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The Cherubim: Throne Guardians of God

Now, since you’re paying attention, you’ll remember that the divine rebel in Eden, the nachash of Genesis 3, was called a guardian cherub in Ezekiel 28. As we just showed you, nachash and saraph, the singular form of seraphim, are interchangeable terms. But if the rebel in Eden was one of the seraphim, how could he also be one of the cherubim?

Good question. Cherubim are mentioned more frequently in the Old Testament than the seraphim. They are usually referenced in descriptions of the mercy seat on top of the Ark of the Testimony or carved decorations in the Temple built by Solomon. The exceptions are the cherubim who guard the entrance to Eden and the four cherubim Ezekiel saw in his famous “wheel within a wheel” vision by the Chebar canal.

The modern image of cherubim has been shaped by artists in the Middle Ages—cute, chubby little boys with dinky wings who filled up the empty space in religious paintings. Nothing could be further from the biblical and archaeological truth. Cherubim are seriously bad dudes you do not want to mess with. For more, see Josh Peck’s book Cherubim Chariots.

The cherubim of the mercy seat are usually shown as a matched pair of plainly recognizable angels perched on top of the ark with their outstretched wings touching in the middle. The Bible doesn’t describe these cherubim, telling us only that they have wings and faces. Why? Apparently, everybody in the 15th century B.C. was familiar with what a cherub looked like, and they knew it was right and proper for them to serve as Yahweh’s throne-bearers. You see, God appeared to men above the mercy seat “enthroned on the cherubim.”  (See Numbers 7:89; 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2: Psalms 80:1 and 99:1; and Isaiah 37:16.)

But the cherubim that Ezekiel saw looked like something from a nightmare:

…this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze.

Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went.

As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle.

Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went.

As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.

Ezekiel 1:5-14 (ESV), emphasis added

While these living creatures aren’t identified as cherubim in these verses, they are specifically called cherubim in Ezekiel 10.

So how do we read this? These creatures sound nothing like the shining serpentine seraphim. What’s even more confusing is the description Ezekiel gives of another type of angelic being, the ophanim—the wheels that UFO hunters love to call spacecraft. They seem to be related somehow to the cherubim:

And I looked, and behold, there were four wheels beside the cherubim, one beside each cherub, and the appearance of the wheels was like sparkling beryl. And as for their appearance, the four had the same likeness, as if a wheel were within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went, but in whatever direction the front wheel faced, the others followed without turning as they went. And their whole body, their rims, and their spokes, their wings, and the wheels were full of eyes all around—the wheels that the four of them had. As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing “the whirling wheels.”

And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was a human face, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

Ezekiel 10:9-14 (ESV), emphasis added

Wait—the ophanim had the face of a cherub and the face of a human? What’s the difference? Why a cherub instead of an ox for the fourth face? Is there some connection between the cherub and the ox?

Well… maybe. The word cherub probably comes from the Akkadian karibu (the “ch” should be a hard “k” sound, although we English speakers don’t usually say it that way). It means “intercessor” or “one who prays.” The karibu were usually portrayed as winged bulls with human faces, and huge statues of the karibu were set up as divine guardians at the entrances of palaces and temples. This is like the role of the cherubim placed “at the east of the garden of Eden… to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24, ESV)

This is speculation, but the divine rebel in Eden, the anointed guardian cherub, might have protected the tree of life once upon a time.

Cherubim were the gold standard for guarding royalty in the ancient Near East. In Assyria they were called lamassu, and the Akkadians called them shedu. They were sometimes depicted as winged lions rather than bulls and they were often incorporated into the thrones of kings.

So the function of the biblical cherubim, guarding the tree of life and carrying the throne of God, was entirely consistent with what the neighbors of the Israelites knew about these beings. Based on archaeological finds in the Levant (modern-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel), the cherub was probably more like a winged sphinx than a humanoid with wings.

In other words, the presence of the cherubim in the Bible wasn’t something the Hebrew prophets just made up. The cherubim were known by different names by the other cultures of the ancient Near East, but they served a similar role in all of them. The cherubim were supernatural bodyguards for the throne of Yahweh, and their imagery was appropriated by earthly kings. A bit of hubris, no doubt encouraged as a PSYOP by the Enemy. Remember, “you shall be as gods.”

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The consequences of the rebellion in Eden were immediate and harsh:

The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” […]

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”

[T]herefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Genesis 3:14-15, 22-24 (ESV)

For centuries, well-meaning Christians have pointed to Genesis 3:14 as the moment in history when snakes lost their legs. That misses the mark entirely by desupernaturalizing the story. God didn’t amputate the legs of snakes; He was describing the punishment the nachash would suffer in figurative language. Even casual observers of the animal kingdom know that snakes don’t eat dust.

What happened was this:  The nachash was cast down from the peak of the supernatural realm, “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” to become lord of the dead.

What a comedown! Isaiah 14 makes a lot more sense when you keep a supernatural worldview in mind:

Sheol beneath is stirred up
to meet you when you come;
it rouses the shades to greet you,
all who were leaders of the earth;
it raises from their thrones
all who were kings of the nations.

All of them will answer
and say to you:
‘You too have become as weak as we!
You have become like us!

Isaiah 14:9-10 (ESV)

Remember these verses because we’ll come back to them later in this series. The “shades” referenced by Isaiah are the Rephaim (root word rapha), a mysterious group mentioned several times in the Old Testament. The Rephaim weren’t an invention of the Hebrews, either. They were well known to their neighbors. We’ll examine them more closely a forthcoming article in this series.

For Adam and Eve, the banishment affected the two of them and all their descendants through the present day. Instead of living with God as members of His council, we humans have struggled for millennia to make sense of a world that often seems to make no sense. The memory of our brief time in the garden of God has echoed down the centuries, and it may be the source of our belief that mountains are somehow special, reserved for the gods.

Here’s the main takeaway of this article:  Eden was a lush, well-watered garden “on the holy mountain of God,” which was where Yahweh presided over His divine council. The council included the first humans. They walked and talked with the supernatural “sons of God” who, based on clues scattered throughout the Bible, were beautiful, radiant beings. At least some of them were serpentine in appearance.

The long war between Yahweh and the sons of God who rebelled is not just about control of the spirit realm, it’s also about whether humanity will be restored to its rightful place in the seat of the gods—among the divine council on the Holy Mountain of God.

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Derek Gilbert Bio

Derek P. Gilbert hosts SkyWatchTV, a Christian television program that airs on several national networks, the long-running interview podcast A View from the Bunker, and co-hosts SciFriday, a weekly television program that analyzes science news with his wife, author Sharon K. Gilbert.
Before joining SkyWatchTV in 2015, his secular broadcasting career spanned more than 25 years with stops at radio stations in Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Little Rock, and suburban Chicago.
Derek is a Christian, a husband and a father. He’s been a regular speaker at Bible prophecy conferences in recent years. Derek’s most recent book is The Great Inception: Satan’s PSYOPs from Eden to Armageddon. He has also published the novels The God Conspiracy and Iron Dragons, and he’s a contributing author to the nonfiction anthologies God’s Ghostbusters, Blood on the Altar, I Predict: What 12 Global Experts Believe You Will See by 2025, and When Once We Were a Nation.

