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Transforming Mission LeaderCast with Tim Bias & Sara Thomas
8 minutes | Jun 21, 2022
Episode 235: Hope in the Ordinary - Notifications
Hope in the Ordinary This series of devotions are meant to serve as a simple reminder of God's presence in the ordinary moment of everyday life. Throughout the summer, we'll share a devotion each week to remind you of God's presence and the power of hope. Every week, you'll find the scripture, prayer, and reflection question on the website along with links to other devotions. Read 1 Corinthians 13 (MSG): If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. 8-10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. 11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. 12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. Reflect Listen to the above podcast. Respond Gracious God, thank you for the extravagant love you show me, even through red notification circles on my cell phone. Thank you for loving me for who I am and loving me enough to transform my life. Most of all, guide me today to be the one who trusts steadily, hopes unswervingly, and loves extravagantly. Amen. Return At the end of the day, return to this question: What interaction today sent you a notification, “you are loved”? Give God thanks for the people, places, and spaces you experienced today. Return next week for another devotion on Hope in the Ordinary. Listen to Episode 234 - Hope in the Ordinary - For the Birds
6 minutes | Jun 14, 2022
Episode 234: Hope in the Ordinary - For the Birds
Hope in the Ordinary This series of devotions are meant to serve as a simple reminder of God's presence in the ordinary moment of everyday life. Throughout the summer, we'll share a devotion each week to remind you of God's presence and the power of hope. Every week, you'll find the scripture, prayer, and reflection question on the website along with links to other devotions. Read "Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds." - Matthew 6:26 (MSG) Reflect Listen to the above podcast. Respond Creator God, thank you for the birds, the dirt, the bees, and all other flying and crawling things that remind us of the wonder of your creation. Open my eyes and ears this day to the sights and sounds of your creation. Then, remind me that I, too, am your creation. Amen. Return At the end of the day, return to this question: How did God’s creation remind you that you are one of God’s beloved? Give God thanks for the ordinary moment today. Return next week for another devotion on Hope in the Ordinary.
18 minutes | Jun 7, 2022
Episode 233: The Means of Grace - Christian Conferencing
Are Christian fellowship and Christian conferencing the same or different things? Explore why the words fellowship and conferencing, which have come to mean very different things, are actually pointing to one of the essential means of grace for United Methodists. Christian Conferencing as a Means of Grace But first, a question: Who has impacted your life and leadership the most? For most of us, it’s teachers, mentors, or coaches. People we’ve been in relationships with over a period of time. People who care deeply about us, about our well-being, growth, and becoming who God created us to be. Why that question? In this series, we’ve explored searching the scriptures, prayer, Holy Communion and fasting. This episode on Christian conferencing concludes the series. As we conclude the series, we end with the means of grace that is focused on faith-forming relationships. As you continue to read and listen to Episode 233, you’ll notice we use Christian conferencing and fellowship interchangeably. Christian Fellowship Here’s why: When John Wesley talked about Christian Conferencing he was using the verb confer. It was about Christians coming together to focus on their faith: to pray, share their experience of God, seek advice, offer counsel, confess their sins, and ask for forgiveness. With that reminder in place, it’s easy to recognize that we can't participate in Christian conferencing alone. Second, God doesn't want us to do life alone. And third, when you experience Christian fellowship, you realize you don't ever want to do it alone. But it wasn’t just John Wesley who talked about Christian conferencing. Let’s look at the scripture for reminders there too. Biblical Basis for Christian Fellowship/Conferencing Genesis 1 - Adam and Eve are created to be in relationship with one another. Why? Because it's not good to be alone. Luke 6:12-16 As Jesus stepped into public ministry, he didn't do it alone. He chose 12 disciples to be with him on the journey. Acts 2 - The Spirit forms the church. Matthew 18:20 - Where two or three are gathered in my name, I'm there among them. John 13 - a new commandment I give to you that you