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Brad Sumner
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Great comments and engagement in this discussion, friends. One of my favorite quotes in the book is where Bell playfully states "for some, the highest form of allegiance to their God is to attack, defame, and slander others who don't articulate matters of faith as they do" (183). It's almost prophetic in once sense because it was obviously written before he was on the defensive. But I do agree that we'll hear lots and lots of this in the coming weeks.
Gordon McDonald writes about two different kinds of periods of rest... First is pitstops, the kind of short pull-outs that recharge and get us back in the race. The second is an entire overhaul on the car, which takes us out of the race for a time with the idea that we get back in with a new engine and new vitality for the upcoming races. I find this distinction to be helpful as it allows me to ask 'what kind of soul rest do I need in this season?'
Answers - HA! Is that what you think blogging is all about... Well, you'll have to visit Ryan's blog for those. I'm simply full of questions and observations. In terms of the Anabaptist video game, you got me thinking... Might it not be more palatable / profitable if it was more like Settlers? After all, that would be more consistent with the past 150 years of Mennonite history. (Plus, apparently, there's already a Mennonite Mafia down in Mexico so if we went that route it could be based on a true story 'cause that also tends to sell well ;-)
Great question, Darryl. One thought is to probe the thought or impression you have and ask "does this sound like something the Holy Spirit would say?" There are a number of litmus tests or directions you could go in here (consistency with God's Word, etc) but a much more simple assessment would be similar to what you might apply in interpersonal interactions. For example, if I visit your blog and notice that the tone is 'off' or the posts are either off-colour or waaay off-topic from what I know to be true of you, then I might deduce that someone has hacked into your system and is 'posing' as you. The only clue I would have, however, would be that you don't sound like yourself. Similarly, if you have a pattern of knowing what God's voice sounds like, then you can use that as your reference point (this is also where Scripture intake becomes helpful because you have a baseline measurement to quickly test against). The other part of this is coming to terms with your own 'voice' as an individual. God has given you certain gifts, passions, experiential history, natural 'bents' and inclinations and just plain ol' common sense - which He expects us to use. For example, I don't wake up and ask the Spirit to speak to me each day about what socks to wear - I figure that's kinda within my pervue to just do. In fact, I personally think there's actually a lot more things like this than we might give credence to: Think of some of the things we have "big" questions about - where to live, when (or if) to have kids... these are significant decisions, to be sure. But sometimes I think we over-spiritualize them (actually, hyper-spiritualize them). I wonder sometimes if God isn't just saying "Get on with it already! I'm sovereign and will work it out for good - just make the damn decision!" Of course, we can get off track here so the third leg of the stool would be community. To be willing to test any assumption, prompting or decision against the collected discernment of the gathered community of God. You may say "I feel like God is calling us to move to Portland" - Fine. But test it with those who are wise and who know you well. They will be able to tell - sometimes even better than we can ourselves - what God is really saying to us. Perhaps the key is to become borderline dis-attached (or at least neutral or un-hurried) as it relates to the outcomes of our answers (but certainly not the process for discovering them). If we can position ourselves in this tri-vectored way (1 - very open to God, 2 - very aware of ourselves and 3 - very open to others) we might have a better chance of not distorting what we think we hear.
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2011 on Well Supplied at Leadership Confessions
Brad Sumner has shared their blog Leadership Confessions
Aug 31, 2009