Leadership crucial in the church, life


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WHY IS TRUMP CHOOSING SO MANY MARINES FOR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS?

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, today, I’d like to talk about leadership. I’d like to take you to a blog written by Chris Bollinger. Chris is a military air defense professional, retired Marine and he’s also a screenplay writer. He makes the point that Marines have a certain qualification that perhaps is unique with just Marines.

DR. REEDER: He brings this phenomenon — many of us have noted it — that this particular administration under President Trump has had a penchant to reach into the military for leadership to bring those leaders from military into the positions of civil leadership or governmental leadership.

GOOD LEADERSHIP IS BIBLICAL — AND HARD TO FIND

Immediately, there’s concern, “Well, is that the military taking over?” I think it’s something else that’s happening and that’s this. We all know that leadership is crucial. If you look at the Word of God from a Christian world and life view, whenever God says to do something, He first raises up a leader. He frames the leader, forms the leader, develops the leader and then the leader is used. The leader is always imperfect and, almost always, the Lord surrounds him with another leader because of the plurality of leadership which is crucial in and of itself.

In the church, where there are elders — plural — if you see, we call them the elders, presbyters — plural — of the church because, with every man’s strength, you get his weaknesses, which it means you need a plurality of leaders.

But you need leadership and so here is our present president reaching into the military in general, but by the way into the Marine Corps very specifically, which is what this article highlights. You’ve got General Maddox who’s the Secretary of Defense, you’ve got General Dunford, the head of the joint chiefs of staff, you’ve got General Kelly who is the chief of staff in the White House and they’re all Marines.

And then you look at in society where someone recently did an article about how many corporations now look to the military where they try to find these junior officers that are retiring at 20 years of service and bring them into their corporation and groom them for leadership.

THE MILITARY, THE MARINES IN PARTICULAR, PRODUCE GREAT LEADERS

I think there’s a couple of reasons why. One is how the military in general and, by the way, the Marine Corps in particular… I remember the day I went down to fill out the papers to volunteer in February of 1969. I remember my dad’s stories of being in the Marine Corps.

Tom, there’s always been something about the Marine Corps experience, not only how they develop their Marines but also how they develop their leaders. I think it is also comparable in the other branches of the service, as well, which is why the military has become this fishing pool for leadership in our society.

Other places don’t develop leaders. I don’t look into the world of academics and I don’t find leaders there. In fact, I find very frightening people, recently, and you and I are thinking about doing a program on this. Alan Dershowitz, when the academic elite get together at Martha’s Vineyard, they won’t have him there because he had made an argument from the Constitution — which is what he is, a Constitutional lawyer, and he had made an argument that defended President Trump’s actions while making it clear he wasn’t defending President Trump but he was arguing about the Constitution. Well, now he’s not allowed because they just can’t handle that around him.

Anybody that can’t handle someone who makes a defense of the Constitution that I can’t answer tells me that person’s not much of a person. First, they can’t learn and, secondly, they can’t handle somebody that can persuade them or someone that instructs them.

IN A WORLD WHERE LEADERSHIP IS LACKING, EVEN THE MBA PROGRAMS LACK PRINCIPLES

Therefore, I don’t look to the academic world for leadership and I don’t look to the media for leadership so where do you look for leadership? Well, if you’ll go to the colleges, they have jettisoned ethics in the MBA programs. The corporate world doesn’t go to the place where they ought to be getting their corporate leaders from the MBA program because they’re not turning out leaders with any principles.

Where do they go? They go to the military.

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, is it safe to say the opposite end of a strong Biblical leader is someone who says, “I’m a victim”?

DR. REEDER: One of the things you’re looking for is, without arrogance or self-importance, you’re looking for someone who is not a victim in life but who knows how to lead others to victory in life. And I think that’s why we’re seeing this phenomenon is the military is the place where that’s happening and, the Marine Corps, they do some very pointed things. As this guy points out, you never see a Marine, when he goes into a hotel, having his bags carried by anybody — he carries his own bags and, by the way, he’ll carry the bags for other people. He also notes that they always eat last — they never eat first but they always eat last.

