Site Announcement

Please note that I have moved this site to a new location. Please visit www.yourbarnabas.com to get the latest posts.

Since I began blogging regularly from 2012, I’ve made several changes to this site. The most recent change is the web address (url) of this blog. I’ve used the barnabas.in address for a long time now, but I’ve always been on the lookout for the barnabas.com address. But that .com site had been taken for a long time. Recently, I contacted the web admin of barnabas.com to see if they might be interested in selling. But no, they won’t sell. I took the step to ask since I noticed that the site is unused and has not been updated in years. Since it’s clear that they won’t sell, i’ve given up on that idea.

Yet I still wanted to get a more “general” .com address for this blog. The .in address is more specific to this region and I wanted it to be more generic. Finally I took the plunge and looked at the best option available: yourbarnabas.com and it was available. Maybe this new name reflects what I’ve been trying to do all along, to be a Barnabas to others. Thus, YourBarnabas.com may be an excellent combination of words for this blog address.

I would love to hear from you. Let me know what you think of this new name. So go ahead and send me a message using the “Email Me” link above. I’d like to hear of how this site has been helpful to you in the past. If any specific post has had an impact, I would love to hear about that. That would be a delight to know that it is helping.

In addition to this, let me know how I can be of help to you in ministry, leadership, or in your walk of faith.

Waiting to hear from you. ~Alexi

What is good?

In some types of group discussions we often ask the questions: “What was good today?” Or,  “What can we celebrate?” 

Sometimes I stumble to come up with something significant. I know I need to be grateful even for the little things. But I’m looking for something significant. 

But frankly there isn’t much good to speak of. Then I come to the words of David. 

“I say to the Lord you are my Lord. I have no good apart from you” (Psalm 16:2).  

Hundreds of years later, Jesus said 

“Why do you call me good?” No one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18). 

Are you having difficulty finding the good in your life? Maybe you’re looking for that which is substantial and Lasting. You’ll find it nowhere else except in God alone.

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Join the conversation. Share your thoughts in the comments on barnabas.in and share this post with others. 

You can also visit barnabas.in/more for resources. 

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Thanks. 

Over-care

Dependency. Entitlement. Feeling of being used for the benefit of the one doing the caring. Resentment. Claustrophobia. Feeling smothered.

In the early stages, in the midst of a lot of instability and uncertainty, extra care is needed. Just like someone in the ICU. But as early as possible, the person needs to recover, come out, and live independently. 

If that high level of care continues, the dangers are many. As people struggled with various issues of life, we are prompted to provide care. The focus should be on recovery and independence from us and to move them to dependence on Jesus. But if this does not occur in a timely manner, we run the risk of over-care. 

This leads to an unhealthy dependency on us, eventually leading to a feeling of entitlement, of being used,  resentment, and even emotional claustrophobia. All the while we think we are helping. But it’s over-care. 

About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:11–14 ESV)

Let’s move people from dependency to maturity. 

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Join the conversation. Share your thoughts in the comments on barnabas.in and share this post with others. 

You can also visit barnabas.in/more for resources. 

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Thanks. 

If you hang around long enough

You never know what will happen to you. Actually, you’ll be surprised what you’ll become. The truth is that you will never be the same again. 

Recently, I met a man from the UK who lived in various countries from his late teens. After so many years away people now mistake him for various nationalities because of the changes in his English accent. He’ll never be the same again. 

The psalmist said: 

“O Lord who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks the truth in his heart” (Psa 15:1,2).

And he goes on to mention more such characteristics of those who dwell in God’s presence. You can’t remain as you are. The longer you remain in God’s presence the more you’ll be changed to become like him. So just hang around. You’ll see.

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Join the conversation. Share your thoughts in the comments on barnabas.in and share this post with others. 

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Organizational culture

Culture begins at the top. Of course! Where else? 

If culture doesn’t begin at the top then each person will introduce their own. And it can end up in confusion. But you can make it value driven, intentional, and consistent. 

