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B. Kevin Smalls

 

Several years ago, I accompanied my son to his new high school’s orientation and the principal began his speech with what he called non-negotiables.  One was, fighting.  The other was cheating and I don’t remember the rest of them.  I kind of like that concept.  I’ve been comforted lately by listing what my non-negotiables are as a leader and a pastor.  Here they are.

1. From time to time I would hear that “we are not being heard.”  I will listen to anyone but I will not accommodate negative, disruptive and problematic attitudes. There is a difference.

2. I will not make room for prejudice, judgementalism and religious elitism.  

3. I will not apologize for aggressively reaching those seeking shelter from the cold walk without God.  They are the priority for all of US.

4. I will not allow abuse to me or my family.  I will confront…

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In the ABC hit show Scandal Jeff Perry  plays the role of Cyrus Beene.  Cyrus is the White House chief of staff who is famousImage for his rants and raves.  The stress level that he endures as President Grant’s right hand person is already extremely high but in Cyrus’ attempt to make sure that everything  goes just right he often blows a gasket.  (http://abc.go.com/shows/scandal/blogs/scandal-sheet/cyrus-beene-best-rants). The culmination of this stress, intense desire to succeed, work a holic  syndrome, micro managing details and managing President Grant’s relationships was a heart attack.

As we look at Cyrus Beene and realize that he is a fictional character whose rants and raves are over the top, the reality is many of us readily recognize glimpses of our own behavior and related stress in the life of Cyrus.  We have all experienced  times where dealing with co-workers can be annoying, dealing with children can provoke you to lose your temper, and when you have been working toward a big event  you can be exacerbated to the point of giving up when other team mates are not pulling their weight.  Life events including graduating, getting married, getting divorced, moving, and many other life events can cause stress in our lives.

“Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.  (The Mayo Clinic)”

I just do not see this as the life God has designed for us.

Paul teaches us in Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NRSV)

The life events that would stress us need to be taken to God in prayer if we want to experience peace. We are encouraged to give thanks for the nuisances, disappointments and annoyances that could cause debilitating stress.  We need to seek God’s wisdom and voice for guidance when we are not sure what to do next.

Next time you see someone stressing and going overboard in expressing their frustration simply say “Don’t go all Cyrus on me” or “Don’t worry about this, God’s got this

Full Article by The Barna Group

The 10 statements used to assess self-righteousness (like the Pharisees), included the following research items:

Self-Righteous Actions:

  • I tell others the most important thing in my life is following God’s rules.
  • I don’t talk about my sins or struggles. That’s between me and God.
  • I try to avoid spending time with people who are openly gay or lesbian.
  • I like to point out those who do not have the right theology or doctrine.
  • I prefer to serve people who attend my church rather than those outside the church.

Self-Righteous Attitudes:

  • I find it hard to be friends with people who seem to constantly do the wrong things.
  • It’s not my responsibility to help people who won’t help themselves.
  • I feel grateful to be a Christian when I see other people’s failures and flaws.
  • I believe we should stand against those who are opposed to Christian values.
  • People who follow God’s rules are better than those who do not.

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Barna Group
April 30, 2013

For immediate release July 6, 2013

____________________________________________________________
CHRIS DEMBECK APPOINTED AS NEW CAMPUS PASTOR AT WEST BALTIMORE UMC/INFINITE GRACE PARISH

Mr. Christopher Dembeck. has been appointed as a campus pastor for the West Baltimore United Methodist Church and Infinite Grace United Methodist Church by resident Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. Christopher Dembeck began his duties at West Baltimore July 1. The church is located at 5130 Greenwich in Baltimore, on the city’s historic “40 West” corridor.

Mr. Dembeck, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, was formerly a technical recruiter for various technical and non-technical growing companies within the Baltimore Washington Corridor and assisted them in finding and hiring top IT talent in the region.

Chris has been attending and volunteering at Catonsville United Methodist Church for several years in different roles including: High School Sunday School teacher, Stephen Minister, and Contemporary Worship leader.  Just this year Chris has been confirmed as a Certified Candidate for Ordained Ministry by the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

Chris is married to Laura Dembeck, and they have one daughter, Ava and one son, Samuel.  Chris earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Marketing concentration from Towson University.  He will be starting Seminary full-time in the Fall at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C.

The Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church is comprised of 694 congregations with nearly 200,000 members. It is the home of Methodism in America, with the founding of the denomination at Lovely Lane Chapel in 1784.

By Scott Williams

I love taking morsels of wisdom, as well as life and leadership lessons from stories like Florida Gulf Coast. Below are 7 Leadership Lessons From Cinderella Darling Florida Gulf Coast. Florida Gulf Coast v San Diego State

  • 1. Give Me A Chance
  • 2. Have Fun
  • 3. Seize The Moment
  • 4. Believe In Your Team
  • 5. Be Aggressive
  • 6. Love What You Do
  • 7. Success Leads To Success

What do you think? What leadership lessons have you learned? What do you think the ending will be to this Cinderella Season

Click here to read the entire article by Scott Williams

This article challenges you to be the change you want to see in the world. http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/03/what_will_you_create_to_make_t.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

How will the church respond to addressing the wealth inequity in America?  Poverty continues to grow, the middle class continues to shrink and the wealthy are not being challenged to moral accountability with their wealth.  10% from the top 1% of the wealthy we could significantly reverse the trend of poor education that is the root of our mass incarceration epidemic.

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