Affordable accountability? March 29, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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EmPulse for Week of March 28, 2011
One of the distinguishing marks of leadership is accountability. First, a leader is accountable to those who follow him/her. A leader’s responsibility is to raise their vision and productivity and to provide for their sustenance and safety. Second, leaders are accountable to those in authority over them; whether it be a military chain of command or a corporate structure, leaders are accountable to someone higher up, VP to President to CEO to Chairman of the Board to shareholders. We all live within the autonomy of accountable. Free to act within boundaries.
But the core of accountability is to one’s self. Invariably, accountability begins within a person as they set their own aspirations and boundaries. Those who live without ambitions or borders rarely amount to much; for they have given into the belief that license equals true liberty. Such is not the case. Instead of liberty, license leads to a lurid irresponsibility that affects not only one’s self-image, but also a person’s relationships with others. Even God Almighty granted us perimeters of protection that would clarify for us how we were to live in this world and be responsible for all therein.
Accountability does not come cheap. It always costs someone something on both ends of the relationship. For the one in submission it implies obedience, trust, compliance and regimen within the boundaries of commitments made. For the one in authority it means trustworthiness, nobility and honor, clarity of vision, and a passion to inspire others to work together toward a common end. It involves both parties laying aside personality differences (nay, even utilizing those differences), disregarding minor variances in procedure or even mentoring philosophy, and putting the goal to be accomplished as pinnacle.
If that goal is the nurturing, the maturing, the refining of the other individual, then cost becomes secondary to all other considerations. What is your education worth? What are your children worth? What would you not sacrifice to help them find fulfillment in life? Let’s move further— What are you passionate about? What would you not give to fulfill your dream? Or are you seriously willing to live in the doldrums of ship with no sail, no destination? You see, accountability is often seen as the bondage of one individual to another, of a servant to a master, a rank & file soldier to their chain of command. The reality is significantly differently. True accountability is costly for all involved; in a sense, it is never quite affordable…, for at least one person in the equation, and often, for both. Quite simply, accountability costs.
So the next time you find yourself in an accountability relationship, know that someone has, and will, pay a great price. And it you are asked to be accountable to God…, well, think of the cost, His, and yours.
Have a nice week.
sunday morning pancakes March 23, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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EmPulse for Week of March 21, 2011
sunday morning pancakes
It’s no wonder so few people go to church. With our weekday jam-packed schedules, Saturdays running kids around to sports practices, home repair, grocery shopping, lawn (or snow) maintenance, finishing up some office work (shame on you), and, if we’re lucky, a college ball game thrown in; then maybe a dinner out with friends?!? Yeah, Sunday morning pancakes sound really good— leisurely, with blueberries, recently tapped AA grade New England Maple syrup, with fresh squeezed orange juice, Columbian Supremo coffee, Canadian bacon…, on the deck, or around the fire place. Either way it carries us to a time of refreshment and rest; whether with friends or family, Sunday mornings draws us into a place of peace & restoration. Now if churches would only serve pancakes… . O, never mind.
We live a pace of life that allows for few periods of rest, few times for revival for our bodies, of refreshment for our souls. Weekends often leave us exhausted for another week of work or family responsibilities. Vacations find us so tired from work that we need a minimum of 2 weeks off just to detach from the speed of our daily lives. The probability of sequential mini-breakdowns increases with each passing year. And high blood-pressure…, you probably already have it.
Ergo, we return to Sunday morning pancakes. Sunday morning is probably the only time in your week that you have to STOP and feed your spirit. What I’m talking about is pancakes! Heaps of ‘em! With friends. Sharing the joys and woes of the previous week. (Pass the Maple Syrup again, please. O, and some more coffee!) And if you find yourself in Jackson Hole, WY, drop into Jedediah’s. You’ll feel right at home as you’re served a breakfast like you’ve never imagined!
