Haddon Robinson 1931-2017

Haddon Robinson 1931-2017

n 1960, during my senior year of college when I was accepted by Dallas Seminary, I saw a picture of Haddon Robinson and thought, “What can a guy that young teach me about preaching?’ He looked the same age as some of my classmates, and all the professors I ever had looked like professors, like in their forties and fifties.

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When a Leader Stops Leading

When a Leader Stops Leading

It was the spring of the year when leaders took their troops out to defend their territory and protect their country. But this spring David, Israel’s leader, did not take his troops into battle. He had spent seventeen years on the run for his life from King Saul when he lived in caves in the wilderness though he was no risk to Saul. He had opportunities to take Saul’s life, but he would not touch God’s leader.

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Real Leadership

Real Leadership

How do you value leadership? Is leadership all about what you do? The people you influence? The organizations you direct? The decisions you make? The success you accomplish? Certainly these are expressions of leadership, but are they all that leadership is?

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Starting Over

Starting Over

For those of you who have read this blog in the past, you have probably noticed that it has been absent for a while. This is the first time since January I have written a blog; it is also the beginning of a new and long-term series from Leader Formation. Why have we been silent for so long? I will tell you.

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Christ Only - And Him Crucified

Christ Only - And Him Crucified

After Rome Corinth was one of the top cities in the Roman Empire. It was a major crossroads because virtually nothing moved in any direction across the realm without passing through Corinth.

The capital of the Roman province of Achaia in southern Greece, Corinth was strategically located on the Isthmus of Corinth, and that made it an east-west and north-south center of the Empire. Anything or anyone coming from Rome to the east or going to Rome from the west had to pass through Corinth, one of the safest ports in the western Mediterranean. Because it was the southernmost major commercial center in Greece, all goods and people headed north or coming south passed through through Corinth.

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A New Year’s Blessing for 2017

A New Year’s Blessing for 2017

remember a cartoon from my boyhood of Baby New Year and Father Time. We’ve all seen cartoons like that, I know. The one I recall had Baby New Year entering stage right, freshly diapered, in a top hat, with a bright smile, and wearing a sash with the new year imprinted on it. Father Time, on the other hand, was exiting stage left wearing a tattered sash, all bent over, almost slinking off, his robe torn and patched, all but stepping on his long, unkempt beard, scythe in hand, his job of mowing things down, as time does, finished.

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Jerusalem, December 26, 4 BC—Ho-Hum!

Jerusalem, December 26, 4 BC—Ho-Hum!

What was life like in Jerusalem on December 26, 4 BC, the day after Jesus was born?

Pretty much the same as it was on December 24 BC, the day before He was born.

Herod Agrippa still ruled. He still put the innocent to death, forced his unwilling subjects to labor on his great building projects, and exercised his cruel will at the cost of all around him.

Rome still exercised its ruthless rule, upsetting the lives of its citizens in order to get an accurate count of the empire’s population so they could collect the taxes they needed to fund wars, do public works, maintain the empire, and enrich the elite.

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A Mother's Treasure

A Mother's Treasure

Recently Lynna and I flew home from Singapore, and, of course, we had to pass through security. We have gone through security in the toughest airports in the world: DFW, Kennedy, Heathrow, Tel Aviv, Frankfurt, Paris, Budapest, Hong Kong, just about every airport that is on some high level of alert due to terrorists. Since we’ve done them all and had every innocuous thing taken from us that could possibly be labeled high risk, we had no concerns as we approached Singapore security. We should have been concerned.

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Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth

War.

Every decade of my life has been scarred by war. It seems to me that we have a constant longing for peace and a constant reality of war.

It began for me when I was in first grade, just barely learning to read, and I used to spread the newspaper out on the living room floor, mostly to look at the pictures. I still remember one vivid scene from World War II of a US ship at sea spewing black smoke on its way to destruction. I also remember the wild celebration on VJ day, as all our neighborhood poured out of our houses in the ecstasy of knowing that the long and bloody war was finally over.

