Thursday, June 30, 2005


Wedgwood Baptist Church in Ft Worth, TX posted a weekly commentary that is structured for day-by-day study. The highlight for today is the pride of the ruler of Tyre and the study asks “What are the dangers of living in a prosperous society?” A bad meal at Pappasitos? Seriously, I was dialoguing with a friend today whose son grew up in a prosperous home. However, the son was recently placed in a military boarding school because he lacked respect for authority and demonstrated little commitment. It was a tough love decision to put him there. An original tough love illustration comparing brownies to movies is disgusting. Another tough love example is that the Lord loved the ruler of Tyre as surely as he judged him. This is the kind of “tough” love that’s hard to live out as a Christian, but that’s the aim of this lesson.

University Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL also posted a lesson commentary with a few questions, too, but it is not very distinctive. In telling us that we are salt of the earth, Jesus in effect said that we must be distinctive in the culture in which we live. We are to act as a preservative, preventing decay. The world around us will hate us for the message we deliver. Rejoice in the love of a sovereign God.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

If your witness could be represented by a potato chip

In the faith lesson “Piercing the Darkness” from the That the World May Know video series, Ray Vander Laan makes the point that Jesus demonstrated God’s concern for all people when He first fed the Israelites (see Mark 6) then He fed the Gentiles across the sea (see Mark 8). The Lord seeks all people, but He also holds all people accountable—the focus of our lesson out of Ezekiel 25 and 26.

In Mark 5, Jesus commanded the demon(s) to come out of the Gadarene demon-possessed man. Then the man wanted to go with Jesus right then (like it would be great if the Lord translated us into heaven the moment we believed!), but the Lord sent him away on a mission to tell “how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.” What’s our response to this story?

Jesus sent the formerly demon-possessed man as a lone witness in a hostile culture and “all the people were amazed” (see Mark 5:20). If we are likewise to be salt in today’s culture, then how can we illustrate too little salt is ineffective and too much salt is bad?

Ask, “If your witness for Christ could be represented by a potato chip, which chip would you choose to be?” Lays? Ruffles? Pringles? Show the Visual Data chart from a test of saltiness of Potato Chips. Notice the correlation of saltiness to “good flavor” (representative of effectiveness of Christian witness in our illustration). Great Value and Mike’s Brand don’t come close to the rating of Lays and Ruffles in flavor according to the chart. But Pringles looks pretty good. Have some fun with this illustration and take some chips to class with you. They can’t eat just one!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Change for good reason

Neighbors despised the people of Israel and Judah. For example, Ezekiel 25:6 says that the Ammonites “clapped [their] hands and stamped [their] feet, rejoicing with all the malice of [their] heart against the land of Israel” when that kingdom fell to the Assyrians and Judah went into Babylonian exile.

Similarly, neighbors today despise Christians, apparently with good cause. Do people today clap and rejoice at evangelical Christian failure? If so, we Christians can’t blame it on our ancestors; the Lord holds individuals responsible for personal sin (see last weeks study).

How should we respond knowing that our enemies will one day be judged by a righteous God? Change whatever is necessary in order to reach them for Christ? The emergent church is one missional approach. What do you think?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Declaring universal accountability

Last week we talked about individual responsibility, and this week the topic is same, but the people groups are different. Ezekiel 25-32 prophesies God’s judgment on the nations surrounding Israel/Judah. Read David Padfield’s account of the destruction of Tyre, where he writes how God judged that city as prophesied in Ezekiel 26.

Proverbs 24:17 warns us not to gloat when an enemy fails. Ammon didn’t heed that wisdom. Instead that nation said “Aha!” when Israel/Judah were judged (see Ezekiel 25:3). It’s hard to feel sad when something bad happens to an enemy! As Christians, we never do that. Right? Question: Did Israel gloat when the Egyptians drowned in the sea?

Sometimes we say, “I told you so” when a prior warning is ignored. We might say it to mock, to gloat, or to tease, but it never gets more serious than when God says in effect, “I told you so.” What’s your reaction? Either go warn others, or rejoice that the LORD is a righteous judge?

What ideas do you have for illustrating this lesson?

