Sunday, July 30, 2017

Move Yourself

Do you have the character to move the world? Do you have the character to move yourself?

July’s Awakening, Day 30

Perhaps there is no more important component of character than steadfast resolution. The boys and girls who are going to make great men and women, or are going to count in any way in after life, must make up their minds not merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats.

 —Theodore Roosevelt

Let him that would move the world, first move himself.



Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3–4 NIV 


            Your character is your driving force for propelling you ever onward with the perseverance to live the victorious life and attain great success. A thousand obstacles will certainly come, a thousand obstacles will need to be overcome. A thousand disheartening disappointments, failures, and defeats may come, but character knows that the ultimate victory may be coming up next. Character does not know quit or stop, only press on, move forward and persevere. The greatest of achievements all come about through the greatest perseverance. To move the world you must first be able to move yourself—with character and resolve and the hand of God to guide you.

Author Web Page Link

Saturday, July 29, 2017

It’s in Your Own Hands

Your character is your total responsibility. Stop blaming others for you.

July’s Awakening, Day 29

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.

 —Anne Frank

Our character is but the stamp on our souls of the free choices of good and evil we have made through life.

—John Cunningham Geikie


Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 NIV 


            As parents, we can only bring up our children to the best of our ability with the resources that we have. We can guide and direct, encourage and support, and teach and instruct, but in the final analysis, it is our children themselves who must take full responsibility for their character and conduct. The outcomes are quite varied based on the innate personality of the individual. You could have had the best of parents, yet turned out rotten. Conversely, you could have had the worst of parents, yet turned out as a shining star. One must never place blame on others for your own inability to manifest and exemplify great character. It’s up to you. It’s your choice. It’s every choice you make each day. Take responsibility and make yourself the best you can be, despite your upbringing, despite the odds, your character is what you make it to be.

Author Web Page Link


Friday, July 28, 2017

What Are You?


Is the substance of your character noble through and through, or is it severely corrupted and tainted with impurities and toxins that need to be removed?  

July’s Awakening, Day 28

It is not what he has, nor even what he does, which directly expresses the worth of a man, but what he is.

 —Henri-Frederic Amiel

What lies beyond us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

 —Ralph Waldo Emerson

He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.

 —Henry Ward Beecher


And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. Ruth 3:11 NIV 


            What are you and what do people know you as? Are you a person of noble character and does your good reputation precede you? Are people always speaking well of you, and even more importantly, are you truly worthy of a noble character title? Is Jesus proud of how you always conduct yourself, even if alone?

            Good or bad, your character is who you are and what you are known by. Noble character does not develop overnight—it is a continual process to walk in the very footsteps of Jesus and live each day as He would live and interact with each person as He would certainly do. We will most assuredly all have character slips and falls in our life journey, but we would do well to promptly correct those flaws and make great effort not to repeat those mistakes.

            In the morning as you look in the mirror, ask yourself, “What am I and what can I do today to reflect the face of Jesus?” Likewise, before retiring to bed each night, ask yourself, “What was I today and how could I have been more like Jesus?” If you are truly honest with the person in the mirror, you will find that your noble character is building stronger each day.

Author Web Page Link

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Guilty by Association

Bad company can corrupt. Everyone can be an acquaintance, a valuable person that God loves, but choose your friends wisely.

July’s Awakening, Day 27

Character is made by many acts; it may be lost by a single one.  

 —Author Unknown

Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

 —Phillip Brooks 


Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV 


            Just like trust, it takes much time and effort to build noble character, but it can be lost in a split second of mental lapse or the association with those less reputable. Care must always be taken in choosing who you are with, where you are at, and what everyone is saying and doing. If you keep those solid basic principles in mind and always have very strong boundaries and the resolve to keep those boundaries, you will do well in preventing a regrettable event. You must always exercise common sense and good judgment. If particular situations do not feel comfortable, then do everything in your power to remove yourself from them. You may politely explain your view of the situation or even a forceful reprimand if required to those you are with. Whatever it takes, your good character is on the line. Guilty by association until proven otherwise is a difficult position to be in and your respectability and honorability may never be the same.

