This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...
Why Can’t We Disagree Well? Reflections on Colin Kaepernick, VP Mike Pence, and Listening Well –Ed Stetzer
…what has become clear in the past month—and what was driven home in Sunday’s antics by leaders who should know better—is that debate over these protests has spiraled away from Kaepernick’s objective. Those who point out that the protest has forced us to talk about injustice don’t realize that we’ve been hijacked by discussions of patriotism.
My disappointment with the protests has nothing to do with their content—a message we so need. Instead, I am saddened that they were so easily lent to this kind of co-option.
I want Mr. Kaepernick and others who are on a knee, I want them to listen to the pain that that may cause somebody who, for example, had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing. But I also want people to think about the pain he may be expressing about somebody who’s lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot.
Indeed, listening is key…
Unfortunately, people frequently boil down disagreement to: you have to agree with me or you are [blank]. Each community fills in that blank with whatever pejorative term applies: racist, unamerican, ignorant, bigoted, elitist, etc. There are times when these viewpoints do get voiced and need to be called out as such. But often, it is not the content of the disagreement that provokes these responses, but the disagreement itself.
And on a related note…
That everyone has a noise in their head.
That everyone thinks that they are right, and that they have suffered affronts and disrespect at the hands of others.
That everyone is afraid. And that everyone realizes that they are also lucky.
That everyone has an impulse to make things better, to connect and to contribute.
That everyone wants something that they can’t possibly have. And if they could have it, they’d discover that they didn’t really want it all along.
That everyone is lonely, insecure and a bit of a fraud. And that everyone cares about something.
Sonder might happen to you. When it does, it will help you see the world in a whole new way. Because, if you let it, the feeling can persist. A feeling that can allow you to see others the way you’d like to be seen.
6 Reasons Pastors and Church Leaders Must be More Courageous Today –Thom Rainer
Though there have certainly been more difficult times in the course of Church history for pastors, leading a church today is much tougher than it was 20 and 30 years ago. There have been some demographic and cultural shifts that reflect this reality. But some of the challenges can only be understood in the context of spiritual warfare.
So, what are some of the specific reasons pastors and church leaders must be more courageous today? Though my list is far from exhaustive, allow me to name six of the key factors…
Church members: may I encourage you, even exhort you, to pray that your pastors and church leaders will have the courage they need to lead God’s churches?
Every single day…
3 Things to Say to Your Kids Every Day –Art Rainer
As parents, the words we say to our kids can make a significant difference in their lives, both in the present and future. I am nowhere near the perfect parent. Many of my days end with parenting regrets, things that I know I could have done better or differently.
But there is something that I don’t regret. Every morning and every night I tell my kids three things…
I love this insight into what happened with Jacob & Esau… and us…
Something Better Than the Land –Courtney Reissig
God gave Esau the land, but sent Jacob down to Egypt. Jacob was part of God’s chosen people. Jacob was the one God picked. Jacob was the one God used to grow his people. Jacob was the one who blessed the nations through his family line. But instead of the land, he went down to Egypt. And we all know what happened there.
Esau got his land right then, Jacob never got it in his lifetime. At first glance, it can seem like Esau is the favored one, the blessed one. It looks like he wins. He isn’t sent into slavery. He doesn’t wander in the desert. He doesn’t face enemies on every side (as far as we know). He gets the land immediately. He gets his best life now.