love one another, just as I've loved you. You also are to love one another. John Wesley on Christian Conferencing For Wesley, Christian Conferencing was about relationships. Faith-fueled relationships. The conferencing wasn’t a meeting. It wasn’t about legislation. Christian conferencing to Wesley was about being held in love and prayer by the people who cared about you the most. He was confronted by the fact that he was inviting people into Christian conferencing. He said, “That which never existed cannot be destroyed. The real truth is just the reverse of this. We introduced Christian fellowship where it was utterly destroyed and the fruits of it have been peace, joy, love, and zeal for every good word and work.” -A Plain Account of the People Called Methodists Christian fellowship remind us of the importance of being together. And that is both on Sundays for worship and at regular intervals of Christian conferencing. If you don't have one of those, you're not getting fully formed in the faith. So in case it isn’t clear Christian conferencing is about recognizing yourself as one of God's beloved among a group of God's beloved so that you might love one another. Means of Grace Series Missed the other episodes on the means of grace? Find them here: Episode 227 - The Means of Grace: Where Hope Abounds Episode 228 - Misunderstanding the Means of Grace - There’s Still Hope Episode 229 - The Means of Grace: Searching the Scripture Episode 230 - The Means of Grace: Prayer Episode 231 - The Means of Grace: Holy Communion Episode 232 - The Means of Grace: Fasting Episode 233 - The Means of Grace: Christian Conferencing (scroll up!) Learn More Wesley's Sermons: Upon our Lord's Sermon on the Mount VI Salvation by Faith On the Means of Grace A Plain Account of the People Called Methodist
21 minutes | May 31, 2022
Episode 232 - The Means of Grace - Hope from Fasting
What's the most unfashionable spiritual practice today? If you said fasting, you’d be in good company. It’s the means of grace that many people have difficulty practicing. One of the many reasons we find fasting difficult is the consumeristic culture we live in. We live in a world with short attention spans, and normalized consumption of social media, news, and anything on our mobile devices. Additionally, consumerism shows up in the instant gratification of goods and services. Abundance These examples point to fasting being counter-cultural in a world that is often surrounded by abundance. As a result, it’s possible to say, many of us are guilty of gluttony. Biblical Basis for Fasting In the Old Testament, fasting is done for primarily one reason: repentance for unfaithfulness. Sometimes it was individuals that fasted because of God’s judgment and at other times it was individuals (2 Sam 12:13-16, Nehemiah 9:1-2) Unfaithfulness isn’t the only reason for fasting in the Old Testament. Sometimes leaders would fast to seek God’s assistance. (1 Sam 7:3-11, 2 Chronicles 20:3-12 and Ezra 8:21-23) And sometimes fasting was a result of grief. David’s fast following the death of King Saul and Jonathan (1 Samuel 11-12) There’s one more type of fast in the Old Testament. Jump over to numbers 6:1-21 for something known as the Nazirite vow. This was fasting as a form of purification. But there were specific behaviors like abstaining from alcohol, cutting their hair, shaving, and….touching a corpse. This was the fasting of self-denial Fasting in the New Testament If I can continue into the New Testament, probably the most known example of fasting is that of Jesus following his baptism (Luke 4:1-2) for 40 days and nights he fasted. But that isn’t the only place Jesus talked about fasting. In the sermon on the mount, I love his instructions not to look gloomy like the hypocrites, they disfigure their faces so their fasting can be seen by others (Matt 6:16-18) Why is Fasting Important? Fasting is about deepening our relationship with God. So for leaders, fasting can be an essential means of grace when you're trying to make decisions, you feel the weight of those decisions and/or you find yourself being the center of attention, instead of Jesus being the center of attention. At the center of fasting are humility and self-control. Like most things, it matters why you are fasting. If it's about humbling yourself before God to seek God's will and God's way. Your motivation for fasting matters. There are many ways you can fast. Whatever you choose, if it is for a specific period of time or a specific type of fast, fast from one of the things that pull for your attention. It might be food, technology, a habit, etc. Hope in fasting comes from drawing closer to God. Hope while fasting comes from drawing closer to the God that we know in Jesus and humbling ourselves to be in God's presence and take God's guidance.
