During this period of time from now to November 2020, we in the USA will be looking carefully for the qualities we seek in a good leader… wanting to elect a great leader … someone worthy of following.
Our Ideas & Biblical Principles
I asked Bob this morning, “If you had to name just seven qualities you think are essential for effective leaders, what would they be?”
His answers didn’t totally match the Biblical principles that prompted this blog title, but some were right on. I was reading 1 Timothy 3:1-3 during my devotional time up in my angel room this morning. This is what it said:
“… If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach… temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”
An overseer is one who sees over his followers. A supervisor, head, manager, head honcho! And s/he must lead with qualities worthy of emulation.
Interdependence (not someone who thinks s/he can do it all alone)
The Bible went on to say in 1 Timothy 3:6-7 (The parenthesis are my additions):
“He must not be a recent convert (in other words, s/he needs experience in his/her area of leadership), or he may become conceited… He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace…”
If the leader’s reputation is tarnished, it is like handing his/her followers a handful of worms. They just come crawling out…
1 Timothy 3:8-10 says,
“Deacons, likewise, are to be [persons] of respect, sincere… and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.”
Being a deacon is often considered synonymous with being an “elder.” In the Catholic church, it is a position below that of priest. In the protestant church, an elder is part of the ruling or decision-making body. A deacon is a part of a group of leaders elected to reach out in service to the congregation and the community at large. All religions have “deacons” whose job it is to be the hands and feet of God – serving those in need. Deacons are respected leaders whose job it is to serve those who count on them.
Your Ideas & Mine
So have you come up with your own list of seven qualities a good leader needs? Will you let those qualities guide your decision when you vote in your next election?
Before you read on, make your own list. What are the seven qualities you deem most important in an effective leader?
These are the ones I gleaned from my study of the third chapter of 1 Timothy:
competent (gained from applicable experience)
wise (wisdom borne of Godly counsel, intelligence and study)
mature (mentally and spiritually solid)
gentle (compassionate & not quarrelsome)
self-controlled (exhibiting peace and unity)
respectable (leading a life worthy of emulation)
generous (always giving his/her best to/for followers)
May we each live a life That is worthy of emulation – A life that is an open book.
Tell me, what are the qualities that are on your list for great leaders? See ya tomorrow.
Proverbs is a wonderful book of wisdom. Have you read it clear through? I read one chapter in it everyday. It has 31 chapters. This month I’ll read three chapters on the 29th. We don’t have a 30 or 31 in February! Then on March 1st I will start over again, but with a different translation. I find the various translations help me gather new and deeper meanings.
Today’s chapter 27 verse 19 is a perfect example of the way different translations can add different nuances:
The Message paraphrased version by Eugene Peterson
“Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart.”
The NIV (New International Version)
“As water reflects a face, so man’s heart reflects the man.”
KJV King James Version
“As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.”
Each of those passages refers to the way a person’s heart reflects to that person (and maybe to others) who that person really is. Right? But, when I went to the CS Lewis Bibleparaphrased, I found this translation:
“Just as water reflects the face, so one human heart reflects another.”
To me that CS Lewis version says it is not just a matter of looking at the way our heart reflects to ourselves who we really are … and can be seen in our facial expressions… but it also says our “heart-scape” influences how we see others.
We see others through our own heart content and our own heart lenses. We may be blind to who they really are, like this girl on a branch is blind to her own reflection. We often don’t see ourselves as others see us. And we don’t see others as they intend to be seen.
Does your face mirror your heart? Or are there cracks in the space between your heart mirror and your face?
Do you see others through a lens of love, or is your heart-scape distorting what you see?
How Do I See Thee and Me?
Do I see thee through a clear lens, a pure heart, a heart of love and compassion?
Ask yourself: Do I see Me the same way? Do I see myself as God sees me? His redeemed, forgiven, beloved child? Am I gentle with myself? Am I open and positive? Do I see the positivity in others?
I see thee dearly. I see me clearly. We are not merely clones; we are beloved, unique children of God.
I love you! Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Have a blessed day!
“Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to the taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
Proverbs 24: 13-14
That honey jar on the right with the bees and hearts was given to us 8 years ago for our 50th wedding anniversary from Bob’s beekeeper nephew and his wife. Bryan Beekman is a California beekeeper with about 10,000 beehives. His wife, Michelle, has the “Honey Hut” on their property in Clovis.
No, I have not kept that honey for 8 years!! (But, I could have if I wanted to… honey never spoils unless you add water to it! They found good, edible honey in King Tut’s tomb!)
