Month: November 2020

You’re imitating me?

One Christian men’s group I attend praises mentoring a lot. But something about that word has bothered me. Why?

After all, when I worked in Corporate IT, I did some mentoring. In Corporate, I passed along technical and organizational info about being a better programmer. Basically, I transmitted a reproducible body of knowledge and techniques.

But I see a danger when using the term mentoring in a Christian context: It’s a mistake to reduce Christian growth to a passing on of a bunch of techniques and info. Being the Christian fixer who is so experienced that he knows the correct way to handle any financial dilemma or parenting problem.   Being a combo of Doctor Phil and Dave Ramsey.

But even if I were an expert on fixing the aftereffects of bad life experiences and resolving parenting dilemmas, I would still be missing the most important thing: life experiences are of some value, but they are not what makes someone worth imitating.

So what is the secret? What would make me worth imitating?

Consider this:

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God
. (Micah 6:8)

Rather than having a qualifying list of life experiences, what really matters is how we react during any life experience. Can we help someone to think wisely about what God has brought into their life? If we do, we’re helping them develop wise biblical character.  

I love the verse “Abraham grew stronger in his faith as he gave glory to God.” (Romans 4:20)

Shouldn’t a Christian mentor help a mentee grow stronger in their own faith and discernment? Helping them to better distinguish between a wise and a foolish usage of time.  And between sound and thoughtless choices about money. And showing them how prayer and Scripture illuminate the correct path.

If that’s what mentoring is, it’s no longer just a corporate buzzword. Now it’s worthwhile for true growth. Count me in!  


Joy in COVID times? A COVID Psalm

We are hassled, bothered and bewildered during the COVID pandemic. We wonder what the heck the escape route is. In Psalm 57, King David is in an even worse fix.  He’s holed up in a cave, in fear for his life. How does he react?

Somehow, he maintains a deep and sublime hope in God.

 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
    for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
    until the disaster has passed.

The annual Getty Sing! conference was online this year because of COVID. My wife and I attended virtually. The theme was singing the scriptures. When we do that, something begins to happen. Our joy and trust in the Lord increases, even though what we want to happen has not happened yet.

  My heart, O God, is steadfast,
    my heart is steadfast;
    I will sing and make music.
(Psalm 57:7)

I used parts of Psalm 57 and Psalm 63 as a springboard to express hope in a COVID Psalm.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
    for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
    till the storms of COVID pass by.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a virus filled land
 where there is no vaccine.

 So even in an online church service,
     I behold your power and glory.
 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you til the cure is found

 My soul will be satisfied as with sharing food at a rich buffet,
    and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
 when I remember you when anxious,
    waking in the middle of the night,
Longing for the end of COVID.

For you have been my help,
 My soul clings to you;
   for in you I take refuge.

Just as you cared for King David
Holed up in a dank cave
Who took refuge in the shadow of your wings
    until his disaster had passed
May we take refuge in the shadow of your wings until COVID has passed.

How long, O Lord, how long?
When will COVID cease?

Like David we say
 My heart, O God, is steadfast,
    my heart is steadfast;
    I will sing and make music.

I sing with virtual choirs worldwide
Making music onto you.
Though the cure we long for
Still has not yet happened
Yet nonetheless filled with hope
We Praise you Lord!