Attitude

This is one of my favorite quotes. It has either been framed on my wall, sat on my desk, or in my cubicle as a reminder for over 15 years. It still sits on my desk at this very moment.

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Great article for anyone who leads & manages people & teams..

Great article for anyone who leads & manages people & teams..

A quick search of books on Amazon.com on the topic of “leadership” currently yields 137,827 results, with new titles added regularly. There are countless experts and self-proclaimed gurus who speak often on the topic. And, if you don’t believe me, search #leadership on Twitter and you’ll find some of them.

Yet with all of this at our fingertips, we still suffer from leadership deficiency — in our nation, workplaces, churches and homes. We have too many leaders who believe their position mandates their influence, rather than their influence enabling them to be effective in their position. Many of today’s leaders lead by forced coercion — a “my way or the highway” mindset that makes them more like dictators.

President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The leader leads, and the boss drives. The Boss often plays the Boss Card. They force obedience, strictly because of their position and status. But, as author and expert John Maxwell says, “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It’s about one life influencing another.”

As you are reading this, odds are you are picturing someone you know in a leadership position that drives more than they lead. I know I am picturing someone as I write. I also have to quickly examine my own life.

God has placed all of us in a position of leadership, if not in our workplaces or churches, then certainly in our homes as parents. I know there have been times when I don’t exemplify the qualities of a Godly leader. I don’t want to knock all of the great books out there on leadership. There are some terrific resources available from people who know far more about the topic than many of us do.

But, there’s one resource that has a lot to say on the topic of effective leadership, and it’s available for free. You can actually access it right on your phone. It’s the Bible, and the passage is Proverbs 16. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait. This chapter is chock full of leadership lessons. Below are nine principles that are critical characteristics of a good, godly leader.

A good leader seeks God’s direction.

Is there anything more important in a leader than he or she seeking God’s direction? Proverbs 16:1 says “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” Verse 3 adds, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” And verse 9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” A good leader seeks the Lord, commits his way to the Lord, and the Lord establishes the next steps.

A good leader is modest, not arrogant.

We’ve all encountered the know-it-all leader, the “submit-or-else” type of leader. But Proverbs 16:5 says, “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.” I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t want to be referred to as an abomination to the Lord. That’s some pretty scary stuff.

A good leader is a peacemaker.

Proverbs 16:7 says “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Yet so many leaders aren’t interested in examining an opposing viewpoint or other ideas. We’ve lost the ability to empathize with others, and compromise has become a bad word. There’s something to be said of sticking to principles. I believe God calls us to be steadfast. He doesn’t however, call us to be jerks. And, when our “boldness” is interpreted as “coldness,” we are not doing it right.

A good leader is fair and just.

“Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice” (Proverbs 16:8). I believe in goals, and working hard to achieve them. But, the end always justifying the means is simply not true. A good leader is more interested in doing things the right way.

A good leader surrounds himself or herself with honest, trustworthy counselors … and then listens to them.

“Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right” (Proverbs 16:13). Do you know leaders who surround themselves with “yes” people? Personal insecurity drives them to seek only positive reinforcement for every decision they make. A smart leader surrounds himself or herself with smarter people, who are willing to speak their minds and offer sound counsel. After all, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).

A good leader is a good learner.

Proverbs 16:16 says, “How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” A good leader should always be learning, growing and improving. The day you feel there is nothing left to learn is the day that pride and arrogance have taken root. And, we’ve already discussed how the Lord feels about arrogance.

A good leader is humble.

We’ve seen countless prominent examples of Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” From politicians and celebrities to CEOs and pastors, many have grabbed headlines as their empires have fallen. In most of these cases, it’s pride that has crept in. They thought themselves invincible, but quickly found out that no one is. “It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud” (Proverbs 16:19).

A good leader is sensible and kind.

“Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips” (Proverbs 16:22–23). Being smart and sensible makes a good leader more persuasive and effective. A good leader uses “gracious words” (verse 24), not speech that is “like a scorching fire” (verse 27).

A good leader is slow to anger.

We’ve all seen the caricatures in movies and television of the angry boss; the person who yells for no reason, barks orders and berates and demoralizes the staff. Perhaps you’ve even worked for such a person. The Bible says that “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” As you read through these qualities of a good leader, hopefully you find them as challenging as I do. God tells us how to be effective, godly leaders. It’s up to us to put our human tendencies aside and embrace these principles. It’s also up to us to pray for those under which we serve, that they too would be the good leaders God wants them to be.

Brent Rinehart is a public relations practitioner and freelance writer. He blogs about the amazing things parenting teaches us about life, work, faith and more at www.apparentstuff.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.

https://www.crosswalk.com/family/career/9-essential-qualities-of-a-godly-leader.html

 

 

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Don’t be naive…

Difficult Times Ahead:
“Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.

