Posts by Jeff Cranston

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Checkers or Chess?

Whenmy daughters were younger,I taught them what little I know about the game of checkers. We often enjoyed playing in front of the big fireplace at Cracker Barrel restaurants.I can recall when I was growing up how much my cousins and I enjoyed playing against one another in our own little checkers tournaments. When I was in junior high school, I was introduced to the gam...

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Good Leaders and Effective Decision-Making

Leaders are called upon to make decisions. Sometimes the decisions are greeted with enthusiasm, while others are greeted with disdain. If you have ever tried to change your church's name or construct a new facility, you understand. Church leaders are often faced with inherent difficulties when decisions need to be made. Depending upon the leader's church polity, a decisio...

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Life vs. Death

As I look out over our congregation in multiples services each week, I always see faces that I don't recognize (especially since they're wearing masks) -but I love it! It affirms to me that God is growing and building His church in beautiful, coastal South Carolina. Seeing and meeting new people each week also shows me thatLCCis alive. And living things always grow. Growt...

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Eight Questions Every Leader Must Answer

I was once working on a leadership study based on 1 Timothy 3. I realized that Paul gives us eight questions that every leader should evaluate themselves on. 1. Can I be trusted with insider information? Leaders often hear it first, or last, but we are often privy to serious and vital information. I am forced to ask myself, do people trust me when they tell me something...

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A Leader Is A Reader

"Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers." So goes the sage advice from president Harry Truman. I have books filling cabinets, nightstands, and bookshelves.I have full shelves in my office, my home, and my study. My wife, Darlene, has always been incredibly patient with all of this and doesn't ask me too often to clean things out and get rid of a few bo...

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Two Ways to Grow as a Leader

Growth in leadership is something every leader in the world will tell you they want.Yet, too few are willing to pay the price.Why is that?Because it requires sacrifice. Two key ways a leader grows is by: 1. Reading and Listening to Speeches, Talks, QA's and Messages From Leaders You Want to Emulate. My literary hero, F. W. Boreham, used to sit in courtrooms and listen to...

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Facing Your Crucible

crucible/ˈkro͞osəbəl/A place or occasion of severe test or trial[1] I live just a few miles from Parris Island, South Carolina. It's one of two locations in the United States where the United States Marine Corps (U.S.M.C.) trains its recruits. Before a recruit can become a Marine, each recruit has to endure and complete 'The Crucible.' Here is how the U.S.M.C. desc...

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I'm Their Leader. Which Way Did They Go?

When I was a fledgling youth pastor, not much older than the students I was pastoring, I bought myself a ball cap. It was white with two bright red bills. One pointed toward the left and the other toward the right. Emblazoned in large lettering across the front it read: "I'm Their Leader. Which Way Did They Go?"That message seemed so appropriate to me at the time. As a fir...

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Jehovah Sabaoth

In his book, A Table in the Presence, Lt. Carey Cash, U.S. Marine Corps chaplain for the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment during Operation Iraqi Freedom, recounts how his battalion experienced God's presence and power in an amazing way during Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait and Iraq. When they were up against the wall, God came through for them time and time again. He ...

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Jehovah Shammah

I vividly recall on one of my first trips to India, I was traveling alone, in the back of a taxi, on my way to meet people I did not know, being driven by a Hindu who spoke very little English, inhaling the incense he was burning in the taxi, in a city I had never been in before.It occurred to me that I may be headed down a dark alley somewhere where my friendly taxi drive...

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Jehovah Jireh, Our Provider

The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. John Emmons said, "Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the fl...

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Disappointment

Author Max Lucado reminds us in his book, Traveling Light, that the prefix, "dis", D-I-S, changes everything. "With dis, obey becomes disobey. Respect is changed to disrespect. Regard is suddenly disregard. What was an ability becomes a disability. Engage is now disengage, and grace is transformed into disgrace. All because of dis. We would be hard pressed find a more pot...

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What Is A Sabbatical and Why Am I Taking One?

Beginning on Thursday, October 1, I will be taking a two-month sabbatical.I want to thank the elders of LowCountry Community Church for not only making this break possible, but strongly encouraging it. As a person with workaholic tendencies, it would be my style to just keep pressing on. But there are good reasons for God's command to regularly practice the princ...

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Will I Be Happy When My Problems Disappear?

My guess is that things have not always gone as you have planned. Sometimes life is anything but easy and your walk with Jesus has more worries than victories. In Philippians chapter one, Paul addresses some of his personal challenges then quickly moves to the problems facing the Philippians believers. He's told them that he will win either way, that his circumstances will...

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Leaders See and Meet Needs

Early in his career, Thomas Edison invented a vote-recording machine for use in legislative chambers. By moving a switch to the right or left, an official could votefororagainsta proposal without leaving his desk. The machine would replace the tedious business of marking ballots, counting them, etc. Elated with the prospects, Edison obtained a patenthis firstand headed fo...

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Leaders Make The Difficult Decisions

Every leader, at some point in his or her leadership life, will be called upon to make a tough decision. And the acid-test of credibility for leaders lies in their ability to make, and follow through on, difficult decisions.

I began in church ministry as a youth pastor. I've always struggled with being a people-pleaser, and when I was younger, I really wanted everyone...

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Disorientation

Disorientation can be humorous. I mean, how many jokes get told on men because they become lost, but refuse to stop and ask for directions? Disorientation, however, can be much more serious than that. Airplane pilots are trained to deal with something in the aviation world called spatial disorientation. A pilot will tell you that it begins when a queasy knot settles in th...

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A Leader Is A Reader

"Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers." So goes the sage advice from president Harry Truman. I have books filling cabinets, nightstands, and bookshelves.I have full shelves in my office, home, and my study. My wife, Darlene, has always been incredibly patient with all of this and doesn't ask me too often to clean things out and get rid of some books. S...

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Five Ways To Move Off A Plateau

Five Ways To Move Off A Plateau For Pastors Only (But you can take a peek, too!) If you're a church leader, you are well-acquainted with times of slow- or no-growth. Times whenthings have plateaued. Times of discouragement. Times even of decline. We're all dealing with these things in one way, shape, or form during these COVID-19 days, aren't we?Does it have to be this...

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Bald Heads and Missed Opportunities

In ancient Athens there were hundreds of statues peppering the city. They represented deities and values important to the Greeks.One was specifically referred to by the apostle Paul; it was a "let's-cover-all-of-our-religious-bases" statue.Dr. Luke tells us Paul said to the Athenians,"For while I was passing through and examining theobjects of your worship, I also found an...

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Why I Wrote Another Book

C.S. Lewis, in his bookMere Christianitywrote,"Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already. That is why children's games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown-upsplaying soldiers, playing shop. But all the time, they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits, so that the pretense of being ...

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