Friday, June 24, 2005

I don't know

In Joel Osteen's interview with Larry King, I lost count at 40 the number of times Osteen replied "I don't know." Practicing this week's lesson to 'accept individual responsibilty,' we sometimes have to declare what we do know even when it may be unpopular.

For example, to declare that Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me," is the responsibilty of every minister, if not every believer. Observe how Osteen avoid's this responsibility in the following exchange with King by saying "I don't know":

KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?
OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...
KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?
OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God with judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.

In today's pluralistic, inclusive culture there is great pressure to avoid accepting responsibilty when it comes to declaring the truth as found in Scripture. Pray for Joel Osteen, and all believers for that matter, to have the Christ-like character of courage to accept the responsibility to clearly declare the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Point of no return

Reading the background passage in Ezekiel 20 left me wondering “when did it become too late for God to forgive the Israelites?” The elders ask Ezekiel to inquire of the LORD, but the LORD said that he would not give them a message. Instead He judged them so that they would know He is the LORD. In their irresponsibility, the Israelites crossed a line with God.

In an age of grace, American’s have short memories. As the HRBC Supplemental Teaching Plan points out “we tend to excuse people’s actions on the basis of their upbringing or circumstances.” However people attempt to avoid responsibility, God created the laws of an “unchangeable past” and “unintended consequences” to bring judgment everyday. Psalms 7:11 (NIV) says, “God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day.” Scary isn’t it. Jesus Christ is an all powerful, righteous judge and He is working in every situation to bring good to those who love Him, but He also brings judgment at some point. A line is crossed.

My sister jokes that it’s never too late to participate in a Baptist activity. She says, “No matter what the deadline is, they’ll backup the bus to pick you up!” But results from actions do happen. When they do the consequences become unchangeable even though they may be unintended. The idea is that we must accept responsibility for our actions and seek forgiveness while there is still time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The art of apologizing

I learned many years ago while attending Bill Gothard’s Basic Life Principles Seminar that an apology beginning with an “if” is no apology at all. Saying, “I’m sorry if I offended …” is not accepting my responsibility; it only opens the wound. When there is clear offence, prefacing the apology with an “if” implies that the speaker is not really sorry about what was done. The speaker is only sorry that their action offended.

Our culture has made the conditional apology the norm. Last night a U.S. Senator illustrated that fact. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) conditionally apologized for his remarks comparing actions of U.S. soldiers guarding prisoners at Guantanamo to Nazis, Stalinist, and communist gulags. Note the “if” in his statement: “I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings”.

Forgiveness is possible if the art of apology is practiced correctly. Many of us use the “if” in our apologies. Discuss this in class and challenge members to truly apologize for their offenses. That will lead to “accepting individual responsibility”.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Blame game

LifeWay Extra for this lesson on “Accepting Individual Responsibility” mentions a “blame someone else day” that I didn’t know existed. Not surprising, though. NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT IT! There, I feel better having shifted the blame to someone else.

The Blame Game is alive and well today in many contexts, not just in avoiding responsibility for personal sin. Jay L. Hollman, writing on the ethics of medical science, asks if science explains conditions such as depression, does that mean that an individual is no longer responsible for behaviors associated with depression? This idea should make for lively discussion since many people believe that an explanation of cause is an automatic pass on behavior.

Read the story, Judge Strikes Down Appeal in Death of West Jordan Family to see just how ludicrous some defendants go to avoid responsibility.

Monday, June 20, 2005


Science has long debated the influence of nature versus nurture, or how heredity and environment play into shaping who we are. By definition, science leaves God out. This week’s lesson, “Accepting Individual Responsibility” from Ezekiel 18:1-13 teaches that regardless of influence, we are personally accountable before the Lord for individual sin. We can’t shift responsibility for personal sin and blame someone else, say for improper upbringing. For example, while I may envy the early moral training some of my adult friends received, the fact that I didn’t receive it does not give me license to blame my parents, or others for wrong actions today. God holds me accountable. Whatever good or bad has happened in the past is unchangeable. I am who I am today. To coin a phrase, I am “made for now on”. In other words, regardless of what contributed to shape me, I am responsible from this point forward for my actions.

