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Ezekiel 3:16-27: Whose blood is on your hands?

2000px-Red_flag.svgI have recently been really pumped up about evangelism. I had the opportunity to give a two day presentation on the matter earlier this year and I was reminded once again of my own personal lack of desire to open my mouth on God’s behalf.

I think we as Christians fool ourselves when we throw around the idea of “lifestyle evangelism.” This is the idea that the best way to share the gospel is by living it out. Here is the problem with this thought: the Gospel is a noun, it is a thing, a thing that is the good news of Jesus Christ. It is a message, and a concept that we do not have to appease God, yet the penalty has already been paid by Christ.

So you cannot necessarily live out a message, as much as you cannot live a noun. One’s life is changed in light of the message but the message itself most be spoken. Romans 10:14 says it best, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?”

Don’t get me wrong living out your faith is a necessary mandate because when your actions do not align with what you say, you’re not fooling anyone.  Matthew 5:16 “ Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

But I wonder how complacent we have become concerning our boldness to speak the Gospel. Not only to speak the gospel but to be a voice for justice and to speak out against unrighteousness.

I’ve been afraid. Afraid to speak the Gospel and afraid to speak truth because I didn’t want to be marginalized. I didn’t want to be a Bible thumper. I didn’t want to face the hard questions concerning the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. (As in all roads do not lead to the same God) With all the seminary training in the world I was still not so confident to open my mouth and say the Word’s of the Gospel:

John 3:16 ““For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Romans 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;”

So how does my regret to open my mouth relate to Ezekiel today? Ezekiel was tasked as a Watchman. Ezekiel 3:17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the words I speak and give them warning from me.”

A Watchman’s job was to sit up on the tower all through the night and guard the gate. They had a keen eye to spy out encroaching danger. Their job was to warn the people when danger came. If they fell asleep at their job, or got distracted on face book then the blood of the people was on their hand because they failed at their job.

So it makes sense that God says to Ezekiel ” When I say to a wicked person, You will surely die, and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable fro their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.” Ezekiel 3:18-19

It’s one thing to love people, feed the hungry and take care of the sick, as Christians that should be who we are. But the question is, Have we been a good watchman? Have we rang the bell? Do we sound the alarm in the face of danger? Have we shouted out to dissuade a brother or sister who is walking into eternal damnation. Have we opened our mouth? Do we have blood on our hands?

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To my toddler concerning your utter lack of earthly possessions

Dear toddler you seem to have some confusion about your earthly estate

So I’ve written this poem for you so you won’t make a mistake

You think you own the air, the grass and the rocks

You think you own my nose, my clothes and my socks

You think you own your sister, and the entire Aldi Store

If I ask you to give anything back you act like it’s a chore

I pick up the phone to text and you scream MINE

I just want to tell you, you own nothing cus you don’t have a dime.

The end

(Feel free to read this to your toddler as their bed time story 🙂 hope it works for you) mine

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Oh great another team building thing at work

team-building-580326You know the drill, they call in a consultant and you meet up with your co-workers for bagels and coffee. You throw around colored feeling balls with emojis on them. You do a personality indicator test and your are told that you’re a mole or a rabbit, an lion, a D, I , or L M N O P.  You have a box lunch and you end the day writing a letter to your future self about professional goals.

Most of us have been there with any organization right? Well our number came up yesterday and I was expecting a cookie cutter version of Kumbyya, instead what I received was mind blowing, face melting, awe inspiring collaborative training! I have to remind myself not to judge a book by its cover!  My team had the honor of being trained by a highly talented consulting group (no I am not getting paid for plugging them). J. Spooner Consulting  the same organization that has done team building for NASA’s Orion Mars mission! (How freakin awesome is that I have been trained like an astronaut so that kinda makes me one).

If you are anything like me you have a great experience one day and learn a lot of things and then you forget them all. So I write in order to not forget. I am really writing this for myself but if you’d like to come along with me that’s cool.

Here are some major takeaways I must remember to apply in my personal and professional life I learned at my astronaut training yesterday:

  1. Be a Trust Builder! Relationships in business, ministry and all of life cannot function without trust. Show yourself trustworthy and be willing to take the risk of trusting others. If you are building trust you may have to take a hit but true trust builders can handle it. You continue to extend trust and typically break through to a person once they have let you down and you give them another chance to prove themselves.
  2. Self-Confidence and Self Esteem! These are paramount for collaboration! One’s ability to produce has less to do with what their management thinks of them, and more to do with what they think of themselves. However management can reinforce how one negatively views themselves.
  3. In light of #2 be a confidence and esteem builder! Be careful to not undermine the confidence and esteem of your team members. It is so easy for us to unconsciously cut down one another.
  4. Don’t be Hitler, Be Martin Luther King! You may have heard that both Hitler and Martin Luther King had the same leadership and personality profile in most systems, but what made the difference is their motivation. One focused on self aggrandizement and one focused on the collective building of all people. Motive is key!
  5. 80% of the Work force is underutilized and underdeveloped! People who have been labeled average typically produce average work and never push to the next level. The difference between a sub par worker and an exceptional worker is typically building self esteem, confidence and trust. Almost anyone can be taught skills, but its harder to teach self worth.
  6. Don’t Hold your Cards Close to your Chest! It is counterproductive to work as a team while practicing secrecy and hidden motives. Over communicate your intentions and needs so as to not leave room for misinterpretation. Ask questions and be truthful. If you decide on a plan of action do not hold a secret plan B behind your back because people can smell dishonesty.
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The little things 

Mothers are constantly telling me to cherish the moments but between working and cleaning and pinning pins I will never actually get around to doing I often forget. 

Yesterday, besides the fact that I’m suffering from bronchitis, I decided to bust out my crock pot at 10:30pm and try my hand at a creamy chicken and wild rice dish I pinned just the day before. I was feverishly dicing onions while my husband gathered up the children for bed, and he shouts out, “ok it’s time to pray does mommy want to come pray with us?”

I thought to myself, maybe if I stay quite long enough they will just go ahead and pray so I can keep slicing celery… Then 11150669_10100725832477910_4102300406201662869_nmy tinny human came and slipped his two year old hand into mine. He led me into his room as I stepped over trucks and teddy bears. He hopped in the bed and waited for our family prayer to commence. 

We always let him say amen. He announces it with a big smile as if he just solved world hunger. Then we sing in 3 part harmony. Jude always giggles after the last note it never fails. 

I returned to the kitchen my onions and carrots were still there waiting for me. But that moment singing and praying. The way my little one came and guided me to join in on our little offering to the Lord, those are the moments you don’t want to miss.