An Insight Into Leading.  

Posted by Artimus Jones

I have been in one leadership position or another for the past ten years at least. You would think with that kind of track record I would be good at it by now, but I am really not. In many ways I don't think leadership is just a list of rules that if followed will result in some grandiose end result. I think it takes time, it requires trust and a life "lived above reproach", which basically means if you were to pick it apart it would hold up to the scruitiny, and it takes patience. I'm not sure I really fit most of those qualifications. Heck, most of our presidential canditates couldn't fit those. So what am I doing in this position of leadership. I am hear because I believe God has lead me here.

I am leading a small group right now on Prayer, or more specifically what happens when God's people pray. This is an interesting study for me to lead on a few counts. First, while I am a definite believer in the power of prayer and that God answers prayer always, I am not really good at it. I pray on my own plenty, but I am not good at listening. I often pray just for my needs and find it dificult to remember to pray for others (don't worry, I do pray for you all, its just a task for me to remember). Secondly, I am not actually leading this study in a traditional sense. This is the first DVD lead study I have ever lead, which is actually a contradition. I guess we will say this is the first DVD study I have ever facillitated... Hosted... take your pick. As a result of this I have found myself being taught and convicted in ways I haven't been for a long time because I am allowing God to take over.

The interesting thing is that is exactly what this study is about. Not only should we pray, but God will lead us and guide us when we take the time to seek him out. And to do so regularly. So I have been doing that. I sat down the other day to pray about a situation that was really weighing down my heart. Honestly my first response was to go to a friend and find an answer, but when I did that God twisted my gut a bit and reminded me I should go to Him first. So I apologized to my friend and went to God. In my praying God got to the root of the problem very quickly. He dug up painful issues in my heart that I thought I had dealt with long ago but had merely burried. God then lead me to my next course of action, and while I have yet to follow though (I confess I am a little scared) I have felt a new peace in my heart over the last few days simply because I know God is here.

This note might seem like it has less to do with leading and more to do with following Gods will and being sensitive to that. I, however, feel like that is exactly what leading is about. Leading is about following a better leader. In a sense I am not really a leader at all, just a mouthpiece for God, at least thats what I hope I am.


A once and maybe again blogger.  

Posted by Artimus Jones

I jumped on the blog band wagon several years ago. I loved the idea of sharing my heart with the world, or at least those who cared to know what was going on in my life. It was a wonderful way to put my heart on paper (digital paper that is) and I did so regularly. Until it became popular to do so. Soon everyone started blogging. Then I stopped.

I would like to tell you that I stopped as a way of bucking the system. To stand and fight conformity. In fact I often will adopt new ideas and innovations early just to be different than the mainstream and then move on to the next thing when the mainstream gets to close. I don't want to be accused of being lost in the crowd. However in this instance I just plain stopped writing. At first I was writing regularly. I made profound insights into life and sprituality. I plumbed the depths of my soul with vigor. But as time went on I stopped investigating the inner sanctums of my heart with such fervor and regularity. It became difficult to find light cheery insights when I was facing so many dark corners and dusty floors. Soon I stopped writing altogether save the occasional insight that I didn't so much find as stumble upon. It was just easier.

I rationalized my lack of writing by saying I was getting busier and didn't have time to write. Or I would convince myself that no one was really interested in my writings (which I think was partly true anyway). But the full reality was I did have the time if I wanted it, I just had to make the time. And it doesn't really matter if people wanted to read my proclaimations of truth and the human condition because the whole purpose of writing to begin with was to investigate and make sense of my own life if for no other purpose then to grow myself. I only posted publicly in the off chance that I might be able to help someone else through their journey while I went through mine.

So whats the point I am trying to make? Simply this.

No good thing, and I mean truely good, meanful thing, comes without work. Work gives value to the result and meaning to our lives. Would it be nice if work wasn't so hard? Sure it would, but I don't think nice is what we are after. I think we are all after meaning and value. God has given us all purpose in this life and we can't begin to fulfill that purpose without investing some effort. So I want to encourage you, if you are reading this, to really invest in your purpose if you know it or into discovering your purpose if you don't yet know it. I might not jump back into blogging with the same regularily as I once did (but then again I might, its hard to say) but I will keep working to evaluate my place in this life and more importantly in Gods kingdom and through that process hope to better myself. And along the way I will share my gained insights when appropriate in the off chance it will help someone. Just to reiterate this one last time, evaluate where you are right now, start there at least, and then begin to work with fervor to move ahead. Paul admonished us to evaluate ourselves regularly. Do it up.