When no one wants to tell you

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It was a bit disappointing and hurtful that I wasn’t asked to help with the event — much less direct it. After all the project fit perfectly in my wheelhouse and I would have been brilliant in the lead spot — or at least in my opinion I would have.

So why would those handing out the assignments not pick me? Surely they didn’t realize what they had done. It had to be an innocent mistake.

I decided to prevent the blunder from happening again by alerting those in charge that I was interested and skilled in that particular area.

‘We’ll keep you in mind’

Right on cue they thanked me for my interest. They said they would definitely keep me in mind for future projects. I walked away feeling good about what must have been amazing communication skills on my part to have worked out everything so quickly and easily.

But when the next opportunity came I was overlooked again. And again. And again.

Then it hit me. The group had worked with me once a few years prior. They had brought me on to assist with a project because of my skill set and had asked me to serve in a support role.

Once the assignment got underway, I looked around and realized we were not working efficiently nor effectively and we could do a lot better job if they would do it my way. I elbowed my way to the top spot, took over the project and completed the assignment.

The end result turned out well as far as quality of the project was concerned; group morale not so much.

Overstepping the role

It may be true I had a higher level of experience and training in the area but that wasn’t the point. I was not selected to be in control of the project. I was asked to serve a support role. When I didn’t honor what I had agreed to do, the group took note and made sure never to invite me to help again.

I’ve also been on the other side of the situation and not appreciated when someone who thought they knew more than I did — even if they did — took over a project that was mine to lead. If I were chosen to manage the project, then those assisting should play the specific roles they were asked to do even if I seem to be missing some important insights, right? Not exactly.

After all a leader should want to be challenged and sharpened by his or her team. That means allowing team members to have the right to make suggestions for improvement. It doesn’t mean the leader has to do all that is suggested, but encouraging feedback and then sincerely listening and considering the concepts suggested help make sure the leader is thinking around all sides of the subject.

At the same time, team members must remember to be respectful of the leader and the leader’s decisions. Discussions, debates and even disagreements can happen while a topic is being decided, but once a decision is made, the team needs to be unified around the decision in order to function smoothly and healthily.

Working with a mismatch

Of course the difficulty comes in a situation when the leader is a mismatch for the project and no one wants to tell him or her. Or when a team member can’t handle not being the one in control and continuously causes issues for the team because he or she won’t cooperate appropriately. And no one wants to tell this person either.

I often wonder why we are so afraid to speak truth to one another. Yes some people make it hard because they are offended easily and end up pouting about it. Others don’t know how to deliver truthful messages with compassion. They only know one style and it cuts deep.

We all should do more self evaluating and determine what we are doing to make people afraid to be honest with us. We also should welcome honest feedback and not be so easily offended.

At the same time we should work harder at sharing (with grace and love) our concerns with those in our lives rather than avoiding them or humoring them with fake responses.

The truth hurts sometimes but it hurts more to discover that someone you trusted didn’t tell you the truth.

—Jennifer Davis Rash

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What I am reading

“90 Minutes in Heaven” 

10th anniversary edition 

By Don Piper with Cecil Murphey90 Minutes in Heaven

I never slowed down to read “90 Minutes in Heaven” when it first came out, so when I saw the 10th anniversary edition I decided it was time to read it. I’m glad I waited because this edition adds updated comments from author Don Piper, his wife, his son, co-author Cecil Murphey and the book’s publisher. Hearing from them 10 years after the book was originally published gave an interesting insight into how the success of Piper’s book as well as the demand for him as a guest speaker has affected his family. The book also shares personal stories from people walking through tragedy and how reading “90 Days” helped them in their situation.

And while Piper’s recounting of his heaven experience is certainly inspiring and an exciting reminder of what is to come for those of us who have given our hearts and lives to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it was the details of the struggles he has endured while here on earth that captivated me the most. His story especially spoke to me about how we truly are all in this journey together and can learn from each other, help when it’s our turn to help and allow others to help us when we need help.

—Jennifer Davis Rash

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And we’ve launched — a new #dlife group is born

“Jesus’ vision was not a church filled with ‘discipleship programs’ but a church filled with passionate disciple makers living a lifestyle of making and multiplying disciples in all the world,” says D-Life author Bill Wilks, pastor of NorthPark Baptist Church, Trussville.IMG_20151026_180647

While I have experienced a variety of discipleship studies in the past 25 years, it is the simplicity and accountability aspect of Dr. Wilks’ D-Life that is teaching me how to truly make our commission as believers “to make disciples who make disciples” become a lifestyle.

I began D-Life with a group facilitated by Lisa M. (fellow member of NorthPark) in 2013–2014. The group was hungry to grow. They challenged and encouraged me to grow as well. In 2015, it was time for me to help launch a new group and thus multiply our group. And my friend Haley P. and I launched that group tonight.

