No More Jiminy Cricket: Reflections on Conscience

Jiminy

In the beloved classic Pinocchio, the puppet that wanted so to be a “real boy” was devoid of one essential component – a “conscience.” Since he did not come equipped with one, a lovable, and sometimes irritable, companion named Jiminy Cricket entered the puppet’s world and, for a time at least, assumed that role.  Jiminy was Pinocchio’s constant companion forever dictating advice on the “good” and the “bad” in the potential choices he faced. Depending on Pinocchio’s response, the benefits and consequences that ensued in the story proved Jiminy’s judgments right again and again.More than any … [Read more...]

Graciousness. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Gracious moments. We can’t live without them. When we extend grace to others, despite our flaws and weaknesses, we reflect something of the very nature and character of Christ.With grace, sin becomes the enemy, not people. What was it that enabled Paul to endure such sinful opposition and rotten attitudes from a group of people he risked his life to reach for Christ? What was it that kept him coming back and writing, instructing, and teaching, even when it seemed that none of it was sinking in?Grace believes the best of people and draws it out of them. There is nothing cowardly about a … [Read more...]

Chuck Colson on Who Most Needs to Repent in U.S.

The late Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, believed that one particular group in America most needed to repent. It may not be who you would think? Watch this short video and plea from a leader in the Church who I believe had a prophetic voice that still speaks today. … [Read more...]

How Good is “Good Enough”?

overcoming feelings of inadequacy

 “I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion…” - Isaiah 1:14 The Message “It will be an ill day for us if what most humans mean by ‘religion’ ever vanishes from the Earth. It can still send us the truly delicious sins. The fine flower of unholiness can grow only in the close neighborhood of the Holy. Nowhere do we tempt so successfully as on the very steps of the altar.” - Senior “devil” Screwtape in a speech at the “Annual Dinner of the Tempter’s Training College for Young Devils” (from C.S. Lewis’ popular parody, The Screwtape Letters) One of my favorite stories is about a big … [Read more...]

The God I DON’T Believe In.

Christian Atheist

There are many people in the world today who don’t believe in God. Even though I now believe in God, when I talk with some of these people I find I agree with them. The kind of God they don’t believe in, I don’t believe in either. Writer Brian McLaren described the God he doesn’t believe in:An uptight God who is about black-and-white easy answers and brittle, rigid logic and law, rather than about profound and many-faceted truth, self-sacrificing love, compassionate justice, and profound relationships. … [Read more...]

Jesus Didn’t Come to Start A New Religion.

RvR

How many more minutes before the church service would be over? That’s all I could think about. Every agenda item on the scheduled liturgy was just something else I would have to endure. My mind worked hard to calculate and estimate how much time each of these “perfunctories” would demand: Invocation – two minutes. Reading from Psalms – five minutes. Hymn #124 – three to five minutes. Hymn #291 – another three to five minutes. Sermon – twenty-five minutes, if I was lucky. And on and on it went until the mental calculator registered fifty-five minutes. Fifty-five minutes?! Fifty-five minutes to g … [Read more...]

When Leaders Overestimate Themselves.

NebuchadnezzarHR

After years of serving in various roles as a leader and alongside other leaders, I have come to believe that the two most common mistakes made by leaders are overestimating themselves and underestimating their responsibilities to the people they serve. This dangerous combination all too often fuels the foolish behavior of overstepping or overreaching as a leader.Among the ranks of American presidents, some would say that George H.W. Bush overstepped when he said, “Read my lips…” and then created new taxes. Others would assert that Bill Clinton underestimated his responsibility when he lower … [Read more...]


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