JESUS “TRAINED LEADERS” BY TEACHING THEM  SELFLESSNESS AND QUIET STRENGTH

Are there Biblical principles here that Jesus, in his leadership training, used when he told his disciples in regard to being first when they wanted to know, “Do we get the seat of honor?” he said, “Listen, if you want to be first, you’re last. If you want to be the leader of all, then you are the servant of all.”

By the way, here’s something else: who trains leaders in the Marine Corps? Go to Quantico and look at the sergeants training the future leaders. Tom, I even had an experience in that as I did a commissioning ceremony for a second lieutenant in our church and there with him was a gunny sergeant. And I took the liberty, even though I was there to give a Biblical perspective and to pray for his installation, I said, “If you don’t mind, just a little personal word here, I’m looking forward to how the Lord is going to use your leadership. And I’ll tell you, one of the first things the Lord would have me to tell you is you get fastened to that gunny sergeant over there and listen to him. He’s one of the most important people in your life.” And that’s what Marines do — they develop a relationship from their own training forward with enlisted men and the enlisted men are engaged in their training.

And the other thing is this: they are expected to learn that you don’t just learn from people who have ranks higher than you but you learn from people who have ranks lower than you. That’s part of what it means to be trained — you’re a learner and you learn 360 degrees.

THE NEW LEADERS MUST COME FROM THE CHURCH

However, I’ve got another proposal, Tom. It’s in my book, “Leadership Dynamic,” that’s being republished in October — “3D Leadership,” would be available — and that is simply this: the church should become a leadership factory, defining, developing and deploying leaders in every sphere of society. We would be the ones that people would look to — again, the John Newtons who would produce the William Wilberforces. The great Presbyterian pastor, Dr. Phineas Gurley and Dr. James Smith who influenced, and developed and led to Christ Abraham Lincoln.

There are so many examples of when the church has developed leaders for every sphere of society — the family, the government and the business — who operate from a Christian world and life view and bring Biblical principles to bear in all of life.

Tom, I think this article has highlighted something that’s very important. First, there will always be a need for leadership. Secondly, instinctively, society will start moving toward those institutions that produce leaders that benefit society. Third, the places where they go will be places where they teach leadership that is principled, ethically driven and that is other-concerned, not self-promoting and that shows a conduct in life that has courage married to humility, that has conviction married to compassion. That’s what we’re looking for is those two threads of strength and courage. Joshua says, “Be strong and courageous,” and the other thread, sensitivity and compassion.

TRAINING CHRISTIAN LEADERS MUST START WITH STUDYING OUR SAVIOR

Of course, the leader of all from my Christian world and life view is my Savior and I love the moment in the Book of Revelation when John is utterly in despair for there is no one who is worthy to open the seals of the book and then a voice from Heaven says, “Weep no more. There is one who is worthy.” And John looked and then he saw the lion of Judah standing as a lamb that was slain.

There’s our great king and there is the picture of leadership, lion-like in life and lamb-like in heart. There is the Lamb who had given Himself, yet He’s standing, strong and courageous, the victor over sin, death, Hell and the grave. And He can make you a victor and He can make you a leader in your home, in your marriage, in your church and in society but first fix your eyes on Him. See Him and His leadership as He goes to the cross, counting it all joy to lay down His life that we might have victory and lay down his life in victory as He comes forth from the grave — victorious, our great Savior and Lord. Come to Him and watch what He does to make you like Him.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

 

33 mins ago

Marsh bill to repeal Common Core approved by Senate committee

MONTGOMERY — Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh’s (R-Anniston) bill to eliminate Common Core in the state of Alabama was given a unanimous favorable recommendation by the Senate’s Education Policy Committee on Wednesday.

The bill, SB 119, is now set to be debated and considered on the Senate floor Thursday.

Marsh spoke about this bill during Yellowhammer Multimedia’s “News Shaper” event in Montgomery Tuesday evening after he filed the bill earlier that day.