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WIVES do you “REALLY” Respect Your Husband?

2 Corinthians 13:5
For self-examination, observation and
transformation, not condemnation.

1. Do you speak to your husband in a condescending “put down”
manner? For example:
A. “What’s the matter with you?”
B. “Anybody could have done better than you did.”
C. “My Dad would have never done that.”
D. “Can you do anything right?”
E. “What you just said is ridiculous!”
F. “You old fool!”
G. “You’re too slow, I’ll do it myself.”
(It’s better to live in a desert land, than with a contentious and vexing
woman (Proverbs 21:19).
2. Do you treat your husband in private as respectfully as you do your
pastor, your neighbor, or your friends in public? Honor all men, love
the brotherhood, fear God, honor the King (I Peter 2:17).
3. Does your countenance show disrespect by angry looks, looks of
disgust, crossed arms, rolling of the eyes, etc.? Then the Lord said to
Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen
(Genesis 4:6)?
4. Do you compare your husband unfavorably with other men? For I
have learned to be content in whatever state I am (Phil. 4:11).
5. Do you respect your husband’s requests by trying to do as he asks, even
if it doesn’t seem important to you? For in this way in former times, the
holy women also who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, being
submissive to their own husbands (I Peter 3:5).
6. Do you listen carefully to your husband’s opinions, trying to
understand him? Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to
take offense and get angry (James 1:19).
RESPECTING YOUR HUSBAND
(Page Two)
7. Do you inappropriately contradict your husband in front of others?
She does him good and not evil all the days of her life (Proverbs 31:12).
8. Do you bring up your husband’s shortcomings to others? Her husband
is known in the gates (Proverbs 31:23).
9. Do you try to intimidate or bully your husband by making threats,
verbally attacking him or in some other way manipulating him to
have your way? The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears
it down with her own hands (Proverbs 14:1).
10. Are you obeying God by being respectful to your husband? Let the wife
see to it that she respects her husband (Ephesians 5:33).
“Final Thoughts”
 Respecting your husband is not an option if you are going to be in the
will of God, where God’s blessings will pursue you and overtake you
(Deut. 28:1-2).
 You may be smarter, wiser, or more gifted than your husband, but you
must still respect him and the position God has given to him.
 If your husband is not a Christian, he is still to be respected because of
his position (I Corinthians 11:3, I Peter 3:1-2).
 If you are disrespectful to your husband, your children will likely
acquire the same attitude. It will be much more difficult for them to
honor their father if you are belittling him and speaking to him in a
harsh, sarcastic tone of voice.

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Pastors Jesse and Brenda McNeil are Assistant Pastors at Word Alive Ministries, Inc. in Lakeland, Florida. They are committed marriage and family pastors, advisors, and teachers, offering premarital preparation, personal advisory, post marital advisory, and wedding services to any-one who desires. Pastor Jesse is also the author of the very influential book, “Powerful Principles for Choosing a Marriage Partner.” The McNeils have been married for more than 42 years and have worked together as a dynamic, unified ministry team for over 36 years. You are sure to be blessed and in-spired by their awesome ministry.
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How to Double Your Prayer Power!

The power of prayer has changed the world many times! The Bible has countless examples of men and women who seek God on their face and on their knees and entire nations would crumble or be restored. Prayer is mankind’s expressed way to reach up to God. The children of Israel time and time again when they disobeyed God and strayed away from serving him always found his arms open when they humbled themselves and sought his face and prayed!

Have you ever prayed about something and it seemed that God is nowhere to be found? Does it appear that your prayers sometimes have NO Power at all? It is very easy to assume that all prayers are equal and each of us have the same connection with God, however you and I both know that this is not true. Some people pray for healing and it is done others pray for miracles and they are done and sometimes demonic oppression and possession is cast completely out from someones word/prayer of faith! Why do some people have great power when they pray and others do not? Why are some prayers answered and others are not? Some of this has to do with faith. Some has to do with obedience. Some has to do with intent. Some has to with knowledge. And some of this has to do with relationships! There are many reasons prayers go unanswered and some would say the answer could be NO but when we pray according to God’s Word the outcome is always fairly certain.

Today we are going to focus on one simple way to double your prayer power. Now let’s qualify this. This is for married couples. Married couples at the time of their union become one flesh according to God. The two shall come together and become one. When God says that we become “One” he takes this very seriously. From that moment on we enter into a new relationship with him. He looks at us as a unit or you could say a team of two,  one team called Family. When a husband and wife are at odds with one another, fighting with one another, criticizing each other, and looking for pleasures outside their marriage, God cannot bless their every action or request. Sure God hears you and will answer your cry for help or intercession for another but without oneness and unity in your marriage, which is sin, your prayers will hit a brick wall.

Think about this. If you and your wife make a whole, then when you are divided you are half of what God put together. You are not nearly as powerful in prayer as when you have wholeness in your marriage.

Dear friends, if you have a breakdown anywhere with your wife, if communication is strained or if you have a stagnant marriage your prayer life is suffering and thus your life is suffering. It is your responsibility to make it right, no matter how hard this may be.

Do you want to double your prayer power? Then include your wife and above all be sure that you have given NO place for the devil to reside in your marriage.

Pray together everyday and the enemy will flee and the walls will come down. Guaranteed!!

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Pastor Paul Pickern is married to his wife Linda. They have 5 children (Tony, Stephanie, Dale, Seth, Schyler) and 11 grand children. Their home is in Plant City, Florida between Tampa and Orlando. Paul was born in Belleville, Illinois and Linda was born in Charleston, West Virginia.

Experience
Paul is the Founder and CEO of All Pro Pastors Ministry, a ministry that encourages and challenges Pastors to join together as Kingdom Brothers to develop trust, accountability and unity. It is a ministry that strengthens Pastors marriages, families, and ministries by establishing “Champions Table’s”. The “Champions Table” is a safe place where Pastors can meet together and develop genuine relationships.

Paul’s wife Linda is a vital part of the ministry too. She minister’s to pastor wives and hosts a website/blog called “Women R Champions“. The many women in ministry throughout the world are connected thru this women directed ministry.

Paul speaks to 1000’s of pastors in Conferences, Lunches, Ministerial Meetings, Radio, and website conferencing about the challenges they face and how to face these challenges. The first “Champions Table” started April 2007 in Plant City Florida and can now be found in many countries as Pastors are connecting in great numbers throughout the world. Many Tables started forming in 2012 in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania by Pastors who caught the vision!

Paul comes from a deep heritage of several generations of Pastors. He has been a Christian since October 1959 and has been a student of the Bible since then. He spoke his first words to a church at the age of 3 years. Learning God’s Word was a way of life. Pastor Paul started singing and speaking at many meetings through the 60’s and 70’s in multiple denominations. He was the featured soloist from 1971-72 on the Television show “The Way”. He has written several plays, and the study guide series The Agape’ Lifestyle. He has had numerous magazine articles published.

