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PASSION . . . Defined: any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling such as love or hate.

It has been said that in order to discover your core values, you must first discover your passions.  The key to this discovery is by answering some simple questions that deal with your emotions, such as . . .

What is it that you do that brings about a feeling of euphoria?Passion

What stirs up happiness in your life?

What stimulates anger in you?

What makes you cry?

What gives you satisfaction?

 

As I pondered those questions for myself, I discovered more about my psyche than I had realized.   Euphoria?   The emotion I feel when directing a choir that responds to the music the way it was intended by the composer, communicating to the audience a message… nothing like it.  It is electrifying! …  memories of…

Parkview choir and the Easter cantata, “Behold Your King” … conducting the PFNA Crusade Choir singing “The Statue of Liberty”… ministry presentations by the “Living Teens” Youth Choir … WOW!  I guess my passion for music is obvious, not to mention singing with the Revelaires Quartet, a harmonious trio with Gene Pharr and Carol Jackson at Lee College, or the Lee Singers, directed by Dr. Delton Alford.

What brings happiness? …mostly family and fellowship.  This past year, blessed by reconnecting with two high school friends, Robert Bryan and Bud Corbett —anchors in my life.  Getting together, talking about old times… I did not want it to end.  We were re-living the best of history!

Anger is a hot coal that is hard to handle …bullies, lying politicians, people who posture for gain, incompetence, selfishness especially in leadership positions, and injustices of all kinds.

What makes me cry?  … Youth.  At a high school football game, whether it is the marching band or the team on the field… I pray for them as I wipe away the tears.  Whenever I think of my tenure as Minister of Youth at Parkview, I still see those beautiful teens struggling for life.  Many of them fifty years later have suffered too much pain.  I still hurt for them and yes, I still cry.

My greatest satisfaction comes from the memory of a few I helped along the way …still hanging in, pursuing God’s plan for their lives and prospering as a result.  It is like completing a task at the end of the day, looking back at your work with the pleasure of knowing you did it well.

The Apostle John put it this way in III John 3-4 . . .

“I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

So, where is your passion?  What springs happiness in your life?  What stimulates your anger?  What makes you cry?  What gives you satisfaction?

 

The answers will reveal your strengths and weaknesses.

Your integrity will determine how you deal with the answers.

 

—Blessings, Charles

 

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Back To The Future . . .

BACK TO THE FUTURE . . .

The title, Under Construction, implies that (1) something is being built, (2) it is still in process, and (3) it is not yet completed.

This was the title of our first newsletter when we stepped out on our own with Timothy Ministries.  Some advised, as we relocated to Oklahoma, that “UC” could turn off potential opportunities because of the common usage for incomplete websites.  They are good friends, and we value them greatly… but somehow all of our changes never really described what we had envisioned our ministry to be.

After receiving our advanced certification with Personality Insights, Inc. (Atlanta, GA), we incorporated the DISC training into Timothy Ministries.  We had several successful conferences around the country, but that was only one part of our ministry.

In Oklahoma, New Mexico and Virginia, we have done consulting for young pastors and saw positive changes and growth… but that was still only a portion of the ministry.

Timothy Ministries was to be more than that.  This ministry was based on II Timothy 2:2… “Committing to the Faithful.”

I am no apostle Paul.  …far more failures than successes…  do not and never will know it all!  When I failed, I evaluated and learned from my failures.  As Dr. Robert Rohm stated… “You win some and you learn some.”  … in pulpit ministry for 60 years, credentialed ministry for 50 years… planted churches, had to close some, and saw some grow with good success.  My ministry gifts lay in Administration, Teaching and Exhorting, and my personality blend is a D/I (Directive / Inspirational) …but my feet are made of clay.

So what does this old man desire?  Where is my passion?

Sharing what I have learned with faithful men and women who are still in the trenches, with their leadership teams, their churches, or just with them one-on-one.  We have no price tag, and will continue to operate on a freewill basis.  With a heritage in a “growing” church, a discipling church,  I grimace at some of the “spiritual clubs” I see today.

So back to our future —Timothy Ministries.  Simply plugging in for a Pastor who is away for a Sunday… training a Leadership Team, a family (marriage) conference, a Bible Study series on Wednesday nights… or consultation on church growth.

We are here.  We are ready.  To commit to the faithful.  Let us know.  Have you arrived,   or are you still under construction?

 

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CEO …or Shepherd?

The term “Leadership” has become so popular that many pastors have taken the old description and molded the new progressive paradigm model that has little to do with true Biblical ministry and more about a Corporate model.

I remember my childhood image of pastors in days gone by.  They wore sharp clothes, suits & ties, French-toe shoes, drove Lincolns or Cadillacs, lived in well-furnished parsonages.  They rubbed shoulders with the hierarchy of the city, went to conventions, and ate in restaurants.

But after one year into the ministry, driving a car that got 30 miles to a quart of oil, living in a parsonage furnished with used furniture, and praying for food and clothes to wear … my image smacked with reality!

This did not resemble the life of a CEO, but more like a shepherd living with the sheep.

  • Sheep do not have good habits.
  • …cannot protect themselves.
  • …have to be cared for 24/7.
  • …get into fights with one another.
  • …get scabs, mites and disease.
  • They smell bad!