A jar like that only last a few weeks in our house before it has to be refilled. We pour from it into the honey bear. It’s easier to pour out of the bear. I keep both of those containers in the cabinet to the right of the stove. A warm spot is best for storing honey. Never refrigerate it!! When the jar is empty, we refill it from a 5 gallon jug that we keep in the warm room downstairs.
Look carefully at the jar. The letters almost are all washed off. It used to say, “Happy 50th, Bob & Jan.” I need to take it back to Michelle to have it repainted one of these trip to California! But would that be like restoring an antique? Would it lose some of its value?
Honey as a Gift
Because Bob’s a retired beekeeper, folks often give us honey as a gift when they return from their travels. This jar was a gift from a friend in Maryland. Notice the label says, “100% Pure Raw Varietal Honey.” That’s important! You want to know from which flowers the bees gathered their nectar. Honey has flavors as distinct as wines or berries or the smell of various flowers. Pure orange honey has the taste of the smell of the orange blossoms. I love it!
Describing Honey Flavors
However, some honey label writers get carried away, just as some folks who describe the flavors of wine do on their labels. I don’t often taste the earth or the tobacco in a glass of wine. And I can’t taste “vanilla-marshmallowy goodness” in this Pacific Northwest honey. However, I believe them when they say it’s pure and raw.
Preserving Honey’s Attributes
Pure means it hasn’t been mixed with other stuff… and raw means it hasn’t been heated above a certain temperature. Heating honey too much (like boiling it on the stove or in the microwave) kills many, if not all, of its healthy qualities.
If you love honey as we do, remember to bee wise in the way you select and buy it, and remember to bee wise in the way you store and preserve it. And remember to use it as a substitute for sugar as often as you can. It’s better for you – and it takes less honey to taste the sweetness than sugar. Also, honey is the browning agent in waffles or bread.
I wrote this post back in February of 2012 as a new blogger. I decided today would be a good day to revive and update it, because it is as pertinent today (maybe even more pertinent) as it was eight years ago!
Work at Loving!
Like you, I want to be more kind, more loving, more at peace. In giving, we receive. Kindness is reciprocal. Peace of mind is a gift to those who live in the fullness of LOVE. But, in a world full of hate and devisiveness, illnesses like depression and the current Corona Virus, we have to work at loving and finding peace!
Very few of us have the privilege of finding a spot like this one where we can sit quietly at the top of a peaceful place and just breathe the clear air slowly.
Where can we find peace in the midst of our bustling real world?
Work to Find Time to Know Him
I schedule TIME each morning to be with the Holy Spirit. In my quiet meditation time that morning back in 2012, I stumbled upon 2Peter 1:2-7. The question that starts that scripture caught my heart. “Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace?”
I was reading the Living Bible, paraphrased – a large print copy that used to belong to my father-in-law. Gratefully, I inherited it when he passed on to his eternal home. This passage was underlined. Grandpa Beekman had double-underlined the next sentence, “Then learn to know Him better and better.”
Meditation and Study Time
My sanctuary time each morning is all aboutgetting to know Him better, and listening for His still small voice. As I study God’s Word, and get to know Him better, there are many benefits. The rest of this passage spells them out – and I easily connected the idea of “increased faith” with the reality of “increased love.” But there is a long pathway that leads to increased love (which equates to more of God’s kindness and peace). It takes plain old good, hard work!
2Peter 1:3 “For as you know Him better, He will give you, through His great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: He even shares His own glory and His own goodness with us!”
Study to Know His Goodness and His Promises
I have added the capitals to “His.” The Bible doesn’t capitalize it. For me, the word requires a capital case letter when the him/his is not just any old him or his, but the One HIM, our Lord and Savior, God. So, when I share in His glory and goodness, it is special indeed! The scripture doesn’t stop there, though.
2Peter 1, Verse 4- “And by that same mighty power, He has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings He promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us His own character.”
Wow! What a promise!! How can I attain such blessings? Some would say it is totally by His grace. I don’t have to DO anything. Just because I BELIEVE I am His “chosen,” I will receive all these blessings. Well, not according to 2Peter 1: 5-7. Read on!
Work at Increased Faith
“BUT, to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what He wants you to do.”
(That’s always a trick to discern what He wants me to do!)
With Patience, Put Aside Your Own Desires
“Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have His way with you.”
I am reminded of my oldest grandson, Mikey. He’s now 28, but when he was barely able to pull himself up by his mother’s apron strings and stand knee-high next to her, he would tug on that apron as she warmed his bottle in hot water on the stove. Sure he was starving to death, he would cry, “Paaaay-shuns! Paaaay-shuns!”
(Ah yes, we long for paaay-shuns even as we are barely able to verbalize a sentence!)
