Thoughts and Reflections
|Posted by WebMaster on May 5, 2014 at 5:05 PM||comments (0)|
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
- Psalm 133:1
In the weekly EntreLeadership podcast Chris Hogan discussed the 5 Enemies of Team Unity..
You can find these in any organization, including the church. These are enemies are
1) Poor communication
- Is your leader telling you everything you need to know?
- Are you telling your leader everything they need to know?
- Is the organization being open and honest about issues?
- Are issues being addressed or swept under the rug
2) Gossip - Sharing anything negative with someone who can'e solve the problem.
Gossip is also unfair to everyone involved. It’s unfair to the gossipers because they’re
continuing to have to toil in a problem situation with no hope of resolution. It’s unfair to
others who hear the gossip because it undermines passion for their work, confidence in
their leadership and belief in your vision. John Maxwell says, “Once our minds are
'tattooed' with negative thinking, our chances for long-term success diminish.” It’s also
unfair to the EntreLeader who isn’t given the opportunity to address a problem within
their business. Gossiping is discussed in the Bible...look it up
3) Unresolved disagreements _ A house divided against itself cannot stand. If there is a disagreement between two or more parties in an organization...it is preventing you from being 100% effective..and is chipping away at the core of your organization like a dangerous virus.
4) Lack of a shared purpose - If you don’t give your team a roadmap for achieving your vision, they will have to find their own way. Where there is no vision, the people perish.- Proverbs 29:18
Does every member of your organization know the vision and mission of the organization, or is everyone going in different directions?
5) Sanctioned incompetence - Do you know people in your organization in postions of responsibility who aren't doing the job...everyone knows it...and the leadership isn't addressing it.... if so..this is why you can't get 100% from everyone..because you are setting you standards low.
|Posted by WebMaster on January 4, 2013 at 12:50 AM||comments (0)|
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles roll
ed into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’
The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..
‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.
‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.
Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.
|Posted by WebMaster on August 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM||comments (0)|
The Certain Decision
I Have a Decided Heart.
A wise man once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Knowing this
to be true, I am taking my first step today. For too long my feet have been tentative, shuffling left
and right, more backward than forward as my heart gauged the direction of the wind. Criticism,
condemnation, and complaint are creatures of the wind. They come and go on the wasted breath
of lesser beings and have no power over me. The power to control direction belongs to me. Today
I will begin to exercise that power. My course has been charted. My destiny is assured.
I have a decided heart. I am passionate about my vision for the future. I will awaken every morning
with an excitement about the new day and its opportunity for growth and change. My
thoughts and actions will work in a forward motion, never sliding into the dark forest of doubt or
the muddy quicksand of self-pity. I will freely give my vision for the future to others, and as they
see the belief in my eyes, they will follow me.
I will lay my head on my pillow at night happily exhausted, knowing that I have done everything
within my power to move the mountains in my path. As I sleep, the same dream that dominates
my waking hours will be with me in the dark. Yes, I have a dream. It is a great dream, and I will
never apologize for it. Neither will I ever let it go, for if I did, my life would be finished. My
hopes, my passions, my vision for the future is my very existence. A person without a dream
never had a dream come true.
I have a decided heart. I will not wait.
I know that the purpose of analysis is to come to a conclusion. I have tested the angles. I have
measured the probabilities. And now I have made a decision with my heart. I am not timid. I
will move now and not look back. What I put off until tomorrow, I will put off until the next day
as well. I do not procrastinate. All my problems become smaller when I confront them. If I
touch a thistle with caution, it will prick me, but if I grasp it boldly, its spines crumble into dust.
I will not wait. I am passionate about my vision for the future. My course has been charted. My
destiny is assured.
I have a decided heart.
From Andy Andrew's -The Traveler's Gift
|Posted by WebMaster on July 17, 2012 at 11:10 AM||comments (16)|
Part 3 of 7
The Active Decision
I Am a Person of Action.
Beginning today, I will create a new future by creating a new me. No longer will I dwell in a pit
of despair, moaning over squandered time and lost opportunity. I can do nothing about the past.
My future is immediate. I will grasp it in both hands and carry it with running feet. When I am
faced with the choice of doing nothing or doing something, I will always choose to act! I seize this
moment. I choose now.