Paul felt the call on his life at a very early age. He never had a desire to become a Pastor only to obey God whom he was called by and instructed.

Paul living as a Pastor’s son, serving as a Staff Pastor, and also counseling many Pastors gave him the experience to understand completely the needs in Pastors and their families. God instructed him specifically that he was to serve Pastors and help them from being deceived and destroyed by the world and the enemy. The vision for All Pro Pastors came to Pastor Paul in 2003 to reach ALL Pastors, Bishops, Evangelists and Ministers throughout the world. Paul has been in a “Champions Table” since November 2005. In January 2009 All Pro Pastors and Champion Tables were introduced publicly in Tampa, Florida and today hundreds of Tables and thousands of Pastors are connected worldwide. These “Tables” are saving marriages, ministries and lives!

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HOW TO INCREASE TITHES & OFFERINGS Without Passing the Plate Agaiiiiinnn?

 

Have you considered asking your congregation to support Christian businesses in your church or in your neighborhood?  And should you ???

 

Some Pastors and Christians, in general act as though doing business with other Christians is somehow not that important.  That may be why we don’t see many business directories in churches.  (Synagogues have them, wonder why?) Some think that being a “good steward” of God’s money is just getting the cheapest price.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

SPENDING MONEY IN GOD’S KINGDOM – As we spend God’s money (and it’s all His) it will go into a business person’s bank account to be spent as he or she sees fit.  A Christian who is a giver will, after tithes and offerings, spend this money to purchase goods and services from other Christian businesses who in turn will spend their income with even more Christian businesses, etc., etc., etc..   This activity will keep as much as possible in the Kingdom of God.  Plus the added benefit is — that true Christian businessmen/women will look for opportunities to minister & pray for their customers, even leading some to the Lord. These business people will go into places where Pastors may never be invited.  They are evangelists for the church!

 

SPENDING MONEY IN THE WORLD – The other option is to not have any knowledge or concern and just spend the money without investigating where it may go next.  An unbeliever will not be tithing or giving into your church or into the Kingdom of God. He or she will be giving into the Kingdom of Darkness and what I call the “Black Hole of Unrighteousness”.  Spending money in this way will be circulated most likely into the wrong place, thereby building & multiplying the wrong Kingdom!!

Will the unbeliever be praying for any of their customers?

Will they be proclaiming the gospel?  

Will they be inviting them to your church or any church for that matter?

I don’t think so !!!!

 

You might say – “well if I only spend money with Christian businesses wouldn’t that be discrimination against non-Christians?  Sounds wrong, doesn’t it!  But look at what the word of God says –

So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially (be a blessing) to those of the household of faith(”born again believers”) Galatians 6:10 AMP.

If, however, God does tell you to spend His money with an unbeliever, then you are free to do so.  It may be an opportunity to witness. But in other situations, all things being equal spend it with a believer.  

 

The next question for the Pastor might be “Should I be recommending businesses to my congregation?  What if a business I recommend does something wrong?  I don’t want the blowback!”  Pastors, don’t operate out of “fear” that something will go wrong.  Fear can cripple you, your church and the Kingdom from growth.  We must do all we can to promote & build the Kingdom of God.  

 

Now I’m not saying to promote businesses where the owner doesn’t give to your church or into the Kingdom of God.  This needs to be verified. A Christian business person that doesn’t tithe or give generously needs some serious counseling. At IBR we teach & verify (when necessary) giving so that our customers can be confident that when they hire one of our businesses God’s money will go back into His Kingdom.

 

You need to know who the businesses are in your churches and in the community that are true believers and supporters of the Kingdom of God.  You know people are going to ask you to recommend someone.  They probably already have!  If you don’t know, then your congregation will be relying on the yellow pages, the internet or maybe their unsaved friends to tell them.  

There goes God’s money down that Black Hole again.  I know you don’t want that!  

 

Get to know those Christian businesses in your own church and in the community.

Visit their businesses.  Offer to pray for them.  Encourage them.  Businessmen & women need to know you care.

 

We recently asked this question in one of our “IBR” business networking meetings –  “how many of you have ever had your Pastor visit your business and pray for it”.  Out of 25 people in attendance, “One hand went up.”  Pastor, your business people need you.  We all need you.  Get out, just go love on them.  The results just might amaze you.   If they prosper, your church will prosper!  That is just the way it works.

 

“Now also we beseech you, brethren, get to know those who labor among you (recognize them for what they are, acknowledge and appreciate and respect them all –your leaders who are over you in the Lord and those who warn and kindly reprove and exhort you). (Yes these could be business people)  I Thessalonians 5:11-13 AMPC

 

If you need help in identifying the Christian businesses in your area and there is an “Integrity Business Referrals” or other good Christian Business group nearby, call them.  IBR members are already vetted.  They have to be “born again”, givers in their churches & operate a business with integrity.  If customers have a problem they can call IBR or the group that referred the business.  We are committed to excellence and making things right even if it costs us.

 

Father, I pray in the mighty name of Jesus that every Pastor that reads this, if he/she hasn’t already done so, will get out into the community especially to visit their own business people and bless them, speak into their lives and pray for them.  The results will be phenomenal!  

AMEN!

 

King David needed his pastor (prophet) for vision & instruction

His pastor(prophet) needed David for provision & protection .

 

We are in this together!       

 

Lew Frye, Founder

Integrity Business Referrals, Inc.

7922 Sioux Ln.

Lakeland, Fl 33810

863-521-3360   intbusref@gmail.com   www.ibr77.com

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Lew Frye, Founder
Lew, a native of Portsmouth, VA is a graduate of East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, and TN. and now resides in Lakeland, FL.

Lew worked for 7 years in the commercial mortgage banking and direct mortgage lending business with large insurance companies & mortgage bankers.

As a State Certified General Contractor since 1978, Lew has completed hundreds of building projects, ranging from single family homes, to light commercial including churches. Lew has also completed hundreds of inspections for insurance companies.

Lew & his wife, Marleen, married over 50 years, were both “born again” in 1979 with strong encounters with God. Joined Carpenter’s Home Church, Lakeland, FL in 1985 with Pastor Karl Strader. Now attends Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida with Pastor Stephen Strader.

In 2010, Lew founded “Integrity Business Referrals, Inc.” and “Integritybusinessreferrals.com”, a business networking organization for Christians in the marketplace. Currently with 40 business members, representing 29 different churches, this premier networking organization is expanding with a 2nd chapter in Plant City, FL

Lew and Marleen’s hearts have always been to impact the community with the gospel of “Jesus Christ” & Kingdom principles in the marketplace. You can find out more at www.IBR77.com or email Lew at intbusref@gmail.com

Integrity Business Referrals, Inc.
7922 Sioux Ln.
Lakeland, Fl 33810
863-521-3360 intbusref@gmail.com
IBR77.COM
Kingdom principles in the marketplace

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Grow Your Church Spiritually, Numerically, and Financially

Here is a hard-core truth: “Healthy things grow. God has woven this principle into the very fabric of creation. The converse of this is true as well. When a living thing becomes unhealthy, growth stops and even reverses. Ask any farmer or gardener.” –Robert Morris, Pastor of 20,000+ member church

 

Here are a few facts for your consideration: According to the Barna Group, roughly 60 percent of the Protestant churches in the United States have fewer than 100 members and a full 98 percent have fewer than 1,000. In other words, small churches are the rule, not the exception. These numbers reveal the failure of our churches to effectively reach out into their communities.

