Monday, January 2, 2017

Ready for amazing opportunities in 2017? We are.

Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.  -- Jonathan Edwards
Every new year offers two opportunities. Climb higher. Go backward. Standing still isn't an option. Not really. Because without growth, stagnation creeps in.

So in 2017 leaders have a choice. Onward or backyard? Distracted or focused? Purposeful or random?

At Dallas Leadership Foundation, we're reaching for the steeper climb. We're stretching to give much more to families through our outreaches for youth, prisons, and neighborhoods. Most of all, we want to experience the new horizons Father God has in store. We trust in His ability -- because of the access we have in His Son, Jesus Christ -- to introduce us to the new!

Lead with us in 2017 by going to to learn more how you can pray, volunteer, or donate. It'll be worth every moment.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Shepherds: Community leaders of faith

While the innkeeper in the Christmas story operated at human capacity and didn't rely on the infinite
abilities of God, the shepherds offer a sharp contrast of how to respond when God interrupts a day-to-day life with the presence of His glory:

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them (Luke 2:8-20).
The Scripture doesn't record any outlandish unbelief from the shepherds. No shepherd is recorded as running in fear from this divine military gathering of the armies of God, and the shepherds don't obnoxiously demand a full explanation from the angels. (Of course, that could be because the heavenly host are not the type of entities you push around!)

In essence, the shepherds' reaction reflects an emerging faith. At that moment, they were living out the words of Paul, which would come decades later: "We walk by faith and not by sight." True, the shepherds saw the hosts of heaven surrounding the glory of God. But they had to trust that the baby with Mary and Joseph was the Christ the angels described. The shepherds accepted the angel's words by faith and shared them.

 Every day at Dallas Leadership Foundation we interact with faithful community leaders who have been our longtime partners, or meet new leaders who share insights about their communities. What a joy it is to partner with them! They are like the shepherds of ancient times who tenderly cared for their lambs. Community leaders look out for their neighbors. They give voice to their concerns.

We learn so much about Dallas and the assistance people need when we collaborate with community leaders. One of our chief projects together is the Treasures of Hope Christmas Store. Community leaders refer families to us who they know could use a little extra help this Christmas. Because of these compassionate community leaders, DLF operates more effectively, more accessibly, and more faithfully to the call of God!

The doors of the Treasures of Hope Christmas Store open today. About 600 families are expected this week at the store and about 1,800 children will be served.  If you want to partner with us, it's not too late to donate toys through our online store at

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Innkeeper: A leader who relied on human capacity alone

To kick off our 19th annual Treasures of Hope Christmas Store, we're profiling individuals who played a role in the story of Jesus' birth in #12DaystoTreasures.

Jesus was born in a manger because there wasn't room for Him in the inn, according to the Book of Luke:
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[ who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn (Luke 2:1-7).

While the Bible doesn't name who turned away Mary and Joseph at the "Bethlehem Inn," we all can imagine a frustrated man or woman overcome by guests pouring into the roadside inn and distracted by providing enough food and other amenities. Perhaps this person was angered because so many walk-in guests hadn't booked a room ahead. Maybe the innkeeper was at a breaking point because the cook was out sick.

Overwhelmed by circumstances, that innkeeper assessed the situation based on human understanding and capacity. This person turned away Mary and Joseph away, not recognizing a leadership moment that was part of the eternal plan of God. Instead of asking Yahweh what to do, the innkeeper reached a decision independently of God. Unfortunately, the leadership moment passed by the innkeeper because the heaviness of human problems obscured Divine Opportunity.

How many times have you been too distracted to see God at work? How often do you rely on God instead of taking the time to pray? The best leaders struggle with prayerlessness and self-reliance. Many leaders measure opportunity by the boundaries of their knowledge and skills. They rely on their logical conclusions instead of praying and asking God for His perspective, purpose and power. Like the innkeeper, human-focused leaders miss wondrous events!

You can help Dallas Leadership Foundation and its volunteers operate from a spiritual capacity and not a human one this Christmas. Help us lead by donating your time or by buying gifts online for the Treasures of Hope Christmas Store. The store doors open on Monday, Dec. 12 and continues until.Dec. 15

We ask for your prayers and support so that we see the vastness of God's ability and not our limitations as we serve 600 families on His behalf this Christmas. We don't want to miss anything God wants to do!

If you want to donate toys and other items to Treasures of Hope so that we can make Christmas special for hundreds of Dallas families, please visit our online store at