Every once in a while you come across a writer that blows you away because nearly everything he or she writes resonates with your heart. Randy Alcorn has been such a writer for me for over a decade. Every book of his that I have picked up has been simply outstanding. And he also has a BLOG that you ought to check out when you get a chance.
I’m not endorsing this book because I haven’t seen it yet. But it sure looks interesting:
ht: Justin Taylor
Took my lovely bride to see Fireproof tonight.
Two thumbs up. Five stars out of five. You gotta see it.
I’m back from another outstanding Straight Up Conference in suburban Chicago. Pastor James and the servant-hearted, talented group of leaders at Harvest Bible Chapel-Rolling Meadows/Elgin know how to put together a conference that is encouraging, inspiring, instructive, and challenging. Every year I return with my batteries recharged and with fresh ideas for ministry.
When the economy is going great, we tend to take if for granted. But when the wheels start coming off, it gets our attention. As a nation, we are at full attention. The current economic crisis can be traced to greed. This greed manifested itself in many Americans overindulging themselves because they could through credit.
According to the Bible, debt in and of itself is not evil. When God, through Moses, was establishing the laws for the people of Israel, He addressed the subject of borrowing and lending and how to pay someone back. So incurring debt is not a sin. But the Bible also speaks of being wise about debt and recognizing debt is not something one should pursue. The reverse is true: we should seek avoid or get out of debt. A couple of Bible verses come to mind:
In light of what is going on with our economy, an important question Christians need to be asking is when does a legitimate desire to work hard and be successful cross over into sinful greed?
Albert Mohler answers this question well in his blog entry this past Wednesday:
“The desire for a profit, for income, and for material gain is not in itself greed. The Bible clearly teaches that the worker is worthy of his hire and that rewards should follow labor, thrift, and investment.
Greed raises its ugly head when individuals and groups (such as corporations or retirement funds) seek an unrealistic gain at the expense of others and then use illegitimate means to gain what they want. Given the nature of this fallen world and the reality of human sinfulness, we should expect that greed will be a constant temptation. Greed will entice the rich to oppress the poor, partners in transactions to lie to one another, and investors to take irrational risks. All of these are evident in this current crisis.”
I want to pass along to you three great leadership words I picked up from my good friend Kent Shaw, executive director of the Harvest Bible Fellowship (along with my thoughts). These describe the leadership culture at Harvest:
SIMPLICITY – The Apple people have it down. Google has it down (just go to their front page!). Simplicity is genius. Simple is understandable. Simple is memorable. Less is more. Keep it simple.
CLARITY – It takes hard work to be clear. Think yourself clear before you communicate. Clarity is good friends with simplicity, so the better you become at both, the more you see how they complement one another.
URGENCY – Eliminate the unimportant things by focusing on the urgent. Get things on the table NOW. Do things NOW. Witness to someone NOW. We are in the most important and urgent business in the world: making disciples. “Now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6.2