 

Join the “2% Club”!

 

No matter the size of your church, I want to help you reach and break the 1,000-member mark so you can enter into the top 2% Club. I have spent the past fifteen years of my ministry in the trenches teaching and coaching Senior Pastors how to exponentially grow their churches spiritually, numerically, and financially. Over the years, I can’t even count how many times I have heard pastors say, “I can’t take it anymore! I know I need help, but I desperately want something more than just another good speaker or church growth program. I think I need some leadership coaching.”

 

I know firsthand what it’s like to hit what seem to be invisible walls of growth at the 150, 300, 500, 800, and 1,000 marks. The first church I pastored in a tiny town called Trillacoochee, Florida, faced these same challenges. However, a very successful megachurch pastor coached me on how to break those “perceived” barriers. The result—my church grew larger than the community in which it was located. For the past fifteen years I have helped many pastors break these barriers.

 

Crisis among Senior Pastors

 

Why do so many ministries stagnate, marriages fail, strange doctrines appear, sinful behaviors become commonplace, and leaders quit? Why are so many pastors and ministry leaders overwhelmed, burned out, frustrated, and contemplating quitting? I believe there is a very simple yet profound answer: because they have not been properly developed and trained with the leadership intelligence (LQ) necessary to grow a thriving church.

 

LQ Deficiencies—We Should have Seen it Coming

 

We should have seen the tragedy of September 11, 2001, coming. We had warnings; the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the Kenyan Embassy, the U.S.S. Cole, etc. We can say the same thing about the tragedies we have witnessed in ministry. The following statistics about pastors have been available from pollster George Barna for years:

  • 1,800 pastors leave the ministry every month
  • 40% will not be in the ministry in 10 years
  • 15% contemplate leaving the ministry every Monday morning
  • 65% would leave their position for a similar paying position
  • 50% feel unable to meet the needs of the job
  • 80% believe that pastoral ministry has adversely affected their families
  • 40% will have an extramarital affair during their career
  • 70% say they have lower self-esteem than when they started in ministry
  • 89% say they do not have the gift of leadership

 

As America’s #1 Confidence Coach, I have provided more than fifteen years of consulting, vision facilitation, and strategic planning to Senior Pastors. I have also trained over 335,000 church leaders in conferences, workshops, and Bible schools throughout the world. I know that these statistics can be turned around. There are many faithful and committed pastors and church leaders worldwide who need to know that they are not alone—there is help.

 

For years, pastors and ministry leaders have been asking:

  • How can I gain significant ground, sustain vigorous and healthy growth, and be uniquely able to accomplish all that God has given me—and survive?
  • How can I get to the point where I’m not dealing with my ministry alone?
  • How can I stop living my life at full bore before I burn out and forget who I really am?
  • How can I feel once again close to my first love, Christ?
  • Where do I go from here? I am frustrated, overwhelmed, and weary. Life seems like a cycle of endless work.
  • How can I remain strong and maintain my health, enthusiasm, zeal, supernatural love, and compassion for people?
  • How can I have confidence that I can say someday before the Lord, “I have finished the work that You gave me to do”?

 

My own personal research and the research of other successful consultants reveal that these questions stem from FIVE universal leadership deficiencies:

  1. Lack of Direction – Most pastors lack the clarity and proper structure needed to build a successful church and to leave a legacy. Result: Unfulfilled ministry dreams.
  2. Wrong Work Ethic – Because most pastors are operating out of their leadership position, they get so caught up doing the menial tasks of ministry that they do not have time to practice the two most important principles to growing their churches. Result: Church membership stagnates, morale decreases, and finances dry up.
  3. Lack of Time Management Skills – Most pastors, due to hyper-business, tend to fly by the seat of their pants and are unorganized. Result: Leader stagnates, lives with an unprotected anointing, and with a lack of intimacy with God and family. Result: Quality people leave the church, leader experiences burnout.
  4. Crisis and Change Management Skills – Most pastors have so much needless crisis and chaos going on around them. Rather than facing the facts, they avoid them, at great cost. Result: Leader becomes delusional; major ministry opportunities are missed and major mistakes are made.
  5. Lack of disciples being made through Leadership Development – Most pastors do not lead or properly disciple, coach, teach, train, or mentor those God has entrusted to them. Result: Lack of qualified and strong leaders to carry the load. We have been busy developing professional church goers instead of strong leaders needed to carry the load.

 

What Caused the Tragedy?

 

The principal reason for the dysfunction that manifests in frustration and eventually quitting the ministry is that leaders have never learned the following:

  • The wisdom to achieve all of God’s mandates while maintaining the quality of life He prescribes.
  • The understanding and practical application how to properly structure and build a ministry organization.
  • The methods, systems, strategic planning, and processes required and how to execute them.
  • The practical tools that must be worked versus falling for the clever slogans, sayings, steps, ideals, and theories that don’t work.
  • The skills that must be practiced so that the art of execution is passed down.

 

Pastors and ministry leaders have said to me repeatedly, “I’ve read all the church growth books, John Maxwell’s leadership books, have gone to conferences, and have listened to all the CDs. Can you please show me how to do this?” Most Senior Pastors have never been taught and trained in the foundational principals, personal development processes, and behavioral performance proficiencies of building a successful and efficiently functioning church. All they have been taught is “Preach the Bible, worship God, pray, stay positive, build a big building and they will come.” This philosophy worked in the “authoritarian autocratic one-man -show” leadership style of the ’80s, ’90s, and the beginning of the 21st century.

 

“My [Senior Pastors] are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6, paraphrased).

 

However, times have changed, the culture has drastically changed, and the problems we face are more complex. Without a doubt, leading a church in the 21st century demands a higher level of leadership intelligence (LQ) than at any other time in the history of the world. The old models of leadership are obsolete. Now, leadership is less about titles, positions, or how good you can preach—and more about influence and impact.

 

Learn how I built a bigger church attendance than my cities population—and you can too! FREE for Senior Pastors, my new book called The LQ Solution- Influence, Impact, and Increase. Simply click this link: http://ow.ly/6kCo30bwCEV

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Biography of Keith Johnson, America’s #1 Confidence Coach

Keith Johnson is known as one of the premier speakers on the subjects of Christian leadership, confidence building, and strategic planning. For the past 16 years, his messages, books, and leadership coaching has helped some of the largest and most prestigious churches in the world to experience spiritual, numerical, and financial growth.

