After returning home from the grocery store, I noticed the bins of Halloween candy priced at 75% off next to the Christmas lights, ribbons, and trees. A Thanksgiving turkey candle was squeezed between the sale candy and Christmas decorations. My heart rate suddenly increased. “It’s here” I thought. Summer is really over and it is time for – The Holidays.
This term – The Holidays – is lumped together to include all the celebrations from October 31st to January 1st. People begin the headlong rush into preparations for this time of year.
In this series, we will look at ways we contribute in making The Holidays stressful. We will also find ways to avoid celebratory pitfalls which leave us frustrated, depleted, and depressed. Achieving balance and joy in keeping “Thanks” in Thanksgiving and “Christ” in Christmas takes intentionality and planning.
summitlifeThe Caring Blog: Stress and The Holidays
Summit Leadership partners with nonprofits, churches, and businesses to develop Better Leaders for Stronger Communities. One of our defining values for partnership is “three wins” meaning good for you (the partner), good for us (Summit Leadership), and good for the community. This fall, we are excited about a new partnership between Summit Leadership and Artisan’s Village. If you visit our office, you know the importance of hospitality and, most importantly, coffee! We are thrilled to announce all coffee served at Summit is now fair trade from Artisan’s Village. The “win” for Artisan’s Village is exposure and more awareness of fair trade. The “win” for Summit is superior coffee. Finally, the “win” for the community is fair trade benefits everyone.
The staff at Summit and our new friends, Michael and Leah, want you know about their store located downtown (300 E Main Street, Suite 110, Johnson City, TN 37601) next to Main Street Pizza.
summitlifePartner Praise & Prayer: Artisan’s Village
Summit Leadership serves the Johnson City community with the love of Jesus by creating relational hubs for connecting, consulting, coaching, and caring. Over the past two years, Summit Leadership team members have had the opportunity to partner with Tim Bomgardner and his family in launching Interyear Fellowship.
Interyear Fellowship is a nonprofit organization providing opportunities for young adults to engage their faith through service in community while exploring their vocation. Recently, the ministry closed on a 5,000+ square foot home, completed renovations, and welcomed the first class of Fellows. The Fellows will live in the house together in faithful community and spiritual formation. Each Fellow will be placed at a partner agency in the community to gain professional experience working in a field of interest meeting a need in the community. Tim (and his family) works nonstop to make fellowship opportunities available here in Johnson City and we think he is doing amazing work for The Kingdom! Here are some things Tim wants you to know about Interyear Fellowship:
“Leadership is more like a baton than a trophy. You keep a trophy, but you hand off a baton.” ~ Bruce Miller
It happened during the 2012 Summer Olympics and it will probably happen in the next one as well. In the 4×100 relay, it’s not only about how well you run your portion of the race, it’s also about successfully handing off the baton to the next runner. If you drop the baton during the handoff, it doesn’t matter how well you ran your race. It’s very simple, if you drop the baton, you are disqualified.
“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.” ~ Helen Keller
Have you ever felt like quitting? There are days in your life and leadership that you will come to the point where you feel like you’ve given all you can give. There is nothing left. It’s on those days that you experience the full weight of leadership, and it can feel overwhelming. Leaders are ultimately responsible in every circumstance and outcome…even when it’s not your fault. The captain goes down with the ship. As a leader, it’s always too soon to quit. You have to find the strength to take one more step or hang in there one more day…but where can you find the strength to keep going?
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Leadership is influence. This is a very simple yet profound principle of leadership. If you can’t influence people, you can’t lead them anywhere. The basis of your ability to lead is all about your ability to influence others. No matter who you are, you most likely have a group of people you influence. Some leaders have a small realm of influence while others may be in a position to influence thousands. The question is: What kind of influencer are you going to be?
wpengineLeadership is Influence – Summit Life Today
“What makes humility so desirable is the marvelous thing it does to us; it creates in us a capacity for the closest possible intimacy with God” ~ Monica Baldwin
There are three things that every organization or project needs for success: The right people, the right resources and the leadership capacity to grow. “Leadership Capacity” is all about having the influence, skills, knowledge and commitment to take something to the next level. Honest assessment of your capacity and resources is a good starting point. Having the right people on your team and your ability to influence them are essential elements in determining your leadership capacity. One is too small a number to do anything of great significance. You need other people to complete you in order for you to be at your best. This was one of the great lessons in the life and leadership of Moses as he led the nation of Israel out of Egypt.
“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” ~ John Ruskin
Only a Master can produce a Masterpiece. A Masterpiece is by definition far above the norm and exceeds all expectations. There is nothing common or ordinary about it. Masterpieces are definitely not average. They are well above average; they set their own standard of excellence. Masterpieces are the picture of perfection. Now look in the mirror. God, the Master, created you to be His Masterpiece. You are perfectly designed to do His good work.
“Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved.” ~ Thomas Fuller
Christmas is a time for making memories. Too often the hustle and bustle of the season consumes our thoughts and emotions. Let me encourage you to take time to pause and ponder. Capture precious memories as they occur and place them in your memory treasure chest. One of my favorite verses in the Christmas story is when young Mary paused just to try and absorb everything that had taken place in her life over the past 9 months. She had plenty of thoughts to treasure.
With the stock market up almost 25% in 2017, it might be a good year to consider giving appreciated stock instead of cash. This would be a great question to ask your financial adviser or tax professional before December 31st.
Giving cash gifts to your church or favorite charities is always a blessing to them. You may, however, qualify for a significant tax break and avoid capital gains taxes by donating appreciated non-cash assets such as stock or real estate. Other non-cash gifts would also include giving such items as vehicles, boats or equipment.