Leadership

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. Proverbs 16:5 (NIV)

Sometimes there’s a synergy between your Bible study, or daily reading, and something you hear on the radio, or a sermon your pastor preaches and you see a topic in a deeper way. A few months ago, I was doing a study in Esther. (Courtesy of Love God Greatly.) I happened to hear a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on a TV show I was watching. I looked up the quote and it appears valid.

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

The more I thought about this, the more I realized it was true. A leader can’t follow the crowd. A leader has to know where he is going. He has to know what he stands for and not be swayed because he meets opposition.

At this same time, my pastor was doing a sermon series on David, entitled “A Heart for God”. During one sermon, he contrasted Saul’s kingship with David’s. David had the power of the Holy Spirit. Saul had lost the Spirit and he reacted with fear and worry about what others were saying about him. A good leader depends on the Lord rather than the opinions of men, which can easily change.

Haman from Esther’s story comes from a banquet where he was the guest of the Queen, along with the King. He is full of himself and brags to his family. Yet, because he sees Mordecai, who will not bow to him, his attitude is soured and he is filled with rage. He tells his family, “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.” Esther 5:12 (NIV)

How many times have we let self-consciousness and fear of other people’s opinions, sway us? How much am I like Haman, caring so much what other are saying about me, and letting it ruin my day? I am no great leader, and yet I have influence. What I say and do affects people in my church, people in my family and people in my community. May my convictions be strong and may they come from a closeness to the Lord.

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John 8:42-44 (Sin Causes Deafness)

Great post on River Walk.

THE RIVER WALK

listening

Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:42-44)

Read: Hosea 2:14 – 8:14

Relate: “Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me!” Have you ever been there? You tell a long story and at the end nobody gets the point, instead they are all…

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Adoption Blog Post You Should Read

I wanted to link to a blog post from an adoptive mother that highlights what adoption can really be like behind closed doors, The Ugly Side of Adoption. Christians struggle sometimes with how they behave “in church” and what life is really like at home. People want to hear about the beauty of adoption and would be dismayed to hear of the pain. Yet, we should not be afraid to speak of the pain. A lot of these kids have been traumatized, some worse than others, and that is very real. I liken it to the post-traumatic stress that some veterans have. I read an article a few years ago from the point of view of the wife of a veteran, describing some of what her husband was going through, and I immediately thought of some adopted children, and some foster children, who are going through the same thing.

Adoption is beautiful. It is of God. But, this isn’t Little House on the Prairie, and many adoptive families are struggling. I’d like it if in our churches we could be up front about the struggles as well as the beauty.

So, my linking to this blog is not to complain about adoption, because I am pro-adoption. I link to this blog post because the writer explains her situation well and it gives other adoptive parents assurance that they are not alone in struggling.

Originally posted: http://christineareed.com/?p=164

The Problem with 50 Shades of Grey

I read a very good blog post regarding 50 Shades of Gray and God’s design for sex. Since it goes so well with my theme of In and Out, I am posting a link to it here: http://haleymorgansmith.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/the-problem-with-50-shades-of-grey/. The image for this post is from her blog.

 

Originally posted July 31, 2014, http://christineareed.com/?p=161

I’d like to add this link: http://www.miriamgrossmanmd.com/an-open-letter-to-young-people-about-fifty-shades-of-grey/

The best response I’ve seen so far to Fifty Shades of Grey.

Adoption

The Bible says in John 1 that all who received Jesus, “to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (NIV) Adoption is an important concept in Christianity. Jesus is the one and only son of God, but through our belief in him, we become adopted into God’s family.

The Bible also says in James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Those in the broadcast area for Channel 11 in Toledo, OH (SE Michigan and NW Ohio), will remember a segment called “Home for Keeps.” Chrys Peterson would meet with kids in foster care in Lucas County and give a brief introduction to their lives. One evening, my husband and I saw a broadcast about two sisters who were in separate foster homes, needing to be adopted together. At the end of the segment, we looked at each other and in a moment that seemed an inspiration from God, we said, “That’s what we can do!”

We had been married eight years, and although we wanted children, we didn’t have any. We realized that through adoption we could become parents, and we could offer a home to kids who needed one.

Indeed, two years later, it seemed a God-send when we got a call from a social worker about two sisters, currently living in separate foster homes, who needed to be adopted together. We recently celebrated the eighth anniversary of our legal adoption of those siblings. Of course, those who have adopted or worked with foster kids can tell you, it isn’t easy. I hope in this section of the blog, however, to encourage those who want to adopt and who have adopted. Preserve.

My wisdom is hard-won, it comes from failing and making mistakes, like most personal testimonies. The adoption has taught me more about God and about myself than any other experience I’ve ever had.

 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1, NIV)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:7-12, NIV)

 

Originally posted July 20, 2014, http://christineareed.com/?p=152

Great resource: the Journal of Biblical Counseling

I recommend the Journal of Biblical Counseling for those who want to help others deal with difficult issues in life. This publication helps people look at life with the Word of God. The journal would be encouraging for any believer facing trials and hard decisions. It is put out by CCEF. If someone in your life is struggling, or you are struggling yourself, check out the CCEF website and think about subscribing to the Journal of Biblical Counseling.

 

Originally published July 20, 2014, http://christineareed.com/?p=146

A Match of Wits

Under the “What are you reading now?” category, I wanted to mention that Jen Turano’s A Match of Wits is out this month. This is a fourth book in a series of historical Christian romances set in the Gilded Age. I have wanted to read Agatha and Zayne’s story for a long time because Jen has cleverly hinted at their attraction for one another already in her other three books.

A Change of Fortune Lady Eliza Sumner is going incognito as the plump governess of Agatha Watson’s younger sisters, Grace and Lily. As Miss Sumner, she is called into service as an extra guest at a dinner party the Watsons are throwing. This leads to humor as her disguise trips her up, making Hamilton and Zayne Beckett wonder if she has had too much to drink. I liked the humor and the kind way the Becketts look out for her. Eliza doesn’t want New York society to know that she has a title, because she is tracking down the man who stole her family’s fortune and tried to ruin her father’s reputation.

In A Most Peculiar Circumstance, when Arabella Beckett, suffragist, meets Theodore Wilder, a man with strong beliefs about a woman’s place, she is in jail after trying to rescue a young woman who was being lured into the sex trade. I read this series out of order and this is actually the first book that I read. I liked it, but did not find it as full of humor as Change of Fortune and, the most fun of the books so far, A Talent for Trouble.

A Talent for Trouble’s heroine Felicia Murdock is spunky and fun. Like Arabella and Theodore, she is paired with someone who is very different. While it’s true that Grayson Sumner loves a good adventure, he has a dark and dangerous past. His fascination for Felicia means she is nearby when the past catches up to him. Little by little, he admits the kind of world he was involved in and Felicia has to decide if he can be trusted after all.

Throughout these books is a running gag regarding marriage proposals gone awry, and the story of the bold intrepid reporter Agatha Watson and Zayne Beckett, her favorite adventure sidekick, is hinted at. The next book, out this month, will tell Agatha and Zayne’s story. I believe, based on how enjoyable the other books have been, it will be well worth reading. For more information about Jen Turano and her books, check out her website, or to sample her writing download a free novella.

Originally posted July 5, 2014, http://christineareed.com/?p=70