Time to Return to My Blog

I posted this in Learners, Leaders and relationships on FaceBook in July. I am copying it here as I recall how to use this blogging software again.

I want to share this and some other Maxwell maxims with our Church Council. We are always working on developing more leadership.

“The better leader you are, the better leaders you will attract.” ~ John C Maxwell

Like attracts like is a basic principle of life. Others also say that birds of a feather flock together. If you want to play with leaders at a certain level, you need to raise your game to match theirs. A leader who’s a 7 on a scale of 1-10, will not be attracted to a leader who’s a 5.

The same is true that a leader who’s a 9 cannot be attracted to a leader who’s a 7. The onus is on you to develop your leadership capacity.

I hope to start adding to my poetry each week, and also I am going to be adding a section about my experience with Kidney Failure and pursuing a Kidney transplant.

I will try posting this now.

Fingers crossed.

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Why We Are Disciples

I loved the recent essay in the UMC Discipleship Ministries page. I am copying some here with my short notes added.


To witness to Jesus Christ in the world means to live so others see Jesus through your words and actions. Christians live as witnesses to Jesus when they follow his teachings summarized in his commandments to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and love who God loves (see Matthew 22:37-40).  I have to think about this and listen daily.

Christians witness to Jesus Christ in the world and follow his teachings to love their neighbor as themselves through acts of compassion and justice. Acts of compassion are kindness and mercy given to anyone who is hungry, thirsty, lonely, mourning, sick, or in prison.  This has been my ministry for a while. I am physically unable to do much of this now, but I maintain the connections.

Through acts of justice, disciples witness to God’s work in the world by responding to their neighbor’s pain by addressing the causes of human suffering. Christians practice acts of justice when they organize and join with other faith communities and civic institutions to advocate for the poor and marginalized people of their community and the world. They do this by writing letters to elected officials, volunteering, voting, lobbying, marching, and other actions for social change to address the causes of suffering and oppression. This is important to me. I know some are uncomfortable with it

Christians witness to Jesus Christ in the world and follow his teachings to love God through acts of worship and acts of devotion. Acts of worship are what Christians do together to remember who and whose they are. Worship is the weekly family gathering. It is when the household of God gathers to serve God with praise, prayer, proclamation, and sacrament. Worship concludes with God sending God’s people into the world to serve as Christ’s representatives in the world.  I love worship, and I regret when I have to miss.

Acts of devotion are how individual Christians stay connected with God. They are habits of the heart. Prayer is conversation (listening and speaking) with God. Reading and studying Scripture is how Christians discover God’s story and their place in it. Fasting is perhaps the most neglected and misunderstood spiritual habit. When you refrain from eating for a day or part of a day, you imitate Christ’s self-emptying (see Philippians 2:5-8). Hunger pangs are a prompt to prayer. Fasting is also an expression of solidarity with the poor for whom fasting is sometimes not a choice. Jesus identified himself with the hungry poor (see Matthew 25:31-40). This is so important—EVERY DAY.

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Developing Your Growth Plan

I read this great reminder from John Maxwell about personal growth plans.  I agree that all these tasks are critical for leaders (and followers too):

To develop your own intentional growth plan, you must:   

  • Make a commitment to intentionally grow.   
  • Make your commitment public.   
  • Identify the areas you want to see growth in.   
  • Invest one hour a day in those areas.   
  • Invest one hour a week on reflection and writing about what you are learning.   
  • Share your growth with someone. 

The Idea of having a partner to share with is a great reminder.    

What do you think of Maxwell’s list?

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Upon studying 2 Peter 1:4:

 by which He has given to us exceedingly

great and precious promises,

so that through these things you might become partakers of the divine nature

and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.

                              Can I Be Holy?

This drop of water is like the Atlantic,

Not with the power or magnitude of oceans,

Not in Size and scope,

But in essence and saltiness.

So am I.  Can it be?

My heart made clean, I am filled with

Love to God and to each other.

My love seems so small compared to Christ,

but it is the same love,

filling me.