21 minutes | May 24, 2022
Episode 231: The Means of Grace - Hope in Holy Communion
This week as we focus on the sacrament of Holy Communion as a means of grace. You already know that the sacrament of Holy Communion is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. It’s a sign of God’s love for us. It’s a moment to be formed into the imago Dei. Like the previous means of grace we’ve explored, Holy Communion is about a relationship with the living God we know in Jesus. It’s an opportunity to encounter God’s love, experience forgiveness, and be shaped into the person God is inviting us to be. Wesley reminded us Holy Communion is “the grand channel whereby the grace of his Spirit was conveyed to the souls of all the children of God” (Sermon 26: Upon our Lord's Sermon on the Mount") As a means of grace, the “duty of constant communion” can bring objections from some. You’ve likely heard something like “if we celebrate Holy Communion too frequently, it will lose its power as being special.” Holy Communion: An Encounter with Grace What if instead, the opportunity to encounter God’s goodness and grace is a moment to experience the love of God we know in Jesus? What if each time we come to the table we’re shaped to be more like Jesus? What if each encounter with God’s grace fills us with grace? As you can probably tell, Tim and Sara are with Wesley on this one. The “duty” of constant communion may bring about objections, but the goodness of God’s love can’t be contained. Five Common Objections In this episode, we explore five common objections to the sacrament of Holy Communion and Wesley’s teaching on Holy Communion. All as a reminder that as United Methodists, the sacrament of Holy Communion is a means of grace to embrace. There is hope at Christ’s Table. May you experience God's forgiveness and steadfast love each and every time you participate in the sacrament of Holy Communion. Means of Grace Series Missed the other episodes on the means of grace? Find them here: Episode 227 - The Means of Grace: Where Hope Abounds Episode 228 - Misunderstanding the Means of Grace - There’s Still Hope Episode 229 - The Means of Grace: Searching the Scripture Episode 230 - The Means of Grace: Prayer Learn More Wesley's Sermons: Upon our Lord's Sermon on the Mount VI Salvation by Faith On the Means of Grace
16 minutes | May 17, 2022
Episode 230 The Means of Grace Hope in Prayer
“All that increases our awareness of God is prayer.” -Rueben Job Prayer is an invitation simply to be with God and to be in God's presence. That's all the hope we need, isn't it? While you may think, “I know all I need to know about prayer,” today Tim and Sara offer a few reminders in the form of stories about what it means to engage in prayer as a means of grace. As you continue your journey to become more like God and embody God's love, prayer is an essential component of being faithful. Prayer is a way to encounter God's love and model living in God's ways. Additionally, prayer is a way we are in a relationship with Jesus. As Christ center leaders, we have the same responsibility to model for others how to encounter God's grace and to be formed in Christ through the means of grace. A reminder of all the prayers at your fingertips: Psalms Lord's prayer Serenity prayer Written/journaling prayer Intercessory prayer Prayers of adoration Prayers of confession The Book of Common Prayer Sentence Prayer Popcorn Prayer Silent Prayer Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals Prayer of St. Francis Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition 35 Sentence Prayers Exploring and engaging in any form of prayer is about the quality of your prayer life, not the type of prayer you choose to engage in. Prayer helps us encounter God's love and transform our hearts into the image of God. That's the point of the means of grace. As you continue your journey of being formed into God's image, may prayer be an encouragement, a blessing, and a powerful reminder of who and whose you are to find resources for this episode, including prayer resources.
