My 31st birthday is a week away.
It has been pointed out by many that I’m still young.
In my infancy as a “leader,” there are some things that I have observed, and some thoughts that I have been pondering.
These thoughts are based in my worldview (naturally), and may change over time.
But, with that said, the following is one of those thoughts.
When I’m old, and at the point of mindlessness (I say that because I probably will be), I pray 2 things… okay, 3 things:
- That I would be humble enough to admit it,
- that I would have friends that loved me enough to tell me,
- and that if I’m not humble enough to admit it, that my friends are bold enough to tell me anyway.
It’s difficult seeing people that are well beyond retirement (and by that I mean that you’d think they were already embalmed) holding on to the need to be heard…
… almost as if they’re afraid that their life will go unnoticed once they are gone, so they are trying to make a big splash on the way out.
These kinds of people make wild predictions, say very strange things that would normally go against their character, and struggle to understand culture.
They become so greatly removed from reality, that even their sound, biblical foundations can begin to crumble.
I had a pastor who was 72, and he was the sharpest 72-year old I have ever met.
We were like best friends.
He once admitted to me that he knew his time was coming to an end, and that he gets frustrated by older pastors who, in his words, “don’t know when to hang up the shingle.”
He also told me that he hopes he has people who are open enough to tell him the same — that it’s time to hang ’em up.
(He was later diagnosed with a brain tumor, resigned from his position, and then passed away a year-and-a-half later. Still one of the greatest pastors I have ever known.)
It should be clear to you now that he has greatly influenced this perspective I have.
That, and the growing library of YouTube videos of more recent, well known TV/Radio voices that grow increasingly frustrating for the Church; who, in light of public statements, have to continuously defend Scripture and help others understand/filter their erroneous statements.
Would I be abel to give it up?
Would I be willing to simply bow out?
Or, would I go down with a fight, holding on to every little bit that I can for as long as possible?
I can’t really say how I will be when that time comes.
Right now, this is how I view it.
Maybe, if and when I’m that age, I will think differently.
If so, is that your cue to tell me to hang ’em up?
P.S. I pray that Jesus comes back before then.
Less than a month ago, when reading @ScottWilliams blog (BigIsTheNewSmall.com), he had posted a video of an interview with Seth Godin and the owner of Chik-fil-A, Dan Cathy. (You can see the interview by clicking here: Watch video.)
In the interview, Godin talks about the importance of writing and it’s connection to effective communication; and he says that he always challenges people to start a blog and then write something everyday. Well, I’ve had a blog for years, whether on xanga.com, or blogspot.com, or now this particular one on wordpress.com. I have never been good with being consistent and committed to blogging, but I have been reading more blogs than ever, and reading them every day. So, I took the challenge by Godin, and starting on this past Monday, I have successfully blogged every day.
Mr. Seth Godin, thank you for your challenge to blog everyday… Consider it accepted.
Now, the next hurdle: longevity.
Here’s goes nothing!
Reggie: You Can’t Change Your Past, But You Can Change Your Future, by Reggie Dabbs (with John Driver), was not at all what I was expecting! Reggie takes you through his life with stories, flashbacks, and lessons he learned (which I did expect). The subtitle, You can’t change your past, but you can change your future, is the message that is driven home through this fascinating autobiography. What I was not expecting (but should have) was the emotional journey that Dabbs takes us on as he uses the experiences of his past to confront us with our past. He eloquently weaves a thread of confrontation and challenge, while offering hope and change.
Having seen Reggie Dabbs in person several times, I approached the book expecting a great autobiography through the art of storytelling; which would naturally read easy. What I didn’t anticipate was the moments I would be brought very near to tears, and the sense of hope that I would feel. I was forced to look at my life—past, present and future—and evaluate what I needed to change in order to be the man that God has called me to be. I found myself not wanting to put this book down! This was a great surprise, and would recommend it to anyone.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
When I saw on Twitter that @ScottWilliams was writing a book called Church Diversity: Sunday, the Most Segregated Day of the Week, I thought, “Cool! It’ll probably be a good read; but it won’t really relate to me — I’m not a racist.” I mean, the last two churches I have been a part of are diverse, after all. The church I’m in now is small (running about 50 on a Sunday morning) and there is an old black woman and her granddaughter, an Hispanic couple, and an Asian woman (married to a white guy) — we’re doing good with our minority-to-white person ratio! And then I read the book, and discovered that church diversity is more than maintaining a ratio of ethnicity in your local church body. So, what’s my dark, little secret?
Please watch the following clip and then read on.
So, about that “dark, little secret”. It didn’t really hit me until I was well into the book, and was reading a letter written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In the letter, he speaks to the racist heritage of the Assemblies of God… Bum, bum, bum! That was it. I have been raised Assemblies, and am ordained Assemblies! OH, SNAP! I represent a racist heritage! Great…
The truth is, if you were raised in the United States of America, chances are you have a connection to some sort of racism or segregation. And an even sadder truth (is “sadder” even a word?) is that as Christians in America, we are still seeing it happen week in and week out.
- When you go to church, do you see a church staff that represents the different races, classes, and ethnicities that are present in your community?
- Are there evident attempts by your family, church, or social group that clearly states “Everyone Welcome“?
If the answer is “No”, then this book is a must read (even if it is “Yes”, still read it). It will rock your world, and cause you to view diversity in the church not just as a cool idea, but as a must. After all, Jesus, in the Great Commission, says to “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:19), not just the ones that look like us.
Learning to love like Christ — which is inclusive…
Here we are! New home, new church, new youth ministry, new jobs, new city… time for a new blog! I have been faced with the reality that I don’t have the same accountability here in Pensacola like I had in Detroit. So, I need to make myself accountable to YOU! Yeah, you will help me (if you want to). So, what do you say? I’m up for the challenge… I hope that you join me in this journey as I seek to be stretched – learning and growing as we move forward in God’s plans for our lives. Much love!