Monthly Archives: September 2012
By: F. Oursler
“Some day you will find what your special gift is and when you do, you will make your parents very proud of you”
One of the worst evils of today is the exaggerated importance given to so-called intelligence tests. Many other qualities besides agility in answering trick questions go into the making of human personality. A man can fail all the tests and make a wonderful life. Let me tell you what happened to a young Canadian boy.
Call him Johnnie Martin. He was the son of a carpenter, and his mother worked as a housekeeper. They lived frugal lives, saving their money for the day when they could send their son to college. Johnnie had reached the second year in high school when the blow fell. A psychologist attached to the school called the young man, just reached sixteen, into his private office and this is what he said.
“Johnnie, I’ve been studying your marks and I’ve gone over your various tests in motor and sensory impressions – your physical examination. I’ve made a very careful study of you and your achievements.”
“I’ve been trying hard,” put in Johnnie.
“That’s just the trouble,” said the psychologist.
“You have worked very hard indeed – but it has not helped. You just don’t seem able to get ahead in your studies. You’re just not cut out for it, and for you to remain in high school would, in my opinion, be a waste of time.”
The boy buried his face in his hands.
“This will be hard on my mother and father,” he said. “Their one idea is for me to be a college man.”
The psychologist laid his hand on the boy’s shoulder. “People have different kinds of talents, Johnnie,” he said.
“There are painters who were never able to learn the multiplication table, and engineers who can’t sing on key. But every one of us has something special – and you are no exception. Some day you will find what your special gift is and when you do, you will make your parents very proud of you.”
Johnnie never went back to school. Jobs were scarce in town, but he managed to keep busy mowing the lawns of the householders and puttering in their flower-beds. And then a curious thing happened. Before long his customers began to notice that Johnnie had what they called a ‘green thumb’. The plants he tended grew and blossomed, and the rose trees blossomed. He fell into the habit of making suggestions for re-arranging the tiny front-yard landscapes. He had an eye for colour and could make surprising combinations that pleased the eye.
One day while he was down town he happened to notice a stretch of unused land behind the city hall. Chance or fate or whatever you may like to call it brought one of the town’s alderman round the corner just at that moment. Impetuously the boy said, “I can make a garden out of this dump, if you’ll let me.”
“The town’s got no money for frills,” said the alderman.
“I don’t want any money for it,” said the boy – “I just want to do it.”
The alderman, being a politician, was astounded to find anyone who did not want money, under any and all circumstances. He took Johnnie into an office, and when the young man came out he had the authority to clean up the public eyesore. That very afternoon he borrowed extra tools and seeds and soil. Someone gave him a few young trees to plant. When others heard of it they offered rose-bushes and even a hedge. Then the town’s leading manufacturer heard of it, and volunteered to supply some benches.
Before long the dreary old dump had become a little park. There were grassy lawns and little curving walks and restful seats and little house for birds. All the towns people were talking about what a lovely improvement the young man had made.
But it was also a kind of show window for Johnnie. People saw the result of his skill and knew him for a natural landscape gardener.
That was twenty five years ago. Today Johnnie is the head of a prosperous business in landscape gardening. His customers extend into neighbouring provinces.
Johnnie still cannot speak French or translate Latin, trigonometry is unknown to him. But colour and light and lovely prospects are his bread and butter. His aging parents are proud of Johnnie, for he is not only a success – a man of affairs and a member of the best clubs in town – he has also made his part of the world a lovelier place to live in. Where ever he and his men go, they spread beauty before the eyes of people.
By: B. Tracy
Everyone wants more free time to do the things they love. It can take hard effort to get things done and save time when our schedules are packed with things to do. But first, in order to save time, it’s important to examine how we spend our time.
What Happened to Our Free Time?
According to time management specialist Michael Fortino, over an average lifetime, you will spend seven years in the bathroom. You will spend six years eating. You will spend five years waiting in lines. You will spend four years cleaning your house. You will spend three years in meetings. You will spend one year searching for things. You will spend eight months opening junk mail. You will spend six months sitting at red lights. You will spend 120 days brushing your teeth. And here’s the big surprise: You will spend four minutes per day conversing with your spouse and thirty seconds per day conversing with your children.
Here are five ideas that you can use in your personal life to get things done more efficiently and save time:
1. Save Time by Shopping All At Once
When you go shopping, do it all at once. Don’t shop at one store one day, and another store on a different day. Go out and do all of your shopping on a single day in a single trip. By the way, the very best time to shop for groceries is Tuesday afternoon and evenings. Why? Store shelves are restocked on Monday after the weekend. By shopping on Tuesday, you can get in, get the greatest selection, get out fast, and get more free time.
