LEADERS LEAD FROM THE FRONT

Have you ever, all of a sudden, come to an awakening in your life? Well I have!  It was the strangest thing.  This awakening literally caused me to become overwhelmed.

It all started while on a motorcycle ride with my brother and a good friend of ours.  About a month ago, we all met in the driveway of my home.  My brother and I had already taken our motorcycles out of my garage and parked them in the driveway while we waited for our friend to arrive.  Once our friend showed up, we were set to ride but none of us had decided on a route to take.  Usually I am the one that takes the lead and picks the route. I decided this time it would be different, at least that’s what I thought.  So I said, “I’ll follow you guys this time, lead the way.”  “No! That’s alright,” they both said,  “we’ll follow you, you lead the way.”  I had no idea what route to take and I thought where could we ride that would be somewhat scenic, with some challenging winding roads and not a lot of traffic …

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LEADERS NEED EFFECTIVE FOLLOWERS

Off we went with me taking the lead.  I thought to myself, why do I always end up taking the lead.  It would be nice if I was the one doing the following, not being responsible for others or having to decide which way to go.  Don’t get me wrong, these men are fully capable of making decisions.  In fact, I have counted on their wisdom many of times.

As we set out on the road, I began having a conversation in my head about leading and following.  It was then that I realized that these men had chosen me to lead them, not because they were incapable, but out of respect, trust and love.  You see I had taught both these men how to ride the motorcycles they were on.

I couldn’t believe that I was having this conversation going on inside my head as I am riding a motorcycle down route 31 towards Macedon.  Time went by fast, before I realized it, it’s now pitch black, and we’re traveling on a road without any lighting.  I could see both their motorcycles head lights in my rearview mirror.  Then it dawn on me, I had missed my turn.  I looked back and could still see my brother and friend’s headlights leaning and winding with each turn in the road.  I’m lost I said to myself.  “I should pull over,” a small still voice spoke.  Then my PRIDE kicked into overdrive.  What will they think of you if tell them that you are lost … some leader you are?  Keep going until you see something familiar, spoke the voice of PRIDE, but the further I went the more lost I was.

THE PRESSURES OF LEADERSHIP

The role of a leader is one of great honor and I believe that all leaders know this.  But a leader’s biggest enemy is his or her own PRIDE.  Pride is usually a self inflicted wound that runs deep into the heart if not the very souls of its victims.  It would be one thing if ones PRIDE only wounded the person with it, but instead PRIDE hurts everything in its path. Don’t confuse PRIDE with being PLEASED or FULFILLED with  ones accomplishments.  Just remember no one accomplishes anything without the help of others.

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Sep 5, 2015 - Hearing From God, Prayer    2 Comments

SHAKEN AND STIRRED

You and I can be shaken by a special event or an occasion, but never stirred to make a difference or any changes in our life or the lives of others.  I am reminded of the James Bond movies I use to go see as a child growing up.  In case you are not familiar with the James Bond movies, they were about secret agents whose job it was to protect and secure the British Government and its people.  James Bond, also code name Agent 007, would always say these words whenever he was ordering his favorite drink, “I like my Martini shaken, but not stirred.”  This saying always stuck with me for whatever reason.  When I think about this, even now, I am somewhat amazed at the things that I allow to impress me.

Somehow I got thinking about this phrase shaken but not stirred and began to meditate on it.  One night while out to dinner I asked my wife Amy what she thought about it.  Amy gave me a great IMG_0834illustration of the difference between the two.  She took two water glasses from the table, one glass had only ice in it and the other glass had ice and water.  Amy took the glass with just ice in it and shook it hard.  What I noticed was it made a lot of noise but once she stopped shaking the glass everything stopped … no more noise and no more movement. Then Amy stirred the glass with the ice water.  There was little or no noise but when Amy stopped stirring the water and the ice continued its motion.  My point is that often being shaken will get your attention and often the attention of others.  But once the excitement wanes, then what?

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Aug 12, 2015 - Faith, Worship    4 Comments

WHAT’S YOUR SUNDAY’S BEST?

Several months ago I was sitting in a booth at Bruegger’s with my wife, Amy, and our youngest daughter, Ella.  A waitress named Sue Ellen commented on the black Fedora hat that I was wearing.  As Sue Ellen continued wiping down the tables around us, she shared how she remember the times when men wore Fedoras and how she loved that.  These days, people dress any old way they please, she continued.  Sue Ellen went on to share how she saw a lady in church one Easter Sunday wearing an Easter hat. After service she followed this young lady outside.  Sue Ellen told the woman how great she looked and how she so much appreciated seeing people coming to church dressed in their Sunday best.

I knew exactly what she meant by Sunday’s best.  I, too, grew up in an era where when you entered into the House of God you wore your best.  Everyone had at least one set of dress clothes that they wore to church known as “your Sunday’s best.”  Even though it was the same outfit every Sunday, it was the best you had.  It wasn’t a matter of looking better then someone else, you just wanted to honor God with what you had.  Even if it wasn’t much … like hand-me-downs from another family member or friend.

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I guess times have changed and with it comes our new value system in what one believes will bring honor to God.  The truth of the matter is some of us no longer care how we dress or look. There seems to be now a loose dress code that we put under the pretense that we don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable when they come to worship.

I would that we all felt the same way about our sins towards Jesus and how we affect other people when our behavior doesn’t match our faith.  We have great freedom in the Spirit. But, our freedom should never allow us to become so lax, just to make others feel more comfortable by lowering the standard (bar) just for the sake of it.  What cause or occasion would they then have to raise the bar (standard) if we have grown so lax?  Don’t get me wrong, this is not about clothing or a dress code at all, it’s about the condition of our hearts.

APOSTLE PAUL’S USE OF HIS FREEDOM.

I don’t believe that’s what apostle Paul meant when he said, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.  To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.  To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

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