Back in 1955, a mom named Elizabeth Henson was cleaning out her clothes closet. You know how it goes. Things get old, tattered, don’t fit anymore or become out of style. The smell of mothballs and mildew accompanied these things. Eventually Elizabeth came to an old, fuzzy, frayed lightweight green jacket. It had outlived its usefulness for sure. It was fit only for the throwaway pile. However, to her surprise, her college age son asked if he could have it.
Why would he want a worthless thing whose time had come and gone? The request didn’t make much sense, but she handed over the green coat. The son went to work. Armed with scissors, needles and thread and a ton of vision he shaped, crafted and designed. He cut a ping pong ball in half for eyes. Who would have ever imagined that a misfit green garment would become an American icon, date a prima donna pig, play an Oscar nominated song and impact millions. The old green coat became the first Kermit the Frog, and the son was Jim Henson.
This is exactly what Jesus loves to do with throwaways of all types. He takes people, including leaders, and crafts them into something unique and surprising. You might not see how God wants to reach leaders, but I’ve got a passion for it. None are perfect. Some are quite imperfect, frayed, smelly and broken. God has a vision for redesign. He takes some raw materials and starts cutting and sewing. He implants a new purpose, gives second and third chances and often does something mind-blowing like with Kermit. He can use and bring to life lying brothel owners, pagan Kings, religious terrorists, a donkey, or you and me.
Often I get to serve as Cheerleader-in-Chief helping people work through understanding their real identity in Christ. A Key Question is “Who are you? Whose are you? What is your real identity?” Our identity is not defined by what others say or by what we think, but rather by what God says. I love to take people to Ephesians where Paul starts with who we are, not with what we do. In fact, this ex-hater of the faith is so wildly enamored with our stockpile of spiritual riches in Christ that he starts his book with a run-on sentence that goes on for 202 words (1:3-14). Those in Christ, are most cherished sons or daughters of the Most High God … forgiven, chosen, redeemed, adopted, loved, made blameless, forgiven, sealed and blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
I never get tired of telling people about the scandalous, gloriously messy grace of God. As Tim Keller says, “We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ then we ever dared hope.” In spite of checkered pasts, painful histories and flaws, God meets us where we are and changes who we are, compliments of a bloodstained cross and empty tomb. Our job is to surrender our green coats to God by faith. His job is to craft something mysterious, purposeful and beautifully God-honoring. Along the way I get to ask people the poet’s question, “Tell me, what is it you plan do with your one wild and precious life?”
- Leaders who are honoring God in their careers and callings
- New Leaders in Bible Study and one-on-one.
- Open Doors that the Spirit of God initiates.
- The power and dynamic of the Word of God.
Prayer for Speaking Opportunities
- PEO International Luncheon Speaker, October 11
- Revisited Leadership St. Tammany Invocation, October 11
- Living Hope Retreat Center Preaching, October 17
- Leader Faith Forum Teaching, October 18
- Preaching, October 20
- New Orleans Mission Chapel Preaching, October 21
- Burke, VA Community Church Men Speaker, December 12
- Inspiration Church Preaching, Silver Spring, Maryland, December 13
- San Antonio Men’s Retreat Speaker, February 24-26
- Iron Sharpen Iron Speaker March 11, April 1 and April 10
Helping Louisiana’s Leaders,