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The One I Admire Most (Leaders Worth Following)

President’s Day has passed and I’m reflecting on a very important question that our country’s foundation is based upon, many of us may think of but may take a passive approach in answering.

What leader do you admire most?

Who is a leader you esteem worth following?

I finished reading the book “How to Lead When Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority,” by Clay Scoggins.  This book has changed my way of thinking of what it means to be the authority verses being a person of influence.  He identifies what separates a good leader from a great one.

Great leaders love people well.

Great leaders live and lead in a way that’s worth emulating.

Great leaders are lifetime learners.

Great leaders make others feel valued and appreciated.

Great leaders forgive well.

Great leaders lead by action.

Great leaders sacrifice themselves for the good of others.

Great leaders admit their failures.

What do think makes a great leader?

Clay Scoggins challenges us to write down leaders we admire and dissect why do we admire them?

Just to name a few of my favorite leaders Abraham Lincoln, Francis Chan, Corrie Ten Boom, Irena Sendler, and of course Jesus.  I admire all of these leaders for different reasons.

I admire Abraham Lincoln because he was a leader who led by action, admitted his failures and was a lifetime learner.  He defended the defenseless, stood up for social injustice by not following the way the world wanted him to but lead in the direction that was for the greater good of others.

I admire Francis Chan as a leader because he loves others well, lives and leads in a way worth emulating.  Francis Chan’s mission in life is to lead like Jesus.  He doesn’t chase fame or power but the influence of Jesus.

Corrie Ten Boom and Irena Sendler are women after my own heart.  I aspire to be like them.  Corrie and her family hid hundreds of Jews in a secret hiding place in their home to save them from going to concentration camps. Irena saved over two thousand Jewish babies from Nazi death camps.  Both women sacrificed themselves for the good of others, putting others before themselves, which in the end saved the lives of many (Gen. 50:20).

Although all these leaders are great, the one I admire most is Jesus.

Jesus is the ultimate leader.  A leader we all strive to be like.  He changed the trajectory of how leaders should lead not by the words he said, not by throwing around His titles, but by what He did.  Titles such as Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father made Him the highest authority of all.   However, Jesus didn’t use His titles of authority to transform the hearts of people, He used the influence of His mercy and grace.  His role as Humble Servant, Shepherd and Teacher won more hearts than His authority ever did.  He didn’t leverage how much He knew, he leveraged how much we can learn.

'Being a great leader isn't dependent upon having more authority. Great leadership depends upon influence. The more influence cultivated today the more you'll have tomorrow' quote Clay Scoggins.Click To Tweet

Great leaders don’t throw around their clout, beat their chests and say, “I’m in charge!”  They use their influence in a way that inspires others to say, “I want to live and lead like them!”

We don’t have to wait until we’re in a position of authority to make a difference, our time to make a difference is today.  We were all created to be a leader in one or another.  Whatever your role is as a teacher, a parent, a coach, a musician, a caretaker, an administrator or a janitor we all have our roles in God’s greater kingdom.  How we lead here on earth prepares us for our day in heaven.

In order for us to have a chance at being a loving culture, to make a difference where we are, we must emulate the best leader of all.  It starts right here, right now, with US.  I pray and hope we all can live and lead like Jesus.  Be encouraged God isn’t done with us and desires us to live in the best design of ourselves.  You are loved!

Who do you admire most and why?

What leaders do you think are worth following?

How do you leverage your influence when you’re not in charge?

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The Power of An Invitation

I will never forget the first time I attended my first Bible study in 2012.  I had been a Christian my whole life, went to church, read the Bible, but never attended a formal Bible study.  I could name a million reasons why I didn’t attend before then;  busy with motherhood, I worked during the week, I had to take care of the house, etc.  It’s funny how God has a way to always point you in the right direction.

I was at a point in my relationship with God where I knew He wanted me to take the next step towards a deeper relationship with him;  but I didn’t know how.  One day I was standing in the preschool parking lot talking with a friend, pouring out my heart to her.  I had just started to attend the same church as her.  As she was listening to me, she had opened the door to something bigger than I could have ever imagined.  She invited me to a Women’s Bible Study at the new  church I was attending.  I immediately accepted the invitation.  I was excited, because I knew God had used her that day not only to invite me, but to point me in the right direction towards what He had desired for me.

The day I stepped foot into my first Bible Study, I was hooked and I never looked back.  Once I started, I couldn’t get enough.  I wanted more.  Her  invitation to Bible study changed my life.  I never knew how much I was missing until I entered into God’s presence, opened up the Scriptures and allowed God’s truth into my heart.  My friend was faithful in listening to God, to invite me that day.  I only had to enter through the open door, God did the rest.

 

God used my friend in a big way that day.  I am so glad she listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to invite me that day.  Her invitation changed my life.  God’s words are what transforms our hearts, nourishes our souls, and gives life to our spirits.  God’s love is not meant to be hidden, but shared with everyone.

