Saturday, December 26, 2009

Leadership Failures of JPJ (& Me)

Here's a good "naval" leadership post from John Maxwell. In it he uses John Paul Jones as the type of leader not to be. He asserts that while he may have been successful in execution of his mission he was careless with people, using them simply to accomplish his agenda in pursuit of his own glory. This is an all too familiar story with many great leaders and the Navy is not immune from them. Most interestingly sad to me is the fact that JPJ never learned, never changed. He was content to continue in his relational recklessness until the day of his early death.

Yet, this is the man that wrote the famously memorized "Qualifications of a Naval Officer." How could this be that he would expound on the necessity of an Officer to be "the soul of tact, patience, justice and firmness" while committing the atrocious, recorded (not to mention the lesser offenses never reported), and nearly incomprehensible acts toward those entrusted to his care? I'm not sure - but, it caused me to wonder if I regularly mentally ascent to virtuous Christian behaviors while functionally forgetting what I previously preached? The short answer is yes and frequently. JPJ and I have much in common. Like, JPJ I remain a sinner in need of a Savior. Only the Redeemer is able to regulate and rectify my sinful brain-heart disconnect in my relationships. Leadership defined is influence in the context of relationship. To be a great leader for Christ you must be great in relationships because of Christ.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Lk. 2: 1-21

Remember those standing the watch today in your prayers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Anti-Psalm 131

I am able to identify particularly with the post below from Justin Taylor's blog:

The Anti-Psalm 131 vs. the Real Psalm 131

I’m grateful that CCEF is periodically posting great meditations from David Powlison. The latest is on Psalm 131, entitled “Peace, Be Still”: Learning Psalm 131 by Heart. Powlison argues that “Psalm 131 is show-and-tell for how to become peaceful inside.”

One of the things that Powlison likes to do is to contrast a biblical God-centered worldview with a functional godless universe; he does so by composing “anti-Psalms” that show the opposite of the life of the faith.

Here’s Anti-Psalm 131:


my heart is proud (I’m absorbed in myself),
and my eyes are haughty (I look down on other people),
and I chase after things too great and too difficult for me.

So of course I’m noisy and restless inside, it comes naturally,

like a hungry infant fussing on his mother’s lap,
like a hungry infant, I’m restless with my demands and worries.
I scatter my hopes onto anything and everybody all the time.

Contrast that with the real Psalm 131:

O Lord,

my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,

like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Do Not Be Surprised

"1Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin . . . 4With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you . . . 12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 16Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name." (1st Pet. 4: 1, 4, 12-14, 16)

Armed with Christ-like thinking, determined to endure the denial of fleshly desires, we can cease from sin. Expect others to take note and antagonize you (possibly behind your back) in spiteful consternation. A firey trial will ensue, but clothe yourself (Rom. 13:14) with Christ like the ultimate Fire Fighting Ensemble. Anticipate the fire fight. Every Christian Sailor a fire fighter! Do it with joy knowing that your are united with Jesus, because He did the same thing. The ultimate hypothesis - if insulted, then blessed. No shame, instead glory to the Name.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jah Puts His Soldiers Everywhere

Thought this was worth sharing. Consider the wisdom, the humility, and the true worship. From loswhit, "If you listen carefully at the end you hear Carlos saying this to Danny (the homeless worshipper). Here is what Carlos said, “Keep trying to make it man.” Danny looked me square in the eye…cocked his head sideways with a confused look on his face…and said, “Trying to make it? No man. I ain’t trying to make it…I’m making it. Jah puts His soldiers everywhere. Jah says, Yea though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death… So He places some of us, in that valley.”

Game, set, match…

Save us from these comforts.
Break us of our need for the familiar
Spare us any joy that’s not of You
And we will worship You

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Career Advice from Ecclesiastes (pt. 3)

Scripture tells us that our lives are but a vapor - like the sea mist you observe as you pilot the channel outbound for sea in the early morning. In our arrogance we make many plans accompanied by many words with little fear or recognition of the Sovereign God who pilots our lives in this perishing world. Hold it all loosely, like sand in your hand. If you cup it gently so that God can give and take away in His wisdom you preserve it. Grasp tightly in selfish ambition or fear and little will remain. Rest in the sovereignty of God - be at ease in God Himself.

". . . To draw near to listen is better . . . for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. 3For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words. 7For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity;but God is the one you must fear." (Ecc. 5:1, 3, 7)

"13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." (Ja. 4:13-17)

Career Advice from Ecclesiastes (pt. 2)

"9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him. 15 Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account." (Ecc. 3:9-15)

What gain is our work onboard? Is it a burden? We are unable to fully imagine the beauty that is unfolding as we participate in the work of God. Joyful goodness is the burdened call of our business. Find fulfillment in the gift that God has given you. And the strain is diminished as we realize out inability to add or take away anything of significance from the enduring work of God. So, He is at work . . . to produce reverence in our souls. Joyful exertion, ethical in obedient living, satisfied in His sovereignty, we worship as we work.

The 4 C's of Leadership

From Regent University's Inner Resources:

Dr. Winton writes a very thought provoking article. Here are a few highlights worth pondering, he writes there are 4 essential aspects of leadership:

- Calling (doing what God wants you to)
- Competence (being good at what you do)
- Confidence (knowing what you can accomplish in the context)
- Character (“good” traits)

The point of contention is that he asserts that character is the least important of the four pillars of leadership (note: he is the Dean of the school of leadership at a Christian university). "The paper draws from both Old Testament and New Testament examples of success based on each of the four Cs. The premise of the paper is that with each successful level of the four Cs, greater success happens. An organization’s leadership development program may be informed by this paper in that developing-leaders should first be filtered/selected by their sense of calling, followed then by education and training to increase their competence. Then, developing leaders can receive counseling and education to increase their confidence and finally, developing leaders can be coached, measured, critiqued, and developed in character traits." I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts - he sure does make a Biblical case for his submission.

Read the full paper here:
The Four C's of Christian Leadership