On the web you'll find a Quicksource quide for this lesson in the LifeWay Leaders Guide promo material for next quarter’s series out of Romans. Seems odd? Anyway, Quicksource provides two teaching alternatives. The first uses a“string around the finger” idea as a reminder that we are personally accountable. The second illustration plays off the idea of “passing a hot potato” around.

I'll pass the potato for now and talk later about top 10 lists for the “dog ate my homework,” Jimmy Holondale, the Blame Game, the buck stops here, comics on excuses, or whatever I can find to help make a difference in in this important lesson.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Pocket veto

A pocket veto is defined as a veto caused by lack of action. The term is usually applied in a policy-making context where, for example, a law passed by a governing body fails to become law when the executive officer decides to ignore it. The law dies since it was not signed (agreed to) by the president/governor. To illustrate, Abe Lincoln pocket vetoed the Wade-Davis Bill after the Civil War to make his plan for reconstruction of the South easier.

I’ve seen the’ pocket veto’ idea applied in a business context as well. A company strategy, for example, is agreed to in an executive staff meeting, but later the strategy implementation fails due to a ‘pocket veto’ by some key member of the group. It can be applied in an academic context, for example, when a journal reviewer simply returns a paper’s review containing only its title—i.e. no comment.

Ask the learners in your class about the ‘pocket veto’ idea and if they have ever used the concept in their life in some way. My mother used it frequently while I was growing up. She ignored what I considered at the time to be legitimate requests by saying, “We’ll see.” That was a code phrase for “Fat Chance,” “No Way Jose,” etc.

Can Christians “pocket veto” God’s law? Ezekiel12:28 says that “nothing of what [God] says is on hold”. We can choose to ignore God’s Word, or disrespect it by not acting on it, but that does not negate its truth. We cannot get away with pocket vetoing the Lord’s commands. Take action today!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Covering all the bases?

Begin by playing the playing the video clip “Hitchhiking Chicken.” November 4th is the date of the coming disaster! According to Carla Prater, a researcher for the Texas A&M Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, “The Texas coast is fragile”. The Houston Chronicle story, The lessons of Carla may be forgotten makes the point that in recent years many miles of the Gulf coastline in places like west Galveston Island have become lined with expensive homes. The article says, “History has taught that such places will inevitably be pounded and probably destroyed by future hurricanes.” Wow! Do we have a “chicken little” story, or what?

Much has been written in the Chronicle about how Houston is unprepared for a category 4 or 5 hurricane. Damage could be as high as 40 to 50 billion dollars with thousands of lives lost. Do people doubt such a hurricane will hit Texas? Yes. Do costal residents disregard the warnings? Absolutely. Who are they listening to when they purchase large, expensive homes on the coast? They listen to their own desires. Idols are stumbling blocks.

We might find it difficult to believe that people of Judah could still worship idols, doubt God’s Word, or disregard it, after many are already in captivity and the Babylonians are laying siege to the city of Jerusalem. However, they did consult the prophets in an effort to “cover all their religious bases,” but in reality they excluded the Lord. Gulf coast residents are similarly ignoring the warnings of what can happen one day when a large storm hits the coast. Their “live for today” mentality and instant gratification desires are very deceiving. They breed the “stumbling block” that disaster won’t happen, which defeats common sense.

What stumbling blocks are we tripping over today that cause us to exclude Christ?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It won't happen to me

To illustrate the attitude “It won’t happen to me” described in Ezekiel 12:2 and Ezekiel 12:22, place an open Bible next to a newspaper spread out on a table. Describe the newspaper as representing the ideas and actions found in the world. Pick up a lint roller and describe it as representing our minds, which controls our actions. Roll the lint roller across pages of the entertainment section, sports section, editorials, etc., saying we can indulge our minds in what the world has to offer and ignore God’s Word (point to the open bible). Initially, the roller sticks to the newspaper, but gradually it loses its ability to grab as it absorbs the ideas and actions of the world. At that point where the roller loses its stickiness, roll it across the pages of the open bible illustrating that we can become insensitive to God’s Word (the roller doesn't grab the pages).