He acknowledged that he has been a proponent of letting the state school board set education curriculum and standards policy in the past and even stopped an effort to repeal Common Core a few years ago. However, in Marsh’s view, Common Core has been given a chance now and it is time for the legislature to step in.

“It’s not working. I think we have to have some radical change with education policy in this state. And y’all know me, I’ve pushed a lot of things –  public charter schools, the Accountability Act. We’ve got to address this issue and it’s critical for this state,” Marsh said.

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He said eliminating Common Core would “clear the field” so the state could then move forward to better education outcomes.

Alabama would come up with its own high standards, premised on local control, under Marsh’s proposal.

He said his bill is cosponsored by all 27 of his Republican Senate colleagues and he expects SB 119 to pass the chamber and then receive similarly strong support in the House.

“I am committed to moving to a different standard that’s right for Alabama and moves us forward,” Marsh emphasized.

He also advised that there is a high level of politics involved in education decisions in the state but that sound policy must come first.

“[T]he education community, who I’ve asked to get this fixed, who have not addressed this, quite honestly I don’t think has put us in shape to move forward to address the problem at present. But I’m going to do all I can to see that it happens,” Marsh added.

Democrats on the Senate Education Policy Committee spoke in favor of keeping Common Core on Wednesday.

A career public school teacher from Lee County spoke in favor of eliminating Common Core at the hearing, while representatives from the state school superintendents association and the school boards association had concerns about the implementation of new standards.

Marsh said his bill will be amended before a vote by the full Senate to allow another national standard to be used if found to be best for Alabama, as the current language in his bill would ban any national standard from being adopted by the state school board.

Update, 11:35 a.m.:

State Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville) released a statement in support of Marsh’s bill.

“I strongly support Senator Marsh’s bill,” Givhan said. “The Common Core standards just haven’t worked for Alabama’s students, and the proof is evident in the data. In 2017, Alabama’s 8th grade math scores ranked 49th among the 50 states, and math scores for 4th grade students were 45th in the nation, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Common Core’s curriculum standards and guidelines have been in place for nine years, and they have failed Alabama’s students. It’s clear we need to look at alternative educational methods, with an emphasis on returning as much control as possible back to the local school districts.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 hour ago

Marsh, McCutcheon talk lottery, ethics clarifications at Yellowhammer ‘News Shaper’ event

MONTGOMERY — Speaking Tuesday evening at Yellowhammer Multimedia’s first “News Shaper” event of 2019, Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) and House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) provided their insight on some of the hot-button topics expected to be debated during the legislature’s ongoing regular session.

Yellowhammer owner and editor Tim Howe, who moderated the discussion, outlined uncertainty in the state’s ethics laws brought on by recent court and ethics commission decisions. Howe then asked the two leaders how they think the legislature can provide certainty and codified clarification moving forward, especially when it comes to defining a “principal.”

“There is no doubt that there’s a lot of uncertainty in the ethics legislation,” Marsh said. “The [Alabama Code of Ethics Clarification and Reform Commission] was set up to look over this, but in addition to that, both the Senate and the House – in the Senate you have Greg Albritton and in the House [you have] Mike Jones – working throughout the entire break on how we address this.”

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“And remember,” Marsh continued, “it’s not about 140 legislators, there are 50,000 people in the state of Alabama affected by the ethics law. I’m going to make a plea to my colleagues, some of whom are in this room tonight: If it’s going to be fixed, we’ve got to fix it.”

He emphasized, “[I]t’s not going to get any easier. You’ve got to face the issues. You’ve got to address it and realize this is about much [more] than the legislature. So, I’m hopeful.

Marsh also noted that the uncertainty in the ethics law has “affected economic development.”

“There’s a section there where the economic developers are having problems keeping the [confidentiality] in the process of recruiting industries. We’ve got to address this,” he advised. “And I’m hopeful that we will address it this year.”