 

But a shepherd has a heart for his sheep… even the worse ones, he calls by name.  He treats them all equally well, and will even lay down his life for them.

There is a new trend in ministry that troubles me greatly.  Instead of shepherds, many pastors function like Chief Executive Officers.  They are office leaders who make arbitrary decisions rather than with a consensus of the whole.  They visit hospitals sparingly and rarely in-home visits.  They have no idea of the environment in the homes or neighborhoods in which their constituents live.

They control according to their liking.  If someone disagrees or acts up in some difficult way, they ignore them, exclude them, and hope they will go away.  I have known some who boasted about how they “got rid of certain unruly members!”  They operate their church as if they owned a private business, sharing ownership with a few, expecting the majority to accept their brilliant decisions.  Some have growth, but the ceiling is very limited.

This is what Jesus confronted with Peter after the resurrection (John 21:15-19).  Peter had obviously been reconciled, but now it is time to inaugurate his ministry.  When Jesus said, “Do you love Me more than these?”

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He was speaking of the 153 fish.  Very quickly Peter answered tentatively, but then came the kicker… “Feed My Lambs.”

Peter was not expecting this.  He had been a commercial fisherman, a BUSINESSMAN, a CEO —not a smelly shepherd.  They were weird outdoorsmen.  You could smell them a block away  Jesus was ordaining Peter as a shepherd; surely there was an executive office in the Church for him.

Pastors!  You have been called to be a shepherd, not a CEO!  Your sheep may be as dumb as a rock, but your responsibility is to care for them.  Your pulpit and teaching is only a part of that care.  When they become cast down, you have to rescue them.  They may bite and butt around other sheep, but you have to deal with them.  They are not perfect… and neither are you.

Peter made the transition as evidenced in I Peter 2:21-25; 4:7-19; and finally in I Peter 5:1-4 (NKJV) …

1) The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed;

2) Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;

3) Nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

4) And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

 

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Dealing With Criticism . . .

One of the toughest things for a leader to face is criticism.

The last thing you want to hear is what you did or said that was wrong …or how you could have done it better.  Then there comes that smack in the face, unwarranted, mean-spirited, demeaning critic whose number one motive is to cut you down to size!  They rarely do it privately, but loudly, before a grand audience.  Their goal in most cases is to get a response — tears or anger — either one  will do.

None of us like to hear how inadequate we are, how we have failed, or how someone else could have done it better.  When this happens, remember:

NEVER RESPOND IMMEDIATELY TO CRITICISM!  Think . . .

(1) It could be valid.  You may have missed the mark.  You may have sounded harsh, or mis-stated a fact.  There may be a gravy stain on your tie.

(2) The current circumstances of the critic could have caused the critic to lash out or become defensive.  I once had a church clerk who became very critical of my salary increase.  Later I learned that he was going through a difficult time financially.  Letting the climate cool down saved a good clerk and a member.

(3) There are times when our motives are misunderstood.  The hearer assumes your motive and misses the mark.  Responding immediately may sound like a dishonest cover-up.

WHAT TO DO?

By not responding immediately you have time to digest the criticism.

  • If it is valid, send them a gift or a thank you card.
  • If it is the circumstances of the critic, wait a few days, meet with them privately with love, understanding and prayer.
  • If it is slanderous, cool down, pray, and then meet with them privately …or let the water roll off the duck’s back —consider the source and move on!

The more you stand up, the more you will be misunderstood.  If you desire leadership, better develop a tough skin!

Remember… nothing is tougher than leather.  The more it has been beaten, the softer it becomes —yet never loses its durability.

 

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My Perception . . .

Christians, especially the “Christian Right,” have been in an uproar over the past few years over the so-called “social issues” that are going downhill at a fast rate of speed.  It appears that the media, both news and entertainment, has declared war on every virtue and value that we hold dear.

The Supreme Court rules on the Constitution, not Biblical standards.  Politicians vote by popular opinion often askewed by the media, rather than traditional values.  Secular education has brainwashed the integrity of everything from history to absolute truth.    Facebook, editorials and, in my neighborhood even billboards slam the government and the courts for the sorry state of affairs.

Personally (buckle your seat belt) I think Christians are to blame!

This mess did not start in the 1960’s when prayer was outlawed in our schools… it started when Christians failed to win their neighborhoods for Christ.  We replaced prayer rooms with fellowship halls — evangelistic revivals with entertainment to “sing us happy!” Disc jockeys became our spiritual leaders and Christian television replaced church attendance.  We failed to disciple our converts through Sunday Schools and Bible Studies.

Now our nation is swiftly becoming “Sodom and Gomorrah” and we blame Washington, D.C.

There is hope! It starts with accepting responsibility, asking God to forgive us, hitting our knees in prayer and beginning to change our world one person at a time.  II Chronicles 7:14 should be the mission statement of every church.

Turn off the T.V., including Fox news (ouch!).  Spend more time in prayer.  Look for open doors to proclaim the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ.

Yes, Our nation is very ill … it needs a healer!

—Charles E. Hollifield

 

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New Website

As you can see, the new website is taking shape.  We’re still figuring out how to setup a few things, just in case you were wondering why it looks the way it does.  Give us a few days and we’ll have it looking sharp.

Thanks!

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