leadership factors

jmaxwell

Rev. John Maxwell

TRAVEL ON THE INSIDE FIRST

Taken from the John Maxwell Leadership Bible

SELF-DISCIPLINE – Numbers 33:1-49

We must travel on the inside before we can travel on the outside, because the journey of growth and success is first an internal one. The first person you lead is you—and you can’t lead ef­fectively without self-discipline.

The entire exodus journey, from Egypt to Jordan. And, boy, was it ever a journey! Tons of manna. Far too much grumbling. And it lasted 40 years.

Why didn’t the Israelites get to the Promised Land more quickly? Not because it lay so far away; they could have made the trip in two weeks. The real reason boils ‘down to preparation. The people simply weren’t ready for God’s blessing until 40 years after they began their trip.

How about you? How is your self-discipline? Plato said, “The first and best victory is to conquer self.” If you want to be a leader with self-discipline, follow these action points:

1/.  DEVELOP AND FOLLOW YOUR PRIORITIES

All leaders are pressed for time, but the successful ones have a plan. If you can deter­mine what’s really a priority and release yourself from everything else, it will be much eas­ier to follow through on what’s important. That’s the essence of self-discipline.

2/.  MAKE A DISCIPLINED LIFESTYLE YOUR GOAL                                        

To be successful, self-discipline can’t be a one-time event. It has to become a lifestyle. One of the best ways to nurture such a lifestyle is to develop systems and routines, espe­cially in areas crucial to your long-term growth and success. Once you have them, put them to use every day for the rest of your life.

3/.  CHALLENGE YOUR EXCUSES

Challenge and eliminate any tendency you may have to make excuses. If you can name several reasons why you can’t be self-disciplined, realize that they are really just barri­ers to your success—all of which need to be challenged if you want to go to the next level.

4/.  REMOVE REWARDS UNTIL YOU FINISH THE JOB

If you lack self-discipline, you may be in the habit of enjoying dessert before eating your vegetables, Mike Delaney offered good counsel: He said that businesses need to differ­entiate between their shirkers and their workers, because if they reward both the same, they’ll soon find they have a lot more of the former than the latter!

5/.  STAY FOCUSED ON RESULTS

Anytime you concentrate on the difficulty of the work instead of its results, you’re likely to become discouraged. The next time you’re facing a must-do task and you’re thinking of doing what’s convenient instead of paying the price, change your focus. Count the benefits of doing what’s right, and then dive in.

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illustrations that light up life

ernest reading pose

Rev. E. Anderson

THE SPIRIT OF CALEB

Jonathan Gosforth

Some years back there was a missionary with the same kind of persevering passion as we find in Caleb in the Book of Joshua. His name was Jonathan Goforth—of China. At an advanced age his mission was turned over to the United Church of Canada. He was now separated from his life’s labor in China. His wife was weak with illness, and he was accompanied by two lady missionaries who were now semi-invalids and a young man who did not know the languages. Closed doors and nothing but difficulties surrounded him. But at seventy years of age when most are retired or dead, Goforth set out for a new field to preach the name of Christ where it had not been named. Goforth tried to enter five different fields in Manchuria—and every door closed. But his faith was steadfast. Then came a call to northwest Manchuria, and another miracle of modern missions took place. In a few short years almost two thousand people came to Christ through his ministry—when all doors seemed shut.

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healing testimonies

ernest-024[1]

Rev. E. Anderson

WEEKEND MIRACLE

Taken from Chicken Soup of the Soul

Jeanne Hill

“Heal me, 0 Lord, and I will be. healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” – Jeremiah 17:13-15

That Friday morning my husband Louis and I were in the doctor’s office, waiting to see him. The doctor had repaired a huge tear in Louis’s retina and for several visits now no scar tissue had formed to heal that repair. We were worried because Louis’s father had become blind from exactly that same problem.

“Don’t worry,” I tried to reassure Louis. “By now some scar tissue will have formed.”

I was wrong. A few minutes later, the doctor looked into Louis’s eye and said, “I must schedule surgery for you on Monday and go into that eye again.” He shook his head. “I hate to do that but I’ve waited as long as I dare for scar tissue to form and none has. Instead, the repair is starting to unzip.”

He took a deep breath. “I’d like you to continue to eat meals high in protein and to get as much sleep as possible this weekend. I doubt the eye can lay down enough scar tissue in a weekend when it hasn’t up to now. Come in at 9:00 Monday morning and I’ll give it a last look before surgery. When surgery is needed a second time on the same retina repair, even when everything goes perfectly, some­times it results in a considerable loss of vision.”

