The Definitive Servant Leader

I have been sharing about Servant Leadership for the last few weeks at the Thursday Morning B.R.E.W. (Best Roofing Encouragement Weekly). This week, I talked about what I would call the Definitive Servant Leader Characteristics, a simple group of traits I would expect to see in the lives of servant leaders. Though this list is not meant to be exhaustive, it is a great base to start from. Here’s my list:

Others Oriented – Mark 10:42-45
It’s not about us, it’s about others…unselfish.

Humble Spirit – Philippians 2:3-8; John 13:12-15
Teachable and pliable…can learn from anyone, anytime, anything.

Willing Giver – Acts 20:35
More blessed to give than to receive…not just money but also time, energy, attention, help…

Worthy Example – 1 Corinthians 11:1
Not a perfect example, since we all fall short of that, but one worthy to follow.

Sacrificial Servant – Mark 10:47
Pay the price, go the extra mile, even if it costs us something…or everything.

And last, but not least…

Passionate Purpose – Philippians 3:13-14
The Apostle Paul directed his life towards a single purpose, this one thing I do, he said, I press toward the goal of the high calling of God. And he was very successful at achieving his goal. Servant leaders must want it so bad, that he or she plans and strives every day to serve others. Remember, you can only get ahead by making sure you are helping others get ahead!

I have officiated and/or attended many funerals. At some, just a few persons will show up. Sometimes it is because family and friends live far away but, many times, it’s due to the fact that the deceased’s life was spent focused on themselves. For others, and one I remember vividly, hundreds will show up at a small funeral home, filling up the place with people, overflowing to the parking lot and creating a traffic jam. Such was the scene at my dad’s funeral…a man who spent his life serving others.

Would we not want our life to have that type of positive impact on others? Let’s do something about it now. A leader who is a sacrificial servant with a humble spirit and a passionate purpose to be others oriented, a willing giver and a worthy example…Let us be that person!

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Blog On…

I’ve been procrastinating…and it stops now!

Committing to continue blogging as material is gathered from different sources:
– everyday lessons learned
– Thursday Morning B.R.E.W (Best Roofing Encouragement Weekly) topics covered during my time at that company
– messages or Bible studies I am given the opportunity to share in different places
– blogs or writings that have impacted or informed me
– anything I believe would be of help to the reader

Praying that this spot would be a frequent stop for you and an encouragement in your daily walk!

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GPS (God’s Patient Sovereignty) – An understanding of the book of Job

Growing up in church, I always heard about the patience of Job.  Every time this Bible character or book that bears his name was mentioned, it was tied to enduring and steadfast patience through trials and tribulations.  Sometimes, the behind the scenes conniving work of Satan and/or the bad friends of Job were included in the conversations.  There was certainly a lot to learn from this magnificent book.  But was that all?

Through the years, I have come to a new appreciation of this exhaustive book.  The subject came up in a conversation I had with a pastor friend of mine not too long ago.  I had shared about the seminary course I was taking on the book of Job.  In the course of our conversation, he stopped and asked me, “Albert, if you had to say one thing the book of Job was about, what would it be?”  It did not take me too long to answer, “God’s sovereignty.”  He was surprised by the answer, since it would have been his answer also but he thought it eluded so many Christians today.  And I agree.

Job certainly had trials – lost his wealth, his children and his health.  He had an incredibly unbelieving and unhelpful wife.  And with friends like that…well, you know the rest.  Job’s patience was unequaled.  His perseverance is phenomenal.  But it was a phrase he stated early in the book that gives us a glimpse to the underlying and major theme:

Job 1:21 (NKJV)
21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Right before that statement, in verse 20, it says that Job worshipped.  An understanding of the fact that the Lord is free to give and to take away was an insight into God’s sovereign acts.  And then, there is the exchange with his wife after his health is also taken away, which goes like this:

Job 2:9-10 (NKJV)
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Receiving good from the hand of God…receiving evil from the hand of God.  And God chooses which one He will allow to come to our lives!

As Job reacts so spiritually sound to his numerous afflictions, his friends begin to accuse him of being in sin, therefore deserving that which has come upon him.  He defends himself time and time again, stating that he is not receiving punishment for sinning.  That to us was obvious, from knowing what was occurring behind the scenes – the afflictions were asked for by Satan, given by God and Job had nothing to do with them at all!

