top3 for January 18, 2019

Here are three quick hitting things that I have read, am thinking about, and/or have impacted me this past week.  Everyone have a great weekend!

#1 -So between the death of Christ and the Last Day it is only by a gracious anticipation of the last things that Christians are privileged to live in visible fellowship with other Christians. It is by the grace of God that a congregation is permitted to gather visibly in this world to share God’s Word and sacrament. Not all Christians receive this blessing. The imprisoned, the sick, the scattered lonely, the proclaimers of the Gospel in heathen lands stand alone. They know that visible fellowship is a blessing.They remember, as the Psalmist did, how they went ‘with the multitude . . . to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday’

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Life Together . Hymns Ancient and Modern. Kindle Edition.
Reminded again the great need to have “loyal” opposition around your leadership. People who are willing to establish and defend a contrarian position to the one you hold are a gift. For these folks will help, if you allow, to clarify your thinking and execution.
But…I know the personal toll that comes with opposition even if it is loyal. It demands the leader to be secure in themselves and refuse to become defensive when  ideas and/or decisions are scrutinized.
If you are not hearing some contrarian view to your leadership there are one of two things happening:
1) you are doing nothing,
2) you are insulated to the point of being out of touch.
Neither of these places are good to be for any length of time.
I will leave you with a quote from Churchill from this article.
May you reconsider whether someone is really a foe, and if he is, dine with him anyway

#3 –Genesis 1: 6 Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” 7And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. 8God called the space “sky.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.

Genesis 2:So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested. 3And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.

Do you have chaos in your life? Maybe a time of confusion? Need some peace and clarity?
The first step in bringing order is to create space, or maybe we can call it margin, from which to work. In Genesis 1, the waters are split and a space is left. The waters are then drawn together creating even more margin from which the dry ground springs. God always begins by making some space in the chaos from which to begin the process of bringing order.

We need margin in our lives between the chaotic pace and frenzied calendar of events for order to be restored or maintained and new birth to take place.

And to make it as obvious as possible, God gives us the ultimate act of “margin” in the acts of creation on day seven. God himself took time out of the week to set it aside and rest. While God does not need rest, it is yet another example for us about the natural rhythm of life for us to not simply know but observe.
Find some margin…find some order.