I am a person of action. I am energetic. I move quickly. Knowing that laziness is a sin, I will create a habit of lively behavior. I will walk with a spring in my step and a smile on my face. The lifeblood rushing through my veins is urging me upward and forward into activity and accomplishment. Wealth and prosperity hide from the sluggard, but rich rewards come to the person who moves quickly.
I am a person of action. I inspire others with my activity. I am a leader. Leading is doing. To
lead, I must move forward. Many people move out of the way for a person on the run; others are
caught up in his wake. My activity will create a wave of success for the people who follow. My
activity will be consistent. This will instill confidence in my leadership. As a leader, I have the
ability to encourage and inspire others to greatness. It is true: An army of sheep led by a lion
would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep!
I am a person of action. I can make a decision. I can make it now. A person who moves neither
left nor right is destined for mediocrity. When faced with a decision, many people say they are
waiting for God. But I understand, in most cases, God is waiting for me! He has given me a
healthy mind to gather and sort information and the courage to come to a conclusion. I am not a
quivering dog, indecisive and fearful. My constitution is strong and my pathway clear.
Successful people make their decisions quickly and change their mind slowly. Failures make
their decisions slowly and change their mind quickly. My decisions come quickly, and they lead
I am a person of action. I am daring. I am courageous. Fear no longer has a place in my life. For
too long, fear has outweighed my desire to make things better for my family. Never again! I have
exposed fear as a vapor, an impostor who never had any power over me in the first place! I do
not fear opinion, gossip, or the idle chatter of monkeys for all are the same to me. I do not fear
failure, for in my life, failure is a myth. Failure only exists for the person who quits. I do not quit.
I am courageous. I am a leader. I seize this moment. I choose now.
From the Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews
|Posted by WebMaster on June 5, 2012 at 3:05 PM||comments (0)|
I Will Seek Wisdom.
Knowing that wisdom waits to be gathered, I will actively search her out. My past can never be changed, but I can change the future by changing my actions today. I will change my actions today! I will train my eyes and ears to read and listen to books and recordings that bring about positive changes in my personal relationships and a greater understanding of my fellow man. No longer will I bombard my mind with materials that feed my doubts and fears. I will read and listen only to that which increases my belief in myself and my future.
I will seek wisdom. I will choose my friends with care. I am who my friends are. I speak their language, and I wear their clothes. I share their opinions and their habits. From this moment forward, I will choose to associate with people whose lives and lifestyles I admire. If I associate with chickens, I will learn to scratch at the ground and squabble over crumbs. If I associate with eagles, I will learn to soar great heights. I am an eagle. It is my destiny to fly.
I will seek wisdom. I will listen to the counsel of wise men. The words of a wise man are like raindrops on dry ground. They are precious and quickly used for immediate results. Only the blade of grass that catches a raindrop will prosper and grow. The person who ignores wise counsel is like the blade of grass untouched by the rain—soon to wither and die. When I counsel with myself, I can only make decisions according to what I already know. By counseling with a wise man, I add his knowledge and experience to my own and dramatically increase my success.
I will seek wisdom. I will be a servant to others. A wise man will cultivate a servant’s spirit, for that particular attribute attracts people like no other. As I humbly serve others, their wisdom will be freely shared with me. Often, the person who develops a servant’s spirit becomes wealthy beyond measure. Many times, a servant has the ear of the king, and a humble servant becomes king for he is the popular choice of the people. He who serves the most grows the fastest.
I will become a humble servant. I will not look for someone to open my door—I will look to open the door for someone. I will not be distressed when no one is available to help me—I will be excited when I am available to help.
I will be a servant to others. I will listen to the counsel of wise men. I will choose my friends with care.
I w i l l s e e k w i s d o m .
From The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews
|Posted by WebMaster on June 1, 2012 at 9:40 AM||comments (1)|
Part 1 of 7
From this moment forward, I will accept responsibility for my past. I understand that the beginning of wisdom is to accept the responsibility for my own problems and that by accepting responsibility for my past, I free myself to move into a bigger, brighter future of my own choosing.
Never again will I blame my parents, my spouse, my boss, or employees for my present situation. Neither my education or lack of one, my genetics, or the circumstantial ebb and flow of everyday life will affect my future in a negative way. If I allow myself to blame these uncontrollable forces for my lack of success, I will be forever caught in a web of the past. I will look forward. I will not let my history control my destiny.
