HEALTHY ALLIANCES

Posted: November 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

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READ 1 SAMUEL 22:1-5

A story is told about a boy who valiantly, but unsuccesfuly, attempted to move a heavy log to clear a pathway to his favorite hideout.  His dad stood quietly nearby, watching his son straining against the load.  Finally he said, “Son, why aren’t you using all your strength?”

Confused and a little angry, the boy responded , “Dad, I’m using every last little bit of strength?”

“No, Son, you’re not,” his dad quietly responded.  “You haven’t asked me to help.”

Effective leaders use all their strength by recognizing, developing and utilizing the people around them.  They know how to develop healthy alliances both with those on their own team and those on other teams.

While fleeing from Saul, David certainly demonstrated that ability.  Two miles from the city of Gath is a labyrinth of hills and valleys, honeycombed with caves.  One cave stood near the ancient city of Adullam, and David found refuge in it.  While he was in hiding with his family, David attracted to himself others who were also experiencing hardship.  In fact, four hundred men eventually allied themselves with David.  In addition to those alliances, David connected with the king of Moab, who provided shelter for his parents.  Finally, the prophet Gad offered the fugitive direction from God.

David possessed the foresight to know that he couldn’t go it alone.  He worked to build others’ trust in his leadership ability, and he evidently proved himself.  David’s forces were loyal to him, and together they realized success against the enemies of Israel.

Effective leaders possess the unique ability to build alliances with people who can help advance their causes.  What alliances do you now have that are mutually beneficial?  What do you do to foster them and to encourage their growth?  Can you think of any alliances–professional or personal–that are having a negative impact on you or on others?

Think again about the story at the beginning of this meditation.  Are there people who are standing quietly by, watching you strain away with your tasks?  Part of your task as a leader is to form healthy alliances and to encourage others to step forward and help you.  By doing so you’ll accomplish two goals: lightning your own load and helping to develop leadership qualities in others.

HEALTHY ALLIANCES DAY 2:  WHO GOD IS

As the perfect and eternal community of being God is the ultimate embodiment of a healthy alliance.  The perfect love that flows from between the Father and the Son is manifested as a third eternal Person, the Holy Spirit.  The amazing truth is that God wants us to enter into the depths of this unity.  Turn to John 17: 13-26 to read Jesus’ high priestly prayer on behalf of his disciples and all believers.

It was the moving of the inward alliance of the Godhead that “Made A Way For us!!!

 

HEALTHY ALLIANCES DAY 3: Who I Am

People were created for community.  Even hermits frequently live in colonies!  But alliances with others can be either healthy or toxic, and it is essential that we take this into account when we engage in personal and business partnerships.  Turn to 1 Samuel 30:26-30 for an illustration of David’s wisdom in forming healthy alliances.

         

 

 HEALTHY ALLIANCES Day 4: How They Work

We all need allies on whom we can rely and whom we can trust in the tough times.  David, as we have seen, illustrates how healthy alliances work.  2 Samuel 16:15–17:23 provides and extended story of David’s strenght–and weakness–in the craft of forming healthy alliances.

HEALTHY ALLIANCES DAY 5: What I Do

Perhaps no other American leader is as admired and Abraham Lincoln (some may argue this with Martin Luther King).  And one of the this great leaders’s greatest assets was his ability to build healthy alliances–even with difficult people.  Turn to Proverbs 13:20 for today’s reading.

THE IRON MILL:  “As Iron Sharpens Iron…”

As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.  Provebs 27: 17

 

These are exciting times at Victory Outreach Camden!  Not only will you be getting inspring teachings on Leadership in the Leadership Blog  that will enhance and develop your giftings, but now we are starting the IRON MILL CHALLENGE!  This is an opportunity to challenge your Leadership Team members with “cutting and edgy content” that will provoke the best out of each other.

First up to bring the pain is Victory Outreach Camden Men’s Recovery Home Director, Kyle Walker.  A man with a passion for people and the ministry, Kyle seeks to develop leaders within the Men’s Home that have an utter reliance on the Word and Presence of God. 

Remember, if it hurts, it sharpens!

VISUALIZE THE BATTLE: Kyle Walker

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,  casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”

2 Corinthians 10:4,5

When I think about the battle in the Spirit, I often think about some of the movies that I have been able to see.  It is a God given ability to be able to visualize the battle of the Spirit in our “natural” visual experiences.  This allows us to understand the eternal and end-time battle in the Spirit.

One of my favorite movies is 300. It is a movie about an army with its king facing insurmontable odds and certain death.  With a boldness in the expectation of an afterlife, he led a group of men who were ready to lay down their lives for what they believed in.  Men who looked at impossible odds, challenged by intense terrains, with a wreckless abondon, EMBRACED the same challenges that could have been intensly discouraging.

