What He Can Do

I don’t know how it happened really. I just sat down at my laptop and started working on the piano line for my song, “Don’t Let Me Get Comfortable.” That’s all I had when I sat down and now I have a guitar, cello, and drum line as well. I don’t play any of these instruments but this keeps happening. I don’t know where this comes from but I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. There is very little thinking in these compositions. It’s more like listening to the Spirit for direction. I am so terribly humbled by the grace of God. I’m just a nobody but He makes me feel like somebody. I feel like I’m not really the songwriter, like I’m just taking down notes so I can put together these masterpieces that come to Him. I imagine that all of Heaven is nothing but beautiful music flowing gently, in and out of the mouths of angels and God is the great conductor.

Every time I think that I can’t do something, that I’m not equipped or don’t have the training, God shows me what HE CAN DO!!! Never doubt yourself when you are armed with the love of Jesus.

Too Much For One Heart to Contain

I love to serve you. I love to sing your praises and introduce you to people around the world. I love that you are always there for me when I call on you, and you wait for me even when I don’t. You have the utmost faith in my abilities and I’ve learned to have such faith in you. I want nothing more than to continue reaching out in love to your children and encourage them to give you a chance, to put you first in their lives, to turn their lives upside down serving you. You are our beautiful creator, our wonderful Savior, and the amount of love that you have for us is so vast that it is hard for one heart to contain. We need you, oh how we need you everyday of our lives.

I am the Parent and the 3-Year-Old

Do you ever just feel like your life is out of control? You think that you have all of the answers, and with this nonsense, try charging fast right into a brick wall? You don’t even realize that you’re about to do it because you’re so stuck on your perception of the world and how things work. Before you know it, the only thing left between you and that brick wall is God. In the beginning He whispers to you, “Don’t do it.” And as you continue on your course, the voice gets louder and louder until He’s screaming at you to stop. At what point do you start listening? Maybe you hear Him the whole time and pretend that you don’t, thinking, “I got this, I don’t need you. I can do whatever I want, and you’re not going to stop me.” Ladies and Gentleman, I am the 3-year-old.

Do you ever feel at your wits end? You’ve done everything in your power to get your toddler to stop running so fast in the wrong direction. How do you get them to listen to you? As you stand there, pleading with them to stop, you realize that free will has intervened and there is nothing you can do to stop them short of reaching out and removing them from the situation. Should you exercise that option? How close to danger should you let them get before you just can’t watch anymore? Ladies and Gentleman, I am the Parent.

We all have taken on these roles. More often than not, we operate from both at the same time. As the 3-year-old, we choose to ignore the call to servitude. We pretend not to hear God when He calls on us or we quickly dismiss His request as stupid, unnecessary, or even downright crazy. As the parent, we realize that we don’t have as much power as we would like to over the lives of our children. We learn that their love for us does not equate to obedience. We experience heartache, frustration, and sometimes even a loss of confidence in our abilities.

Why can’t we see what we are doing? Why can’t the right hand learn from the left? Lord, I ask that you teach me. Lord, I seek resilient faith so that I can always trust you with my life. I need to train my ears to pick up on what you are saying, and the strength to follow blindly until I understand your plan. Jesus, I need you to teach me how to be a better parent. I want to learn from you and understand how you remain patient when your children disobey. I want to know the secret to keep your heart from breaking when they turn their back on you. And lastly Lord, please allow me to connect the dots between the struggle of a child and their parent, between independence and patience, love and obedience. Lord, I ask these things not for myself but so that I can raise up leaders for your Kingdom, so that I can release my independence and die to your will for my life. I know that I cannot do this alone, and so I humbly seek your loving grace and guidance. I pray for myself, my family, and others around the world that are in the middle of this struggle. You are our Savior, our hope, our teacher. Let us be closer to you today.

Youth Leader: The Power of Influence

I’m taking a leadership class right now, and one of the topics this week is power and influence. For my first assignment, I had to think about an experience that demonstrates influence. One that quickly came to mind where others are influenced is one I have witnessed over time at my church with the youth leader. I have a teenage stepson and have seen him change positively under the influence of this pastor. I have also seen hundreds of kids moved under his leadership.

According to Curphy, Ginnett, & Hughes (2012), power can be defined as the “capacity to produce effects on others or the potential to influence others (p. 118).” Being in a leadership role, the youth pastor has natural power that can be used to influence these kids. That being said, his influence is not due to being a leader alone. The youth pastor allows himself to be influenced by the youth in a positive way. My textbook states “followers can also wield power and influence over leaders as well as over each other. (p. 119). This pastor listens to their struggles and builds relationships with them. Dean (2012) tells us that kids need a safe place to be themselves where they don’t have to prove themselves. That is exactly what they are getting at my church, and it makes me so proud to see it. Without someone taking the time to get to know these kids, there would never be opportunities to learn how to reach them effectively. There would never be an opportunity for Jesus to truly come alive in them.

The admiration that these kids have for our youth pastor is simply remarkable, and it has allowed for even more influence in their lives. The resulting referent power brings these kids to their knees, seeking more of Jesus and less of themselves. It is just as much a humbling experience to watch these teenagers give their lives to Christ as it was for me to do it myself. I am so thankful for what our youth pastors are doing today, in my church, my city, my country, and around the world. They are preparing the future leaders of this world. They are influencing a generation, and the kids are listening.


Works Cited

Curphy, G., Ginnett, R., & Hughes, R. (2012). Leadership: Enchancing The Lessons Of Experience. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Dean, K. C. (2012, March 14). Characteristics of a Healthy Youth Ministry. Retrieved March 12, 2015, from Lewis Center for Church Leadership: http://www.churchleadership.com/leadingideas/leaddocs/2012/120314_article.html