Healing Hurts!

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I wrote the book, “Servant Leadership NOW,”   because God ordained the message for such a time as this – NOW. It is a source of healing. President Jimmy Carter took the time to respond to my messages in the book about serving and leading; I am grateful. As a Christian, his life reflects the type of service and leadership that God calls upon each of us to do – to serve mankind.

Healing hurts! In the natural, when we get a cut, we treat it with antiseptics and bandages. Immediately, the body responds to defend itself. Within a few days, a scab appears as an added defense of protection.

My Mom recently had a serious surgery. Although the recovery is still painful, the pain prior to the surgery was much more severe.

Recently, I attended the Truth Summit 2020 where panelists shared how they were able to emerge from hurt, deception and harmful situations. While each story was different, there were common elements in the panelists’ process of healing: (1) each person had a desire to change the crippling effects in their lives; (2) each emerged from “the blame game;” (3) each found the Word to be their comforting Source; and (4) all of them are finding ways to lead and support others in their NOW season.

Healing hurts and it begins with acknowledgement. It is ok to acknowledge that you did not always use the right tactics in the process. It is ok to question, self-reflect and make corrections. Proverbs 3 verses 5 to 6 says,

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” You will learn in the process that the hurt lessens as the wounds heal.

May 2020 bring healing to your wounds!

Fool’s Gold – Part II

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There is an expression “worth your weight in gold.” This saying refers to someone or something that is valuable. How much is your weight in gold?

In ancient times, it was not uncommon for the king to sit in judgement of the people. He had unlimited powers over the lives and conditions of his citizens. His authority was not to be questioned nor amended. Unwillingly or willingly, the people were expected to serve the king. To do otherwise, could cost you your life; even the lives of your family.

Still, there were thousands who rose up in defiance of oppression because they believed that God sets the standard. Their belief was worth their weight in gold to them. Thousands became followers of Jesus the Christ. Thousands were executed because they chose to follow Jesus as their Savior. However, there were those who wanted to profit from Jesus’s teaching. They sought opportunities of leadership in the church and communities for their own self-interest. As it was then, so it is today. Jesus has a position on this type of leadership. They will be reckoned with on his terms. He left these words with us: “then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity,’ Luke 13: 26-27. They are not worth their weight in gold. They are fool’s gold.

When measured against God’s standard, their value is weighed down by deceitfulness and dishonor. To pass off their standards as that of God’s, is certainly foolishness; It is an abomination!

Personally, what is your weight in gold? Can your leadership be measured as a calling on your life that serves the honor of God? Does your leadership serve those whom God has supplanted in your life? Do you support leadership that operates in lies, venom, jealousy, or self-interest? Do your leaders lift up their distorted actions by suggesting that it is based on the Word of God? Is their leadership fool’s gold?

While you are concerned by your own leadership, you must be aware of those who lead you. Servant leaders can not allow their leadership to be tainted by fool’s gold. As a leader, it is your responsibility to examine ” Is my leadership worth the weight in gold?

Fool’s Gold – Part I

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The term “fool’s gold” is not an unfamiliar one. Fool’s gold has the appearance of real gold; it shines like gold but it is not the real deal. It is pyrite. As a servant leader, one will be expected to become as pure gold. Not because he or she is great, but because God is great. Job 23:10 says, “But He knows the way that I take; When he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job’s experiences with God bought about that type of assurance. Matthew 5:8, “ Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”

Scripturally, the servant leader must be refined as pure gold. Zechariah 13:9, “I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them…

Scientifically, companies treat metals in a furnace to separate pure gold from other precious metals. In the process, they add borax and soda ash to the melting metals. The result is a separation that brings forth the purest form of gold. The purest gold is then used to produce other products such as jewelry.
Although servant leaders find the “furnace” fiery and uncomfortable, there is something to be celebrated about the scourging (the affliction). First, the purest form of you will come through. Remember, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (the Hebrew boys) in the fiery furnace; they came through without the stench of fire (Daniel 3:13-23) because of who they served. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God (verse 25). Second, the spiritual connection with God is magnified. The evidence of survival will be on you. It will be that God did it – not man.

Allowing God to process you through is to allow Him to separate your impurities. The melting away of impurities will not define you but the glory of God will be magnified. To reject God’s refinement, is to reject His best for you. Leadership that is fool’s gold – is pyrite. It will sour those that one leads. It will cause stench. Not the real deal ordained by God.

Victory in Jericho

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“What say my lord unto his servant?” Joshua asked this question (Joshua 5:14). “What Lord am I to do?” Joshua declared, “With the enemy before us, I do not know who is for us or for our adversaries (verse13).”

God answered Joshua and Joshua commanded the people to do as the Lord said. God had a process for their victory. For final victory, “Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout (Joshua 6:10). Before they reached the victory, God commanded them to compass the city – go round about the city seven times (Joshua 6). God established the order and the people obeyed.

God has a process for your victory.

Today, I encourage you to follow His process. Begin with a praise. Give Him thanks. Glorify your Father. Inquire of Him. Listen for His directions. Read His Word. Arm yourself with His Word. You don’t have to shout in the process. Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, UNTIL THE DAY I BID YOU SHOUT; THEN SHALL YE SHOUT.

Like Joshua, you may be in Jericho; but Jericho is not in you. As God’s honored vessel, His servant, you will compass the city. God knows your adversaries. He knows who is for you. Be obedient to Him. Work the process and not the process work you.

“Crab” or “Lifter”

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Crab   I remember one Saturday afternoon when my brother and I spent hours watching a bucket of crabs. We were consumed by excitement as we watched the crabs trying to reach the top of the bucket. It looked as if one crab might make it when it was pulled down by a team of crabs. Not one of the crabs reached the top before it was time for my grandfather to delight himself on what was going to be his evening meal. Needless to say, my grandmother took this as a “teachable moment” for my brother and me. She expertly explained that the crabs were more interested in pulling each other down than rising up together. As a result, she said, “No crab reached the top.”

Early on, we learned as children, how lifting each other up was beneficial. Whether we were engaged in a neighborhood baseball game, a spirited fight, or climbing a tree, we could be victorious if we worked as a team. My brother understood my physical limitations when it came to sports and such things. He was the one who would give me a “boost” when I climbed the trees. He was the one who would stand up for me against a perceived enemy. He lifted me up when I felt challenged.

Everyone needs somebody in their corner. Each of us have to decide how we live and minister. Whether you believe or not in God, there is a spiritual side that must be assessed – are you serving as a “crab” or “lifter” of men.

In Genesis 50:1-26, the story of Joseph is an example of one who could have taken the position of a “crab.” Wrong was done toward him from the very ones who loved. Instead he chose to be a “lifter” of men.

Are you a “crab” or “lifter?”

Tree Climbers