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    How to Embrace Necessary Change

    Seasons of life change, careers change, organizations change, and relationships and friendships change. Change is—as they say—inevitable. How do you deal with change? Do you embrace it, reluctantly (and stubbornly) submit to it, or run full-speed in the opposite direction of it? I’m a loyal person by default. Perhaps you are as well. I’m loyal to good people, good organizations, and good products. There’s nothing wrong with loyalty per se, except when that loyalty exceeds the season for which that allegiance is needed. Thus I find I struggle with change.  Well-known author, leadership coach, and clinical psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud believes that if we do not embrace necessary change (i.e.…

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    How to Build Dynamic Ministry Teams

    Today I'm happy to welcome as my guest Cynthia Hester, a Dallas Theological Seminary doctoral student, who chairs the Association for Women in Ministry Professions (awmp.org). She loves reading, beach walking, and lively conversations on current events, leadership, and women in the Word.) Find her on Facebook and Twitter @1cynthiahester.) Here are her tips for building strong leadership teams, along with her top three leadership book picks:  Pray consistently for wisdom and discernment. Lead with humility. Prioritize diversity in team formation. Cultivate members with varied gifts. Communicate clearly the ministry vision and goals. Encourage creativity and collaboration. Listen intentionally to foster trust relationships. Guide consistently with accountability and affirmation. Change what needs changing. Model balancing ministry tasks with relationship investment. Persevere through…

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    The Time I Served My Husband and Actually Liked It

    I did the impossible and actually cooked a meal I had pinned on Pinterest- Carne Guisado (Tejano stewed beef). Cooking is not an out of ordinary task for me in the House of Jacobs; its a regular part of how I contribute to my family. So when dinner time comes around my husband (Matt) and I fall into our respective roles almost without thinking. While he gets the kids in their chairs and washes their hands, I portion out their food and let it cool.  Often, I prepare my husband's plate and bring it to him. This particular dinner though, I was nervous to present him with the meal as…

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    Leadership and Friendship—Are They Mutually Exclusive?

    With whom can you be yourself—totally raw and without filters—without expectations? Someone recently asked me this question. Several names came to mind, but I realized my list was short. This person advised, “You need these types of people in your life, people who will listen to you without expectations or judgment, with whom you can climb down off the mentorship and ministry pedestal.” Regardless of the world in which you work or serve—corporate, construction, education, marketing, medical, ministry, research, restaurant, the arts, or the home—being a leader can make finding raw-and-without-filters friendships difficult. Why is that?   First, leaders are visionaries. They lead the charge. They think outside the box.…

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    8 Ways To Guard Against Moral Failure

    Often I read of a Christian leader who has fallen in some form of immorality, sometimes active and sometimes verbally inappropriate, but always unexpected and inexcusable. It is unbelievably painful to see this happen, whether to famous or unknown leaders. Many years ago when I was young I did an internship with J. Vernon McGee at the Church of the Open Door in downtown Los Angeles. About half way through the summer Dr. McGee took an interest in me and began to talk to me every week about various aspects of being a pastor, particularly about remaining pure before God. He had a radio program, of course, and he often…

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    Introverts: The Forgotten Fifty

    Shy, timid, aloof, anti-social, not a team player, nor a good leader—what type of person does this describe? An introvert, right? No, not necessarily. Your boss and the most successful leaders in your organization might be introverts. Your favorite music artist who performs on stage in front of thousands might be an introvert. Many famous actors, athletes, authors, CEO’s, movie directors, teachers, presidents, vice-presidents, and human rights activists are known introverts. Despite a wealth of research on introverts versus extroverts, misconceptions regarding introverts still abound, and these misunderstandings might be damaging your church, organization, or company from furthering its mission and vision. The following is an excerpt from my book,…

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    The Giants Are Going And The Pygmies Must Take Over

    Recently one of my former students sent me an e-mail about a current article in Christianity Today on Karl Barth, one of the most influential theologians in the early part of the twentieth century who had an adulterous relationship for much of his married life. The article was revealing, penetrating, and distressing as it spoke of such terrible sin in the life of one of the most significant thinkers in the past one hundred years. My former student, now a man with thirty years ministry experience and a key theological thinker in one of the largest evangelical countries in the world, reminded me of a time when he came to…

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    God’s Call

    In the summer and winter of 1944, the sovereign God transformed my life from temporal and purposeless to eternal and purposeful. Here’s how He did it.   During that time my name was Douglas Rice, I had no home, no father not much of a mother, and she intended to put me into a religious boys’ home when I turned five late in 1944. I have no idea where I had been for the first four plus years of my life, but that winter I and my half-brother, Donald, lived with Anna Keeler, known to us as Mother Keeler, a British immigrant and a member of the Salvation Army. Mother…

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    When God Forgets You

    How do you respond when God forgets you? He forgets your cell phone number, your e-mail address, and your Face book page. He doesn’t recognize your picture or recall your address or even your long unused landline. How do you feel?   As far as you can tell God has forgotten He even created you let alone had a plan for your life. All of those identity defining expectations He once gave you are long gone and never thought of—at least by Him.   Perhaps you’re like Moses who defended one of God’s enslaved people only to have to flee for his life. Once he was a member of the…

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    Good Counsel for Crazy Times

    Imagine a world in which a volatile leader stands as head over a powerful empire. His name is Domitian, and he’s the emperor of Rome. And the word “totalitarian-leaning” accurately describes his government. Firmly at the center of a cult of personality, he fancies himself the “new Augustus,” a self-appointed role that carries with it religious, military, and cultural propaganda. (Eventually, his court officials will assassinate him.) In short, the world is a complete mess from the top down. In such a context, Jesus appears to the elder John in a vision. And Jesus tells him to write what he sees in what we now know as the Book of…