Archive for the ‘trust’ Tag

Trusting God   Leave a comment


Sometimes the world seems filled with so many things which we just cannot understand.  This week we heard of more senseless shootings.  We look around and see people killing one another with bombs, guns, and all other fatal attacks.  We hear of situations that just do not seem to make sense.  So this morning I am reminded that there is someone we can trust to get us through these situations.  There is someone who always has our best interest at heart.  There is someone who can take a horrific, or even just a troublesome, situation and sort it all out.  I share this music video with you to remind you of where to place your trust even when everything may seem dark around you.

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Making Sense of It   1 comment


Image provided by make-sense.org

Image provided by make-sense.org

Recently there has been another rash of murders, attacks, and chaos in our world.  From the stabbing incident in Pennsylvania, to the bus/truck accident in California, to a recent murder in a small Iowa town, there seems to be violence running amok.  This week we have also been reminded of the horrible bombings which took place a year ago at the Boston Marathon.  Add to these the unrest in the Ukraine and what appears to be an attempt by the Russian leader, Putin, to re-establish a Soviet Union of some degree, you can easily say that there is not a lot of sense in any of this.

Yet, we as humans want to try to make sense of these situations.  I think that we want to make sense of this because that allows us to gain some control over situations like these.  We want answers so that we can prevent these types of activities from occurring again.  We want answers so that we can “help” people before they take such destructive paths.  We want answers so that we can protect ourselves.  We want answers so that we know who to blame since we know it is not our fault.

However, life tells us that there is not always an answer.  Life tells us that even if we take all the protective measures possible, violence and destructive events still occur.  Life tells us that we cannot always stop these events.  So this can lead us to despair and a sense of hopelessness.

Hope does exist.  Hope is found not in ourselves or our human ways of protection and prevention.  The psalmist writes, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.”  (Psalm 118:8-9, NIV)  As a believer, I have to find that I don’t need to make sense of any of this.  I couldn’t even if I truly tried.  I need to trust that the Lord can make sense of it.  So during this Holy Week as we move toward remember Jesus’ death on a cross, that was a senseless act on the surface, I rely on the truth that it will make sense when God’s kingdom comes into its fullness.

A Gentle Reminder   Leave a comment


Today, I was called upon to comfort some friends who have received tragic news.  Every once in a while, I need a gentle reminder that there is One that can be trusted.  Maybe you need that reminder at times.  So I have chosen to share this video with you since I needed to hear it myself.

Refuge   Leave a comment


Despair

(Photo credit: fakelvis)

Today a passage from one of the Psalms in the Bible came to my mind:

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.

(Psalm 118:8-9, NIV)

The writer of this song is one that is facing battles.

We all have different battles in our lives.  They occur at different times and for different reasons.  Sometimes those battles are ones that rage within ourselves.  During these battles we may reach out to others and come to depend upon them.  I know that during those difficult times in my life I often reach out to others.  It might be a time when I need to make some difficult decisions.  It might be times when I am called upon to do something that I lack the confidence to do.  It might be when others are making attacks upon me for a variety reasons.  So I seek help from others.  However, humans are humans so at times they let us down.  Usually the let downs are not intentional but they still occur.

The writer reminds us that there is only one source of unconditional and completely reliable refuge and help — the Lord.   It is good to know that I truly can find refuge in the Lord.  It is good to hear the voice of the Lord reminding me that I have been created by God so that makes me valuable.  It is good to hear the voice of the Lord remind me that I do not walk alone.  So I trust in the Lord.

Trust As A Lynchpin   1 comment


Original caption: I decided to see if I could ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a member of a group that is struggling with trust issues.  I am not sure what precipitated the breakdown in trust but I definitely can observe the results.  Trust is a something that once it starts to dissolve, it is extremely hard to reform.  Trust is also the lynchpin that can hold a group together and keep it moving in a beneficial direction.  So this group having trust issues has led to a type of domino effect within the group.  Since people do not trust each other, and in some cases, some of the leadership, there are a lot of little fires that burn in various pockets of the group.

I think an important skill for leaders to have is to be able to get beyond the surface and find the real issues.  If a leader just deals with the little fires that seem to burst up in various areas, the leader is going to become exhausted because she/he will just be running from fire to fire.  While the leader is spending all of their time dealing with fires, the group flounders because in most cases there is no one setting direction for the group.  Some of the leaders within the group I mentioned at the start have been wise enough to look deeper than the surface fires and have found the root of most of the problems as being a disintegration of trust within the group.

