November 23, 2010

Bible Trivia

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:44 am by Steve

  1. How old was Moses when he died? A: He was 120 years old, according to the Bible (Deuteronomy 34:7).
  2. How tall was Goliath, the Philistine giant slain by David with a stone hurled from a sling? A: “Six cubits and a span,”
  3. What biblical Babylonian king cast Daniel into the lion’s den for praying to God in defiance of a royal decree? A: Darius the Mede (Book of Daniel, Chapter6).
  4. What is the longest name in the Bible? A: Mahershalalbashbaz, which is also written Maher-shalal-hash-baz. (Isaiah 8:1).
  5. In the Bible, which of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse rides a red horse? A: War (Book of Revelation).
  6. How many books of the Bible are named for women? A: Two – Ruth and Esther.
  7. What language is Jesus believed to have spoken? A: Aramaic — an ancient language in use on the north Arabian Peninsula at the time of Christ. A modern version of the language is spoken today in Syria and among Assyrians in Azerbaijan.
  8. In the Bible, for what “price” did Esau sell his birthright to his younger twin brother, Jacob? A: Pottage of lentils (Genesis 25:29-34).
  9. What did the lords of the philistines offer Delilah for revealing the secret of Samson’s strength? A: They promised the sum of 1,100 pieces of silver each, according to the Bible (Judges 16:5).
  10. In the Old Testament, who was Jezebel’s husband? A: Ahab, King of Israel (I Kings 16:28-31).

November 16, 2010

No Personal Relationship

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:32 pm by Steve

When we joined the church we make a sacred vow to live our lives by a certain set of values, to treat each other as disciples of Jesus and to work together for the good of all. Sounds pretty impressive doesn’t it? But how many take those vows seriously, take their word seriously or take their relationship with God seriously.

We make a commitment to submit our lives to the guidance and teaching of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit and with the aid of those Christ calls to leadership and ministry. We first connect to Christ and then with a new frame of reference and outlook we connect to others with an attitude of grace and gratitude. Granted, we don’t always model it perfectly, but we learn from our mistakes and from the example of others. But we must recognize our need to learn and grow. We’re not prefect – yet! As Christians we want to be more and more like Jesus every day.

So what were those things we commit to live and practice together?

  1. Prayer – a personal dialogue with God the Father through the intercession of the God the Spirit
  2. Worship – the natural response to our awareness and experience of God’s Extravagant Grace
  3. Giving – to give our heart and our treasures to God in Compelling Generosity
  4. Serving – to respond in practical ways to the needs of the world with grace and humility.

It is not at all uncommon, however, to bypass the personal connection with God that develops in parts 1&2 and move to the outward and visible signs in parts 3&4. We’re often more interested in what our friends see than in what God knows.

Paul addresses this disconnect in 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13:1-7

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

1 John 4:12 “If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

1 John 4:14: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

 

Re-Writing 1 Corinthians 13:6-7 We get a clearer picture of who God is and what we gain from a personal relationship.

“God is patient, God is kind. He is not envious, He does not boast, He is not proud. He does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Skip steps 1 & 2 in your personal relationship and you lose the passion, power and purpose of the Christian life.

November 2, 2010

My Problem with Delegation

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:08 am by Steve

Why is it so difficult?  And why are am I so bad at it?  Here are three very simple reasons…

Kent Fenwick writes:  I will confess that I find it hard to delegate and ask for help. Many times I take the “It’ll be better if I do it myself attitude.” Delegation is a habit and like all habits it takes practice and discipline to get it right. In fact, I think there are three dimensions to delegation that we have to master.

 

The first is knowing what you can delegate. There are some things that you cannot delegate. Going to the bathroom, eating, sleeping and your art. Your art is the thing that you do that no one else does, and hopefully you get paid for it. My art is being able to program and to take complicated business rules and requirements and boil them down to simple applications. Maybe your art is customer service, blogging, serving the best coffee you can etc. Once you know what you can’t delegate, everything else is fair game. Almost everything. I like to stick by the 2 minute David Allen rule defined in Getting Things Done. If the thing you are trying to do can be done by you in 2 minutes or less, do it and do it then and there. Otherwise, Delegate.

 

The second is knowing how to delegate. This is the actual act of delegation. Asking someone else to do something for you. This is also a skill/art that requires practice. In the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen Covey talks about stewardship delegation in contrast to gopher (go-for) delegation.

Stewardship delegations defines the rules of the game and the desired outcome but leaves the details to the delegated.

Gopher delegation is micromanagement at it’s worst. You define every step with so much detail you may as well do it yourself. The more trust you have in the people you are delegating to the more natural stewardship delegation becomes but it takes practice and trust. Don’t forget. Ps and Qs go a long way in this step.

 

The third is actually doing it. Putting on your shorts and shoes is great, but it will do you no good unless you go for a run. (Anne Fenwick Proverb)

You must take the plunge and start delegating! Play the WTWTCH (What’s the worst that can happen) Game. For example, when I used the acronym WTWTCH, I hoped you read the explanation and chuckled at the ridiculous use of an acronym in that situation. But maybe you didn’t. Maybe you think I’m an idiot and aren’t even reading this anymore. That’s about the worst that can happen. So I did it. Same goes for delegation.

Ask yourself What’s the worst that can happen?

Someone will say no.

Okay, then ask someone else.

Someone will do it wrong.

Yes, that’s true. However, use it as a chance to learn and get better at delegating. Did you define the task enough? Did you define it too much? Did you give the person any resources or recommendations that might have been helpful? Don’t assume right away that because it wasn’t done right it must be their fault. It’s likely partially or fully your fault.

There is much more to this article that I think you’ll really find beneficial today.