We think our sensitivity to God's Word can't be dulled, but it can. Because of the “It won’t happen to me attitude,” warning people to “read their bible" usually has little impact. It might be better to appeal to “how fed up they are with actions they see in the world.” No doubt, they are disgusted by the actions they see (point out selected stories in the newspaper). To be different we must fill our minds with God’s Word and act on it. Practice doing this illustration at home first!!

Monday, June 13, 2005

The point is

The long narrative in the background passage (Ezekiel 12-17) for this week’s lesson, “Acting on God’s Word”, has numerous possible interpretations and life applications. Which ones will you select to teach? Most often, my approach is to stick close to the focal verses and the LifeWay interpretation and application since some members in my class actually read the lesson in advance and come prepared for discussion. This strategy also allows me to leverage the great amount of preparation found in the quarterly material as well as commentary by others that can be found on the web.

But I try to avoid an aesthetic-like manner and just read the selected verses along with some anecdotal comments, or just offer canned illustrations. Neither do I like to insert emotionally charged music or use video just for the sake of inspiration that may have only some vague relation to the text. So where do I find balance in being creative and “owning” the lesson verses mechanically reading the LifeWay statements and following their suggested teaching plan?

As a teacher it encourages me when conversing with someone that recalls a lesson I have previously taught. God can and does use whatever preparation I put into the lesson, and knowing that, I try to be as creative as possible to make the lesson memorable. If it is memorable that’s a measure that indicates life impact. Prayerfully, God uses it to affect life change to become more Christ-like. With this in mind, watch the 40,000,00 Minutes video (see right hand side of the page), or the humor laden sample video “8 reason’s I don’t share my faith.” The first is on point to encourage us to act on God’s Word, and the second is just fun to watch!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Tune in or miss out

Saddam’s trial was in the news this week. He may receive the death penalty. Interestingly, the article says, “The death sentence was part of the Iraqi legal system before the U.S.-led invasion two years ago.” In other words, if Saddam receives a death penalty it will be based on laws established under his own rule. Ezekiel 7:27 states that the LORD would judge the Jewish people of Judah “by their own standards.” Wrong values lead to wrong standards, but living by the Lord’s values leads to mercy.

Check out the quick “tune out” lead in to this lesson by Brad Shockley, pastor of Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, TN. I don’t need a hearing aid; men have an innate ability to “tune out” others and that gets us (or me!) busted sometimes. You might hear some interesting stories if you ask spouses to relate an instance when they were “tuned out” by their mate and trouble followed. The Judahites “tuned out” the Lord, lived by their own values (see Ezekiel 5:7-13), and suffered terrible consequences.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Use of Symbolism

Using symbolism for a siege, the Supplemental Teaching Plan from Hampton Road Baptist Church invites teachers to be creative in introducing the lesson “Living by the Lord’s Values”. Ezekiel used symbolism in an effort to reach the stubborn people of Judah. The plan from HRBC involves each learner personally. Likewise, the people of Judah were to be judged as individuals (see Ezek 7:15). Overall, the teaching plan from HRBC is aggressive, but one that I like very much. Please read their suggestions.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


An exercise that might be fun is to remind the class about the Mastercard “Priceless” commercials, which have the tag line: “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Mastercard.” The ads feature a series of things that can be purchased at a given price followed by a reference to something special that is too valuable to be priced. Hence it is priceless. Note: Mastercard wants their credit card to be thought of as invaluable, too.

Divide the class into small groups. Each group should write a script for a “Priceless” commercial that would have been appropriate for the Israelites before God’s judgment. Have a few of the groups volunteer to read their scripts to the class. Afterwards, using Ezekiel 7:19-20, discuss how God’s judgment would change the values of the Israelites.

Another alternative is to capture and show selected product ads and discuss the values to which each appeals. Follow this with the idea that we should avoid materialism and instead pursue Godly character traits. Christian values should be based on the Bible (e.g. 1 Timothy 6:17-10) and not those to which modern day advertising typically appeals.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Fool's gold

When have you ever been betrayed by the very thing you valued? John Sutter had fame and fortune in California with a large amount of land that he loved. He possessed thousands of head of cattle, horses and sheep until gold was discovered on his land. That began a gold rush which ended for him in bankruptcy. What he valued betrayed him.

