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Showing posts from March 16, 2008

Trouble Brewing?

It is good to take some time to look at where we're at, how far we have or have not come, and where we're going. We do that as individuals. Do we do that often enough as a church? During the summer, Emanuel Lutheran Church, West Warwick, RI did that in a series of cottage meetings in members' homes. It was enlightening and action has been taken as a result.

Gordon MacDonald suggests what it could look like if the church followedStarbuck's example of closing for a time to retool. What do you think?

Pictures courtesey of Fotosearch.

Ezekiel 4:1-17 An exegesis

One of the final courses I'm taking for my bachelor's degree is a course on the Old Testament prophets. Each week we exegete a passage of scripture. Last week's was Ezekiel 4:1-17. Here's what I wrote.
Ezekiel 4:1-17I.Historical/Cultural Context Ezekiel alone is situated solely in Babylon,[1] with the prophet and other Jews in exile. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah. No details are available outside of this book. He was from a priestly family, [2] mentioned in “a postexilic list of priests (I Chron. 24:16)[3] and was widowed “in 588 B. C. at the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem (24:15-18).”[4] Due to sin, the Southern Kingdom would be exiled.II.Analysis of the Passage-Symbolic Acts Against JerusalemEzekiel demonstrates God’s message symbolically. This “enhances[s] … the spoken word, to make possible … [a] more intense kind of identification.”[5] He depicts Jerusalem’s besiegement on a “clay tablet” (Ezek 4:1) or brick, playing the Babylonian part with “the besieging…

A Focused Life

“A vision is a picture of a possible, ongoing future you intend to create that illuminates your underlying purpose, values, and beliefs” (Stoner, Zigarmi, & Blanchard, 2003, p. 2). Paul paints it in Ephesians as, “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20, Today’s New International Version). Paul was a determined, focused leader who effectively communicated his vision to the church. “Paul almost single-handedly spread Christianity…His secret was a focused life” (Warren, 2002, p. 32). He wrote, “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13, New Living Translation). This enabled empowerment of others in leadership.“… the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2, Today’s New International Version). Paul shared leadership. He entrusted his churches to those he taught. Paul loved his followers, revis…

Jesus as Servant-Leader

“When an organization’s vision stems from the innermost values and beliefs … it generates a tremendous excitement, a compelling spirit, and a passionate commitment… Enormous energy is … unleashed” (Stoner, Zigarmi, & Blanchard, 2003, p. 1). Jesus best exemplifies “…vision stem[ing] from innermost values and beliefs” (Stoner et al., p. 1). Jesus generated commitment because “Knowing your purpose motivates your life… produces passion. Nothing energizes like a clear purpose” (Warren, 2002, p. 33). “’My food…is to do the will of him who sent me…’” (John 4:34, Today’s New International Version). Followers are freed to “feel … empowered to act independently and be assured that they are benefiting the organization” (Stoner et al., 2003), p. 1).Jesus was credible. “Do What You Say You Will Do [is a] …commonsense definition of credibility … To be credible in action, leaders must be clear about their beliefs… know what they stand for” (Kouzes & Posner, 2002, p. 38). Jesus’ words were su…