Friday, October 19 2018
I found an old book at the used book store on the books of Chronicles. It is a Jewish commentary that is read from what we would consider the back because the scripture is written in Hebrew and English. In studying I Chronicles, I have found many “nuggets” of truth even in the geneaology or “the begats”. These nuggets include:
- The very first verse of I Chronicles simply says, “Adam, Sheth (Seth), Enosh”. The genealogy does not include Cain and Abel because they had no impact on the geneaology of Israel. We need to be careful that we do nothing that removes us from the legacy of the Apostolic church. In addition, we cannot allow outside influences to keep us from our destiny in Jesus Christ.
- According to the commentary, the literal translation of the beginning of Jabez’s prayer, “Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed” is “If to bless, thou wilt bless me”. Jabez knew that God blesses and was asking that a blessing would come to him.
In I Chronicles 5, the Bible documents a war between three tribes of Israel and the Hagarites, an Arab tribe that decended from Hagar. During the battle, the scripture says that “cried to God in battle” and “they put their trust in Him”. It was because they cried out to God and trusted Him in the midst of the battle that God helped them.
When in the battle, pray and trust. God will help.
The writer of I Chronicles further states that “the war was of God”. This means that the war was commanded by God. While in the trenches of battle our view is very limited. We cannot see beyond the next thing that we feel is going to kill us, but the big picture is that God is in command of our war. The Israelites had to fight the battle, but because they were faithful they were blessed.
1 Chronicles 5:21-22 KJV
 And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men an hundred thousand.  For there fell down many slain, because the war was of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity.
Pray, trust and be blesssed!
Friday, September 14 2018
The career that I chose at 18 was amazing, exciting and fun. It simply was the best job in the world. There is no doubt in my mind that many firefighters and paramedics feel the same way. There is great job satisfaction in driving away from a hospital knowing that you saved a life while it is heartbreaking to be a witness to death and destruction. In addition, fighting fires is an adrenaline filledtime of many small decisions that is aimed at saving lives and property. It was an amazing occupation. After my career of over 20 years, I walked away with an education limited to the very few people that work in public safety.
The following is a list of some things that I learned. There may be others that read this and disagree, but this is strictly from my perspective.
- All men are created equal
- Okay, I realize that this has been said before, but we all emerge the same (I learned this after delivering 10 babies) and nobody dies a more glamourous death than another. We may become self-important and even hold a job of great influence, but it is important to remain grounded, humble and loving. Our greatest gift after our death is that our legacy is one of loving others and not one of destruction. The term "edify" comes from the Greek word for "house builder". Let us build up and protect others. They are our equal.
- There are two sides to every story
- It seems that every drunk laying on the sidewalk that wanted to go to the hospital had drank only had "two beers". Yes, this was either a partial truth because they drank a fifth of something else with it or it was a just a flat lie. What we would often see is a smelly human being that had urinated on themselves, but these people had family and friends that cared for them. I would never know what caused them to reach toward a bottle and begin the path to hopelessness, but they are humans and should be treated with respect. Plus, when you talk to them, they can be entertaining.
- Communication goes far to fix problems
- When operating on a fire or a medical emergency, it is essential to communicate. The lack of communication can cause the loss of life. Therefore, we carried portable radios to give instructions and respond to commands. It eliminated any doubt about what needed to be done or what was expected. "Radio silence" can be deadly. If you hold a leadership position, do not shut people out, but communicate with them. This will build trust so that two way commuincations can be effective.
- Work to fix problems at a local level
- Many problems are made bigger than they have to be because leaders are unable to deal with problems at a local level. All problems that could be fixed within the four walls of a firehouse should stay there. There are certain issues that need to be taken care of at a higher level, but this should be done as a last resort. Basically, keep the problem solving as simple as possible unless absolutely necessary. If you are a leader, "man-up" (or woman-up) and deal with a problem rather than punting it to someone else unless somene's life is in danger or it is criminal.
This list is not comprehensive, but they are leadership lessons that I learned in a firetruck and ambulance. Look around and learn from your situation.
Wednesday, August 08 2018
As a “middle-aged” man, I have been under the leadership of many people. In addition, I have been observant of leaders. A philosophy that I have adopted since I was a teenager was to watch leaders and take on qualities that I deem good leadership while shunning the characteristics of poor leadership.
This does not have to be a long blog, but I want to list some qualities that I have observed as good characteristics of leadership:
- Always a student/growing
- Good communications
- Willing to own mistakes and apologize
- Work to help build others despite their current weaknesses (see the potential in people)
- Protect your subordinates
- See the best in people
- Be decisive and stick to the decision
- Know that there are two sides to every story
- A listener
There are some things that I do not like in leaders:
- Political (this means playing politics, not having political opinions)
- Indecisive (don’t stick your head in the sand either)
- Making decisions based on little information
- Lacking common sense
- Not willing to apologize
- Thinking your opinion is the only opinion
What kind of leader so you want to be? Look around and adopt the good characteristics of great leaders. Learn from bad leaders by shunning their poor leadership characteristics. This does not mean that you only look at people that have “position” because their rank may have not been earned but they may have achieved their spot because of who they are or know. Understand that some leaders may be a leader of one or informal leaders that influence from the bottom up. Learn from the best leaders!
