to our Southern Border Chaos to Religious Liberty Persecutions/Pressures Worldwide to juggling massive state and consumer debt to pre-fall campaign strategies. I wonder if God laughs at our madness or cries out of compassion. How do we negotiate it all? How do we swim with the sharks and not get eaten alive? I sure don’t have all the answers and I don’t think you can make it out of life’s waters without being harpooned… but I’ve been experiencing the fruit of the “With” Principle.
Mark 3:14 says, “And he appointed twelve, so that they would be with him and that he would send
|White Sulphur Springs Retreat Center|
them out.” Paul practiced this same approach with Barnabas, Timothy, Titus, Silas and so many faithful men and exhorts us in the “With” Principle throughout Timothy and Thessalonians. In June, I finished up a three-month stint at the Capitol during session, followed by eight days of teaching to military officers with Officers Christian Fellowship as well as numerous appointments and Bible studies with leaders. What stood out to me was the value of the “With” Principle. It is the simple truth that the best discipleship and spiritual formation flows out of being “With” people while the Holy Spirit is in your midst. My work is not flowing out of any program, canned approach, special expertise or an agenda. I am planting a seed, watering it and watching it grow. I shepherd leaders, enfold strays and relate to people, not as a job, but as a way of life. It is just sort of like breathing. I don’t know any other way.
|Some of the Military Officers and their families|
It is so easy to approach relationships out of agendas sometimes hidden agendas. I’m enjoying the “With” Principle. I don’t have to have all the answers and don’t have to always be on the top of my game. I am a fellow traveler and sometimes struggler. In fact, last week when I taught on the topic of failure, it produced the greatest discussion of my eight day stint. I disciple out of a man’s life by asking questions. I disciple out of my life by sharing victories, defeats, experiences and learnings, and I disciple out of Jesus’ life through the Word. I’m seeing the kingdom is at its best when underground, counter-cultural, stealthy, quiet, humble, hopeful and positive. Too much of the Faith seems to be negative, loud, problem-centered and angry.
|Teaching Session to Military Officers
Messiah!” (John 1:42) This month I have seen leaders freed up from bondage. I’ve seen men truly hear His voice and enjoy Truth chase away lies. Some with dark clouds and shark bites have discovered hope. I’ve experienced the joy of men I walk with go off to foreign mission fields or debate a panel of atheists. I walk with leaders living in shark infested waters choose to cling one more day to Jesus even as they await their rescue. Yup, walking “With”men has been good this month. Give it a try. Somebody needs to be “With” you and With “Jesus”.
|I also enjoyed speaking to the staff|
state and can fly in…I will make sure we pick you up at New Orleans Airport. Pass the word.