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Showing posts from April 13, 2008

Finding My Voice

Kouzes and Posner in The Leadership Challenge cite "finding your voice" (Kouzes & Posner, 2002, p. 44) as essential to being congruent and credible in leadership. This is necessary to "model the way,"(Kouzes & Posner, p. 13) one of the "Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership"(Kouzes & Posner, p. 13). They write, "There's the message we want to deliver, and then there's the expression of that message. It's about having a voice and about giving voice" (Kouzes & Posner, p. 44). To find our voices, we must clarify our values and express ourselves. Without fully comprehending "the values, beliefs, and assumptions that drive [us]" (Kouzes & Posner, p. 44), we cannot be credible leaders.

These are concepts we have thought about and discussed a lot in the classes Creating Shared Vision and Personal Leadership for Change. So, when I saw the post Finding Your Voice on Gifted for Leadership, my curiosity was piqued.…

Justice Revival

Revival is not something Lutherans discuss much, except with possible disdain when it comes to its seemingly inherent emotionalism. Jim Wallis at Sojourners has a different idea about revival though and is conducting justice revivals. Here is a clip of one in conjunction with a Vineyard Church.

More on good shepherds

Ezekiel 34 hit very close to home for me. A few weeks ago, we heard of a pastor friend, who had married us, and a situation he was involved in. What the repercussions will be, only God knows, but it brought me up short, reminding me of the need for faithfulness in fellowship with Christ so I can be a faithful shepherd to whatever flock I am responsible for now and in future ministry. Good and godly leadership comes from the inside out. Leaders can only lead based on their values and who they are. I do not want to be as the shepherds Ezekiel addresses, indicted by God as faithless, careless shepherds.
Blenkinsopp aptly notes, “Pastoral office is a response to needs that call out for selfless dedication and unremitting solicitude,”[1] leadership being a sacred trust. Leaders must be concerned for the “least of these” (Mt 25). The issue is not orthodoxy or orthopraxy, but compassionate care, as modeled throughout Jesus’ ministry. It is all about God and his people, not about us.
We hear ec…

I beg to differ with Pr. Jeff

In reading Pr. Jeff's recent post, regarding former President Jimmy Carter's laying a wreath on the grave of Yasser Arafat, we will have to agree to disagree. He was a saint by no means nor was he the worst sinner either. Having lived in Palestine in the 1980s during the first Palestinian uprising, I could see there was more than enough blame to go around for all parties concerned, not just Israeli and Palestinian. Christian Zionists didn't help the situation either with their blanket approval of everything Israel did and their blanket condemnation of all things Palestinian.

It has been wonderful the last five years to be here in the New England Synod, a companion synod to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land because of my time spent there. Bishop Munib Younan was the keynote speaker at last year's New England Synod Assembly. Here is a link to the PowerPoint he presented. A number of visits have been made to the Holy Land by folks from this synod…

Kix, Politics, & Approval

How many of us remember the Kix ad with the tagline, "Kid tested, mother approved?" I always felt good about getting Kix for my kids because it was basically healthy, low in sugar etc., not because of the cereal's motto, though I did as a mother approve.

We see political ads ad nauseum at this time of year and we hear plenty of "My name is [insert your favorite (or least favorite) candidate's name] and I approve of this message." One does get some sense of credibility in hearing that statement. At least the candidate knows what's being said of him/her.

One of this morning's lectionary readings was from 1 Thessalonians 2 where Paul is defending his ministry. As I was prayerfully reading this, what particularly struck me was these few words "approved by God." It is God's approval that Paul could look to in defense of his work, his concern: "pleas[ing] God who tests our hearts."

And me? I have a rather high need for approval of ot…

Good Shepherd Sunday

For those of us that worship at liturgical churches that use the lectionary, today is Good Shepherd Sunday. This seems especially apropos since in my undergrad Prophets class, my exegesis was on Ezekiel 34 which addresses shepherds who did not look after the sheep, but only cared for themselves. Today's scripture readings were Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10.

God certainly delights in driving a point home to us, doesn't he? The passages from Ps 23 and John 10 went through my mind frequently while studying Ezekiel 34 and reading others' posts. As always, the Lord models the way for us and enables us to follow.Here are some contrasts.Bad ShepherdsGood ShepherdLike having no shepherd at all.God the shepherd.Feed selves. Feed sheep with good pasture.Did not strengthen the weak.Strengthens weak.Did not heal the sick.Heals sick.Did not bind up injuredBinds up injuredDid not bring back strays.Searches for/brings back strays.Did not seek the lost.God will res…