I saw Louis’s shoulders tighten.

On the way home, he decided to call members of the adult Sunday school class he taught and ask them to pray that the eyi would show the needed scarring by Monday.

Then he said to me, “You know, for the first time in my life, I’d like to have a laying-on of hands over that eye but I know that ou church and pastor have never been involved in faith healing.”

“But Pastor would lay-on hands if you asked him, dear,” 1 said.

“True,” Louis said. “He’s so considerate he wouldn’t turn down, but 1 wouldn’t want him to maybe feel pressured that way.”

When we reached home, we knelt bedside and we pray earnestly to God for a miraculous healing of the eye. I asked that Louis be able to sleep in spite of the uncomfortable position needed to stay in to facilitate the healing.

“I’ll call the Sunday school class president to pass on the word for prayer as soon as I change into pyjamas,” Louis said.

But the phone rang before Louis was in his pyjamas. It was Robbie from the Sunday school class. “I have half a beef roast left from company last night and wondered if you could use it. If so, I’ll bring it over,” she said. “Alone, I’ll never eat it all.”

How did she know Louis needed protein?

Robbie had scarcely hung up when the doorbell rang. I opened the front door to Red and Lucy from the Sunday school class. “But we haven’t called anyone from class yet,” I thought.

Red said, “I was packing for a business trip and the thought just came to me to come see Louis, so I told Lucy and here we are. What’s up?”

Robbie arrived with the roast just as Pastor and his wife drove up. “We were overcome with a strong feeling that Louis needed us,” Pastor said.

After Louis and I explained his situation to all five arrivals, Pastor said, “Let’s hold hands around the head of the bed, surrounding Louis with love, and ask for scar tissue to form abundantly on that retina repair.”

All eyes closed. Pastor led us in a wonderful prayer, with each of us contributing and Pastor ending the prayer. I came close to asking him to lay-on hands but I didn’t go against Louis’s decision. While Robbie sliced and heated the roast for Louis’s sandwich, I walked the Pastor and his wife to their car. I thanked him for the great prayer and confessed that I almost asked him to lay-on hands.

He jumped back and looked at me with delighted surprise. “How amazing! Because I did lay-on hands over Louis’s eye! I just had the strongest desire to, so I dropped Louis’s hand and cupped my hands over his eye as we prayed. It was a great feeling.”

I hurried back inside to Louis. Tears of joy shown in his eyes as he told me, “Pastor did lay-on hands over my eye. I want you to know that I will not feel one less whit joyful than I do now that I asked for healing, whether healing results or not.”

That wonderful series of mysterious blessings that started with Robbie’s phone call did not end there. The rest of that weekend, Louis peacefully “fell into a deep sleep” that the Bible mentions several times, even though he was lying in the awkward position that was required after the surgery. From Friday noon until Monday morning he awoke only when I carried meals to him. As my feet walked across the threshold of the bedroom, he awoke and sat up. He used the warm washcloth I’d brought, then took the plate of food, heavy with protein, ate and went right back to sleep.

Monday morning our wonderful doctor said, “Now, I know scar tissue can’t have formed over the weekend, but I can’t help looking, so let’s see.” He bent his head close to Louis, looking into is eye.

The doctor straightened up, looked again and shouted to his nurse in the next room, “Cancel the surgery! It’s a miracle! We’ve got lots and lots of beautiful scar tissue!

 

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great stories

220px-Billy_Graham

Rev. Billy Graham

GOD KNOWS YOUR BLINDNESS

billy graham explains. ..

HOW GOD demonstrated His faithfulness to a wife who was hav­ing her faith tested by a difficult and bitter husband.

This story is about a mother in an African nation who came to Christ, and grew strong in her commitment and devotion to the Lord. As so often happens, however, this alienated her from her husband, who over the years came to despise and hate her new devotion to Christ.

His anger and bitterness reached a climax when he decided to kill his wife, their two children and himself, unable to live in such self-inflicted misery. But he needed a motive. He decided that he would accuse her of stealing his precious keys—the keys to his bank, the house, and the car. Early one afternoon he left his bank and headed for the tavern. His route took him across a footbridge extended over the headwaters of the NileRiver. For a moment he paused above the river and then dropped the keys. He spent all afternoon drinking and carousing at the local tavern.

Later that afternoon, his wife went to the fish market to buy the evening meal. She purchased a large Nile perch. As she was gutting the fish, to her astonishment, in its belly were her hus­band’s keys. How had they gotten there? What were the circum­stances? She did not know, but she cleaned them up and hung them on the hook.

