A Different Leader

Waiter with trayI have served under a lot of different leaders in my work life. I have known insecure leaders, who always need to share their title or profession, which they hope to set the tone for authority for them. I have also served under leaders who were strong leaders beyond their title, but they simple served with respect and humility. After learning of their title and seeing first-hand how they lead, I was profoundly influenced. Leaders without followers are not leaders. I remember Charles Barkley resisting the “leadership role” he was in by nature of his celebrity status. I believe our world is starving for servant leaders. Servant leaders are not insecure. Servant leaders are secure in who they are and what they bring to the table. Servant leaders inspire me. Some people use their power to influence others – while servant leaders use service to influence. Servant leaders care deeply about the people they are leading. Jesus called His disciples to servant leadership. It’s not about titles and positions of power – it’s about leading from a place of service. Check this out….

24 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:24-28 NLT)

I have had the opportunity to lead our real estate company for the past seven-plus years. It is an honor to lead from place of service. It’s a bit counter cultural to lead while serving. I see the real estate industry as a profession of service. We serve buyers and sellers of real property. We seek to protect them and provide counsel to them in each conversation. I want to learn and grow in my depth of service to my clients and customers. I believe that every profession where the leader is a Christ follower is in a position of serving others.  I believe that the “servant leader” is way more effective that the “authoritarian leader” who barks orders. Jesus set a profound example of servant leadership – I would be wise to keep following His example.

I was really inspired by the Clay Scroggins Podcast on Entreleadership recently. Clay reminds us to:

  1. Lead Yourself
  2. Choose Positivity
  3. Reject Passivity
  4. Think Critically

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Authority – Influence

Authority Team Indicates Manager Unity And ControlI have become a bit of a “podcast nerd”. I have loved learning for a long time. It is so easy to go to the podcast app and find some amazing podcasts. I have three different podcasts that I follow regularly – Entreleadership, In the Loop with Andy Andrews & The Brian Buffini Show. These podcasts speak into my life to encourage, inspire & motivate me. Yesterday, I was listening to the Entreleadership podcast with Clay Scroggins, lead pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA.  His topic was “How to Build Your Influence”. He spoke about the contrast of a leader who leads with influence and a leader who leads with power. I loved the content and even listened to it twice. I spend a good bit of time traveling, so I listen to these podcasts almost exclusively in my vehicle. Zig Ziglar used to refer to it as “automobile university”.  This morning I read in Matthew 8 of two instances where Jesus’ authority is noted. He healed people without them being present and He calmed a storm with His spoken words. He definitely had authority. He taught with authority. He healed with authority. He ministered on earth for three years with authority. The story that jumped out to me today was when He calmed the storm. Check this out…

23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples.24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.

27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27 NLT)

I want to live my life with influence.

If given authority, I want to lead with influence.

If given power, I want to lead with influence.

People with power, often abuse their position. They can make others who work around them or under them miserable. I believe that what Jesus’ authority obviously came from God. He could have done ministry way different than He did. He chose to use His authority wisely. He could have called 10,000 angels to rescue Him from the mockery of a trial and ultimate crucifixion – but He didn’t exercise His Power. He followed the plan of His Father and the crucifixion, while painful and deadly, was necessary.

Jesus talk with authority and lived to influence His disciples and the people who were around Him and came to Him for whatever reason.

I want my life to influence others so that they can notice Jesus, Who is the Ultimate Influence upon me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Your Suffering Is Over

Child in medicine maskThere is a lot of suffering going on around me. There are those who are battling cancer or watching someone they love dearly, battle the disease. There are those whom a car accident took a loved one. There are those who are in chronic pain all day, every day. There are those who’ve been betrayed by someone they love and they are suffering from the loss of relationship. Suffering comes in all shapes and sizes and is no respecter of persons. Suffering comes to the wealthiest and to the poorest. To suffer is to feel pain or distress. That is a broad definition.

There is an event of suffering that happened in Jesus’ ministry. He was going along the road with his entourage (aka his disciple and other followers) as well as a large crowd that had gathered to hear Him teach. He learned of a synagogue leader who’s 12-year old daughter was sick. He was headed to the leader’s house to heal the little girl. Check this out…

25 A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. 26 She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28 For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

30 Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

31 His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

32 But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. 34 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” (Mark 5:25-34 NLT)

This woman’s life changed dramatically that day. She had tried everything and was desperate enough to believe that if she could just touch Jesus robe, she could be healed – and she was healed. I love this story because it again shows the heart of Jesus. He cared about the least noticed people and he cared about the leaders. He came to give a different perspective on suffering. The woman’s suffering had not been temporary. She had been suffering for years. I have been through seasons of suffering, buy nothing compared to this. After being healed by the touch of His robe, Jesus wanted to know “who touched him”. He was on His way to heal a little girl and this older woman was healed along the way. Jesus words to this lady about her faith was profound. The then left here with four words that were big: “Your suffering is over”. This is not a fluke or a temporary fix –  your suffering is over. Those four words gave her such hope and peace. When Jesus comes on the scene, He always bring hope along. This woman’s faith allowed her to realize that hope.

