Category : Devotion of the Week
Category : Devotion of the Week
Last Friday, I presented a message on “8 Principles of Passionate Leadership” to a Texas-wide Health Care Conference. Today I share the next three principles with you in Part 2.
4. Passionate Leaders place others before themselves. People often asked me about my most memorable interview as a sportscaster. The one that always comes to mind was with Pittsburgh Steelers all-pro Mike Webster. Webster and his Steelers had won four Super Bowls during the Black and Gold’s glory years, but I spoke with Webster when he was playing out his last NFL year in Kansas City. I asked then Chief’s coach, Marty Schottenheimer, to share a story about the standout NFL center. The one he chose concerned this player’s humility. On the first day of practice, Coach Schottenheimer asked some of the rookies to gather up the equipment from across the field, but before the new players could run over, the veteran, Mike Webster, had already picked up all the equipment and was on his way back. It was a beautiful demonstration of servant leadership and placing others before himself. Webster died a tragic death in 2002 from CTE, a brain disorder caused by getting hit too many times on the line. The movie “Concussion,” was based on his life. However, what I will remember about Webster was his humility and servant leadership.
5. Passionate Leaders Have a Manageable Schedule. Have you ever worked with someone who is so busy outside of work that they are worn out all of the time? I recently heard a powerful message by movie producer, Phil Cooke, who said “Influencers say ‘no’ 90 percent of the time.” It’s a word that I need to place in my vocabulary. If we dilute ourselves too much, we will not be effective in anything we take on and will be worn out as a leader. Jesus understood this concept. He said in John 5:19, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” Jesus only did what his Father, God, told him to do. We should pray and do the same. If we move forward without God’s blessing, we are only going to wear ourselves out. No one wants to follow someone with low energy, especially the young millennials.
6. Passionate Leaders are Good Communicators and Accept Feedback. I used to have a boss who was a man of few words. At times that was intimidating because I never knew what he was thinking. I believe employees and ministry teams appreciate a leader who clearly states objectives and is an open communicator. Conversely, passionate leaders should also be available for feedback. The most effective leaders know they don’t have all the answers. I recently watched the television show, “The Profit,” and host and multi-millionaire, Marcus Lemonis admitted he is not good at everything but hires quality people who can do the jobs he can’t. Passionate leaders should tap into the curiosity and imagination of those around them. Take it from an above average intelligence gentleman, Albert Einstein who said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
Part three of “8 Principles of Passionate Leadership is Saturday.”
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
I don’t deliver too many secular messages, nor do I often speak to mixed groups. I feel my calling is to women, but on Friday I received a great opportunity to teach both men and women about “Passionate Leadership” at a Texas-wide health care conference, made up of human resources employees. In the spirit of leadership coach, John Maxwell, from my frame of reference, I did my best to provide “Eight Principles of Passionate Leadership,” all with Christian undertones. Here are the first three:
1. Passionate leader have purpose. Have you ever figured out your purpose? Passionate leaders cast a vision. They are not afraid to go where no one has gone before, and because of that, people will follow. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said, “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” In my lifetime, I spearheaded an effort to start a girls’ basketball team in high school, I became a television sportscaster when it wasn’t cool for women to do that kind of career, and now with the Lord leading the way, it is my sincere goal to help women overcome past or current dysfunction in their lives through Pearls of Promise.
2. Passionate leaders are positive. Singer Willie Nelson once said, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” Are you a complainer? Do you look at the glass half-empty? When I managed the Public Relations Department at San Antonio International Airport, it was during the events of 9-11. I was the “voice” of the airport. I had to be positive, not only to the media, but also to employees. If I had been down-in-the-mouth, and unsure of the safety and future of the airport, the negativity would have been contagious and could have caused a fearful attitude toward flying, or for airport personnel, a fear of coming to work.
3. Passionate leaders are mentors. The late Fred Smith, an author who had a very successful consulting company took mentoring seriously. He was a mentor to other great mentors like Zig Ziglar and Ken Blanchard. On his tombstone, it says, “He stretched others.” Do you stretch others? Do you look for other women to mentor? As a manager, I used to pray for the Lord to bring me young women whose lives I could speak into. Two of those women know the Lord today through an investment in their spiritual future. One is an adopted daughter, and I know our relationship will span a lifetime, all because I took the time to mentor her. Pray for God to bring women into your life to teach about His ways. “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped” (Proverbs 11:25).
Look for Part Two of “8 Principles of Passionate Leadership” on Tuesday.
Our guest blogger today is Dr. Michelle Bengston. Dr. Bengtson is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist with more than 20 years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of medical and mental disorders in children, adults, and seniors. She has been in private practice for more than a decade of that time. Dr. Bengston has worked extensively with patients suffering from chronic mental illness, traumatic brain injury, stroke, seizures, learning disabilities, attention and memory disorders, developmental disorders, and psychological difficulties. She is a speaker and author of Hope Prevails. She also has a newly released Hope Prevails Bible study. Visit Dr. Bengston at: http://drmichellebengtson.com.
Does your heart ever ache, and you wonder, “Where is God in the pain?”
It had been a year of constant trial: my husband had cancer, we had been burglarized twice, fourteen weeks with pneumonia, and the office endured a complete staff overhaul, for starters.
