30 Days With Wesley – Day 13: The Pointless War

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(Optional Reading: Ephesians 2:13-16)

Many years ago, I remember sitting at home in my mom and dad’s room watching the television as the news began to report of the first gulf war. I still remember this moment, because I was sitting there thinking, war impacts so many thing. People’s fathers and mothers were on the other side of the world fighting. There was another war going on when I was younger that I remember as well. As I became older, it dubbed it, the pointless war.

The pointless war was a war of church denominations. There was a feel of; “If you are not in the denomination that I am, then you are not as great of a Christian as I am.” I went to a private christian high school. There were many denominations represented there. One of which was Catholic. At one point I remember thing, “Why are they even here? They aren’t real Christians.” Oh the naïvety of my youth.

Paul writes in Ephesians 2:13-14, “But now, thanks to Christ Jesus, you who once were so far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Christ is our peace. He made both Jews and Gentiles into one group. With his body, he broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us.” I am thankful today that the pointless war doesn’t seem to be raging as strong as it once did, but maybe the war is going strong wherever you are reading this from.

I remember some of the students in my youth group asking questions about Catholics, Baptists, and some other denominations and I made one thing very clear to them. We are all on the same team. We might believe some things different but at the core we all still believe that Jesus Christ is our savior. Christ died to unite us. We must not waste our time bickering over non-salvational issues that we view differently. Let us stop this pointless war and focus on that which is most important: Building the Kingdom of God.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

Leadership Starts With You – Book Review

Leadership Starts With You

Trust is a big deal. It helps us know that we can rely on something or someone to do exactly what he or she says they will do. The same is true when it comes to leadership. Tim Milburn addresses this issue of trust within leadership in his book, properly titled, “Leadership Starts With You: If I can’t trust you to lead YOU, how can I trust you to lead ME?”

“The investment you make in you is actually an investment in those whom you’ll influence.”

Milburn’s book on leadership is as straight forward as the title makes it seem. There is not a lot of beating around the bush. Leadership Starts With You is a little book full of practical and applicable leadership truths that anyone can apply to his or her life. Milburn’s leadership principles are prefect for someone trying to develop better leadership within their career, but these principles branch far beyond the work space. These lesson apply to every aspect of your life: work, school, family, health, personal goals and so on.

Milburn’s book revolves around a simple rule; The Rhodium Rule. Milburn writes,

Rhodium is a chemical element (chemical symbol Rh and atomic number 45) listed among the most precious metals on earth (in between Platinum and Gold). It is often used as a coating on white gold to improve its luster and on sterling silver to reduce tarnish… Rhodium is added to other precious metals to help them look better, last longer, and enhance their personal qualities.

From this Milburn formed his Rhodium Rule stating

“Do unto yourself what will inspire the best in others.”

From this simple rule, Milburn begins to flesh out what it looks like to lead yourself in better ways. In some ways, it is hard to say much more about Milburn’s book without explaining every detail. One thing I can confidently say is this, Leadership Starts With You has been one of most impacting books in my life. It has reshaped how I look at my career, my family and myself. This book is a must read for anyone wanting to lead people but even more it is perfect for anyone that wants to lead his or herself better.

You can pick up Leadership Starts With You online at amazon.com ($8.09 paperback or $4.99 kindle) and if you’d like to find out more about Tim Milburn and his leadership training visit: http://www.TimMilburn.com

4 Steps to Fasting For Lent

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Happy season of Lent everyone! If you did not know, we are currently in the church season of lent right now and it is something practiced in many churches around the world. Lent takes place during the 40 days leading up to Easter morning. Traditionally, christians who take part in Lent will fast or give up (abstain from taking part in) something for the 40 days of Lent. This idea of Lent and fasting is what has brought me to the subject of this post today. I want to share my 4 steps to fasting for Lent.

I want to take a moment and quickly say I am definitely not the definitive answer to this topic. I am simply sharing my view of fasting for Lent. These 4 steps have been formed over a time of studying the scripture and taking part in Lent. Feel free to disagree with me. It is ok. Now that we have that out of the way, lets get started.

 

STEP 1: Decide on something to fast that is difficult to give up. It needs to be something that causes you a little bit of discomfort or pain when you do not have it in your daily routine anymore.

When you fast something difficult to give up and something that brings discomfort, you are able to experience a very very very very small fraction of the pain Jesus endured for you on the cross. In this pain and discomfort, the Easter story become tangible to you.

 

STEP 2: What you fast needs to be something part of your daily routine.

The practice of fasting is about centering yourself to God. When you fast something in your daily routine, you will reach a time when you hit a mental wall when you go to take part in your normal routine of something but quickly remember you are fasting. It is in this time, when you would normally partake in that food, hobby or practice that you should take time for prayer, reading scripture and listening to God in place of the time you would spend on the thing you’re fasting.

 

STEP 3: What you fast needs to be something that we greatly enjoy and that we are able to get back when lent is over.

This might seem like a strange step, but it is an important step. In the same way that you experience Easter in a tangible way through the pain of your fast, you also experience Easter in the joy of finishing your fast and getting your item of fasting back. Easter morning is all about the celebration of Jesus being risen from the grave. When you finish your fast there will be a sense of joy and celebration. In this joy, you are able to experience a very very very small amount of the joy the followers of Jesus felt upon see Jesus alive again.

 

STEP 4: When you fast, do not tell anyone about your fast.

This final step comes straight from scripture. Jesus says in Matthew 6:16-18,

“And when you fast, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They distort their faces so people will know they are fasting. I assure you that they have their reward. When you fast, brush your hair and wash your face. Then you won’t look like you are fasting to people, but only to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Simply put, fasting is all about you and God. No one else needs to be involved.

There you have it! My 4 steps to fasting for lent. Let me know what your thoughts are on fasting for lent in the comments below.

 

(Photo from: http://www.capuchinfranciscans.org/2014/02/27/pre-lent-reflectiona-historical-perspective/)