The buck stops here. I accept responsibility fo...r my past. I am responsible for my success. I am where I am today—mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially—because of decisions I have made. My decisions have always been governed by my thinking. Therefore, I am where I am today—mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially—because of how I think. Today I will begin the process of changing where I am—mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially—by changing the way I think.
My thoughts will be constructive, never destructive. My mind will live in the solutions of the future. It will not dwell in the problems of the past. I will seek the association of those who are working and striving to bring about positive changes in the world. I will never seek comfort by associating with those who have decided to be comfortable.
When faced with the opportunity to make a decision, I will make one. I understand that God did not put in me the ability to always make right decisions. He did, however, put in me the ability to make a decision and then make it right. The rise and fall of my emotional tide will not deter me from my course. When I make a decision, I will stand behind it. My energy will go into making the decision.
I will waste none on second thoughts. My life will not be an apology. It will be a statement.
The buck stops here. I control my thoughts. I control my emotions.
In the future, when I am tempted to ask the question “Why me?”, I will immediately counter with the answer:
“Why not me?” Challenges are a gift, an opportunity to learn. Problems are the common thread running through the lives of great men and women. In times of adversity, I will not have a problem to deal with, I will have a choice to make. My thoughts will be clear. I will make the right choice. Adversity is preparation for greatness. I will accept the preparation. Why me?
Why not me? I will be prepared for something great!
I accept responsibility for my past. I control my thoughts. I control my emotions. I am responsible for my success.
From The Traverer's Gift by Andy Andrew
|Posted by WebMaster on May 5, 2011 at 10:35 AM||comments (0)|
In the book of Acts, Chapter 18 you will find is account
24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor[a] and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
In many churches today preachers will site scriptures in Tithing. And just like Apollos, while what they are telling you is true and biblically sound, it is only part of the story. The sad part is that for the most part, this tactic of just telling their members to tithe is just not working. According to most national statistics 53% of Christians have not given to their church in the last month. Not only that, but church giving has not exceeded 3% as a portion of income in 40 years. Church members want to give, but they are so burdened by personal debt that tithing is difficult. If Pastors and other spiritual leaders really want their church to be the givers that God wants them to be, then they need to give their flock the whole story about how God wants us to relate to money.
Let take a look at the congregation, when you pull up you see a lot of nice car, but do you consider those nice care payments. You enter the doors and you see a nicely dressed congregation, but you don't see the credit card bills
Our members may seem to have plenty, but the majority of them are probably struggling to make it. With all of their bills-credit cards, student loans, car payments. mortages-they don't know how they can afford to give.
Sadly, 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. The reality is that church and charity giving isn't always a part of their budget. The result? Churches with limited resources for ministry progress, outreach and missions.
Church leaders need to rethink what messages they are giving their members about handling money God's Way. If these instructions are given the right way, and people learn that they don't need to try to impress their neighbors, then an amazing thing will start to happen with your congregation. You will see some of the following:
- Increase giving
- Develop a long-term plan for your church-without debt.
- Create church-wide energy and motivation to get right financially.
- Help repair marriages that are strained by financial problems.
- Make church financial decisions easier.
- Reduce pastoral counseling load.
- Develop and grow new leaders.
- Learn how to revive and renew the church.G
God the father has given his children, more than 800 Scriptures about money. Here are a few of the many verses that will help you understand how God views finances.
God the father has given his children, more than 800 Scriptures about money. However, my churches leaders only insist on telling part of the story. They insist on doing the same thing, the same way and expecting a different result. This will not work. Perhaps it's time for those churches that want to see change, to do something different, perhaps it's time to teach your people the how God wants them to handle money, riches and blessings, so that they can in turn become givers the way God wants them to. There are already several great Bible themed money management programs(Crown Financial, Momentum) , and those churches that have been using them, have seen a big difference in their congregation in terms of giving, and in turn of spiritual growth. Of course getting Church leaders to change is just a difficult as getting their members to change, in this age tradition often supersedes the word of God.
|Posted by WebMaster on March 11, 2011 at 2:26 PM||comments (0)|
This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done
so there you go...when things don't happen that should have...it's Everybody's job.
|Posted by WebMaster on March 9, 2011 at 5:18 PM||comments (0)|
It was late in December, 1996. A large family gathered in Los Angeles for the joyous occasion of wrapping Christmas presents. It was a big family because it was the product of two marriages. There were so many gathered that night, five of the children slept in the garage. It was a converted structure, kept warm during the cold night by an electric heater which sat by the door.
