Archive for May, 2007

Why it’s hard to say “I don’t know”.

May 15, 2007

Decisions:

It is hard to say “I don’t know.”

It is rare, extremely rare to hear those words come out of someone’s mouth, especially someone older. Yet it is a refreshing, even liberating thing to hear. I am impacted when I hear those words come out of someone’s mouth. I want to be able to be true to myself and often say “I just don’t know.”

Other liberating words: “It’s okay.” “It’s okay to make a mistake.” “Why are you afraid to make a mistake?”

Why is it that a man who is 40 feels the need to give his opinion to a man who is 25?

And…just because you are in a leadership position doesn’t make you a leader. Respect, yes, but it’s important to be honest with people. That is, respectfully honest.

I remember it just like it was yesterday.

I approached my friend Larry Green and he said to me these amazing words that still ring in my ear: “Why are you afraid to make a mistake?” That’s it. That’s all I needed to hear.

I was set free from my own victimizing pursuit of perfection.

He was right – I was afraid to try because I was afraid to make a mistake. I heard one guy say one time that those who do most make the most mistakes.

I was talking with someone the other night who was about to approach her supervisors with a kind of honesty she doesn’t normally share. But she’s grown in her leadership to know that it is imperative to be open and honest, plus for her own sanity. As she shared with me what she had in mind, I felt compelled to say to her “you are their leader as much as they are yours.” I mean just because they are in a position over you doesn’t mean you can’t lead them and just because they’re older doesn’t mean you can’t be honest and help them. This is a crucial moment for you, and for them to learn something profound. They need this, to be stretched.

Recently, I looked into my wife Amber’s eyes and said, “I will fail you. You will fail me. But our Heavenly Father will NEVER fail us. We’re all messy lives tied together by a perfect God.” While that may or may not seem like a profound thought to you, it was for me. I need those constant reminders of the grace of God, that it’s okay that I don’t know everything nor will I do everything perfectly.

Be graced.

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News

May 15, 2007

Back in January I wrote to a few friends for prayer suppor regarding my lengthy battle with a chronic illness. In a few days, I’m going to post an update here. For now, I thought I’d share that letter.

Health news…

Some of you are aware that I have had health issues for some time. I do.

Quickly, I want to lay it out for you. But before I do you must know two things:

1) This is the best time of my life.
2) Don’t feel sorry for me for a second.

I say this so you can know that life is vibrant. A bit of suffering has only made us stronger and hopefully wiser. I certainly feel more compassionate for people now because I know first hand what it’s like to struggle – to feel the sting of disease. What it’s like to break down, to feel unable, and yes, I now believe (deeper) that the human struggle is a beautiful part of God’s grace and essence.

The sting…

My digestive system is not functioning correctly and the doctors don’t know why…yet. They know “my digestive system is not working”, the exact words from a Dr last week. They know there is good reason to believe my body doesn’t tolerate Gluten, Wheat, Soy, Dairy and Eggs (and yes, they have names for such allergies – but my issue is beyond that). They know I cannot lose any more weight. Let’s just say I weigh less than 120. You get the drift – not good. They know what I tell them – I am exhausted most of the time – I’ve been beyond tired.

At the extremity, this has been going on for over 4 months.

Big weight loss. Chronic fatigue. Continued problems despite a complete diet makeover (even though that diet has made some of a difference and will be helpful in my lifetime care of my body as like most of us- I used to eat too much junk!).

I share this because God desires of me to ask for prayer. Just so you know, my request for prayer today is not a lowercase ask rather it is a CAPITAL LETTERS, EXCLAMATION POINT ask.

God advises us that each and every struggle is an invitation to victory. Sure, God decides the outcome, but he is greatly INFLUENCED by prayer. So, I beg and plead for your prayers before Almighty God.

You are loved and appreciated,

Bryan

NOTE: I’m having to learn how to be carefully discerning to all the recommendations I’m receiving (and I’m receiving a lot of them). Many of you have had health issues. Some of you have gone through similar experiences. You might have a product to recommend or a Dr who saved your life. I deeply appreciate all the recommendations and I have visited many Dr’s and tried many supplements and programs. I’ve read lots of great books and I plan on using the accumulated information to stay healthy the rest of my life. Feel free to share them and I’ll prayerfully consider each one. I am not one to say no to something that could help me- BUT I also can’t afford every “magic potion” and doctor so you understand I have to weigh each suggestion.

Read. Think. Change.

May 4, 2007

An article that’ll make you think about the way we view and influence the culture. The author Mark Buchanan happens to be one of the best Christian writers out there.

So, consider his words. And think again, as I am, about how should we deal with culture. We should not be afraid to change.

Stop. Read. Think. Change.

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