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On Not Being A Painful Leader (via Dan Rockwell)

From Dan Rockwell at Leadership Freak.
(There are expanded observations about the second five points at the original post.)

The 5 most painful leaders to be around:
1. Nit-pickers. You’re a bad case of heartburn when you belittle the 80% that’s good with the 20% that’s bad. (Enjoy the 80%. Improve the 20%.)
2. Ball-droppers. You’re a toothache when you don’t follow-through and follow-up.
Drama-makers. You’re an empty glass in the desert when everything’s a crisis.
3. Down-in-the-mouthers. You’re a stone in a shoe when you always need a pick-me-up from your team.
4. Hand-wringers. You’re an energy suck when all you see is what could go wrong.
5. Don’t expect success if you’re a constant pain.

5 surprising ways to advance your success with others:
1. Care deeply about relationships. (It’s not just results.)
2. Invite and act on feedback.
3. Advance the agenda of others, without sacrificing your own.
4. Understand the difference between advising and advocating.
5. Say what others fear saying.

Read the whole post here.


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Folk Angel’s Seven Christmas Albums For $10

a2776324326_16Folk Angel put out an album of Christmas songs each year.
There are seven so far, with an eighth due anytime.
You can purchase their seven album back catalogue for US$10 at bandcamp.
That’s 64 tracks for US$10.
How could you go wrong?


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A Season Of Waiting That Points To A Better Celebration (via Betsy Childs Howard)

We’re not just waiting for December 25.
We’re waiting for eternity.
The time before Christmas can become a focus on what we don’t have; but it can help us remember that what we really need is coming.
By Betsy Childs Howard, on the Crossway blog.

Advent is about more than waiting for Christmas. The word “advent” means “coming.” During Advent, we not only remember that Jesus came to earth as a man; we prepare our hearts for his second coming. When we sing, “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” we are not role-playing what the ancient Israelites must have prayed before the coming of the Messiah. No, we are praying that Emmanuel would return and make right all that is wrong with the world. When we sing, “Let every heart prepare him room,” we are not retroactively chastising the innkeepers of Bethlehem; we are preaching to all of the souls within earshot to be ready to meet their Judge and Maker unafraid.
The timing for this emphasis on Christ’s return couldn’t be better, in my opinion. Just when we would like to be happiest, and are therefore, ironically, the saddest, we remember that not only has Christ come, he has promised to come again. This life is not our only shot at happiness. It is a brief prelude to the life to come where we will find pleasures evermore. In the presence of Jesus, we will not regret anything we lacked in this life.
If your heart is heavier than you’d like this Advent season, take hope that the joys of Christmas aren’t ultimately what you wait for. The very best Christmas — one in which every family member sits around the table, speaks sweetly to everyone else, and prefers giving to receiving — is a pale shadow of the rejoicing to come. Let the fact that your heart aches point you beyond Christmas to the better celebration still to come. Join with the voices of Christians around the world, who together pray, “O come, O come, Emmanuel.”

Read the whole post here.


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All Things Sad by Buddy Greene

From Together in the Harvest: The A Rocha Project Volume 2 a compilation album released by A Rocha Arts.


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Seven Reasons Churches Are Too Busy (via Thom Rainer)

These seven points from Thom Rainer about why churches can be too busy are worth considering (or reconsidering) as one year is about to lead into another.

  1. Many church leaders fail to ask the “why” questions when starting a new ministry.
    Why are we starting this ministry? Why should we continue it long-term? Why are we asking people to be involved? When a church has no clear and compelling purpose for a new ministry, it becomes just another activity.
  2. Churches often have no process or plans to eliminate ministries.
    Thus ministries continue even if they are no longer effective or needed. They become analogous to the clutter we often have in our homes.
  3. Some ministries are started just to please people.
    Sometimes church leaders take the path of least resistance and allow new ministries to be added just because one or a few church members wanted them. The ministry may not be the best for the church, but church leaders are often reticent to say no.
  4. Some ministries have become sacred cows.
    Their impact on the church is negligible. Very few people are involved. But any mention of eliminating them is met with stiff resistance.
  5. Ministries in many churches operate in a silo.
    So the student ministry has its own plans. Adult small group ministry has its own calendar without regard for the church as a whole. And the missions ministry makes extensive plans, but does not ask how they tie in with the rest of the church. So the couple who has teenage children wants to be involved in all three areas, but the calendars and activities conflict with one another.
  6. Some church leaders have a philosophy of always saying “yes” because they desire to see all people unleashed to do ministry.
    Such a philosophy is admirable in its motives. But it can devolve into confusion and chaos as countless and disconnected ministries are added to the church’s activities.
  7. Most churches have no process to evaluate ministries each year.
    When ministries continue with no evaluation to their effectiveness, they are likely to be on the church calendar well past the rapture. One of the roles of church leaders is to evaluate ministries every year. There should be some criteria to determine if their continued existence is good stewardship.

Read the whole post here.


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Dawning Light Of Our Salvation – Sunday Songs

Here’s a song for the first Sunday of Advent 2016.

1.
Long in darkness Israel wandered;
Long in mortal shadows, we
Walked in bondage and self-pity,
Trod in paths of sin and grief.
In the prophets’ words He told us,
Long the God of Israel spoke;
He alone in strength would save us
From the hands of all our foes.
Refrain.
Every valley be exalted!
Every mountain be made plane!
Crooked ways repent and straighten;
All creation bend in praise!
2.
He shall raise a mighty Savior;
Born of David’s lineage, He
Comes in cov’nant love to claim us
From our sins to set us free.
Light to those who dwell in darkness
Life to those from death who flee
Joy unto the earth, and gladness,
To your pathways dawning peace!
Refrain.
3.
Jesus, Lord, and mighty Savior,
David’s Son and yet his King,
Dawning light of our salvation,
Of your saving pow’r we sing!
Stand, Oh lame, and dance ye broken,
Know the Savior’s healing grace;
Come, Oh deaf and hear him singing;
Turn, Oh blind, behold his face!
Refrain.

Words: Wendell Kimbrough (c) 2012 Wendell Kimbrough
Music: Bruce Benedict, (c) 2012 Cardiphonia