top3 for February 26, 2021

Before you head off into your weekend, here is a quick snapshot of three things that made an impact on me this week. Have a great weekend!

1

He concludes that stories of success and failure consistently exaggerate the impact of leadership style and management practices on firm outcomes, and thus their message is rarely useful.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

While I know that leadership is an important part of every organization, it is good to be reminded that leaders probably get too much credit for success and failure. This covid season showed me that the best plans will fail if the congregation is not willing to go along and give themselves to new ways of worship, small groups, even pastoral care. It is ultimately the group that determines momentum and success not the leader. So grateful I get to serve a group of people so willing to do what it takes in every season.

2

If we spoke less about God’s love and more about God’s holiness, more about his judgment, we should say much more when we did speak of his love.

-P.T. Forsyth

As we are preaching on the cross of Christ this Lent, I have been in John Stott and Fleming Rutledge’s writing along with many others. The above quote from Forsyth illuminates the need for law and grace; judgment and mercy; wrath and holiness to stand side by side for they are the full expression of God’s love. For a gospel emphasizing one side of the equation above the other leads to a misunderstanding of who God is and what God is about. Do we trust God enough that we believe these seemingly contradictory terms need to stand side by side?

3

We assess our consolation and determine if our peace is from God by reflecting on our motives, three in particular: the desire for honor, the desire for wealth and the desire for security. Each of these can cloud the issues we face and disable us in the task of discernment.

Listening to God in Times of Choice by Gordon T. Smith

My hands down favorite book on discerning God’s will. Are you wanting to make a change in your life or are wanting to NOT make a change? It is important to examine motives along with the long list of pros and cons. Smith says there are three motives that need to bring caution to our soul: the desire for honor, wealth or security. The key is to be objective and truthful enough with ourselves to know if any of these motives may be clouding our discernment.

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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