Monthly Archives

March 2016

3 Steps To A New Vision For Your Life

By | Evangelism, Life with God, Reflections/Essays | No Comments

Whenever I can, I ask people – particularly young people – “What is your vision?”

If they say “I don’t have a vision”, I reply “Well, if you did have one what would it look like? What do you dream?”

God gives us visions and dreams. But we can’t passively wait for them. We are to actively pray for a vision and to seek a vision from God’s Spirit.

visionglassesmap

I suggest a practical, three-step process for identifying God’s vision for you.

1. Observe

2. Reflect

3. Act

 

OBSERVE

What is happening in the world around you? What are people thinking and doing? What are the fears, hopes, and dreams of people? What are their needs and desires? What is God up to in the world? Observe constantly and prayerfully, all the while listening to God. Whom is God pointing you towards – who needs to see and hear the Story God has entrusted to you?

 

REFLECT

Now, reflect on what you have observed. Think and talk about it. Pray about it and write in your journal about what you hear from God. Reflect from every possible angle, asking questions all the while. Study the Scriptures and seek what God is saying to you about reaching the people in your life with His Story told through your Story.

 

ACT

Finally, do something! Even if at first you only have the courage to act in a small way. Act in obedience to the vision God is revealing to you.

When God’s Vision becomes our vision our character is transformed. Then God can move us into our neighborhood, our circles of friendship and influence, our workplace, and our world and make us His storytellers.

 

Leighton Ford

Adapted from The Power of Story, 2015 (Leighton Ford)

 

An Easter Poem by N.T. Wright

By | Poetry | No Comments

EASTER VIGIL
On the seventh day God rested
in the darkness of the tomb;
Having finished on the sixth day
all his work of joy and doom.
Now the word had fallen silent,
and the water had run dry,
The bread had all been scattered,
and the light had left the sky.
The flock had lost its shepherd,
and the seed was sadly sown,
The courtiers had betrayed their king,
and nailed him to his throne.
O Sabbath rest by Calvary,
O calm of tomb below,
Where the grave-clothes and the spices
cradle him we did not know!
Rest you well, beloved Jesus,
Caesar’s Lord and Israel’s King,
In the brooding of the Spirit,
in the darkness of the spring.

N.T. Wright

Not Too Small A Thing

By | Reflections and Readings | No Comments

One of our recent lectionary selections was Isaiah 49, where the Servant of the Lord is described as a “polished arrow” in God’s quiver. (49:2)

arrow polished

When we launched Leighton Ford Ministries many years ago I was struck by this chapter, and especially verse 6 where the Lord says to his chosen Servant,

 “It is too small (or too light) a thing that you should be my servant to bring Jacob back … to restore the survivors of Israel … I will give you as a light to the nations …”

What is “too small a thing?” I wondered.  And I think nothing is too small if we do it for the glory of God and the global cause of Jesus the Servant Lord.  But the biggest thing (church, school, practice) is too small if it is not done for the glory of God and the global cause of Jesus.

I prayed that then for our new ministry. I pray that for my life – and yours – today.

Nothing is too small – done for you, Lord!

 

Leighton Ford

Photo credit: TradGang

An Evening With The Poet Christian Wiman

By | Poetry | No Comments

Last night with my son-in-law Craig and pastor friend James I heard the poet Christian Wiman at Davidson College. He grew up in a very religious small town Texas family.  Left it all when he went to college. Then at 39 came (or recame?) to faith when he fell in love and discovered he had a life threatening illness.

ChristianWiman_NewBioImage

 

He and a pastor down the street had many conversations. In his case God was the evangelist (in any case, truly!) As editor for many years of Poetry Magazine is story of his own odyssey has surprised and touched many.  His book Bright Abyss is a gem. I recommend! Currently he co-teaches a course on worship with Miroslav Wolf at Yale Divinity School.

He especially recommends memorizing poetry – like Gerard Manley Hopkins! I’m glad we went.

Leighton Ford

Photo credit: poets.org