Category Archives: Leadership Development

Pre-Trip Passages homework

The Hope Israel Documentary:

The major themes I noticed were some of the incredible, inspiring Jewish individuals that God used to do huge things for his people and the establishment of the state of Israel after 2,000 years. God made an everlasting covenant, which he will hold forever. Despite the persecution of the Jewish people, they reclaimed the Holy Land. That was not an easy task, and if God were not on their side, they would have surely failed. I had no idea that once people started moving back to Israel, they spoke all kinds of different languages, and it would take a dedicated and hardworking man to establish the Hebrew language again, and write dictionaries, and commit to using it as the only form of communication. The United States also played a pretty big role in supporting Israel in the beginning. I loved that a women was allowed at that time to play such a big role in establishment of the state and of running it once the independence was gained. Golda Meir was someone I had never heard of, but I was very inspired by her. I was also a little bit surprised to find out the details about Churchill, when he avoided situations because he didn’t to act or help.

The Jews returning to the Promised Land is prophecy coming true. Dry bones that came to life. This fueled my passion to speak up to my Christian friends, bible studies, church and other Christ followers about how we need to love the Jewish people. We need to pray for them and appreciate them. We need to stand up for them. We need to learn about them. Their heritage is the heritage of all believers. Jesus Christ as Jewish himself! One day, Israel, The Jews and the Christian church will come together in the last days. I am very excited to learn more about the history of Israel and the Jewish people through this trip!

 

 

LDR402 Feedback

         From the beginning to the end, I thought the LRD402 process was structured very well. It was clear that this is the last portion in completing your Leadership Minor for CMU.  This course is uniquely set up to give the student freedom to study a topic of interest, in a way that best suits the individual. I believe that because we get to choose what our project is about, how it’s done, what it looks like and the ways we want to correlate it with our own specific leadership preferences, it creates the best environment to foster large amounts of growth. I know that it did that for me. As we also have the freedom to choose our advisor, we are able to work with someone who we feel best suits our personality, learning styles, career goals and other important areas. It is a known fact that in college you sometimes are forced to take classes with professors that are not so great. A professor can make or break your ability to learn that material, your grade and your attitude about the  course. Same goes with work, that a bad boss or corrupt, negative  leadership can really affect your growth, how comfortable you are in that environment and overall your experience. I believe the way LDR402 is structured is done so strategically and I know that if you area student who wants to get something out of this course, you will! My only comment would be to explain the Exhibits in the guidelines. I was confused when not all of them were labeled. Besides that, the guidelines were well written and easy to follow. I thought that we had the perfect amount of contact with Dr. Brown, from the project approval meeting to sending her our goals and ideas, to the final submission. Lastly, I think that the project due date and the allowance for extended project dates is extremely important when it comes to a creative project like this. Especially for those taking the class for six credit hours. In projects where you work with organizations and other people, flexibility and adaptability are sometimes needed. If I wasn’t allowed the extension, I would not have sent two students to Israel for free, shared my story with all of the groups on my goal list or seen the interfaith event come to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this LDR402 process and I think that the major content should stay the same for years to come.

 


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Epilogue

 

I would say that my personal philosophy of leadership is still the same, that it is centered around bringing God glory, serving others, standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves and to transform lives. The reason that the base of my philosophy did not change is because it is deeply rooted on a strong foundation of my faith in Jesus Christ. I sure did add experience and more “tools to my tool belt”, but that did not change my overall personal philosophy.

I never want to stop challenging myself, I desire to always grow and move forward. This was another step up the ladder of leadership. You can never be perfectly ready for the places that you jump outside your comfort zone, even when you prepare. You just have to trust God at all times. Even if I get nervous about doing something challenging, I still want to push myself and rely on my Heavenly Father.

Reaching people of different cultures and religious beliefs was a new thing for me. I believe this experience and project has helped me to better serve people overall. The bible says, “do not get weary of doing good” and I hope that I can continue to “do good” in the world. Jesus definitely embraced different cultures throughout his ministry. For example, the Jewish people and the Samaritans hated each other, but Jesus was not Afraid to cross that line of cultures. I want to add an emphasis of listening and learning to the forefront of my leadership. The bible also states to be “quick to listen and slow to speak” and I feel like that is the absolute best way to take when working with people of cultures to which you aren’t as knowledgeable in. You must reach people where they are at.

I believe Jesus was the best transformational leader as he changed so many lives, but He had a clear vision of what he was purposed to do. I believe everyone has a calling and with that I want to continue to seek God on my calling and where he wants me to go in life. Jesus empowered and inspired people to follow the vision of loving the Lord with all their heart, and I believe as I continue to make strides in my leadership abilities, I call upon the Holy Spirit to help me bring others to God in an encouraging way.


