marriage

Leading Women

I look back and can’t imagine my

life and ministry without the

impact of some amazing and

influential women.

I’m guessing your life history tells the same story?

Pastor Lillie McCutcheon – Click on the link to learn more!

Peak Pastors honors and celebrates the God-given and prominent roles of women leading in the home, in our communities, and in the Church!

Of course, the debate goes on in many circles as to exactly what those roles are and should be.

NT Wright gives lends at fresh take from not only a biblical perspective, but from the central theme of God’s Word, namely, the resurrection of Jesus.

Check out the following resources from the Ask NT Wright Anything podcast as he addresses questions concerning this and many other subjects from listeners around the world. https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Ask-NT-Wright-Anything/Podcast/Ask-NT-Wright-Anything-6-Female-church-leadership-complementarity-and-marriage

Watch this short clip from this podcast @ https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Ask-NT-Wright-Anything/Videos/Why-women-should-be-church-leaders-and-preachers-Ask-NT-Wright-anything

What are your thoughts? Join us on our Peak Pastors Facebook page to engage in this vital conversation!

Join us in celebrating the powerful role of women past, present and future in the fulfilling of God’s will until our Savior, Jesus Christ, comes again!

Pack Light, Pack Right 2

Part 2: The Pastor’s Soul

“For the soul to be well, it needs to be with God.”

– John Ortberg, Soul Keeping

Soul Keeping, by John Ortberg

Somewhere in the preparing and preaching, in the teaching and training, the visioning and visiting, counseling and caring for the local church is the soul of a pastor… and it needs keeping.

The second essential thing to pack light and pack right for pastors is a healthy soul. We want to help pastors focus on their own soul health, namely, their personal relationship with Jesus.

After all, without a healthy soul, grounded and growing in a purposed relationship with Jesus, pastors simply cannot be who and what they long to be in the home, the church or community. What was it Paul said?

I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)

This is where our future Pioneer

Trail Teams will come in!

Be on the lookout for more information about small groups of pastors that will be forming in the months to come. Our first groups will be Pioneer Trail Teams who will help us blaze the trail of these cohorts of pastors, learning together more about what it means to encourage and hold one another accountable in the four essential areas of heart, soul, mind and strength!

Nobody “gets” the life of a pastor like a

pastor (and their spouses!).

Until then, join in our Peak Pastors Facebook Group page by pastors, for pastors! Invite others to join you and encourage, encourage, encourage.

If you haven’t already read Soul Keeping by John Ortberg, you simply must pick it up and put it in your daily carry pack! IT IS A MUST READ AND MUST APPLY. Check it out at http://www.johnortberg.com/book_type/books/ or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Keeping-Caring-Most-Important/dp/1491521619

How do you care for your soul, pastor? Share your insights below or on our Peak Pastors Facebook Group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/peakpastors/?source_id=440477556480460

Pack Light, Pack Right

Part 1: The Pastor’s Heart

Packing light and with the right tools of the trade is key to going the distance in both the high country and on the trail of life and leadership.

Peak Pastors is designed to help you do just this; to not merely lead better, but to BE better… to grow as followers of Jesus, spouses, parents and as leaders. We will do this by filling our packs with the essentials needed for optimal health in 4 essential areas… heart, soul, mind and strength.

Let’s break this down taking one essential at a time…

The Pastor’s Heart – This is all about family!

Every pastor I have known has struggled to invest in what I have always called their “home church.” No, not the local church they and others call home.

This is about the worship center

of the home… building healthy

relationships as spouses,

parents, & raising Christ-centered kids.

We all know the truth about home and ministry life. When we aren’t relationally healthy in our home life, we won’t be relationally healthy and effective in our church leadership life. However, when things at home are healthy, I don’t know about you, but I feel like there is no summit I can’t reach!

Together, let’s discover practical ways to invest in our marriages and parenting in the middle of what can all-too-quickly become the craziness of ministry life.

Speaking of which, here you go! Check out 3 Reasons Winning at Home is Easier than Winning at Home by Carey Nieuwhof @ https://careynieuwhof.com/3-reasons-winning-at-work-is-easier-than-winning-at-home/

So, how do you keep your heart focused on your home life? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread here or on our Peak Pastors Facebook Group page @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/peakpastors/

simplify

to reduce to basic essentials: to diminish in scope or complexity; streamline. (Webster-Merriam Dictionary)

Most pastors and leaders I know could use a little more of this. Your lives are busy and complex. The question is, “How?”