2. Save Time by Bunching Your Errands
When you have several errands to do, bunch them and do them all at once, rather than doing one today, one tomorrow, and so on through the week. If you get things done all at once, you will significantly increase the amount of free time you have to do the things you really want to do.
3. Don’t Waste the Time of Others
Ask yourself, ‘‘What do I do that wastes the time of others?’’ Wasting the time of other people is usually not deliberate. It comes from not thinking about how valuable their time is. We often waste the time of others through lack of consideration.
If you are a boss or manager with people reporting to you, avoid the tendency to waste the time of your staff by keeping them waiting or being late for meetings. The more respect you show for the time of your staff, the more valuable and important they will feel. The same applies in your personal life. Show the same respect in the same way with your family and friends.
Ask yourself, ‘‘How do I waste the time of my boss? My coworkers? My subordinates? My spouse? My children? And others?’’ And then make efforts to avoid doing it. If you are curious, go and ask people. Say, ‘‘What do I do that wastes your time? How could I change the way I use my time so that it would be more efficient for you?’’ Don’t be surprised by what they tell you. By asking these questions, you’ll be able to save time for both parties.
4. Get More Free Time by Being Punctual
Only 2 percent of people are punctual all the time, and these people are recognized and respected by everyone. Punctuality is professional and courteous. Make a habit of being on time. Remember if you’re not early, you’re late. There is no such thing as being fashionably late. It is really just being inconsiderate and disorganized.
5. Get Things Done Quickly
Get things done by developing a fast tempo and picking up the pace. Remember, fast tempo is essential to success. Move quickly in cleaning up your house, putting things away, getting ready to go out—in all possible household tasks and responsibilities. The more things you do, and the faster you work to get them done, the more energy you have and the more you save time.
The faster you work and the more you get done, the better you feel. Most successful people work at a higher tempo of activity than unsuccessful people. They don’t necessarily do different things, but they get things done more efficiently in a given time than the average person. They produce more in less time, and as a result, they get paid more and promoted faster. Fast tempo is essential to success.
The best advice is to always focus on your ability to save time. Continually look for ways to save time by cutting down or eliminating the major time wasters from your life at work or home. Only then will you have enough time to work on the goals that are central to your success and happiness. Only then can you become an excellent time manager.
By: D. Cerullo
“When Jesus saw this, he said, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!’”– Luke 18:24-25 NLT
The riches of this world provide a constant temptation. So powerful is their pull that they can shape our thoughts and capture our hearts. History, in fact, is filled with tragic examples of this pattern.
In his book, Den of Thieves, James Stewart reveals how, in the scandal that rocked Wall Street in the 1980s, people became caught up in lifestyles that distorted their values. One of the most famous was Michael Milken, who headed the bond-trading department for Drexel Burnham Lambert.
Milken saw great potential in “junk bonds.” By 1986, his department generated profits so huge that they were entitled to more than $700 million in bonuses. Milken kept $550 million of this for himself. But he did not think this was enough, and he became angry with Drexel’s chairman.
Eventually, he had to pay more than $1 billion in fines, and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Milken paid a high price for his greed and learned that these temporary rewards don’t last.
Jesus tried to teach these principles to a rich young man, asking him to “come follow me.” He encouraged him to “sell all he had.” But the man sadly just walked away. Why? “Because he was very rich.” He made his choice, and turned his back on God (vs. 22-23).
Today, you have choices to make. You can choose to seek wealth and fame and pursue pleasure and greatness in this world. But you, too, will discover that all of these things are temporary. In contrast, the riches that last come from serving God.
Right now, make sure your priorities are clear. Lay everything aside to seek first the Kingdom of God.
By: S. Chavis
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. John Kabat-Zin
One of the things I have tried to do is learn how to live better and better in what seems to be a sometimes crazy world. As I got older, it became pretty obvious that this was an “opportunity area” for me. Despite the fact I had reached adulthood, there were still lessons (and plenty of them) for me to learn.
Life has a way of pointing you in the right direction and doing its very best to give you the lessons you need, but I realized you’ve got to really be paying attention and willing to make changes anytime you notice something is off.
So, that’s why I have committed to Living Today Better than Yesterday and if you haven’t already joined me, I really hope you will consider doing so.