Walk the Path to Grow in the Capacity to Love
“This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply.”
Grow to love. Grow in faith. Work at it.
Take the path that has “exercise stops” along the way.
Exercise your goodness first – the goodness Christ has given you.
Then stop to exercise wisdom – the knowledge we gain as we study God’s Word and practice being more and more like Christ.
Next, exercise selflessness and self-control, the fruits that the Holy Spirit has planted in you.
Practice patience and gentleness.
Your next stop on the exercise trail is labeled “Gratitude.” It is there that you learn to be grateful for the gifts you have been given while you focus on the gifts in others.
Put On Your Jesus Glasses
When you put on your Jesus glasses, you see the goodness, compassion, and faithfulness of others as God sees them. When you put on your Jesus glasses and appreciate all that is unique and wonderful about others, you see them as God’s creations. You have exercised enough now to love them.
Love Takes Effort!
Love is a gift worth working for. Thank God, He has freely loved us long before we knew how to love Him back. But now we do! We are getting to know God better and better. Praise the Lord!
The Bottom Line
Yes, the bottom line is the key:
Love One Another.
What will you do today to demonstrate your love for others? Tell me about it!
When the great Sufi mystic and poet Jalal-ud-Din Rumi died at sunset in Konya, southern Turkey, on December 17, 1273, he had composed over 3,500 odes, 2,000 quatrains, and a vast spiritual epic called the Mathnawai. Now with A Year of Rumi from acclaimed Rumi scholar Andrew Harvey, you will receive a hand-selected poem from this incredible visionary’s life work every day for the next year – that’s 365 poems from the 13th century.
Increasingly, Rumi is being recognized as the unique spiritual genius he is, as someone who is fused at the highest level and with the greatest possible intensity the intellect of a Plato, the vision, passion and soul-force of a Christ or Buddha, and the extraordinary literary gifts of a Shakespeare. Rumi is, not only the world’s greatest mystical poet, but also an essential guide to the new planetary spiritual renaissance that is slowly emerging from the ruins of our civilization. He speaks to us from the depths of our own sacred identity, and what he says has the electric eloquence of our innermost truth. No other poet or philosopher has Rumi’s almost frightening intimacy of address, and has conveyed the terror, rapture and wonder of awakening to Divine Love with such fearless and gorgeous courage, such humility and such unflinching clarity. “The daily poems have become a routine part of my morning, and they always seem to resonate with difficulties that I am currently facing. That means that each morning, I am given a few minutes to just consider the meaning behind my choices, the value behind what I care about, and ways to better love those closest to me. These few minutes have become a centering time of self-actualization.”You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.
One of the world’s foremost Rumi interpreters, Andrew Harvey began a life-long exploration and explication of Rumi and Sufi mysticism in Paris in 1984, with a group of French Sufis and under the guidance of Eva De Vitray-Meyerovitch, the magnificent translator of Rumi into French. This collection of versions of Rumi by Andrew Harvey contains some of the master’s most luminous verse, along with some of his lesser-read poems, with the aim of presenting a balanced view of his teaching that includes both the high-flying love of God and the rigorous path of discipline essential for those who seek it.
“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”
“Whatever lifts the corners of your mouth, trust that.”
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
“Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.”
“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.”
“In the blackest of your moments, wait with no fear.”
“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.”
“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there.” Actual course participants share their experiences
“I just started my year of Rumi and it is one of the best gifts I could ever give myself!”
“Rumi brings me closer to God than I have ever been. I feel as though Rumi lives within me and I, him. I hope to find through this course that Rumi can help me let go and let God.”
“Rumi is the truth. The whole world it is in danger – how we can change that only by love? To love each other and not by words, but by actions. Love is the universal law. We live in world with no boundaries, no walls and no control. We are free and do not want to be controlled.”
“Have you not spent hours gazing at the night sky under a spiraling Milky Way in utter joy? Rumi must have done that. His oneness with All is everywhere explicit in this work.”
“Rumi messages are very spiritual and deep, sometimes it takes me a few days to get the real meaning, but the process is what is about to open up and seek deep within you.”
“Rumi has the ability to always connect with the Almighty, as if in tune.”
“I have found that every time I read a Rumi poem it immediately resonates within my soul, my spirit. I use to be in quest for the perfect Rumi poem; however, I have found that each are so loving and beautiful that they are expanding inside of me. The more I take them in the more they grow and the deeper the feelings of these gems go inside my soul, my spirit. There is a personal journey commencing for me and I find that there are few words to adequately explain what I am feeling but that of the feeling of joy.”
