Some mornings you wake up, read a few lines and think, “If we all did this, we would sort out a lot of problems. If we all had this mindset then things would clear up pretty quickly.” I know there are complex problems, but I challenge us to stack those problems on one side and this remedy on the other and consider the outcome.
1 But we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not just please ourselves.
2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good to build him up.
3 For even Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written, "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."
4 For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope.
5 Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus,
6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord...
“They made the bronze basin and its bronze stand from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.” Exodus 38:8
Tsaba is a Hebrew word that means “to go forth, wage war, fight, serve.” We don’t know who these women were, or how they got there, but there they were ministering at the entrance to the place of worship. There is no record of Moses saying, “How about we get a women’s fellowship, or a weekly ladies prayer meeting…” These ministering women just appear. They probably saw, not just with their natural eyes, that God was up to something, and they wanted to be right there.
Theirs was not a soppy, soaking, sloppy worship either: it was “tsaba” – waging war, fighting, going forth. These were women on a mission, with a purpose, doing spiritual battle before anyone stepped into the tent of meeting.
Scripture does not tell us whether these were single or married women, but it...
We are living in the midst of a three-headed crisis: pandemic, politics, profiteering.
It is no wonder that various groups are trying to make the most of the crisis. While the concept of not wasting a crisis is wrongly attributed to Winston Churchill, the real source of the phrase is found in “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinsky. It was later used by Barak Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel (who is also a former Mayor of Chicago). “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
A lot of energy nowadays goes into making sense of what is happening in the world. Crises are not new, and the patterns used by those who would leverage them for their own ends are premised on discontent and disorder. The general idea is to find a crisis, amplify it with as much emotion as possible, propose your unique solution (which fits your ideology), make sure that...
Many people have asked, "How can I get more balance in my life?"
This is the wrong question, and God is not obliged to answer bad questions. Convergence is not about balancing different parts of life. It is about submitting all to God and integrating.
Why might the balance question be the wrong question?
Integration is not easy, but it is rewarding. It carries an authenticity that is rare, a peace that is palpable, a centeredness that calms.
Man is made in the image of his/her Creator. Our Creator is a worker. Without his work, we would not exist. Without the things He created, we would not know what He is like. Before a book was written, His divine attributes and nature were visible through His work. The old Quaker saying says, "Work is love made visible" is true. Work is worship (it is the same word in the Hebrew).
However, sin did mess work up: it became a sweaty drudgery, the ground and sky and sea not co-operating as it had done before. Then came the 2nd Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ. He redeemed many things, including our work so that we can, from here on out, work with him in a divine-human collaborative.
Amazing! Discovering work as God designed it is key to Convergence.
Find your passion, then work will be easy! Or, as many a NextGen-ers have said, "If only someone would pay me to do what I am passionate about!"
The problem is, Ms. Millennial, next month your passion (about which you are convinced today) will have changed. Human trafficking will be out of vogue, and the pink-striped salamander will need saving.
Work is work. Sometimes it is inspired, but after the inspiration comes the perspiration. I have written many books, and I love the process... and I hate it. Sometimes it is like wading a swamp, other times like soaring with eagles. If passion--and, by that you mean, feeling constantly excited and uber amped--is your guiding light, you will end up chasing fireflies down a winding path that goes nowhere.
Purpose trumps passion; obedience is bigger than both.
The idea behind "success to significance" is good, and it is bad. The good part is simple: people can realize there is more to life than just being successful. We were made for something more.
If, however, we make a pursuit of significance, we fall into an equal and opposite error, for anything that is pursued before God becomes an idol.
Another bad outworking of "success to significance" is that it opens the possibility of dualistic thinking, where these are two different tracks. The net result is fragmentation, and
“Fragmentation decreases our ability to comprehend truth and make sense of life. This is why satan uses compartmentalisation as part of his strategy to “steal, kill and destroy” thereby reducing our ability to experience the God who is One.” - Brett Johnson
Convergence involves integration, and one of the most plain expressions of this is how (for married couples) wives and husbands flow together. Married life can be greatly enhanced, if not simplified, if there is an agreed joint decision-making framework. Failure to agree on this basic life-process can lead to conflict, misunderstanding and divergence.
Practically, each person should map out how they, in their minds, make decisions. Then compare notes, and agree on a shared decision map. Test it out on a small decision or two before graduating to larger decisions.
In 1986, Lyn and I landed in California with two small children, four suitcases, and a few personal belongings. "This will be your home for quite a while," God whispered as the plane was about to land on those fingerling runways that protrude into the San Francisco bay.
This sparked an intense season of seeking God for what we should do with the foreseeable future: Should we stay in the US? What about our community back home? Do I change careers? Will the children be better off in South Africa, or the USA? Why would God want me to lay aside the church I was leading... many questions.
34 years later, one tends to forget the struggles of those decisions. Truth is, it is a myth that life decisions are easy. "Just ask Jesus," sounds right, but also trite.
Be prepared to wrestle with God, get insight from trusted counsel, see through the mist, stub your toes in the dark: it is part of the journey.
My bent is towards strategy, but in uncertain times, this can paralyze people. We think, "Until I know my life calling, I cannot make a decision."
Generally, we come to understand our purpose as we do the next thing, with one hand on our tools, and an ear toward heaven. We talk about the Head, Heart and Hands of a leader: there is a 4th H... Habits! Sometimes our habits lead us into our calling.
In fact, having the Big Picture in the wrong picture frame is stupid.
Dig into your worldview, the set of assumptions you have about how the world works. Get a little insight into your assumptions about life before you try to settle your purpose. In the meantime, do some good for someone else. Obedience opens the intellect.