In Between Sundays

The Good Gifts

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The season of Fall always draws nostalgic pictures in my mind.  I don’t know what it is.  Maybe it’s the artist in me, the coming holidays, or simply the smell of burning leaves that evoke deep nostalgia.  Whatever it is, my memories are heightened.  Here’s one:

Jo and I were enjoying that special season of life:  the child-raising years.  You know.  The season of endless orthodontic appointments, trying to solve Geometry problems, dinner at 5:30, weekends filled with high school football games and marching band competitions.  Honestly, we loved those years!  I remember one particular night seated around the dinner table.  It was customary in our house to join hands and give thanks before dinner.  There’s an “Amen” and immediately the sound of noisy chatter fills the air.  It was our common experience and we’d done it a thousand times.

Now, I don’t know what it was, but that particular night at the dinner table it felt like I was looking through a window at my family.  What was so profound?  Everything.  Everything I valued sat right in front of me.  It dawned on me that this was God’s precious and special gift.  I was speechless; tears filled my eyes.  Jo, sensing the moment, quietly put her hand in mine.  She said, “Are you okay?”  I nodded.  The reality was everything was more than okay; it was better than I could have imagined!  James 1:7 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights . . .”

What was the gift?  It was the sound of laughter, the smell of food, my love for Joey and our children, plus that wholesome place God had provided that we called “home.”  Everything.  Pause and think about that for a moment.

Fellowship, I challenge you this season to be very intentional about looking for opportunities to express profound gratitude to God for His generosity and goodness.  We have much to be thankful for.  Together . . . let’s give thanks.

Posted by Ted Burden with

The Forbidden Phrase

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If you are a leader in any capacity, I am guessing you have used the phrase “Our/My people won’t…” “My people won’t work/sell like I want them to work/sell.” Other similar phrases might include “the manager refuses to…, our sales team just doesn’t…, and my kids won’t...” I am just as guilty as the next person.

         This is the forbidden phrase. In that moment we are casting blame on people for something they haven’t been shown. I think great leaders don’t give blame, they accept blame. When the head coach wins, it was a team win. When the team loses, it is the coaches’ fault. That is why they fire the coach and not all of the players. The leader is responsible. Instead of casting blame we cast vision. Instead of saying, “our people won’t…” we turn that phrase upside down and say “I haven’t led to them to…”

         Part of casting a vision for a business or organization is showing the people why they need to care about what you care about. Leaders lead people and move them toward a desired action. If you want to see the greatest example in history, look no further than Jesus. He led by example and literally practiced what He preached. He showed 12 men how to live like He did and it totally transformed the whole world. Most of them even died brutal deaths like Jesus.

         My pastor, Teddy B, and I were talking recently about “why” and the importance of finding one’s “why.” He said that when people lose their why they lose their way. Brilliant! When I have my why, all of the other noise in my life begins to be drowned out because I know where I’m going. I have a why that directs my life.

Here are two questions to think about:

  • What is your why? (Your why has to be more than a result. Making a profit is a result. That is a superficial )
  • What is the number one excuse you are making about your people?

Much of this content was provided by a leadership podcast by Craig Groeschel.

Posted by Clayton Havelka with

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