4 Leadership Lessons from Moses


Exodus 17:8-9 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

 

In these verses we find Moses and the Israelites attacked by the Amalekites.  If you continue reading the story, there are several things that we can learn from Moses and his leadership.

Moses had God with him

Moses took the staff of God with him.  Any time Moses faced a situation, or God wanted to do a miracle, the staff was there. Think back to the plagues, parting the Red Sea, and getting water from a rock. It was not that Moses had a magical staff. The staff was a symbol of God’s Power. Carrying the Staff of God was a reminder that God was with him.

  • Leadership Lesson #1: A great leader does nothing without God present 

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FamilyTalk ranks #18 on an Amazon best seller list!


You may have seen some earlier posts I wrote about Family Devotion times, or my book- FamilyTalk: a guide to family devotions.  Whether you have seen the posts or not, I have some exciting news to share.

After much reading, learning, and experimenting I finally formatted my book for Amazon.  The link went live on New Years Day, and after a few sales and several reviews from people that already had the print version, FamilyTalk ranked #18 on Amazon’s Best Sellers list for its category.  That means out of over 300 books in the category, it ranked #18 in it’s first day!

Check out FamilyTalk on Kindle!

Amazon Best Sellers- best Children's Christian

That may not mean much to you, but that was very exciting for me.  It was not long after that I noticed it was #1 in the Hot New Releases for it’s category.

FamilyTalk- a guide to family devotions- Ron Brooks- Amazon.com- Kindle Store

If you haven’t seen it yet, it is listed at a great price right now on Amazon.  If you have a Kindle, or a Kindle app on an ipad or iphone this would be a great investment for your family.  If you decide to get a copy, don’t forget to leave me a review!  And you are welcome to post your thoughts here too

What is Family Ministry?


“Dad, will Gilligan be in heaven?” my daughter recently asked as Gilligan was laying on his back and she was scratching his belly.  Gilligan is the family dachshund.  She loves him, and he tolerates her, though he is playing with her more as she is getting older.  She is a huge animal lover, and I would not be surprised if she is a veterinarian when she grows up.  It makes sense that she would be concerned with his eternal welfare.

“I’m not sure, that is something we will find out when we get there.”

That seemed to pacify her for a moment, but then she continued her thoughts.  “If he does go to heaven, I hope I am there to see him.” Continue reading

Something I learned about ministry while watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies (London 2012)


Some things I learned from the Opening Ceremonies:

  • Great Britain is proud of their health care system.
  •  James Bond really does know the Queen (who does have a sense of humor!)

 

  • Mary Poppins can do in a few minutes what took Harry Potter many years and many movies to accomplish.
  •  The Industrial Revolution is very important in British history.
  • Mr Bean can play the piano.

 

I walk away smiling at some of these things, and scratching my head at others.

The biggest WOW for me was to learn that the entire show cost more than $42 million.  Don’t get me wrong, forging the Olympic was impressive.  The hill turned out to be pretty cool too.  I enjoyed the fireworks display, and the copper leaves turning into the Olympic flame was very cool.  But I learned something else.

Being from ‘across the pond,’ I don’t think I fully understood some of the elements of the show (like the giant baby, or the hospital bed trampolines).  And I am not alone.  I read many articles the following day expressing the same lack of understanding.

For me, one of the highlights was Mr Bean playing the piano in the orchestra.  As I read different news columns and watched the twitter feed, over and over I saw I was not alone in counting the “Chariots of Fire” bit among the best elements of the entire show.

Considering $42 million for the total event, I would imagine the Mr Bean scene would account for very little of the total.  But yet it was one of the highlights.  So what else did I learn?

Money does not guarantee success.  If you have read many of my other posts and thoughts, you know that I often relate my thoughts to the church world of ministry.  The ministry with the most money is not always the most successful.   While it is true, more money can buy a giant baby, but if that baby confuses people, then was it successful?

I am like many people, and often wonder what it would be like to have more money to do bigger things.  The Opening Ceremony made me stop and think.  It would be better to have more Mr Bean aspects of ministry than giant babies and industrial revolutions.  Not only was Mr Bean cheaper, he was also more effective and more memorable.  That is important in ministry.  Do people walk away thinking about what they just saw/heard?  Success does not always follow money.  I say stop focusing on the money and big shows of the church down the street and start focusing on your strengths and gifts and push forward to be successful with what you have, and not worry about what you don’t have.

I have a feeling God has given you everything you need to be successful when ministering to the people/kids in your care.  Do your best where you are with what you have, and leave the giant babies to the Opening Ceremonies.

What do you think?  How does money (or lack of) affect your ministry?  What did you think of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics?  

God wanted him in jail


It is not easy to understand, but it was part of God’s plan that Joseph end up in shackles, in slavery, and ultimately in jail. It may be part of God’s plan that you go through some difficult, confusing times as well.

Psalm 105:16-19
He called down famine on the land
    and destroyed all their supplies of food;
17 and he sent a man before them—
    Joseph, sold as a slave. 
18 They bruised his feet with shackles, 
    his neck was put in irons,
19 till what he foretold came to pass,
    till the word of the Lord proved him true.

The story of Joseph and his coat of many colors is well-known. Just ask Donny Osmond about his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

A quick recap, Joseph was well-loved by his father, and in fact was the favorite of all the sons.  The beautiful robe was a gift from his father.

One day Joseph had a few different dreams that he shared with his brothers.  Basically he dreamed that his brothers gathered around and bowed down to him. The brothers already disliked him, since he was the favorite son, and as you might expect, these dreams made them even more upset.  At the time, no one realized that the dreams were from God and actually letting them know of an event that would happen in the future.

One day their father set Joseph to check on his brothers as they were taking care of the sheep.  His brothers conspired to kill him, but decided instead to sell him as a slave to a group of passing Ishmaelites.

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Are you holding onto the Past?


 But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14

Have you watched the show “Hoarders’?   It’s the one with people who never throw anything away.  I spent the day in a friend’s garage yesterday.  There is no question that it would meet the requirements for the show.

I know he grew up in the depression era, so part of me can understand him not wanting to get rid of anything.  And he loved a good deal, even if it was something he would never use.  But years and years of buying useless stuff and never throwing things away led to the photo you see here.

I thought a lot about the piles of junk.   It was not his intention to allow the things of his past to ruin his present, but look at the photo.  It was a mess.

Life can become a mess when I hold on to too much stuff from the past.  Good or bad, the things in my past are just that, they are past.  Surrounding myself with my past will hinder my present, and make it even more difficult to look to the future.

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Laying a spiritual foundation in our kids


 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Prov 22:6

Not too long ago I was a part of an online discussion about how to partner with parents when it comes to attending to the spiritual needs of their children.  Parents need to have an active role, and in fact the lead role in the spiritual lives of their children.  The church has a 40-50 hour a year influence on a child, but the parent has a 3000 hour influence on that same child.

Through the conversation there were several things mentioned that got me thinking.  One of them is definition.  “Parents need to be the spiritual leaders of their house” is a statement that many agree upon, but may not know what that means.  I will attempt to explain my definition of the statement.

I believe that the role of a ‘spiritual leader’ is that of building the spiritual foundation of the child.  Now just what exactly does that mean?      Continue reading