Valentines 2010: Live boldly. Love boldly.

Live boldly. Love boldly.

A great idea, but how exactly do we do this?

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner — Do we cringe at the thought of sappy declarations of love, pink teddy bears and over-priced flowers? Or do we consider that this may be a prime opportunity to bring truth, love, forgiveness and joy into the relationships we have with those around us, particularly our immediate family? Sometimes we may find it is easier to reach out to strangers rather than to those who share our very own DNA. But, consider this…

  • What if we loved out loud?
  • What if we took a leap of faith and put ourselves out there?
  • What if we reached out… first?

You are invited to do exactly that — love a family member out-loud this Valentine’s Day. Set a goal to connect– or re-connect — with a parent or immediate family member on a day that is ripe for meaningful expressions of love. Be intentional and take the time to convey a sincere, concise heartfelt message to a parent, parents, or other immediate family member. Humble yourself, give or ask for forgiveness, share how they have impacted you. By making a simple, deliberate and direct effort, you have the potential to impact the future trajectory of your relationship. Don’t underestimate the power of your words — for better or for worse — and make a commitment to share your love openly.

Of course, loving boldly can be scary – examples, stories, motivation and resources are attached.

  • Valentines 2010 Details: The specific details, an approach, a framework, tangible ideas and resources to further facilitate your move to live and love boldly your immediate family. Intrigued? This is where to start.
  • : Transformed her relationship with her mom after asking herself, “Do I wish I knew my mom better?”
  • Integrity – The Journey by Jason: Communicated to his father the message which had never been clearly told, “You ARE an amazing, loving, sacrificing, compassionate, and noble father’ to his father.”
  • Daring to Love by Andrea: Persevered through heartache with tangible direction to begin the journey to a revitalized relationship with her farther.

Those who accept the challenge, let’s celebrate your admirable act of love on Feb. 19, 2010.
RSVP and details: http://www.pingg.com/rsvp/3g8wny38zx37w6jwc

Everything is more fun with friends – pass this on to your friends so that they are reminded to convey a sincere, concise heartfelt message to a parent, parents or other immediate family member.

For me, ultimately, this motivation comes only because of Christ’s outpouring of love for me. I am compelled to express, only in a small way, what Jesus has given me and offers to you – a life of fullness and joy.

I’m always available and my door is always open, if you ever need anything. Many blessings!

I consider it an extreme honor

Haiti has been hit with an earthquake which has brought massive devastation on the already incredibly poor country. With untold numbers of causalities and dead bodies lining the streets, the people and country are in deep need. I am so very impressed with the compassion of the world to come alongside the country which is hopeless without this undeserved grace. Haiti doesn’t have anything to offer the other countries of the world neither before this disaster and even less-so afterwards.

Not surprisingly, I’d love to go over there and help in whatever capacity I can. I have been blessed by so many others that I am compelled to do the same (not from a sense obligation or guilt) because love begets love. As I think of this idea of sacrifice, love and faith in light of what I’m currently studying (the Gospel of John) – other ideas begin to connect.

My Hope and Salvation (Jesus Christ) humbled himself as the Creator to become the created. He was deity who chose (for no good reason) to come as the most ordinary to relate to his beloved (all of us). Jesus said of his faithful forerunner, “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist” (Matt 11:11). John fearlessly lived out his faith by fulfilling his calling – to proclaim repentance and the coming savior of the world, Jesus the Christ. His public calling for repentance angered the powerful – religious, noble and military – which led to his martyrdom only a little more than year after he began. Jesus faithfully obeyed God the Father for three years before humankind rejected his message and demanded a gruesome torture and death because his message was so contrary to our natural selfishness.

I thought of these ideas as I’m running up the final hill to my house the other morning. And, I asked myself, “If I go to Haiti, what opposition would I run into?” Most notably, I believe that my physical safety could be jeopardized and that well-meaning and caring people would advise against such an endeavor. Then, this verse (Phil 3:8) finally made sense (going from head to heart) – “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

For me, there are many things I want to believe and then there are the times when I realize that I actually do truly believe them. The ‘rubber meets the road’ (when life gets difficult and tragedies hit my relational life, financial situations and family members) is where the training is proven. So, that morning I honestly said to myself and God, “I consider it an extreme honor to die in the name of Christ (for I am entirely unworthy), if I can live out God’s call for my life even one day.”

Profound Leadership – Jesus Christ

Jesus, as a leader, continually served those around him with complete humility.How profound is it that Jesus did not exalt or praise himself nor did he seek the approval and praise of others.As I choose to learn about leadership characteristics of Jesus’ life, I see a man who had every right to correct, condemn, expect praise, etc.However, Jesus met and accepted people exactly for who they were and revealed God to each of them.Jesus’ patience and love for each person is so out-of-this-world.”The woman at the well” story shows Jesus (1) intentionally taking himself out of the position of piety, (2) patiently revealing life-giving truth, and (3) persisting in love even though the woman attempts to deflect the conversation away from her personal life of sin.

For me, it’s hard to see a leader as somebody like Jesus.I guess, I’m used to thinking of a leader as more of a powerful manager.So, if I attempt to think of myself as a leader, I feel that it’s my responsibility to instill some sort of conformity of what is right across the board.However, Andy Stanley states that the manager “manages to sameness” while the leader “leads into chaos” (Catalyst OneDay 2009). The disparity is apparent when I examine my actions and my convictions and conclude that they are not in concert. I strongly ascribe to beliefs that diversity is to be cherished and no two situations are the same and cannot be solved with the same approach.Moreover, I am drawn to this believe so much because it requires continual dependence upon the Creator for direction as well as consistent submission that my own ideas are lame and entirely insufficient.However, my actions dispel a counter message – one of conformity, performance and fear.

What is a leader then?How does that play about?What does that mean for me?Today, I see that I need to embrace the following leadership characteristics:

  • The leader serves: I must look to serve those whom God calls me to lead
  • The leader is a cheerleader: I must celebrate the good (rather than condemning the bad)
  • The leader does not change others: I must continually follow and point to Christ
  • The leader is authentic: I must seek God’s revelation into my own heart and motives and His strength and wisdom to walk in faith

To conclude, “That is wonderful and inspiring.What happens next – if anything?”Rather than answer that question myself, I seek your response.Enjoy the goodness!

Finally, I reflect on the influence of Jesus Christ:

Nearly two thousand years ago in an obscure village, a child was born of a peasant woman. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life.

His greatness has never been paralleled. He never wrote a book, yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs that all the songwriters combined. He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students. Every seventh day the wheels of commerce cease their turning and multitudes wind their way to worshiping assemblies to pay homage and respect to Him. The names of the past proud statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone. The names of the past scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone, but the name of this man abounds more and more.