When the young banker came home that night, exceedingly drunk and pounded open the front door he shouted, “Woman. where are my keys?” Already in bed, she got up, picked them off the hook in the bedroom, and handed them to her husband. When he saw the keys, by his own testimony he immediately became sober. He fell on his knees sobbing, asking for forgiveness, and confessed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour and was instantly converted.

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gospel nuggets

Rev. Ernest Anderson

Rev. E. Anderson

GENERAL ADMISSION

I purchased tickets to a Switchfoot concert that is being held in Anaheim, California on October 28th. My family and I have listened to Switchfoot for over a decade and we are really looking forward to see them play live again. I bring this up because of something that happened to me during the Ticketmaster checkout process. I hit the button for “Best Seats Available” and found out that the concert was “General Admission”. I was immediately a little discouraged as my mind started thinking of waiting in line with everyone else who will have also purchased a “General Admission” ticket. We will have to show up hours ahead of time and then rush forward to get the best seat possible.

The naked and honest truth is I want a reserved VIP seat. I don’t want to wait in line. I don’t want to show up hours ahead of time. I just want to come into the venue, be greeted and shown to my seat. I am willing to pay extra for the better seat. I just don’t want to be herded into the venue in the sea of humanity.

Some of you reading this will say that my argument seems reasonable and that my points are valid. Many of you reading this will decry my need for self-importance and special treatment even though I am willing to pay extra. As I read these words it is amazing to me the crazy things that run through my mind.

It is amazing how the Lord will use events like this in our lives to teach us His timeless truths and to work on our hearts. In one moment I could not believe that it was a “General Admission” concert and in the next moment I felt like a spoiled brat who not only deserved to stand in the “General Admission” line just like everybody else, but who needed a spanking for my bad attitude. It was at this point that the Holy Spirit checked me on my attitude and this message was born.

Salvation and entrance into eternity in heaven is a “General Admission” event. There are no reserved seats. There are no VIP’s. There is no velvet rope, special access, pre-seating or upgraded package available for purchase. There is no preferential treatment based on any criteria that we could imagine. There is only a bloody cross, an empty tomb and the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12 NLT)

I know that most of us already know the truths in this message that I am sharing today. However, there is always a need for us to refresh ourselves with truth, renewing our minds with the Word of the Lord. Truth we know, study and acknowledge is important but the truth we live out is even more important. My hope and prayer is that this message will encourage and provoke you to live out the truth that you should already know.

Most of us will acknowledge the Biblical truth that everyone who repents and believes the Gospel, placing their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation will be granted grace and forgiveness; receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. The problem occurs for us when the time comes for us to live this awesome truth.

We know that everyone is welcome at the cross we just may be unsure if they are really welcome in our church or at our dinner table. Think about it about really quick and if you’re honest with yourself you’ll see my point. This is why I am calling this message “General Admission”.

Do we as believers classify people who are worthy or unworthy to be our brothers and sisters in Christ? Do we have the same “General Admission” policy as our Savior does or are we guilty of withholding our love, acceptance and fellowship to the same people that Jesus died for? What makes us different from them? Are we special? Do we deserve better treatment?

I know these rhetorical questions are hard words but my goal is that we would take a hard look at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word. The Apostle James said it this way:

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favour some people over others? (James 2:1 NLT)

The same blood that cleanses me cleanses you. The same Holy Spirit that fills me is the same Holy Spirit that fills you. Jesus Christ died so that wealthy, poor, middle-class and everyone in between might be saved. There is no people group excluded or given special access. There is no specific group of sinners that cannot be forgiven. The cross was the price of our salvation and that payment created the “General Admission” access I am writing about.

Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:9-10 NLT)

If there are people who are unwelcome in our churches it is not those people who need to change it is we who are in need of change. We cannot set prerequisites on salvation nor can we set up classes of churches for different portions of society. If faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord is what is necessary to be accepted into heaven that there should be no other requirement created by people who claim to be His followers.

Our churches should be filled with people from every economic situation. Our churches should be filled with every racial group in our nation. Our churches should be filled with every age group. Our churches should be filled with those who were notorious sinners and those who were so-called “solid citizens”. Our churches should be filled with the love of God that declares:

“Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (John 7:37-38 NLT)

Conclusion

We cannot purchase special access to God with money or good deeds. There is no VIP access due to family heritage, spiritual upbringing or even ministry work. There is only “General Admission” by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are not good enough to get in on our own nor are we bad enough to remove ourselves from the possibility of grace. If we will accept the free gift of His salvation we will receive it; regardless of who or what we are. If that is good enough for God I believe it should be good enough for you and me too.