Jesus said in Matt 6:21, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” Fool’s gold (and real gold as well) has claimed many victims. The inhabitants of Judah fell under the spell of their wrong values and the Lord judged their sin. Steve Smartt’s story of Carl and Carla is a similar account, and it reminds me of the saying “we can choose our actions, but we can’t choose the consequences.” What the Israelites valued betrayed them.

Citizens in the Lord’s kingdom live by the values Jesus described in the sermon on the mount. Citizens of this world live by its values, such as fame, power and wealth. For example, Watergate has been in the news lately, but the values that spawned it are easily remembered by some of the book titles left in its wake: Blind Ambition, Lost Honor and Abuse of Power. But good also came from it--see great reads like Chuck Colson’s Born Again and Jeb Stuart Magruder’s An American life. Talk about changes in values! The turnaround in the lives of these two real-life men even outdid that of the fictional Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.

All this leads me to pray for the Lord's help to live by His values and reject those of the world as fool’s gold. If you can locate a few samples of fool's gold to pass around the class, learners might be better challenged not to fall for wrong values in their lives.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Humorous illustrations

When Dr. Charles Lowery preaches, he uses humorous illustrations galore. Being a scientist by training, I can’t tell a joke, so I envy that. Yesterday, while preaching at CFBC, he had the crowd totally involved with such lines as “Do your kids carry around a picture of you in their wallet? Do they show it to their friends, asking ‘Want to see what my parents dressed liked 40 years ago?’? He was making the point that we all need encouragement and we don’t get it as often as we should. I hope his blog encourages you to locate and use good illustrations, demonstrations, exercises and object lessons in this series of lessons out of Ezekiel based on the LifeWay Explore the Bible Series.

Curt, my co-teacher, used the children’s book Tootle, the train that wanted to be a Chicago Flyer, to help us picture the value of paying attention and staying on the track in order to accomplish our goals. It was a very memorable illustration. Similarly, Dr. Lowery pictured “life is like a movie” to help us understand that the Lord is a director controlling the shots. The end result will turn out for our best because of His faithfulness. Changing to a golf game metaphor, Dr. Lowery said he liked to play “scramble” with a pro because he played better when he hit the pro’s shots. God is the pro, and we live best when we follow his leadership. That fit perfect with the first lesson out of Ezekiel.

This week we start on a lesson entitled “Living by the Lord’s Values.” Links are posted on the right side of this page to lesson commentaries beyond that found in the quarterly leaders guide. This week our goal is to locate stories and illustrations that we can tell to help learners practice living the Lord’s values.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Being effective

One last illustration before we shut down for Sunday. As Christians we live the “way of Christ” sharing Him with lost people as we go. We can picture ourselves as separate from them, urging and pushing them toward Christ, or we can picture ourselves joined with them in life, and allow them to see Christ in us. When I worked in a large corporation, I once likened effecting change to that of pushing on a large marshmallow. I could push, push, push and my efforts would only dent the marshmallow in a small way. I was separate and doing some heavy pushing, but had little impact. Later, I became very effective in creating change by seeing my separateness as part of the problem and joined with others to bring about needed changes in the company.

One way of presenting this from a Christian perspective is to contrast a city with a home. Ask, “Where are you most effective in making your values clear?” Many people will answer that home is where they feel most influential when sharing their beliefs. Now, the city is large compared to our home, but we can effectively reach lost people living there in the same way.

State that, “We have two choices for sharing Christ in this city.” (Doing nothing is not an option, so logically, there are only two choices). “First, we can invite lost people into our homes, get to know and love them, and allow them to see Christ in us as we are. We trust that eventually God will open an opportunity for us to share Christ verbally. Secondly, we can go out of our homes and into the city, meet lost-people, get to know and love them, and allow them to see Christ in us by as we are. Again, trust that God will eventually open an opportunity for us to share Christ.” Ask for specific examples of how to implement either approach. Key in either case is to meet people, know and love them, and involve yourself in their lives.