Author Web Page Link

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Let Not Integrity Lapse

Be always true to yourself, as if your looking straight into the eyes of Jesus, and you’ll always be true to everyone and in every way too.

July’s Awakening, Day 26

There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity.

 —Tom Peters
This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

 —William Shakespeare, “Hamlet”

Character—the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life—is the source from which self-respect springs.

 —Joan Didion  


May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you. Psalm 25:21 NIV 


            When it comes to character, some things should never sleep. So it is with integrity, for integrity is upholding the highest of standards and what is right, no matter if anyone is looking or not. God always knows. Furthermore, breaking or bending the rules once makes it even easier to stretch the boundaries again. Once a cycle of integrity’s slipping and spiraling downward has begun, it is difficult to control and amend. True, there are always those gray areas that seem to doom either or both potential integrity choices, but one answer will usually have the edge in uprightness. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in these situations if you are in a quandary. We certainly never know all the details, either, so God’s directive is always superior.

Author Web Page Link

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


You may at times be occupationally off-duty, but duty itself must always be on.  

July’s Awakening, Day 25

Character is a by-product; it is produced in the great manufacture of daily duty.

 —Woodrow Wilson

Duty is a very personal thing. It is what comes from knowing the need to take action and not just a need to urge others to do something.

 —Mother Teresa


Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Ecclesiastes 12:13 NIV  


            Duty. Something that one is expected or required to do in an obligatory or binding way that is of a moral or legal nature. In addition, duty may be an action or task or conduct required and expected from a person’s position or occupational function. It is an inescapable responsibility. Obviously, there is a hierarchy of duty as it applies to individuals and entities. We have our duty to God, to family, to country, to work, to organizations, and to all our fellowmen. Regardless, all our duties are expected to be completed and fulfilled with excellence. Duty is an essential chain that holds all aspects of our religion, society, and human existence together in reliable and dependable ways. Without duty, everything would certainly soon break down and turn into a chaotic free-for-all. Do your part, uphold the highest of standards, keep commitments and responsibilities, go beyond the average norm, and do the entirety of your duty.   

Author Web Page Link

Monday, July 24, 2017


Without vision for your life, you’re going nowhere. Without vision, a leader is leading no one, not even himself.   

July’s Awakening, Day 24

Christian leadership . . . appears to break down into five main ingredients—clear vision, hard work, dogged perseverance, humble service and iron discipline.

 —John R. W. Stott

The indispensable quality of leadership is vision.

  —John C. Maxwell 

People buy into the leader, then the vision.

 —John C. Maxwell 

Who you are is who you attract.

 —John C. Maxwell

The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but has no vision.

 —Helen Keller


Where there is no vision, the people perish: Proverbs 29:18a KJV


            Vision is what separates the most successful leaders from the rest of the crowd. Vision is the innate ability to distinctly know where a person, group, or entity is at the present, and where that entity’s ultimate achievable goal and level can be and how to get there. It is more than just goals, aspirations, and dreams. It is all that with the distinct knowledge and implementable plan, the perfect detailed roadmap, of how to get there.

            Again, as we’ve seen, it is the character of the leader that people must trust and follow, regardless of how amazing the vision and perfect the plan may appear. You the leader, are what will be embraced by the followers first. Also realize that there most assuredly is a law of attraction, whereby you will attract those most like yourself and your character with like-minded goals and aspirations. But beware, you may also attract similar character flaws as well. Balance is always the key and diversity can keep harmony.

            Discover God’s vision for your life and how to implement His plan. When you know where you’re going, you can lead others to the Promised Land too.

Author Web Page Link

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Leaders Follow Leaders

The great follow the greater, and the greater follow the greatest—God. Are you following the greater and greatest Leader?

