Lessons in Leadership ………….. From the Desk of Cree



AIMSK Leadership In Training Extension

Lessons In Leadership

March 31, 2004


Read Genesis 37:1-36; 39:1-42; 47:13-26


It’s not the dream of a lifetime; it’s the dream that takes a lifetime


Many times as leaders we get really excited about the visions god has given us. We are very strong willed once we think we have a hold on what God has called us to do. But do you ever think that the vision God gives you will take a lifetime and will go past your existence on this earth? If God told us that it would take a lifetime, would we be so eager at first to accomplish that dream? I have to honestly say that I wouldn’t have been. During time in ministry, working with people, and many nights of being frustrated, a lifetime of fulfilling God’s destiny for my life became overwhelming and almost worth giving up. When you sit down and think about all the work you have to put into it and knowing that you are incompetent or unable, it is really mentally, physically, and spiritually draining. When we review great leaders of the bible, we can never look over Joseph life. Joseph story is one story that encourages me and somehow lives and proves; “It’s not the dream of a lifetime; it’s the dream that takes a lifetime”. Reading Joseph story is almost scary. Look how he was treated by his family. Look what hole he was placed in. Look at how his life went from Up to down. He was moving his way up and all of sudden he was thrown in a prison. However, even in prison, God didn’t take away his anointing. His gift was still present in his bones. He still interrupted dreams. He still heard the voice of God. He still was able to hear God in a hole. He still saw the visions of him ruling over a nation. How can you see such things in a terrible state in your life?  I am a firm believer that is just the way God does things. He allows us to squeeze out the best during our most horrible circumstances. The question to us is, Will we dig deep within our soul to squeeze out the best during our worst? Most leaders fall by the waist side when they stop seeing the vision, when they stop seeing the big picture, and when they give up hope. Thank God Joseph didn’t give up hope.


In many ways, Joseph was like other great leaders. First, all leaders have a dream, a vision of a better future. In Joseph’s case, he experienced literal visions. Second, the vision and the person who has the vision are inseparable. The leader’s heart beats for the vision, eat for the vision, walk for the vision, talk for the vision, and he won’t be content until it is fulfilled. Another person cannot fulfill that leaders’ dream. We can expect others to help us get to the vision, but no one can fulfill it for us. I can help Yolanda in every way possible, but I can’t sing for her. (Lord knows I’m not gifted in that area) I can help Ylandus all day long, however, Peach is inside of her belly and she can be the only Visionary walking in Peach Ministries shoes. God send us help, however, he doesn’t replace our shoes onto someone else. Third, no leader’s vision can be kept secret. When vision is shared in the right way (note:  the right way. There’s a wrong way too ladies), it can enhance a person’s leadership. But when it’s done in the wrong way, it creates problems. And that, of course, is what God Joseph in trouble. After reading this story, I can see how maybe Joseph could have gotten arrogant with his brothers.


A Vision that takes us through the Fire


Joseph had a vision long before he had the leadership ability to make it happen. He had a divine leadership destiny, but he didn’t start out as an effective leader. He held no kind of influence with his brothers or with anyone other than his father, for that matter. Now how many of us are in this situation? Before God could use him, Joseph had to be prepared, purified, and forged into the leader he had the potential to become. All great leaders need three things to prepare them:


1. Time to Mature

How many of us just jump into leadership positions without growing. No, let me say this, how many of mature leaders place people in leadership positions when their not ready? I can honestly say that I’ve done this before. This is the reason for the A.L.I.T.E program and its scriptural base of I Timothy 5:22- Never be in a hurry with appointing a leader. Leaders need time to grow. Joseph labored in obscurity (shrouded in or hidden by darkness c : not clearly seen or easily distinguished )for a season of his life before becoming qualified to lead. How many of us are broken before we begin leading? Joseph was sold into slavery at only seventeen (by research this is the age given), he finally stood before Pharaoh for the first time at the age of 30.  Look at this time span, 13 years! He required thirteen years to be prepared. By the time he interpreted the monarch’s dream, he was a changed man. He was equipped. He was humble. He was a great leader.


2. Trials to Strengthen

Gold is purified only after it passes repeatedly through the fire. We all should know this by heart with all the lessons Vanessa has given us on going through the fire. Diamonds are created only under extreme pressure. And great leaders are formed only through trials. Joseph would never have reached his potential if he had stayed at home. To become a great leader, he had to become a slave and prisoner. It’s amazing of what God will send us through to purify us. Typing this statement honestly just scared the mess out of me. I realize that I have some more fires to go through, trials to endure, and extreme pressure to go under. I’ve had it good and Lord Jesus I still have awhile to go. Lord have mercy!


3. God to Bless You and Your Anointing

Without God, a leader can do nothing of real value. Jesus declared, “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). God blessed Joseph as he worked in Potiphar’s house as a slave. Then he blessed him as he worked in the prison. Four times in chapter 39 ( I placed the scriptures above so you can go read this story and the word for yourselves) of Genesis the bible expresses God’s favor. For example, Genesis 39:23 states, “The Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.” If you’re on God side, you can’t lose. Every leader needs Gods favor. Whether you’re in a hole, in hell, or in prison, God will show up there and make you strong.