Friday, August 03 2018
Much of the ministerial training that I have has come my dad. My dad has never preached at a conference to thousands (that I know of), but he did establish a fantastic and anointed Apostolic church. His spiritual legacy is amazing having his grandkids and children serving God. There are three ministers including two pastors in his immediate family. Furthermore, he was a legend as a leader and a fireman during a 27 year career. He has earned two gold medals for valor and has done things that most just read about, but there is one thing that I have learned from him that has stuck with me in everything that I do. He has taught me to be ethical.
As a student, I learned and studied ethics including taking an entire class on the subject. Ethics has been defined many ways, but it is simply doing the right thing. Furthermore, it is doing the thing that is most correct when there are two correct answers. In the fire service (yes, I was a firefighter/paramedic), someone once said to “do right in the do right zone”. It is a simple but amazing saying that are words to live by.
My questions that I used to title this blog post is obviously provocative. As Christians, we should want to do the right thing and our question to ourselves when we act upon somehting is, “Am I doing the right thing?” More importantly, are we treating people as Jesus would treat others? Are we being forgiving or seeking revenge? Are we being humble or proud? The questions are infinate, but our actions toward each other should be filtered through the Bible.
As leaders, ethics should be a standard that should not be crossed. Yes, we will make mistakes, but own them and move on. Communicate with others in a respectful way to build trust. Ethics does not include revenge or silence. It does include helping where help is needed. Are you working to build or destroy? The church is not immune to not doing the right thing, therefore we should be deliberate and prayerful in our decision making. We need to be careful to not have notches on our gun, if you will, marking the people that we have destroyed. Love one another is a commandment.
Ethics are not dead in the church, but we need to be sure that we take responsibility that we are ethical. We as the church should love and communicate while building lives.
Wednesday, July 18 2018
It is an amazing gift to be able to lead others. When an individual is honored enough to have people submit to your leadership, it should be done with love as a default position. As a leader, it is a fantastic feat to have people that follow you because they want to and not because they have to or receive a pay check. It has been a blessing that I have been able to be a leader in secular employment and as a shepherd of a wonderful group of people that call me “pastor”.
The groups of people that I have been privileged to lead has never been large, but I have learned how to best treat them. First, I am not afraid to communicate and there are two sides to every story. It is best to give people the “benefit of the doubt”. If you are going to err, please err on the side of your people.
It is sad that many people gain titles because of who they know or are related to, and not because they have an ounce of leadership ability. Please never abuse your position. It is possible to learn to lead. Sadly, people do not always learn to lead because of their position of entitlement. They learn to manage. The head usher of the church with one other usher must learn to lead and love and protect that one person. Paul said:
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor , and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
That one other person on the usher’s staff is not to do the head ushers bidding, but the head usher must lead by example. The same principles apply if you are leading 3, 30 or 300.
Leaders can be a blessing, but they can also curse or kill their people. Yes, leaders make mistakes, but own them and move on. Leaders can be transparent and vulnerable. Do not try to manipulate a situation to make your self look good or to save face. Lead from the front. Leaders don’t play games.
Monday, June 04 2018
These are some random thoughts concerning leadership that I am thinking about while sitting at our church fireworks store...
- If you are going to lead be transparent and vulnerable. 2 Corinthians 11:16-17
- Your position means nothing if you do not treat others well. 1 Peter 5:2-3
- Communicate, communicate, communicate! Romans 11:13
- Protect those that you lead. John 10:14
- Love those that you lead. Leviticus 19:18
- You are not perfect. Romans 3:23
- Never “talk down” down to anyone. Hannah prayed, “Let not arrogancy come out of your mouth.”
- Be humble. 1 Peter 5:6
There are mnay great leaders in the church. Learn from them. If a leader is subpar or is making poor decisions, it is possible to learn from them also. Do not do what they do. Leaders bless, they do not curse. They help, they do not hurt. Leaders do not ignore, they listen. Leaders communicate, because a lack of communication will cause a lack of trust.
When you lead, be like Jesus!
Have a great week.
Pastor Robert P. Eaby, Jr.
Monday, May 14 2018
Winston Churchill said, "The price of greatness is responsibility." Leadership is about setting a vision and leading followers to the next level. It is not about making every decision, but it is about doing the right thing. It is about serving and loving people. It is about communicating and transparency. It is about trust. It is not about rank or position, it is about influence.
