Books I'm Reading, Discovery Church, Discovery Prescott, leadership, Ministry

Seven Week Speaking Sabbatical at 60

“Every leader functions on two stages–the front stage and the back stage. The front stage is the public world of leadership. The back stage is the private world of the leader. There are many resources to help you succeed on the front stage. But who is talking to you about you and your backstage life?

  • prioritize matters of the soul
  • develop healthy spiritual practices
  • address problems that lead to burnout
  • create a healthy rhythm in your life
  • craft a healthy leadership culture
  • develop better systems in your church
  • move toward an unhurried life”

From the book Replenish by Lance Witt

 

At the age of 60 I had a personal goal to take a six week sabbatical from my ministry responsibilities at Discovery for the above mentioned desire.

However, real life would not allow that to take place.

Then, an idea of a partial sabbatical took shape and here is how it worked.

Discovery church here in Prescott has developed and been given some amazingly gifted and talented people.

Seven of them responded to my request to speak on Sundays and each brought such a rich and diversified message.

Something besides giving me the much needed break came  out of this as well.

Over the seven weeks I noticed something I have never that experienced.

Each speaker showed our church what our actual theology was and that was powerful to witness.

Here are a few quotes and statements from the past seven weeks.

Week 1 with Keith Dionise 

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“Jesus is the continuation of the story of God.”

“We need the Gospel to transform the heart, to grow with our relationship with God.”

“Jesus is coming back…..Without this truth rooted in our heart we can be discouraged.”

“In our everyday practical life we are living one of four ways: our hearts are hardened to the word of God, we recognize the word of God but do not accept it, we accept the word of God but not the reconciliation, & we accept the reconciliation of God.”

“Without having a foundation of faith, we can become a skewed in our beliefs.”

“God doesn’t want us to have a piece of him, he did not sacrifice his son for this, to deny him is to deny the work he has done for us.”

“We are not here to reinvent the gospel … we are here to let the gospel will reinvent us.”

Keith Dionise

Listen to the sermon here:

https://podpoint.com/episode/embed/96855

Week 2 with Helen Jackson

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“As mother’s we are not given a manual. Our manual for life & reference is the word of God.”

“The Bible gives us instruction for birthing, marriage, family & anything else we may encounter in our lives.”

“We can say that we love God, but if we don’t read the Bible, how do we know how to love him?”

“We live with God & he lives with us, he is a personal God.”

“In our times of trial & trouble we can sometimes question God’s direction. The Bible can help answer our questions, & define God’s character.”

“We eat everyday, food is our body’s fuel. The Bible is no different, it is the food for our spiritual body. If you don’t fast for your physical body, why are you fasting your spiritual body?”

“Sometimes the message we feast on can be undesirable, & other times it can be pleasant, but remember no matter the message it feeds our spiritual being for the better.”

“To glorify God is to bless God.”

“We can glorify God by our character & our actions.”

“God did not create us for him to be our pleasure, he created us for HIS pleasure.”

“If you want to live for God & have a relationship with him, you cannot live without his word, the Bible.”

“It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, God can use you.”

“In today’s world, people are feeling beaten up, all they want is hope. God IS hope, he is faithful, present, giving, generous, & good. He will give direction, just read it.”

Listen to the message here.

https://podpoint.com/episode/embed/97158

Week 3 with Maureen Simpson

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“Never pass up an opportunity to break bread with someone who you don’t know. A new relationship & possibility to share the story of Christ may arrive from that occasion.”

“Live with intentionality with the people around you everyday. You do not need to be blood or have any other connection to any one person in order to serve selflessly.”

“Do not take for granted your availability to serve, worship and live as you do in America, because not everyone has that opportunity to do so.”

“The relationship of Christianity isn’t meant to be just for us, but to be given away & shared with others.”

This message is not available online.

Week 4 with James Dufour

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” I have not even read the entire bible and yet I have been ask to preach it.”

“Ephesians 6 tells us to “stand” three times.”

“I’m so excited for the next best book in the bible.”

“The belt of truth holds us together.”

“All of us are fighting a battle.”

“Our righteousness is found in Jesus.”

 

Week 5 with Jason Dyer

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“If we are only trying to please people, then we are not servants of God.”

“Deep down we all seek validation & approval.”

“As Christians we share because of our love for others. Regardless of what others may think of us, we must never miss an opportunity to share God.”

“Understand that the approval of “they” & “them”, doesn’t matter.”

“Do NOT seek the approval of man, you will only lose your way, because at the end of the day IT DOES NOT MATTER.”

“As a society we have been conditioned to a culture of “SELFIES”. Do not chase after the approval of man.”

“We are not called to donate & give for the acknowledgment & pride, when we give, give without saying.”

“A lot of us are caught up in seeking the approval of others & ourselves, that we are missing the real reason that we are here.”

“If you are struggling with the circumstances of your life & questioning your approval from God, remember, he GAVE up his ONLY son because GOD LOVES US.”

“God doesn’t only just love us, he cherishes us, we are valued by him.”

“No matter where we are at or what we’ve done, GOD loves us, because Jesus died for US.”

“Understand that God isn’t going to love a FUTURE version of yourself more than he loves you right NOW. ”

Listen to the message here:

https://podpoint.com/episode/embed/98635

 

Week 6 with Nolan Howell

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“What is Biblical meditation: Finding an opportunity to have a time of quiet to focus on God.”

“Every time God gives us something good, the world finds a way to pervert it.”

“With Biblical meditation we strive to fill our minds’ with positive thoughts & strengthen against the attacks of the enemy.”

“When we meditate on God’s word, he is with us.”

