Pouring Out and Giving Back to Your Leaders

Pouring Out and Giving Back to Your Leaders

Hello! I am a native So Cal resident. Human Resources by day, but more importantly Mom to a teenage boy who I often refer to as "Man-child".
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Pray for your leaders. Encourage your leaders. Pour into your leaders. Love your leaders. Sacrifice your time for them. Inconvenience yourself. 

I had the privilege of praying with a few friends this morning in my home. I guess you could say I called an intervention on behalf of someone who has spent about a decade pouring into me, mentoring me, and loving me, even when I could be oh-so-yucky in heart. No more accepting surface answers that would allow this friend to change the subject away from herself. It was time for it to be about her. (It was actually past due, but better late than never.)

I called in two other dear friends of hers who are business owners with full schedules, at the last minute, to drop what they were doing on a Friday morning and just shower her with love and prayer. Was it hard? Did I have to pull their teeth and convince them to make it work in their busy schedules? No. Why? Because of the way this friend has poured out and sacrificed and supported those in her life without reserve. They asked no questions. Literally, not one question other than “what’s your address”; they just said yes and showed up. It was time to give back what we had so graciously been given from our dear and loyal friend. This was our opportunity to take the initiative and help carry her burdens without waiting for her to ask.

Take a second to picture the leaders and people of influence in your life. Let their faces sweep through your memory right now. Call to mind the specific times in your life that you know their support had a major impact on your life. Now, when was the last time they reached out to you for support? Told you they needed someone to lean on? Showed the slightest amount of weakness?  Are those memories harder to recall than the memories of when they were there for you in times of need? These instances are likely few in number.

I sat at a table of leaders yesterday, all women who are leading the charge in some area or another. Strong, competent, capable women. None of them alluding to the slightest ounce of discontentment in conversation or otherwise. My assumption in these situations is that if they appear so put together, there must not be anything too heavy going on in their lives, because otherwise there would be some evidence of it. WRONG! We started off by praying for each other and soon after each lady started sharing what they could use prayer for, my false assumptions were incinerated.

Death in the family, tragic diagnosis in spouse’s health, financial struggles, loneliness, cancer..

This is a small list of what was shared among these women of faith. I was stunned. I could not have imagined the group sitting around this small table was carrying so much pain. Sometimes we have no choice but to press on, so it can appear we are okay, and it can be easy to fly under the radar with our struggles while the pain goes unnoticed. The very true reality is that we cannot walk these trials alone. Leader or not, there is a pouring in that our souls will ache for when we are in a season of suffering. That is why scripture offers us this little tip…

Share each other’s burdens and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2

I’ve noticed (this is just my observation) that leaders and people in positions of authority are less likely to reach out. We can try to evaluate why, but I think we have much more important questions to ask ourselves:

Are we willing to be more observant in regard to this?

Will we resolve to help them carry their burdens in an appropriate capacity, no matter how big or small the situation calls for?

This can be a little tricky to approach. What do we do when it is time for a shift in the dynamics in a relationship, and the one who normally is pouring out, needs some pouring in? There is no uniform answer or formula. It is going to require us to use discernment, prayer, and put some of that maturity they’ve modeled for us into practice and maybe, for some of us, a little bit of courage.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7

The last thing we want to do is create another problem for those who are in need of encouragement. If we are not careful a well-meaning but awkward attempt to help could be just that. Another problem. A safe place to start would be to ask yourself some questions about your ideas before jumping the gun. I would encourage  you to consider the following:

  1. Have you prayed for them yet?
  2. Will this attempt to help preserve their privacy?
  3. Will this attempt to help cause any kind of inconvenience to them?
  4. Have you first acknowledged it is not your job to try and fix whatever the situation is?

What can you do today to help give your leaders the ability to continue to lead with joy and help renew their strength? Ask God to show you how it is that you can be a blessing of encouragement to those who have already prayed the same for you. I promise you, they have.

Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

Hebrews 13:17

Pouring Out II

Election Day: A Time to Pray for Our Nation

Election Day: A Time to Pray for Our Nation

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
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The 2016 election is just around the corner.

Some of you may have already voted in the 2016 election through absentee ballots or early voting.  If you have not voted yet, please consider what I am about to say.

So many people are very upset by the choices we have for the upcoming presidential election.  We need not fear the election.  We must remember that God knows the outcome and he knows what the future holds for our nation.  He can use whomever is elected for His purpose if He so chooses.  He is in control.

Over and over, God has told us to NOT be afraid.

Fear is not from God.  We need to be praying for our nation and our leaders.  It does not matter if we agree with them or not; God tells us to pray for our leaders–sincere prayers.  Prayer will make the difference.  I have committed to praying for the election and our nation every day.  We may feel helpless, but God is there.  People say that if you do not vote, you do not have a right to complain.  Well, I say if you are not praying, then you should not complain.

Dear Lord, we come before You begging for the future of our once great nation.  We know that You are in control and You know what the future holds.  We ask that You intervene and do what is best for us.  Change the heart of Your people and bring a revival to this land.  Let us all see that we need You as our leader.  We know that You will be there for us.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV)


Vote With Awareness and Knowledge

That brings me to my other issue.  I have a problem with all these people who are encouraging people to “get out and vote.”  Please do not vote just to be voting.  Vote because you have studied the candidates and the issues.  This election is very emotionally charged and our nation is very divided.  In Oklahoma, where I live, we have several state questions on the ballot.  The advertisements, both pro and con, tug at your emotions to sway your vote.  Please research these issues and the candidates to see what the truth is behind them.  It may take some digging but the information is out there.  Do the same with the candidates who are running for office.

Do Your Research for Unbiased Information

You may wonder how to find unbiased information.  Most states list the information for state questions or propositions on the state’s election board website.  This is a good place to start.  Remember that these state questions/propositions are summaries of the bill or amendment.  Many times there is a link to the actual wording but sometimes you must actually search for it.  Reading and interpreting the actual question or proposition can be daunting, but it is the best way to find the truth.  If you have problems with this, it is best to get opinions from a multitude of people that you respect and most closely align in values and viewpoints.

The same should be done with candidates.  Find out what their true beliefs are.  This is easier in local elections where you can actually have a chance to meet the candidate or speak to them over the phone.  I once spent an hour on the phone with a candidate when she called to introduce herself.  I do not think she expected all the questions that I asked.  More recently, I have done this through social media.  If I have questions, I private message the candidate and wait for a reply.  Most will get back to you within minutes.  The internet makes researching topics and candidates so much easier, but it can also be filled with emotionally charged propaganda.  We must be discerning to find the facts and not be swayed by emotions (or celebrities).

You do not have to vote on every issue.

If you are not sure, leave it blank.  This allows those who have done the research to be the ones who actually make the decisions.  I had someone tell me once that if you weren’t sure on an issue, vote no to keep it the same.  That does not even make sense to me!  If you do not know, leave it blank.  Ideally though, it is best to research and make an educated decision when voting.

Do you pray for our nation and our leaders?

Please join me in committing to pray for our nation and our leaders.

Do you research before voting?


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