It takes a lifetime to fulfill a dream. So the next time you feel as if you’re stagnate or in a place where you feel you shouldn’t be ( I often have these feelings and have to pray them off of me), ask God to give you patience with your own destiny and vision. I know it is times where we want all that God has promised us, but know that we must go through a few things before getting to the vision. We want to act as Joseph did. He was a humble servant and Great leader. Allow God to prepare you as a servant first!

Know that we are all here for each other and there will be times where you might feel like you don’t have the energy to go on. Its not the dream of the lifetime; it’s the dream that  takes a lifetime.


Love you all.


Appointed, Anointed, and Abiding,


Angela F. Armstrong

“You can have the title, I’ll take the Anointing”

My biggest Aha Moment ….Cree’s Blog 2

~continue~I was tripping on how much fun I had being up in the air. Since then I have been on a plane a total of 8 times. My fear of fly is over.

Angela and Vanessa our co-leader taught us so much. I wish I knew and believed those things they were teaching us. I couldn’t comprehend it. I didn’t know anything about Leading, I wasnt popular in school, I hadn’t done a thing to make them see  what they saw. They knew it, and again when it came down to the workshops and exercises, I kept everything, because for some reason I had a feeling that I would  someday comprehend everything that they taught. One of the 4 nights we were in Chicago, and we had a day at the spa ( full body) we got in bed, and about 3 something in the morning, they BARGED in our  hotel rooms told us to SHUT UP, don’t talk, and to put on these army uniforms that they had given us with our names on it, and after we did it we were to line up outside of our rooms and not say a word. We all were looking like WTH!!!!!!!!!!!? But we were too scared to talk, we knew they weren’t going to hurt us, that NEVER came to mind, we just didn’t know what to expect. After we lined up, they had us walk a straight line outside, we had to do these exercises. One was, someone had to stand on top of the ladder, and after she fell forward we had to catch her and not let her hit the ground. OMG we were so nervous, and cold. We had just gotten out of the shower and then out into the air. We were so sleepy and so outdone, we didn’t understand why this was happening. WE dropped someone OMG, and boy were we in trouble, LOL She/they taught us that we are 1, and if 1 fall, WE ALL FALL. It was a really good lesson to learn. I have applied this same exercise to my Raisingurl group. I’m going to be honest. I didn’t understand and HATED doing that exercise… but I got the meaning of it. SHM right now, IM SO GRATEFUL they taught us that. I have 4 groups and it has really taught me discipline. She was raising us up and we didn’t even know it. One night while we were in New Jersey, she told us to put on these uniforms, we had to carry 2 jugs of water in a back pack on our backs, and hold an egg. They lead us out of the apartment ( Queen Latifah stayed there too) and into the subways, we were told that we couldn’t drop the egg, and that if someone was getting tired of holding the egg, that we as a group need to help them and carry if for them until they regained their strenght to make it to the finish line. Of course I was one of the bigger gurls and a Sista was TIIIIIIED. I cracked my egg, my legs were so sore and tired. WE all were tired because we never knew when the walk through New York and New Jersey was going to end. LOL We caught so many trains, people were looking and staring at us, at some point we didn’t care, all we wanted to do was get back to the hotel and sleep. We talked all through the night, through  Times Square, it was about 8 of us total. We walked about 4-6 hours. Chick was tied!!! They made us walk THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, YEP I WALKED THE WHOLE BRIDGE!!!! I didn’t know if I should quit and leave, plus go home, or listen to “you can make it La’Crease” from everybody.  And to this day. I LOVE WALKING. LOVE IT! LOVE IT. LOVE IT!!! When we got back to the apartment, we stretched out, nobody talked, we were tired!!! We learned so much, she talked, we sang songs, we cried, laughed. Then the next day, she took us shopping in New York. The pain was gone, I bought so many purses, my suitcase was heavy. I will never forget all the things they taught us.

 I remember one day while in New Jersey, we were in Church, and I sat next to Angela, when it held hands, I could feel the anointing in her hands. I will never in my life forget that as long as I live . The power of God went through her hands and I felt it. It was very powerful, out of all the people hands I hold in Church I never felt an anointing like that. That told me a lot about her. She was so good to us, I really feel bad about the things that went down, and also how it was time for her to move on from AIMSK.  I wish I had done more assignments, did all the things she asked me to do without fear of failing to do the task the way she asked. I wish that I took Ministry more seriously than I did. I wish I had really understood the workshops she held to ask the right questions. But you know she did what God told her to do, she planted the seed.  Had I known the person that I  would be today, I would have done more to listen, to understand, to learn. She and Smokie Norful are very good friends, they belong to the same Church, but when he got his own Church, he asked her to come with him and she and her husband did, and I never got a chance to see her preach there on some of the days he had to be away. I miss her. She taught us so much to go on with our lives. Tomorrow, I’m going to share some of the things she taught us and how it has helped me to become the woman  I am today. ~to be continued~