I am in the midst of a rewrite of my book So Many Leaders, So Little Leadership, which I wrote in 2000. I have half-jokingly said that I no longer believe some of what is in that book, but I think it's that my views on leadership have matured since then. It was time to put those new views on paper. I am already behind my publisher's requested submission date but I think I am two days away from completion - if I can find some chunks of time to work on it uninterrupted.
When you put this much work into a project, you ask yourself along the way, "Why am I doing this?" and you consider quitting altogether or at least postponing completion until a more opportune time, which of course will never come. So I have learned to press on and look for the joy oil while I work. Let's consider that concept now.
I was at a meeting of pastors this week and one of them read Hebrews 1:9, which got me thinking about this week's Memo: "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” This verse makes reference to Jesus Christ and of course Christ means "Anointed One." Notice what Jesus' anointing was. It wasn't power or authority or knowledge. It was joy.
In my leadership book revision, I talk about the importance of anointing, not just in church work but in any purpose work. If the joy isn't there, there are no anointed results - and anointed simply means that God is helping you do the work.
As I write and get bogged down or discouraged, I look for the joy oil. And the joy oil for me is visualizing people reading, learning and growing. It's people closer to understanding and fulfilling their purpore than before they started reading. The oil isn't in the money, there isn't very much in publishing unless you have mass media to market, but I write for the joy.
I have been asking audiences lately, "Why does a bird sing?" A bird doesn't sing for an audience or money. A bird sings because it has a song inside it to sing, nothing more nothing less. I supposed a bird can't have joy oil, but sometimes when I watch them sing, I think maybe they do! Or maybe they sing just to bring us joy. Why will you sing or write, or compose, or teach, or lead? It may be for money or to serve others, but ultimately it had better be for joy because that's what's in you to do.
If you are going to write or do just about anything related to purpose, then you must find that oil of joy to be successful and fulfilled. Where is it for you? Are you afraid of it? Are you trying to operate without it? All those are good questions to address this week, while I work feverishly to finish my manuscript. When you find your joy oil as I have found mine, you will have all the motivation you need to carry on and through all opposition and hindrances, especially those that come from within you. Have a great week!
KENYA REPORT: I depart for Kenya in six weeks and must raise $12,000 before then to reach my goal of $25,000 for The Big Blessing. I will start writing and updating you in earnest next week and I know the Lord will come through, using you in the process. You don't have to wait but can give through my website or by sending a check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8881, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0881.
MEMO INDEX: Did you know that every Memo I have ever written is on my website in groups of five, along with an index that includes every Scripture reference, topic and Memo title. If you are looking for something specific, you can look here, or just do some reading of back issues at your leisure.
WWJA: Have you checked out my new daily devotional, What Would Jesus Ask? If not, take a look here and subscribe at the same site to receive it every day.
ISRAEL POSTPONED: I did not have enough people interested for this May, so I have rescheduled the next Israel trip for September, 2013. It will be here before you know it, so plan to be part of that trip now.