The point is simple. Each of us needs to set aside some time during our week when we put off the busyness of life to renew our spirits and restore our souls. Pancakes drenched in whipped cream & smothered with blueberries will go a long way towards renewing our spirits. But to refresh our soul, well, only the God who made us can do that properly. And there is no substitute, just like “genuine maple Syrup.” You need to find a church with a community of fellow (exhausted) travelers, just like you, who need a reminder from God about who you are. Jesus Christ came to redeem sinners. Like you: like me.
Let the God who made you minister to your body & soul Sunday mornings. Then hit the blueberries & whipped cream.
Have a nice week,
Reverse engineering March 15, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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EmPulse for Week of March 14, 2011
It was after I was abducted by aliens that I started to see things differently, think differently, and act peculiarly. Or so I’m told. I feel no different…, basically. I think. Although, NASA has asked me to sit in on a Hi-Tech Table Team to discuss reverse engineering; and I never even studied how to drive a train. [I do seem to know a lot about gravity-modified space-folding and mass/variable polar fusion.]
But that’s not was we’re talking about, is it? And, no, we’re not talking about retro-fitting alien technology to produce our own spacecraft or super-weapons either. Our reverse engineering has more to do with a deep desire to journey back in time to relive some of our worst moments, our worst decisions, our most inappropriate actions, and to make things right. We each have past experiences that have been very painful—some, of our own making. We have flown off into a rage and said things that deeply hurt another. We want to make that right. We have done other things that hurt someone physically; maybe crippling them for life. We want to make that right.
Seeking forgiveness for wrongs we have inflicted on others is a good thing. If those people are still alive, forgiveness may, possibly, be granted. If they are dead, you live with your pain. But you cannot deconstruct the past to read an alternate history. What’s done is done. Whereas it might be possible to rectify the injustices of your past, they remain in your soul as tight, dark specters. In many instances your only solace will come from the God Who created you, from His forgiveness for all you’ve done or left undone. To seek His forgiveness is no small matter. It demands that you take your place as a creature among His creation: it demands you acknowledge the God Who created you as such and none other. It is to know your place in the cosmos and to assume your rightful responsibilities.
Most of us will always dream of reverse engineering—being able to change some of the things we’ve done in our past. But we cannot. The most we can do is to take steps to rectify our actions through corrective actions in the present; and to seek forgiveness for the things we have done—from those we have wounded, and from the God who made us to be otherwise. Thus, we can change the future and bring some resolution and healing to deeds done wrongly.
decisions, decisions… March 8, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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EmPulse for Week of March 7, 2011
O, if only life were simpler, like in the old days. Really? You believe that? Life has never been simple. Complexity, convolution, conflict, and chaos have reigned since time immemorial! About the only simple thing we get to choose is which color M&M to munch. Life is a series of decisions; some critical, some important, some of less consequence. If you are one who does not like making decisions, you have a problem. There will not always be someone there who will tell you what to do— you will have to make a decision on your own.
Ergo, this little Ten-Point Primer on decision-making might be of some use to you. Enjoy.
1. What is the nature of the decision? Complexity? Ramifications?
2. What amount of time can you devote to this decision given the other areas of responsibility (read- time-commitments) in your life?
3. What are the time-constraints on this decision? By when MUST it be implemented?
4. What resources might you draw upon to help you make this decision?
5. WHO should be included in your decision making process?
6. Since your decision will affect the future, consider what might go wrong with your decision. How can you lessen its negative impact? What feasible scenarios might you create as secondary courses of action? [In general, there is always more than one way to do something.]
7. What will your decision cost— financially, emotionally, relationally, professionally?
8. How might spending time alone before God, listening, enable you to make a better decision?
9. Some people need a lot of information before making a decision; others, not so much. At what point will you make the decision? Being about the future, it will never be totally certain, totally safe.
10. Make the decision; implement it, live with its consequences.
There are few tools available to better gauge our growth toward maturity than our competence in making decisions. Risk, faith, trust, teamwork, fear, critical thinking, and just plain guts all come into play when we have to make a decision. The buck may stop with you, or you may be on a team that needs consensus; no matter the process, you come to a point of decision. By the best of your ability, so help you God, make a good one.
Have a nice week,
If people throw rocks at you… March 1, 2011Posted by needinc in emPulse.
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