Resurrection Stories

I still have Easter on my heart.  It is kind of like the after-glow that is left in the sky after alazaraus-tomb sun set.  God spent Easter weekend reminding me that He is a God of miraculous power- resurrection power.

Easter is a time of hope.  Not only the hope of the resurrection after we leave this earth, but the resurrection power that we see daily in the lives around us- lives that were “walking dead people” before they submitted to the Life Giver.  There are times when we even get to witness this miracle and it never gets old.

There are also times when we don’t witness it with our eyes but we get to hear about it with our ears.  I never tire of hearing peoples’ resurrection stories.  When you meet someone who loves and serves God, it is wonderful, but when you sit down with them and hear about where God has brought them from, it’s another level entirely.  You find yourself in utter disbelief, that the person before you was in the “mire” in such a way.  How can it be?  How did I not see any trace of that life when I met them?  Unlike the after-glow I spoke of earlier, there is no sign of their former life- no dragging grave clothes to give their prior sins away.  Only the mark of Christ on them that drops the mouth, widens the eyes and forces us to see the miraculous resurrection power of God.

In John 11, when Martha heard that Jesus was coming to their home, she went out to meet Him.  She said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:21-22)

Is that the attitude that we have with Jesus?  No matter what situation we find another in, whether a family member, a student or a stranger, do we still say to Jesus, “Even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

When Mary and Martha lost Lazarus they were feeling hopeless.  At that time, they were not seeing it as an opportunity for God to receive glory.  Their hearts were broken and their worries for the future were real.  Martha said she believed Jesus could do anything.  She even said she believed He was “the Christ, the Son of God” but when Jesus asked for the stone to be rolled away, she immediately objected because of the humiliating stench that would besiege all who were there.

Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” (John 11:39)

Do we come across situations that we feel like would even be too hard for Jesus to “fix.”  Are there times when you brush your palms together and say, “There’s nothing to be done.”  That just may be the time when Jesus resurrects a life; a life that has been dead so long, the stench is at the point of unbearable until…

“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)

Let’s Witness the Glory of God Together,

 Brice

Brice Maddock

COO, Teen Challenge Southeast

 

 

Gung Ho Friend!

The Chinese used the term gōng hé to describe Marines in China around the 1900’s.  In the Chinese language gōng hé, roughly means “work together.” That’s what the “American Marines” were always doing, “working together,” the Chinese explained.  Gung Ho was introduced as a training slogan in 1942 by U.S. Marine Officer Evans F. Carlson which means “unthinkingly enthusiastic and eager, especially about taking part in fighting or Soldiers_chargingwarfare.” Gung-ho people have a “can do attitude.” They are positive, they want to win and they are unthinkingly enthusiastic and eager about their jobs. You see this in how they interact with others (good customer service), you see it in how effectively they resolve interpersonal conflict and you see it in how they work productively with others. To have a Gung-ho working environment or to live a Gung-ho life we need to be driven by our values and know that our work is worthwhile .

Worthwhile Work

In Teen Challenge we are fighting a war – a war for souls. C.T. Studd said “some people want to live within the sound of chapel bells, but I want to run a rescue mission within a yard from hell.” We are the Frontline Leaders who are running a mission a yard from the gates of hell – “putting hope within reach of every addict.”  We have to understand how our work fits into the big picture of things. We are a part of something much bigger than us – individuals, families and communities are transformed by the work we do. Our work matters and everything we do is relative to our mission and core values.

Driven by our Values

Our values are the real boss because they drive our behavior. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michel Angelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say “here lived astreet-sweeper-and-colorful-bu-1254722 great street sweeper who did his job well.” In everything we do we must have Integrity – “living and working with excellence.” We have to go the second mile. The principle of the second mile is found in Matt 5:41 “and whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two.” The Jews were required by law to carry the Roman soldiers pack/burden one mile. But here Jesus tells them to go with the soldier a second mile. The second mile is the character mile – to enthusiastically do more than is required or expected. The first mile they did because they had to, but the second mile they did because they wanted to. The first mile was the trial mile but the second mile was the smile mile. The second mile is where we win!

Jesus went the second mile for us, let’s go the second mile “to offer life-transformation to individuals through Christ-centered programs.” Gung-ho Friends!