If we are going to really live in this world and not just “exist” or get entangled in all the drama and the stuff that in the end just isn’t all that important, we’ve got to have a way to go about things and move through each day in the best way possible.
Here’s a list of things we really want to make sure we have mastered.
1. Really live and experience the moment in front of you.
2. Learn the lesson the first time around (no need for re-runs).
3. Ignore the Chief Negativity Officer in your mind that tries to talk you out of things and makes you doubt what you can accomplish.
4. Forgive people as soon as possible (even the ones that don’t apologize).
5. Know exactly how to avoid and break out of any Infinite Loops.
6. Always be confident that more and more wonderful things are coming your way regardless of the challenges that may arise.
7. Never be disappointed when one door closes because you understand you are being redirected to something so much better.
8. Accomplish things you at first thought were impossible.
9. See the perfection in imperfection.
10. Let go of any worries because you completely trust the way things unfold.
11. Never focus too much on what happened and instead focus on those things that will move you forward.
12. Bring your Extraordinary Side to every single moment – everything you say, think and do.
13. Take steps every single day to get where you want to be.
14. Regret nothing about your experiences and learn everything you can from them.
15. Continually rethink what’s really possible because you know that life is filled with infinite possibilities.
16. Figure out and follow your own truth.
17. Never question “Why Me?” and instead ask yourself “What’s the lesson in this situation?”
18. Take steps forward despite the fears that may be weighing you down.
19. Love and enjoy the people around you.
20. Have infinite hope and infinite patience when it comes to the things you are passionate about.
21. Strike the balance of being able to look forward to tomorrow while also appreciating exactly where you are.
22. Step back and look at every single challenge or issue from a different perspective.
23. Never allow someone’s bad behavior to cause you to become someone you’re not.
24. Always let the light overshadow any darkness.
25. Maintain your inner peace despite any craziness happening around you.
26. Continually go after what you want. It’s always too early to think it’s too late.
27. Quiet your mind and be still.
28. Use life’s challenges to help you see who you really are.
29. Refuse to let the junk of yesterday ruin the happiness of today.
30. Know when it’s time to let go — and then do it.
31. Figure out how to respect people you at first didn’t like.
32. Read and listen to the signs that come your way.
33. Take advantage of the possibilities of today.
By: D. Delay
Noted as the best-selling book of all time, the Holy Bible represents more than meets the eye. On the outside, it appears to be a thick manuscript. On the inside, the typically small print can seem overwhelming and certainly too much to read in one sitting. It’s pages can be read cover to cover, front to back, or in any given order. It’s a history book, a journal, a hymnal, and an instruction manual. Some call it a great work of literature; yet unlike other great works it has never been shelved and forgotten. Instead, the Bible has caught the heart of every new generation as if it were just released for the first time.
Why? Because God’s Word is living and powerful. It carries the wisdom of the ages, transcending all time elements and culture, always relevant to current mindsets and life-challenges.
We can read about two unwed mothers who gave birth to sons at the same time, in the same house. One child dies, the other lives. The mother of the dead son sneaks into the other woman’s room at night and switches the babies. At daylight, the woman whose child was taken examines the dead son and realizes he is not her son. The two of the them go before King Solomon arguing over whose son is alive. With such wisdom, the king orders the living child to be cut in two and divided between the mothers. Instantly, the true mother spoke up and said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!” But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.” So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.” (1 Kings 3:16-27)
Thousands of years ago, this story was recorded and kept in God’s Holy Word, some would say as an historical account of the wisdom of Solomon. But I say it is simply another example of the wisdom of God given to man. Maternal love is just as strong today as it was when Solomon made his judgment. Such wisdom!
