top3 for January 27, 2023

Before you head off into your weekend, here are three things that I’ve read and have been thinking about this week. Have a great weekend!


Key for leadership is the capacity of retrospection and the capacity of being fully present.

Gordon T. Smith – Courage and Calling

Retrospection is the the action of looking back on or reviewing past events or situations, especially those in one’s own life. Being present is the act of setting aside the past, future, and any part of the current moment that is distracting to solely focus on the moment you find yourself in.

Both retrospection and being fully present are not talents we are given but decisions we make.  A person doesn’t have to be gifted in leadership to lead is the bottom line. Rather than gifts being the prerequisite for leadership, a person must be willing to lead in order to lead. And that can be difficult. For leadership means you are taking a risk by opening yourself up to accountability for results. It also comes with the risk that some will disagree and may even do so disagreeably.


Hope is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but, rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.

Vaclav Havel

Willingness to invest yourself in something because it is good. That is a sure sign of hope. Some have said the question we need to ask ourselves is “What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?” It seems to me the better question to ask, “What would I do if I knew it was the good thing even if you weren’t assured of success?”


1 – Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? 4b – those who keep their promises even when it hurts.

Psalm 15:1 and 4b NLT – Lectionary Text for this Week

These verses have, in a weird way, brought reassurance to me. What relationships and commitments are difficult right now? Those are the very ones that God will use to bring about transformation in your life. It won’t be easy. Your decision to keep promises won’t always be understood or thought wise. Let me add that just because someone else in a relationship doesn’t keep a promise it doesn’t get you off the hook in fulfilling yours. That is the Jesus way. If it wasn’t, we would all be in trouble.