If your culture isn’t value-driven, then it will vacillate. It will become a moving target or ever changing like the weather that changes by the moment. But if it’s value-driven, it will remain constant longer, and will produce the results that you desire. 

Then be intentional about creating and maintaining culture. You can do this by modeling it celebrating it and emphasizing it. By doing these three, you’ll get more people to gradually adopt the culture of your organization. 

Finally be consistent and repetitive. Because culture can fade. Or maybe it leaks. Then before you know it you end up with another culture one that doesn’t line up with your values. 

Keep the culture focused. Then it will be value-driven. Ultimately your values help achieve your mission and vision. Link to Mission Vision and goals

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Join the conversation. Share your thoughts in the comments on barnabas.in and share this post with others. 

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Shocked

They never expected it. They never even dreamed of such a thing. They’ve heard of others who experienced such a total disaster. But such horrible things should not happen to God’s people. 

But it did. They lost their land, their identity as a nation, their possessions, and most of all they lost all hope for the future. 

So they cried out. 

“Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad”  (Psa 4:7).

Losses are inevitable. But total loss is a total disaster. Your only hope comes from God. Continue to look to him with hope. Only then can you rejoice and be glad.

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Join the conversation. Share your thoughts in the comments on barnabas.in and share this post with others. 

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Many walk, others follow, and some die

It’s inevitable, but many will walk away from you and from Jesus. Even crowds of people walked away (Joh 6:66,67). Individuals also walked away. They were offended, they disagreed, or they just had a different agenda. Jesus simply let them go. 

Some followed Jesus. They followed for various reasons. They received healing, food, saw miracles, received forgiveness, companionship, good teaching, and other needs were met through Jesus. Although Jesus continued to give to them, he did two things: 1) He gave priority to new seekers in other places (other sheep). 2) He challenged them to go deeper in relationship and obedience. But that’s the point where these people also walked away. 

Then a few are willing to obey Jesus even to death. The demand was heavy. 

“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple” (Luk 16:27).

Don’t be surprised if only a few obey Jesus and become his followers. 

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The hidden face of God

I’m not so sure if God hides his face from us. Rather than a reality, it may be what the person is sensing within due to the pain and struggles. 

David experienced such a depth of pain and expressed those words several times. On the cross, Jesus asked: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” This doesn’t have to mean that God the Father forsook Jesus at the point of his greatest agony. It means that at the greatest point of agony he felt so distraught that it felt like he was deserted by everyone, even his heavenly Father. Thus we also have the words of David: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psa 13:1)

No, God doesn’t hide. We just get blinded by the intensity of our pain and the depth of our struggles. 

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Fearful leader

🔊 To listen to an audio version of this blog click here.

Ever been the timid type? Afraid? Always afraid? You’re the person who waits for others to take the first step. But, if it’s to run from danger, then you’re first. 

The following words have always been a source of strength for Israel. 

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength” (Isa 30:15). 

A “fearful leader” can be a contradictory term. But it’s often a reality. The problem is that you’ll end up vacillating, incapable of firm decisions. As you cower under the words of others, you’ll wonder who is the real leader here. 

Sometimes you snap back at others. Maybe out of fear, sometimes out of jealousy, and often out of ignorance of other people’s situations. 

Return to the presence of your Father. Rest in his presence. Quiet yourself in His embrace. Trust in His strength. 

Then lead. 

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Duplicity

Listen to an audio version of this blog post at this link.

Actually their lying duplicity is fine as long as you know their game. You can simply ignore their words. That’s not a problem to ignore such people. 

But flattery is the clincher. Their sweet words of genuine sounding baloney becomes irritating. It comes across as so sweet and genuine that you’re sucked into believing it. Then, when you’re inside their trap, you look out into the world of reality and realize – you’re the sucker. Sorry, it was too sweet to be true. 

Maybe David was experiencing this when he said these words.

“Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, ‘With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us, who is master over us?” (Psa 12:2-4)

Watch out!

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