Keith’s journey to becoming recognized by other leaders as America’s #1 Confidence Coach did not start out well. He failed kindergarten; and by the time he was in 5th grade, he could barely read and write and almost failed again

His parents divorced, and his father became an alcoholic, drug addict, and joined a motorcycle club called Satan’s Escorts. His own father introduced him to drugs at the young age of 13; and by 16, his father taught him how to sell drugs for a living. His mother married an alcoholic who was very abusive to the entire family.

Keith experienced a radical encounter with Jesus Christ when he was 22 years of age. He was instantly set free from alcoholism, drugs, and a promiscuous lifestyle.

Keith’s biblically based success and leadership principles have now influenced both the church and secular markets. His newest book, The Confidence Solution—Reinvent Yourself, Explode Your Business, Skyrocket Your Income became a best seller by reaching #21 in Amazon’s motivation and business category. He is a frequent television guest appearing on popular shows and stations such as New York’s PIX 11, Fox Business News, The Tom Sullivan Show, CBS, ABC, and many others. He has been recognized by Women’s World magazine as one of America’s “Ultimate Experts,” which is the most read women’s magazine in the world.

Keith Johnson, PhD, is a dedicated lifelong learner. He earned a Master’s of Christian Leadership and a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology from Christian Life University. He is the founder of Destiny College International, an accredited college specializing in graduate training for pastors and business leaders. He is a certified speaker, trainer, and coach for the John Maxwell team.

Dr. Johnson was jobless at the age of 35, with no money, no perceived opportunities, no influential relationships to help him—and 40 pounds overweight. He had absolutely no confidence for a better future!

Then he discovered the proven biblical strategies for success that changed his life forever. In less than three years he was earning a six-figure income, working for himself, living in the house of his dreams, and traveling around the world.

Today, he has trained over 147,000 Christian leaders, he travels worldwide in response to invitations, and he is the author of five books that share his success secrets.

Read more about Dr. Keith’s Story Here!

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Pastor Wives!!!!

Do you wear many “HATS” as a Pastor’s Wife?

The roles in which we carry are much like all other wives, mothers and business women; however, because of the “Church Family” it becomes overwhelming at times.

Join others that are in the same boat as you for some friendly support not found anywhere else.

We can relate to what it’s like to be in a glass cage-on the Pedestal!

This is a safe place for transparency, trust honesty with others in the same place as you.

A place where you can have restoration, be refilled and refreshed!

This safe place that I am talking about is what we “Women R Champions” call a “Champion Table”.

The “Table” is uniting with 3 or 4 other women who are either Pastor Wives, Female Ministers, or active women in ministry that have similar issues dealing with their role within the Church family.

God knows your Real name

When you married a pastor, your name changed.

You are now called “Pastor’s Wife”.

You are Special!

Paul and I are just in AWE of how God is working through the “Champions Tables” whereas allowing these men called Pastor’s to get down, get real, be transparent with each other, and have someone who understands what it’s like having to deal with a “Pastor’s Wife”!

These men are realizing they aren’t the only one going through certain problems such as “My wife QUIT yesterday-said she is tired of my bossing her around, forgetting she is my WIFE.”

YOU ARE SPECIAL!

God knows who you really are!

Champion Table” husbands are FINALLY REALIZING HOW SPECIAL AND IMPORTANT the woman they married IS TO THEM!

As these “Tables” have grown and been active for many years, we have seen God’s hand working on the marriage and families of the dedicated pastors who are actively take part.

The results of changed Men WHO HAPPEN TO BE PASTOR’S is becoming more evident at each event of All Pro Pastors, when wives testify of how the Lord is performing miracles with the Holy Spirit taking hold of their families.

We are in this journey together

Paul and I are so honored that God is using us as a vehicle to be there for you and your husbands. Every day we are blessed with your wonderful testimonies of HIS GRACE!

I am ecstatic with the excitement of so many precious wives who are desiring to form relationships with each other, much like the “Pastor Tables”.

Ladies, our world is in trouble.

As women, we have the potential to change the world: starting at home,

By LOVING ONE ANOTHER—-the church will see our LOVE IN CHRIST—-how to go out into the world with that LOVE—-what matters most……………………………

 

Paul and I pray for you every day, if you have a special prayer request please send it to me at WRCprayer@ALLPROPASTORS.ORG   I promise YOUR REQUEST will be lifted up to the LORD!

 

My Love to you in Jesus Name,

Linda Pickern

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Linda Pickern Founded “Women R Champions” after several years working with husband Paul with All Pro Pastors. The need that Pastor Wives and women who serve in ministry shared was for a safe place to come and unload. Woman R Champions is a closed community group within Facebook that is open by invitation. This helps to keep it private.
Linda has worked in business and been a part of several denominations for over 50 years.
Originally from West Virginia, she still has lots of family there. As a mother and grandmother as well as married to a pastor she has many life experiences to draw upon!
Linda is a faithful prayer warrior for the women and their husbands she serves.
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Radical Sabatical

Calgon, take me away! When do I get a break? How can I get away to be refreshed? I can’t take weekends off! I tell my friends why I don’t own a boat…because I work every weekend. My ministerial life revolves around Wednesday and Sunday. I don’t work a regular 8 to 5 job, Monday through Friday. My TGIF is thank God I’m forgiven.

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. Luke 8:22. Jesus recognized the fact that he needed to get away. He and his disciples needed a short break from the throngs of people. He said, “Hey, let’s take a break, let’s get away. Dr. Vance Havner was quoted to have said, “Pastors, if you don’t come apart, you will fall apart”. We all need some time of respite and relaxation. We all need time to get refocused and revived.

The story goes the rookie tree feller cut down more trees than anybody on his first day on the job. He arrived early and stayed late chopping down trees. He even worked through his lunch hour while everyone else was resting in the shade. When Friday came, he was called in and fired. He was indignant and angry over this news, Why he asked? His supervisor stated, “Do you know what the rest of the crew was doing on their lunch hour while you were chopping down trees? No, he replied. They were sitting in the shade, eating their lunch, resting their arms and sharpening their axes. When is the last time you sharpened you axe? Not all week, I’ve been too bust cutting down trees. Pastor, don’t become so busy oiling the machine, you forget to take time to find rest for yourself. Your congregation needs you to be as sharp as you can.

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Pastor Fred Harrold has served as a Pastor for over 25 years. He serves today as a Co-Pastor at One Accord Church in Plant City Florida. He and wife Cindy have been happily married for over 30 years. He is know as a great expositor and teacher.
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Rebel on the Mountain of Eden!

The long war between God and the lesser gods who rebelled began on a mountain, and it will end on a mountain.

First things first: The rebel gods are real. That’s not something you’re likely to hear in church. Not only have we been taught that the pagan deities of the ancient world were imaginary, most American Christians today don’t even believe in Satan or the Holy Spirit.

That’s not an exaggeration. The Barna Group found in a 2009 survey of American Christians that only about one in three believes Satan is real and not just a concept. Likewise, nearly 60% of American Christians said they didn’t believe the Holy Spirit is living entity. So it’s not surprising that when we think of Baal, Asherah, Moloch, Dagon, Chemosh, Marduk, and the rest of the pagan pantheon mentioned in the Bible (if we think of them at all), we assume they were nothing more than lifeless blocks of wood and stone.