During the early hours of the morning, the heater suddenly burst into flames, blocking the doorway. In seconds the room became a blazing inferno. The frantic 911 call revealed the unspeakable terror of the moment. One of the children could be heard screaming, "I'm on fire!" The distraught father vainly rushed into the flames to try and save his beloved children. He received burns to 50% of his body. Tragically, all five of the children burned to death. They died because steel bars on the windows of the garage thwarted their escape. There was only one door, and that was stopped by the flames.
You are back in time. It's minutes before the heater burst into flames. You peer through the darkness at the peaceful sight of five sleeping youngsters.You know that at any moment the room is going to erupt into an inferno and burn the flesh of horrified children. Can you in good conscience walk away? No! You must awaken them, and warn them to run from that death trap!
The world sleeps peacefully in the darkness of ignorance. There is only one Door by which they may escape death. The steel bars of sin prevent their salvation, and at the same time call for the flames of Eternal Justice. What a fearful thing Judgment Day will be! The fires of the wrath of Almighty God will burn for eternity. The Church has been entrusted with the task of awakening them before it's too late. We cannot turn our backs and walk away in complacency. Think of how the father ran into the flames. His love knew no bounds, and our devotion to the sober task that God has given us will be indirect proportion to our love for the lost. There are only a few who run headlong into the flames to warn them to flee (Luke 10:2). Please be one of them. We really have no choice. The Apostle Paul said, "Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16).
It was the "Prince of Preachers," Charles Spurgeon, who said thewords, "Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not savedyourself. Be sure of that." A Christian cannot be apathetic about thesalvation of the world. The love of God in him will motivate him to seek andsave that which is lost.
You probably have a limited amount of time after your conversion to impactyour unsaved friends and family with the Gospel. After the initial shock ofyour conversion, they will put you in a neat little ribbon-tied box, and keepyou at arm's length. So it's important that you take advantage of the shorttime you have while you still have their ears.
Here's some advice that will save you a great deal of grief. As a newChristian, a friend of mine did almost irreparable damage by acting like a wildbull in a crystal showroom. He bullied his mom, his dad, and many of hisfriends into making a "decision for Christ". He was sincere, zealous,loving, kind, and stupid. He didn't understand that salvation doesn't comethrough making a "decision," but through repentance, and repentanceis God-given (see 2 Timothy 2:25). The Bible teaches that no one can come tothe Son unless God "draws" him. If you are able to get a decision butthey have no conviction of sin, you will almost certainly end up with astill-born on your hands.
In his"zeal without knowledge" he actually inoculated the veryones he was so desperately trying to reach. There is nothing more important toyou than the salvation of your loved ones, and you don't want to blow it. Ifyou do, you may find that you don't have a second chance. Fervently pray forthem, thanking God for their salvation. Let them see your faith. Let them feelyour kindness, your genuine love, and your gentleness. Buy gifts for no reason.Do chores when you are not asked to. Go the extra mile. Put yourself in theirposition. You know that you have found everlasting life. Death has lost itssting! Your joy is unspeakable -- but as far as they are concerned, you havebeen brain-washed. You have become part of a weird sect. So your loving actionswill speak more loudly than ten thousand eloquent sermons.
It is because of these thoughts that you should hold back from verbalconfrontation until you have knowledge that will guide your zeal. Pray for wisdomand for a sensitivity to God's timing. You may have only one shot, so make itcount. Keep your cool. If you don't, you may end up with a lifetime of regret.Believe me. It is better to hear a loved one or a close friend say, "Tellme about your faith in Jesus Christ," rather than you saying, "Sitdown. I want to talk to you."
It is important to realize that we should share our faith with otherswhenever we can. The Bible says that there are only two times we should do this-- "in season and out of season" (2 Timothy 4:2). The Apostle Paulpleaded for prayer for his own personal witness. He said, ". . . thatutterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known themystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I mayspeak boldly, as I ought to speak," (Ephesians 6:19-20).
Remember that you have the sobering responsibility of speaking to otherpeoples' loved ones. Many times when you open your mouth for the Gospel, youmay be the answer to the earnest prayer of another Christian. Perhaps he hascried out to God that He would use a faithful witness to speak to his belovedmom or dad, and you are that answer to prayer. You are that true and faithfulwitness that God wants to use.
