Daily Archives: November 19, 2007

The Unseen World of Thanksgiving

“If you’re miserable with ten dollars, you’ll be miserable with a million dollars”—Michael Begin, certified financial planner

During my recent research on the topic of contentment I stumbled across this quote from Michael Begin. His comment spoke about the world of instant money, especially Lottery winners who believe falsely that money can buy happiness.

I believe Begin has uncovered a key aspect about life—especially life in affluent America. Our well-being has less to do with how much we hold in our hands, but rather “who” holds us in His hands. Financial security has less to do with the bottom line, and more to do with living a life of trust and contentment.

Thanksgiving can often feed the wrong side of the heart and mind. Too often the focus off Thanksgiving revolves around material blessings like houses, cars, clothes, and other creature comforts which can be provided by money at the neglect of those “heavenly” gifts that are priceless.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!—Paul

2 Cor 9:15 (NIV)

Let me encourage you to thank God this year for things money cannot buy. Let me prime the pump by suggesting just a few. At the top of my list would be what Paul called “the indescribable gift”—Jesus Christ our Lord. I owe my life to the simple truth that “God SO loved the world that he gave his one and only son”. If you robbed me of every gift from above but left me with Jesus—I would have more than enough to find purpose and meaning in my life.

Running a close second would be “amazing grace”. The older I get and the more I stumble along I realize how truly the grace of God is amazing! It staggers my mind that God knows me for who I really am with all my fears and hang ups and He still loves me. We live in such a conditional world that when we try to get our minds around “unconditional love” it simply does not compute. We may not understand it, but it does not make it any less true. God loves you and me and saves us by His grace.

I close with a trio of my favorite gifts from above “peace, love, and joy”. Along the way I have discovered that happiness can be fleeting, but that “peace, love, and joy” remain and sustain me. Peace rocks me to sleep at night. Love inspires me to live life to its fullest, and joy brings a smile to my face and strength to my steps.

This Thanksgiving don’t forget to give thanks for God’s priceless treasures

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Dreamers of the Day

Dreamers of the Day

 

Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.

T. E. Lawrence
(
Lawrence of Arabia)
from The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

 

      “And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.

       Joel 2:28 NIV

 

These two quotes capture one of the key qualities of leadership. Leaders see tomorrow, and act on their vision today. When a leader loses his or her vision of tomorrow, he or she gives up the vital role of leader. Leaders need to know history, and learn from the past, but they must keep their eyes on the horizon and keep moving forward.

 

When I allowed myself to be nominated to be president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas it was because I believe I had a vision to tomorrow that needed to be heard. We needed to move past the reactionary ways of competition and political positioning to a new day of cooperation, collaboration, and synergy.

 

In large diverse organizations the “glue” that holds people together begins with a big, bold compelling vision of tomorrow. A vision big and bold enough to capture our imaginations, and this vision must be broad enough to make room for everyone at the table.

 

The stated mission of the BGCT is as follows:

 

The Baptist General Convention of Texas encourages, facilitates and connects churches in their work to fulfill God’s mission of reconciling the world to himself.

 

This mission states clearly our mission, but the lingering question is “how can we do this in an effective way among such a diverse people?”

 

How do we encourage churches? How do we facilitate church health and growth? How do we connect churches to each other? Do we really believe the work of the “Great Commission” is “their work”? Is the BGCT playing a key role in encouraging our churches in fulfilling God’s mission of reconciling the world to himself?

 

We answer these questions by looking at how we spend our time, talents, and treasures. We answer these questions by how we invest our energies. Is the BGCT a key part of the solution or has it contributed to the dysfunction?

 

Those are hard questions to wrestle with and the answers would be insightful and telling, but the biggest question is what kind of dream will we dream for tomorrow?

 

Can you imagine the BGCT being the greatest missionary force in the State of Texas and possibly the world? I can. This can be more than a dream if we are willing to live out this dream during the day!

 

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