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Bible Book: Matthew

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The Dry Place

The struggle for power: Where does real power come from? Under whose authority is Jesus operating?

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The Deep Place

Did Jesus have to go back to these deep waters of baptism and submerge himself in the waters of God’s love whenever he questioned his own leadership abilities? Did he ever feel discouraged about them? 

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The word "mindfulness" in cursive on a piece of paper

An Invitation to Inner Work

Scripture has much to say about the importance of what’s inside of us. In the Bible, we discover how we can do inner work in a distinctively Christian way, and how this work isn’t just ours, but is something God does in and with us. For now, however, I want to answer the “Should we be doing inner work?” question with a resounding “Yes.” Though God certainly cares about what we do with our lives and the fruit they produce, there’s no question that God cares deeply about our inner lives, what the Bible regularly refers to as our hearts. Through the gospels, Jesus invites us to join him in the inner work he’s already begun to do in us. 

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Adoration of the Shepherds (Caravaggio, 1609)

Leadership Wisdom – Humility and Relational Hospitality

As leaders, it’s easy to forget the effect our position has on others.

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Adoration of the Shepherds (Caravaggio, 1609)

Leadership Wisdom – Connection and Belonging

In the end, leadership is about relationships.

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Pope Francis and an Elderly Woman

Leadership Wisdom – Solidarity with the Poor

It’s easy to forget that all of us live lives rooted in gift. 

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Graffiti reading "THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE"

Well Done?

Responding to what we have been given by sending it out to multiply flourishing in the world is a much better posture than the posture of fear.

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Bees in a blossom

Delight in Creation

God can and does speak to us through creation. Sometimes that speaking comes in specific messages or reminders, like Jesus’ lesson from the lilies that we need not worry. But often our consideration of creation works in us wordlessly, as we simply enjoy the presence and goodness of our creator God through his created world.

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Matthew Dickerson holds a Dolly Varden char

The Extravagant Beauty of Creation

Jesus as well as the ancient Hebrew poets who gave us the psalms take time to admire that lavish beauty of creation, and to see it as a meaningful part of God’s plan—and a pointer back toward the beauty and creativity of God himself. Jesus exhorts us to do so also.

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A log sitting in an overgrown ivy-covered garden

Looking in Reverse

By urging us to deal with the log in our eye before we focus on the specks in the eyes of others, Jesus calls us to self-reflection. As we honestly turn our eyes upon ourselves, we’ll see things we don’t like, “logs” that need to be removed. And we’ll also see things that are delightful, flowers of God’s grace growing in us. Wise reflection will empower us to remove the logs while nurturing the flowers so they might flourish. 

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Peasant Woman Binding Sheaves (after Millet) by Vincent Van Gogh (1889) - Google Art Project

Leadership Wisdom – Reward

What does reward have to do with love?

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Red Vineyard near Arles by Vincent Van Gogh (1888) - Wikipedia

Leadership Wisdom – Performance

What motivates your performance as a leader?

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A shelf of antique medicine bottles

Sabbath: A Time for Healing, Part 2

The example and teaching of Jesus encourages us to do good on the sabbath. This includes healing and other acts of compassion and concern. We should be open to how God might want to use us during our times of rest for ordinary work. However, those of us who are inclined to work too much, including volunteering at church, must be sure we don’t miss the central “activity” of sabbath, which is rest.

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A sheep standing alone on a hillside

Sabbath: A Time for Healing

In several places in the biblical Gospels Jesus healed on the sabbath. This got him in trouble with the Pharisees, who believed that healing was work and therefore unlawful on the sabbath. Jesus did not deny that healing was work, but he insisted that it was right to do good on the sabbath, including healing bodies and souls. In our times of rest we should be open to the healing God wants to do in us and through us.

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Two men praying, standing with their hands on each others' shoulders

Sabbath: A Time for Prayer

Like all faithful Jews in his time of history, Jesus prayed on the sabbath. He prayed in synagogue services, during traditional sabbath meals, and when he was alone with his Heavenly Father. The example of Jesus encourages us to make prayer central to our regular times of rest. The teaching of Jesus on sabbath prayer reminds us to pray with authenticity whether we’re with others or by ourselves. Prayer is not a show either for God or other people. It’s genuine, intimate communication with God. What could be more fitting for the day when we stop working in order to turn our hearts to the Lord? 

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