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  • sonnyholmes

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer nec odio. Praesent libero. Sed cursus ante dapibus diam. Sed nisi. Nulla quis sem at nibh elementum imperdiet. Duis sagittis ipsum. Praesent mauris. Fusce nec tellus sed augue semper porta. Mauris massa. Vestibulum lacinia arcu eget nulla. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Curabitur sodales ligula in libero. Sed dignissim lacinia nunc. Curabitur tortor. Pellentesque nibh. Aenean quam. In scelerisque sem at dolor. Maecenas mattis. Sed convallis tristique sem. Proin ut ligula vel nunc egestas porttitor. Morbi lectus risus, iaculis vel, suscipit quis, luctus non, massa. Fusce ac turpis quis ligula lacinia aliquet. Mauris ipsum. Nulla metus metus, ullamcorper vel, tincidunt sed, euismod in, nibh. Quisque volutpat condimentum velit. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Nam nec ante. Sed lacinia, urna non tincidunt mattis, tortor neque adipiscing diam, a cursus ipsum ante quis turpis. Nulla facilisi. Ut fringilla. Suspendisse potenti. Nunc feugiat mi a tellus consequat imperdiet. Vestibulum sapien. Proin quam. Etiam ultrices. Suspendisse in justo eu magna luctus suscipit. Sed lectus. Integer euismod lacus luctus magna. Quisque cursus, metus vitae pharetra auctor, sem massa mattis sem, at interdum magna augue eget diam. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Morbi lacinia molestie dui. Praesent blandit dolor. Sed non quam. In vel mi sit amet augue congue elementum. Morbi in ipsum sit amet pede facilisis laoreet. Donec lacus nunc, viverra nec.


Truth is, sometimes we just don't have anything to say. The gibberish above is referenced by the word industry as lorum ipsum, that is, meaningless text. It occupies space but doesn't mean anything. Now, let me be quick to mention that I have something to say every moment of every day. You know, opinions, thoughts, ideas, directions about life, how we live it, and our place in the world around us. I tend to talk too much. Or, so they say. And, you know the trends these days, the path social media paves for people to say something about everything.


Sometimes, however, we verbalize too much. Everything doesn't have to be spoken or written. Silence is often the best communicator. It's a profound lesson of Scripture, the discipline of silence---


When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is

prudent.

Proverbs 10: 19, ESV


Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed

intelligent.

Proverbs 17: 28, ESV


Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

Psalm 141: 3, ESV


Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak...

James 1: 19, ESV


And, hundreds more. The point? Silence is often the best communicator. We just don't have to verbalize everything. A nod, look, wink, or blank look communicates much. Take the silent path on occasion. Your opinion will be more valuable.


Says the guy with a thousand words.

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  • sonnyholmes


OK, this picture fell out of an old file the other evening. It's Harriet and me on the day I received the Master of Divinity Degree with Languages degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Yes, it was a long time ago. 1982 to be exact. Do the math. Like 39 years ago. It happened just in time for a Throwback Thursday jewel. And, it reminded me of God's goodness and Harriet's patience as our journey out of the business world and into ministry began. What a journey. We are thankful.

After The Citadel I did a five year stint with a large bank in North Carolina and two and a half years as Chief Financial Officer of a large county hospital. Our call to ministry was perceived over a period of months and finally resulted in our move to Wake Forest, NC, and our educational pursuits at Southeastern. By graduation day I was also serving as the Pastor at Woodland Baptist Church, several miles outside of Wake Forest. Our daughter Elizabeth was seven years old and son Brian was four. Harriet worked at the local power company. It was truly the beginning of our faith journey and life calling. We remember those years with gratitude and fondness.


You may know my sermon about living in the past. You know, life is like rising in a car. If you stare at the rear-view mirror you'll drive in a ditch. But, this Throwback Thursday social media craze is really a healthy way to learn from the past. It's just a glance. and, that's my other sermon. Effective leaders are life-long learners. When that picture dropped onto my desk the other evening it reminded me of a truth that challenges me every single day. That day, the day of seminary graduation, the day I received my Masters Degree diploma, wasn't the fulfilling end of my life and ministry learning. It was actually the beginning.


Solomon wrote much about life learning. Traditional myth recognizes him as the wisest man who ever lived. His Proverbs are interwoven with texts about personal growth and development, our life education. In the first verses of Proverbs 1 he wrote, "Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance" (Proverbs 1: 5, ESV). The lessons of life are diverse and many. Remember what Solomon advised---


An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

Proverbs 18: 15, ESV


The rear-view mirror is OK today. It's throwback Thursday. Now, learn something.

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  • sonnyholmes

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Culture tends to place them in corporate grids or organizational charts. You know, those who manage businesses, maneuver the political world, and make it happen in economic circles. But, friends, moms and dads are leaders as well, the men and women who guide families, retail establishments large and small, classrooms, day care centers, and every conceivable organization seeking some intent or purpose. It's a broad base concept, this leadership thing. It drives life in every ideal.


There's a qualifier that raises the bar when thinking about leadership. When believers occupy those slots spiritual leadership is the deal. And, that's a sore spot in the way the world works these days. Far too many leaders, even parents, leave their faith in the car or at home when they take their places on the front row. But, the truth is, our beliefs should be the constants in our lives regardless of our calling or life assignment. Personal faith should be the guiding principle in fulfilling our leadership roles. And, that's a hard one for many people. Knowing how to apply spiritual truth to our daily tasks is a lesson plan few of us actually understand. That's why I always suggest several noted books to those believers who are thrust into leadership positions. Make note---


Spiritual Leadership: Moving People to God's Agenda

Henry and Richard Blackaby (B & H Publishing, Nashville, Tn: 2011)


The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict

Ken Sande (Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI: 2004)


Resolving Everyday Conflict

Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson (Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI: 2015)


The Likeability Factor: How to Boost Your L-Factor and Achieve Your Life Dreams

Tim Sanders, Currency Publishers, New York: 2006).


Of course, there are volumes of books and articles covering the many particulars of leadership at every level. I have found these four books to be practical guides for Christians with leadership responsibilities. Give them a read. Be better prepared to lead.

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