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Reference Page:

The Holy Bible, New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan House, 1984. Print.

Psalm 93

Matthew 4:19

Isaiah 6:8

John 13:14

Transformational Leadership: Becoming an Inspirational Leader
https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/transformational-leadership.htm

Spahn, P. (2015, October 10). What is Transformational Leadership? http://online.stu.edu/transformational-leadership/

St. Thomas University Online

 

 

Pre-Trip journal

“Something you would like to encounter with God”

Breathe.

Deep Breath.

Pause and take this moment in.

I feel a heaviness inside that I can’t quite put into words right now.

All I can say about how I am feeling, is that it’s not a bad kind of heaviness.

I think that I can feel the weight of this blessing.

Or at least I am starting to.

This blessing is about to come to life.

I have received so many blessings from my Heavenly Father this past year.

It’s truly amazing!

I see his hand on my life.

Others do as well.

He has been showering me in favor and goodness as I give things up to him.

I’m not sure why I am still surprised each time he works or moves.

I should expect it by now, because I know he truly is a

Good, good father.

My heart feels his full, perfect love.

Nothing can separate me from this type of love.

Taking the time to be still before Him is what I needed to fill me up again.

I really needed this moment.

To renew my mind, my heart, my spirit, before Him.

This feeling has to be a foreshadowing of even more encounters to come.

Wow. I am so excited.

Israel!!!

His Holy Land.

His chosen people.

I am sitting, quiet before the Lord.

I am still,

 

I am his daughter.

His princess.

Experiencing this Father’s presence lets any child feel perfect love.

He is Holy.

 

Oh, how desperately, how badly, I want to know him more.

To feel him more.

To understand him more.

To hear him more clearly.

To experience his presence each and every day.

To always take time to let him fill me up, so that I can overflow.

(With love.)

(Overflow onto others, to bring Him glory. To build to His kingdom. To love those who need it the most.)

To surrender everything to Him each and every day.

He is so worthy of ALL praise.

He deserves everything.

Every part of me.

I love Him with all that I am.

“Take everything. I don’t want it. I don’t need it.

Lord, take everything.

I just want you.”

“I won’t go back.

Can’t go back,

To the way it used to be.

Before your presence came and changed me.

All of my shame, guilt, sins,

They’ve been forgiven.

My past is over,

Right now is the moment.

And I have waited for this moment to come.

And I won’t let it pass me by.

I’ve been changed.

Healed. Freed. Delivered. I’ve found joy. Peace. Grace. And favor.”

“Thank you for being God.

You’re too big, for error.

You’re too wise, for mistake.

You are almighty God.

Perfect in all your ways.

You’re worthy. I’m grateful.

You’re worthy. I’m grateful.

Thank you for being God.

Breathe.

Deep breathes.

My heart is still very heavy.

It is absolutely full.

And I am grateful.

Dear God,

I pray in Jesus name, boldly, that this trip to Israel will change my life.

I want to encounter your Holy Spirit in ways I have never before.

I ask that you let me know exactly what you want me to hear.

I don’t really know right now what that is.

Except I can hear you saying, be present, live in this moment.

I was nervous, and you told me, ‘why worry’?

I don’t need to, because it is you who guides my steps and works through me.

I am only your vessel.

I pray that I soak up everything new on this trip, like a sponge.

I ask that the “after” of this trip will be one that brings others closer to you.

I pray blessings over that, when the time comes to share my story.

A new part of my testimony.

Israel.

Your presence.

Walking where you son Jesus Christ walked.

Experiencing a modern miracle.

Witnessing that you hold true to your promises.

Feeling more of your love.

Thank you God!

I cannot wait.

Thank you.

Amen.

 

 

Pre-Trip Reflections #1

My first order of business for my Israel Project is to start the required homework before my trip. I have to read two books, write two essays, complete Jerusalem U class and videos and prep for the biblical sites. I have a lot to do, so I better get started!


 

The Jerusalem U videos have been very educational so far. I was not aware that Israel is a world leader with technology and economic advances. I know that as a leader it is important to educate and prepare for this venture. The more I take this preparation homework seriously, the more I will be able to learn and thrive when I get there! I am feeling very excited about it.

Now let me tell you about Don Finto’s book.

“Your people shall be my people and your God my God.” I have read the story of Ruth more times than I could count. But not once did I ever think about it the way Don Finto presented it. I have a heart for the Jewish people, and this book struck many chords for me. It gave incredible understanding, and every part was backed up by clear verses of truth. I needed to read this, and was blessed with doing so.