And what about the writings of nature and parallels? “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep — so shall your poverty come upon you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:6-11)
Is this not still as true today as the day it was written? Culture and style may have changed over the centuries, but are the hearts and ways of man so different? I think not. And the author of this living epistle knew as much; He is also the Creator of mankind. His Word transcends time, breathing in and out as a living thing, “…exposing and sifting and judging the very thoughts and purposes of [man’s] heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
So I ask, if this book we call the Bible carries wisdom for honest judgment, successful living, and matters of the heart, why do we question the spiritual parts? We are told His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor His ways our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Is that not the very reason we need such wisdom? If we change our wisdom, everything else will change as well, for wisdom is simply the Word of God applied accurately. “Wisdom is the principle thing; Therefore get wisdom, and in all your getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7-8)
God’s Word is a time-honored book, yet the world is full of doubters, haters, and the simple. And among the countless number of those who own a copy of this living manuscript, we find believers who are in Christ, yet His Word is not in them. “Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice?” (Proverbs 8:1) Who is listening? Who is searching? Our God promises to “…give us the right words and such wisdom that none of our opponents will be able to reply or refute us.” (Luke 21:15) So to trust the wisdom found in God’s Word seems to be a matter of choice and faith. But I must add, in uncertain times, cut-throat practices, and an unstable economy, “…only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning!” (Proverbs 1:7b) |
By: K. Hee
I remember many years ago when our church was going through a time of stagnation. Naturally, as the senior pastor, I was troubled. But the Lord gave me a promise. He said, “Kong, if you take the church out of the four walls of your little building and take my anointing into the streets, I will take you out of stagnation and you’ll experience growth like never before.”
That was a huge promise for me to believe and stand on because for years, we hardly had any growth. But in February 1996, I shared that word from God with the church, and together, we stepped out into our community with one basic goal: To find a need and meet it; To find a hurt and heal it.
We started showing the love of Christ to our friends, colleagues, family members and the people we met in our daily lives through the most practical ways, without any pressure to evangelize them to Christianity. In the same manner, we reached out to the poor and the disadvantaged. We cared for the sick, clinging to Jesus’ words, “inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matt. 25:40).
Once we did that, the spiritual atmosphere in our church began to change. The people that were touched by our efforts became more open to the gospel message, leading to tremendous growth for the church. And as a congregation, we gained a clearer sense of destiny and purpose—to demonstrate the gospel of Jesus wherever we go in our individual lives, effectively impacting the people we meet daily with the practical love of Christ.
So if you want to discover your life’s purpose and destiny, make a decision today to be an ambassador of Christ!
Prayer for the day:
Pray that as you demonstrate the love of God to others, He will show you your divine destiny!
By: J. Maxwell
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
If a team doesn’t reach its potential, ability is seldom the issue. It’s rarely a matter of resources. It’s almost always a payment issue. The team fails to reach its potential when it fails to pay the price.
If you lead a team, one of the difficult things you must do is convince your teammates to sacrifice for the good of the group. The more talented the team members, the more difficult it may be to convince them to put the team first.
Begin by modeling sacrifice. Show the team that you are willing to . . .
- Make financial sacrifices for the team.
- Keep growing for the sake of the team.
- Empower others for the sake of the team.
- Make difficult decisions for the sake of the team.
Once you have modeled a willingness to pay your own price for the potential of the team, you have the credibility to ask others to do the same. Then when you recognize sacrifices that teammates must make for the team, show them why and how to do it. Then praise their sacrifices greatly to their teammates.
“And Simon answered and said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” (Luke 5:5KJV)
The Bible tells us that the multitude were so hungry to hear the Word of God that they pressed against Jesus. Being by the lake and seeing two boats, Jesus stepped into one of them and asked the owner, Simon Peter, to push the boat a little from the shore and He sat down and taught the people from inside the boat. When Jesus finished teaching, he turned to Simon Peter and told him to move into deeper waters and cast his net for a big catch of fish.
Peter and the other fishermen had been trying to catch fish all night with no success. Nevertheless, Peter obeyed Jesus’ instruction and just as He said, they caught so much fish that their nets broke and they had to call on their partners in the other boat to help them. The Bible says both boats were filled with fish.
Friend, according to the Bible, Peter and the other fishermen had toiled, that is, they had laboured, all night. The word toil connotes hard or exhausting work, to labor, to struggle. It also implies that they had grown weary and tired. But when Jesus came on the scene the toiling ceased. His Word and the obedience of Peter was all that was needed and there was a mighty yield.
You see, without Jesus, we will toil, labour and struggle and there will be no yield, no harvest and no results. Jesus is the only one that has the strategy, the plan, that we need for whatever we have to accomplish. Note that Peter and his partners were experienced fishermen yet they caught no fish. They needed Jesus to give them direction. So you may be experienced in what you do but until you allow the Master to show you the way and direct you it will be nothing but toiling.
The Amplified Bible says “The blessings of the Lord it makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it neither does toiling increase it.” (Proverbs 10:22 TAB). The Word of God also tells us that the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord (Psalm 37:23). In other words, when we allow God to take His rightful place and direct us there will be no toiling or struggling because He who knows all things will reveal to us the strategy, the direction, that we need to accomplish every task with ease and with the assurance of success.