These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them; women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself “truth.” They get exploited every time and never really learn. These men are like those old Egyptian frauds Jannes and Jambres, who challenged Moses. They were rejects from the faith, twisted in their thinking, defying truth itself. But nothing will come of these latest impostors. Everyone will see through them, just as people saw through that Egyptian hoax.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-9 The Message (MSG)

So let me ask you, especially those of faith, do you think these are difficult times that lie ahead, or are we there now?

 

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Never quit…

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Surround yourself…

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Are you a child of God?

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Meaning of the Black Belt

A karate student was training for many years to finally receive his black belt. He had worked hard, advancing in rank & was excited for this day to come.
 
He kneeled before his Master Sensei and the other Sensei. He performed all the Katas he knew, very well. He broke the boards & concrete that was required for testing. He sparred with several other black belts and scored extremely well, passing all the tests.
 
It came to the end and he again kneeled before his Master Sensei and waited when his Master Sensei said, “What is the true meaning & essence of a black belt?”
 
The student responded, “It is the end of my journey” The Master Sensei paused for several moments, seemingly disappointed with his reply, and then answered, “You are not yet ready for your black belt, return in one year”
 
The student continued to train hard and returned to the Master Sensei after one year to receive his black belt. He kneeled before his Master Sensei. His Master Sensei again asked, “What is the true meaning & essence of a black belt?”
 
The student replied, “It is the mark of true accomplishment in our Martial Art”
 
The Master Sensei again paused for several moments seemingly disappointed, once again, waiting for more from his student. He then replied with, “You are not yet ready for your black belt, return in one year”
 
After another year of hard training the student returns and kneels before his Master Sensei. The Master Sensei asks, “What is the true meaning and essence of a black belt?”
 
The student replies, “It is the beginning of my journey. It is the first step of a never ending journey of discipline, hard work, and the pursuit of an even higher standard. To apply and demonstrate integrity, respect, heroic courage, honor, compassion, sincerity, and loyalty. It is the first step, and why we start at one, the first degree.”
 
The Master Sensei replied, “Yes, you are receive the black belt and begin your work.”
 
This article was written by and given permission by and of:
~ Sensei Don Martin
senseidonmartin@gmail.com
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“I DON’T HAVE TIME…”

I DON’T HAVE TIME” I don’t have time to make it to church every Sunday. I don’t have time to read the bible. I don’t have time to get in a church group. I barely have enough time to sleep & eat.

Wonder where your time & resources go? It is relatively easy to discover. Simply pull our your check book ledger for the last 30 to 90 days. Or if you are like me, simply go online to your online banking account & google or outlook calendar.

The thing is most people will find time & resources for things that are most important to them. If you are a workaholic like I was (still have that tendency) then you may see your schedule filled with work related, income producing or what is deemed productivity building activities. If you are a sports or music enthusiast, you may see you schedule filled with football games, or music concerts. If your kiddos are in a lot of sports, you may see soccer, lacrosse, football, dance, & recitals fill your calendar. You get the point.

There is also a biblical perspective to where your heart is, your treasure is there too. I may have no problem dishing out a couple hundred bucks for an OSU game, especially against ishigan. Or if the Eagles reunion tour came to Cincinnati, I may find some way to get the money to attend that concert. How about a 50% discount on Buffalo Trace Bourbon for you bourbon fellas, or some quality cubans for you cigar guys? Or that expensive gym membership that you have to sign up for as they are open 24/7.

The things is, we tend to find time, as well as possibly resources to get, attend or experience the things most important to us. But what about our Spiritual Well Being? What about our relationship with our Creator? What about sharing the hope & the Saving Grace to escape hell for others, most especially for the ones we love?

If Christ was able to change the world & lead a ministry of such a magnitude in just 3 years, could we not find time for Him? Could we not carve out time to read the Word, be still and quiet and let Him speak to and into us? Could we not find a mere 1 hour a week to be in a house of Worship, to learn, grow, serve, become better equipped and go out? Isn’t the One who suffered, died an agonizing death on the cross for us, that while we were sinners, died for each of us, worth some investment of time? Isn’t that homeless person on the streets wondering were his or her next meal may come from, worth a lunch & kind word? Isn’t that man or woman in prison worth a visit to share the Good News of hope? Isn’t it worth gathering with fellow believers to share the joy, build one another up, learn & pray for one another? Isn’t those young women sold into sex slavery worth praying for and possibly sharing your resources with to help get them out, and into work? Isn’t that orphanage, or young boy or girl worth mentoring an hour a week?…… It all kind of changes our paradigm a bit doesn’t it.