Never lose sight of the world and all its pains. Keep the fate of theungodly before your eyes. Too many of us settle down on a padded pew and becomeintroverted. Our world becomes a monastery without walls. Our friends areconfined solely to those within the Church, when Jesus was the "friend ofsinners." So take the time to deliberately befriend them for the sake oftheir salvation. Remember that each and every person who dies in their sins hasan appointment with the Judge of the Universe. Hell opens wide its terriblejaws. There is no more sobering task than to be entrusted with the Gospel of Salvation -- working with God for the eternal well-being of dying humanity.
|Posted by WebMaster on February 17, 2011 at 11:21 AM||comments (0)|
When a young man once looked at me and said, "I find it hard to believe some of the things in the Bible," I smiled and asked, "What's your name?" When he said, "Paul," I casually answered, "I don't believe you." He looked at me questioningly. I repeated, "What's your name?" Again he said, "Paul," and again I answered, "I don't believe you." Then I asked, "Where do you live?" When he told me, I said, "I don't believe that either." You should have seen his reaction. He was angry. I said, "You look a little upset. Do you know why? You're upset because I didn't believe what you told me. If you tell me that your name is Paul, and I say, 'I don't believe you,' it means that I think you are a liar. You are trying to deceive me by telling me your name is Paul, when it's not." Then I told him that if he, a mere man, felt insulted by my lack of faith in his word, how much more does he insult Almighty God by refusing to believe His Word. In doing so, he was saying that God isn't worth trusting -- that He is a liar and a deceiver. The Bible says, "He who does not believe God has made Him a liar," (1 John 5:10). It also says, "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief. . ." (Hebrews 3:12). Martin Luther said, "What greater insult . . . can there be to God, than not to believe His promises."
I have heard people say, "But I just find it hard to have faith in God," not realizing the implications of their words. These are the same people who often believe the weather forecast, believe the newspapers, and trust their lives to a pilot they have never seen whenever they fly in a plane. We exercise faith every day. We trust our car's brakes. We trust our history books, our medical books, and we trust elevators. Yet elevators can let us down. History books can be wrong. Planes can crash. How much more then should we trust the sure and true promises of Almighty God. He will never let us down . . . if we trust Him.
I have often heard cynics say, "The Bible is full of mistakes." It is. The first mistake was when man rejected God, and the Scriptures show men and women making the same tragic mistake again and again. It's also full of what seem to be contradictions. For example, the Scriptures tell us "with God, nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1:37). We are told that there is nothing Almighty God can't do. Yet we are also told that it is "impossible for God to lie" (Hebrews 6:18). So there is something God cannot do! There's an obvious "mistake" in the Bible. The answer to this dilemma is to be found in the lowly worm.
Do you know that it would be impossible for me to eat worms, although I have seen it done. I once saw a man on TV butter his toast, then pour on a can of live, fat, wriggling, blood-filled worms. He carefully took a knife and fork, cut into his moving meal, and ate it. It made me feel sick. It was disgusting. The thought of chewing cold, live worms is so repulsive, so distasteful, I can candidly say it would be impossible for me to eat them, even though I have seen it done. It is so abhorrent, I draw on the strength of the word "impossible" to substantiate my claim.
Lying, deception, bearing false witness, etc., is so repulsive to God, so disgusting to Him, so against His holy character, that the Scriptures draw on the strength of the word "impossible" to substantiate the claim. He cannot, could not, and would not lie.
That means that in a world where we are continually let down, we can totally rely on, trust in, and count on His promises. They are sure, certain, indisputable, true, trustworthy, reliable, faithful, unfailing, dependable, steadfast, and an anchor for the soul. In other words, you can truly believe them, and because of that, you can throw yourself blindfolded and without reserve, into His mighty hands. He will never, ever, let you down. Do you believe that?
taken from WayoftheMaster.com
|Posted by WebMaster on February 3, 2011 at 11:06 AM||comments (0)|
Feeding on the Word -- DAILY
As many mother's know a healthy baby has a healthy appetite. If you have truly been "born" of the Spirit of God, you will have a healthy appetite for the things of God. The Bible says, "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby," (1 Peter 2:2). Therefore it is necessary that you feed yourself every day without fail. The book of Job says, "I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food," (Job 23:12). The more you eat, the quicker you will grow, and the less bruising you will have. Speed up the process and save yourself some pain -- vow to read God's Word every day, without fail.