“Meditating on God’s word renews our souls. It allows us to discover God’s will for us.”

“Meditation is not easy, it takes practice. All too often when we try to focus on God, the distractions of life can come rushing in.”

“Do not be intimidated by Biblical meditation, if you’re not sure how to begin, start by focusing on a specific scripture or think about all of the gifts that God has given you, & thank him for those gifts.”

“Remember to focus on what’s next, Jesus.”

“Be honest with yourself, we may look like we are put together, but we’re not. The reality is we’re a mess. We need his help, but we may not know what to say. Guard your mind & thoughts & invite God in, to meditate on his word.”

Listen to the message here:

https://podpoint.com/episode/embed/99024

 

Week 7 with Boniface Musyoka Nyamu

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“God came down to rescue the people from the power of the Egyptians, & to bring them up from that land to a land that is good & spacious, to a land flowing with milk & honey to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, the Jebusites…..(.& the websites)”

“At times we may know who we are, but along the way we can forget who we are. Remember though that God will always remember who we are.”

“A mirror is a tool that allows us to see ourselves. We have many different “mirrors” in our lives that let us see our selves.”

“The people in our lives can act as a mirror in the way that they can reflect onto ourselves what they themselves see in ourselves.”

“Our jobs can act as a mirror in reflecting our outward successes to those around us.”

“Our cultural influences such as social media can act as a mirror in the way that they reflect our thoughts & public personification of ourselves to others.”

“The hardest mirror for us to look into is our past which shows us our mistakes & regrets.”

“The most important mirror in our lives is the word of God. We are a reflection of him. Walk towards this mirror.”

“We have to trust in the word of God. We have to have faith to walk through the hardest parts of our lives & trust that God will not fail us, that the past is gone, & that he is working on us.”

“We put so much pressure on ourselves in the different “mirrors” that we choose to look into. Look into the word of God & see your true reflection. We are not perfect, but we will see ourselves freely when we look into God’s mirror.”

“God is the light, the light of our lives & our future.”

“Through the other “mirrors” we can get distorted views of our lives & believe the lies these false mirrors reflect to us.”

“Our distorted views that we reflect cause us to question our worth, value & purpose.”

“These distorted reflections can give us a false identity. We are not here by mistake, we belong here. Our true identity is because God wants us here, & that he LOVES us all so much.”

Thank you all who contributed to this seven week journey.

Pastor Steve

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Books I'm Reading

Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice:

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Dr. Ashley Denton’s book on Christian outdoor leadership is the first of its kind.

Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice offers a relevant and innovative approach to leadership development, evangelism, discipleship, and spiritual formation through outdoor adventure. People today are eager for more experiential approaches to learning. This book re-asserts
Jesus’ experiential discipleship strategy by showing how to incorporate outdoor adventure into ministry the way he did. Few books on evangelism or discipleship probe the outdoor dimension of Jesus’ apprenticeship methods, and this book fills that gap.

This book builds on Dr. Robert Coleman’s classic Master Plan of Evangelism by addressing an element of Jesus’ apprenticeship strategy that has been given too little attention: The outdoor setting and timing were often the crucial elements of his teaching that fueled radical change of heart. Jesus often coupled his teaching with adventurous outdoor experiences to facilitate experiential learning. This is exactly what many people are hungry for today. Let Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice introduce you to a new way of making disciples that is profoundly anchored in Jesus’ ancient style of apprenticeship, utilizing experiential learning and outdoor adventure as a catalyst for transformation.

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Books I'm Reading, outdoors

BACKPACKING WITH THE SAINTS

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Diving into this tonight at the suggestion of a friend.

The only problem with me reading this book is now I know I will need to do this.

Here is the review on the Jacket cover.

“Carrying only basic camping equipment and a collection of the world’s great spiritual writings, Belden C. Lane embarks on solitary spiritual treks through the Ozarks and across the American Southwest. For companions, he has only such teachers as Rumi, John of the Cross, Hildegard of Bingen, Dag Hammarskjöld, and Thomas Merton, and as he walks, he engages their writings with the natural wonders he encounters–Bell Mountain Wilderness with Søren Kierkegaard, Moonshine Hollow with Thich Nhat Hanh–demonstrating how being alone in the wild opens a rare view onto one’s interior landscape, and how the saints’ writings reveal the divine in nature.

The discipline of backpacking, Lane shows, is a metaphor for a spiritual journey. Just as the wilderness offered revelations to the early Desert Christians, backpacking hones crucial spiritual skills: paying attention, traveling light, practicing silence, and exercising wonder. Lane engages the practice not only with a wide range of spiritual writings–Celtic, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sufi Muslim–but with the fascination of other lovers of the backcountry, from John Muir and Ed Abbey to Bill Plotkin and Cheryl Strayed. In this intimate and down-to-earth narrative, backpacking is shown to be a spiritual practice that allows the discovery of God amidst the beauty and unexpected terrors of nature. Adoration, Lane suggests, is the most appropriate human response to what we cannot explain, but have nonetheless learned to love.

An enchanting narrative for Christians of all denominations, Backpacking with the Saints is an inspiring exploration of how solitude, simplicity, and mindfulness are illuminated and encouraged by the discipline of backcountry wandering, and of how the wilderness itself becomes a way of knowing-an ecology of the soul.”

Now to make plans of my own.

My saints will be:

Frank Boreham, John Muir, Ed Abby, Henry David Thoreau, a little Leonard Sweet  and some good maps.

Thanks Eric N for the tip on this one.

“there are those who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.” – Aldo Leopold- A Sand County Almanac

steve

Steve

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