9 things (catching up and thinking about followership)

I am very thankful to God for warm and rich fellowship with many sisters in Christ. I have no biological sisters, but many warm friendships online, and in real life.

The Oregon Coast is beautiful and I’m glad that we were able to spend some time away. I got pretty sick two days into my trip, so I didn’t get to recreate as much as I wanted to – but I got a lot of reading in.

I have heard my whole life that the reason God called Deborah to lead was that the men had all failed to step up. This is found nowhere in the text. But if we assume that it is true, the practical outcome was identical: If the men listened to her, they would live. If they rebelled against her they would die. Whatever God’s motive was for raising her up makes no difference in the outcome. What was important was not her gender, but whether she spoke God’s word.

The highlight of my trip was when a young child pointed at me and said, “Hey, look at the old man!” It must have been my hat…

While breakfasting in Medford, I glanced through the “Frankfurt declaration”. I decided to pen my own Medford Declaration: “I the undersigned will continue to be unaffected by the opinions of cult leaders and heterodox celebrity preachers”.

And back to Deborah – CS Lewis has a marvelous segment in “Prince Caspian.” Lucy, the youngest of the four children, sees Aslan who tells her to follow him and tell the others. The others can’t see him, but he tells her to follow anyway. They reluctantly follow her, and eventually they can see Aslan leading her. It seems to me that neither age nor gender are nearly as important as whom one is following.

One blessing in illness is the time to read. “The Call to Follow; Hearing Jesus in a Culture obsessed with Leadership” by Richard Langer and Joanne J. Jung is worth every penny and every minute. I’ll post a review on Amazon shortly.

August is bittersweet for me. The memories come up on my social media. It was in August that my wife had a surgery that left her in severe pain for years to follow. It was an incredibly difficult time. It was also in August that my youngest daughter spent weeks in the hospital hovering between life and death. The scars remain with both. August leaves scars that only Jesus can heal.

Next week, I will again be sitting in the hospital with my daughter and she goes through more tests. There is nowhere that is a better training ground for patience than at the bedside of a loved one. You wait regardless. You can do it patiently; or you can do it impatiently. But you will wait. Sometimes for years.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.


Filed under 9 things

5 responses to “9 things (catching up and thinking about followership)

  1. Mindy

    Much love and many prayers for your whole family ❤️

  2. Bunkababy

    The thing I like best about you is you just write. Real things, the mundane, the humorous and the painful.
    The essence I gain from it is a humility that we are all human.
    Especially in this culture of leadership. Jeeeeeeeez that grated on me for a long time. I would cruise around the internet looking at scandals from church people. The main thing I ended up noticing were all these leadership conferences.
    Back in 2003 ish, we had a friend who became a pastor. Small church. The thing was we went and by golly we had no idea what his messages were about. Great potlucks though. He wasn’t pastor material. But great at community.
    Anyhow after he had a personal meltdown a couple years later we were at their home . (Ended up being great family friends with great family dinners) He was very disillusioned about life.
    He said something that STUCK with me.
    There were thousands of Israelites, and only Moses. Thousands of Israelites but usually one leader. You get the essence . He then created a great picture of the Israelites, most lagging behind, broken wheels, …..all the mundaneness of daily life wandering around the Desert. Everyone for the exception of few were followers just trying to keep up with the leader at the front.
    I guess he created such a visual picture for me that in later years (15+ years ) and I saw all the leadership push in the church it seemed really counter to Gods pattern.
    So it’s interesting you mention the book.
    My husband is always in a hurry. Waiting for him is a difficult task. Waiting for something is all I seem to do.
    Life is weird.

  3. Kay O.

    Remembering your time in hospital waiting for your daughter’s tests, Pastor Powell. Prayers for your family. ♥️

    I pray that the news is good.

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