Say to yourself, "No Bible, no breakfast. No read, no feed." Be like Job, and put your Bible before your belly. If you do that, God promises that you will be like a fruitful, strong and healthy tree (see Psalm 1). Each day, find somewhere quiet, and thoroughly soak your soul in the Word of God.
There may be times when you read through its pages with great enthusiasm, and there may be other times when it seems dry and even boring. But food profits your body whether you enjoy it or not. As a child, you no doubt ate desserts with great enthusiasm. Perhaps vegetables weren't so exciting. If you were a normal child, you probably had to be encouraged to eat them at first. Then, as you matured in life you were taught to discipline yourself to eat vegetables. This is because they would physically benefit you, even though they may not have at the time, brought pleasure to your taste buds.
Ephesians 4: 11-16
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
|Posted by WebMaster on December 9, 2010 at 8:35 AM||comments (0)|
In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket.
Their father was gone..
The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two.
Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared.
Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.
He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.
Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.
If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.
I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job..
The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town.
The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince who ever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.
Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop.
It was called the Big Wheel.
An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning.
She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could st art that night.
I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleepThis seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.
That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job.. And so I st art ed at the Big Wheel..
When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night.
As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage.
The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home..
One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires!
There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires.
Had angels taken up residence in Indiana ? I wondered.
I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.
I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.
Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids . I found a can of red paint and st art ed repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.
Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.
On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe.
A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine.
The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.
When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes.
I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat..
Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box.
Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10!
I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans.
Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes.
There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.
As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.
Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.
THE POWER OF PRAYER. I believe that God only gives three answers to prayer:
2. 'Not yet.'
3! 'I have something better in mind.'
God still sits on the throne, and the devil is a liar.
You may be going through a tough time right now but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that you cannot imagine.
This prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards
Let's continue to pray for one another. Here is the prayer:
Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and email buddies reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power.
I know I picked more than four, so can you.
|Posted by WebMaster on October 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM||comments (0)|
You’ve heard them, you may have even said some. “ I don’t have anything to wear”, “My hair is a mess”, “ I needed to go shopping”, “The game is on today”, "Well, it's my only day to sleep in.", “I really don’t need to go today”, and several other things...
What reasons excuses have you given for not attending and church service or teaching opportunity?
Sure we all have some Read Luke 14: (15-24) and Matthew 22: (1-14) How empty and hollow are your reasons? Imagine that you asked the boss for the day off to attend your father's funeral, and he refused. You might consider him so unreasonable that you might quit on the spot. Of any excuse in all of society, the death of a parent is always accepted. It is the ultimate excuse! It works every time ... except on Jesus. One man actually used the death of his father as an excuse to put off becoming a Christian. Luke 9:59 says, "Jesus said to another, 'Follow Me,' but the man replied, `Permit me first to go and bury my father.' Then Jesus answered back, `Allow the (spiritually) dead to bury the (physically) dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God. "' Do you consider the Lord unreasonable for refusing to allow this man to bury his father? Jesus replied in other words, "If you are going to use the death of your father as an excuse to put off making me Lord of your life, then no, I will not allow you to bury your father." Jesus Himself attended funerals so He was not against funerals as such. This man was using the occasion as an excuse to delay becoming a Christian. Now, if Jesus didn't accept the "ultimate excuse" what do you think Jesus will say about your excuses when you forsake the assembly? The truth is that people who habitually forsake the assembly do not have Jesus as the Lord of their life. For Jesus to be our Lord we must obey Him in all things, not just those we choose.
For many are invited, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14
|Posted by WebMaster on September 20, 2010 at 2:47 PM||comments (0)|
There are times we look at where we are and feel low because of the valley we are in...
think on these things...
• About 250,000 - 300,000 people die per day. If you can read this be thankful.
• According to Inter Press Service, while around 100 million have no housing whatsoever, over one billion people on the planet lack adequate housing. If you have a home and clean drinking water...feel blessed ..because lots of people don't.
• At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day, so if you have $15 you are richer than 80% of the world.
We should not use the troubles of others to elevate ourselves; we should use what we have as a reminder to pray for others.
So when you are down to eating rice and beans and think you have hit bottom.. be thankful and then pray for the 925 million people in the world who are hungry.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18
|Posted by WebMaster on August 9, 2010 at 7:14 PM||comments (0)|
The man had loved butterflies since he was a small boy. Now a grown man, he found himself once again fascinated with a cocoon. He had found it at the side of the park path. Somehow the twig had been knocked from the tree and the cocoon had survived undamaged and still woven to the branch.