We couldn’t be more wrong.

The true story begins on a mountain: Eden.

But wait, you say. Eden was a garden! Yes, it was. A garden on a mountain.

In Ezekiel 28, God tells the divine rebel from Eden:

You were an anointed guardian cherub.
I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God;
    in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.

Ezekiel 28:14 (ESV), emphasis added

If you read the Old Testament carefully, you’ll notice many references to God’s holy mountain. The prophets knew that the war between the rebellious fallen gods and the Creator was all about who would establish their holy mountain—the “mount of assembly” or “mount of the congregation”—as supreme. The most obvious reference is in Isaiah 14, a section of scripture that scholars generally agree is a parallel to Ezekiel 28:

“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit.

Isaiah 14:12-15 (ESV), emphasis added

Over the course of this special five-week series, we’ll dig deeper into the conflict between God and the rebels and explore the importance of cosmic mountains. We’ll identify key battles in the long war and lay out a prophetic scenario for the final battle of this age.

Above all, we’ll show you a glimpse of this long war in the heavenlies, and where you can find it in the Bible. It’s a conflict that the prophets and apostles knew was real, but over the last two thousand years our churches have teaching us about it. With this war stripped out out of the Bible, we’re left with an incomplete story of God’s plan to save us from the gods who want to kill us and destroy everything we love.

So let’s start at the beginning. What do we know about the enemy? Was it a talking snake?

In a word, no.

So who or what was the serpent? Most of us assume it was Satan, but maybe not. The serpent isn’t named in the book of Genesis. In fact, Satan wasn’t even a personal name in the Old Testament.

Satan means “accuser,” written ha-shaitan in the OT. It’s a title, the satan, so it really means “the accuser.” Think of it as a job title, like prosecuting attorney.

The adversary in the Garden is the nachash, which is the word translated into English as “serpent.” It’s based on an adjective that means bright or brazen, like shiny brass. The noun nachash can mean snake, but it also means “one who practices divination.”

In Hebrew, it’s not uncommon for an adjective to be converted into a noun—the term is “substantivized.” If that’s the case here, nachash could mean “shining one.” And that’s consistent with other descriptions of the satan figure in the Old Testament.

For example, in Isaiah 14, the character called Lucifer in the King James translation, based on the Latin words chosen by Jerome (lux + ferous, meaning “light bringer”), is named in Hebrew Helel ben Shachar—”shining one, son of the dawn.”

Interestingly, Šahar was a Canaanite deity, so a better translation of the verse is “Day Star, son of Dawn.” And that leads to some interesting speculation about the nature and origin of Helel. Were Helel and Šahar two of the fallen gods who rebelled against Yahweh? But I digress.

Now, consider this in Daniel 10:

I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.

Daniel 10:5-6 (ESV), emphasis added

Obviously, “shining one” is a pretty good description of the angel who battled the prince of Persia, another supernatural being, to bring his message to Daniel.

About 900 years before Daniel, when the Israelites started complaining on their way out of Egypt (see Numbers 21:4-9), God sent saraph nachash (“fiery serpents”), to bite them. Saraph is the root word of seraphim, which roughly means “burning ones.” But the key point of these verses in Numbers 21 is that the Hebrew words saraph and nachash are used interchangeably. So rather than “fiery serpents,” the translation should read “saraph serpents”.

Deuteronomy 8:15 praises Yahweh for bringing Israel through “the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents,” reinforcing the interchangeability of saraph and nachash.

Now, if the mental image of flaming snakes isn’t weird enough, the prophet Isaiah twice referred to flying serpents (saraph `uwph, in Isaiah 14:29 and 30:6). And in his famous throne room vision, Isaiah saw:

…the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

Isaiah 6:1-2 (ESV), emphasis added

Again, the root word of seraphim is saraph, the same word translated “serpent” in Numbers and Deuteronomy. In fact, aside from the Isaiah 6 passage above, every single mention of seraphim in the Old Testament refers to serpentine beings!

The flying serpent was a well-known symbol in the ancient Near East, especially in Egypt. It would have been very familiar to the Israelites. The uraeus, a cobra standing on its coil with its hood extended, was a royal symbol of protection used by pharaohs and Nubian kings. Tutankhamun’s death mask is an excellent example; the uraeus’ hood is depicted with six distinct sections that look a lot like wings.

Of course, some scholars cite this as evidence that the Hebrews’ understanding of seraphim was influenced by, or borrowed from, Egyptian cosmology. That’s a common message from skeptics—Israel copied its religion from its neighbors. We’ll deal with that later.

The bottom line is this: What Adam and Eve saw in the Garden wasn’t a talking snake, but a nachash—a radiant, divine entity, and one that very likely had a serpentine appearance.

Next month – The Cherubim: Throne Guardians of God

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Derek Gilbert Bio

Derek P. Gilbert hosts SkyWatchTV, a Christian television program that airs on several national networks, the long-running interview podcast A View from the Bunker, and co-hosts SciFriday, a weekly television program that analyzes science news with his wife, author Sharon K. Gilbert.
Before joining SkyWatchTV in 2015, his secular broadcasting career spanned more than 25 years with stops at radio stations in Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Little Rock, and suburban Chicago.
Derek is a Christian, a husband and a father. He’s been a regular speaker at Bible prophecy conferences in recent years. Derek’s most recent book is The Great Inception: Satan’s PSYOPs from Eden to Armageddon. He has also published the novels The God Conspiracy and Iron Dragons, and he’s a contributing author to the nonfiction anthologies God’s Ghostbusters, Blood on the Altar, I Predict: What 12 Global Experts Believe You Will See by 2025, and When Once We Were a Nation.

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Don’t Waste Your Time!

When Jesus sent the 70 out 2 by 2 he told them that if they were rejected to dust their feet off and leave town. He said to them, “Do not waste your time”! Another time Jesus said, “cast not pearls before swine lest they trample them under their feet”!

As a pastor it is very easy to feel that we have cast pearls before swine and that we have been rejected. The fact is, it is not you that has been rejected but Jesus. The Word of God is sharper than a two edged sword. It is quick to cut asunder the truth from the false and sin from the Holy!

Pastor, our question is “where and how do you invest your time?” If you are trying to convince people, perhaps you should consider the 70. If you are speaking to those who are insolent, hard hearted and religious, consider the swine.

As you are reflecting this week, consider the farmer. The farmer will sow his seed, fertilize the ground, water regularly, pull the weeds, re-plant where nothing has sprouted and ultimately harvest in the end. The farmer is quick to recognize where nothing is growing! He may first add a little fertilizer and try to encourage growth but when he sees that all is to no success, he must re-plant! He must start with new seed.

The farmer knows that if the seed is not growing he is wasting his time. Much like Jesus told the 70, don’t waste your time!

Pastor, if 10-20 percent of your flock is doing all the work and is hungry for Jesus, then consider spending 70-80 percent of your effort discipling and feeding them. Make them strong and healthy. Help their passion grow.

