In the last post I shared six signs of a leader who breathes life into organizations and followers, as opposed to those who have a way of sucking the life out of them. Definitely worth a review if you missed it. My guess is, you have probably experienced both types on a personal level, whether it’s in your workplace, your church, or your community. We’ve certainly seen both types on a global or national scale as well.
What I’m more concerned about, however, is the leadership you show, even if you don’t think of yourself as a leader. Everybody influences somebody, and you’re no exception. And all of us can learn from the example of the ultimate life-giving leader, the Lord Jesus. Here are six more signs of a life-giving leader. [click to continue…]
Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3).
Lots of comfortable, well-worn words here. Sometimes familiarity can hide the truest meaning of the language.
For example, God is “great.”
(God is good, let us thank Him for our…)
Hang on a minute. [click to continue…]
Hi. I’m James Harvey. I’m 63 years old and live in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio called Worthington. There’s no real reason you should know me, unless you take my car payments down at the bank or perhaps were at my recent early retirement party at the local university, where I worked for 23 years.
But what I’m about to share with you could change all that. It certainly changed my life. And I think it can change yours.
More on that in a minute. First, let me give you a little of my “before” picture. It was only a couple of years ago, yet it seems like a lifetime. And my life was a mess.
- I was struggling to make ends meet financially. I would forget to pay bills when I had some money, or remember to pay them when I didn’t have enough.
- I found myself more and more isolated from friends and family. I did my duty when it came to get-togethers or holidays. But there wasn’t much joy in it.
- I was restless and bored at work. There was a time I loved my job, but I reached a point where I was desperate for something new.
- I started having health problems. I’ve always been a pretty healthy guy, but I started getting repeated episodes of bronchitis. My energy level dropped to “turtle-level.” I just assumed it was the natural result of growing older. Boy, was I wrong.
- People started asking me if I was depressed. I didn’t seem like myself, they said. My answer was always the same: “I’m fine!” But in my heart I knew I wasn’t.
Can you relate to any of that? I was “that guy” – the one who felt like he was pushing a boulder up a mountain. Only it felt as though somebody was on the other side, pushing back.
That’s when I rediscovered an ancient secret. [click to continue…]
Things looked bleak for the children in George Muller’s orphanage at Ashley Downs in England. Muller had built his ministry as a model of how God would provide for him with no specific requests for support.
But on this day, it was time for breakfast, and the cupboards were bare. There was no food in the kitchen, no money in the bank. A small girl whose father was a close friend of Muller was visiting in the home. Muller took her hand and said, “Come and see what our Father will do.”
In the dining room, long tables were set with empty plates and empty mugs. Muller gathered the children together and prayed, “Dear Father, we thank You for what You are going to give us to eat.”
Immediately, they heard a knock at the door. [click to continue…]
Remember, You said with broken bread and common cup held high.
Believe… not just once sometime years ago, but today, in this day’s sound and fury
That the gift that You gave for lost hearts of stone (like mine)
Hasn’t gone anywhere – it’s still as alive today as You are.
So never let me forget the supreme price, the steadfast love, the faithful offering
That forever changed my heart of stone to gold… to joy… to peace.
And oh… [click to continue…]
In 1835 a man visited a doctor in Florence, Italy. He was filled with anxiety and exhausted from lack of sleep. He couldn’t eat, and he avoided his friends. The doctor found that he was in prime physical condition. Concluding that his patient needed to have a good time, the physician told him about a circus in town and its star performer, a clown named Grimaldi. Night after night he had the people rolling in the aisles. “You must go and see him,” the doctor advised. “Grimaldi is the world’s funniest clown. He’ll make you laugh and cure your sadness.”
“No, he can’t help me,” said the patient. “You see, I am Grimaldi!”
It’s one of those ironies, a paradox of life in general, and a hidden truth of Kingdom life in particular. Laughter flows out of pain. Joy would be nonexistent without sorrow. Grace wouldn’t exist if there were no need for it. And what I lack becomes the basis for what I have to offer. [click to continue…]
Tell them I said “hi.”
Tell them I’m praying for them.
Okay. Do you want me to tell them what you’re praying?
That would be great. Tell them I’m praying that they may stand complete or perfect. And that they would stand fully assured in all the will of God.
Is that it?
Yeah, but that’s quite a bit.
Yeah. These days it’s pretty much all I do since I have all this free time on my hands. It’s basically become my job.
Your job? [click to continue…]
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Regardless of the need or the deed that lurks in front of you, the choice that confronts you is a choice of scarcity or of abundance. I thought today it would be a good idea to remind you that whatever God does, He does it abundantly. Even when He’s dealing with you!
Regardless of what you may hear from the Republicans or the Democrats, the courts or the Congress, the economists or the educators, the preachers or the politicians, God is still wonderfully wealthy and lavishly generous. All you have to do to believe that is compare what you have with what you deserve.
God is measureless when it comes to the grace and provision he offers. [click to continue…]
I have a Master’s degree in Moody. There are some who see the glass half full, and others who see the glass half-empty. Left to my own devices, I see the glass as 100% of whatever mood I may be in.
That said, I’m re-learning (God is such a patient teacher!) a powerful, powerful principle:
Never, never, never pass up an opportunity to say “Thank you.”
Because gratitude is the gateway to abundance. I am living it.
Gratitude widens the road – at least in the spirit, if not in the circumstances. As I live gratefully, forces line up to move the circumstances. But in the meantime, even while the circumstances are narrow, my soul is broad.
That’s hard for the Master of Moody to accept sometimes. I am capable of such broodiness that disciplined gratitude must be that – disciplined. And I don’t do it well. [click to continue…]
This may be a leap, but let’s assume for a minute that you know what it is you want, and you’re pursuing it. I don’t mean what you’re conquering in your search for lunch. I’m talking destiny, journey-of-desire stuff. Maybe it’s to influence or gain the approval of someone. Maybe it’s wisdom to make good choices or the ability to do something that’s hard or impossible for you right now.
Regardless, have you ever noticed that sometimes getting there feels like an eight-lane highway? And other times, the minute you start moving in that direction it feels like you just turned onto a muddy jungle trail?
Have you ever noticed that sometimes the journey launches like gangbusters, but then stalls or stagnates?
Chances are, you came to a fork in the road and made a wrong turn.
Robert Frost was right in his famous poem about the two roads and choosing the one less traveled by. What he failed to mention was that life or any worthwhile pursuit is a series of forks in the road, not just one. One road leads to a path that makes it easier to pursue your dreams; the other leads to mediocrity, failure, and defeat.
Appearances are Deceptive
Paths that lead to mediocrity and failure are well-worn and popular. They require the least mental effort or “soul work.” But what starts off as the path of least resistance quickly turns to the path of resistance-beats-my-brains-out.
Other paths may appear to require a lot of work or may leave you feeling isolated and alone. But somewhere in that spiritual, emotional, and mental work you activate forces that begin to carry your load, increase your speed, and move you in the direction of your truest desires.
The other tricky part about these forks in the road: [click to continue…]