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Leader vs. Boss

March 12, 2010

Simple, yet incredibly profound.

Taken from: http://www.thepracticeofleadership.net/2010/02/21/are-you-a-leader-or-just-a-boss/

Are you a Leader or just a Boss?

by George Ambler

I often find that many people confuse leadership with positional power. We tend to believe that a person in a position of authority or someone with a title, has their position or title due to their leadership qualities. However, in many cases there is no correlation between someone’s position and their leadership ability. Just having a title does not make you a leader, leaderships is about influence. Title only buys you time to exercise true leadership, and in this time your leadership either increases or diminishes and eventually fails. There is a huge difference between being a boss and being a leader…! Consider the following…

“The boss drives group members; the leader coaches them.
The boss depends upon authority; the leader on good will.
The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm.
The boss says ‘I’; the leader says ‘we.’
The boss assigns the task, the leader sets the pace.
The boss says, ‘Get there on time’; the leader gets there ahead of time.
The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown.
The boss knows how it is done; the leader shows how.
The boss makes work a drudgery; the leader makes it a game.
The boss says, ‘Go’; the leader says, ‘Let’s go.’“

– Author unknown

People follow the boss because they have to if they want to keep their jobs. People follow leaders because of who they are and where they are going.  Too many leaders today rely on their position to lead. How about you?

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Defeat and Hypocrisy

March 10, 2010

These types of articles always catch me off guard. I grew up with similar feelings, but was never able to put words to it.  However, these words, defeat and hypocrisy, perfectly describe the results of the problematic way we tend to live.

Taken from http://withoutwax.tv/2010/02/26/defeat-and-hypocrisy/

Defeat and Hypocrisy

By Pete Wilson

I continue to be amazed at how it always seems that religion complicates what God has made simple. I was reading last night in Matthew and reminded at how often Jesus tried to expose the complexities of religion.

Matt 23: 1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. 3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4 They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.

I grew up in a system of religion that was very similar to this. The “demands” often left me feeling crushed and wondering if God could ever accept and love me.

I discovered over time that religion and the rules that accompanied it really only produced two things: defeat, if you were honest, and hypocrisy, if you were not.

I spent years in hypocrisy which was fueled by my fear that I wasn’t “good enough.” I’ll be forever grateful that I eventually exchanged that system of religion in for a story of redemption. I’ll be forever grateful for discovering the meaning behind these beautiful words of Jesus…

Matthew 11: 28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Do You Pray?

March 8, 2010

To follow up on our awesome Real Life Prayer retreat a few weeks ago, I thought I would dedicate Mondays to the topic of prayer for the next few months. I am amazed at how many awesome articles there on the topic of prayer.

But articles aren’t like magic pills that create a meaningful relationship between you and God. No, there are no magic pills. Instead, there is an amazing gift that we are given. That gift is prayer.

J.C. Ryle wrote a powerful article on prayer. This stood out to me:

I do not deny that a man may pray without heart and without sincerity. I do not for a moment pretend to say that the mere fact of a person’s praying proves is everything about his soul. As in every other part of religion, so also in this, there may be deception and hypocrisy.

But this I do say, that not praying is a clear proof that a man is not yet a true Christian. He cannot really feel his sins. He cannot love God. He cannot feel himself a debtor to Christ. He cannot long after holiness. He cannot desire heaven. He has yet to be born again. He has yet to be made a new creature. He may boast confidently of election, grace, faith, hope, and knowledge, and deceive ignorant people. But you may rest assured it is all vain talk if he does not pray.

Read the rest here.

March 6, 2010

Found this quote mentioned on http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/rayortlund/.

“Jesus condemns neither minuteness of study nor the exercise of reason.  His condemnation comes when the wickedness of men so perverts their reason or their methods of study that they become blind to the inner principles of the divine revelation. . . . He demands more thought, not less; but it must be thought conducted in a humble and teachable spirit directed by God himself.”

John W. Wenham, Christ and the Bible (Grand Rapids, 1984), page 18.

Simple

March 1, 2010

So, I am a twitter fan. I like listening in on others. I enjoy keeping up with friends. I love the wit and humor that comes along with it. One of my favorite guys on twitter is Jon Acuff, the author of the soon to be released, Stuff Christians Like. He is @prodigaljohn, and can be followed by clicking here. The reason, he is hilarious!

That being said, a quote he offered this morning caught my eye. It wasn’t funny, and it wasn’t from him. It was from a man who is no friend of Christianity.

Here is the quote:

I don’t know much of Jesus, but I know his life conveys 1 message-anyone at any moment can start a new future.                                               -Garaudy

The simplicity and beauty of being a follower of Christ is just that. It’s forgetting the things that are behind, and pressing forward.

Further to go

February 5, 2010

Color my mind blown away by these reminders. If you haven’t before, check out his site… some amazing articles written about leadership.

Taken from: http://www.perrynoble.com/2010/02/02/hes-brought-me-so-far/

He brought me so far, and I have SO MUCH FURTHER TO GO!

This hit me the other day in a very unusual way.

A friend of mine allowed me to “test drive” a brand new, 2010 Camaro!  (V8, 426 hp…I “may” have gotten it to 90 mph in second gear in the church parking lot!)  It’s pretty much my dream car (I have always wanted a Camaro…yes, I LOVED the IROC’s!)  It is FULLY LOADED, XM radio, a place you can plug in your ipod…you name it!  And so for a few days I got to drive it around…and yes, I was relentless about obeying the speed limit!  (Wink!)