I first thought back to my time last summer. When I was growing close to my Jewish friends. My heart would ache when we would discuss faith, and how they didn’t believe in Jesus.  Messianic Jews (Jewish people that follow Christ) are very interesting and amazing to me. I have watched a few documentaries and interviews on them, and I loved reading about that in this book. They are so special! To my knowledge, I have never met a Messianic Jew and I am hoping to this trip! This book has also inspired me to go check out a Messianic Jewish Synagogue near me, when I get home. I think that would be a very eye opening experience.

The way Don Finto spoke about Genesis 12:3 was profoundly impactful on me as well, and it really got me thinking. The verse states, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse, and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” When you look into it, it’s very interesting to look at historical events within the U.S. in coloration with how we have supported or not supported Israel. When I say that, I mean that the times when our nation’s leadership has turned it’s back on Israel, you can notice patterns of bad weather or horrible events occurring right after. But in the other light, you can also look at all of America’s blessings. A lot of times we have been a huge support to Israel, and I can only think after reading this book, that it has some relationships with the verse Genesis 12:3. We are a very prosperous nation compared to a lot of the world. God loves Israel. It is so obvious. Despite everything, from attacks to being conquered and destroyed, Israel still prevails. That is amazing love right there. God loves when others want to bless, protect and stand up for his special land.

I loved the way this book spoke on the prophecies coming true, and happening through ways some people over look. It had me thinking more and more about how our Messiah could come back so soon, even in our lifetime. We must be ready. The prophecies are coming true. More and more Jewish people are coming to know Jesus. The evil in the world is getting worse. Jewish people are moving back to the Promised Land. So incredible, and crazy to think about! I can’t quite wrap my mind around it all. I need to be actively praying for Israel and His people! That is so important, and from this book I was inspired to start boldly praying.

 

 

Spring Reflections

This spring I became very busy as I had to take on more hours at work. I worried how I would be able to get all of this project done. Then I spoke with Paige Long, who happened to be a PR/Event Management major! God is so funny and really worked this all out. I have to praise and thank him! Therefore I was able to share my vision for a night to honor Israel and bring Jewish and Christian students together in a fun way with her and get her on board. She was very excited and I decided that I could ask her to take over the planning process for the event. I had already worked out the details from food to Hillel contacts, but she took the idea even further that I thought about. She created a “Let’s Taco About Israel” night and it was a great success! They could foster conversation about Jewish-Christian relations and enjoy each other’s company.

As I am sometimes a perfectionist with my projects and like to control all details, how I plan them. This was a huge learning moment for me. I had to recognize that I was unable to fully pull off my dreamed up event and that it would be best to ask people for help. In the grander scheme of things, I needed this lesson. When I am out in the real world working on my career, I am positive that I will have to use help to compete projects. If someone like Paige is a better person for the role and even has more experience than I do, why wouldn’t you work with them, instead of all alone? I can be stubborn when it comes to giving up the reigns, but I know that when you have a lot of tasks, delegation is essential. I am confident I will add this to my leadership/life tool belt.

Holding an impactful event was one of my goals, and that was finally met! It took a lot of time, planning, scheduling and ultimately reaching out for help, but I am relieved and filled with joy to know that it happened. I know that Hillel has been really impressed with the Christians on campus reaching out and getting involved to support them, and it is a really heartwarming feeling that I started that ripple effect.

As I talk about Hillel being so impressed with our interest in Israel and Jewish-Christian unity, I will conclude this final reflection with my most exciting news of all!  During the end of the school year I was contacted with the question if I knew of any Christian students who would possibly be interested in going to Israel sponsored by *Hillel and *Passages. To hear those two organizations combined simply got my heart racing! Hillel had loved what Passages was doing and had been hearing about it through Paige and I, so they wanted to get involved. I found it to be amazing! Ziv, Hillel’s Israeli Advisor, contacted Passages and wanted to get one student from CMU involved through a quick acceptance and booked on a summer trip. I thought about the students that I had met with about the trip and Taylor Brown came to my head right away. She was passionate about God and really looking to take more “next steps” in her faith. Taylor is apart of the InterVarsity ministry, Black Campus Ministries, which is connected to Greek InterVarsity as well. She really wanted to go on the trip and even came with me to a few Hillel events.

My first and most important goal was now complete! Taylor was connected with Hillel and they moved her right into acceptance through Passages. Now she is scheduled to go to Israel July 17th! Leaders make connections, and I really feel that the connections I made through this journey were meant to be. I was determined to work hard and achieve all of my goals, and I did just that. I am thankful for the extended amount of time Dr. Brown gave me for this project and that I was able to impact lives through it, or at the very least Paige and Taylor’s.


*It is important to note that I did invest my large efforts into 3 students with the interest to go to Israel, but the last student will remain nameless and things did not work out for him. This does not intend to state they were not qualified for the trip, it just was not their time to go. God did not make a clear, easy path like He did for Paige and Taylor’s trips. There was a lot of prayer that went into the efforts for the third student as well.