“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
John C. Maxwell says leaders need to be “Hope Dealers”. When things get tough, everything is changing and uncertain, or when you are in the middle of a crisis, what everyone needs the most is hope. Great leaders always find a way to bring hope to seemingly hopeless situations. This requires maturity and a big picture perspective. It also requires bold and insightful leadership set on serving others.
“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” ~ Mother Teresa
The poor serve as a parable of sorts. We can learn a lot from the poor. Jesus as the Messiah came to serve those who were in desperate need; such as the lame, the blind, the sick and the poor. Their physical needs can be used to teach us lessons about our spiritual condition. We too are in desperate need of someone to love us, care for us, heal us and restore us spiritually.
“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” ~ Booker T. Washington
Strong secure leaders use their position of strength to serve others. They pull others up. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Unfortunately, many leaders in positions of power only use their strength for their own benefit. They push others down. That’s not how God intends it to be. Paul writes to the church at Rome about this very thing:
Erin KnappStrong Leaders Serve – Summit Life Today
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” ~ C.S. Lewis
There is a famous scene in the movie “City Slickers” in which Jack Palance’s character Curly Washburn, the tough trail boss, turns to Mitch Robins (Billy Crystal) and asks the question: “Do you know what the secret of life is?” He then holds up his index finger and says: “It’s just one thing”. Mitch Robins responds by asking “What’s the one thing?” Curly answers with: “That’s what you have to figure out.” From that moment on the band of dude ranch city slickers sets out to discover what “The One Thing” is. They know it must be important but have no idea of what it could be.
“Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.” ~ Ralph Marston
Leaders can easily wear themselves out. There is always more for you to do than you can get done. I heard an old preacher say onetime “If you don’t get apart you’ll come apart”. In order to be effective as a leader, you need rest to be at your best. When you work without the proper rest and renewal, you wear yourself out.
“Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have…so spend it wisely.” ~ Kay Lyons
Life is complicated. Every hour of every day is scattered with proverbial land mines that can blow up if we’re not careful. We have to walk through life with a clear purpose and path in mind. All great leaders live and lead very intentionally. You can’t afford to just wander through your day, or life, simply hoping for the best. There are too many opportunities to take a wrong step. Your wrong steps don’t just impact you, they often affect others too.
“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein
Work is good. When God created Adam, He put him in the garden to work and tend to the land. God’s original design was six days of work and one day of rest. When we are engaged in work with a purpose that matches our passions and abilities, we will find satisfaction in our work.
“Faith is building on what you know is here so you can reach what you know is there” ~ Cullen Hightower
A few years ago, I had the privilege to speak to hundreds of teens at several High Schools in Budapest, Hungary as part of a mission trip. Every day after school students would meet me at a restaurant to practice their English. This was a very unique three story restaurant (with an Elvis Presley theme), right in the heart of downtown Budapest. One afternoon in a discussion with one of the students, he pointed out the window and with a slight smile on his face said: “Do you realize that building across the street is 500 years older than your country?” Now that was something built to last!
“More light than we can learn, More wealth than we can treasure, More love than we can earn, More peace than we can measure, Because one Child is born.” ~ Author Unknown
One of the great questions Dave Ramsey tells everyone to ask themselves is this: “How much is enough?” One of the unfortunate consequences of pursuing undefined success is the emptiness of never gaining a true sense of satisfaction or fulfillment. Unless you clearly define success ahead of time, you’ll never be able to celebrate it because you won’t know when you have it.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” ~Abraham Lincoln
Happy 4th of July! Today is one of those great holidays to remember all that is good about America and the abundance of blessings we enjoy. Even with all the challenges we face, this is still the greatest nation in the world. Today is a day to celebrate freedom.