After both older and younger friends speak, God takes over.  He has been patiently waiting.  He has listened to unsubstantiated claims by the three friends and half-truths from another.  He has paid attention to Job’s pain and suffering over something He himself sent his way.  He has heard this righteous man defending himself as he is wrongly accused but not yet with a complete understanding of what is going on.  God speaks…and has the last word.

At the beginning of Chapter 38, God lets everyone know He is about to speak the truth of the matter.  And he starts by asking questions like “Where were you…”, “Who determined…”, “Who stretched…”, “Who shut…”, “Have you commanded…”  The implication of these questions, which continue to be asked and answered by God in subsequent chapters of the book, leave absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind about God’s sovereignty.  He is in charge, does as He pleases, answers to no one and that is the way it is!

After listening intently to His Lord’s lengthy claim to total sovereignty, this is Job’s remarkable response:

Job 42:1-6 (NKJV)
1 Then Job answered the LORD and said:
2 “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.
6 Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”

Job gets it.  He finally understands.  Without having to know the behind the scenes workings of Satan described at the beginning of the book, God’s unmistakable rule and dominion over all is now clear to this man.  And what is his response to this knowledge?  He firmly declares a wider and deeper knowledge of God, swiftly confirms an acknowledgement of his unworthiness and resolutely states a total repentance before Him.  Then God puts Job’s friends in their place and blesses him with a new family and new wealth…on both counts, twofold what Job enjoyed before.

Do I get it?  Do we get it?  God has been so patient.  He has waited as I go through trials, albeit not anywhere near what Job endured.  He has been so faithful through my lack of faith.  He has understood me in the midst of me not understanding Him.  He has been so good during my not so good behavior.  And He has loved me unconditionally.

Awed by His magnificent Lordship, would that all of us seek to know God better, to recognize our own fallen human condition and to repent!  Then, and only then, will we be content and complete. His patience will be prized and His sovereignty will be sweet.  And we would so appreciate and love our GPS.

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Remembering 9/11

We remember September 11, 2001. It is etched in my mind like few things will ever be. This Sunday we will observe the 10th anniversary of this horrific event. As we do, I search for hope out of horror by concentrating on a couple of thoughts.

Reflect
I get the opportunity to reflect on what this has meant for me. More than added security at airports and more than color coded alerts, it has emphasized the brevity of life. The apostle James told us in his epistle life was but a vapor. It has never been truer than after the events of that morning. Almost three thousand left their homes that day, their families and themselves not knowing they would never be back.

The depravity of humanity and the suffering of sin have also been brought to the surface. The people that planned it and executed it, the people that have rejoiced in this attack…I do not understand it but God did tell us in His Word that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” The result – death and pain. So many died and families were left behind, hurting like never before. I watched “The Children of 9/11” a couple of nights ago…heartbreaking and tragic. Reflect on never forgetting.

Renew
More than just reflecting, I want to renew my love for this country, my love for others and my love for God. My heart going out to our fellow citizens that were hurting, our families clinging to one another and the fervor for our foundation of faith. That I want to renew.

Relationships are what glues life together. Love God and others like you have never loved before because you never know if you will have another chance to show it. Hang on to what is true, honorable and good. Keep your commitments to these positive things and 9/11 will be more than a remembrance.

The 9/11 Memorial will try to keep it before us. But, are we the same since? If something that shook our world like the events of that day doesn’t get our attention, what will? Please let us not forget. It has to make us better. It has to.

 

Our Father, In the midst of pain and suffering You alone can bring everlasting comfort. May that comfort be with the families and friends that grieve. May You, in your unique and supernatural way, bring blessings abundant out of building ashes. May pain and suffering lead us to You and not away from You. May the reflection of today bring us clarity tomorrow. May our hearts be renewed in every good way possible. You inspired the psalmist to say that if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3) Allow us to do this…to make Your omnipotence our foundation, as we depend on Christ to be our immovable and eternal Rock…so we can stand firm. It is in His name we pray and stand, Amen.

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Hello world!

I am now a part of the blogging world!

As a friendly friend in Facebook, a clicking twit in Twitter, a linked one in LinkedIn and a registered owner of a web address, I have traveled the road of the 21st century connection highway.  But now, I am complete.  I blog.

World, I welcome you with open arms.  I hope you do the same!

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