Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
May God fill you with faith, hope, love,
and abundant blessings.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
The past introduces a number of challenges to life. Regardless of the good or the bad, our past often influences who we are and the direction of our future.
The only way to win with the past is to learn from it – good or bad – and use the lesson to help shape a better direction for the future.
For Paul, nothing was more valuable than knowing Jesus. The value of knowing Jesus gave Paul purpose and direction. He did not allow his past to dictate the direction of his future. Instead, he was able to reach forward with hope in the resurrection.
Pessimists look at the negative in everything. They see the worst and suck the air of hope out of anything better.
In contrast, the optimist sees hope and confidence in the future, because good will ultimately prevail over evil.
With an understanding of these two philosophies, consider something Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.”
If a pessimist looks at the worst, then everything is viewed as a stumbling block, but an optimist will use every situation as a stepping-stone for something greater.
Leaders must be dealers in hope, optimists of the future ahead.
Two times in the book of Judges, we learn that where there was no leadership, “every man did what was right in his own eyes.”
Looking around at the world today indicates that far too many people live as though there is no leadership.
While leadership is not always what it should be, our influence as Christians must be different.
Christians are not following leadership in the secular realm. We are following the leadership of the almighty God.
As we measure up the example of our life before others, perhaps leading with such intent will instill hope for a better tomorrow.
Leadership can be lonely.
However, the truth about spiritual leadership is that no matter who walks away, God is always there. Paul reminds us that no one can bring a charge against God’s elect, no one can condemn or separate us from the love of Christ. We are not alone!
This truth makes it possible to lead with confidence, grow stronger in faith, overcome any obstacle, and instill hope.
When we understand we are not alone, perhaps we will learn how to meet the needs of others who need to know the same.
Jesus was not one to focus His time on the rich, popular, political or religious leaders of the people.
Jesus spent time with the outcast, unwanted, and unlikely of society.
He did not participate in or condone their activities. He worked to influence them and show a better way. He gave them hope.
We must consider who we focus our time on, if we seek to be like Him. This does not mean we shun or avoid the wealthy. We may not always be comfortable with the outcast, unwanted, or unlikely, but history and experience indicate they are the most receptive.
Life is filled with highs and lows. At times, we are on top of the mountain, and other times we walk through the valley.
David understood this when he wrote the twenty-third Psalm.
He understood what was ahead of him, not behind. Even though he walked through the “valley of the shadow of death,” God was with him and he would dwell with God forever.
As leaders, we are messengers of hope.
Better days are ahead, maybe not in this life, but God holds eternity.
After spending several hours contacting numerous shelters to find housing for someone in need, an overwhelming realization of the hopeless condition among our population was apparent.
A compassionate heart quickly recognizes how people can feel so hopeless. A number of explanations may be given as to the cause, but the need for leaders is to provide hope. Napoleon is credited with saying, “leaders are dealers in hope.”
Leaders extend hope by learning to listen and express concern.
Leaders need to offer hope that someone is trustworthy.
Leaders possess a responsibility to demonstrate care by action.
People follow leaders who provide hope.
While we often hear that love makes the world go round, I appreciate a saying by Franklin P. Jones, “Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.”
Love is the perfect bond of unity.
Love is the greatest among faith, hope and love.
Loving your neighbor as yourself fulfills the royal law.
Perfect love casts out fear.
Love covers a multitude of sins.
Above all, love is demonstrated toward God, then family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, and even our enemies.
When love is the foundation, formation, and finishing of our words and actions, godly leadership is exemplified.
Pessimism or optimism? The choice is ours.
Although the author is unknown, the thought is powerful, “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and focus on what could go right.”
Fear is real. No matter how we might deny or ignore its existence, if left unchecked, fear can stop us in our tracks.
Fear of what could go wrong also causes us to worry and dwell on negativity, both of which bring a great level of unpleasantness.
When we focus on what can go right, we lead with a vision of tomorrow that promotes hope and gives people something to believe in for the future.