"Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.

Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops."

Luke 12:1-3 KJV

The Relational Death Dance

By Ray W. McCollum 'In the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.' John 2:23-25   KJV Every leader knows the key role trust plays in church as well as in the business world. No one can build anything alone, and the only way not to be alone is to trust others. And yet experience teaches us the wisdom of not being too trusting too quickly. Jesus modeled this principle in the text above.

Discerning Between Two Dimensions of Leadership

 "But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure..." 2 Corinthians 10:13  NASB In his helpful new book, Leading Like Jesus, noted author Ken Blanchard articulates a leadership principle that has eluded me for many, many years. It has to do with discerning the different modes of leadership and how it all functions practically in our lives. There are two primary "spheres" of leadership defined.

There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere

By Ray W. McCollum

"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing.  In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Genuine faith in Jesus Christ invariably produces a generally optimistic nature.  The Gospel itself is called the "good news".  The back of the book says we win.  Most of us have memorized Romans 8:28, how "God causes all things to work together for good for them that love Him..."  But what is optimism?  The dictionary defines optimism as:

"An inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events; To anticipate the best possible outcome."
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition

Notice that optimism does not deny the facts or minimize the reality of negative situations, but instead puts the most favorable interpretation on them.  Optimism anticipates the best possible outcome?

Is this true of your life?

The Illusion of Progress

By Ray W. McCollum

"We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up in teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing.
And a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress whilst producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization.

Gaius Petronius, AD66

Real progress can be elusive and difficult to achieve. It’s much easier for those of us in leadership to produce the "illusion of progress" than genuine progress itself.

They Still Want To See Jesus

By Ray W. McCollum

"Sir...we would like to see Jesus."
John 12:21  NIV

Only hours before He was to go the Cross, Jesus' disciples were sought out by a group of Greeks, (Gentiles, or "non-Jews"), with one request.  They wanted to see Jesus.  They still want to see Jesus today.

The Preacher's Wife

The Preacher's Wife(1996)
Stars: Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston
DVD/Color/WS/124 Minutes

Here's my holiday pick for your family this year. It's a delightful remake of the popular black-and-white version of the 1940's with Cary Grant, and stars two of the most attractive people in the movies, Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston.

When God overhears a Preacher (played by Courtney B. Vance) bemoaning the loss of the church's Youth Center, He dispatches an angel (Washington) to help him. The Preacher, however, is unconvinced that the angel is the real thing, and the fun begins.

Responding To Scandal

By Ray W. McCollum

"And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things."
Acts 5:11   KJV

The resignation and scandal involving Christian pastor and evangelical leader Ted Haggard for homosexuality and drug use has once again torn at the fabric of the moral authority of Christ's church in America.  As Haggard's local church processes through the pain, the rest of us would do well to measure what our response ought to be to this kind of issue.

The Steward's Risk

By Ray W. McCollum

"But his master answered, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you...
ought to have put my money in the bank, and (at least)
I would have received my money back with interest...'

"Therefore, take away the talent from him, and give it to he who has the ten talents.  "For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an aubndance; but from the one who does not have, even what he has shall be taken away."
- Matthew 25:26-29

Let me tell you something I have learned about spell it "R-I-S-K"!  Living by faith and obeying God always involves a "risk factor", or else it's not biblical faith.

"risk"-The possibility of loss or injury; peril; the chance of loss
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition

Every one of us instinctively knows about risk. Some people pay a lot of money to experience the thrill or "rush" of taking a risk. After he retired from his presidency, George Bush, Sr. took up sky-diving in his 70's! 40,000 Americans a year take up rock climbing, 25,000 "shoot the rapids" of the Colorado and millions play the lottery or the stock market. All are taking a risk. Steve Irwin, the "Crocodile Hunter", recently lost his life in an incident with a sting ray, a creature normally not considered dangerous to humans. One wildlife expert commented, "It's like being killed by a poodle". The ironic thing was that Irwin's popularity and success hinged on our fascination with risks he took, especially with the more dangerous species.


Hawaii (1966)1966 

Stars: Julie Andrews, Max Von Sydow, Richard Harris

DVD/Color/161 Minutes

I remember seeing this film when it first came to theaters back in 1966. I was 22 and had not yet come to faith in Christ. I remember loving the scenery, the photography and most of all, Julie Andrews. (I had a huge crush on Julie from the year before, when she made her film debut in “The Sound of Music”.)  But I have to say that this movie was big disappointment to me at the time. It was too long and too slow-moving to hold my attention.  What a difference seeing it again a few months ago as a Christian and as one who is deeply involved in world missions!

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