Most good leaders like you know the answer. You need to say “No” more, for starters. We’ll focus on this and other practical suggestions in the next post. However, the better answer will always be found in knowing your “Why?”

Why simplify? One word… relationship.

Relationships are the real stuff of life. And, they are made in the margins of life. They grow in these same spaces. In order to invest in the relationships that matter the most, you will need to be intentional about simplifying your world.

Here’s one simple step for now. Make a list. A short list of the relationships you want to cultivate. This list will be your motivation, your “Why?”

Caution: Everything about your present world will war against this. After all, who has time to invest in people when there is so much to do on our “To Do” lists? Maybe we need to simplify our “To Do” list? Maybe we need to replace it altogether with a “To Be With” list?

If I had one goal for all my fellow pastors and leaders out there for 2020 and beyond it would be this… simplify.

Jesus was and is our ultimate example. His agenda as revealed in the Gospels was all about people, people, people.

Let’s keep this short, sweet and simple.

simplify.

The “Be There” Dare

images-11Are we really there when we are there? While social media has many redeeming qualities, could we be missing something with our constant posing for pictures and pausing to post? Worse, could we actually be manipulating the experience and messing it up by making it more or less what it could be if we just lived the moment? According to researchers, “One of the most bizarre premises of quantum theory, which has long fascinated philosophers and physicists alike, states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality.” (Weizmann Institute Of Science, February 27, 1998; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm)

Here’s my challenge to you, take The “Be There” Dare…

What is the “Be There” Dare? It’s simple. Experience something without pausing for pictures or posting. If you are alone, resist the temptation to invite the rest of the world via another “selfie.” If you are with family and/or friends, refuse to record the moment with anything other than your shared memories. Just be there.

Before anyone protests or reports me to the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat “police,” or I run afoul with any of my photographer friends, please understand. I’m not suggesting we stop recording our memories with family and friends altogether, let alone promoting some “boycott” of our favorite social media sites. Some of you have already observed the irony that I’m plastering this dare on multiple social media platforms.

What I am suggesting is that we enjoy some uninterrupted moments of life for the value of those moments with the people we love. There may just be more to this than meets the eye. Here are 3 reasons I dare you to “Be There…”

1 – When you are there, you will be more there.

2 – When you have simply experienced it, you and those you experienced it with will have it as a shared bond.

3 – When you do reflect on it, you will have only your memories from which to paint the picture of what you shared together. We may just be “forced” to re-weave the moments in a more meaningful way. We will have to remember, reflect and rehearse the experience by engaging in the art of conversation. In doing so we create yet another moment of purer experience… and again and again each time we do so.

There you have it. Something tells me that you have some moments to live that will be more than you have known, more than you have shared. Less will truly be more.

Be there. I dare you.

5 Keys to a “Happy” Marriage

imgres-1Spring is here and love is in the air! Can you feel it? The truth is, a healthy relationship is “More than a feeling!” (Classic Rock fans will get it.) Unfortunately, when it comes to love and marriage, it takes more than changing seasons to spark the flames of love. And, there just isn’t a simple “How To” manual, even though you can probably download one. There are, however, more than a few principles and practices that will go a long way towards a relationship that more than survives, it thrives!

Consider the following 5 Keys (an excerpt from pre-marital counseling sessions) and then add a few of your own…

#1 – Life isn’t about being happy, and neither is marriage. Get this one down and you are well on your way. Happy comes and happy goes. Live to bring glory to God and bring out the best in each other. Do this by putting others before yourself, beginning with your spouse. In serving is significance. See Mark 10:45; Philippians 2: 1-11

#2 – Never stop dating. It is easy to get too familiar, comfortable and take each other for granted. Keep chasing after one another. Work hard at making memories. Make it fun, romantic, mysterious, adventurous, and be the kind of couple others want to be (…your kids are taking their “life cues” from you). See Song of Songs (read it slowly together for both romance and some comic relief!); 1 Thessalonians 5:10-11

#3 – Stay out of debt. Don’t let possessions possess you. Be obsessed with staying financially free. It’s not about building riches. It’s about being free to live and give your whole self richly. See Proverbs 11:25; Proverbs 22:7; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

#4 – Forgive fully (and fast). You will find plenty of opportunity to practice this. Don’t “bottle and build” hurts. If you do, bitterness will burn you. It will spread like a disease to those you love. Be honest, get it out and let it go. See Ephesians 4:30-32; Hebrews 12:15 

#5 – “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV) Keep your relationship with Jesus Christ and one another priority through sharing in the Word, prayer… and purity. Bravely submit to the shared accountability of others (small group, etc) as you grow in the Lord as individuals and a couple. What are you seeing, hearing, sensing and otherwise experiencing when no one else is around? It all matters. Character counts.

