Destroyed By Love


“Salvation” is a word that flows in Christian circles the way water hurls itself down a riverbank. Assumptions are made, distinctives are codified and labels are assigned.

Most have a narrow understanding of the concept that Jesus called the Kingdom of God, or Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus was excited about it.
He wanted everyone to experience it.
He gave His life to open it’s entrance.

I like Tozer’s take:

“If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.”
― A.W. Tozer

Salvation is more than a get out of Hell card. That limited view makes Jesus a mechanism, and centers everything on me.

Salvation is an invitation.
Salvation is a transformation.
Salvation is undeserved.
Salvation is a person, Jesus.

N.T. Wright notes:

“the work of salvation, in its full sense, is (1) about whole human beings, not merely souls; (2) about the present, not simply the future; and (3) about what God does through us, not merely what God does in and for us.”
― N.T. Wright

The motivation for salvation is God’s tenacious, unyielding, ferocious and all-consuming love.

The hum that you feel in the core of your soul, is the love of God inviting you into an adventure through Christ. Peter Kreeft said it this way:

“We sinned for no reason but an incomprehensible lack of love, and He saved us for no reason but an incomprehensible excess of love.”
― Peter Kreeft, Jesus-Shock


Grace and Peace…


*artwork (c)  is by Justin Spencer Lamborn:

Sunday Night Quotes 3/11/2012


“Jesus didn’t have to topple Rome to change the world, he just needed to topple hearts.” ~ Monty C. Wright

“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.”   ~John Buchan

“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.”    ~Peter Drucker

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left.”  ~Anon.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  ~Rumi

“Do you really want to be happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you’ve got.”  ~Benjamin Hoff  The Tao of Pooh

Sometimes We Need a Double-Dog Dare

Reminders are a good thing. I have found over the years that most people don’t need some new teaching, rather, they need an encouraging reminder of what they already know to be true, but the truth has faded into the thick mist of busyness. I came across this thought by Steve Maraboli today that had some good, encouraging reminders in it…so I double-dog-dare ya to be light this year!



Dare to Be 

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!”

Maintaining Leadership Passion in 2012

As we launch into another new year, I have noticed there seems to be at least two types of leaders. One leader looks at the opportunity a new year brings to hit the reset button…to try something new…to experience the energy that comes from stepping out by faith into the unknown realm of potentiality.

Another leader takes a deep breath and with a massive sigh breathes out a quiet prayer hoping that the next year will be better than the previous year, or perhaps maybe this year I should change jobs and get off of the leadership treadmill.

Leadership is hard work. It requires a high level of self awareness and the courage to allow God to do some work in the soul to bring about an increasing level of integrity and honesty.

Yet most leaders are so busy they seldom take the necessary time to pause, slow down and listen to their soul and to what God is saying in the quiet spaces. It is easy to justify why there is no time to deal with these things, after all, we are important, we have things to get done, people to lead, objectives to accomplish for the common good and corporate vision right?

One key trait that I have observed in the lives of great leaders that last is that they take the time to engage in healthy self-examination. I’m not talking about becoming a comatose navel-gazer, but rather becoming a person that is self-aware and deals with the shadow side of their personality in order to grow in a holistic fashion (body-soul-spirit). This also grows the organizations that they lead.

Take a moment and read through Gordon MacDonald’s piece on what he calls “The Seven Deadly Siphons.” While he wrote this for pastors specifically, I think you will easily be able to make the connections to whatever area of leadership you are in.  Evaluate where you need to invest some energy this year so that you lead well with integrity and continue to finish strong!


The Seven Deadly Siphons

Loss of Spiritual passion seems to be the inevitable result of:

1. Words without action. We are tempted to think that saying something actualizes it. We have a momentary feeling of spirituality when we talk about wanting to pray more or “have more time in the Word.”

2. Busyness without purpose. Ministry produces activities, programs, conversations. If our choices of time-use are not disciplined by call and purpose, our energies become like a lazy, shallow river.

3. Calendars without a Sabbath. A datebook filled with appointments but absent of significant hours (days) of quiet and reflection-written in first-is an abomination (an old and harsh word) to the God of the Bible, who said, “Six days you shall labor…the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.”

4. Relationships without mutual nourishment. Pastors tend to be acquainted with too many people but know too few people. The spiritual masters have told us for centuries that without soul-friends, we won’t gain spiritual momentum.

5. Pastoral personality without self-examination. Too much ministry is built on unresolved anger, unhealthy needs for approval, and the instinct to control. Failing to explore our soul for un-wholeness ultimately takes it toll.

6. Natural giftedness without spiritual power. A pastor can go a considerable distance in ministry with catchy words, people skills, political savvy, and a facility for organizational dynamics. But kingdom work demands qualities that only a filled-up soul can offer.

7. An enormous theology without an adequate spirituality. A pastor cannot represent a view of reality that includes Creation, evil, reconciliation and conversion, sacrificial service, and eternity-a mind-boggling expanse of conviction-and have a spiritual-exercise regimen that is pea-sized in contrast. A great theology demands a great spirituality.


These are some powerful areas to consider, ruminate upon and take action. The power of your public ministry will only be as great as your private world. If you are not investing in the private world of your soul you are choosing to cap your level of leadership and growth. Each of the areas that MacDonald mentions are worthy of spending some time unpacking, and I would encourage you to do exactly that.

Make it a great year!