July’s Awakening, Day 23

If you command wisely, you’ll be obeyed cheerfully.

 —Thomas Fuller 

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

 —General George S. Patton, Jr
Trust is the foundation of leadership.

 —John C. Maxwell

 People naturally follow leaders stronger than themselves.

 —John C. Maxwell 

A leader’s potential is determined by those closest to him.

 —John C. Maxwell


David went out to meet them and said to them, “If you have come to me in peace to help me, I am ready for you to join me. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when my hands are free from violence, may the God of our ancestors see it and judge you.” Then the Spirit came on Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said: “We are yours, David! We are with you, son of Jesse! Success, success to you, and success to those who help you, for your God will help you.” So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands. 1 Chronicles 12:17–18 NIV 


            True leaders fully understand the essential nature of following other leaders and mentors who can bring them to higher levels of achievement and success beyond their own abilities. In addition, true leaders will surround themselves with the best leaders, knowing that the leadership hierarchy works best as a team.

            David, the talented psalmist, was also a warrior of warriors. He surrounded himself with his “mighty men,” the “Thirty,” and within that group, an inner select group, the “Three.” Strong leaders follow stronger leaders, and as David’s Thirty followed him, David himself directly followed the leadership of God. Jesus also had His handpicked leaders, the Twelve Disciples, and within the twelve, the “inner circle,”—Peter, James, and John—and of course, John himself being “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”   

            The underlying trust of the leader and leadership team is its strength and authority. Trust encompasses respect and honor and allegiance. It will ultimately be your character that determines your leadership influence.

Author Web Page Link

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Turn from the Crowd, Move Forward with God

If called, would you turn from your peers, break from tradition, reject what you believed to be true and fully follow Christ’s new commission on your life to be His leader?  

July’s Awakening, Day 22

There are only three kinds of people in the world—those that are movable, those that are immovable, and those that move them.

 —Li Hung Chang, when General Charles Gordon asked about the nature of leadership

The man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

 —James Crook

Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course.

 —John C. Maxwell


“The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest sect of our religion, living as a Pharisee. “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities. Acts 26:4–5, 9–11 NIV 


            When God gets your attention, and calls you to lead, it’s time to turn from your past and move into the future with Him. Oftentimes, this means turning your back on the crowd, breaking with standardized tradition, rejecting the status quo, and trusting where God wants to take you and who He wants you to lead. This is not easy.  

            Saul (who later became known as Paul the apostle), was the epitome of the noble Jewish Pharisee sect, who were characterized by strict adherence to the Law of Moses and the Jewish oral traditions handed down over the centuries. They were looking for the Messiah, but visualized him as the conquering and liberating king who would restore the nation of Israel to her destined glory. They did not realize that the King would come first as the suffering servant, the sacrificial lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. It took the “Road to Damascus” experience for Saul, when he had a direct visitation from Christ with instructions, and being blinded for three days, to convince him of his new course of leadership that would forevermore change his life and the lives of innumerable souls in all the generations to follow.  

            You may not have a direct vision or actual visitation from Christ, but He may call you still in any infinite number of ways to rise up as the next leader to bring a whole new generation into a relationship with Him and a better life of complete wholeness and wellness and spiritual awareness. Like Paul, you may have to turn your back on the crowd and break from tradition, but always great are His rewards.

Author Web Page Link

Friday, July 21, 2017

Leadership Success Is Succession

A successful leader trains, prepares, and lifts up the next leader in succession. Are you willing to be a great leader and prepare your apprentice?
July’s Awakening, Day 21

I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.

 —Ralph Nader
Success without a successor is failure.

 —Noel Vose  
It takes a leader to raise up a leader.

 —John C. Maxwell 
A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession.

