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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Partners and Presenters for Bible Lessons

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. - Ecc. 4:9-10 (NASB)

Prayer partners work well.  Accountability partners keep you honest and on your toes. A teaching partner should do the job of both as well as help you lead the Bible lesson.

For those of you who teach the Bible, find you a partner.  Find you someone who can pray with you and for you as you prepare your Sunday school lesson.  If you lead a small group, let your partner know as you begin to prepare.  Invite your partner to check in with you or to study the Scriptures with you in preparation.  Let them share insights with you and hear your concerns about nervousness and issues.

You might need this same person to hold you accountable.  You may be ready to skip some tough issues that are in the Bible lesson.  Be sure that your partner is a person of conviction who will tell you to keep to the text and keep it real.  You need someone who will force you to cut it straight and ensuring that you are rightly dividing the word of truth.

Friday, December 16, 2011

8But you must defend
those who are helpless
and have no hope.
9Be fair and give justice
to the poor and homeless
- Proverbs 31:8-9 (CEV)

We all should question ourselves.  We must answer for what we do and we fail to do.

I love the opening chapter of The Street Lawyer by John Grisham, I love the line of questioning by one of D.C.'s homeless brothers to a room of high-priced attorneys whom he has taken hostage of in their office:
  1. How much money did you make last year?
  2. How much money did you give to charity (to the poor and the needy) last year?
Doesn't that make sense to you? Do the math.  #1 may outweigh #2, but there needs to be some actual figures for each one of those.  For instance, if #1 for you is $100,000 and #2 is $10,000, then you have given 10% of your income to charity.  No matter if you gave to the animal shelter, the rescue mission or the youth ceneter, that money went towards people doing good works.
It reminds me of an old school Hollywood flick called Boys Town.  I saw it before Ted Turner started touching up the old black and white movies, but even after it has been remastered, it still has an old school flavor to it.  Spencer Tracy plays an inner city priest who watches over a flock of unwanted urban youth, offering them compassion and hope despite poverty and the dire conditions of the city life.  It reminds me of Sleepers.  The one where Dinero plays the priest who is smoking either Pall Malls or Lucky Strikes.  He plays the part where he offers an alibi for the kids-turned-adults who murder an abusive juvenile detention center guard.  That was "Sleepers," not "Boys Town."  They're not the same movie or even the same type of movie, but they have similar characters.  They have the guy- whether he's a priest or not- who looks out for the youth of the community beyond their spiritual needs and offers a role model or father figure for them to look up to and see working within the community. 

Every community needs both groups of people.  Each community needs someone who will give some part of what they have to help others and those who serve to help others.  It's philanthropy.  We need more people giving towards good causes.  We need people to offer a helping hand by being a role model or a father figure, even a big brother or big sister.  Plenty of kids desire to have someone show them some love and appreciation.  The elderly want that, too.  The disabled want it just like everyone else does.

Be a voice for others.  Be a helping hand for others.  Make a difference with what God has given to you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Leave a Legacy Behind

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We lead people.  We do it in church.  We do it in community.  We lead people.

What do we leave behind?

We work tirelessly.  We leave a trail of blood, sweat and tears behind.  We put in long hours and endless days.  We end up doing much more than we ever make out of any of what we are given.  We do a lot and end up with little to show for it.

You need to leave a legacy behind.  You need to be sure to train your replacement and take him or her under your wing.  Make an impact in your community.  Make a difference in this world.  Take the opportunity to leave a legacy behind.  Plant seeds today that will lead to a bountiful harvest in the future.

The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. - Proverbs 14:14 (ESV)
Amen Me!