If they are the ones who are bearing fruit, then be sure to fertilize and water them as they grow and mature. Be a good farmer so that they will endure until the harvest.

This is why we say, “Invest in the best”! These are the ones who you can count on to stand strong with you and the Gospel!

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Pastor Paul Pickern is married to his wife Linda. They have 5 children (Tony, Stephanie, Dale, Seth, Schyler) and 11 grand children. Their home is in Plant City, Florida between Tampa and Orlando. Paul was born in Belleville, Illinois and Linda was born in Charleston, West Virginia.

Experience
Paul is the Founder and CEO of All Pro Pastors Ministry, a ministry that encourages and challenges Pastors to join together as Kingdom Brothers to develop trust, accountability and unity. It is a ministry that strengthens Pastors marriages, families, and ministries by establishing “Champions Table’s”. The “Champions Table” is a safe place where Pastors can meet together and develop genuine relationships.

Paul’s wife Linda is a vital part of the ministry too. She minister’s to pastor wives and hosts a website/blog called “Women R Champions“. The many women in ministry throughout the world are connected thru this women directed ministry.

Paul speaks to 1000’s of pastors in Conferences, Lunches, Ministerial Meetings, Radio, and website conferencing about the challenges they face and how to face these challenges. The first “Champions Table” started April 2007 in Plant City Florida and can now be found in many countries as Pastors are connecting in great numbers throughout the world. Many Tables started forming in 2012 in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania by Pastors who caught the vision!

Paul comes from a deep heritage of several generations of Pastors. He has been a Christian since October 1959 and has been a student of the Bible since then. He spoke his first words to a church at the age of 3 years. Learning God’s Word was a way of life. Pastor Paul started singing and speaking at many meetings through the 60’s and 70’s in multiple denominations. He was the featured soloist from 1971-72 on the Television show “The Way”. He has written several plays, and the study guide series The Agape’ Lifestyle. He has had numerous magazine articles published.

Paul felt the call on his life at a very early age. He never had a desire to become a Pastor only to obey God whom he was called by and instructed.

Paul living as a Pastor’s son, serving as a Staff Pastor, and also counseling many Pastors gave him the experience to understand completely the needs in Pastors and their families. God instructed him specifically that he was to serve Pastors and help them from being deceived and destroyed by the world and the enemy. The vision for All Pro Pastors came to Pastor Paul in 2003 to reach ALL Pastors, Bishops, Evangelists and Ministers throughout the world. Paul has been in a “Champions Table” since November 2005. In January 2009 All Pro Pastors and Champion Tables were introduced publicly in Tampa, Florida and today hundreds of Tables and thousands of Pastors are connected worldwide. These “Tables” are saving marriages, ministries and lives!

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Leadership Words!

Leadership Words

Our words can get us into trouble or they can dissolve trouble. How well do you use your words in life as a leader? If you are not sure, just look at the relationships around you. Loving words can be like a warm breath on a lit candle that can easily extinguish a heart simmering with anger. “Please forgive me” can be just as powerful a collection of words as “I Love you with all my heart!”  In this article, we will consider the power of our words as it relates to us as Leaders of the WORD.

My father gave me great advice the day I got married. He said to me, “Son, when you and your wife get into an argument, watch your words. Once you say them, you cannot take them back.” Although I have not always practiced this seasoned piece of wisdom, I do understand the incredible importance of it. As a Leader, we have to stop and consider a few ways we can learn to weigh our words in our heart before they are spoken (or shot) out of our mouth?

In a time of drought, even the smallest bit of water can help a thirsty land. It can also help a drying heart. One of the first ways to weigh our words is to consider if they will be received as a cool glass of water or a mason jar of gas. Like the brittle grass during an absence of rain, is a heart that is hurting. The smallest spark can set it on fire. The words you choose will determine either a blessing or a blaze. Remember in meetings and gatherings, fires are good for roasting marshmallows, not each other.

Another way to weigh our words is to consider what your subordinates expect of you. If you are married, has your spouse ever said “I don’t need your solutions; I just need your sympathy”? Many of us are fixers and when it comes to talking with our spouses and those that work for (or with) us, less is often more. If you are not sure- ASK. This not only determines the content of your words, it also impacts the way you listen. You may even say something like, “How can I best assist you?” Try it next time- you might be surprised at the response.

I remember a poem by H.W. Longfellow that that said, “I shot an arrow into the air, it fell to earth, I knew not where; for, so swiftly it flew, the sight could not follow it in its flight.” A third way we weigh our words is to consider its target. Will the words be encouraging or confronting? Is the point of the words to affirm a good choice or to expose a bad one? Regardless of the arrow, the string that sends it flying should be that of love and respect. When we speak the truth in love (EPH. 4:15), we never have to worry about a stray arrow causing unnecessary injury.

Musician Tommy Shaw stated, “Timing is everything.” If that is true in music, it is also important in our words because all of life is relationships. Our next way to weigh our words comes not from the ticking of the clock as it is the cadence of the conversation. When you are about to say something to someone, especially when it is a heated discussion, ask yourself, “At this time, will he/she hear what I am about to say?” If you are unsure about the importance of timing, please consider the Prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:1-13.

As we close, I want to provide one more way to weigh our words and that is at the foot of the cross. Only when our words are first baptized in the waters of worship to God will we be able to bring a proper sacrifice of speech to the Lord’s altar of healing. Words matter. The Apostle John wrote “In the beginning was the word (Logos), and the Word was with God and the word was God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . .” (John 1:1, 14). When we run our words through the Word, they will always come out with grace and not growl.

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CHAPLAIN (MAJ-ret) DANIEL MIDDLEBROOKS
813-767-2082 (Cell)
chaplainmiddlebrooks@hotmail.com

