living devotions

Rev. E. Anderson

A KICK IN THE PANTS

Living Senior Ministries 

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
— Galatians 6:1-2

Former New York Yankee great Mickey Mantle recalls that as a teenager in the minor leagues he began playing poorly. Discouraged, homesick, and feeling sorry for himself, Mantle tearfully called his father to come to take him home. When the elder Mantle arrived, Mickey expected sympathy and reassurances.

But instead, Charles Mantle jarred his strapping son by saying, “Okay, if that’s all the guts you’ve got, you might as well come home with me right now and work in the mines.” Snapped awake, Mickey Mantle stuck it out that year—and wrote his name in history as one of the greatest baseball players to ever live.

Many times, we need a good kick in the pants to help us stay focused on what’s really important. This is because it’s so easy to get lost in the mundane and difficulty of our current circumstances that we lose sight of the big picture—we miss the forest for the trees! And it’s in those times that you need people who will gently and lovingly steer you back in the right direction toward what’s really important.

Keep a group of close friends around you who love you enough to spur you on to obedience to God’s calling in your life. Mickey Mantle made history because of his baseball abilities. And you can impact eternity if you’ll simply have those people in your lives who will love you enough to remind you of what really matters!

PRAYER CHALLENGE

Pray for God to reveal to you people in your life who you can ask to hold you accountable when you need it.

 

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leadership factors

John Maxwell

THE LAW OF BUY-IN: LEADING CHANGE

Taken from the John Maxwell Leadership Bible

Exodus 24: 1-7

It was a watershed day for everyone—a whole new life had begun! The Israelites got off to a fresh start when they affirmed the covenant God had offered them. To make it work, however, they discovered they would have to change their lifestyles and shift their paradigms—and that would take shrewd leadership. Sometimes (as in the desert) the ma­jority even wanted to return toEgypt!

Peter Drucker helps us to learn from Moses about how to lead people into change, even in the wilderness:

Lessons from the Wilderness

1.  MAGNIFY THE PLAGUES

To make Pharaoh release God’s people, Moses called down the plagues, and he didn’t stop until the old system gave way. At this stage, problems are your friend. Don’t solve them; they convince people that they need to let go of the old way.

2.  MARK THE ENDING

What a symbolic and memorable “boundary event” Moses had in the crossing of theRed Sea! After his people walked through the waters on dry land, there was no turning back.

3.  DEAL WITH THE “MURMURING”

Don’t be surprised when some lose confidence in your leadership somewhere between where they came from and where they’re going. Moses heard things like, Does our leader know the way? We’ve never done it this way before! What was so bad about Egypt? In times of tran­sition, look for opportunities to show concern for how your people feel; interact with the strugglers.

4.  GIVE PEOPLE ACCESS TO DECISION MAKERS

Thanks to Jethro, Moses appointed a new cadre of leaders to narrow the gap between the people and the decision makers. As a result, the people felt more connected.

5.  CAPITALIZE ON THE CREATIVE OPPORTUNITY OF THE WILDERNESS

It was in the wilderness, not the Promised Land, that a big innovation took place: God handed down the Ten Commandments. Some of your biggest breakthroughs will also take place in the wilderness.

6.  RESIST THE URGE TO RUSH AHEAD

It often seems that little happens in the wilderness, but great transformation takes place there. Don’t jeopardize it by hurrying ahead or removing the pain of giving birth to a new vi­sion. Let God do His work.

7.  UNDERSTAND THAT “WILDERNESS LEADERSHIP” IS SPECIAL

Moses did not enter the Promised Land. His kind of leadership fit the transition time, where things seemed confusing and fluid. The nation needed Joshua to enterCanaan, because he led the military, and because a settled life required new skills. Movements and organizations don’t always need a new leader, but they do require a new style of leadership once the transition is complete.

just a thought

Rev. Aaron Linford

ONE THING LACKING

We once took visiting friends to see London’s Crossing Horse Guards Parade we entered the Mall to find ourselves spectators of a massive parade – kerb-lined soldiers on both sides became the backdrop to an extensive march of mounted cavalry, military bands melodiously beat the rhythm of be clad infantry. Then the royal carriages. Had we inadvertently stumbled on Royal Birthday celebrations?

We soon found the answer. The royal coaches were empty. The Queen was missing. It was a full dress rehearsal of the real thing the following week. The one thing essential to make it an authentic parade was absent: was only a show, a practice, a rehearsal.

Life is like that. It can be a glorious procession of joy and meaningful progress if Christ is there as king of our hearts, but without Him we are incomplete. Read Matthew 19:16-22 and consider.