28 minutes | May 10, 2022
Episode 229 - The Means of Grace - Hope in Searching the Scripture
Today, we’re exploring what it means to “search the scripture” as a means of grace. When we search the scripture, we do so to encounter God. We can encounter God in prayer, in creation, in worship, in community, and yes, in the scripture. Encountering God in scripture is one of the primary means of grace. Encountering God As you consider the means of grace and encountering God in scripture, questions emerge. In other words, when we search the scripture, we explore the text. Searching the scripture opens you to the context and nuances of the Bible. Most of all, it points you to the image of God. Searching the scripture helps us to see that each dialogue, prose, or poem invites us to encounter God in different ways. Searching the Scripture Here are a few questions to explore as you search the scriptures. This is not a linear checklist. Instead, these are questions to ask as you seek to encounter God and live as one of God’s beloved: What is this passage saying about God? What is the scripture saying about humanity? What is the scripture saying to the church or to the ministries that I am a part of? How will I respond? Why Search the Scripture? In short, understand why you were searching the scriptures. It’s to encounter God. We hope this episode reminds you that encountering God in scripture leads to a transformed heart and life. Throughout this whole series, be reminded that the means of grace are ways to encounter God's love so we can be transformed into the image of God. When we search the scripture, we're encountering the love of God. Learn More Salvation by Faith On the Means of Grace Spiritual Formation Bible Parable of the Good Samaritan Luke 10 Parable of the Vineyard Matthew 20 Listen to Episode 227: The Means of Grace Episode 228: Misunderstandings in the Means of Grace
20 minutes | May 3, 2022
Episode 228: Misunderstanding the Means of Grace - There's Still Hope
The means of grace are wonderful ways to encounter God and grow in your relationship with Jesus. Sometimes, however, we confuse the means with the end. Join us this week to explore a few misunderstandings around the means of grace. The means of grace are opportunities to grow in our understanding and experience of God’s love. It’s all too easy to think that reading the scriptures, prayer, or Holy Communion is the point. The love of God we know in Jesus is the point. Let’s allow John Wesley to speak to us again. In Wesley’s message, Sermon 16: The Means of Grace, he writes: “But in process of time, when the love of many waxed cold, some began to mistake the means for the end, and to place religion rather in doing those outward works, than in a heart renewed after the image of God. They forgot that “the end of” every “commandment is love, out of a pure heart,” with “faith unfeigned;” the loving the Lord their God with all their heart, and their neighbour as themselves; and the being purified from pride, anger, and evil desire, by a “faith of the operation of God.” The end goal of the means of grace is a life transformed by the love of God we know in Jesus. Relationships, earning God’s love, and God’s preferred patterns for the means of grace are a few other topics we cover in the episode on the Misunderstandings of the means of grace. Read More about John Wesley Salvation by Faith On the Means of Grace Explore the Scripture mentioned in the Episode Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
14 minutes | Apr 26, 2022
Episode 227: The Means of Grace - Where Hope Abounds
Today we’re setting the stage for a series on “Hope and the Means of Grace.” There is a two-fold purpose for this series. First, to encourage you as Christ-centered leaders to tend to your faith formation. Second, to revisit the means of grace as a source of hope. In each episode, we’ll explore one big idea as well as answer two questions: What’s the leadership message? Where is hope? This week, we begin with an introduction to the means of grace. The question, “How do you tell the difference between giving and receiving grace?” reminds us of why the means of grace are vital to Jesus followers. Along the way, we explore the meaning of grace in scripture and turn to John Wesley for his understanding of the means of grace. The Means of Grace John Wesley had a clear view of the means of grace. He noted, “By ‘means of grace’ I understand outward signs, words, or actions ordained of God, and appointed for this end – to be the ordinary channels whereby he might convey to men preventing, justifying, and sanctifying grace…. The chief of these means are prayer, whether in secret or with the great congregation; searching the Scriptures (which implies reading, hearing, and meditating thereon) and receiving the Lord’s Supper, eating bread and drinking wine in remembrance of him; and these we believe to be ordained of God as the ordinary channels of conveying his grace to the souls of men. [II.1] Explore John Wesley’s Sermon 16 On the Means of Grace More than anything, remember this: wherever we are in our journey of faith, hope abounds! Want to encounter that hope? Explore the means of grace.