Just imagine if the three wise men never accepted God’s invitation to see the birth of baby Jesus.  They would have missed out on seeing the birth of their king.

Just imagine if Paul didn’t accept God’s invitation that day on the road to Damascus when he was blinded by the light.  We would have never seen God’s ability to  transform Paul’s heart, from someone who persecuted Christians to someone who risked His life to save them.

Imagine if the Disciples and the Apostles never accepted God’s invitation to become followers of Christ.  We would have missed out on the greatest message ever told. We would have never seen God’s ability through the Holy Spirit to grow the church.

We are merely vessels God uses to carry out His greater plan.  We are all apart of God’s great amazing story of the gospel.  If we never shared it with anyone, imagine how many  people miss out on the beautiful message of the gospel.

The worse thing a person can say is ‘No.’  God will continue to pursue their hearts.  You only need to be faithful in prayer of how God can use you.  

There will always be 101 things keeping us away from studying the Bible.  Not one of those reasons are ever good enough to keep us away from spending time with God.  When we give God the time He has given us, He will provide all the time we need to get everything else accomplished that He desires for us.

Have you been prompted to invite someone to church or Bible study?  You never know how God will use you to impact the life of someone else.  Your invitation might be the very thing a person needs to take their next step.

Have you ever accepted an invitation that changed your life?

How has Bible Study impacted your life?  

To learn more about why studying the Bible is so important Click Here.

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This post was first published on www.akchristianwomensministry.com.


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Confessions of a Skinny Girl

How was your Thanksgiving?  Most of us are probably not feeling too skinny right now after eating tons of turkey, pie, mashed potatoes or whatever thanksgiving goodness we piled on our plates.  And then there were the pies!  Of course we have to try them all!

I am known as the skinny girl.  The one who has skinny arms, legs and non-existent hips. When people meet me,  I know what they are thinking….  That skinny girl looks like she has it altogether.

What struggles could she possibly have? 

Don’t be fooled by this small petite frame that there aren’t deep struggles that lie beneath.  Just because outwardly I’m small, doesn’t mean that inwardly my struggles aren’t big.

Truth is, this skinny girl ate way too much turkey and pie at Thanksgiving, that I can barely button my pants! If I could, I would eat a whole plate of fried pickles if my body wouldn’t hate me later.  I love chocolate cake—lots of it.  

Oh how I have flaws. I’ve wasted years of my life wishing I was taller, wishing this scraggly body looked like the voluptuous woman on the front cover of magazines. I have learned the hard way, in my indulgence and lack of self-discipline there are great consequences that lead to more emptiness and destruction.

Then I fall at the feet of Jesus and confess to Him all my flaws, my ugliness and mistakes.  He then says, “Dear child you will never find your self-worth and acceptance in this world, only in me.”  

I chose you before I gave you life, and before you were born I selected you to be a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 GNT).

He first chose me.  He knew me before I was even born.  

Only in the arms of God’s grace will my flaws and shortcomings be accepted.  

Only in the boundaries of God’s love will I find my worth—not in the size of my waist, otherwise I wouldn’t be worth very much.   

On the days I feel l have failed either as a wife or a parent, I am thankful my worth isn’t measured by my performance.

If I wait until I look a certain way, I miss out on the freedom God desires for me.

And thank God my value isn’t weighed by how clean my house is, otherwise I would be bankrupt.  

As years have gone by, I’ve to learn to accept God’s will and design for me.  God did not design this 5’ 3’’ petite frame to be on the basketball team.  His plan isn’t for me to be something I’m not.  I have a choice—keep trying to live up to worldly standards in who this world says I should be, or accept and live in God’s design for me.  Only one of them offers a life that is forgiving and filled with grace.   

When people meet me, they look at me and say I used to be a lot skinnier.  Our value and worth will never be found in our comparisons of each other.  We can break the chains of comparison by walking away from the lies of the enemy.

God made us exactly who we are for a specific reason and purpose all for His glory, not ours.

It doesn’t matter what size we are.  We are loved by Jesus who loved us first. (1 John 4:19)

In our flaws God sees our BEAUTY. (Ezekiel 27:3)

In our shortcomings God sees His PERFECT PLAN. (Jeremiah 29:11)  

In our weaknesses, God’s POWER is perfected. 

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness ” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me”  (2 Corinthians 12:9).  

In our messiness, God’s love sees us as blameless (2 Peter 3:14).

These three truths will always set us free.  

You are loved.

You are accepted.

You’re value is immeasurable in the eyes of God.  

You’re life has meaning and purpose.  If God didn’t deem your life as worthy, He would have never sent Jesus.  You were worth dying for.  

By His grace we have been saved.  

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”  (Ephesians 2:9).

Thank you Jesus, for loving me just the way I am!  You are loved my friend! 

What truths has God showed you?

Do you know how valuable you are in the eyes of God?  

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