One of the big paradoxes in our spiritual lives is that we can personally engage with a transcendent God. This should mess with us a little bit because the two would seem to stand in total opposition to each other. Much like law and grace, diligence and resting, free will living or accepting each outcome in life as a forgone conclusion, the idea of “Intimacy with the Almighty” as Swindoll calls it, is something believers will wrestle with for all our lives.
There is an abundance of scripture that supports each aspect of his “here-ness” and “there-ness.” All through his Word we see creator God interacting with created man. The obvious epitome of the two coming together is found in Jesus and his work on Earth and the life we have in him.
Let me also off this: there is a little-known word picture in the Old Testament that also underscores the nearness of God to the individual. It occurs in several different places.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow
of your wings
Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. ...
Keep my commandments and live, And my teaching as the apple of your eye.
I’m going to assume you too have seen the English expression “apple of your eye” used I these two references. They could easily be described as “Paw-Paw” talk when describing his granddaughters. We get the idiom in English as something that is highly valued and highly favored. That’s a great beginning.
The first time it is used is in the song of Moses in Deut. 32:10-11. The authors in Psalms and Proverbs (most likely David and Solomon) would have been familiar with Moses’s words when he describes God’s relationship with humanity like so:
Duet. 32: 10-11
10In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them aloft.
Now, my Hebrew professor and friend Dr. Brett Dutton would concur when I say I’m no Hebrew scholar. My observations of these passages were born out of curiosity first which drove me to “the Google”, then to commentaries, and now to you. In other words, this is not an stiff display of scholarship, but an expression of tenacious worship as I began to hunt down the link between these verses.
Here it is and it will blow your mind:
The Hebrew word 'iyshown literally means “the pupil of the eye.” In one form the word picture is actually this: “the little man of the eye.”
Stay with me here…
Question: What does it take to see your reflection in someone else’s eye?
Answer: nearness, closeness. The little man/woman in the eye of someone else is your reflection!
The English expression “apple of your eye” doesn’t just speak to value, it speaks to proximity.
Bam! If the Lord has kept us as the 'iyshown or apple of his eye, it means the Lord is present, like super present, super near! He sees his reflection in his pupil and you can see your reflection in his! This profound word picture clearly illustrates that the Maker is simultaneously concerned both with the functions of the universe and the beating of our hearts. It means he has never gone anywhere. It means maybe we were the ones that blinked or look away.
This is one of the largest IFTT or “If This Then That” concepts of the Bible. If, as Moses suggests, has kept us as near as he says, then my outlook on life should be radically different. I can look at yesterday and trace where he guided my steps and circumstances. I can look to tomorrow knowing he is “in my face” ready to display Himself through me in what He has planned.
So, reader, He has kept you as the apple of His eye. You are in His gaze. He desires relationship with you. The question is what are you going to do about it. My answer for you? Respond with your life given over in worship (Rom 12.1-2) to the God who numbers the stars, yet knows you by name.
“The X Factor-Shared Services”: How Multisiters Can Get This Right
Sometimes called Central Support or Central Services, this is the “team of teams” that supports ministry segments across all multisite locations.
Trust me when I tell you, this facet of a comprehensive multisite strategy cannot be over emphasized. A clear plan for shared services is a key component of multisite multiplication. It is one of the X factors that can quickly propel ideas forward or cause huge organizational drag.
Here are some examples of typical shared services teams:
The jobs that these men and women perform are part of the sweet spot of a multisite model. The organization needs to be served by only one of each of the departments listed above. Interpretations of this concept vary across the world as multisite multiplication grows.
I’m taken me back to my micro-econ class when talking about shared services in this way. Check out the definition I chose from www.investopia.com for the concept called Economies of Scale:
(I tried to find the one with the most buzz-words. Feel free to ring a bell in your mind every time you read one)
Economies of scale is the cost advantage that arises with increased output of a product. Economies of scale arise because of the inverse relationship between the quantity produced and per-unit fixed costs; i.e. the greater the quantity of a good produced, the lower the per-unit fixed cost because these costs are shared over a larger number of goods. Economies of scale may also reduce variable costs per unit because of operational efficiencies and synergies.
Let me interpret for the Art majors: “Sharing is caring.” In other words, multisite is going to allow you to reach more people for less by not having to re-invent duplicate support teams at each location. The notion of economies of scale is just one facet of shared services, but in my experience, this probably the most compelling argument as we design the way our teams work together.
Here are some tips to steer your shared services team in the right direction:
Language like that from the platform and team meeting will only reinforce a segmented view of your organization. Some great terms that are out there when referring to the “main campus” are the “Sending Campus”, “Broadcast Campus”, or “Founding Campus.” Handle these terms with care.
Todd Adkins article HERE
Economies of Scale tutorial HERE
Lencioni book HERE
Star Wars Trailer (cause its on my mind) HERE
If WONDERWORLD were a kid, he/she would be starting 4th grade!!! What!?
Help us celebrate by picking up a new copy on iTunes!
You'll be glad you did.
I did something I've never done over my Sabbatical break this past month. I got my favorite pair of shoes re-soled.
I'm guess now I'm officially old. I took them to a cobbler... Next I'll be be running over to the haberdashery to get fitted for my new Astros hat. I saw my dad get shoes worked on when I was younger, but I've never had the occasion to actually recycle shoes. My generation uses stuff up and throws it out.
But it happened. I really loved this pair of shoes and couldn't find any replacements that would fit my budget. As it turns out the replacement cost for the same shoe was twice what I had originally paid. The guy in London who makes this particular shoe brand is bankin' it I'm guessing. The cost at the shoe shop was much lower than what I'd originally paid in the first place so I decided to go for it.
As I put them on to return to work today, I realized it paralleled my experience on my break.
In the Lord's wisdom and timing, he allowed me the chance to get some rest and a much needed retread. I'm still the same person, only given more mileage. His gifted hands formed something new and long lasting in my heart. For that, I'm thankful.
Do you need ministry to your soul? Do you need a rest stop? Is your soul worn down to the nub?
It doesn't necessarily take a work break or travel to access His rest. He promises that He will give us rest if we come to Him and ask for it. Do that today and let me know what happens!
Psalm 23/Matthew 11
NEW VIDEO from our recent study trip to the UK and Israel.