Saturday, October 15, 2011

Another Facet of Accountability

At the Open Heaven 2011 Conference at Bethel Church in Redding, CA last night Bill Johnson talked for a moment about accountability.  He reminded us that there are at least two ways of considering the concept of accountability.

Johnson said as believers we often think about accountability in terms of its value in helping us avoid sin in our lives. Men's accountability groups are good examples of that facet of accountability. There is built into us a desire to avoid sin if we know we're going to have to fess up later.

There is another facet of accountability, and that is expressed in Hebrews 10:25 "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds".  Accountability isn't the only way to accomplish that, but when we are in relationship with other like-minded believers who have been given permission to exhort us, it can be powerfully useful.

I have been involved in both of these facets of accountability and have found them both useful.  Right now I am in an accountability relationship with an older friend who "spurs me on".  This relationship "sharpens my iron" and causes me to examine what I am thinking and doing in a very positive way.  It's not always comfortable, but it is very much in the context of sincere friendship and that makes it much more than okay.

What has been the most valuable accountability relationship in your life?

Friday, August 05, 2011

Found: Where the Blame Rests in the Debt Debacle

After a lot of reflection, I realize that I need to confess. I am responsible for the US debt debacle.

Let me elaborate. I watch my family finances carefully. I make sure to spend less than I take in. Except for our house, I pay off our bills every month, including our credit cards.

But I have not carefully watched the finances of my country.

And this is where my responsibility lies: I have allowed my elected representatives and the president to spend more money than our country takes in. I have allowed it for years. I made the mistake of thinking "surely they know what they are doing."

de Tocqueville said almost 200 years ago, "in every democracy, the people get the government they deserve." It might be better said that "the people get the government they tolerate". I have gotten the government I have tolerated.

Please forgive me for allowing Alaska's representative and senators to play their part in this disaster. And forgive me for not sternly communicating with this and previous presidents about the large role several of them have played in edging us so close to the brink of financial ruin.

Furthermore, I have not demanded accountability of big business, especially financial institutions. Capitalism is the most powerful economic engine on the planet, but it will never be a candidate for sainthood.

I have allowed America to get into serious financial trouble by my lack of watchfulness. I am sorry. I won't make that mistake again.

It would be easy to give in to a spirit of fear that wants to grip America because of this issue. There is certainly danger ahead, but I am confident that we can master this terrible enemy of the American people. That will be my regular prayer in the days ahead.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

General Booth Born 182 Years Ago Today

In his lifetime, William Booth raised up and gave direction to the Salvation Army, one of the largest ever distributors of humanitarian aid and care for the poor. Thousands of men, women and children found Christ and newness of life through the Army in its early years. That continues today.

Known for its military organization and uniforms, the Salvation Army grew rapidly in its early years, and is now widely spread across the world.

The General's words still inspire today, 100 years later.