Marsh added, “I know that both Senator Albritton and Representative Jones have been in conversation with the attorney general and the ethics commission, as well. So we’re going down a path to try and get everybody on the same page. But we have got to -trust me, ladies and gentleman – we have best fix this. It’s got to be done.”

Howe then asked Marsh to articulate why certainty in the ethics law for economic development professionals is important not just for them, but for the entire state and each of its residents.

“[I]t’s important for the state, because we’re competing with all of the other states,” Marsh said.

He used the example of a piece of legislation passed out of committee that very day largely dealing with Polaris vehicles built in north Alabama and explained that the site selection process requires confidentiality, with most economic development recruitment projects being given code names.

“Because we’re competing against other states. And if we’re not able to keep that degree of secrecy at that stage of the game, we’re at a disadvantage to our neighbors,” Marsh explained.

He concluded, “So this is something that we have got to address. But I’m going to say this: that’s [only] a piece of it. And there’s going to be an attempt by the business community and economic developers to pass the piece. But I think it’s [incumbent] upon us to pass the big picture, solve all the problems, because you want as many people with you, supporting you, to make the changes. Every time you carve off a little piece, you lose some support. So, as I said, I want to help everybody, but I’m committed to the big picture.”

Lottery

Howe later asked the speaker if the time has come for a lottery proposal to pass the legislature and reach a referendum of the people.

“I think so,” McCutcheon responded. “I think it’s been coming for several years. I know that the districts, House districts, that are [bordering other states], most of those districts have seen a significant shift over the last seven or eight years because they see Alabamians driving across the state line to buy lottery tickets.”

He continued, “And people are starting to talk about it, and they’re starting to make it part of their discussion around the dinner table. … At the end of the day, there’s a good push from the people.”

McCutcheon did emphasize what he viewed as key to a successful lottery discussion.

“If we’re going to put this to a vote of the people, and I think it has a good chance of passing, we need to make sure that people understand what they’re voting on,” he outlined. “That’s very, very important. We don’t want to cloud the issue with the definition of a ‘lottery’ and try to sneak something in the back door. Let’s make sure the people understand in their minds what a lottery is and we define it in such a way that they know what they’re voting on.”

“Then, I think the next big debate will be, ‘Where’s the money [lottery revenue] going to go?’ And that will be something that we’ll have to contend with,” McCutcheon concluded.

This came the same day that Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) filed a lottery proposal that was soon after called not “clean” by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, who said McClendon’s legislation would legalize slot machines in a select few places in the state.

Watch the entire discussion:

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

After 133 launches, Alabama built rockets boast 100% mission success

Thank you to the United Launch Alliance team and the entire workforce surrounding another successful launch.  Alabama’s Decatur based facility brings the utmost precision, passion and purpose to one of the most technically complex, critical American needs: affordable, reliable access to space.

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2 hours ago

Bipartisan bill to regulate vaping set for House committee hearing

MONTGOMERY — Alabama is currently one of only three states to not regulate vaping, but that could soon change.

HB 41, sponsored by Republican Rep. Shane Stringer and Democrat Rep. Barbara Drummond, both of Mobile County, is on the House Judiciary Committee’s agenda for Wednesday afternoon.

The bill would regulate the sale, use and advertisement of vaping – or “alternative nicotine products” – in the state.

In an interview with Yellowhammer News, both Drummond and Stringer emphasized that their bill is intended to protect the health and wellbeing of Alabama minors.

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“The motivation is simple,” Drummond emphasized. “We are trying to safeguard the teens in the state of Alabama.”

She outlined, “Vape shops, as it stands right now, are not regulated at all… And the bill came about because our drug education council locally brought it to our attention, but [Stringer and I] have both seen ourselves, as well as throughout the whole state, the rise of vape shops. They’re popping up everywhere in the state of Alabama.”

While it is too early to tell what vaping is directly doing to users’ health, Stringer and Drummond emphasized there is an objective gateway effect from vaping use and to smoking traditional cigarettes.

