Monthly Archives: October 2012
By: G. Chapman
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. – Psalm 34: 18
We may not talk about it much, but the fact is that Christians sometimes get angry with God when we feel that God has treated us unfairly. This often comes after a difficult event, such as a child being diagnosed with a serious disease or being born with a physical or mental abnormality. If this anger is not dealt with properly, it will cause marital discord. Why? We don’t feel comfortable expressing our anger to God, so we may express it to our spouse. Our spouse will feel trampled on when the situation was not his or her fault. As a result, our spouse will also become angry. Two angry people do not make for a good marriage.
If you feel that God has been unfair to you, let me encourage you to take your anger directly to Him. You need not feel ashamed of your emotions; you can freely express your heart to God. You will not upset Him, and your anger will not catch Him by surprise.
When Job was going through a time of intense suffering, he desperately wanted to know why. He brought his questions to God, and God listened – and eventually responded. God did not explain everything; in fact, He responded with more questions than answers. However, Job was reassured that God was present, had heard him, and was fully in control. He responded in wonder, “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes.” (Job 42: 5). Often when we express our anger to God, He comforts us by renewing our perspective.
The LORD knows your heart and wants to walk with you through your pain. As Psalm 34 reminds us, He is close to the brokenhearted. The first step in finding healing is admitting to Him that you are feeling angry.
Father, when I am angry at You, I often take it out on my spouse, even though I know that’s inappropriate, Please forgive me, and help me to treat my loved one with kindness even in the midst of emotional turmoil. Thank You for being big enough to handle all of my emotions, even my anger.
By: B. Sanchez
Today, I’d like to talk about Alignment.
Success is all about Alignment.
Imagine an archer…
For an archer to hit his target, he needs alignment. An archer’s most important skill is the ability to align 3 things: his bow, his arrow, and his target. Without alignment, he can’t hit his target. That’s why my wife and I are aligned—I am Bo and she is Marowe. (Sorry for being corny today.)
I believe we’re all archers. Why? Because God has created you with a target: Your purpose in life. The Bible says, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)
In order to hit your mission in life, you need to align 3 things: your passion, your potential, and your purpose.
· The bow symbolizes your passion
This is where your power comes from. You can have a very excellent arrow—sharp and straight and strong—but if you don’t have a powerful bow, it won’t go anywhere. In the same way, you can be as intelligent as Einstein, but if you don’t have passion for your purpose, you won’t be successful.
· The arrow symbolizes your potential
The arrow symbolizes your CORE GIFT; Your bow could be very powerful, but if you picked the wrong arrow—if you picked an arrow that is bent, or brittle, or blunt —you won’t hit your target. If you want to be successful, you have to stick to your game. You have to be faithful to your core gift.
· The target symbolizes your purpose
Success is a simple pattern. If you really think about it, there’s nothing complicated about success. If you have the right bow—passion—and if you chose the right arrow—potential—through practice—in due time, you’ll be able to hit your purpose in life.
When you align your passion, potential, and purpose, that is when you achieve true prosperity. This is what I call Divine Alignment. The reason why you lack peace, fulfillment, joy, success, and true prosperity is because something is still not aligned in your life.
Let me share with you today, the first of these three elements that need to be aligned in your life…
What’s your passion?
Without passion, you won’t go anywhere in life.
Let me rephrase my question: What one thing do you love to do, you’ll do it even if you don’t get paid?
Here’s another scenario: Imagine if you went back to your home province and you were cleaning the backyard of your ancestral home. And as you were walking around, your big toe hit something and you almost fell. After shouting Aray! you looked down and saw something protruding from the ground. You dig around it and realize it was the edge of a box. You dig some more and you realize it was no ordinary box but a treasure chest. You pull it out, open its lid—and discover it was the Yamashita Treasure!
Later on, you measure its worth—it’s 400 million dollars.
Here’s my big question: If you had owned that money, what will you do?
That question will uncover your passion. For example, if I had all the money in the world, I’ll still preach and write. Much of my preaching and writing, I don’t get paid. For example, I donate my book royalties to the ministry. It’s not about the money. I just love to write! I bet even if I’m 110 years old—if I can still type in a laptop—I’m certain I’ll still be writing my books.
Friend, don’t look around for the Yamashita treasure. Because the Yamashita treasure is within you. It’s your passion, potential, and purpose.
By: B. Tracy
Only by discovering your innate, personal skills and developing and exploiting them to their highest degree can you utilize yourself to get the greatest amount of satisfaction and enjoyment from everything you do. Creating an action plan through personal strategic planning can give you the highest rewards for your efforts and is the starting point in getting the best out of yourself.
When we do strategic planning for corporations, we begin with the premise that the whole purpose of the exercise is to reorganize and reallocate people and resources to increase the rate of return on equity, or capital invested in the business. Invariably, this is done by emphasizing some areas and de-emphasizing others, by allocating more resources to areas with higher potential return and by taking resources away from those areas that represent lower potential returns. By developing or promoting newer and better products and services and by discontinuing those products and services that are less profitable, the company and all the people in it can channel their resources to maximize their returns.
