Author: Authentic Christian Living team

Michael Jinkins offers some good examples of healthy leadership in his recent article.

We often assume leadership to be a positive trait, but in fact, it can be good or bad, constructive or destructive. Or, as I believe, healthy or unhealthy. How do we distinguish healthy from unhealthy leadership? I believe there are 10 characteristics of healthy leaders:

  1. They lead from spiritual and emotional health.
  2. They are dedicated to the health of others.
  3. They represent the character and mission of their organization, but are also capable of objectivity.
  4. They understand the organization as a social system.
  5. They provide a calming presence and emotionally well-differentiated leadership.
  6. They plan.
  7. They embrace the wisdom of deliberation.
  8. They are never too old to learn.
  9. They know what to pay attention to.
  10. They enlist followers in change.

Click here to read the full article and the details of each trait.

What other traits do you think a leader needs to have? Who do you think is a good leader at work, in your group of friends or at church? Who do you think sees you as a leader?

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Literalism: Isn’t the Bible historically unreliable and regressive? This is a great short (30 minute) audio clip of Tim Keller answering the question.

Some people claim that they can’t trust in the Bible because it is historically unreliable and culturally regressive. But do we have cultural blinders on? Dr. Tim Keller discusses solid reasons that we can trust the Bible historically, culturally, and personally.

Click here to listen. Tip: You should be able to click play on the page that loads and continue surfing in another window/browser. Depending on your job, these are great to listen to while you work.

Do you want to download the MP3, right click on this link and “save as”.

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Author: Authentic Christian Living team

The TV commercial once said: “You only go around once in life. Grab all the gusto you can.” That’s not a bad idea.

…….but the gusto you should grab is probably not what most people have in mind. A lot of Christians are falling victim to the mad dash for self-fulfillment. Today: you’ll hear a challenge to a pleasure-mad culture that’s infecting the church. Stay with us.

Listen to Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, Running To Win, on the links below:

Do you agree with this? How does this affect your view of the world?

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Dr. Lutzer is the Senior Pastor at The Moody Church (1635 N. LaSalle • Chicago, Illinois).

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We are often asked how to keep Christ the focus of this holiday. Some people ask because they’re trying to figure out what this whole “Christ thing” is about, others are looking to connect with their neighbors and many others are looking for opportunities to bless others with the resources they’ve been given.

Thanks to our Keep Christ in Christmas efforts, we are blessed to hear so many ways that God is working in our communities. Here are 14 simple  ways to let Christ shine through you this Christmas and reach your neighbors:

  1. Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Take the first step: Drop off some treats with a note. Knock on the door and simply yourself or say hi.
  2. Spend 20 minutes with an elderly neighbor. The best gift you can give to many is simply your time and friendship.
  3. Shovel a neighbor’s driveway. Don’t offer to, jump in and get started.
  4. Bring their trash cans up from the street after the garbage truck has run…make sure it’s after, as we’ve heard some funny stories.
  5. Offer to help with a project. Ask specifically what you can help them with before the first of the year, and then, follow up and help out.
  6. Take flowers to a resident at your local nursing home who may not get many visitors. Tip from Scott Whenrey, Activity Director in a nursing home: “Call your Local Nursing Home Activity Director and they can help lead you to someone who may have no one to visit them.”
  7. Take a plate of dinner to the cashier who is working the evening shift at the gas station you frequent.
  8. Look for opportunities to help. See a neighbor carrying their groceries, shoveling their walk, raking leaves? Jump in and help.
  9. Offer to watch your neighbor’s dog/cat when they’re on vacation. It’s amazing how much this freedom can help someone feel they can take a little time off.
  10. If you know a neighbor is going through a difficult time, take them a meal. A simple meal is fine.
  11. Invite a family from the neighborhood over for dinner. Pick a specific night or two and ask today.
  12. Have a birthday party for Jesus. Invite a few friends, especially your kids’ friends for a small birthday party Christmas day. Read the story of Christ’s birth. Luke 1:5-56; Luke 2:1-20; Isaiah 9:6-7; Romans 15:3
  13. Give a surprise gift of service to each member of your family
  14. Attend a Christmas church service together with your family or neighbor. You may have your own home church, but this is a great time to connect with friends and family where they feel most comfortable. Plus, we’re all part of His church. Ask if you can attend Christmas service with them.

Keeping Christ in Christmas and our daily lives means being good stewards of the resources and time He has blessed us with. These are a few of our favorite ways that we hear people taking the next step at Christmas. We are saved not saved by our works, but we work and serve because we are saved.

Do you have other suggestions? Have you done any of these? Please let us know in the comments below. We’re always looking for great stories of how God is using you in your communities and ideas for sharing with others.

