• communication,  education,  faith,  leadership

    CQ: Loving and Leading Like Jesus

    “What’s wrong with her?”  That was the question on my mind as I entered the room to find that Jessica hadn’t done what I asked her to. As her Internship Director, I thought she would have at least made an effort. Or asked questions. Or something. I thought: “I could not have been more clear.” I learned later that Jessica had tried. But my instructions did not mean to her what was so obvious to me. In our ensuing discussion, I realized my communication was clear…to me. But not to Jessica – a Southeast Asia citizen serving in the U.S. I want to tell you this was an isolated incident.…

  • communication,  faith

    [Paul] Cultural Communication at Mars Hill

    In this series we have looked at biblical examples of being “ready to speak.” We observed that Moses, though he had a voice and was technically ready, wasn’t willing or available. In Esther’s story we learned that just because an idea occurs to us, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right time to speak it – even when we believe it’s from God. Often we need to wait. To make time to listen to wise counsel. Timothy taught us, along with his mentor, Paul, to set an example for other believers through our lives, beginning with our speech.  For this final example, we’ll look at Paul’s famous speech to the…

  • communication,  faith

    [Timothy] Ready To Speak

    [Timothy] Ready To Speak It was Sunday morning and my family was out of town visiting a Christian fellowship with friends. A teen had been invited to share his testimony of participation in the youth mission trip. He approached the platform reluctantly, accepted the microphone with his right hand and tossed it to his left like a football, then continued tossing it back and forth throughout his remarks. The next few minutes were awkward for the young man and the congregation.  “Like…uh…we….like…..uh……flew in a like…..uh….you know…..plane…and stuff. And we like….uh…you know….helped out some like people…with like…you know…stuff. I’m s’posed to like tell you like…my uh testimony…and stuff…and like y’know it…

  • communication,  faith

    [Esther] Before You Are Ready To Speak – Are You Ready to Listen?

    Last week, I mentioned Moses as an excellent example of what it means to be ready – able and available – to speak. Another great case study is Esther. Like Moses, Esther knew her people were oppressed and in danger. A decree had been passed to kill all the Jewish people in the land. She had to speak up to save them.    In fact, as you read the book of Esther in the old testament (it’s only ten short chapters – and a fascinating read!), the fact that she needed to speak was clear. The message she had been asked to deliver was also clear.   However, before she…

  • communication,  faith

    [Moses] Before We are Ready to Speak, We Have to be Available

    Let’s say I’m the world’s foremost expert in solving a problem you have. And suddenly you find yourself in crisis mode. You don’t know anyone else who knows how to fix the problem. The meltdown begins. So you pick up the phone and call me, because I absolutely would know exactly what you can do to fix it.    Except I don’t answer your call. You hear that pleasant little voicemail recording: “The person at the number you dialed is unavailable right now.” I may have all the answers, but that’s absolutely unhelpful to you if I’m not available.   During our Communicators for Christ world tour this year, we…

  • faith

    [Advent Week 5] The Angel’s Candle

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son…” John 3:16 offers some of the best-known words in the entire Bible. A story, a promise. And it all starts with Christmas. With God giving us his Son, Jesus. Emmanuel. God with us.  Now that my children are grown, I still remember the overpowering rush of love that engulfed me when each one was born. And the heartbreak that happened every time they “flew the nest” – even though I knew I would continue to hear from, see, and hug them again.  Jesus’ sacrifice didn’t start on the way to the cross. It started when he left Paradise…

  • faith

    [Advent Week 4] The Shepherd’s Candle

    Each of my sons traveled to China with my mom over their 16th birthdays. It was an amazing experience and I was so grateful for them to have it with their grandma, serving God and his people. But I missed them terribly when they were away. And counted the days until I could see them again with growing anticipation. We had a joyful reunion at the airport when each one returned.  I’m not good at waiting. The month-long wait for my sons to return felt like an eternity. I can’t begin to imagine what the waiting must have felt like for God’s people in anticipation of the Messiah.  This Advent…

  • faith

    [Advent Week 3] The Bethlehem Candle

    One of my favorite lessons about peace is something we teach our students in the Institute during our Peacemaking courses: peace is not the absence of conflict, but recognizing the presence of God in it. The second candle on the Advent wreath is often called the “Bethlehem Candle,” and it represents how Jesus’ arrival on Earth signaled the arrival of true peace. Emmanuel – God with us – the very presence of God in human form, made peace possible. We can now access “peace that surpasses human understanding.” I can think of so many people who need to hear about this peace. And I want to be able to share…