In doing personal strategic planning, the first thing you want to think about is increasing your personal “return on energy,” rather than return on equity. You need to realize that the most essential and valuable thing that you have to bring to your life and to your work is your ability to think, to act and to get results. Your earning ability—which is a function of your education, knowledge, experience and talents—is your human capital, or your equity. And the way you develop your personal skills and use your earning ability will largely determine the quality and quantity of your rewards, both material and psychological, both tangible and intangible.
Action Plan Step 1: Clarify Your Values
This first part of personal strategic planning is called “values clarification.” You ask yourself, “What values and virtues do I most admire and wish to practice in my life?” If you wanted to discover your strengths and personal skills in the work world, first you would define your values as they apply to employment. The values that companies settle upon would be similar to the values that you organize your work life around. Often, both companies and individuals will choose values such as integrity, quality, respect for others, service, profitability, innovation, entrepreneurship, market leadership, and so on.
In a similar vein, you could use those values to define your position with regard to your work. In your personal strategic planning, you could decide to plan your work life around the values of quality, excellence, service, profitability, and innovation. There are dozens of values that you can pick from, but whichever you choose, and the order of priority you place on your choices, will determine your approach to your work.
Action Plan Step 2: Create Your Personal Mission Statement
Your next step is to create your personal mission statement. This is a clear, written description of the person you intend to be in your work life. I have often found that this is even more important than setting specific financial or business or sales goals. Once you have decided how much you want to earn, you need to write out a personal mission statement that describes the kind of person you intend to become in order to earn that amount of money.
Remember: Your goal is to identify your personal skills and strengths so that you can deploy yourself in such a way as to increase your personal return on energy. In personal strategic planning, one of the best mental techniques that you can use to develop your personal skills is to see yourself as a “bundle of resources” that can be applied in a variety of directions to achieve a variety of objectives. As a bundle of resources, the amount of time and energy that you have is limited; therefore, your time and energy must be put to their highest and best use. Stand back and imagine that you’re looking at yourself objectively, as if through the eyes of another person, and you’re thinking about how you could apply yourself to bring about the best results. See yourself as your own employer or boss. What could you do to maximize the output of which you’re capable, and where could you do it?
Action Plan Step 3: Perform an Audit to Strengthen Personal Skills
Once you have defined your values and written out your mission statement, the next step of personal strategic planning is to do what is called a “situational analysis.” Sometimes we call it a “performance audit.” This is the process of analyzing yourself thoroughly before you begin setting specific goals and planning certain activities. You begin your performance audit by asking yourself some key questions.
One of those questions should be, “What are my marketable skills?” Think about it. What can you do for which someone else will pay you? What can you do particularly well? What can you do better than others? What have you done particularly well in the past?
A wage or a salary is merely an amount of money that is paid to purchase a certain quality and quantity of labor or output. The results that you’re able to get by applying your personal skills and strengths largely determine your rewards in life. If you wish to increase the quality and quantity of your rewards, you have to increase your ability to achieve more and better results. It’s very simple.
Action Plan Step 4: Determine Your Area of Excellence
Finally, in personal strategic planning, the aim is always to achieve leadership in your chosen market niche. Business leaders have the authority to determine the area of excellence in their business. Analogously, on a personal level, you can choose the thing at which you’re going to become absolutely excellent and achieve extraordinary results. So in what areas are you going to work to achieve results that are far beyond what the average person could be expected to accomplish?
You were put on this earth with a special combination of talents, abilities, and personal skills that make you different from anyone who has ever lived. Whatever you’re doing today, it’s nowhere near what you’re really capable of doing. The key to a happy and prosperous life is for you to regularly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, to become very good in the areas you most enjoy, and then to throw your whole heart into what you’re doing.
By: D. Cerullo
“Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision…‘Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding.’” – Daniel 2:19-21 NASB
To the people of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar was the supreme ruler. In fact, he had the power of life and death. But when he had a troubling dream, this king realized that he had limits. His eyes were opened to a dimension beyond his control or understanding.
Confronted with the challenge of telling this dream and providing the correct interpretation, even the wisest men in the kingdom were powerless. Yet Daniel was given the answer, because he sought God.
Through this revelation, Daniel realized that wisdom and power belong to God alone. Governments may change. New rulers may come to power. But God always remains sovereign, and He is the source of real wisdom: “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things” (v. 22).
Daniel recognized that some things are beyond our understanding. He had faith in God and knew that He could reveal anything to His servants. When Daniel was brought into the king’s presence, he declared that it was “God in heaven who reveals mysteries,” who was making known “what will take place in the latter days” (v. 28).
Today, who in this world has the real power? Presidents? Governments? Generals? These people may seem to have power. But, over time, we see a consistent pattern: Rulers come and go. Nations rise and fall. Movements start and end.
As Daniel discovered, real power belongs to God. Behind the scenes, in ways we may not see, He changes the times and epochs. He establishes and removes kings. And He gives wisdom to those who seek Him.
In your life, place your hope in God. Like Daniel, seek Him for the answers you need.
