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Nashville, TN
USA

Speaking Louder Ministries is an evangelistic ministry founded by Jeremy Camp. Our central goal is seeing lives transformed by Jesus Christ through music, testimony, and service. 

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Blog

 

 

JOY = STRENGTH

Daniel Williamson

            I really like the Incredible Hulk. Whether it’s the old-school spray painted Hulk from the early 80’s, or the recent Avenger Series Hulk, everyone seems to be a fan of him. I sometimes wonder, why?  Why do we like this angry Jolly Green Giant? Why does my 3-year-old always choose him as his favorite super hero? I’m starting to think it is because we all want some of what he’s got. We want to be unstoppable. We want to hurdle every obstacle with purple ripped jeans like our hero, The Hulk. We want to show the world we are… strong.

            The desire to be strong is a natural part of life. We all want to be seen as strong and full of grit, but sometimes we just don’t know how to snap out of “weakness”. I’m talking about the wet-noodle kind of weakness. The kind of weakness that causes us to forget our dreams, settle for the mediocre marriage, or hide in the dugout when we are up to bat. 

But… We also have probably realized how the Hulk Hogan / Ultimate Warrior kind of strength doesn’t work out too well. Faking it ultimately kills us. And we also realized the Incredible Hulk type of strength doesn’t pan out too well either. Walking through life angry and upset has a way of sucking our strength from us and puts a strain on our most valuable relationships. Think about it. Do you like to be around people who are angry all the time? I don’t either. This is kind of my point. As much as I like The Incredible Hulk on TV, I wouldn’t want him to be my CEO or my Project Manager. That would suck. And no matter how luxurious my salary may be, it’s just not worth it.  The Hulk is the last type of boss I want. Unstable and angry. Nope. Not going to do it. 

            What’s your point then Danny? I’m glad you asked. 

My point is that we all want and need strength. Strength for our businesses to thrive, strength for our marriages to make it through, and strength to love our kids through the emotional roller coaster of puberty.  But the kind of strength I’m talking about isn’t ripping pages out of a Phone Book. I’m talking about something different and often neglected in leadership development – JOY. 

Because Joy = Strength. 

Think about it for a second. If you are working in a joy-filled environment, is your immediate inclination to quit your job or complain about your boss? Probably not. If joy is present in the workplace, do you think it may affect our employee retention? If our C-Suite executives are leading with true and contagious joy, will it be difficult to follow them and commit to the mission of the company? 

Joy strengthens our hearts. – We come to work for the right reasons, not just to pick up a paycheck. 

Joy strengthens our commitments. – When joy is present, we weather through the valley, seeing beauty on the journey itself, not just the destination. 

Joy strengthens our relationships. – Valuing one another and not holding grudges.

Joy strengthens our communication.  – Listening to one another. Isn’t it a lot easier to 

talk to someone if they are smiling?

So, let’s allow some joy in the workplace. And not just the goofy, marshmellowy stuff. Or the ping pong tables and putt-putt golf in the breakroom. 

But the kind of joy that gives strength to our smiles in the most trying of times. The kind of joy that stands with integrity when the fiscal year finishes outside of the black. The kind of joy that goes beyond words, marks our fingerprints, and brings life to listeners. 

This is the joy that equals strength…

The SPIRIT...

Daniel Williamson

It is vital for every Christian to seek out the answer to the question, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” The primary call of every believer is to personally and intimately know God through the Person of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul states in Phil 3:10, “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection…” and this is our blessed responsibility. To know him consists of knowing the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, and who now lives within us (ref. Romans 8:11).

The main truth to grasp in discovering whom the Holy Spirit is, we must comprehend that the Holy Spirit is indeed a person. As Dr. Graham states, “The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a person. Jesus never referred to “it” when He was talking about the Holy Spirit.” He is the third person of the Trinity, and worthy of all recognition and honor as God Himself. He is recognized as the one who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (ref. John 16:8), as well as the one who comforts the life of the believer and is the ready Helper (ref. John 14:6). Through our faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit brings us into true relationship with God and gives us proper identity as the children of God (ref. Rom 8:16). The Holy Spirit enables us for service and lives within us to be lights in the midst of this dark and dying world.

Thus, I can attribute every thing I have ever done for God’s glory to the work of the Holy Spirit within me. As Romans 8:8 states, “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Only through the power of God’s Holy Spirit can I live according to his will and purpose. In essence, I am in utter need of the Holy Spirit. I cannot breathe without him, I cannot love those around me without him, and I cannot glorify Jesus without him. He is the one who convicts me of sin, the one who continually leads me back to the cross of Christ, and the one who strengthens me to walk in the light of his holiness.

Communication with the "lost"

Daniel Williamson

In presenting the concept of being “lost” to those who do not share “Christian standards” it can be helpful to bring up three important truths, being God’s original intent in creating man, the fall of man which brought sin into the world, and God’s solution to that problem.

We must first help those we are communicating with understand why God created man in the first place. As we see in Genesis 1:27-28a, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them.” Mankind was created to walk in the blessing of God and to be in perfect fellowship with him. God supplied man with responsibility, favor, provision, and open communication with himself. In addition to this blessing of life that was bestowed upon man, it is evident that man was also given free will to choose the goodness of God or resist it and experience the consequences. As seen in Genesis 2:16-17, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Secondly, we must help bring understanding to the reality of sin, which was first brought into the world through the fall of man. As Adam and Eve succumbed to the devil’s lure of temptation, and ate of the forbidden fruit (ref. Gen 3:1-14), sin was brought into the world. The result of this sin was death and man was separated from perfect fellowship with God (ref. Gen 3:18). This sin would mark all of mankind from generation to generation (ref. Rom 5:12), as everyone since Adam has taken on the nature of sin and the imprisonment of pending death (ref. Rom 6:23a). Thus, because of sin, mankind as a whole is separated from a perfect and holy God.

But God, who is rich in love and abundant in mercy, provided a solution for this problem of sin, death, and separation. As John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Through faith in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, man can be redeemed from sin and death, find restoration in his relationship with God, and have the hope of everlasting life in Christ.