Love

God’s Promises

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Did you know there are over 5000 promises God gives us in the Bible? Even though he has made several promises, he has never broke any of them. Every promise was made with you in mind! Here are just a few of his promises.

God rescues you when you are in trouble. Psalm 50.15

God promises to be your protector. Psalm 84.11

God gives you his peace. John 14.27

God will never leave you or abandon you. Hebrews 13.5

God walks with you in times of trouble. Psalm 138.7

God’s love never ends. 1 Chronicles 16.34

God meets your everyday needs. Matthew 6.33

God promises abundant life. John 10.10

God promises that if we search for him we will find him. Deuteronomy 4.29

God promises to listen when we pray. Jeremiah 29.12

God is your strength and help in trouble. Psalm 46.1

God heals your wounds and hearts. Psalm 147.3

God gives you eternal life. John 3.16

God helps you. Hebrews 13.6

God directs your paths. Proverbs 3.6

God cares for you. 1 Peter 5.7

God comforts you. Psalm 23.4

God gives you rest. Matthew 11.28

God strengthens us. Philippians 4.13

God provides for your needs. Philippians 4.19

God is faithful to keep all his promises. Hebrews 10.23

God comforts you. 2 Corinthians 1.4

God has power to do everything he has promised. Romans 4.21

God promises not to lie. Numbers 23.19

God promises no more tears, no more pain, no more suffering in heaven. Revelation 21.4

Take a moment to share one or more of these with someone.

Which one(s) bring the most comfort to you?

 

Leadership Lessons from Luke 5.12-14

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There will be moments in your leadership when those we refer to as outcasts of society come to you looking for help. How you respond determines the magnitude of your leadership.

Jesus is approached by a leper. Lepers were not to approach people. As a matter of fact they were to call out, “leper” or “unclean” when people were near so as to not come close. This social outcast falls to the ground in front of Jesus and then, rather than call out “unclean” he asks for healing.

The leader who wishes to be in the limelight and with the crowd that offers him or her something in return is no leader. It’s the one who searches for a towel to wash other’s feet, rather than seeks the title, that is a true leader.

Your leadership will be defined by offering help to those who can give back nothing in return. Too many individuals desire only advancement. Jesus is only concerned about the condition of the man.

We see this further displayed when Jesus tells the leper to go and show himself to the priests. What is meant by this?

Jesus doesn’t stop at the man’s healing. He urges the man to go show himself so the former leper will be reunited in fellowship with others. Healing is the beginning. Community it the desired outcome.

The former leper was also incredibly lonely. He needed to be restored on the inside as well as the outside.

How is your leadership reflected when others approach you for help?

How are you restoring people to community through your leadership?

 

Leadership Lessons from Luke 4.38-41

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Leadership begins in the home.

As leaders we must understand the gravity of this one statement. If we can’t lead our homes what makes us believe we can lead others?

Peter’s mother-in-law is sick with fever. Let’s be honest. You must be a pretty good leader if you’re being asked to pray for someone’s mother-in-law! Leadership is all about restoring others, serving others and loving others.

Isn’t this the model Jesus left for us? He loved others. He served others and he brought restoration to lives.

Note what happens next. The crowd comes to Jesus. Jesus simply helps one woman. She then responds by utilizing her gifts. She served. Leadership is all about helping others discover their gifts and then seeing them act upon them. This builds the Kingdom!

Following this, the crowd comes to Jesus. Leadership is not about attempting to draw a crowd to yourself. It’s about serving the one and then watching what God does in the midst of your service.

How are you utilizing your leadership for the one?

Photo: Unsplash.com

 

Leadership Lessons from Luke 4.31-37

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The power of words.

Before Luke records the first of Jesus’ miracles he draws our attention to the authority of Jesus. As Jesus speaks the man with the unclean spirit is confronted with this authority. Jesus commands the demon to depart and the man is set free.

Do your words as a leader bring freedom to others? Do we fancy ourselves more with catchy phrases, one-liners, or echoes from others or do we aim to speak words of freedom?

Our words have immeasurable power. One word spoken can alter the future of someone. We are cautioned to speak less and listen more (James 1.19). It’s in our listening that the words we eventually speak do so with more authority.