33 minutes | Apr 19, 2022
Episode 226: Hope for the Journey - Learning to Rise
Where are you standing right now? No. I don’t mean literally. I’m referring to your leadership. It’s Easter! Christ is Risen! And I trust you experienced the joy, wonder, and power of the resurrection in worship on Sunday. The question is, where are you standing with your leadership? Are you standing on the Monday side of Easter or the Friday side of Easter? While that may seem like a silly question to ask right after we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, it’s the reality of many leaders. Many try to lead without hope. Some try to lead without the power of the risen Lord guiding the way. And still others dwell in the darkness and disappointment we experience in the garden and at the cross. We are Easter people! If you didn’t say Amen as you read that, how about we try again? We are Easter people! Amen! And Amen! As Christ-centered leaders, you and I are a part of a movement that makes all of us Easter people. The question is, are you leading with the power of the resurrection as your guide? Are you learning to rise? If you’re not exactly sure what that means, in Episode 226, Tim and I explore the journey of learning to rise. Using the journey of Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday, we explore how leaders rise after disappointment, betrayal, doubt, and more. Resurrection hope gives us the promise of a new day. Resurrection hope is the power to turn disappointment into new life. Resurrection hope is available to you and the people you lead. For many, we simply need to learn to rise. As you listen to Episode 226, come with a difficult leadership moment you’re facing. Come prepared to explore how Stormy First Drafts can help you explore the story you’re telling yourself so you can experience the power of the resurrection…and much more.
25 minutes | Apr 12, 2022
Episode 225: Hope for the Journey - Sacrificial Love
As this episode drops, it’s Holy Week. Jesus followers are making the journey from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the table, the cross, and ultimately the empty tomb. It’s a busy week for many. But love doesn’t know the boundaries of busyness. Love doesn’t know the confines of a worship service or church building. The sacrificial love of Jesus we are reminded of this week broke every boundary we can imagine. That’s the way of Jesus. What was intended as punishment, unleashed a movement. What was offered in love, continues to transform lives. Explore how the outstretched arms of God’s embracing love on the cross remind you to lead with love. Episode 225 is a reminder for Christ-centered leaders of the transformative power of God’s love The sacrificial love of Jesus, the outstretched arms of God’s embracing love, is a reminder you are empowered to love. The cross is never the last word. As you journey to the table, sit at the cross, wait in the silence of Saturday, and celebrate the joy of the resurrection, may you encounter the love of God we know in Jesus.
17 minutes | Apr 5, 2022
Episode 224: Hope for the Journey - Facing the Unknown
Are you like Simon Peter? Specifically, are you like Simon Peter when you are facing the unknown? While Jesus called Peter a rock, when the pivotal moments in Jesus’ ministry were unfolding, Simon Peter was less than courageous. Peter denied Jesus. Peter denied knowing Jesus. Peter denied having been with Jesus. When you find yourself with your feet to the fire, do you stand in your integrity regardless of the outcome? Or, do you fall victim to the peer pressure that is around you? If you’re honest, the answer is likely, “It depends.” We all want to stand firm in our faith. We all want to stand with Jesus. But sometimes our humanity gets in the way and we fall short of embodying faithfulness…especially when facing the unknown. While you could ridicule Peter for his obvious missteps, at the end of the day, Peter reminds us of our humanity. Peter calls us to be faithful followers of Jesus even when it is difficult. Join Tim and Sara as they explore facing the unknown with Peter. Walk away with reminders about our human nature as well as encouragement to stand firm in the faith. Scriptures Mentioned John 13 John 18
14 minutes | Mar 29, 2022
Episode 223: Hope for the Journey - Confession
Confession is good for the soul. Explore the practice of confession from two different perspectives as you continue your Lenten journey. As leaders, there will be moments you mess up. The question is, will you own up to the mess up or seek to cover it up? Your character, specifically your Christian character, is being exposed at this moment. There are moments as humans, we all fall short or miss the mark. “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9) Consider how honesty and transparency might shape your leadership in these moments. The Psalmist also reminds us “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven . . . When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long . . . Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:1–5). This scripture helps us consider why we practice confession and how we do so. You already know confession is not just about seeking forgiveness for wrongdoings. There is another meaning to confession. That is a confession of faith. One of the earliest confessions of faith was “Jesus is Lord.” Consider this familiar passage from Philippians 2: “Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus: Though he was in the form of God, he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit. But he emptied himself by taking the form of a slave and by becoming like human beings.” When he found himself in the form of a human, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God highly honored him and gave him a name above all names, so that at the name of Jesus everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Confession, therefore, is also about trusting and obeying Jesus. This week as you consider hope for the journey, perhaps this episode will guide you in practicing confession when you miss the mark and trusting Jesus for the journey.
