Friday, March 31, 2006

Family Matters

I want to take our conversation in a different direction with this post, and talk about something that’s been overlooked in many of our conversations – our families. I recently had the joy of spending a week on vacation with my family. We were fortunate that my oldest son’s spring break from college matched up with the spring break for the other kids, so we decided to take advantage of it. What a great week! It was fun just being together. I didn’t completely forget about my church or my consulting work, but I came pretty close.

And in that, I was reminded how much my family matters to me. I’m thankful for each of my kids – God has made each of them very unique, and He has taught me much through them. And I’m deeply thankful for my wife who is an incredible helpmate and companion in every aspect of my life.

The vacation reminded me of a couple of other things as well. It pointed out (again) how easy it is for me to use (and abuse) the “tomorrow” excuse with my family. There are always so many pressing priorities that I often think that quality time with my wife or kids can wait until tomorrow. Of course, tomorrow turns into next week which turns into next month … It reminded me that it’s important for me to refresh my own soul with times of relaxation.

Of course, I’ve been back almost two weeks now, and the refreshment is draining away quickly. But I’m trying to remember my lessons and find a more time for family matters. So after you read this post, turn off your computer, give your spouse a kiss and your kids a hug, and do something fun.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Back in the Game -- Second Chair as Warrior, Finally

Thanks for your patience with us as we have been quite busy these last few weeks.

First, we had a great day in Springfield. Mike and I both walked away enthused and hopeful for the first and second chair leaders that attended the seminar. This was a tremendous experience for me and one that energized my spirit.

Now, for the second chair as warrior take! I hope that you are ready. Go with me to Exodus 17:8-15. It states:

8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands."
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."
15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.
Wow! Incredible story! But what portion do you identify with the most in the second chair? Isn't it Aaron and Hur? Isn't this one of the key ways that we as second chair leaders can identify with those who serve alongside another to strengthen them and assist them?
But, doesn't faitful exegesis require us to look down in the valley as well? What is down there? What is going on? Who is down there?
A second chair leader, who, in obedience and subordination ,went down into the valley to fight the Amalekites. This man was sent a special message by God, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it. . . "?
Joshua, this faithful second chair leader, was slinging the sword in the valley, enforcing and exercising the will of another. He was playing the role of second chair as warrior.
What about you? Have you ever had to enforce or exercise the will of another by, "slinging the sword?" Have you ever found yourself playing the role of warrior?
I have and it has not been a pleasant experience. As a matter of fact, this role as warrior has been the most difficult to play. Frankly, I have never been able to play it without it taking an emotional toll on me.
There are two very distinct times when I have had to play this role. The first time was a few years ago, the second, more recently. In both of these experiences, I finished the task with tears.
One of the things that has helped me is a lesson that I believe that Yahweh wanted Joshua to learn. Simply put, this is a lesson on perspective. Think about it! Joshua was down in the valley, and all he knew was war, swords, sheilds, death, and brutality. He didn't have a mountain top perspecitve. Only Moses, and his servants, fully understood this mountain top perspective and what was taking place up there. Yahweh saw fit to give Joshua a special message to help him know that there was a different scene playing out in a different realm, but at the same time and dealing with the same issue.
You and I must trust this message to Joshua, when, in times of tough assignments, we can only see the war portion of our assignments and we don't understand the higher perspective playing out in a different realm. We must trust that God, in His sovereignty, is going to honor us, even when we carry the load of the tough assignment as warrior.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Lessons Learned from Springfield

Share with others in the Second Chair Community some of the lessons you have learned form the Springfield Second Chair Leaders Conference. Just hit the comment link below, post as an "anonymous" blogger and hit the publish post key. You will be asked for "Word Verification" and just type in the letters you see.