“I enjoy receiving the daily translations in my inbox, it delights my soul to relish in all that is Rumi. I have a greater appreciation for the simple pleasures of life because of his poetry. He inspires me to create not from the mind, but to feel and think with the soul.” About Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey is an internationally renowned religious scholar, writer, and teacher, and the author of over 30 books, including the critically acclaimed Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi, as well as The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism, Journey to Ladakh, The Return of the Mother, Son of Man, and The Direct Path: Creating a Journey to the Divine Using the World’s Mystical Traditions. He is also coauthor of the best-selling The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. His work has been honored with the Benjamin Franklin Award and the Mind Body Spirit Award (both for Mary’s Vineyard: Daily Readings, Meditations, and Revelations, with photographs by Eryk Hanut), and the Christmas Humphries Award for A Journey in Ladakh. Born in south India in 1952, Harvey studied at Oxford University and became a Fellow of All Soul’s College in 1973. He is Founding Director of the Institute for Sacred Activism.
This article inspired me to look more deeply into this 13th century genius. My blogging. Writers’ Group friend, Lilie Allen (@ WordPress Tea, Toast and Kindness) often quotes him. I think this 365 page book of selected writings by Rumi sounds promising.
I found this “Japanese Wisdom” on Facebook. People had commented about it and clicked their “likes” and “loves” and “sad” … and that one person who was “sad” was probably the one who wrote an irate comment denouncing the title.
Oh my, how sad that someone would see this and be incensed that the Japanese took ownership! Hey, I don’t care who thought it up first, I just love it. And I think it is more than true: “If you don’t know, shut up!”
There is no reason to be offended by something as clever and universal as this. Just embrace it!
I am headed to have breakfast and go to church. I will pray for that caustic person who was offended to have a peace-filled day. “If it’s not nice, don’t say or write it!”
We are a divided country. The words “they” and “them” are heard more frequently today than ever before in my 80 years of life.
What is causing this? And what can we do about it? Here is one man’s suggestion. I think it is so true.
Right on! It’s as true in China (where the Corona virus is rampant, and citizens are bravely speaking out against a government that acted slowly on the knowledge of the virus), as it is in the USA where election rhetoric is hateful and divisive.
So how do we begin to “fight for each other?”
From his prison cell in Rome, Paul wrote to the people of Colosse. He had visited there before his imprisonment. His letter to them in the book of Colossians was written to encourage them, just as we, the people of this divided world, need encouragement today.
Colossians 2: 1-3 “I want you to know how much I am struggling for you… and for all those who have not met me personally. My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart, and united in love, so they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the world rather than on Christ.”
Colossians 3:12-14 “Therefore… clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive what ever grievances you may have against one another… And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Yes, the Bible has words of wisdom, words of advise for ALL in times of trouble. We need only open its pages to find scripture that directs our paths toward the unity we all seek. In Colossians, Paul tells us to put on:
… and in so doing, we will find the peace of Christ living in our hearts. We are members of one body. We are ONE. We need to know that without a doubt and act accordingly.
Don’t let hateful rhetoric divide our oneness into the “they-them” and “we-us” mentality!
God has blessed my life With a circle of true friends. Some are close enough to hug, Others are scattered to earth’s ends. . Regardless of their physical proximity, My true friends are always with me. When we reach out to each other, Their love stretches out to gift me. .
Some soul sisters I have known briefly,
Others are friends a decade or more,
And a few treasured true friends
I’ve known since I was young and poor.
Some are older, wise, and vibrant,
Some are family living far away,
Some are neighbors, always near and supportive,
Some are my buddies who join me in play.
Some are families who make life special –
Some are in-laws who keep in touch –
Some are couples who invite us over –
All are a part of me… and I love them so much!
Kuan Tao-Sheng as quoted in Theodor Reik’s book, Of Love and Lust:
“Take a lump of clay,
Wet it, pat it,
Make a statue of you
and a statue of me.
Then shatter them, clatter them,
Add some water,
And break them and mold them
Into a statue of you and me.
Then in mine, there are bits of you,
And in you there are bits of me.
Nothing shall ever keep us apart.”
God has blest my soul
With true friends who make me whole.
I carry bits of them where e’re I go.
They round me out so I can roll.
I roll with the punches life flings,
I weather the storms life brings;
I reach out to friends, and they to me.
So no matter the trouble, my heart sings.
Thank You, God, for life’s true friends.
Thank You for God’s Holy Spirit, too.
He is the friend who’s with me always.
I pray that He’s a True Friend to you.
God bless you, my dear blogging friend!
Thank you for being a friend who visits and comments.
Your participation in my blog means
the world to me!