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While Sheperds Watch Their Flocks By Night

While Sheperds Watch Their Flocks By Night

One of the things I love most about Christmas is the cards we receive from many friends around the world who tell us what’s happened in their lives in the past year. When I was a boy my mom used to hang all our cards on the door frame between our living room and our dining room and I can still see the progression of those cards on that door frame until it was totally covered. Lynna and I keep a large basket full of cards in our entryway, a constant reminder of those we love and miss.

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The son of god and The Son of God

The son of god and The Son of God

The year was 4 BC, and much of Galilee was in turmoil.

Caesar Augustus, the son of god, had ordered a census for tax purposes, and some in Israel had to go to their home communities to comply. So it was that an unknown couple, Joseph and Mary, from an obscure town called Nazareth of Galilee had to go to a small village named Bethlehem nearly 100 miles away. To complicate things even more, Mary was pregnant and about to deliver her firstborn son, Jesus.

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Thanks Be To God - For What?

Thanks Be To God - For What?

Thanksgiving is one of the most precious times of the year because we have so much to be thankful for: our nation, family, life, health, opportunity, the list never ends.

But what if you’re in a season of uncertainty, if you’re asking what God is doing in our nation or your family is struggling or your health is questionable or you’re unemployed? What if you’re living in confusion and fear and don’t know how to respond to what is happening to you? How can you be thankful?

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Blessed Are the Pure In Heart

Blessed Are the Pure In Heart

Who can be pure in heart? Who I ask? Certainly not I! Can I think I am pure in heart? Of course. Can I be pure in heart “as far as I know?” I can—as far as I know. The problem is I don’t know very far. Only God knows if I’m pure in heat, and He’s not telling me.

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Mercy Me!

Mercy Me!

When I was growing up I was taught the Christian life by being given a list of things I should not do and a list of things I should do. If I didn’t do what I shouldn’t and if I did do what I should, I was spiritual. Since being spiritual was the highest goal of my life, I kept my lists diligently and became spiritual—or a least spiritually superior.

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Blessed are the Driven

Blessed are the Driven

Hungry and thirsty people are driven people. When we are hungry and thirsty, the drive for food and water takes over, and nothing else matters. After all, food and water mean life and not death. So when Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,” He was saying that our longing for righteousness and freedom from the death that sin and the shame bring is a blessing.

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Blessed are the Broken - That are the Meek

Blessed are the Broken - That are the Meek

When we’re bankrupt we’re broke, but are we broken?

Sure, bankruptcy means we have no resources, no way to pay our bills, and that is devastating. Bankruptcy strips us of every dignity we have: our identity, our self-image, our status, our possessions—what’s left but shame? Unless we hold on to our pride. To be broke is to be broken—unless we’re too proud to declare bankruptcy. Then we scramble, trying to transform nothing into something through some kind of financial alchemy. But only God can make something out of nothing.

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God's Comfort For Mourning Leaders

God's Comfort For Mourning Leaders

How can God comfort mourning leaders? Few of us would, especially if their sin tore our hearts apart, left our lives in ruins, and created suffering for us. Yet comfort is exactly what He offers those who mourn for sin.However, we must understand God’s kind of comfort because there are many false comforters among us today who do not take God’s holiness seriously, so they don’t take our sin seriously either.

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Comfort in Mourning

Comfort in Mourning

Mourning. Grief. Pain. Suffering. Struggling for hope. Unanswered questions. Regrets. What if’s. Irrational fears. The dark night of the soul. Turmoil. Confusion. How many ways can we describe it? And what difference does descriptions make? Mourning is a sickness in the soul brought on by the loss, whether sudden or expected, of someone so precious to us that the light goes out in our lives. Where can we find encouragement and support? Where can we find hope? In the words of our Lord. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.

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Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

t was my last Hebrew paper in seminary, the paper designed to show my skill in using the language to explain the text. As it turned out, the paper was about a lot more than skill. It became one of the most convicting moments I ever experienced.

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