Friday, April 01, 2005

Dying with Dignity

I just heard that the pope is dying with dignity. I wish the same could be said in regard to Terry Schaivo. No matter how much I understand and appreciate the complexity of her situation and those who care for her, nothing justifies starving someone to death. I'm amazed that people could sanction health care providers to do this, as if starving her is not euthanizing her. Who are they kidding? Can anyone walk away from this and not feel like they just killed someone?

I wouldn't starve my dog to death. We wouldn't starve prisoners to death. Why her? It would have been more honest and humane to give her a lethal injection. At least we do that much for people on death row. But they didn't do that because then it would have been murder.

As is often the case, it takes a death before justice is established. I hope that Terry's death will serve that purpose for others in her condition. It's an emotional and highly charged issue. I don't want to come across as self-righteous because I know there are many elements that have to be weighed in all of this. I just struggle with the thought of starving someone to death. It can't be the best decision.

If I'm ever in that situation and people want to kill me, then please tell them to kill me flat out. Don't let me suffer while they do the politically correct thing in order to salve their conscience.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Clarifying the Vision

One of my favorite business/management authors is Marcus Buckingham. He used to work for Gallup, now on his own. I just read a timely article by him today called "The Clear Leader". His main point is that a leader doesn't have to be exciting or revolutionary but he/she does need to be clear. This is "timely" because one of my leaders told me today that he wasn't sure he knew what the vision of Cedarbrook was. Oops. Not good.

I think one of my problems is that the vision is so clear to me that I think it's obvious to everyone. Working three days a week at a treatment center I get the privilege of bringing good news of God's life-changing love/power to people who have no doubt that they need it. Many of them soak it in like a sponge and it has transforming effects. I don't doubt the reality of God or his ability to impact lives because I see it every day.

The mission of Cedarbrook is to offer this same experience to its members and beyond. We've put it this way - "Our passion is to first experience, then share, the life-changing love of God." Maybe that sounds too religious to be believable. But that's exactly what we are looking to do...first help our members experience the life-changing love of God - in their lives, their relationships, their thinking - and then have them share that good news with others. Churches are great at telling others about God - telling the Bible story. That's well and good. But I want us to add our own stories to that - our stories of how God has changed us in tangible ways. If we don't have a personal story then we shouldn't be telling others. That's phony and people smell it a mile away.

Our vision helps to facilitate our mission. Our vision is to facilitate this life-changing experience with God through biblical teaching, creative arts, opportunities to serve and authentic community. Once God changes a life there is a domino effect. They come into the church and add to the community by serving and they reach out to their families and friends with their story. It's not a canned presentation. It's real life. It's authentic. Believable. And that's why Cedarbrook keeps growing.