So now that the problem is identified, the key is to find a solution unless the group itself is going to dissolve.  Identifying a lack of trust is much easier than rebuilding trust.  Here are some approaches that I find help in rebuilding trust:

  1. Take the time to listen – Often we are very good at telling people information but we seldom sit down and listen.  By listening to others, we are given the opportunity to truly hear the concerns that they have and/or the situations that have led them to lose trust.  We are also able to clarify and to correct misconceptions or misinformation.
  2. Communicate effectively and often – It is key that the leadership clearly communicates decisions, actions, goals, and reasoning.  These should be communicated in a variety of ways and should happen more often than we even think the need is there.  If communication does not occur, it can give the perception that something is purposely being hidden.
  3. Encourage questions – Even when we communicate effectively and often, people may still have questions.  If we ignore the questions or give the appearance that questions are a nuisance, then people shut down and often anger builds.  It also again gives the perception that something is being hidden or that there are hidden motives.
  4. Be consistent – One thing that disintegrates trust is when the leadership is not consistent in their behaviors.  People begin to feel they have no way of anticipate what types of responses or what directions may be coming their direction.  When they feel this, they will lose trust in what they are being told.  They will also become frustrated because of the confusion that exists with constant changes.  Sometimes directions need to be changed but if this is the case, communicate the change and the reason for the change.  People can accept change if it is not all the time and if they are given a rationale for the change.

This list is far from being exhaustive.  This work of rebuilding trust is also very difficult and will take time.  However, this is vital to the health of a group.  If there is not trust, then there will be bickering.  If there is not trust, then there will a lost of momentum among the group.  If there is not trust, then there will be anger, resentment, and rash decisions.

Vision and Trust   4 comments


Regional Leadership Forum

Regional Leadership Forum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I ran across this quote yesterday:

 

The Essence of Leadership

The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.

– Theodore Hesburgh

Where there is no vision, the people perish.  – Proverbs 29:18

The quote caused me to pause and consider the role of vision in leadership once again.  A close friend and fellow leader of mine often brings up the important point of being able to articulate a clear vision.  I truly understand this importance.  One of my questions though is who should be the one(s) to cast the vision?  I have seen leaders who as an individual define a vision for whatever organization they are leading, then articulate it and the organization members are expected to work towards the manifestation of the vision.  I have also have seen leaders who gather key leaders within the organization and as a team they define the organization’s vision and then champion that vision to the members.  In both cases, I have seen success and failure.  I believe that which approach to vision casting is taken depends on the style of the leader.

 

However, if the success rate is not strongly tied to one approach over the other, that leads me to think that there must be other elements involved in the success.  I think that one of the key element for success of vision manifestation is trust.  Whether the vision is cast and articulated by one chief leader or by a team of leaders, if the members of the organization does not have trust in the vision caste

 

, the success is almost impossible.  This seems to be true in all regards to leaders.  If a leader(s) does not have the trust of those whom he/she/they are trying to lead, there is very little chance they will see success in almost any area of their leadership.

 

So while I agree with the importance of the vision for the future of the organization.  I would place alongside the vision the importance of generating trust in the leadership.

 

 

Juggling Act   4 comments


 

English: Picture taken of me juggling.

English: Picture taken of me juggling. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

As a leader, I am like most leaders, I spend most of my days as a juggler.  There always seem to be enough issues and enough projects to keep me feeling like I’m constantly juggling balls or spinning plates.   What makes the juggling act even more challenging is if there is an extremely emotional element attached to one of the balls or plates.  A leader can become pretty exhausted in this type of work and that is why it is so vital for leaders to have opportunities of respite.  However, sometimes life does not offer a respite.  There are commitments and self-placed expectations that cause a leader to push forward even though there is a strong desire for a break.

 

This week is a prime example of one of the times when I crave a respite but know that it is not possible at this time.  I had many trips scheduled in June, July, and August.  Added to this busy travel schedule was a surgery for my son that ended up being two surgeries and almost two weeks at the hospital.  I vowed that all other matters took second place to my son and was very good at honoring that commitment.  However, now that he is out of the hospital, I am trying to play catch up.  In addition to that, I need to provide care for him at home as much as possible, especially over night.  I know that this is a temporary situation and I know that it will all work out but when in the midst of it, I struggle to keep all the balls in the air.

 

I am scheduled to go on a trip to a conference next week.  I am a bit torn about this since I do not want to leave my son unless he is doing much better than he currently is.  However, a lot of money has been invested in this trip and I would not want to see it go to waste.  So I am forced to practice some of what I preach — I must trust.  I must trust that the Lord will take care of all the details.  I must trust that the Lord will bring healing.  I must trust that the Lord will give me wisdom in the decisions that I make.  I must trust that the Lord will give forgiveness if I am not able to keep all the balls in the air.  I must trust that the path I walk is being walked by my Lord as well.  I must trust that when I need carried, the Lord will pick me up.  I must trust that the Lord will lead me to the future and these struggles will remain in the past.

 

I also need to remember that next month I have ten days scheduled as vacation.  These days will be spent at the Iowa State Fair where I will experience respite, excitement, and an opportunity to serve in a different way.  That is not very far away and therefore I can manage through this.

 

As a leader, I am a juggler.  As a leader, I have a Lord that can take over for me and will pick up the balls that I drop.  As a leader, I MUST trust.