Archives For Paul

Precision Cut Grace

May 26, 2015

Thirteen years ago I had laser eye surgery. In this procedure, the patient lies on a table, staring at the light. Behind the light is a computer guided laser, reshaping your cornea to correct your vision.

I so vividly remember this simultaneously exciting and terrifying event. The first eye went fine.

“Stare at the light and don’t look away.”

As they began the second eye, I suddenly realized I looked away! “Oh No!”

The laser immediately stopped. The surgeon told me to look back at the light. The computer-guided memory of the laser began again, exactly where it had left off.

The second eye was better “than perfect” when my vision was checked.

The laser was precision set for my eye. It was exact to the uniqueness of my situation.

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Delegation With Trust

June 28, 2014

We’ve all experienced the dreaded dirty delegation.

We are given a task, but then the supervisor micro-manages our every move, never really releasing us to do the job. We end up watching them do it and walk away feeling unsatisfied.

Why didn’t they just do it themselves?

We feel a lack of trust.

No one wants to be on the receiving end of delegation with strings attached. Unfortunately, we may have been on the giving end of it as well.

Gracious, trusting leadership is not the corporate norm. Even in churches or the non-profit world, it is common for the charismatic leader to have everything flow through them.

Turnover can be high because people feel like minions doing the king’s bidding rather than a trusted, integral part of the team.

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By Chris Sardegna

We hear a lot today about Christians filling the church chairs, but not doing much with their faith other than being spectators

“Those lazy, unmotivated Christians, they just sit in the pews!”

What are we saying? Real Christians are on God’s mission, engaging in God’s calling. We quote James of faith without action is dead.

So, we move from one position to another:

“Taking” to “Giving”
“Spectators” to “Participants”
“Consumers” to “Servants

This is good right?

Yes. Please let me be clear. This is good!

But as with all things there can be a subtle danger.

We can move to focusing on God’s mission and lose focus on God himself.

We hear, “Real Christians give their lives to God’s mission!”

Then the question lies in how much mission is enough mission. How much lukewarmness or laziness is too much?

The topic of grace is one which is often met with the response, “Yes…..But,….”

Why is this?

We agree, but feel the need to bring balance or present another equally important truth.

Is it because there is such a fine line of walking in truth and avoiding extremes?

Think of how often we do this….

“Grace covers all our sins.” Yes, but it doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want.
“We cannot do anything to increase God’s love for us.” Yes, but faith without action is dead.
“God is totally in control.”Yes, but we are not robots; our choices matter.

I found myself doing this recently with a book I’m reading. I love the concepts the author is presenting and I agree. Yet, as I imagine myself presenting this to people, I think of all the ways they may abuse it or swing to an extreme.

God Uses Ordinary People

October 25, 2012

Society tells us we must be bigger, better, faster and stronger to find success.

The fact that society exalts displays of strength is not something new to the twenty-first century. Paul dealt with these very things in Second Corinthians.

Corinth was a leading first-century city, steeped in the Greek worldview, a worldview that exalted all the externals, such as knowledge, physical strength, wealth, and eloquence. According to these standards, Paul fell woefully short.

Paul, according to many biblical scholars, was a short, balding, annoying sort of fellow, and may have had stomach issues and bad eyesight (these are some of the options for the thorn in the flesh in 2 Cor. 12:7). He was not a skilled speaker and bore on his body the marks of many shipwrecks and beatings.