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a time to laugh

ernest kitchen

FEAR FUNNY

Several women, each trying to one-up the other, appeared in court, each accusing the others of causing the trouble they were having in the apartment building where they lived.

The judge, with Solomon-like wisdom decreed, “Okay, I’m ready to hear the evidence…I’ll hear the oldest first.”

The case was dismissed for lack of testimony.

LAW FUNNIES

Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.

Law of Gravity: Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place in the universe.

Law of Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers: If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal; someone always answers.

Variation Law: If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

Law of the Bath: When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.

boats

a message from gary wilkinson

gary_wilkerson

Rev. Gary Wilkerson 

A GOSPEL OF POWER

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a gospel of evangelism alone but of sanctification. The power that saves us is the same power that keeps us and we need to walk that out in fear and trembling. We need to learn the weapons of our warfare and begin to grow and mature.

I say all that but I also have good news for you. There is a power available, a work of the Spirit, that is profound, glorious, dynamic! When the Spirit of God comes into the hearts of believers who stand firm in their foundation and faith, they grow in maturity. A release of power comes in them that heals the inside and closes the door to the outside. I love what Nehemiah, who is a type of the Holy Spirit, says to those trying to gain entrance to Jerusalem.

“But I warned them and said to them, ‘Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you’” (Nehemiah 13:21, ESV).

I picture Jesus standing at the door of my life! When Satan comes to buffet me, Jesus is standing between me and the enemy, saying, “I warned you once. Back off! You are in the wrong place. You’ve started something you can’t finish. You are dealing with somebody bigger than you.”

I picture the power of God on the wall of my life. On the inside I am clean but I hear these things lodged on the outside crying out, “You can’t stay clean.”

But I can stay clean because I have Jesus on the wall of my life, saying, “Who do you think you are, Satan? What have you to do with my son, my daughter, who is covered by the blood of the Lamb, cleansed and sanctified and made holy? Who are you to speak these vile things?”

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

Jesus has caused us all to be overcomers in Him!

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christian testimony

bertkonterman

Bert Konteman

DEFENDER: I WAS GRABBED BY JESUS

DUTCH defender Bert Konterman has told how he was ‘grabbed’ by the Christian faith.

The retired centre-half, who won 12 caps for his country and played for Feyenoord and Glasgow Rangers, became a Christian when he was 11.

Konterman, now 42, said: “I had a teacher who could tell Bible stories in such a realistic way and it grabbed me. I began to read more about Jesus – I really wanted to learn more about him. That was a really special time in my lif e. Looking back that was a very valuable time for me, I learned a lot.”

Konterman says he hopes to spend more time coaching youngsters and sharing his faith now he is retired. . – He added: “I’m busy with Christian sports organisations working with children in the Netherlands, and I think in the future I may become more involved with them.

“I’ve already done some work with them and you see how much it means to the children.

A lot of the kids have never heard of Jesus Christ and you see them become grabbed by him. They go home and tell their parents who then begin to think that perhaps.

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a beginner’s course

JOHNWILLOUGHBY (2)

Rev. John Willoughby

5/. THE CROSS OF CHRIST

From the time God created the universe, even before the first man and woman sinned, He planned that His Son would die in our place. The death of Jesus on the cross is the most important event that has ever taken place on earth.

1/. GOD’S LOVE AND JUSTICE MEET AT THE CROSS

Rom 5:8-11. The cross is the place where the love of God and the righteous judgment of God meet with us. His righteous judgment demanded the death penalty for sin -the shedding of blood. His love met that demand – He gave His Son to die in our place.

2/. GOD DEALS WITH ALL SIN AND ITS RESULTS THROUGH THE CROSS

Through His Son’s death, the Great Creator God was dealing with every person’s sin, sickness and sorrow, for He died in the place of every individual in the world. Receiving personally His free gift of salvation brings the answer to all our needs:-

* Jesus took the punishment for our sins. Isa 53:10-11.

* He removed our sorrows and sickness. Isa 53:4-5.

* He defeated Satan. Heb2:14.

* He defeated death. Rom 5:17.21.

3/. GOD BRINGS US INTO A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH HIMSELF THROUGH THE CROSS 

Because God is so holy and righteous, sin separates us from Him. No one with sin in their hearts is able to be in His presence. Not only by dying on the cross did Jesus suffer for our sins in our place, but He also made it possible for us to know God personally and to experience the love, peace and joy, which fellowship with Him brings. If we accept His gift:-

* We receive forgiveness. Col 1:13-14.

