Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The "Opportunity"

Monday morning I walked Merlin to school, as I do basically everyday. This day I was carrying Finnley in a backpack. I got to the bottom of the driveway when Merlin started asking me a question while trying to hold my hand. I was distracted. I didn't see the ice. My legs went out from under me and down I went. I twisted to keep the backpack from hurling Finnley out. Even still I could sense his being jolted forward. I didn't hurt the left knee that hit the ground and I thought we just had a mildly frightening, embarrasing moment. Silly daddy, pay more attention to what you are doing.
There was just a slight twinge in my back. It was present for the day and grew mildly. For awhile. By about 7 o'clock I was lying on the floor. I stayed there for the night in the living room when I was not having a hot bath.
Long story longer: I'm still lying on my back. Hopefully I will loosen and rest it today. So, yeah, today I think my office will be the floor. Never noticed the ceiling like I have recently. Guess I am turning my eyes heavenward (at least in some medievil worldview). Perhaps I will have another encounter with God? At least I can't run away.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

QUOTE: What should leadership look like?

Ever since uncertainty became our insistent twenty-first century companion, leadership strategies have taken a great leap backward to the familiar territory of command and control. . . . How is it that we failed to learn that whenever we try to impose control on people and situations, we only serve to make them uncontrollable? All of life resists control. All of life reacts to any process that inhibits its freedom to create itself. When we deny life’s need to create, life pushes back. We label it resistance and invent strategies to overcome it. But we would do far better if we changed the story and learned how to invoke the resident creativity of those in our organizations. We need to work with these insistent creative forces or they will be provoked to work against us.
– Margaret Wheatley

Monday, February 1, 2010

FEARLESS 05: David & Goliath Follow Up

Start by listening to the podcast, then get some people together and talk through these conversation starters.


• If you had a ringside seat at the David and Goliath fight, would you have put your money on Goliath because of his size, strength and confidence or on David because of his faith in God?
• Who is a modern day David in your eyes? Why?

1. What is your Goliath?
What is there in your life that seems too big to
Share what you fear most about your giant.
What methods have
you tried in the past to defeat this giant?
Why was David so confident he
could defeat Goliath?

2. Don’t look at the giant. Look at God.
What did David believe about God
that empowered him to take on Goliath?
What do you most need to remember
about God when facing your giant?
Describe your giant and then describe
your God.
Which one do you think about the most?
How would focusing more
on your God change the way you view your giant?

3. Don’t listen to naysayers.
How do you feel when someone casts doubt on
your ability to do something?
Do others have more confidence or less in you
than you do in yourself?
What do the naysayers in your life say about
you? (Encourage one another with the truth of what God says.)
do you need to work on more: overcoming the negative opinions of others, building self-confidence or increasing your confidence in God? Explain.
do we need to do with the negative input we receive from naysayers?

4. Use what you’ve got.
Share how God has come through for you in the past.

What past victories has God already given you?
What spiritual weapons
has God given us to defeat our personal giants? (see Ephesians 6:13-18) David was good with a slingshot. What unique abilities has God given you to help you take down giants?
Which is more powerful, God’s spiritual weapons
or our physical abilities or talents?

5. The Victory!
What do you think was driving David’s determination to fight
Goliath? (1 Samuel 17:45-46) Why is having the proper motivation important in winning spiritual victories?
What is your primary motivation in wanting to
defeat your Goliath?
What should be our motivation?

1. Identify and write a description of your Goliath.
Now, describe your God. How
is God bigger and more powerful than your giant?
Practice boasting in your
God this week. By faith, declare how awesome and powerful your God is.
giant may be _____ but my God is _________.

2. Honestly face your fears regarding your personal giant.
What’s the worst that
could happen if you turned and faced your giant?
Now imagine God coming
through for you. What would this look like?
Personalize and pray Ephesians
1:18-20 regularly.
Seek prayer support from your Life Support Group.

3. Learn to recognize the taunting voice of the enemy coming through your thoughts and through others.
What lies is he telling you?
Take these thoughts
captive and replace them with God’s Truth. (see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

4. Like David, write out your own declaration of victory (see 1 Samuel 17:45-46).
Be bold. God has already given us the victory in Christ. (Romans 8:37)
daily this declaration out loud until your giant falls dead to the ground.
with your Life Support Group how they can stand with you until the victory is won.

Read about David defeating Goliath in 1 Samuel 17.
• David had already been chosen and anointed as the next King by the prophet Samuel. (see 1 Samuel 16:6-13) How might this have affected David’s response to the Goliath problem?
What promises and power has God given
believers that assures us of victory over the enemy?

• What does Goliath’s armour and weapons reveal about him (vv.4-7)
As an Israelite,
how would you have viewed Goliath’s proposal? (vv.8-10)
Why were the
Israelites helpless against Goliath? (v.24)

• How did David persuade Saul to let him fight Goliath? (vv.32-37)?
the “kingly” attitudes and behaviour of David and Saul. What do you see?
Where does David find the confidence to fight Goliath?
How did his courage
and victory bless the whole nation?
How would your victory over your giant
glorify God and bless others?

• What do you think was behind Eliab’s anger at David? (v.28)
Who are the
naysayers in your life?
How can you keep from taking their negative opinions
and judgments personally?
What does the Lord tell us about judging others?
(see Matthew 7:1-5)
Why are we so prone to view family members negatively?

Whose judgment or opinion do you depend on most?

• What do you think motivated David to fight Goliath?
Why do you think he was
victorious? (vv.23,25-27,34-37,45-47)
By faith, David believed God would
make him victorious (vv.46-47).
What doubts do you have that God will do the
same for you?
How will you combat these doubts? (see Romans 10:17)

1 Samuel 16,1-13; 2 Chronicles 20:17; Romans 8:37; 2 Corinthians 3:5-6,10:3-5;
Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 John 4:4