Joy in the Spirit, Joy in the the Word,

Joy to the World.

The spark in this ember is like a forest fire,

not with the same heat or destruction,

Not in size and scope yet,

But in essence and combustion.

So am I.  Can it be?

My heart washed by the water,

and tempered by the flames,

I am clean and holy.

In ways I still need to learn daily, I am in His Spirit,

and filled with His Spirit.

The skin of my frame is stretched taught,

pulled  to springy transparency to allow the

Spirit to fill me each moment.

Holy now, I conform to His nature,

Revealed in me the Spirit of Jesus.

It is love.

Joy in the Word, Joy to the World.

(c) Tom Bolton, January 26, 2022, Cudahy home.

Advent Devotions:

Advent: Mysterious Love

Mystery Anew

Mysterious Piety

My life of Hope in Christian community.

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Leaders Lead in Sunday School Too

I’ve been studying how to breathe new life into our Sunday School Classes and our small groups.
Allan Taylor provided this great list about why Sunday School is so important, and I added a few comments.

Sunday School is about God’s Day.
   The first day of the week is when Jesus rose from the tomb. The early Church worshipped and studied on the First Day and it continued for many centuries.
Sunday School is about God’s Home.
   It is the place where we gather to worship, and we rightly learn here.
Sunday School is about God’s Word.
   The Bible is the storybook for children, the molding of youth, God’s strength for young adults, and God’s ever-present help in middle age, and God’s sustaining grace in old age. We all ought to be there at every age.
Sunday School is about People.
   Preschoolers need love there, children need to learn, youth need guidance, adults need challenging and older adults need to end well.
Sunday School is about transformation.
   We are renewed, served, prepared to share the Gospel, and souls are saved here.
Sunday School is about the Great Commission.
   Sunday School is how the Church has energized, evangelized, organized, mobilized and individualized so we can achieve the Great Commission.
Sunday School is about ministry.
   Jesus directed me through the Holy Spirit to teach Sunday school.
   It is a friend to the perishing, a hug to the hurting, a smile to the lonely, a boost to the downcast, a prayer for the sick, a comfort to the mourning, and a boost to the bored.
Sunday School is about Inspiration.
   It is a safe place to think, to learn, to feel something, to do something, and to grow.

Mid-week groups are important too, but the place for Sunday Schools is well-established in the Church. Growing churches have growing Sunday Schools. I want to be part of that, and I want lots of newbies to join in too.

Lets pray for our Sunday Schools. And please join us!


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Chastened and Eyed

Jesus’ Eyes

Chastened and Eyed

On Hebrews 12:10, looking at Matthew 16:23 and Luke 26:61-62

I seek the worthy life.

When Jesus looked at Peter,

With no new words,

Peter remembered His words, a

Warning before the rooster crowed three times.

Man, I do know what Jesus says to me,

And I want too to watch for His look.

Let me be holy enough and righteous inPractice

That I see His look.

Get behind me Satan.

(Satan does deceive me—with my own words,

And so often my mind is in the wrong place.)

Let me see Jesus’ eye on me too—As often as I need it.


Joy to know Jesus.

Let me too receive the kingdom that cannot be shaken.

(C) Tom Bolton, Cudahy, 9 December 2021

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Winning My Shirt

 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

—- Matthew 5:40 NIV

Winning My Shirt

When I was sued, I thought only of winning;

I focused on his lies and never considered his needs,

And after 1000 days in Courts and Conferences,

We left deadlocked, and yet

I could never let it go.

I was wronged and that is all I see.

I live my life as a competitor

Too often.

In my meditations, I can see

who I really am,

And I know that I need to love and share,

But it is not my first nature.

I will give my shirt,

But not my victory.

Lord, hold me close,

Even when I want to fight in man’s Court,

And when I want to wrestle in the arena.

Lord, bless me to change me.

(C) Tom Bolton December 1, 2021 in Cudahy, WI

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I learned a new word that I will contemplate during my prayer time this week. This is from Dr. Ingrid Hicks.

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