I want my faith to keep growing, especially in the face of suffering. I want to know the Lord is such a way, that He can be honored in the middle of my struggle. This life here is not “the endgame”, it’s a prerequisite to “the endgame” which is eternal life – the big prize! This is what He promises. He never promised that I wouldn’t suffer in this world, but He did promise His Presence in the midst of suffering. When Jesus comes on the scene, my suffering looks way different.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Amazement!

Happy surprised manI am amazed at what great lengths people will go to for a free gift or money. In the past, I have endured a sales pitch in order to win a free TV or an overnight stay somewhere that always looks much nicer than it is. I do like to get something for nothing. I know better, but I will still try, much like the next person.

I’m also amazed at how people follow other people and give them celebrity status. If a guy or girl can play a sport really well, we give them special status. If someone is really wealthy we treat them quite differently than another person who doesn’t have as much wealth.

Jesus amazed people with His teaching – His Presence. He didn’t play a sport that I know of and He didn’t have a lot of wealth. His teaching was powerful and moved people. He did heal people from what was often a terminal disease – leprosy. He also healed other diseases and casts out evil spirits from people possessed. People were moved His teaching and His power to heal. Check this out…

27 Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” 28 The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee. (Mark 1:27-28 NLT)

I sometimes take the Lord’s Presence for granted. I read His Word almost every day. I talk with Him throughout the day. I participate in corporate worship each week with the church. I realize that not everyone in the world does this each week. I’m still following Him so closely that I’m not as amazed as I should be. When I stop for a minute and look carefully at Who He is and what He has done – I’m truly amazed.

I want to continue to be amazed at Him.

I want to continue to notice what He is doing in my life.

I want to continue to express my gratitude to Him for my life and loved one.

I love this old hymn: I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) by Chris Tomlin

I want my life to bring glory to Him because I live in amazement at all that He has done and all that He is doing in me and around me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Encouragement

 

Series of hand gesturesI love being encouraged. This word means “to inspire, spirit or confidence”. It also means “to promote, advance or foster” action.  I am encouraged by people, books, places and events. These are all areas of the “physical realm” that I live in. I’m also encouraged by the Presence of God in the “spiritual realm” that I also live in. The encouragement I receive in the spiritual realm is a lot harder to explain if you’ve never experienced anything like it. I remember being promised the Presence of The Holy Spirit when I accepted Jesus into my heart and was baptized. It was a bit before I understood and felt His Presence in my life. As I continued to study His Word and walk with Him in obedience and trust – His Presence became more and more obvious to me.

My journey in the Word took me through the last chapter of Luke where Jesus had just risen from the dead. His followers were a bit freaked out. They didn’t remember that He had told them these things. The women who had prepared spices for His body were the first to get to the tomb and found He wasn’t there. Then a couple of His disciples went as well. He wasn’t there. Check this out…

13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him. (Luke 24:13-16 NLT)

I believe that the Lord is Present even when I don’t recognize Him.

I believe that His Presence changes any situation I face.

His Presence certainly changes my perspective of any situation I face.

I am encouraged to know that I don’t have to face suffering and trials all by myself. My family is not alone in the midst of struggles and pain – He is with me.

This encouragement is hard to explain, but very real. It is called faith. I have faith in God, Who created all that I see and know. He is the reason I live. He is the reason I love. He is the reason I sing. He is the reason that I serve.

I really want others to know this encouragement that I have inside my heart that is ONLY because of His Presence in me. He calms my unsettled heart. He directs my undecided path. He rescues me from stupidity quite often. I’m so thankful and encouraged by His Presence and the Power He brings with Him to help me along the way.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Instant Conviction

 

Action Word on Red Round Button Be ProactiveConviction is a very personal word to me. I have some deep convictions about lots of things. I don’t always share the same convictions as others. I do believe that the majority of the people of the world believe that murder is wrong. The scriptures speak against murder for sure. There are other convictions based on opinion and interpretation of scripture. I may have convictions that others don’t have. Some of my convictions of “thou shalt not” that I was taught as a kid, I can’t find support of in scripture. “Convictions are my beliefs set in concrete.”

The Pharisees and teachers of the law had some deep convictions. They had taken the Law of Moses and added their opinion and interpretation to it. Jesus spent much of His ministry dismantling some of their convictions and teachings.  Jesus changed people who came into His Presence. One man he met was a known sinner and he started changing before it appears that Jesus even said a word. Check this out…

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:1-10 NLT)

Being in the Presence of Jesus changed this man and years of behavior was changed. Zacchaeus was convicted of his previous actions/business model. Tax Collectors worked for the Roman government and they got paid to collect taxes that were due. Any taxes over that amount, they would keep. They got rich pretty quick in that role. Zacchaeus was changed quickly and gave away ½ of his wealth and offered restitution to all he had cheated. I imagine when people saw this man’s changed life, they couldn’t argue about the Power of Jesus Presence.

I want to make sure that I live my life in His Presence. I want my convictions to be based on His Word and His call upon my life. I don’t necessarily want to follow rules that add to scripture like the Pharisees did. I want my heart to be profoundly devoted to Him and live out my faith daily. I want people to notice that my life is different and how I work is different. I want my life to display what I believe about the Lord.

Pressing On!

Dwayne