There is so much more to keeping love alive in your marriage! What principles and practices would you add? Share your insights below in the “Reply” section…

A Heartfelt Response to 50 Shades

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What do the movie “50 Shades of Grey” and the Sport’s Illustrated (SI) Swimsuit edition have in common? They are both pornography. They are both destructive to healthy marriages and other vital relationships. They are both degrading to women and promote disillusion to young girls (and guys!). They are both representative of a culture that misses the mark and the point of God-given intimacy and the celebration of gender. The question is, what should our response be as Christ followers?

1 – Pray. Pray for Christians in the media. Pray for those involved in, exploited and enslaved in these and even more illicit forms of “entertainment” within the growing sex and human trafficking industries. Pray that the church of Jesus Christ will grow in it’s compassionate engagement of these issues with increasing love for those caught in their webs of deception.

2 – Talk. Take advantage of the media frenzy and talk with your spouse, kids, and adults of all ages about what Christ-centered purity, gender identity, self-esteem, etc, are all about. Here are just a few key passages you can look to and discuss…

2 Samuel 11 & 12 – The Story of David and Bathsheba

Psalm 119:9-16 – The path to purity.

Proverbs 4:25-26 – Looking straight ahead.

Matthew 6:9-13 – Power through the Lord’s Prayer

1 Corinthians 10:12-14 – You can overcome!

James 4:6-8 – Join “The Resistance.”

3 – Engage. How can you be involved as a family, Christian business, church small group or congregation? Check out some of the resources below for more information and ways you can join the growing movement to fight sexual addiction, slavery and fight for those who feel helpless and hopeless in their grip.

4 – “Above all, guard your heart, for everything else you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23, NV) How do we do this? Begin by guarding what you see. It is true, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” (William Shakespeare) In the Old Testament, Job issues a strong plea for purity that can be readily taken up by men and women who will hold one another accountable and encourage one another through temptation. “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look at a young woman lustfully. For what is our lot from God above, our heritage from the Almighty on high? Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong?” (Job 31:1-3, NIV) This is a powerful reminder that what we view is viewed from above and we are accountable. Find a few trusted accountability partners and give one another permission to keep each other honest and pure when it comes to sexual temptation.

I am no expert. I’m just a husband, dad and pastor. And, I am just as vulnerable to temptation as anyone. So, let’s face it together. This isn’t “grey area.” While I don’t plan on seeing the movie or flipping through the pages of SI (on a smartphone, tablet or computer), I do believe there is more than enough information (and publicity) out there to make an informed decision for all who name the name of Jesus Christ not to support these or media offerings like them. Let’s recommit ourselves to honoring God and respecting others by guarding our hearts as we navigate the almost limitless media world. And may we respond with grace and truth to those who have been victims of and/or struggle with the very real temptations of pornography and sexual addiction.

Below are some resources and ministries you can access for help and information on these issues…

Sexual Addiction Resources:

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/divorce-and-infidelity/pornography-and-virtual-infidelity/virtual-infidelity-and-marriage – Focus on the Family resources for sexual addiction

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/lifechallenges/abuse-and-addiction/sexual-abuse/sexual-abuse – Focus on the Family sexual abuse resources

http://xxxchurch.com/ – XXXChurch sexual addiction ministry

http://newlife.com/emb/ – New Life resources for sexual addiction

http://www.internetsafety.com/safe-eyes-parental-control-software.php – Safe Eyes computer protection

http://www.netnanny.com/l/focusonthefamily/ – Net Nanny computer protection

Trafficking Ministries:

 http://www.chogtrafficklight.org/ – Church of God trafficking ministries

https://www.tinyhands.org/ – Tiny Hands International

http://www.strippedlove.org/ – Stripped Love

http://www.oneheartdayton.com/ – One Heart