Today, like Peter, may we receive the Master’s instruction(s) so that the toiling, labouring and struggling in our lives may cease.
Lord, whatever You say is true and that is why I can rely on You. Help me to be like Peter who obeyed Your Word and cast the net just as You said. Lord, I am tired of toiling and labouring without any results. I know it is only in You that my toiling will cease. Today, I purpose to say yes to Your will and to Your way so that the toiling and struggling in my life may cease. Thank you for answering this prayer in Jesus Mighty Name. Amen.
By: S. Heitzig
Once, some scientists did an experiment where they placed caterpillars head to tail, all around the rim of a clay pot. They watched as the caterpillars marched for days around the rim, each following the other–until they died. And this, despite the fact there was a plant in the pot that they could have consumed for nourishment!
That “follow the leader” conformity was deadly. But conforming to this world is deadly to our spiritual lives. The Bible tells us what God wants instead. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
God is calling us to make a practical presentation of ourselves to Him: “Here I am, God! I’m yours, totally and completely.” This must be our lifestyle. Being a “living sacrifice” is tough, because we tend to want to squirm off the altar. But when your body is yielded to God, it is a base of operations for the Holy Spirit to work. That’s why the Bible calls our bodies the temple of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible is full of wonderful examples of bodies yielded over to God. Sarah’s barren womb was yielded to God, and she gave birth to the son of promise, Isaac. Moses told the Lord he was “slow of speech,” but he yielded his voice to God and it became a powerful instrument, to utter the law to the nation. The shepherd hands of David vanquished the giant. Paul’s feet carried him to the uttermost parts of the world to spread the Gospel.
“Reasonable service” means it must be a rational choice. That makes sense if you think of all God has given to you–His salvation, His peace, His mercy. You should want to commit your life to God because God has committed to you all the resources for life and godliness.
Verse 2 talks about transformation, changing the way we think about the values around us. It says, “Don’t be conformed to this world.” God is calling you to non-conformity. I love the way the Phillips translation puts it: “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its own mold.” One of the greatest fears people have is to be rejected by “the group,” their peers…to be somehow different. That’s why even some Christians conform to what the world thinks and how it behaves.
We will conform to one of two value systems–to that of God and His Word, or to that of this world. One of those two molds will shape us. But our thinking is to be renewed. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.
The point is, God wants to touch the world through you. So you should break away from the crowd. Think His thoughts. Dare to be different. Dare to think, act, and live according to His truth!
Scripture Of The Day: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” – Romans 12:1 (NKJV)
By: V. Osteen
Today and every day, God has set up a plan for your success. He says in His Word that His plans are for your good—to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future. As we enter into this new year, we can’t just ask, “God, what are You going to do for me?” Instead, we should approach life with the attitude that says, “God, what are we going to do together?”
Yes, God is always at work in our lives, but we have a role to play in determining our destiny. Just like Adam and Eve in the garden, we have a choice to make. God has set the opportunities before us, but we have to choose His ways. We have to choose to obey His Word in every area of our lives. Scripture calls this “working out” our salvation. He works in our lives, and we work with Him to let what He has deposited in us to come out of us. He sets up the plan, but we have to walk it out. He gives us the tools, but we have to use them.
The good news is that He isn’t going to just hand us the plan and walk away to let us figure it out on our own. No, He’s walking with us every step of the way and empowering us by His love. Scripture says that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. This tells me that following His plan is easier and less of a burden than trying to figure everything out on my own! You don’t have to worry about how the whole year is going to unfold, you don’t even have to worry about how this week is going to unfold; you just have to obey His Word and keep moving forward with a song of praise on your lips in peace, joy and love.
Maybe you’re facing some difficulties or obstacles in your life right now. Maybe this year doesn’t feel like a new beginning just yet. Instead of saying, “Lord, why am I in this situation?” say, “Lord, how can I bring You glory in this situation?” When we begin to change our focus and get our eyes off of ourselves and onto to Him, that’s when we’ll begin to see the solutions. That’s when we’ll begin to see breakthroughs. That’s how we work out what He is working in us by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith!
Today, remember, God is a good God, and He is at work in your life. Trust Him because He is faithful. His plans are always for your good. His plans are always to prosper you. He delights in seeing you grow and succeed. Make the decision to cooperate with God in your heart. Set aside the wrong questions, set aside complaining, set aside negative thinking and pick up His peace and joy and move forward with Him in victory and blessing every day of this New Year!
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him…” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20, NIV).