A Touch of Class, Part Two

Yesterday, I mentioned my disgust with the prevailing notion in many evangelical churches that elegance and class have no place in the landscape of spirituality. But even the ancient places of worship were stunningly beautiful. The tabernacle was a veritable golden tent that had within it fabulous works of art: sewing, tapestry, woodworking, and craftsmanship. Mouths must have dropped open. Check it out for yourself in Exodus 25–40.

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Creativity

God is a God of freshness and change. But wait, before I leave that thought, let me make something very clear: God Himself isn’t changing, nor is His Son. He “is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). Isn’t that a great thought? God is no different this year than He was last year or a decade ago. Nor will He change one hundred years from now.

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Spiritual Leadership

Leadership is influence. To the extent we influence others, we lead them. If I were asked to name some of the standard qualities or characteristics usually found among natural-born leaders, I would list: Enthusiasm, Optimism, Persistence, Ambition, Competitiveness, Knowledge, Insight, Inquisitiveness, Independence, Friendliness . . .

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Cool Skepticism

Nine-year-old Danny came bursting out of Sunday school like a wild stallion. His eyes were darting in every direction as he tried to locate either his mom or dad. Finally, after a quick search, he grabbed his daddy by the leg and yelled, “Man, that story of Moses and all those people crossing the Red Sea was great!” His father looked down, smiled, and asked the boy to tell him about it.

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Move toward the Unexpected

MOST FOLKS I KNOW LIKE things to stay as they are. Being creatures of habit, we resist change; we protect our comfort zone; we are uneasy with the unexpected. We admire pioneers . . . so long as we can just read about them, not participate in their journeys. We applaud explorers . . . but not if it means we must load up and climb and crawl with them. Creative ideas are fine . . . but “don’t get carried away,” we warn. Plans that involve risks prompt worst-case scenarios from the lips of most who stand back in the shadows.

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Turn Aside to See

LEGEND HAS IT THAT THERE was once a sign along an Alaskan highway that brought a smile to many a motorist: Choose your rut carefully. You’ll be in it for the next 200 miles. We who live in this fast-paced jungle, this never-slowing treadmill of our high-tech society, have no idea how deeply entrenched we are in the rut of routine until we deliberately step aside and give ourselves permission to change our pace. Who can criticize any of that?

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Baby Steps

As we consider Israel’s first days in the wilderness, perhaps we should remind ourselves of where the Hebrew nation is in Exodus 15. They began their journey in the land of Goshen. If you have a map of that area handy, you might want to glance over it as you pinpoint their location.

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“Do Not Fear!”

Humanly speaking, predicaments are terrible experiences. If you stay in one long enough, you will begin to question the very roots of your faith. By and by you’ll begin to look for someone to blame; usually it’ll be somebody in leadership.

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Doing Time

Now we know why God met with Moses. But what did He reveal? Verse 12 tells us: He revealed His written word. The first thing God gave to this man who met with Him was His truth in written form.

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Written Instructions

To establish a healthy fear of the Almighty. “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin’ ” (Exodus 20:20).

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