Some days I just wanted God to rescue me; other days I wondered where He was. Looking back, He taught me a number of valuable lessons through the pain:
1) God promises, what the enemy intends for harm, He will use for good!
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)
2) He is kind; He doesn’t do things to hurt you.
“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
3) Sometimes God rescues us, but sometimes, He allows trials to develop our character or our trust in Him.
“This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” (Psalm 34:6-7)
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
4) Scripture warns that we can expect trouble, but God assures us He has overcome it all. Because of that, we can stay at peace.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
5) He promises that even through we will go through difficult, painful times, that won’t be the end of us, and He will be with us.
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
6) Even when God allows us to go through difficult times, we have the assurance that He will work all things—even our pain, for our good and for His glory.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)
7) We can take comfort knowing that even when He doesn’t rescue us from pain, it has a purpose in our lives.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
“What? No CD player?” We had already purchased a new car and the sales person was going over all the controls inside. Until that moment, I failed to notice that there was no place to play my worship music. I drive a lot and the Christian music makes a difference in my car’s atmosphere when traveling between Point A and B. The salesman responded to my concern. “Most people download the music on their phone or you can put it on a flash drive.”
The sales person was in his twenties and at that moment I felt so last century. True confession. I had never learned how to download music onto my phone because I didn’t need to—until now. Because of the learning curve involved, I still went several months without my favorite Christian tunes, but then I couldn’t take it anymore. With an upcoming trip to San Antonio I knew I needed music for those in-between spots where Christian radio was obsolete. So I stepped into current day and learned how to put my faves on my phone.
One by one, I have gathered worship songs like “Great are you Lord,” “Revelation Song,” and “Good, Good Father.” When I turn on the car, I have no choice but to start my journey off by praising God. If I enter the car anxious, worried or preoccupied, my mood melts away and is forgotten at the sound of praise music. And when we praise God in our vehicles, I believe his presence sits in the passenger seat.
I don’t know where you stand on contemporary worship music, but whether I’m traveling five hours south or an hour across town, the godly sounds make a difference in the journey. It can also impact you. God adores praise and it draws him close to us.
Psalm 69:30 says, “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” In Ephesians 5:19, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to “Sing and make music from our heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything…”
God created music so we can praise him. But like all things, the enemy of our soul has created a counterfeit, and today there is a lot of music laced with profanity and suggestive lyrics. We have to decide what we want to fill our minds and our car with. Who do you want riding in your car?
So today, buckle your seat belt and consider taking a worship ride with God. It will make a difference in how you feel once you arrive at your destination.
“You will replace one-half of your close friends every seven years.” Stephanie Kelsey
It was a women’s ministry gathering at our church and the ministry leader’s message was on friendships. Her words rang true in my own life. I thought about all of my past close friends who I no longer spent time with, some of those relationships I still miss. A sense of sadness overcame me when I visualized their faces.
But circumstances can move friends in and out of your life. On my own timeline, I’ve watched several of my besties move away. I remember living in New York when one of my two closest friends relocated to England. I met Shirley in the park where we were both strolling our children. She invited me over to her house for lemonade and we became fast friends. The move to London, however, changed the dynamics of the friendship.
A few years ago, my prayer partner moved to Kentucky. Donna stood by me through one of the most difficult periods of my life. We saw powerful results through our prayers and it was hard to let her go. It was hard but I prayed for her to make friends, and she did. I also prayed that God would bring me a new prayer partner and he provided two! Donna and I are still in touch and I look forward to seeing her in November for a girl’s weekend.
Now, a best friend of twenty-five years, Deb, is packing up her home to move to New York City. She is one of those friends who knows everything about me but still loves me. While I know we will always be close in heart, and only a phone call away, it won’t be easy to trek up to the Big Apple all the time. Distance changes friendships.
When friends move in and out of our lives, we have two choices. We can isolate ourselves because it hurts too much to lose them, both physically and emotionally, or we can be open to God’s possibilities for new friends in our lives.
There is a saying that rings true in everyone’s life. “Friends for a season, friends for a reason. Friends for life.” There will always be “friends for life.” Proverbs 18:24 says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” In our case, there are friends who sticks closer than a “sister.” Maybe someone comes to mind?
Yesterday, I celebrated one of those “sister” friend’s birthday. Of all things, I met her in a neighborhood “friendship” Bible study over ten years ago. We share similar faith values and pray for each other. She is an encourager. We can talk about our successes without jealousy and our struggles without judgment. While we only get together periodically, we both know if we need something we will be there for each other. I cherish that friendship.
But in the case of friends for a season or reason, how do we heal from broken friendships or the loss of these friends because of circumstances?
Over time I’ve learned to turn my friendships over to God. I ask Him to bring women into my life who He wants me to befriend or mentor. When you know that the Lord is in control of your friendships, and you hold onto them more loosely, it doesn’t hurt as bad when he takes them to new places, or they drift away. They were there for a season of your life, and now God is using them in someone else’s life elsewhere. Here is the truth to hold onto. When we give the Lord rein over our friendships and we lose a friend, be on the lookout. He is hand delivering someone special to you for the next season.