Raise Your Voice – Pray

Why does something tragic have to happen for us to bend our knees and pray to the God who created us? So many times over the years, when a tragedy hits, we find ourselves as a nation running to the church, a church; some place of worship where we find solace and peace, comfort and hope. Yet every day seemingly, we deceive ourselves into believing that we can do this thing called life without the guidance, peace, comfort and hope that we find in prayer in the midst of a tragedy. Are we morbid? I think not! But in a time and season of war and turbulence across this country and in the nations abroad, we miss the mark when we fail to reach out, to cry out, to fall on our knees and pray.prayer

  • When the planes crashed into the world trade center, people prayed for this country…
  • When bombs went off in Oklahoma people found their way to church and they prayed…
  • When airplanes crash or boats sink, or kids shoot kids in school people pray…
  • When people die, people pray…
  • When people find themselves facing surgery or get a life altering diagnosis from the doctor, people pray…
  • When the constitution for this country was written men and women wept and prayed…

What will it take for us, in this generation to decide that it is better to get ahead of the tragedies of life by bending? By falling on our knees and crying out to an unseen God? The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by name would humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore, or heal their land.”

This land we call America needs healing. We as people need healing. From sea to shining sea, we need healing. From coast to coast, city to city, home to home, person to person we need the Master’s touch. We need to turn from our wicked ways and allow God to heal us!

Won’t you decide to raise your voice today and every day, and cry out for this nation, for our leaders, for your family and give God the space to step into your life. Prayer changes things. You already know that. Raise your voice and pray blessing and peace over our nation. Raise your voice and pray grace over your city. Grab someone and pray for them, their situation and watch God be God and show up right in the midst! God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ever ask or think, but you have to invite him in. How? Raise your voice and PRAY!

Leadership – The Strength of a Man

This man is larger than life. His expectations of those around him supersedes any lofty expectations we could ever have for ourselves and for our life. He is a father, a fisherman, a husband, a prophet, a teacher, a preacher, a friend, a workaholic, a mentor, a businessman, a builder, a bishop and a leader of leaders. I know I am missing some of the other things that describe him. To me, he is my spiritual father. I have attempted to make him my mentor, but that thought has been left behind and I embrace the father that he is to me.

Strength of a Man

Our paths intersected back in June of 2004, though I have been around since, January of that same year. Our paths, our first meeting was in June of 2004. I met with him and I knew I could learn from him after that first meeting. He is tough and has huge vision and expectations and I knew then I needed to be around him. I still need to be around him. Through a series of nudges from the Lord, in 2006 to be precise, I accepted that he was the father I needed in my life. I didn’t think I needed a father. My earthly father, the man that raised me was amazing in his own right and when he died in 1995, I was devastated. I have recovered and lived on with wonderful memories but I wasn’t looking for a replacement. So when God suggested this new father, a spiritual father, I was not readily open to the idea.

Back to him, this man embodies the qualities of a strong leader. Something we seem to have misplaced as a nation – strong leaders. We require very little from those we choose as leaders today. This man, this leader, my father, requires much from himself and those he leads. That’s the strength of this man. His accomplishments over the years are vast and include building a great church, maintaining his marriage of more than 40 years, building a women’s shelter, a men’s shelter, a food ministry that feeds thousands upon thousands of people. Building multiple buildings, rebuilding cars, 3 children that are successful in their own right, and multitudes of spiritual children that look to this man for guidance, and leadership – some on a daily basis.

One lesson of leadership I have learned from him over the years is that we should be a reflection of those that we are connected to. In other words, if he as my spiritual father is successful, then I should be successful too. One of my favorite sayings says, “successful people, model themselves after successful people.” I know that my spiritual father had great men around him and he was willing to submit himself and learn from those men. He is wise, he is a learner, a reader, a tinkerer, a teacher, a listener, a lover of God, a man of prayer, a man of worship, a man of God, and my spiritual father. These are the things – the strength of this man!

I am forever grateful that our life journey, in the economy of God, intersected now 10 years ago. I still have much to learn, but I know this, I can’t help but to be successful. By continuing to observe his life, learn the lessons he so freely teaches, and apply myself by working hard every day, I will be a builder too. Maybe not buildings or cars, but I will build the things, that God allows me to build – people. That is the strength of this man, this leader. He builds people. He calls himself a people mechanic. What a great moniker! He is still tinkering in my life. Yea!

Leaders Can Burn Out

As I spent time this morning in our prayer room, this post began to formulate in me. I am working on improving my blog and I am in the midst of a 30 day writing challenge. This is the writing challenge for Day one “Free Write for 20 Minutes – Unlock Your Mind!” I am going to do my best not to edit this post and just write as it comes. Enjoy!

Unlock Your MindI began to think about why leaders get burned out. As I thought about it, these three thoughts came to me:

  • 1. Whose drinking from you well?
  • 2. How do you replenish your well?
  • 3. Athletes actually eat more calories than the average person because they burn it off.

Let’s start with the first thought:

Whose drinking from your well?

Who do you pour your life into every day? Your employees, your family, your neighbors, your students? Whose drinking from your wellspring of life? Do you find yourself on empty at the end of every day? May be you are already empty and all people are getting are the dregs of your well…You may be burned out or you are well on your way to being burned out.

How do you replenish your well?

Every leader gets tired or drained at some point. It is imperative that you take some time to replenish your well so that those that look to you for strength and sustenance can find it. Imagine being thirsty and dipping your cup in the only well that is available for miles and finding no water there to drink. That is unacceptable for leaders. When you are the captain of the ship, the lead dog, the head haunch, you have to have something to sustain your organization and the people that make up your organization. What do you do to replenish your well? Some people replenish their inner well with:

  1. Exercise
  2. Prayer
  3. Thinking
  4. Reading
  5. Getting away
  6. Reading a book
  7. Sleeping
  8. Writing

Athletes actually eat more calories than the average person because when they do what they do, they get depleted. In other words, their training depletes them. They need the extra calories for energy. So eating more calories helps them continue to grow and train for their next event. I believe this principle is similar for leaders. You may not be training your body for the next marathon or the next athletic competition but when you are the one people draw from every day, you better be increasing your “caloric” intake to ensure that your well does not run dry.

Prayer replenishes my well. I can see times in my life when I prayed consistently and there was strength in my life to show for it. I can also see times when my prayer life waned and I was easily depleted by the workload and lives of people I was leading. Prayer helps me recharge and feel strengthened. It is an inner thing. It helps me draw near to the creator of the universe. It helps me to hear and get downloads, much like this post. I was praying and these thoughts or this download came to me. I stopped praying and let the thoughts come and I captured them on paper right there in the prayer room.

What works for you? If you don’t know – you should. It is very easy for people to drain you – to drain your well. There are other people who help fill your tank. Be vigilant to know which people are which. Do what you must do to draw away on a consistent basis and get your tank filled again so that burn out does not become your portion!