Submitted by: Brice Maddock – Chief Operating Office (TCSE)

WHAT COACHING HAS DONE FOR ME

Angela Hastings

“Nothing is more appropriate than getting excited when God does something in our lives.” ~ Beth Moore

I find it interesting that the last time I posted on my blog was in August. But I don’t find it coincidental. I won’t even blame it on the busyness. It has to do with the fact that God has been doing a major revamping in my life and in my heart. Most of you know that in August, I started life coach training. Part of that training was meeting with one of our instructors for personal coaching. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of Christian life coaching, it’s helping someone discover what God is doing in their lives and helping them to cooperate with Him. What I realized personally, was coaching provided the optimal environment for change. I don’t think we ever really even talked about the big thing that I wanted/needed to change in my life more than once. But over the course of six sessions in 4 months, God changed my heart and my attitude about the thing that was giving me the most trouble. Having an open door to deep, meaningful, intentional conversation and relationship, without the fear of being judged, with the freedom to make mistakes, and with the accountability to take action on what God is telling me to do made a HUGE impact on my life.

You know how scientists tell us that the earth is exactly the right distance from the Sun, and it’s at the exact right tilt so that there can be be life on earth? The conditions are perfect, even though right now some of you would beg to differ because your weather is a little inclement. But ultimately we thrive because of our environment. Coaching is like that perfect environment for thriving. Even now God is giving me a reminder of the sweet babies in Romania that were left all alone in their cribs and failed to thrive. It’s because they lacked relationships. It’s because they didn’t have the love and support they needed to grow. Now, I know that meaningful relationships are not limited to the field of coaching, but I also know that in our chaotic, busy lives, we rarely take the time, energy, and effort to get real and to let others get real.

People, God is at work; He is speaking to us. But if we don’t wake up and do something about it, we are going to miss out. We are not intended to walk through this life alone. And we definitely do not grow best on our own. We are meant to share life together. We are meant to challenge one another. We are meant to confess our faults to one another and to say “This is where I’m really struggling. Please pray for me; I want to change.” We are meant to take what God is saying to us and do something about it. There’s nothing magical about coaching. But it forced me to ask the questions:

What is God doing in my life?
What is God saying to me?
And what am I going to do about it?

And then,  I did it! No, God did it! God did something in my life. And He wants to do something in yours also.

Written by Angela Hastings (ELP REP Hosanna House TC, Jacksonville, FL) 

 lovingjesusmore.blogspot.com

Freedom Costs a Price

Richard Henry Lee oilA Leader who sets a Nation Free

Great Leaders set others free. On June 7th 1775, Richard Henry Lee of Virgina presented a resolution for the united colonies to be free from British rule. “Let it be resolved that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved “http://www.military.com/independence-day/history-of-independence-day.html. Lee’s words set the flywheels turning for a series of events that led to the drafting of a formal Declaration of Independence and on July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England – an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on July 4th, also known as Independence Day, Americans celebrate this historic event.  These few words and a series of action, set in motion that which would change the history of this great nation and its people forever. Last week we celebrating over 200 years of independence, but it took one leader who considered the welfare of the people above his; one leader who sought the good of the people and acted to bring about change. Freedom cost a price, oftentimes not to the one who enjoys its, but to the one who gave his life for it. Thank you to our forefathers who paved the way for our independence.

A Leader who sets Addicts Free

Another great leader got his call in 1958 to go and help those boys in New York City. Davida_David_Wilkerson Wilkerson was a 26 year-old Pentecostal preacher from Pennsylvania who answered the call to go to New York. After a series of encounters with God first, and then with addicts and gang members, the Teen Challenge ministry was started.  David had a clear vision for the addict “they could begin life all over again, with the fresh and innocent personalities of newborn children.” This time they would grow up in an environment surrounded by love. “A house where these new kids could come – a really nice house where they are welcomed and loved, the door would always be open; there would always be lots and lots of beds, clothes to wear and a great big kitchen for meals.” Today, there are over 1200 Teen Challenge homes like this in 102 countries of the world. It all started with one leader leaving his family in Pennsylvania to go and help those boys. In Teen Challenge, being set free is no small task. Our students walk in with years and years of lies, generational curses, hurts and other issues embedded deep into their hearts and minds. They enter as slaves – trapped in a dead-end life of sin. A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. They enter Teen Challenge where Jesus steps in and break their chains of sin and shame and cover them with grace; He reaches out a hand to save and set them free. He transforms slaves into sons, who have an established position in the house (the Kingdom) and who can run around it with glee. Teen Challenge is where life-transformation happens – people encounter God and are born again into a new life. We are establishing sons and daughters to enjoy their freedom in Christ – serving the Lord with gladness. No more legalism and religion, they have experienced Love which motivates them to freely give to the One who paid the price for them.