22 minutes | Mar 22, 2022
Episode 222: Hope For the Journey - Temptation
21 minutes | Mar 15, 2022
Episode 221: Hope for the Journey - Self Denial
If there is no self-denial there is no following Jesus. While at first glance that may seem like a bold statement, think of it instead as a countercultural statement. After all, Jesus’ invitation reminds us, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23. In a world where personal preferences can often take center stage, the topic of self-denial is often overlooked or ignored. In this episode, Tim and Sara have a conversation about self-denial, explore how it’s more than “giving something up for Lent” and end with love being the primary motivation for self-denial. We’ll explore how the means of grace keep us focused on Jesus. Self-denial is less about you and more about living into who God created you to be. Throughout the episode we look at several scriptures, including the following: These things were my assets, but I wrote them off as a loss for the sake of Christ. But even beyond that, I consider everything a loss in comparison with the superior value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:7-8. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. - Colossians 3:3–5 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20 "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” Hebrews 12:2a “Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus: Though he was in the form of God, he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit. But he emptied himself by taking the form of a slave and by becoming like human beings. When he found himself in the form of a human, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” -Philippians 2:4–8 “The Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now abide in my love. If you obey my commands you will abide in my love, just as I have obeyed my father’s commands and abide in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. … Love one another as I have loved you. -John 15, selected verses.
23 minutes | Mar 8, 2022
Episode 220: Hope for the Journey - Forgiveness
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32 (MSG) Forgive others as Christ has forgiven you. (Eph 4:32) We have all experienced anger, bitterness, and perhaps even vengeance. Forgiveness brings peace, hope, gratitude, and joy. Sometimes these feelings come from situations where we were done wrong or have wronged someone and have desired forgiveness. Whether it is a constant critic in your life, a colleague sabotaging projects, or trauma you’ve experienced, forgiveness is a part of our walk with Christ. In this episode, Tim and Sara explore how forgiveness releases its hold on you and helps free you from the control of the person who hurt you. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy, and compassion for the one who hurt you. We’ll look at Luke 15 and Matthew 18:15-22 to explore the meaning and practice of forgiveness. And, yes, we’ll even touch on the often spoken phrase “forgive and forget.”
23 minutes | Mar 1, 2022
Episode 219: Hope for the Journey - Repentance
Lent is upon us. This week we’ll speak and hear the words, “remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” as the sign of the cross is placed on foreheads. The journey of Lent is a time of repentance, fasting, and preparation for the coming of Easter. We’ve planned a series of podcasts for Lent that will help you approach lent with hope. As you participate in self-examination and reflection this Lent, the podcast will help you explore a different theme each week. We begin this week with the theme of repentance. Biblical Meaning of Repentance In the Old Testament, there are two words used for repentance. They both mean to turn around or return. You can see it often in phrases like “to turn to the Lord with all your heart.” In the New Testament, there is one word. It is the Greek word metanoia, which literally means “to change the mind.” Repentance fundamentally means to change your mind or change your perspective or change the way you are thinking. You’ve been thinking one way, but now you think the opposite way. That’s repentance — the changing of the mind. An example in the New Testament might be Romans 12:2: “Don’t be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” As you listen, explore several examples from Scripture. You also might “change your mind” about Tim and Sara always being serious. You’ll hear examples and reminders that help you embrace the role repentance places in our lives.