 —John C. Maxwell 

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” The Lord said to Moses, “Now the day of your death is near. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, where I will commission him.” So Moses and Joshua came and presented themselves at the tent of meeting. The Lord gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you.” Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses. Deuteronomy 31:7–8, 14, 23; 34:9 NIV  

            The ultimate success in leadership is to raise up the next successor to carry on the vision into the next generation. Without a successor, the vision often dies with the initial leader, or the next generation is ill-equipped or ill-prepared to carry on the vision effectively. Great leaders know this and will begin the training process early so their apprentice can carry on and the all the work of the leader will not have ended in vain.

            Just as Moses prepared Joshua for the next phase of entering into the Promised Land, you as a leader must be willing and proactive in determining and teaching the next person to take the reins. The greatest of things are built generation by generation, each improving upon the accomplishments of those before. You, as a leader, must be comfortable in raising up the next generation if you truly want to be successful and leave a positive legacy.

Author Web Page Link

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Leaders Are Servants First

To be a great leader, you must be a great servant first.  

July’s Awakening, Day 20

Leadership is found in becoming the servant of all.

 —Richard Foster

The great leader is seen as the servant first.

 —Robert K. Greenleaf

True greatness, true leadership, is achieved not by reducing men to one’s service but in giving oneself in selfless service to them.

 —Oswald Sanders

Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.

 —John C. Maxwell


just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 NIV  


            We’ve discussed servanthood in our spiritual discipline section of devotions, but we’ll mention it again here under leadership as the servanthood mindset is so crucial for true success. Christ is always our example to turn to for study and reflection. He is our ultimate Leader and the epitome of the true Servant.

            If you want to lead, you must first serve. Effective leadership entails providing something of tangible significance to those who would follow to make positive differences in their lives. It is all about positively influencing those around you such that together as a team you can collectively accomplish great things. The team is essential, for a game will never be won by coaches without players. And the better the players, the better the team, and the greater chance for victory. Likewise, a coach is only as great as the best assistant coaches he has around him too. Jesus could not do all He did alone. He needed the assistance of a specially selected band of twelve to help Him complete His work effectively and to continue to carry it out into the future when He was gone. The best leaders know that the most valuable assets required to accomplish their vision and goals are the people directly around them. The flock will never progress beyond that of the leader, and likewise, the leader will never progress beyond the capabilities of his flock. Great leaders will be great servants first.

Author Web Page Link

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Beware of Blind Guides

Know who you’re following and where you’re going. If you’re leading, make sure God is the One directing. You don’t want to fall into the pit.  
July’s Awakening, Day 19

You must be careful how you walk, and where you go, for there are those following you who will set their feet where yours are set.

 —Robert E. Lee
You can’t lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself.

 —Gene Mauch
When to lead is as important as what to do and where to go.

 —John C. Maxwell 


Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:14 NIV  


            Beware of blind guides, and make sure you’re not a blind guide yourself. Obviously, both are critical. The world is full of blind guides and false prophets, and we must have excellent discernment and use discretion when pledging our allegiance to any given leader. The more we know about the person, their history and character, the better we will be able to make appropriate choices. Always follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit to guide you in all these areas of concern. The last thing you want to do is fall into the deepest, darkest pit of destruction following the blind leader.

            Likewise, it is equally important for you to avoid being the blind leader. You must know when to lead, where to lead, and how you’ll be getting there. As a leader, you have a much greater level of accountability to God and to each individual you are influencing. You are ultimately responsible for the welfare of those journeying with you. The last thing you want to be is one who is leading yourself and others into the deepest, darkest pit of destruction.

Author Web Page Link

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Arise and Take Flight!

Are you the leader God’s waiting to call and rise up, like Deborah? Today may be your day.
July’s Awakening, Day 18

There is great force hidden in a gentle command.

 —George Herbert

Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.

 —Chinese Proverb 

When the real leader speaks, people listen.