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LONG READ” (However if I don’t share, “the rocks may cry out”)

LONG READ” (However if I don’t share, the rocks may cry out) I once witnessed a man being called out of a message for being “overly charismatic”, saying too many “Amens”, “Praise God” etc… I of course will not mention names, the church, or the event without written permission. I am not sharing this to embarrass a person, a church, or a movement with good intentions. However, I will share in hopes that people may realize God wants you to be you, the best version of you… I believe He wants you to be ALL IN.

As I watched this occur I was initially puzzled. It wasn’t until later I discovered exactly why this man was pulled out of a message. I know this man, a fellow brother in Christ, and warrior for spreading the hope & Good News of Jesus Christ. My answer to him was that he should have stated something like this, “If I didn’t praise God & my savior in this manner, the rocks would cry out.” I told this brother, you be you, & let the Holy Spirit flow as you feel He is compelling you & not to worry what others may think or say. It is not about a church, a human being, not even a movement, it is about you & God. You & the Holy Spirit.

As I started this post I had at least 6 more paragraphs elaborating on examples similar to this from a variety of churches and denominations. However, I stopped and deleted them as the purpose of this post is not to be critical of a church, or a denomination, or any woman or man of faith. The purpose of this post is to share that it is okay to worship as the Holy Spirit leads. It is okay to demonstrate your faith in public as you believe the Holy Spirit is leading contrary to what a church, or man, or denomination declares, in my opinion. Because it is not about them, it is about HIM.

If we can stand up at sporting events, or rock concerts and shout and sing, would we not feel compelled to do the same for our Savior the saved our soul? Now I am not saying be disrespectful to others, or be so distracting that someone could not hear or understand a message. I believe the Holy Spirit is not the author of confusion as the Word states; so there is a place for being quiet and organized. However, if we are exercising our Spiritual Gifts as we feel called, they may be bold and gregarious at times for a reason. If a message convicts you and touches you in a manner that you want to say “Amen”. “Hallelujah” “Praise God” “Yes, Jesus” give applause, by all means, do it, or as the Word states, “the rocks may cry out.”

In addition, if we love our God with all our hearts, soul & minds, as well as love our neighbor as our self as Jesus answer as the greatest of all commandments; then we should be eager to utilize our Spiritual Gifts to full capacity. Which may include not sitting in the back seats, with your hands folded, nearly falling asleep. It means getting into the game with enthusiasm. People like to be around enthusiastic, optimistic people. I say be on fire for Jesus. Not necessarily obnoxiously on fire, but eager & ready to share the joy and hope you have. To use your gift of exhortation, or teaching, or administration/helps, of mercy, of apostleship, of prophesy…. to it’s fullest. If it is supporting a message that speaks to your heart and soul, then yes, shout an Amen, or Praise God. The purpose is give attention to God, not us, and I think people would be attracted to that enthusiasm. The cheerleading for Jesus, and may want to learn more and dig deeper. To support and be on the winning team. Although the world may think differently, or that think that believers are under dogs; but, we as believers, realize we are on the winning team, as we know who ultimately wins in the end.

In my opinion as I close, if the Holy Spirit is gripping you to weep, or kneel, if He is gripping you to raise hands up high or dance, if He is gripping you to sing & shout; go ahead, or the rocks may cry out, or the rocks may weep, or the rocks may dance. As believers we are the rocks being molded, who are built on solid rock and ground in Jesus Christ; therefore as when called by the Holy Spirit, let’s ROCK n ROLL.

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Our boys are watching..

Dad’s of young children, your children are listening, observing & absorbing. When I was growing up, I rarely ever seen my dad cry. I never seen his dad cry. I can only recall maybe 3 times my dad ever cried. It was like the earth stood still.

My son seems to have the impression that crying is a sign of weakness. Maybe it’s because he has rarely ever seen me cry, or he was taught that by peers in school, or other influences. I must confess, it does take a lot for me to weep. However, as I have grown closer to God, I find myself being brought to tears during certain worship music, praying & laying hands over people for healing not just of the body, but of the heart, soul & mind. Hearing stories of salvation & overcoming immense challenges, especially around strong men as they fight tears back in revelation, has brought me to tears.

It takes a lot to change how you may have been raised. Taught what is acceptable & what is not. The thing is the strongest man that ever lived, wept. In fact, “Jesus wept” is the shortest verse in the bible for one of the most profound examples. He did not weep over the death of Lazarus as He knew He would resurrect him. He wept over the sadness of his family, friends & the crowd. Jesus wept over mankind. Obviously us as men need to represent strength to our children. We are wired to be protectors & defenders. We are symbols of a sold rock, built & molded by the true solid rock in God, & His Son. However, there is a time to cry. To demonstrate the strength is shedding a tear, mourning, and letting go. If God manifested in the flesh in His Son, Jesus Christ, wept, then we in His image, may weep.

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