growth and change is a way of life – don’t hate it, embrace it.

Athletes, and the sports they compete in, continue to evolve and improve. The game changes. Sometimes the rules change. The level of play continues to rise. New records are achieved as athletes raise the bar year after year.

This is true in life: the game has changed. The bar has been raised. There are new challenges and new demands today.

We cannot be effective today playing at the level we did a decade ago.

Have you heard the expression: “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game”?

Here’s what that phrase is saying: Don’t fault the successful participant in a flawed system; instead try to discern and rebuke that aspect of the system which allows or encourages the behavior which provoked your displeasure.

When it comes to spiritual growth, don’t hate the playa or the game!

Part of the adventure is knowing how to grow and change.

Don’t resent the need to grow and change. That’s just life.

Enjoy doing things differently – it makes you stronger!

Be hungry to learn, adapt, change and grow today.

Embrace growth and change as a way of life.

You choose: grow daily or die gradually.