Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Line Leader...

My great nephew is 3 and 1/2 now. As I have mentioned before he attends Little Lambs Learning Center in our hometown. One of his favorite things to do is be the 'line leader' for the day. In fact, something he asks frequently when entering the class in the morning is, “Am I the 'line-leader' today?” Now understand, ‘line leader’ translates to helping with cups at breakfast and lunch, helping the teacher at circle time, and picking centers first for inside play. But, the important thing is – they are in charge of helping. ha,ha,ha,ha,ha
The seriousness of the role of being 'line leader' came out Sunday night as we were celebrating my sister’s birthday. My great nephew and I made the cake and he decorated it.

As I leaned in as if I was going to help blow out ALL (sorry, sister, ha,ha,ha,ha) those candles and sing Happy Birthday, he leaned in front of me and looked me straight in the face and said, “I’m the line leader!” and proceeded to lead us in singing Happy Birthday and blowing out the candles. We all burst out laughing. It was too precious.
Observing him asking that question so often upon entering his classroom during the week has made me think about something God has given me a real heart for over the past years - healthy leadership in our churches and para-ministries. 
May I share a couple of truths with you that are pretty common sense but good to be reminded of when it comes to healthy leadership:
  • Healthy leadership is God-centered not people pleasing. When a leader is God-centered they trust God to take care of pleasing the people. They keep their eyes on God and move in a spirit of love. 
  • Healthy leadership is God-centered and not moved by circumstances. When a leader is God-centered they trust God to deal with the attacks against the plans He has instructed them in and do not take up an offense, become defensive, and/or blame others when questioned. They know Whom they have believed. 
  • Healthy leadership is God-centered and does not have a need to be in control. When a leader is God-centered they are a humble person that knows Who is in control. You will not sense a haughty spirit (pride) in someone who is trusting God. You will not see scheming, dishonesty, or manipulation at work. 
  • Healthy leadership is God-centered and does not intentionally bring harm to others in word or deed. When a leader is God-centered they desire spiritual growth in the lives of those they serve and serve with. They promote unity not ‘yes men’.
  • Healthy leadership is God centered and does not hold grudges and un-forgiveness. When a leader is God-centered they understand the need for repentance and forgiveness and extend it to others.
These are just a few important reminders to us who are called to be 'line leaders' of some form or fashion, whether in a church, lay ministries, para-ministries, etc.
The following cartoon is one I use in leadership training. It is a sure sign of dysfunctional ‘line-leaders and follow-ship. The reason being it promotes the proverbial “no talk rule”.

It really needs no words. But to stay with our topic of 'line leader,’ allow me to encourage you to never blindly follow a 'line leader'. It may lead you off a cliff spiritually. My 'line leader' is Jesus. He does not ask me to blindly follow Him. He asks me to step out in faith because He has made Himself known to me. 

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." Proverbs 29:2 (KJV)

Please know that all of us are capable of being unhealthy ‘line leaders’ throughout any given day if we are not anchored to HIM.

May all of us who have been asked of God to serve in the capacity of ‘line leader’ of some form or fashion bow the knee and recognize that only by His Grace can we bring glory to Him in the journey He has called us to.

Love you all so much.


Monday, January 11, 2016

I've come to the Garden...

I apologize for no blog last week....
You know, my grandmother used to love the song “I’ve come to the Garden Alone”. I can remember her singing it and playing on the piano when I was a young. If you have never heard it please take the time to go to this link http://youtu.be/mhWOKhGdUZY

I love that song because it says I’ve come alone to a place to meet with Jesus. Sometimes we come on our own and sometimes life circumstances bring us there. The place where only Jesus is the voice that will sooth our soul. Here are the words:

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me I am his own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.

He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
And He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me I am his own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.

I'd stay in the garden with Him,
Tho' the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go thro' the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.
And He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me I am his own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.

P.S. Don’t forget about the trips on the books so far this year. Be praying about what God want you to do. We are in the process of locking in our hotels and dates for Mexico and Southeast Asia. If you are interested in any of those trips please contact me as soon as possible with your questions. The teams are starting to form. vickie@purejoyinternational.org

Hanging in the Garden,



Friday, January 1, 2016

Look back but don't buy a parking place there...

As we come to the end of another year many shows on TV and many conversations that take place in the next couple of days that have to do with the year 2015.

Many of you have heard me make the statement God has covered the past, He holds the future, but He dwells in the present.    As you assess the year 2015 look over it well.   Celebrate those things that are worthy of celebrations:  new jobs, births of children and grandchildren, a new home, the sale of a home, being newly married, maybe you became a believer in 2015, maybe you decided to truly submit to him as LORD for the first time in 2015, etc.  Grieve the losses: many of us lost dear ones in the year of 2015, many of you lost homes, jobs, income, etc.   Learn from the mistakes: Relationships that weren’t handled well, business decisions gone wrong, broken promises, etc.  The list could go on and on.
But hang on to this truth.  No matter what 2015 brought into your life, it is past.  You have no control of it.  It is done.  You can’t change it.  You may be having to make decisions today based on the outcome of some of the things that happened in 2015, whether those be good or bad.  But the actual events themselves are over.  Again, look back, celebrate, grieve and learn from it.  But don’t buy a parking space there because any car left parked there will rust.

Do step into 2016 with your eyes fixed on the author and perfecter of your faith.  Hang on to this truth as well.  Things are not getting better.  God’s word is clear that we are in the last days.  I see more and more people “feeling” hopeless and I am talking about believers!   This year commit to the truth of “clinging to Christ alone.”  He is our hope!  He dwells in the present.  He holds the future!  He’s covered the past.

Matthew 6:32-33 (ESV)
For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Psalm 118:24 (ESV)
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Love You All