Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Re-reading leadership

It's important to realize that...not everyone is called to be a leader. After all, for leaders to succeed, there must be followers. Most of us need to be good, dedicated followers in our earthly pursuits. And all of us, naturally, need to be followers of the Lord Jesus. In God's sight, leaders are not more highly valued than followers. He loves us all.

A quote from Bob Briner's 'The Leadership Lessons of Jesus'. There is tremendous value in re-reading a book. First time I read this I only saw negatives. My view was that the authors missed the point that everyone is called to lead in some way, and should earnestly desire to lead. 

The reason is that we are all leaders in one way or another. Some are managers at work, others are teachers of students or even a school prefect. Some are leaders at home. Think of a mum on her own leading your children in the way they should grow. Others are simply role model to their friends! 

If it is true that we are all readers in some capacity then, we should all desire not only to lead but be more effective at it for the glory of God. Indeed, desiring to be a follower in the home when you are a father is a sin. It runs counter to the biblical injunction. 

But here is where re-reading helps. A few paragraphs down the line, the authors make an important point which when read in conjunction with my thoughts above take on huge significance : 

Tragedies occur when we fail to take on leadership responsibilities that we are clearly called to fulfill, or when we pursue or demand leadership responsibilities without objectively and prayerfully examining our ability to lead. When either of these occur, people are hurt, resources are wasted, and good opportunities for growth are retarded.

Quiet Sermons

I was recently preaching at a sister church close to our home, where I have done so over the last two years. There is a young man who attends the church with a learning disability called David (not his real name). He is looked after in a nearby care home. 

Every Sunday morning someone brings David to the fellowship gathering. Many of the carers who bring him are not followers of Jesus. On Sunday he was brought in by John (not his real name). 

John was the most attentive to the word preached throughout the sermon. I had an opportunity to chat with John afterwards. He found the preached Word a great help to him. Sadly, as I am only a visitor I couldn't follow up.

Then it dawned on me. David with a serious learning disability, that includes is inability to speak, is bringing people who do not follow Jesus to hear the good news of a Saviour who died for sinners. He is doing more than able bodied people.

God is using his disability in an extraordinary way. I don't know how many care workers (I have seen at least five different people now) will be saved by hearing. I don't even know how many are already followers of Jesus. But they are hearing the good news of Jesus and that is more than enough! 

What is amazing is that David has no idea of his impact. But I bet you when God looks at David he just smiles. He says, "son, you are doing well with the disability I gave you". A crown of glory awaits David. It is just like God to take the brokeness aside and make it beautiful. 

I went to preach at this local church but I came back having been preached to by David through his learning disability. My wife and I talked about it on our way home. God is amazing! 

I certainly need to hear David's quiet sermon. The message delivered through him to me seems to be clear. Your current difficult situation is God's perfect opportunity to bless others through it. Just stop feeling sorry for yourself. Start asking God how you can even more of a tool for the advancement of the gospel through it! Dare to be a David!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

William Cowper's Blood Fountain (Part II)

The dying thief rejoiced to see
that fountain in his day;
and there have I, though vile as he,
washed all my sins away.

We continue our exploration of William's Cowper's 'Blood Fountain' with a look at this second verse. This is an unexpected turn. It appears that far from being a place of sorrow, the fountain is in fact a place of joy. Those who come to the blood fountain are not expected to leave as they came, they leave rejoicing because the blood from Immanuel's veins flows with new life!

Friday, 10 July 2015

An Empty Page

I am nothing without you
I am not ashamed to say
But sometimes still I doubt you along my way
I am nothing without you
An eagle with no wings
If I forget about you, I lose everything
My heart is an empty stage
O let your play begin
My life is an empty page for you to colour me with your love

It’s such a common feeling to be misunderstood
But from you there’s no concealing
You know my bad and good
So I am not pretending my story never fails
But I have already read the ending
And your love prevails
My heart is an empty stage
Let your play begin
My life is an empty page for you to colour me with your love

The words are from Jonathan Veira’s song Empty Page one of the tracks off ‘Rhythms of the Heart’ album. I like his music, especially this song. Sadly, I couldn’t find the lyrics online, so I had to write them down word for word. I have had this song for many years and it has always spoken me at many levels. It has often driven me to tears of joy when I listen to it. I think it resonates with me because the song brings to the fore two crucial realities.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

One Minute Lessons (Lesson 22)

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 

(2 Corinthians 5:21)


I am completely righteous in Jesus Christ whether Satan likes it or not. Not just righteous but the very righteousness of God! Not merely just an exchange of his righteousness for my sinfulness but completely transformed.