The color of the car was orange, which didn’t really strike me at first until I was driving it to work one more and had this thought, “Hey…this car is orange, but so was my first car!”

My mind flashed back to the very first car I had…a bright orange 1979 AMC Gremlin! AND it was VASTLY different from the Camaro!  It would go from 0-60 in 4.2 DAYS!  It had an AM radio…no tape player (CD’s were not invented yet) and so if I wanted to listen to “good music” I had to buy batteries for my “jam box” and put it in the front seat.  I still remember driving down town Easley with the windows rolled down blasting Ton Loc’s “Wild Thang” and desperately trying to look cool!  (It didn’t work!)

The drivers seat of the Gremlin had a hole in it…I literally had to put a pillow in the hole so that I didn’t fall through.  The floor was rotting out…I could look down and see the road as I drove.  I had to carry two quarts of transmission fluid and a quart of oil at all times…and when I took a girl out on a date in it I always had to do some sort of maintenance.  (I literally had one girls dad ask me to please never park it in his driveway again!)

The Gremlin MAY be the worse car ever invented…and mine was the worse of the worse; however, it was all I had and so I drove it until God finally took mercy on me and this world by killing it!

SO…after that particular flashback my mind snapped back to where I was…driving a car that I NEVER thought I would drive and totally enjoying the experience instead of praying that no one would see me…and I had the following thought – “22 years ago I never imagined I would EVER be able to drive a car like this.  In fact, I felt stuck…I thought what I had was the very best that I was ever going to have.  I was obsessed with the way things were instead of the way things could be…and now look, here I am driving a car that no one could have even conceived back then…and even though this car is ‘borrowed,’ things have really changed for the better.”

Then it HIT ME like a ton of bricks, so much so that I became completely overwhelmed…my LIFE 22 years ago was a wreck, I was running from God, completely cared less about His Word, church or ANYTHING having to do with Him.  And yet a few years later He drew me to Him, saved me, and changed my mind and heart in regards to the ways I thought and how I lived.

He’s brought me so far…I never thought I would have the life I have right now…a wife as awesome as ‘Cretia, a daughter as special as Charisse, friends who really do love and care about us, a church that would fill the BILO Center for our 10 year anniversary…I could go on and on…but the fact is that I am in awe of who HE is, where HE found me AND how far He has brought me.

BUT…I have so much further to go…

Just like the car I was driving was borrowed…I am living on borrowed time (James 4:14)…but WHILE Jesus allows me to “borrow” it I want to maximize it as much as I can for HIS glory.  I feel incredibly blessed…but I know there is so much more for me to learn, so many things He needs to teach me and so much more than I must experience.

I think about the Apostle Paul…when God knocked him off of his horse in Acts 9 he had no idea about all that God had in store for him.  What he thought was an amazing experience was actually just the beginning.

I think about Peter, James and John when they had a GREAT catch of fish (Luke 5) and Jesus called them to follow Him.  They had just had an amazing experience…but that particular event didn’t hold a candle to the things they would eventually see.

Many times we can get so caught up in where we are (either good or bad) and fall into the idea that “this” is all God has for us…but the reality is that if we are STILL on this planet then He STILL has a plan for us…there’s more!

You are NOT STUCK where you are!  Whether your life is amazing..or awful…there’s MORE!

My prayer is that all of us will fully embrace the reality of the way things ARE…but also refuse to believe the lie that ‘this” is all there will ever be.

I received Christ in 1990…I’ve been trying my best to follow Jesus for the past 20 years…and He’s done MORE than I could have ever imagined in my life and yet there is a hope and belief in me that He has brought me THIS far ONLY so He can take me even farther in life.  There is SO MUCH more for me to learn about being a better follower of Jesus, a better husband, a better father and a better leader in HIS church.  There’s MORE!

I am thankful for the victories He has allowed me to have in the past…but I simply refuse to slide into “cruise control” and play it safe in this life.  He will complete His work in me (and in you – see Philippians 1:6.)  There’s MORE…and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me next.  It MAY not be what is most comfortable for me…but I know it will ultimately be used for HIS glory!

For those who feel overwhelmed, stuck and flat out discouraged…don’t focus on your current circumstances but rather His consistent character–He is HOLY, that means His ways are HOLY (both perfect and awesome)…and He wants more for our lives than we could ever imagine…don’t give up, there’s MORE!  (Ephesians 3:20!)

A role model

February 4, 2010

Last week, a football player retired. Usually, no big deal. Certainly nothing to get excited over. However, this football player is somewhat well known, and mostly for his being a follower of Christ. It is Kurt Warner.

I saw a great article on him, written by Seth Wickersham from ESPN. The quote of the article, the one that stood out all by itself, that blew me away was this one.

Thanks for the religion. Some athletes give their life to Jesus Christ as a PR move; some are ripe with hypocrisy; some just say offensive things. Warner always expressed his faith without trivializing it or us.

Can’t the same be said for businessmen, construction workers, school teachers, stay at home moms, that their “religion” is a PR move, filled with hypocrisy and offensive words? It’s not just athletes.

And it’s certainly not just reporters that need to see a real faith being lived out, versus a religion being used to beat people up with.

As I read Wickersham’s words, I am blown away. I want that to be the testimony of non-Christians as they look at my life, my words, my actions. I want to make much of Christ, but I also want others to view my life, and not be able to deny His presence in my life.

Read the full article here.