I am in awe of how these men were raised up from childhood for war, with absolutly no concept of fear, infused by their beliefs, essentially being  their way of life.  Death for them had no sting.  It was their faith, loyalty, dedication, and overall willingness to die for what they believed in that gave them the tenacity to live full and vibrant lives.  Having a sober understanding that the loss of their life held great honor in the life to come, the famous line from the film “we will give them nothing, and take from them  everything” was birthed.

I can’t help to think about the perpetual battle in the Spirit where the enemy continues to make a relentless effort to take everything the Lord has promised!  Yet it is through the intercession of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit, that we are strenghtened, given weaponry unmatched by anything in existence, too powerful for our minds to fathom, unstoppable in all its infinite power.

Giving us as his beloved children the ability to “give them nothing and take from them everything,” I challenge you to visualize the battle as we PREPARE FOR GLORY!

The Blessed Life: Robert Morris

Posted: August 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

Hey folks!  Don’t forget the book that Pastor Daniel has HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (so pretty much mandatory) for the LEADERS (yup that’s you!)

SKILLS:  TIME MANAGEMENT

DAY 1

READ PSALM 90:12

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How MUCH Does Your Time Cost?

In Psalm 90 Moses prayed that God would “establish the work of our hands” (v. 17).  This old man had seen his entire generation wandering aimlessly in the desert.  For forty years the Israelites had roamed with no specific destination in sight.  In view of  that seemingly futile drifting, Moses had cried out to God for some assurance of significance.  With that in mind, we carefully read vs. 12.  Moses essentially said, “Unless we are gripped by  life’s  brevity and  place proper value on the time we have, no matter how long or short it is, we will never gain a wise heart.

We can employ the skills and principals of time management, buy a new calendar (even a high priced electric one), employ a better scheduling system—all are of little benefit until we understand the value of time.  Granted we may do a better job of scheduling our time, but that does not mean we are doing a better job of spending that time.  Knowing the difference defines wisdom.

According to Moses, the years of our lives “quickly pass” (v  10).  As we grow older, we look back and wonder where the time went.  Each of us is allotted a finite number of days.  Are we spending those days wandering around aimlessly, with no goal, no purpose in sight?  Or are we numbering those days and hereby gaining a heart of wisdom?  “Lord teach us…”

TIME MANAGEMENT AND WHO GOD IS

DAY 2

We are locked into time and space.  Because of this it is impossible for us to fully grasp what it would be like to be unhampered by temporal restraints.  But we serve a God for whom all events are equally present.  Turn to 2 Peter 3: 8-9 for an extraordinary statement about God and his  relationship to time.

TIME MANAMENENT AND WHO I AM

DAY 3

Henry David Thoreau once observed:   As if we could kill time without injuring eternity.  Time is our most precious resource, and Scripture assures us that our stewardship of the time we have been allotted is not something we should ignore.  Turn to Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 to consider the important implications of this passage for time management.

TIME MANAGEMENT AND HOW IT WORKS

DAY 4

All the literature and hype about time management!  Really—just how important is it to use our time wisely?  What is at stake?  Notice carefully the advice given to the Ephesian Christians in Ephesians 5: 15-17 about what it means to walk as a wise person.

TIME MANAGEMENT AND WHAT I DO

DAY 5

David accomplished  great things during the course of his life.  And so can we.                                        Check out Psalm 39:4-5

SKILLS: PROBLEM SOLVING

READ NEHEMIAH 6:1-14

WE SHALL OVERCOME

One  way in which individuals prove their leadership ability is by using their problem solving skills.  Nehemiah certainly demonstrated  his capability in that way.  While the walls of Jerusalem were rapidly taking shape, Nehemiah’s enemies tried to sidetrack him from the project with a number of different strategies.  First, they tried to lure him out of Jerusalem by repeatedly inviting him to a summit (vv. 1—4), but Nehemiah rejected their invitations and focused his attention on the job at hand.

Next they accused Nehemiah of leading a revolt against King Artaxerxes—a potentially devastating lie (vv. 5-9).  Nehemiah addressed this problem by confronting his enemies head-on.  He exposed their lies and prayed for strength (v 9).

Finally, Nehemiah’s enemies tried to intimidate him into violating the law of God by urging  him to seek refuge in the temple (vv. 10-14).  Nehemiah realized that their ultimate motive was to discredit him as a godly leader.  But he solved the problem by obeying God and seeking his strength.

As a leader you’ll face problems.  They can’t be avoided.  But if you allow Nehemiah’s model and are carful to (1) retain your focus (2) confront any false accusations against you immediately and with integrity, and (3) pray to God for strength and wisdom, you’ll find, as Nehemiah did, that God is eager to help.