Jesus is the greatest leader to ever live. In our eyes, Jesus would not have been a successful leader because he had only a few followers. He died with only one of his follower at His feet while one denied Him and another betrayed Him. It is not about the number of followers, but the effectiveness of your leadership. In reality, if we led in the model and example of Jesus, we would love and serve those that God has given us even if the number remains just a few. It may be one of those followers that God uses to bring revival.
The Bible is our leadership manual. I have read many, many books on leadership and have formal education in leadership. I have led as a firefighter/paramedic and a pastor. These positions and classes have given me knowledge and experience, but it is in the scripture that I have come to understand the heart of a leader. I want to lead like Jesus.
Jesus gave mercy.
Jesus gave grace.
When God gives us the opportunity to lead, please lead in a way that you build and not destroy. When you lead, do what Jesus did. Do not lead in a way that protects you from pain. Become vulnerable. Do the right thing.
Have a great week!
Pastor Robert P. Eaby, Jr.
Monday, March 12 2018
I preached on prayer yesterday. Prayer is a foundational doctrine of Christianity. It was Martin Luther that said, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” There has been much written, preached and taught on prayer. Jesus taught His disciples to pray.
Charles Spurgeon captured prayer when he said, “True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that - it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.” Prayer is supernatural.
I want to challenge our church to be prayerful. Find time to pray everyday. Pray without ceasing. Have a life of prayer. Pray in the bad times when everything seems to go wrong knowing God will heal, but also pray in the good times to prepare for the valleys.
Pray in the morning.
Pray in the afternoon.
Pray in the evening.
Join the church in prayer.
Pray in your prayer closet.
Your prayers matter.
Will you join us in prayer?
Monday, January 08 2018
I have always been a reader. When I was a child, my standard punishment for bad behavior was being grounded to my room. Well, it was the 1980’s and we did not have all the technology that is available today. Therefore, I read books incuding large novels and encyclopedias. Currently, I am reading the book called The Bait of Satan by John Bevere. I recommend it. Other books that I have read that you may enjoy are...
- They Smell like Sheep (Lynn Anderson)
- Guarding the Channels of the Supernatural (Kim Haney)
- It’s your Ship (Captain D. Michael Abrashoff)
- First in, Last out (Chief John Salka)
- The Blessing (John Trent and Gary Smalley)
- Killing Patton (Bill O’Reilly)
- A Prayer Warrior’s Guide to Praying Scriptures (Juli Jasinski)
- How to Think like Einstien (Scott Thorpe)
- A Prophet in Our Time: The Life Story of T. W. Barnes (Nona Freeman)
- Prayer (Verbal Bean)
- Winning the Spiritual Warfare (Pastor James Holland)
- Spiritual Gifts (Bishop David Bernard)
This is obviously not a comprehensive list. These are books that I have read over many years and the ones that I remember something about. In other words, something in the book jumped out at me and I can recall it as I write this blog. I have read many other books and obviously encourage reading for anyone that wants to aspire to ministry within the church. As the saying says, “Leaders are readers.”
Have a great week!
Monday, January 01 2018
How was your 2017? There is no doubt that you had peaks and valleys...good times and bad times! Personally, my 2017 was not a good year as a whole, but God is still good! There are many things that I could justify in my mind for being mad at God. My human nature says that I should point my finger at God and give Him a piece of my mind. The truth is that God has been faithful, just and kind. He is a constant in my life that has not changed and is forever my friend and my God.
God has not promised us an Earthly journey without problems. He has promised that He will not change.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Therefore, as we walk this path, it is on us to stay faithful. If you are faithful, the enemy will use every tool in his arsenal to tear you down. Take a look at these scriptures...
1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Ephesians 6:11-12 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Spiritual warfare is part of the Christian journey. The devil does not play fair. The Apostle Paul said...
2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
He will attack anything that he sees as a weakness as he attempts to pull you away from God and your calling. They key to winning the spiritual war is not to waver or give up, it is to stay faithful. Shara McKee sings a song that says “I Held On”. (https://youtu.be/IzA7LLGh3RY). It is a song of faithfulness because for all the scripture that I copied and pasted concerning the enemy fighting us, I can give you so many more showing God fighting for us if we just hold on.
1 Samuel 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's , and he will give you into our hands.
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord , and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord .
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
The list of scripture giving us victory over the enemy is much longer. If you stay faithful, God will keep you. Staying faithful and trusting God and His Word is not always easy because we see through our eyeballs and not with our spiritual eyes. Pray that God opens your eyes to reveal what He sees in your life.
Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
I cannot guarantee that 2018 will be stellar, but I can tell you that God will be faithful and true. If you just continue to trust God and hold onto to His Word, you will emerge victorious.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
Happy New Year