Devotional on Exodus

2014 – View from Little Mountain Park, Mt Vernon, WA

Leadership bookends
Exodus 39: Moses saw that they had done all the work and done it exactly as God had commanded. Moses blessed them.
God gave the construction plans, Moses passed it on to Bazalel and company, and the people brought the materials. Everything from the frame of the Tent of Meeting to the Ark of the Covenant to the clothing of those who will serve has been crafted precisely to God’s design. Moses inspects the work and sees that it has been done well. Then he blesses them. Sometimes, the job of the leader is to point people in the right direction and then get out of the way while they do what they’re gifted to do. However, the leader’s job isn’t over at that point, in fact, that’s just one of a pair of “leadership bookends.” The other bookend is found in Moses blessing the workers at the end of their task. Leaders are to lead in appreciation as well as vision. As a pastor, I often point people in the right direction, whether they’re singers or electricians. Both are doing things that are beyond my capability and I certainly can’t micromanage their efforts. However, once the job is done, it’s my job to be the “lead appreciator” in the church. Every leader needs to be an expert in showing appreciation for the efforts of those we lead.
Take Away: A real leader knows how to lead in public appreciation of others.

Devotional on 1 Kings

2015 – Along Lake Michigan at Manistique, MI

Thank God for plumbers and roofers and carpenters
1Kings 7: Hiram was a real artist — he could do anything with bronze.
Solomon presides over some of the most impressive building projects imaginable including the construction of beautiful palaces and the impressive gold-inlaid Temple. He’s the architect, the mastermind, of these great projects. But he isn’t the workman. He recruits a man named Hiram from Tyre to do the bronze work. This guy and some other key people are craftsmen with extraordinary abilities. Under Hiram’s expert guidance durable, functional, and beautiful artifacts are created. I thank God for people like Hiram: people with practical knowledge and skill, people who have God-given gifts willingly given to the work of the Lord. As a person who just barely knows which end of the hammer to use, I’ve come to appreciate those who bring their practical abilities as an offering of love to God and his Church.
Take Away: Thank the Lord for dedicated people who willingly give their skills to the work of God’s Kingdom.

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