Monday, June 10, 2013


Jesus asked [Bartimaeus], “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Teacher, I want to see.” (Mark 10:51)
Thoughts from the desk of Derek
Thoughts from the desk of Derek
THE LETTER “R” - Sunday morning, the focus at First Presbyterian Church of Brandon was on “R”-words. Not just R, but words that started with “RE.” You know, words such as “redemption,” “renewal,” “resurrection,” and “remarkable.”
Tim – who was preaching – opened by pointing out that, over the previous two weeks, Rebekah had already focused on “remember,” and “reconciliation;” and then she interrupted him to point out that she is an “R-word” too.
My “Everyday Christianity” class picked up the theme during our church-school hour discussion of First Peter, adding several relevant R-words to the mix. Then, later, I couldn’t help but think about ideas such as “relationships,” “reality,” “renovation,” “restoration,” and “rejuvenation” when it comes to our experience of living faith.
THE LETTER “C” - In the evening our small-group met. 18 of us sitting around a large, square, table for dinner, conversation, study, support, prayer and encouragement; it’s always a beautiful and affirming experience.
Our current study – in another nod to the Sesame-Street Presbyterian Church style of learning – is being brought to us by the letter “C.” We’ve been talking about leadership in terms of Competence, Courage, Clarity, Coaching and Character (From Andy Stanley’s book, Next Generation Leader).
Clarity (yesterday’s word) is one of my favorites. Clarity is one of my “10 Life-Charged Words,” yet it seems like too many of us live in a spiritual fog and routinely experience a “now I see through a glass, darkly” kind of a world.
Fact is, Jesus was forever telling people things like:
  • “Open your eyes!”
  • “If you only had ears, then maybe you could hear!”
  • “If you all paid attention then you might get it!”
  • “How many different ways do I have to explain this to you?”
  • “Are you people even listening?”
  • “Could you [disciples] be any thicker if you tried?”
If the word “duh!” had been invented 2,000 years ago, then Jesus would have made a point of using it all the time!
OPEN-SPIRITED: When I wrote 10 Life-Charged Words I coined the phrase “open-spirited” to describe people who are willing to see with new eyes and to ask Jesus in to add clarity to their vision. However, not only did spell-check have a hard time with the concept, but one of my editors kept changing “open-spirited” to “open-minded.”
“No,” I had to say, “leave it alone! The term open-spirited is both descriptive and prescriptive. If we’re going to gain clarity, then we must approach life, and faith, and relationships, and the future, with open spirits.”
I like that. So I’ll repeat it. It probably should be my entire post.
If we’re going to gain clarity, then we must approach life, and faith, and relationships, and the future, with open spirits.

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