11:32 AM When Josh visited us over Thanksgiving, he was quoted in the Tupelo newspaper.
11:26 AM As we talked on the flight from Harrisburg to Atlanta, Michael Loftis said the second characteristic of leadership is love. He mentioned that his predecessor at ABWE, Dr. Wendell Kempton, had been successful in part because he so greatly loved the missionaries and they knew it. "If people know you love them, they will die for you." As we talked, I suggested stamina as a third trait of leadership. Recently Charles Lee announced his retirement as the president of Mississippi State University. When asked what quality his successor will need, he replied with one word, "Stamina." That's a good, old-fashioned word that summarizes a bit part of leadership. When John MacArthur was asked what a young man needs to do to learn how to teach the Bible properly, he replied, "Stay in your chair." Too many people keep popping up to watch TV, read a book, or a wash down some Fig Newtons with a glass of buttermilk. MacArthur says young preachers have to learn to stay in the chair until the work is done. And if you stay long enough, you'll realize when the work is done. Then you get up. Staying power isn't a gltizy attribute, but it's absolutely essential for success in any field of endeavor.
So here are first three traits of good leaders: guts, love and stamina. Tomorrow I'll pass along the final character trait Michael mentioned. It wasn't what I expected.
11:27 AM We made our reservations for China last night. We'll be in Beijing from January 16-24. We're going to see Mark and we will be there for the launch of the Chinese translation of the An Anchor for the Soul, and we're hoping to meet some people associated with a new seminary in Beijing.
11:23 AM Today starts a busy week for us. In a few minutes I'm leaving Tupelo with 200 copies of Why Did This Happen to Me? that I'm delivering to a team from Pontiac (IL) Bible Church where Brian Bill is the pastor. I'm meeting them in Batesville (about 70 miles west of Tupelo) as they travel south on their way to do Hurricane Katrina relief work in Biloxi. At the moment I don't know exactly where I'm going to meet them. I told their team leader to call me when they get an hour north of Memphis. What I didn't realize is that I'm doing a phone interview today at 4 PM for a radio program in New Zealand. So I may have to find a place to drop the books off and hope they can pick them up. I also have to hurry back because Dave and Lynette Hoy from our church in Oak Park are coming in tonight for a visit.
11:22 AM 2279 miles. It was 37 degrees when I started my ride on the Natchez Trace. Felt like I was back in Chicago.