Special thanks to the thousands members our community and those that submitted ideas for this article. God has placed each of us in our unique place for a unique purpose. It’s awesome to see each of you and what God is doing through you.

 

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Weekly Word (video): Have you thought about the long term effects of your decisions?

Watch this 4 minute video from the lead singer of Casting Crowns and this week’s word from Authentic Christian Living:

People never crumble in a day. It is always a slow fade. Think about your decisions and surround yourself with good Godly friends that will help you and challenge you to live more authentically in Christ. Let them into your life and help them with theirs.

At the end of today’s article is the music video for the Casting Crowns song Slow Fade. I really like how it shows not only the negative outcomes of our decisions but also how it rewinds those events at the end of the video to show how making one small decision can have such a big improvement in the outcome. It also makes me thankful for some really great people in my life, both work and personal, that have made the very difficult decision to step out and ask me difficult questions at pivotal times.

The good news is our lives, our marriages and our friendships can be rebuilt through repentance, forgiveness and grace.

Our lives may not be easy. The good news is that God will give you strength if you choose to follow Him fully. He created us and knows what will ultimately bring us joy. His ways and His timing are not ours. His ways are not what the world tells us will bring us happiness. Jesus came to set us free from this world and He bridged the gap so that we can have a personal connection with father God. He will help you in your choices, both big and small, if you let Him.

You can learn to lead in your family. You can choose to make the right decision in that deal at work. You can change your decision to divorce your spouse. You can reconcile with your ex-husband/wife/children/father/mother. You can forgive, especially where there is repentance and change. You can decide to not take that trip with the “boys” that might lead to bad choices. You can decide to cut off contact with any inappropriate relationships. You can decide to not take advice from those that live selfishly and give advice that contradicts with biblical teachings.

You can decide to take the intentional time to begin reaching out and meet new friends that will support you in good decisions. You can decide to read what the Bible says on topics in your life. You can take two minutes to think about those in your life and pick the one person that may need a good influence in their life and be that person for them.

You decide. What will you decide today? Will you follow God’s prompting and listen to His Word?

Please share this post with your friends. You may provide the inspiration that they need today. Use the “Share/Save” button below and pass it on to your friends.

 

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Author: Authentic Christian Living team

Fan videos of the Casting Crowns Christmas song While You Were Sleeping

The following video is great but may not be appropriate for all ages, as it includes movie scenes of Jesus’s crucifixion.

Lyrics

Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you’re lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight, tonight

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King
While you were sleeping
While you were sleeping

Mary shivers in the cold
Trying to keep the Savior warm
Born among the animals wrapped in dirty rags
Because there was no room for Him in the world He came to save

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we’re lying in the dark
There’s a shout heard ‘cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping
Will we be sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night

 

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Support “Keep Christ in Christmas” and earn FREE Christmas music, an entry to win the latest Jack Countryman Christmas book, and more!

Click the image below to hear the song and enter the contest.

Free Christmas music and The Hope for Christmas by Jack Countryman

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Author: Authentic Christian Living team

Music video from Brandon Heath for his song Wait And See.

Still wondering why I’m here
Still wrestling with my fear
But oh, He’s up to something
And the farther on I go
I’ve seen enough to know
That I’m, not here for nothing
He’s up to something

Are you open to God’s plans for you? Does it scare you to be fully opened to His plans for your life? We have all been there, and this can be a struggle for many of us. Look for a strong Christian mentor in your life, or a few of them, that you can talk with about what is going on in your life and your feelings. Trust us, authentic relationships help.

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Author: Authentic Christian Living team

What times in your past have prepared you and strengthened you, for things in your future? What has happened in your past to better let you reach out to those going through similar problems today?

Think about your education, your relationships with family/friends and finances. Can you thank the Lord for those difficulties in your past that have prepared you for today? What if today is preparing you for the future, perhaps to be able to help others?

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Author: Kurt Uhlir

Wait for the man who pursues you – the one who will make an ordinary moment seem magical – the kind of man who brings out the best in you and makes you want to be a better woman.

Wait for the man who will be your best friend, the one who will drop everything to be with you. Wait for the man who makes you smile like no other guy makes you smile. Wait for the man who respects and loves you for who you are, not who everyone else wants you to be.

Wait for the man who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats and no makeup, but loves it when you get all dolled up for him. Wait for the guy that you know wherever he is, he always wants to be with you.

Wait for the man who praises God for you, and encourages you daily in your walk. And most importantly, wait for the man who is more in love with God than with you!!

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Are you focused on the things God would have you focused on or the things the world would have you focused on in your dating? What do you look for in a boyfriend? What would you add to this list?

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