big picture

His Ways Are Higher

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9 Have you ever had a major setback in life? Many people suffered some sort of a setback during the pandemic. As we continue to talk about work and the different places we invest our time and energy, it often brings to mind situations in which we felt loss. We did everything right and yet, through no fault of our own, we lost something important. I’m willing to bet that many of you reading this have lost a job or a business. If you’re in the ministry, maybe you lost a congregation or your church shut down. Whatever the case, when you have done your very best, and it still doesn’t work out, it can leave you feeling discouraged and disillusioned. Sometimes, you may wonder if

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A Behind-the-Scenes Savior

“In his defense Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.’” – John 5:17 Unfortunately, a lot of us Christians are myopic or nearsighted. In other words, we get so wrapped up in our daily circumstances that we forget we serve a Savior who is constantly working behind the scenes. God is infinite, and He has the ultimate “big-picture” perspective, but our minds are finite and only able to conceive of situations in linear time. That said, it’s important to remember that when life seems to be “closing in on us,” what we’re perceiving is only a microscopic blip on the radar of eternity. We can’t begin to conceive of how masterfully and marvelously everything fits together from His standpoint, but we can train ourselves to acknowledge the wonder that it does. No matter how uncertain or daunting

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A Vision-Oriented Culture

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” – Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) Though we established yesterday that culture is actually superior to vision when it comes to leadership, vision is still critical — in fact, it helps to create culture. Knowing this, it’s important to communicate our “big picture” goals to our families, teams, and employees so they can become part of making them happen. Having a clear vision contributes to an atmosphere of ingenuity, innovation, and independence, because when everyone knows where they are heading, they have permission to break the rules to get there. On the other hand, organizations that are not guided by a master plan work only to maintain the status quo. Their answer to every new idea, inquiry, or anomaly is “Well, the rules say…” or “We’ve always done it this way.” Blanchard and Hodges call

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The God Nearby

“‘Am I only a God nearby,’ declares the Lord, ‘and not a God far away?’” – Jeremiah 23:23 I just love the Lord. There are so many things that make Him amazing, and one that always confounds me is how close He is to us, His children. Though He is the all-powerful Architect of the Universe, He is intimately acquainted with all of our ways. Whenever we cry out to Him, even with just the faintest whisper, He not only hears us, but He’s swift to answer. He’s faithful to let us know that we are seen and cared for in a manner that is personal to us. And while near is not something we normally think of the Almighty Deity being, our wondrous Savior is just that. Why, then, does He say in Jeremiah 23 that He is both close and far off? Though it might appear so, this

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