* We become acceptable to God. IJ Cor 5:21.

* We become members of His family. Jn 1:12-13.

4/. GOD GIVES US FREEDOM THROUGH THE CROSS

Jesus’ death on the cross was a great victory for us. Because He dealt with our sin, it means that all the misery and suffering, which are its result was also dealt with.

a) Freedom from past sins. Col 2:13-14. Jesus said, 1 assure you that everyone who sins is a slave of sin…..So if

the Son sets you tree, you indeed will be free” (Jn 8:34-36).

b) Freedom from present sins. I Jn 1:7-9. Paul wrote, “Sin is no longer your master” (Rom 6:14). c) Freedom from Satan. Col 2:14-15. Paul also wrote in 1:13, “He has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness and He has brought us into the Kingdom of His dear Son”.

d) Freedom from sickness. Mt 8:16-17. Isaiah the prophet wrote of Christ, “He was whipped and we were healed” (Isa53:5).

e) Freedom from racial and class barriers. Gal 3:26-28. Paul wrote in I Cor 12:13, “Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ’s body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit”

f) Freedom from judgment. Heb 9:27-28. The Bible says, “Adam’s one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness makes all people right in God’s sight and gives them life” (Rom 5:18).

g) Freedom from hell for eternity. Jn3:16. Jesus said of the unrighteous, “they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life” (Mt 25:46).

MY COMMITMENT.

Today I put my whole trust in what Jesus did for me on the cross. I believe that He took the punishment for my sin and I receive His forgiveness. I thank Him for the relationship this now gives me with God. I make a decision today that I will live each day in this personal relationship and commit myself to share this truth with others.

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women’s page

joycemeyer

Joyce Meyer

GOD DOESN’T WANT YOU TO LIVE A MEDIOCRE LIFE

Are you living a mediocre life of compromise? Or are you doing your best to live how God planned for you? You know, you do have the power to choose how live. For instance, you can be a lazy passive Christian and still make it to heaven, but you will miss out on the fulfilling life you could have here on earth. Or can refuse to settle for less than God’s and do your part to live the way he its you to. The question is: what do want while you’re here?

In the parable of the sower in Mark 4, it the same seed fell on different types soil and some produced 30, some 60 some 100 fold. God is the sower… His Word is the seed that he sows in our hears. He is always the same. His Word ; not change.

But the different types of soil refer to hearts. And we are the ones who choose what type of ‘soil’ our hearts will be. Let me encourage you to cultivate the good, well-adapted soil the parable talks about. How? By being obedient to the Holy Spirit and following his lead. Press in when it gets difficult. Keep on keeping on… and don’t give up! Delight yourself in the Lord and watch what he’ll do for you, and in you. In other words, don’t set­tle for less than the best in life.

I think too many people settle. They get tired and weary, or lazy and apathetic. Then, instead of pressing forward, they stop or begin to fall back, many times just short of accomplishing a desired goal or receiving a long-awaited blessing.

If that’s you, you don’t have to live that way anymore. By God’s grace, you can change. You can choose to live a full, productive and satisfying life. It’s so important to make this decision, because our choices affect much more than just ourselves. God wants to use each of us in our everyday lives to touch and bless others as well. So I want to say it again: don’t settle. God is an equal opportunity God, and his blessings are for anyone who will do what he says.

In Mark 4:24, Jesus warns us to be careful of what we hear. What this Scripture is saying is that we need to take the time to study and meditate on the Word for understanding, and spend quality time with the ‘sower’ for personal direction.

But beware… here’s where the enemy comes in. His goal is to steal the seed. He will throw all kinds of aggravations, problems and legitimate life issues and needs your way to frustrate, discourage and distract you. But stand strong. Resist him. Remember the Holy Spirit is not only your guide, but he will give you the power to do whatever he directs you to do.

The bottom line is the fruit of the Holy Spirit increases in our lives as obedience increases. So do your best to be your best. Follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Ask him to show you what is excellent for you and do that – in private as well as in public. Live for God, not people.

When the great artist, Michelangelo, was asked why he paid so much attention to such intricate detail in his work that no one would even likely see, his response was: “God will see it.”

I think every one of us wants all that God wants to give us. But we each need to ask ourselves, will I do all that he asks of me in order to have it? I know I’m going to heaven, but what do I want while I’m here?

It’s your choice. Make the wise decision to be the best you can be. And trust God to help you succeed. Because when you do, nothing and no one will be able to keep you from God’s best!

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