 —John C. Maxwell


Villagers in Israel would not fight; they held back until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel. God chose new leaders when war came to the city gates, but not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel. My heart is with Israel’s princes, with the willing volunteers among the people. Praise the Lord! Judges 5:7–9 NIV


            Man or woman, position of authority or position of meekness—it matters not—when the real leader speaks it gets everyone’s attention—when the real leader arises to take action, people rise up and follow. That’s the power of the anointing of God upon a chosen leader. The real leader does not need to bark out commands and assert their authority—their anointed authority is already known and felt by those around them, and their flock is already attentively listening. Likewise, when the leader takes action, the flock is quick to respond in like fashion. That is true leadership power and authority. It is the leader’s character and integrity and trustworthiness that the flock is following, not simply the leader’s position. The true leader knows how to wield their power and authority—by influence—not by force or coercion.

            Leaders arise as situations present themselves. When God calls upon you for action and places His anointing power upon you, regardless of your current standing or position—arise, speak the word, take flight of action—and the troops will be mobilized and follow. Be the Deborah.

Author Web Page Link

Monday, July 17, 2017

Leadership Comes from God

Charismatic qualities and talents are great to possess, but the anointing always comes from God.  

July’s Awakening, Day 17

Although potential leaders are born, effective leaders are made.

 —Bennie E. Goodwin 

Spiritual power is the outpouring of spiritual life, and like all life, from that of the moss and lichen on the wall to that of the archangel before the throne, is from God. Therefore those who aspire to leadership must pay the price, and seek it from God.

 —Samuel Brengle

Leadership develops daily, not in a day.

 —John C. Maxwell


But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 3:11–12; 4:10–12 NIV 


            Despite being born with innate leadership talents and abilities, you are not a leader until proven so. The proving ground is that of people willing to follow you—even when they do not fully know where they are going, but they are trusting you to take them to a better place. Moses was God’s chosen vessel to remove an entire nation out of bondage and bring them into the very presence of God and initiate a whole new system for the worship of our God. Moses was miraculously saved at birth and grew up learning in the courts of Egypt, yet he was hindered by “slow speech and tongue.”

            Ineloquence of speech was not a problem for God, and with the help of others, Moses became the deliverer and leader of a new nation, a judge over all the people, a bringer of the Law of God, the instrument of a whole new system of life and worship of the Lord, and the author of the first five books of the Bible. Whatever inadequacies Moses had, he overcame them with the anointing of God. Leadership qualities may be from birth, but anointed leaders are directed by the very finger of God.

Author Web Page Link

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Respectful Living

Your God’s guest. Are you portraying exemplary and respectful living?  

July’s Awakening, Day 16

Without respect, love cannot go far or rise high: it is an angel with but one wing.

 —Alexandre Dumas

He that respects not is not respected.

 —George Herbert


Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:17 NIV 


Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:7 NIV


and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

1 Thessalonians 4:11–12 NIV 


            Respectful living is crucial in our world and honors God. We are called to be respectful to our family members, friends, all those in authority, all of humanity despite our varied differences, and respectful of other’s property and possessions, and all our planet earth too. It amazes me at how disrespectful we can be towards others and their property and toward this planet we live on in concert with all God’s creation. We should take nothing for granted and always treat everything with the utmost of respect, honor, and care. Your trash doesn’t belong anywhere you’d like to dump it. Defamation or destruction of anyone’s property or character is despicable in the eyes of the Lord. Treat everyone as you would expect to be treated and always be the perfect guest in every situation, keeping and leaving everything better than when you arrived. Always obey and honor the wishes of others when you are in their company, while always allowing for reasonable judgment. If you’re not sure what’s proper in your host’s eyes, then ask. Ignorance does not completely excuse you. Be observant and aware and heed the Divine Whisper’s promptings. Your words, actions, and body language should all appropriately display the light and love of Jesus Christ at all times.

            We will all make social blunders due to momentary lapses or being unaware of the proper etiquette, but it behooves us to be cognizant and always attentive, and begging sincere forgiveness always helps to smooth out those social faux pas. And remember, you’re God’s guest on this earth and in heaven to come. Be exemplary. He’s watching.

Author Web Page Link