Who are the Sanballats, Tobiahs and Geshems in your life?  No matter how powerful the opposition may seem, God is an invincible ally.  How much more effective to ask God, the One who sees and knows all, for help than to try to formulate a solution on your own.

PROBLEM SOLVING AND WHO GOD IS

DAY 2

The greatest example of problem solving in action can be found right in the pages of (the) bible.  God took the ultimate problem—the chaos and destruction wrought by human sin—and transformed it into the beauty of holiness.  In this best of all stories, God made it possible for those who were previously his enemies to become his beloved children.  See Romans 1:1—3:31 to learn about God’s marvelous solution to the thorniest problem ever known.

PROBLEM SOLVING AND WHO I AM

DAY 3

If God is the utmost problem-solver, what resources does he provide for his people to solve the problems they encounter?  If he offers us resources that transcend our own, why are we generally disinclined to lay hold of them?  Why do we typically attempt to solve our own problems without appealing for divine provision?  Turn to Esther 3:1—5:8 to see how Mordecai and Esther responded to a problem that seemed insurmountable.

PROBLEM SOLVING AND HOW IT WORKS

DAY 4

Exodus 32:1-35 delivers a wealth of information about problem solving and deserves careful study.  Find out the two most important summary principals for problem solving for a great leader who solved great problems: Moses himself.

PROBLEM SOLVING AND WHAT WE DO

DAY 5

Leaders must face and solve problems.  Daniel provides us with a stunning example of problem solving ability.  Turn to Daniel 5:10—16 .

SKILLS: TEAM BUILDING

DAY 1

READ 2 SAMUEL 23:8-17

THE POWER OF DIVERSITY

A mark of a great leader is how many great people will join his
or her team.  David’s team was comprised of “mighty men”.  Because David attempted mighty things only the mighty could keep up with him.  Those who could not keep pace could not join the team.

Don Bennett was the first amputee to Climb Mt. Rainier.  His testimony is simple—if you try such a feat with only one leg, “you can’t do it alone”.  That makes a lot of sense!  But what is not immediately obvious is that not just anyone can help.  Bennett did not recruit his helpers in a nursing home.  He built a team of people who wanted to climb a 14,410-foot peak and who could climb a 14,410-foot peak.  One who attempts mighty feats had better be capable of recruiting a mighty team.

David did that.  His was one of the most celebrated teams in the entire Old Testament.    This group was the all-star team of his battle-hardened warriors.  Several things stand out as we consider how David pulled his team together.

First, he spent time with them in battle.  These men were wielded to David by the hot fires of battle.  His inner circle consisted of those men who had fought alongside him.  He knew their capabilities, because he had seen what they could do with his own eyes.

Secondly, he sacrificed for them.  When three of his mighty men risked their lives to obtain drinking water for him in battle, David refused to drink it, choosing to pour it out into the ground (vv. 13—17).  That act of sacrifice communicated a depth of devotion and love that had to have impressed those warriors.

Third, they enjoyed victory together.  Time and again David and his mighty faced seemingly insurmountable odds and saw God deliver them.

Finally, David honored them.  These men were well known throughout the land as “David’s Mighty Men”.  That phrase served as a banner that set them apart as extraordinary.  As you read this account, one thing becomes clear: David knew he couldn’t do it alone.

TEAM BUILDING AND WHO GOD IS

Day 2

Strong teams functioning at their best reflect similarities to the relationship that exists within the divine Trinity.  When a team works together in an other-centered manner, it mirrors the creativity and mutual regard that is derived from God himself.  Turn to Ephesians 1:3-14 and notice how the three persons of the Trinity work in perfect harmony to accomplish our salvation.

TEAM BUILDING AND WHO I AM

Day3

A team is capable of accomplishing things that no individual, no matter how multi-talented, could do alone.  To function well, a team must be committed to a common vision and purpose, and it must be willing to work in unity for the improvement of the whole rather than the advancement of any one member.  Turn to Mark 3:13-19 for an account of Christ’s appointment for the apostolic team that would proclaim the Good News to the world.

TEAM BUILDING AND HOW IT WORKS

Day4

Teams are comprised of positional specialists.  These individuals have been recruited on the basis of individual ability and expected contribution.  But they aren’t a solid team until their individual strengths combine to produce an outcome which no single member alone could have produced.  High performance teams are tough to build.  So we look to the Master Teacher for a demonstration of how to recruit and mold a world-class team.  The note on Mark 2:14-17 points out a key ingredient.

TEAM BUILDING AND WHAT WE DO

Day 5

Every competent leader knows the importance of building a team.  But how is this accomplished?  Jesus provided us with an example in Matthew 16:13—20.

Hello world!

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

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