Saturday, October 21, 2017


I love learning.  I will always be in Kindergarten when it comes to knowing all that God has available for our walk.  Our future is bright, alive, and meaningful.  God has given me something as He awakened me at 3:00 and I just must get up to write it down.

Discipline is for learning; not for beating.  If it isn't for inner development, this very trait will be regarded as nothing more than a dirty ten-letter word.  Many my age know the ills of what were intended spankings to really be poundings.  Thus, the biblical word discipline suffers understanding which often means it is avoided; even rejected.

Yet, discipline is a major thread in the Kingdom fabric.  We must have it.  The church struggles today in extreme form because we have lived without (trained ourselves to live without) this factor.  We don't do struggle.  We don't do pain.  Rather we take flight when it gets tense in our world.  We move on because we don't like conflict.  The result is that we don't learn via the very basic process of being corrected.

Stress is a very present and most necessary reality.  It is not a call to take flight from it; but to be still and go to school.  Until we get this into our thick heads, we will always be on the run from something; people, places, assignments, etc.  Life.  Is.  Often.  Hard.

I'm beginning to learn something in these initial days of retirement.  We are losing ground because we refuse to shut down and step back.  I refused.  I didn't even realize it was a key to effective Kingdom labor.  But now that I'm able to pull off to the side of the road, clarity is unfolding...and I like it.

Recall how Jesus kept slipping away to be alone?  Even (especially) when matters were pressing, it seems that He had a knack of devotion to His time spent with Father.  So here's what I see.  We are hindered from expanding the Kingdom of God because we are riddled with busy distraction that keeps us from application of the meaningful, the useful, the productive.  Yes...too busy.

And here's the kicker.  We want it that way.  We want to be in demand, walking in rapid fire, because this distracts us from learning what God wants of us.  We refuse to slow down because when we do we will be more likely to be open to His will.  Busy-ness keeps us distracted from effective-ness.

Mankind finds ways to be comfortably stuck.  We don't want to improve, grow, change in areas because it makes us U-N-C-O-M-F-O-R-T-A-B-L-E.  Therefore, we hide in our roles...our very busy demanding order to refrain from exposure to adjustments God would wish for us.

Elders elder, staffs staff, families family, and members member with our best feet forward....constantly.  Full-steam a head. This comes off as commitment.  But I suggest it isn't all commitment; but a large section is avoidance.  We've found our sweet spot; our comfort zone and we don't intend to surrender it because it was to difficult to capture in the first place.

I suggest we discover ways to step out of our demanding schedules for a time where God could reveal His latest will.  It can be done.  We are creative you know.  We can find ways to avail ourselves to becoming open to the Spirit's steady and current direction.  Here are suggestions:

  1.  Elders take a six-month sabbatical.  No elders' meetings.  No minutes forwarded.  Trust the others.  Let God.  It is very possible to do this.  Fear of losing control will be the balker which ought to make it's needed point.
  2.  Churches provide staff sabbaticals.  These workers cannot keep pouring out without significant time of God pouring in.  We are unconsciously demand-weary. And, in our case as well, we fear decisions would be made without our input...and, therefore, possibly not what would keep us comfortable.
  3.  Pull your members/devoted workers/out of their roles for six months.  Tell them to sit down, be still, and listen.  I see too many failing to grow in the Kingdom because they are hiding in their church-work.

None of this is suggested as punishment.  That isn't the discipline to which I refer.  I suggest it as development of the inner man; a very deeply needed exercise for the core of Kingdom life.  The good news is that it can be done if we will yield our subtle controlling nature.  It is possible and the church will be the better for it.

Okay.  It's now 4:12 a.m.  That's all for now.

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