Give me Prudence

1199870_old_style_doryJeremiah and I are facing some pretty important decisions that could impact us financially, relationally, spiritually, and our overall sanity. We were encouraged this morning to hear a leadership podcast from Andy Stanley on decisions and being men and women who are prudent.

We were reflecting on the last three years of marriage and the choices we’ve made that have gotten us where we are today. Some good and some bad. Now, we’ve reached a point where we see potential dangers.  These “dangers” might not necessarily be what you’d think as serious but in the long run, they could very well be. They have to do with allowing margin into our life, making wise financial decisions, putting family time as priority, and choosing to deal with some of our hurts, habits, and hangups that could eventually snowball in the future.

Andy makes the point that many people say, “Oh yeah I need to do that or I should do that.” But when it comes to action, stepping out of the boat never happens. So 10 years later, they can’t believe how they got to where they are. This could involve not getting into God’s word, an unhealthy relationship, a negative habit/pattern, an affair, addiction, our health and well being, entertaining sinful thoughts. The list goes on.

Well, back to this word PRUDENCE. Proverbs, the book in the Bible drenched with wisdom and brutal honesty, says: A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it (Prov. 22:3). Prudence is exercising sound judgment in practical affairs. It’s the ability to have wisdom looking into the future so you can make a good choice for today. It can also involve caution and not taking too huge of a risk. I love the word refuge– it’s an umbrella of protection. Someone, however, who is “simple” and makes rash decisions without counting the cost, could end up in a bed of suffering without even realizing it. And the consequences could be overwhelming. That’s why God has given us prudence to protect us and because he loves us.

I really want to become a woman who’s prudent. Sometimes it’s so difficult when I’m in the midst of a situation to see the future implications.  I often wait for a sign or prodding from God, which could definitely happen, but more often that not God gives me principles to help me make a wise decision. And it’s often that I forget that wisdom is in my pocket, waiting for me to dig her out.

Well, hopefully by the end of this week we’ll be able to say that we counted the cost and will have made a choice we won’t regret!

My “Straight A” Husband

dts-754138So today calls for me to brag on my husband a bit.

A little over two years ago, we moved to Dallas for Jeremiah to attend Dallas Theological Seminary to further his study in God’s word and to better prepare him for full-time ministry. This past semester, I worked part-time at Bluefish (still do) and put him through school so he could focus on his studies, internship at our church Watermark, and our apartment ministry without wanting to pull his teeth out.

I’m really proud to say that Jeremiah just got his grades back and he got 2 A+ and 2 A’s! So, straight A’s! All semester, he worked so hard in his reading, studying for tests, and writing papers while simultaneously propping up a bottle for John or studying with him on his lap.  DTS isn’t an easy school and it’s one of the best seminaries in the world. Some of our favorites have come out of there like Andy Stanley, Tommy Nelson, David Jeremiah, Tony Evans, and Dennis Rainey.

Jeremiah wasn’t concerned on getting the best grades necessarily but on learning the content. We’re still unsure of what God has for us ministry-wise in the future, but for now we’re trying to live in the present. We don’t really know what the upcoming semesters will look like work-wise and time wise, but we’re thankful for God getting us through this far.

[Photo: Campus of DTS]

State of the Heart Leadership

My boss has given our team the opportunity to be a part of a leadership track on Tuesdays during lunch to discuss a series on leadership by Andy Stanley. Brian said the requirement was that we listen to the podcast and fill out the hand-out page so we’re prepared and ready to discuss what we learn. He would treat us to lunch as well.

I am so excited about this opportunity. Brian is not only interested in our leadership at work, but in our ministries, at home, etc. Leadership is an area I always love learning about. When Jeremiah and I were just getting to know each other, we went to Catalyst together in Atlanta and I just couldn’t get enough of the principles learned there. We both ended up listening to State of the Heart Leadership together. We had a great time learning from it.

A few things that stuck out to me in Andy’s teaching:

Unhealthy people are comfortable in disfunctionality.  I had never thought of this in this way before. I have definitely seen this played out before. This creates unhealthy environments. What does this mean to you? Why do people remain in environments that are destructive?

The condition of your heart will eventually determine the moral and ethical climate of your organization. It sure is amazing that the heart will determine everything else… for out of the heart, flows the wellspring of life. Why do you think keeping our heart’s in check (on a daily, hourly basis) is so important?

When you expose your weakness to someone, that is not new information to them. If leaders admit they screw up, then the whole organization will! Yet another life-changing truth. I had the opportunity to practice this yesterday when I screwed up. It was so freeing to admit my failure and to make sure I was back on the same page with the person I offended. Why do you think we’re not quick to admit our wrongs- even though all along that person/people know where we messed up already? I really hate the PRIDE that’s in me sometimes.

I can’t wait to learn more about these principles and to dive deeper into the meaning of leadership- healthy servant leadership.

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