“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders” *
God, I often find it hard to shout for you; to praise you for the things that you do for me.
What are those things? Oh, it may be surprising. It is not those earthly, material things that are needed to survive. No, it is the things that are not often seen by the naked eye.
It’s that inner peace, that inner comfort and inner joy. It’s that unexplainable, undescribed knowing—that vision, that hope, that desire of my heart to be a part of you. It is that desire to be with you, to share you with others. It’s that spiritual resource, the fuel that I need to go another day. To be all I can be until I can dwell in you completely.
While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jarius, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?’’ Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:35-36.
This scripture brought to my remembrance the struggle I had trying to define leadership. I wanted leadership to be more than just a word; I wanted and needed the word, leadership, to be an ongoing living and active statement. Then I realized that leadership is about faith; it is about not limiting your possibilities to the visible. It is about drowning out the noise and believing that there’s more to life than what meets the eyes. Then it came to me: “Leadership is unlimited when you believe in something bigger than yourself.”
What is your definition of Leadership?
I don’t know what your lot in life has been or will be in the future, but here’s a prayerful thought that I offer you
Photograph and graphic design by Jim Whalen
A message for all of us, please take to the time to read. I would love to hear what you think.
This short prayer came to me as I was reading Dr. Myles Munroe‘s book Becoming a Leader” and at the same time watching the inspirational movie, “The Ben Carson Story.” A very touching story about prayers, determination, od’s love and miracles.
I serve a wonderful God. He is a God of miracles. He is a God of love. He is a God of mysteries. He shares his mysteries and miracles to those that truly seek him out and to those who are not afraid to share God’s miracles and mysteries with others.
God, thank you for your gifts of mysteries and miracles; help us to embrace your gifts and to use your gifts to benefit humankind. Amen.
- What miracles have you experienced in life?
- I love a great story; what mysteries have God revealed to you?
- Are you using the gifts God has given you to benefit humankind?
Some say God does not speak to modern man. They believe, that since the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God no longer has anything to say. I refute that belief. God speaks to me through songs, through his Holy Words and through the inspirational writings of others.
God speaks to me through people, people like you and especially through those who practice the fruit of the spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).
God speaks to me through nature; especially through the diversity of birds; through the various cloud formations, the beauty of God’s expansive forest with its trees and brushes. God speaks to me through his vast water ways and through his mighty hills and mountains. God even speaks to me through the death of loved ones.
How does God speak to you? They said we must be quiet; to be in a meditative state to hear from God. But for some, the chaos is required for God to speak to them; to obtain the compassion to right wrong, to inspire others.
Dave Kraft in his book Leaders Who Last (2010) writes that “it is vitally important that each of us discovers his own pathway to deep intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ…I try to use a combination of things, such as prayer walks, personal retreats, a daily devotional time, worshipful music, genuine community, or accountability with close and honest friends” (p.32).
So how do you hear God?
- Through music?
- Enjoying God’s creation?
- Being a part of a faith community?
- Through thinking and reflection?
It doesn’t matter. What does matter is to know that God still speaks to us today. Like in the “olden days” God is still seeking a relationship with us. He still wants to be a part of our lives. How does God speak to you?
Oh God, we need to hear from you. For it is through your Holy Presence within us that brings us joy, and instills in us a desire to serve your people and to change the world. Amen.
Last week I published an essay on Upward Edge (www.upwardedge.com) entitled “Factors to Consider When Deciding to Lead.” After publishing the essay and receiving a comment from one of my loyal followers, I began to meditate. Although my words are in the first person, I strongly believe that my words are genuine to all hopeful and called leaders.
God it is evident that it is time to grow. God help me to see the cues and to use every opportunity to seek you out, to serve you and to demonstrate your love to others.
God help me to be always faithful; even during dark times. Give me the faith of Paul; the courage of David and the resiliency of Job.
God I pray that I can, through your divine spirit, truly motivate with my words, model through my deeds and heal with my touch. I pray that I will live the truth and be a good steward of your trust in me. Amen
Has God called your name? What has God impressed upon your heart to do? If all the factors are in place (see www.upwardedge.com); then you are able to repeat Isaiah’s words: “Here am I. Send me!”
Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, for the life of your soul is at stake. I am ready to make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the mercies and unfailing love that I promised to David. Isaiah 55:3-4 NLT
God, I have forgotten how to pray. Oh yes, I bow my head and say a few words; but God the intensity of the prayer is not there; the connection to you is not there; my yearning to wait and listen is missing. I have not the time to meditate; to wait and listen; to hear that inner voice.
God, teach me how to pray; help me to understand the importance of prayer. God, teach me to hear with discernment and how to be genuine with my requests.
I pray that my requests to you will not be in vain. I pray that my asking will be worthy of your ears, your blessings and my realities.
God, teach me to hear you and to be faithful to what you are calling me to do and to be.
God, I pray today for….
How often have you prayed to God and you hear nothing, feel nothing? Well, you are not alone. You have company throughout history. Mother Teresa confessed this in her journal, but she continued to do God’s work. Read the Psalms and see how often King David mourned for God’s presence. Yet, David was a man after God’s own heart.
So I say to you today don’t be discouraged. God loves you and I believe even during the silence, God hears you. So be faithful, don’t forget God’s promises and continue to do the things that God has called you to do. Amen
As I was preparing training slides for my next presentation on leadership, I came across two concepts that struck a chord in me. The first concept was coined by Dr. Myles Munroe in his book entitled Becoming A Leader (1993). He used the phrase “out there.” He writes, “While we often think of leaders as “out there,” we need to look within ourselves. Each one of us is a leader who can affect the people and institutions in our own spheres of influence” (p.13).
When there is a just cause; whom do you look to? Is there anyone better than you “who can get the job done so said that inner voice? Often the right person is our self. We need to look within ourselves to get the job done, to improve the employees’ morale, to right the wrong. Who do you have influence with; what changes have been made in the past because of what you said or did? You can do it again. Leaders are not people “out there.” Leaders are ordinary people who accept or, due to circumstances, are thrust into taking charge; and in the process, “bring forth their latent potential, producing character that inspires the confidence and trust of others” (Becoming A Leader, 1993, p.12).
Now pause and think for a minute. What about that time when you were thrust into a leadership role. Think of the people you influenced. What about those changes that were made due to your efforts and the efforts of those you led. Because of that special journey, you are still seen as a leader and are often called to lead the next adventure whether it is on your job, your neighborhood, a civic affiliation or in your faith community.
This brings me to the second concept which was coined by John Maxwell. He stated that leadership is a journey. It is a “journey that starts where you are, not where you want to be” (The 360 Degree Leader, 2005, p.274). Often times we want to get ahead of ourselves. We want to be the CEO of the company, the president or chair of a particular group or the one who will lead the next march on City Hall or Washington.
Maxwell writes that “you need to have your eyes fixed on your current responsibilities, not the ones you wish to have someday” (p.275). If you are not successful at your current level how can you assure others and yourself that you will be successful and will be “a qualifier for leading at the next level” (p.274)? As discussed in an earlier post, Henry and Richard Blackaby believe that prior small successes can be a good sign post for emerging leaders to take on greater responsibilities and that these successes, along with the person’s life experiences, can greatly affect the kind of leader a person will become (Spiritual Leadership, 2001).
Have you been there; I know I have? You want the larger role, but at the same time, there are unfinished businesses at your current level of responsibilities. If we take care of our present responsibilities, the future will take care of itself. Greater responsibilities and yes, sometimes a new title, more money, different stressors and headaches will come with your prized endeavor; but it is not your time yet. You have current responsibilities to take care of.
Leadership is a journey and like all journeys we pack our essentials to assure a safe, but fun trip. But like many journeys there are surprises along the way. Those surprises will not deter us if we do our homework before hand. As it relates to leadership, the leader must know where he wants to go. The leader must have a vision; a vision that usually comes from the leader’s conviction. On this journey, will the leader have followers? The leader needs people who will follow her, protect her and help her realize her vision. The leader and followers are confident about this new journey because of the leader’s success with previous journeys.
So we see that leadership is not a one time effort. It is a life time journey often prompted by our inner voice to right the wrong, to improve job processes, to enhance our neighborhoods and to strengthen our faith community.
So are you ready to listen to your inner voice and begin your next journey? We are counting on you.