A Greater Leader who sets the World Free

Over 2000 years ago another great leader, in an expression of love for people, gave a Jesus 10155746_678591885530960_857185614685534700_nmost precious gift – His Son who stood in our place to set us free. “This is how much God loved the world; He gave His Son, His one and only Son.” Why? “So that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life; those who trust in Him is acquitted.” (John 3:16-18, TM).  He gives us new desires and a new heart altogether that would want to follow Him. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.(John 8:34-38, TM). Jesus says “if you stick with this, living out what I tell you, then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you” (John 8:31-32, TM). This truth is the Word of God which expels darkness and help us to walk in the Light.  To walk in the Light means to be free from darkness. The ultimate sacrifice for your life was paid by one man who gave His life – Jesus Christ.

As a leader, what are you willing to sacrifice so that others are set free and experience New Beginnings?

“Hope lives here. Freedom is found here. Changed lives leave here.”

– Don Wilkerson (Teen Challenge)

 

 

Enrich Culture – Freedom to love and trust one another

A healthy culture is a safe place where people can identify who they are and why they are here. Spring is here and so too is the pollen that comes with it. As the trees start to bloomMan blowing his nose in canola field and the pollen gets airborne, people begin coughing, sneezing, scratching the throat, and rubbing the eyes. Lots of people have terrible allergies and infections during this season and some literally have to stay indoors to avoid the elements of the outdoors. They become sick and weakened because the environment is unhealthy.  So too it is when we are in a spiritually unsafe environment, we get spiritual allergies. Spiritual allergies prevent us from becoming spiritually mature. The environment exudes un-forgiveness, bitterness towards God and others, mistrust, dis-unity and emotions could explode at any moment.

Danny Silk describes the freedom we feel in an opposite culture where people are free to love and trust one another: “A safe place is where the fear of misused freedom doesn’t get to rise up and intimidate us out of risking trust and love in our relationships with one 101_0751another. The essence of love is safety and connection. In Isaiah God says “The mountains and the hills will be removed, but My kindness shall never leave, you nor shall My covenant of peace with you ever be removed.” In other words God is saying “I want you to be completely sure of My attitude towards you…My kindness and My covenant of peace will never be taken away.” This security allow us to be free everywhere we go. The Hebrew word Shalom means safe, well, happy, friendly; health, prosperity, and peace. Our covenant with God is a safe place. The power in this reality is that we as human beings blossom in safety. This is why shalom also means “health” and “wholeness.”His covenant brings peace, happiness, safety, health and wholeness, and it will never be taken from us. When God shows up, His presence is a safe place. When the Lord shows up, His atmosphere is charged with peace.”

“The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health, yet it is ignored by most leaders even though it is simple, free, and available to anyone who wants it” ~   Patrick Lencioni

ELP Summit 2013!

Emerging Leaders Program 2013 Summit

It’s that time of year again for our  ELP Summit! Our theme for the summit this year is “The DNA of Leadership.” We will be focusing on preserving the amazing heritage that our ministry has as well as ensuring that our future continues to carry the organization forward with the original DNA that we began with. We are trusting God to do some amazing things at the summit this year!

Dates: April 25-27

 

Check out our ELP Summit page for more information about the event!

Responsibility- To Self

Let’s recap, so far our acronym “Responsibility“:

(Click here to read the other articles in the Series)

Recruit
Equip and Train
Spirit-filled
Praying
Optimistic
Next Generation Leaders
who lead Self well

As you know, the Level I curriculum focuses heavily on self-leadership because we believe we lead ourselves first before we seek to lead others.  In this edition, I will draw heavily onHabitudes 1 “The Art of Self-Leadership” by Dr. Tim Elmore. Elmore says “leaders realize they are drivers – and are responsible for their attitudes and destination in life.” Being a driver is about taking responsibility for yourself and those under your care – taking ownership. “Individuals who don’t want to take responsibility have a victim mind-set; they are passengers in life.” However, when things go wrong, leaders are determined to remain drivers by taking responsibility for their attitudes, how they respond to problems and the direction of their lives.

Driving Pic

The role of the Rep is to coach the emerging leader to lead themselves well. Our student leaders are prone to fall short because they are not coached on how to manage themselves well. They have not developed the character to do what’s right even if they don’t feel like it, they are not secured in their identity in Christ and, in the busyness of life and work, our Core Values are not assessed against decisions.  As Reps, let us look for those coaching openings/opportunities to help our emerging leaders grow.  Identify those gaps in character, help them set SMART goals and execute plans which will move them from making excuses and default patterns to taking responsibility for their lives.

Blessings, Andree