“Right now, there is no data that says what is the [direct] effect that these products are having on our young people. What we are seeing, and this is a national trend, is that you’re seeing smoking not going down, but increasing, among young people,” Drummond explained.

Stringer, a career law enforcement officer with stints as chief of multiple local police departments, said educators from every corner of Mobile County have voiced their concerns with the lack of state oversight on vape products and retailers “saying this is an epidemic and a problem what we need to address.”

“The products haven’t been out long enough to know the problems we could face in five, ten, 15 years from now,” he said. “It’s pretty similar to when smoking came out. There was basically no risk at that time, according to everyone. Now, look at all the data that we have to go with smoking… this is a new product we’re learning every day about.”

Stringer said statistics they were shown from the drug education council show an approximately 34 percent increase in children under 19-years-old that tried smoking after vaping.

“In Alabama, we don’t want to wake up one day and see the effects, negative effects on our kids,” Drummond added. “Right now, we’re trying to be responsible legislators to make sure that we look out for the welfare of our children.”

The two lawmakers also stressed that not only do vape shop operators have no restrictions on them, but the state has no way to even keep track of them currently.

Their bill would make it illegal to sell or give vape products to anyone under 19-years-old. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board would regulate retail sales of the products, just as they do tobacco products. Retailers would have to obtain an annual permit, which includes an application fee of $300. Retailers would also have to comply with relevant FDA regulations and post signage warning of the dangers of nicotine usage.

Using vape products in certain places, including schools and child care facilities, would be prohibited.

‘This is something that is nonpartisan, it’s not anything that is about Republican or Democrat. This is something about our young people,” Drummond said. “Because if you look at the amount of nicotine that is showing up in these products, when they first hit the market, the nicotine levels were very low – like five percent. Now, it’s gone up to about ten percent. They’ve got other chemicals in there, like formaldehyde. What is the effect of that upon the brains of our kids? So, this is more of a public wellbeing bill for us.”

Stringer advised that he foresees widespread support in the legislature for the bill.

“Everyone agrees that there has to be some checks and balances [oversight] in place,” he concluded.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 hours ago

House Majority Leader Ledbetter predicts Alabama to ‘move to number one’ nationally in automotive production after Port of Mobile expansion

Tuesday on Huntsville’s WVNN radio, House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) said he did not think it would be very long before Alabamians started to see tangible benefits of the Rebuild Alabama Act.

The legislation that was recently signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey after she called a special session will raise the gasoline tax six cents in September, then add an additional two cents in 2020 and 2021.

According to the DeKalb County Republican, road projects could start as early as the summer given the bill will allow for counties to bond half of the revenue the additional tax will generate that is distributed to the counties.

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“I really think it will be this summer,” Ledbetter said. “I think we’ll see it immediately, and the reason I say that is inside that bill there is a mechanism that the counties can use half of their money to bond with. So, I know there’s mine – I talked to the president of my county commission, and we’re looking at bonding half of that money. So if that happens, you’re going to see a lot of paving going down, and I think it will be significant, especially on those roads we can’t get buses across, or you know, the transportation has been limited due to the fact of the road conditions.”

Ledbetter also predicted one of the aspects of the law, which is to expand the Port of Mobile, will generate a positive impact statewide, especially with regards to the automotive industry.

“I don’t think there is any question about that,” he said. “The thing I think we’ll see – Alabama rank third as far as automotive manufacturing in the country. I think we’ll move to number one. I really do. I think this is that big of a game changer. I think aerospace engineering, and some of those jobs going to the port, building airplanes and building the ships – we’re going to move up the ladder because we got availability in the port to bring the ships in and out, the post-Panamax ships we hadn’t seen.”

“You know, the sad part about it is we build all these automobiles in Alabama – a lot of those were being shipped out of Savannah because we can’t get them out of our port,” Ledbetter added. “I think once this happens, we’ll see the roll off-roll on where we’ll be carrying cars to Mobile from Huntsville, from Lincoln, from here in Montgomery to see them delivered, or shipped out from Mobile.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.