Stay tuned for what we are learning along the journey. For more information about D-Life, click here.

—Jennifer Davis Rash

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What I am reading

“Every Day Can Be a Great Day” by Gary Hardin9781498441346_lg

The Psalms have become a great source of comfort and strength for me this year, so when my friend Gary sent me a copy of his latest book, I started reading it right away.

Focusing on Psalm 34, Gary walks through the verses in eight easy-to-read chapters, explaining the “treasure-trove of promises from God” and how to apply them to our everyday lives. The book is a smooth, seamless read and almost feels like you are having a conversation with Gary in person.

Gary says, “The premise behind this book is that when we trust the promises of God, every day can be a great day.”

—Jennifer Davis Rash

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When the vision is real but God won’t release us to go for it

Today’s entry in Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost for His Highest” focuses on when we feel we are the person for a job but God seems to hold us back from doing the job at the moment. It can be a very discouraging time, but Chambers says it only means God is preparing us for the vision we know is in us.

“Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. After the first strike for God and for the right, God allowed Moses to be driven into blank discouragement, He sent him into the desert to feed sheep for 40 years. … [Moses] was right in the individual aspect, but he was not the man for the work until he had learned communion with God.

“We may have the vision of God and a very clear understanding of what God wants, and we start to do the thing, then comes something equivalent to the 40 years in the wilderness. … We have the vision … but we have not got into God’s stride.”

Have you ever experienced something similar?

What did God teach you during that time?

—Jennifer Davis Rash

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Busy people get things done, or do they?


When my friend Stephanie explained her predicament, it made absolute sense to me because I struggle with something similar.

We were talking about finding balance in life and ideas for sharing the various responsibility loads we all have.

“The bigger problem for me is not not being willing to share, delegate or even cut out something,” Stephanie said. “The problem I have is that as soon as I make a little space in my schedule or remove something from my responsibility list, I quickly add something new to take up the space. It is as if I’m insecure without my schedule, my responsibilities and my life in general being constantly overwhelmed.”

Addicted to busyness

I’ve heard others talk about an addiction to busyness.

Still others are get-it-done kinds of people and receive a lot of requests to take on projects or tasks. You’ve probably heard the saying, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.”

It’s true, people who are able to tackle projects head on and work hard to accomplish everything on their to-do list each day will most likely play a major part in accomplishing what you need. But constantly adding to the busy person’s to-do list could be detrimental to his or her health if he or she has a hard time declining requests or sticking to a disciplined workday.

At the same time an element of busyness or pressure is sometimes what we all need to actually stop and accomplish that overwhelming project we have been putting off. And if deadlines aren’t set for even the smallest of responsibilities in our lives, then it is natural to take much longer than is really needed to accomplish them.

Deadline way of life

Deadlines definitely dictate my life. Not only because The Alabama Baptist is a media ministry that exists on daily, weekly and monthly deadlines, but also because the sheer volume of what I’m juggling in all parts of life would swallow me whole if I didn’t force daily and sometimes hourly deadlines on myself.

I don’t say this to fish for sympathy or as a plea for help. I say it to explain the struggle of one who both desires and despises an overly busy life.

I’m a dreamer and sometimes overflow with ideas and passion for what could be.

I’m a doer. I like to work hard and get things done. I love efficiency and productivity and streamlining the streamlined process that was streamlined twice last month.

I’m a deadline enthusiast. Yes I was that college student who could start her 15-page research paper 12 hours before it was due and not only turn it in on time but walk away with an A.

I can’t always explain the thrill that comes with the clarity and focus of deadline pressure but it is quite addicting.

Still as much as I love the pressure and juggling lots of projects, am I being fair to all involved by living like this?

Along with frustrating others unnecessarily, I’m likely not doing my best work because there is no time to polish and perfect. On top of that, I’m not being kind to my mental nor physical health.

Sacrificing the many to be ‘all in’ with the few

A recurring suggestion from mentors in my life is to narrow my focus to a few specific commitments and be “all in” rather than spreading myself thin and giving a little of myself to a lot of things.

As I evaluate what can be trimmed, I struggle with what to sacrifice and how to protect the newly created space.

A good friend recently said, “Quit talking about it and start praying about it.” Ah, yes, another important part of my life that gets neglected when I’m too busy.

—Jennifer Davis Rash

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Autumn is on the way

Friday night lights and Saturday college game days always turn my mind away from summer and toward fall. And as the nights begin to cool down and the first hints of color peek out of the sea of green leaves, then I know autumn is truly near.

Wednesday, Sept. 23, is the official first day of fall, the Autumnal Equinox if you will, and the Wednesday prior (Sept. 16), I spent the day with sweet friends from the missions field and beyond looking for more hints of fall and breathing in the relaxing air only found in Mentone, Ala.











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