This is the first miracle Luke records and it has to do with Jesus’ authority. From here we see Luke record in verse 37 that reports about Christ travelled into the surrounding region. In other words our words go before us.

Our reputation precedes our arrival.

Most of the time our reputation is explained through others by the words we speak. People will quote you as a leader. We do well to guard the words we speak about others.

Be known more for the words of compassion you speak than the words of criticism. Criticism never built a relationship or ushered in a vision.

Allow me to challenge you to spend the next week focusing on speaking less and listening more.

Be known more as a person who encourages other than someone who degrades.

Photo:Unsplash.com

Leadership Lessons from Luke 4.16-19

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If we can’t lead our homes we can’t lead the masses. Following a period of temptation and with a message to deliver to the people, Jesus returns home to Nazareth. Your leadership and vision begin at home.

Lead at home.

As dysfunctional as religion was in his days he continues to make his way to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Rather than speak against it, he sets out to make a difference (verse 16). Again we are led to understand that Jesus’ vision is to work to make things right rather than sit on the sideline to criticize and condemn.

Lead with conviction, courtesy, confidence and compassion.

Verse 17 tells us the scroll was handed to Jesus. As leaders we would well to remember that it is God who hands us vision and authority. Jesus didn’t come in demanding anything. He came in as was his custom. In other words he had come in several times before and not asked to read or speak. Jesus understood the need for discipline and humility.

There is leadership in silence and discipline.

It is in this moment that he shares his mission. Once again we see that his entire aim is to use his life to bring hope to others. This is the purpose of a leader’s life. He was out to love, serve and bring life to others.

Luke 4.18-19

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
    that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
19 and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

In what ways are you leading your home?

How are you embarking on a journey of discipline?

How is this opening doors for you to lead?

The Value of a Thank You Note

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I love receiving personal mail. Call me old fashion but there is something about walking out to the mailbox and discovering something other than a bill or advertisement addressed to ‘Resident’ or ‘Occupant.’

Perhaps social media has made us a bit lazy in this arena. We simply post a generic ‘Thanks’ to everyone and call it good. We shoot a text their way and check it off our list of things to do. Simply stated, personalized thank you’s have become a lost art.

Seeing someone took the time to write out my name on the envelop with a hand-written note on the inside is extremely rewarding. So I thought I’d give 10 reasons why a personalized note makes a difference.

  1. Reminds you, the sender that others took time to make your day or event special.
  2. The discipline of gratitude develops the character of contentment.
  3. Helps form a habit of thankfulness in your life. This makes you aware of other’s efforts in everyday situations.
  4. Let’s the giver know you’ve received the gift and appreciate them for it.
  5. Models a biblical principle. 2 Corinthians 9.11 – “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
  6. Your gratitude is ‘spread forward’ reminding others to express it as well.
  7. Jimmy Fallon does it. (Expressing thanks is fun.)
  8. You stick out from the crowd. People remember you.
  9. People may keep your note to encourage them on their down days.
  10.  Thank you notes make you a better communicator. Make a mistake with a text, simply erase and start over. Writing forces you to carefully weigh each word before placing it on the card.

Love to hear from you and what other benefits there are to writing a thanks you note.

AND…I know I’m violating my own post, but Thanks for following and reading. It encourages me to continue developing my skills as a grateful writer.

15 Dazzling Date Designs #11 & #12

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Go On An Wild African Safari

Can’t afford a trip to the interior of Africa? Have I got a solution for you! Most communities have a zoo or drive through safari within driving distance. Pack a lunch and head to Africa (zoo) to enjoy a day filled with encountering wild animals and wild children left unattended by their parents. CAUTION: Do not feed the children to the wild animals.

S’More Ideas 

Fire up the grill to make S’Mores. Don’t have a grill? Use your fireplace. No fireplace? Set a bush on fire. I’m kidding! Search for a S’More recipe that doesn’t require a fire and enjoy as you sit out under the stars. No stars? Move to the country. Spend your time discussing the idea of investing in a grill.

I’d love to have you share other ideas and share your photos with me through Twitter @RodWhitlock, #15DazzlingDates.