As he had seen his mother do, he gently protected the cocoon and carried it home. The cocoon found a temporary home in a wide-top mason jar with holes in the lid. the jar was placed on the mantle for easy viewing and protection from their curious cat.
The man watched. Almost imperceptibly at first, the cocoon moved. A small opening appeared, and he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no further. Then the man decided to help the butterfly.
He removed the lid on the jar, took a sharp pen knife from his desk drawer, and carefully made a tiny slit in the side of the cocoon. Almost immediately, one wing appeared and then out stretched the other. The butterfly was free!
It seemed to enjoy its freedom and walked along the edge of the mason jar and along the edge of the mantle. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened! In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It never was able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.
And we could never fly...
- Author Unknown
|Posted by WebMaster on June 26, 2010 at 5:19 PM||comments (0)|
Socrates was said to hold knowledge in high esteem.
One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, "Socrates, do
you know what I just heard about your friend?"
"Pause a moment," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you
to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."
"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend,
it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to
The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are
about to tell me is true?"
"No," the man said, "actually just heard about it and..."
"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not.
Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are
about to tell me about my friend something good?"
"No, on the contrary..."
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but
you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because
there's one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell
me about my friend going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really."
"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor
good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"
This is why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.
|Posted by WebMaster on June 7, 2010 at 2:24 PM||comments (0)|
Excuses, you’ve heard them, you may have even said some of them. “I don’t have anything to wear”, “My hair is a mess”, “I needed to go shopping for food”, “I don’t have a ride”, “The big game is on today”, "Well, it's my only day to sleep in.", “I really don’t need to go today.”
What excuses have you given for not attending and church service or a biblical learning opportunity? Sure we all have some excuse, but in the most past may of the things we tell others, are just poor excuses, just so you can avoid the real issue. If you would please read Luke 14: (15-24) and Matthew 22: (1-14) How empty and hollow are your excuses? Imagine that you asked the boss for the day off to attend your father's funeral, and he refused. You might consider him so unreasonable that you might quit on the spot. Surely of the many excuses in all of society, the death of a parent is always accepted. It is the ultimate excuse! It’s a valid reason. It should work every time ... except on Jesus.
One man actually used the death of his father as an excuse to put off becoming a Christian Disciple. Luke 9:59 states, "Jesus said to another, 'Follow Me,' but the man replied, `Permit me first to go and bury my father.' Then Jesus answered back, `Allow the (spiritually) dead to bury the (physically) dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.'”
Do you consider the Lord unreasonable for refusing to allow this man to bury his father? Jesus replied in other words, "If you are going to use the death of your father as an excuse to put off making me Lord of your life, then no, I will not allow you to bury your father." Jesus Himself attended funerals so He was not against funerals as such. This man was using the occasion as an excuse to delay becoming a Christian. Now, if Jesus didn't accept the "ultimate excuse" what do you think Jesus will say about your excuses when you forsake the assembly? When you fail to show yourself approved. The truth is that people who habitually forsake the assembly do not have Jesus as the Lord of their life. For Jesus to be our Lord we must obey Him in all things, not just those we choose.
For many are invited, but few are chosen." Matthew 22:14
|Posted by WebMaster on March 25, 2010 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
What are the factors in your life that will shape your future?
What are all the limiting influences in your life that actively work against you? It could be your family genetic heritage. It could be your specific DNA, or your metabolic uniqueness, or that quantum stuff that is going on at a subatomic level where you can’t see it Perhaps it’s the intrusion of your soul's sickness that inhibits and binds you, or the social influences around you, or the habits that have created synaptic bonds and pathways in your brain. Yes, perhaps. There also your exposure to advertising, propaganda, and paradigms. Yes. Perhaps. However is a study done years ago it would found that your biggest influences come from the people you associate with and are closest friends. The study even said that over a period of years your income will be within 10% of your 10 closest friends. Your values? Your faith? Your Health? Your finances?
Believers in Jesus Christ are labeled as salt and or light. We should be influencing the world by what we do and say, and what we do and say should be a reflection of who our father is. If you and to 10 closest friends are striving for the perfection that is found in Christ Jesus then your in good company. If you are not striving and they are not striving then perhaps it time to make a change.