29 minutes | Feb 22, 2022
Episode 218: Using Your Talents to Lead with Hope
God has gifted you in a unique way. That means your strengths bring hope to life differently than your spouse, your colleague, and even your friends. Today we’re exploring how leaders create hope in different ways. Specifically, how your strengths show up and create hope for different people in different ways. In this episode, Tim and Sara use two CliftonStrengths to explore how leading with hope may look different for different people. It’s an opportunity for you, as a leader, to remember and claim the ways God has gifted you and to celebrate the ways that you share hope with the world. Listen to Episode 218 It’s no secret that many people are weary. One of the ways we can remind ourselves and one another of the faithfulness of God is to pause and celebrate the giftedness of others. To recognize how the people you lead are a blessing to others because of the way God’s gifted them. One final reminder: don’t just recognize your strengths. Put them to use in your leadership to be intentional about creating and fostering hope. And remember, when you share hope, it multiplies. Mentioned in this episode Strengths-Based Leadership Making Hope Happen by Shane Lopez
18 minutes | Feb 16, 2022
Episode 217: Communicating with Hope
A leader’s relationship with hope begins with your relationship with Jesus. If we’re resurrection people, and we are, our relationship with Jesus will guide all of our relationships. Today, we want to focus on why communicating with hope is a leadership imperative. We’ll explore a speech from Martin Luther King Jr that you’ve likely heard, or at least heard quoted, and how we almost missed experiencing hope. Then we’ll look at recent research around communication and leadership from Gallup. All to help us explore why communicating with hope is a leadership imperative. Share Hope It's a leader's responsibility to communicate with hope. The late Dr. Shane Lopez worked extensively with Gallup on the subject of hope said it best, "Hope matters. Hope is a choice. Hope can be learned. Hope can be shared with others." Inspiring hope is a leadership imperative and is becoming more important all the time. Perhaps that's why Jackson told Dr. King to talk about his dream. People needed hope. Those words offer listeners, and even us today, a reason to hope. What is your hope? Talk about it. Share it with others. Communicate with hope. Mentioned in this Episode Learn more and contribute to Hope Throughout the Year here. Is it Hope or Wishful Thinking? Hope is Everywhere
22 minutes | Feb 8, 2022
Episode 216: Leaving a Legacy of Hope
Mikaela Shiffrin. Vincent Zhou. Joe Burrow. Queen Elizabeth. Kyle Mullen. All of the above people were in the news over the weekend. Some are likely more familiar than others. Their names, whether familiar or not, are a small part of their story. Their relationships, life focus, talents, and heritage add to their story. Some were born into their roles, others trained for their roles, and one was seeking a new role. Every day, as leaders and Jesus followers, you are writing a part of your story. Your story has twists and turns, ups and downs, and more “plot twists” than most of us care to admit. But, more importantly, the life you’re leading is leaving a legacy. The question is this, “Is that legacy filled with hope?” Episode 216 explores leaving a legacy of hope. First, we explore how several well-known individuals are leaving a legacy. Then, we turn our attention to the “ordinary heroes” in our lives that form and shape us. Finally, we invite you to reflect on your own legacy and the people shaping you. Whether or not a news story airs, an article is written, or a book is compiled about your life is not the point. If you’re leaving a legacy of hope, it will be life-giving to others for years to come. Questions for Reflection Whose legacy inspires you to be a hope-filled leader? As a Christ-centered leader, what do their legacies teach you about being a person of hope a hope-filled leader?
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