Posts tagged with: 1 Samuel

a black rotary telephone on a red wooden wall

Samuel’s Call to Speak

Everybody wants the power and agency to speak. Not everyone knows how to temper the way we speak with humility.

Read Article
a woman sitting at the end of a dock looking at the water

Hannah’s Lamentation

The God of heaven hears the voices of the unheard.

Read Article
A pile of stones

Keeping Christmas Well as an Ebenezer

An Ebenezer helps people remember God’s grace.

Read Article
A valley between high mountains.

Marketplace Leaders Are Judged by Their Goals

It’s common in the business world to hear about aiming high. Usually that’s just another way of saying we should keep moving ahead, setting goals for ourselves and then meeting those goals. However, rarely does aiming high involve a significant risk. Instead, it tends to be incremental. It’s like looking at the top of a staircase and saying you’re “aiming high”—then getting there one step at a time. But here’s a story from scripture that puts “aim high” in a new light.

Read Article
A group of people at the foot of a waterfall.

Building Brave Spaces

Brave spaces are transformational. Brave spaces draw a person out and give them the opportunity to be transformed. Alternatively, safe spaces often make it safe for me to stay the way I am. Brave spaces invite vulnerability, while safe spaces often keep me shielded from growth. David’s brothers and the rest of Saul’s army chose safety when facing Goliath. But God calls us out of hiding and into the light, where we are invited to partner with God in miraculous acts that bring a new way of living.

Read Article
A black and white photo of two people stretching in opposite directions, one with a neutral expression, the other looking fiercely aside.

Disappointment with Myself

Leaders do not only regularly disappoint those we lead, we can also disappoint ourselves. When we don’t hit benchmarks, when we let down a parishioner, or when we fail to reach a goal, we not only have to contend with the swarm of people disappointed in our leadership but also with our own self-criticism. Often, we are our own worst critics.

Read Article
Digital report on data analysis and metrics.

The Disappointing Leader

In my twenty-plus years as a leader in the non-profit sector, I’ve found that much of leadership involves disappointing people. When I got into church leadership, I assumed I would spend the majority of my time inspiring people with my vision, comforting people with my pastoral skills, and instilling God’s Word through my preaching. Little did I know that in every one of those areas (and more) I would disappoint people.

Read Article
A drawing of hearts coming from an earphone.

Hearing God’s Voice (Finale)

All too often, prayer has been utilized as a time where we drop off our wish list to God and quickly exit stage left. To be clear, we do have the privilege of taking our burdens and requests to our God, who is always attentive to our cry. However, prayer is a dialogue where we talk and listen. Just as we desire God’s ear, God also desires to be heard. The key to hearing God’s voice is to learn how to be an active listener.

Read Article
A working professional frozen with anxiety.

The Lingering Effects of a Bad Mentor

In yesterday’s devotion we acknowledged the possibility of dysfunctional mentoring relationships, like the one between Saul and David. Though Saul should have been empowering David, instead he acted like a jealous enemy who sought to undermine David instead of blessing him. There is a slang word for such a person: frenemy. This is the type of “friend” whose words or actions bring you down. (Whether you realize it as intentional or not). Frenemies make terrible mentors and can have lasting negative impact on leaders.

Read Article
A person stressed over work.

When Mentoring Goes Wrong

In its simplest form, mentoring is supposed to be a process when a mentor with more experience and knowledge helps a mentee with less experience and knowledge. But sometimes a mentoring relationship fails to meet this basic expectation and can become a scarring experience altogether, affecting your leadership for years to come.

Read Article