Personal Story:
Chaplain (MAJ-ret) Daniel Middlebrooks was born in Plant City, Florida on 19 July, 1966. After receiving his AA degree from Hillsborough Community College, he entered the Active Duty on 27 May, 1988 at FT. Jackson, SC and began his career as a 91J- Physical Therapy Technician for three years at Fox Army Hospital, Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL (1988-1991). In November 1988, Daniel surrendered to the call of the ministry and worked toward his BS degree at Athens State College, Athens, Alabama. He left the Active Duty, May 1991 and entered New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the National Guard Chaplain’s Candidate Program. He was endorsed by the Southern Baptist Convention, commissioned as a 2nd LT in January 1992 and served with the HQ STARC until Jan 1994. He completed his MDIV in the summer of 1994 and was commissioned at a 1st LT, January 1994 and transferred to 769th Combat Engineers, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was later transferred to the 2-117 FA in Oneonta, Alabama.
Civilian Ministry Experience:
CH Middlebrooks served at Williams Blvd Baptist church from 1991-1995 as the Minister of Newlyweds, Minister of young Adults, Minister of Family Ministries and Interim Music Minister. He moved to Morgan City, AL and served as the Associate Pastor and New Building Construction Director from OCT 1995-June 1997. He served as the Senior Pastor for Hopewell Baptist Church, Plant City FL from Feb. 2013- March, 2017. He currently serves as the Command Chaplain for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and as the Chaplain for Plant City. His also volunteers as the chaplain of Plant City Fire Department and Hillsborough County School Board-Security Division. He is the President/CEO of R3 Care & Consulting, LLC and Chaplaincy Care, Inc.
Active Duty Chaplaincy/Military Experience:
He entered Active Duty again in June 1997 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He served in the 626 FSB (97-98) and 1/502 IN BN(99-2000); Deputy 280th BSB CH (2000-02) and 1-26 IN , Schweinfurt, Germany (2002-03); 1st Recruiting Brigade as the OIC of the CH Recruiting team (2004-06);and 10th Combat Support Hospital, Fort Carson, CO (2007-10). He last served as the Chaplain’s Career Course Senior Course manager, instructor and developer/writer.
His military Schooling includes Chaplain Officer Basic Leaders Course (93), Chaplain Career Course (2003), USAREC Chaplain Recruiting Certification, CPE (2006), and ILE (2007), and the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School Faculty Development Training/Instructor Certification. CH Middlebrooks has deployed to MFO/Egypt (1999-00), Kosovo (2002), and Iraq (2008-09).
Awards: Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, The Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leave Clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one Silver and four Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal with one Silver and two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with bronze star, GWOT, Humanitarian Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Oversee Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, and MFO Medal. He earned his Air Assault Wings in 1997 and his Recruiter badge with three silver stars in 2006. He was awarded the distinguished Witherspoon Award from the OCCH and National Bible Association in 2010. He is married to the former Arienne Plyler of Brandon, Florida. They have two daughters, Erica (23) and Allison (18). Over the last 29 years of marriage, the Middlebrooks family has moved 19 times and understands what means to “Bloom where God plants you”.

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The Command to “Love and Respect”

The Command to Love and Respect (Ephesians 5:33) “Nevertheless, let everyone of you in particular (speaking to husbands), so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence (respect) her husband.

(1) A husband is to obey the command to love, even if his wife does not obey the command to respect.

(2) A wife is to obey the command to respect, even if her husband does not obey the command to love.

(3) A husband is called to love a disrespectful wife.

(4) A wife is called to respect an unloving husband.

(5) There is no justification for a husband to say: “I will love my wife after she respects me; nor for a wife to say: I will respect my husband after he loves me.”

(6) When a husband feels disrespected, it’s very hard to love his wife.

(7) When a wife feels unloved, it is very hard to respect her husband.

(8) When a husband feels disrespected, he has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife.

(9) When a wife feels unloved, she has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband.

(10) It is very important to understand – When someone reacts toward you, respond to them.

a. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

b. Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Galatians 6:9).

c. Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord (Ephesians 6:8)

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Pastors Jesse and Brenda McNeil are Assistant Pastors at Word Alive Ministries, Inc. in Lakeland, Florida. They are committed marriage and family pastors, advisors, and teachers, offering premarital preparation, personal advisory, post marital advisory, and wedding services to any-one who desires. Pastor Jesse is also the author of the very influential book, “Powerful Principles for Choosing a Marriage Partner.” The McNeils have been married for more than 42 years and have worked together as a dynamic, unified ministry team for over 36 years. You are sure to be blessed and in-spired by their awesome ministry.
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Developing Leaders vs Gathering Followers

Developing Leaders vs. Gathering Followers

Your ultimate long‐term success as a leader will be determined by your ability to develop a team of leaders…those who know how to lead to the future and not just manage the present. In order to fulfill the vision, you must be able to guide the way the team works together in order to deliver the desired results.

Team success is the ability of their leader to rally all the team members to commit to the vision and common goals ‐ not because they have to, but because they want to.

Forming a team of mentally, emotionally, and spiritually mature leaders is worth your time and effort. The greater challenge is getting them to lay aside personal ambition and ideas for the sake of becoming a team centered only on the mission and vision. A group of followers working on the same effort is far different from a team of strategic‐thinking leaders focused on the same goals with a clear understanding and commitment to the same outcome‐based results.

Independent thinking team members normally focus on their own strengths, abilities and promote their own ideas of what success should look like. Most of the time, this leads to everyone pulling in different directions and momentum is lost, if it was ever there to begin with. As a leader, it is your primary task to inspire individual team members to check their ego at the door, set aside personal agendas and cultivate a passion for teamwork, team solutions and team wins. Look at yourself first.

Your top priority as a team leader, leader of leaders and most of all as a senior leader, is to have your team understand, focus and commit to the outcome‐based goals of the mission, vision, values and strategy. Without clarity about these four key elements, buy‐in by the team and commitment to work together as a team will never happen in any significant with developing leaders out of the followers you have gathered happens best when working together as a team is the only option. Team dynamics cannot develop in solo situations. Lone rangers, overbearing personalities and divisive behaviors have to be overcome and not tolerated for very long. As the leader, you must have the emotional strength and maturity to help clarify non‐productive behaviors in both strong‐willed and weak‐minded individuals. Somehow you must be able to persuade them to see the big picture; how every individual effort is not only valuable, but also vital to the team’s success.

Five principles critical for developing a team of leaders:

Provide adequate and accurate information; clarity about desired results and the rationale used to shape your views.

Anticipate and resolve conflicts quickly. As the leader, it’s your job to make sure overly competitive or domineering team members don’t exploit another’s vulnerability when discussing either positive or negative issues as they relate to the team’s on‐going efforts or final results.

Recruit, teach, train and deploy the right team members. Be slow to appoint so you won’t have to disappoint. No matter how talented they are, if their ego, personality and effort cannot complement the team, you have to decide what’s more important to you —individual contribution or the team’s success.

Provide prompt and adequate feedback. Waiting until the annual performance review means many significant coaching opportunities may be lost. Feedback for both individuals and the team as a whole is most effective in written form. And, I don’t mean the small and big wins on a regular basis.

Recognize and deal with promptly those that I refer to as “Vision Drainers.” The single biggest reason for teams not performing effectively and winning often is the emotional maturity of the leader. It often lies in the discomfort and sometimes the fear of giving honest feedback necessary to develop a group of followers into a team of leaders who win on a regular basis.

Remember, leaders who turn followers into leaders on a consistent basis are leaders who know what they are doing and why. Many times, there are those who give promise of being great leaders because of superficial personality and character traits. Intelligence, confidence and the ability to communicate are important. However, having all these does not mean they have the emotional maturity and ability to make good judgments, which are invaluable in turning followers into leaders.

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Dr. Larry Bennett writes from the perspective of an experienced warrior on the front lines, not one of an armchair observer. He has a strong apostolic/prophetic anointing and Dr. Bennett has served in many facets of ministry giving him the experience to share his knowledge to other leader’s. He has a strong anointing for marketplace ministry and wants to see the church rise to the new movement of releasing church members into the marketplace.
If you wish to contact Dr. Bennett you may do so through his email which is ch.larrybennett57@gmau/il.com, or call him at 863-206-2567.