My brother-n-law and sister-n-law in Arlington have been very effective for many years exercising the first choice by inviting foreign students attending a local college into their home on a weekly basis. They have shared Christ with multitudes. The Walkers in our Church have been successful exercising the second strategy with homeless people for over a dozen years thru HELP Ministries. Countless lives have been changed as a result. May God bless your teaching this Sunday.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Answering the call

In Brad Shockley’s comments on this first lesson out of Ezekiel, he says that had he not become a preacher, he might have taken a less dangerous career path and become a “bomb squad technician,” for example. I smiled, and thought about my own career choices. My prayer is that as teachers we’ll hear God’s call and take on the tough task of teaching Ezekiel in a way that we see lives transformed. We pray that individuals in our classes will move from one mode of living to another. Ezek 22:30 is not included as a focal verse in this series, but its truth speaks to us today. God uses individuals in the lives of others.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Wild and crazy ideas

To make this lesson interesting and perhaps unforgettable, consider inviting a non-believing friend (perhaps a work associate, or a neighbor who is open about their unbelief?) to your class and introduce him as a ‘co-teacher for the day'. Inform the class that he is a non-believer. Tell him in advance that you need his help to demonstrate how simple it is for Christians to witness to non-believers. After covering Ezekiel’s call and the key verses, ask your friend this question: “What is your personal faith?” This should open up a dialogue that you should be able to guide into a presentation of faith in Jesus Christ and why it is relevant today. Don’t be argumentative, and leave the results to God. No matter how it turns out you will have demonstrated the truth found in the focal verses.

Challenge learners to write down a simple question about personal faith they would be comfortable asking another individual with whom God is leading them to share the truth about Jesus Christ. This positive step might be all it takes for many of them to follow the Spirit’s leadership and say “With God’s help, I can do this!”

If this is too far fetched, try using the discussion starter and personal sharing approach outlined in the Supplemental Teaching Plan offered by Hampton Road Baptist Church.

Thanks to OldAggie for suggesting another alternative in his comment on yesterday’s post. His idea is to simply teach the gospel. This is very practical for insecure learners, and sharpening their sharing skills can give them needed confidence to help lead them to share the gospel. As teachers, we should be aware of the needs of our class members to an extent that allows us to target the lesson in such a way as he suggests. If OldAggie takes this approach, I’d be interested in hearing about the ensuing class discussion. I wonder if he’ll mainly hear regretful comments expressed out of guilt by those who are usually not willing to tell others about Christ?

Other very thoughtful helps to teachers using the LifeWay Explore the Bible Sunday School curriculum are posted by Dr. Sam Tullock, Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church, Wylie, Texas, and a professor in the History Department at Collin County Community College in Plano, Texas.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Illustrating the main point.

What’s the nut of the lesson from Ezekiel 1-3? People see Jesus in their toast, in tortillas, M&Ms and just about everything else, but do they see Him in me? The LifeWay commentators take this passage as a lesson on the Christian call to witness. “Taking on a tough task” is described as God expects His people to follow His leadership to share His truth with all people.

Ezekiel saw a strange vision of four beings with four faces and four wings. They had legs and hands and wheels of eyes. What caught my eye was the fact that the creatures moved in synchrony as God’s Spirit led them. This suggests our need to follow the Spirit’s leadership as the four living beings and as Ezekiel did. To be effective, we need to follow the Spirit move for move. How do we demonstrate this in class? Capture and show a video of the Thunderbirds, or photos of synchronized swimmers and divers (easily found on the web using Google)?

I’m about halfway thru reading Spiritual Leadership by Henry Blackaby and son Richard. They describe what leaders need to deliver and what modern followers want. The Lord is our leader, but do we want to re-shape His values to match ours? That’s not following Him. And where do we find purpose and meaning? Are they in serving Christ and going where the Spirit leads, or do we find them in designs of our own making? Teachers need a clear demonstration of making this choice that we can use in class to help learners to follow God and not their own desires. We’ve all performed jobs we didn’t enjoy. Likely, they seemed impossible at the time. Jesus called the rich, young man, but the man rejected the call. What’s an example that today’s learners can personalize and identify with? I’ll keep looking…