Thursday, July 10, 2008
Leadership in changing times
By SUE WATSON
“The question to you is, are we getting the type of leadership nationally that we need in these changing times?” asked Dr. Jim Biedenharn, pastor of Byhalia United Methodist Church.
There have been other stressful times like these, he said, referring to the Book of Jeremiah and other examples in the Holy Bible.
Present times resemble past times during great changes, he said.
“During great changes you see fear, ineptness - the old things - not working during times of transition.”
“Times are changing and it is frightening to us,” he said, citing examples such as skyrocketing prices for gasoline and oil and cost of living, and the Countrywide Home mortgage debacle.
“The Supreme Court just decided to give Gitmo P.O.W.s more rights than the Nazis got at Nuremberg. “The jury is still out on whether we drill or go to the Middle East with our hats in our hands begging for oil.”
Biedenharn, speaking during the recent Leadership Marshall graduation, said there are two kinds of responses to these problems the nation and world face - denial or taking action.
“If you are not concerned about these things, you really have your head in the sand,” he said. “Many of us want to go back to the 1950s and sit on the porch and watch the fireflies,” he said. “Many just do not want to respond. We believe we should have more and more but the world is more complicated.
“Let’s face it, we are now competing with India and China.”
Americans are confusing material blessings with spiritual blessings, he said.
“And there are not going to be solutions unless we get past partisanship nationally.”
The most important thing for us is to move ahead, he said, rather than sit on the porch and watch the fireflies.
“Who do we turn to?” he asked. “Only God can help us with our tendency to compromise with the world.”
Biedenharn said there is no time now for blaming our economic woes on anyone, but the time is ripe to help solve these problems.
He recalled the 1973 gas crisis where cars were lined up at the gas station, waiting for gas, a point not reached yet in the present crisis.
“We’ve done nothing,” he said. “They are still arguing about what we’re going to do. That is not leadership.”
He warned that government will not fix the present energy crisis.
“If you think the government is, I ask you to stand with 300,000 people in New Orleans waiting for the government,” he said, harking back to government’s response to the Hurricane Katrina crisis.
Turning to the prospect of government passing a universal healthcare bill, Biedenharn said socialized medicine would leave many needing treatment without it.
“They say they will bring our troops back from Iraq, but if they do are they telling you the cost of oil will go up?” he asked.
He added, “Change is not coming from the top down, but from the bottom up. It’s going to be you and the choices you make. The truth is, you and I and our nation need restoration.
“Our maker, Jesus Christ, restores you, not your congressman. Our return to Jesus will be blessed with dividends beyond belief.
“But there is a problem. You and I are rich and soft - broken - and have lost our bearings.”
There is pain in changing from a manufacturing economy to an information economy, he said.
The climate of litigation has made Americans afraid to protect (stand up for) themselves, he said.
“We still need wise leaders. This is a pivotal time in human history. Counting on our leaders now may not be enough. It is time for us to purify and transform ourselves and to be responsible for ourselves.”
The present crisis is not about old battles anymore, he said.
“We are really pioneers, surrounded by danger, and what we need is a shift in consciousness and turning to God,” he said. “I urge every one of you to reconnect with your church or faith and let God transform you.”
Humanity is blessed with a divine opportunity to redefine the world, he said.
“Leadership is a novel concept and we really don’t see it very often. The Holy Scripture did not say look across the Potomac, but to look unto the Hills from whence cometh our help.”
News: (662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions, comments, corrections: email@example.com
©2004, The South Reporter, All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site may be reproduced in any way without permission.
The South Reporter is a member of the Mississippi Press Association.
Site managed and maintained by
South Reporter webmasters Linda Jones, Kristian Jones
Web Site Design - The South Reporter
Back | Top of Page