Is it okay to admit this in your church? [video]

Posted on by Cor in FAITH | 4 Comments

Recently, I came across a classic viral video.

It was a video of a father and son on a reverse bungee catapult. It shoots them into the air. All the while, the son keeps repeating, “I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay.”

Do you remember this one?

I believe that’s an apt illustration for the church.

Watch more by clicking the picture:

Put simply, is your church a place where it’s okay for people to admit they’re not okay?

Are you a person to whom a friend could admit that they’re not okay?

The Bible says that “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

Before we can even hope to do sharpen one another, the church (ie. that’s us!) needs to be a people who can admit when we’re not okay.

And we need to be a safe place for others to be able to admit when they’re not okay.

How can the church become a safer place for such admittance?

In other words, how can we make it more okay to admit you’re not okay? Leave your comment below!

Without these 2 things, your relationship is at serious risk [video]

Posted on by Cor in Sex and Relationships | 7 Comments

Monday night I had the opportunity to speak at an FCA/RUF event. My topic was dating/relationships.

In my introduction I shared several stories. There was the story about my TSM. The was the one about walking on to the football team and making Tyrone Carter into an All-American and NFLer. There was the one about coming to faith. And there was the story about meeting Jill in Panama City Beach. This final story led into a conversation about dating.

I told them that every relationship must have TWO things. Without both of these I told them I would not officiate their wedding. Why? Because without these two I believe they put their relationship in serious risk. What are the two things?

Watch this video (Whoa! That’s new!) by clicking the picture to find out!

What do you think? Do you agree of disagree?

Is there anything you would add to this list of two in order to make it a top 3 or top 4 list?

Share your thoughts below!

Seeing yourself through others eyes and Divergent factions

Posted on by Cor in LEADERSHIP | 5 Comments

DivergentCollageWe each have a perception of ourselves.

But how does our self perception compare to other people’s perceptions of us? And how might knowing others’ perceptions of us benefit (or hinder!) our life and leadership? Recently I had the opportunity to hear how others viewed me. It happened through a discussion of the book Divergent.

Divergent is a dystopian story is set in futuristic Chicago.

Society has been segmented into 5 factions: Abnegation, meant to uphold selflessness; Amity, meant for the peaceful; Candor, meant for the honest; Dauntless, meant for the brave; and Erudite, intended for the knowledgeable (wikipedia). Each 16-year-old is given an aptitude test revealing which faction they are best suited for. After receiving these results, they decide whether to remain in the faction they grew up in or choose another. Those who show high aptitude for more than one faction are labeled “Divergent.”

Over a recent dinner conversation with friends we considered which factions each of us are suited for. Some were easy. Others were a bit more difficult. I got pegged as abnegation. Afterwards I had to look it up to gauge their accuracy.

Abnegation is described as:

- Value selflessness.

- Blame selfishness for the worlds problems.

- Discourage any thing done for a persons own enjoyment.

- Believe kisses are not meant to be shared in public.

- Believe gossiping is self-indulgent.

- Guilt is used as a tool, rather than a weapon against the self. They use it to remind themselves to do better the next time.

- They are not manipulative, but they aren’t forthright, either.

- Never allowed to do ‘whatever they want.’ They must always think of other people’s needs first.

- Don’t form real friendships because it is hard to do when no one feels like they can accept help or talk about themselves.

- They are regarded as incorruptible, due to their commitment to selflessness. Their leaders (representatives) are selected by their peers for their impeccable character, moral fortitude, and leader ship skills.

- This faction includes five of the traditional “seven heavenly virtues:” chastity, temperance, charity, patience, and humility.

I can agree with some of these characteristics and disagree with others. But I did find it interesting that most of my friends (and wife!) were confident that I’d be abnegation. It got me wondering…

  • Have you ever been surprised by someone’s perception of you? If so, was it beneficial or detrimental to your life and leadership?
  • If you were to put yourself in a Divergent faction, which would you be? Would your close friends, family, or co-workers agree with you?

Suicidal Pleasures in the Life of a Christian

Posted on by Cor in FAITH | 2 Comments

Apple-temptationSuicidal pleasures are those pleasures which are sought above everything else, even God, to our own detriment. It is an apt term to describe our sinful pursuits of pleasure.

It is likely that some have already summoned an argument. “But God permits us pleasure as a gift. What would you have us do – not enjoy things?” That’s not what I’m saying at all.

Of course, there are pleasures in life. Pleasures in work. Pleasures in school. Pleasures in relationships. Pleasures in sex. When these are yielded to God, he is still seen as the utmost pleasure. And when these others are received from him, lived through him, and directed back to him, each of these are deep in pleasure.

Suicidal pleasure, though, seeks pleasure for its own sake. Pleasure is viewed as the greatest need. No longer is God directing the work, school, relationships, or sex. No longer is God over it. No longer is God seen as the greatest pleasure with each of these finding their proper place beneath him. These are sought out, engaged in, and clung to for life. And going uncontrolled by God they will kill you.

They certainly won’t kill me.”

So said the snake to Eve in the garden.

“It’s not that bad.”

Maybe not at first blush. But John Owen made it clear that “Sin aims always at the utmost; every time it rises up to tempt or entice, if it has its own way it will go out to the utmost sin in that kind. Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could, every thought of unbelief would be atheism if allowed to develop. Every rise of lust, if it has its way reaches the height of villainy; it is like the grave that is never satisfied. The deceitfulness of sin is seen in that it is modest in its first proposals but when it prevails it hardens mens’ hearts, and brings them to ruin.”

“I won’t do this again. It’s just this one time.”

Again from Owen, “Do you mortify (or kill sin)? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.”

QUESTION: How would you respond to the person who says their little sins are no big deal?

8 assessments of the next generation

Posted on by Cor in FAITH | 4 Comments
Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 4.20.07 PM

Who are they? What do they need? And how can we help?

This past fall I attended a forum hosted by my brother. It gathered together leaders who are reaching out to college students.

The main speaker was a man named, Tim Elmore. He has written several books including Artificial Maturity, Generation iY, and a series called Habitudes (i.e. Habitudes + Attitudes).

Tim, and his team at Growing Leaders, have done some great research and thinking on the next generation. What I found most appealing is that Tim has a positive outlook for the next generation. He avoids pessimism because what he believes God can and will do.

Here are a few of the notes I took that week. I’d love to hear your comments, criticisms, or questions about these in regard to assessing and reaching the next generation.

1.  They don’t need us for information, but for interpretation and experiential knowledge. They have content, but not context.

2.  They experience too much protection and not enough preparation.

3.  Parents have given abundance or abandonment rather than engagement and connection.

4.  Interestingly, they are growing up too slowly and too quickly, too arrogant and too insecure.

5.  Pragmatism has trumped principle.

6.  They’re growing up in a culture that claps for charisma and not character.

7.  They are being heavily influenced by the self-esteem movement (= unchallenged) and safety movement (= risk averse).

8.  As technology goes up, emotional intelligence goes down.

QUESTION: Do you agree or disagree with any of these? If these are true, what do you believe the church can be doing in order to reach out to them?

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