By: S. Chavis
“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”
― Helen Keller
One of the things I am always trying to do is learn from the experiences that come my way. I just am not a fan of repeat lessons. Why experience the same types of issues over and over again when you could pay attention the first time and get the lesson?
Of course, that’s not to say I have always been able to do that. I have definitely had my fair share of repeat lessons where the same challenges would creep up because I needed to learn what I missed the time before.
But, once I realized that things don’t just happen “to us”, they also happen “for us” so that we can have certain realizations and live even better tomorrow, I really started paying attention.
Here are 5 of The Best Realizations To Have (in no particular order):
1. You Should Continually Rethink What’s Possible. There’s definitely a balance to be struck and although there is nothing more important than experiencing the moment in front of you and appreciating exactly where you are; you do want to make sure you are recognizing all that is really possible and going for what you really want.
2. There is a Possibility Spiral you must walk up if you want to get from where you are today to where you really want to be. You’ve got to use the days in front of you in the best way possible so you can continually move up your Possibility Spiral. Two important areas to focus on are: (1)What you’re doing each day to take a step in the direction you want to go (2) Having the best energy flowing by bringing your highest self to what you say, think and do.
3. There is something within each of us that is powerful and capable of so much. It’s like that great quote by Emerson explains – “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Our job is to get more and more acquainted with that part of ourselves – our Extraordinary Side-so that we can feel it at all times as we move through each day.
4. Your mindset influences so much – how you feel, what you do and what you really believe is possible. We’ve got to work everyday to clear away limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns that we’ve built up over the course of our lifetime. It’s like weeding a garden and your job each day is to pick out as many weeds as you can. It takes discipline and effort, but once you remove the weeds, life really opens up.
5. We need to let our Extraordinary Side lead the way when it comes to all the aspects of our life. (1) Goals, work, career, success (2) Health & Fitness (3) Financial Success (4) Family & Relationships (5) Spirituality (6) Enjoying Life – “You Time” (7) Your Mindset (8) Your actions and behaviors. Be willing to bring your highest self to everything you think, say, or do.
By: C. Irvin
Have you ever watched the sunset or seen a sunrise? It is a beautiful sight just to see the handiwork of God before your eyes. Yet while I was watching it, I wondered why it is so hard to have hope for our future. Surely, the same God that holds the universe in His hand holds our lives.
“‘I know the plans I have for you, to prosper you,’ says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
What is our response? Is it one of faith or are we a doubting Thomas? You may be saying, “How can I look beyond my present circumstances … finances, family problems, etc.” You might have a list of excuses but none are valid to God. He knows what lies ahead and if you pursue your dream and don’t give up, you will find your destiny.
The road may be hard sometimes but we must look at God’s Word and not what we see with the natural eye. We need to know there is a new day dawning for each of us who dare to believe and trust in the Lord.
We know the scripture that says, “the devil comes to rob, steal and destroy,” but do we know what he is after? He is after your joy, your hope and yes, my friend, even your dreams. The adversary, the devil, wants to steal from us. Once we recognize this, we can remind him that he is a defeated foe. Then we are on our way to reaching our destination in Christ.
I like to see the sunset. It comes at the close of another day where I can rest from my daily activities. But I really look forward to the sunrise because I have another chance to serve the Lord and receive the blessings that He has waiting for me. If I keep looking to Him and listening for His direction, then I will get where I am supposed to be going and enjoy each day to the fullest.
Don’t let anything stand in your way of obeying the Lord and fulfilling your destiny. It is just around the corner. See your destiny with the eyes of faith. It’s dawning brings to us a brand new sunrise. |
By: K. Hee
Our God is a good, compassionate, and merciful God. It is not His will for us to experience evil or pain. Yet, He does permit trials and challenges in our lives. And when we go through suffering, it is an opportunity for our faith to mature and grow so that we can endure to the end like our Lord Jesus did.
The reward for enduring for Christ is that we will spend eternity with Him and that we will see many others come to faith in Him too!
As Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2:10-13, “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. This is a faithful saying: For …
If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.
If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
If we are faithless, He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.”
The bible tells us that times of tribulation are inevitable in our lives (John 16:33). But Jesus’ work of sacrifice and victory has given us the keys to overcome! Will we still allow suffering to take us down? Or will we recognize God’s unfailing love and purpose in every difficult situation, and use the opportunity to refine our faith and perfect our love for Jesus?
Let’s commit to having the same mind of Job, who said in the midst of his suffering: “When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10)!
Prayer for the day:
Thank God for caring and loving you so much that He is willing to teach you hard lessons through your times of suffering, as a father teaches his child. Thank Him for refining your faith, so that it can endure for eternity!
By: J. Maxwell
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he . . . Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words . . . Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge . . . Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off. Hear, my son, and be wise; and guide your heart in the way.” Proverbs 23:7, 9, 12, 17-19
Leaders understand the importance of their minds to the future of their organizations. Consider some of these timeless principles offered in Proverbs 23 about our minds and a godly vision for tomorrow.
- Your thoughts determine your character.
- Be careful of your thoughts; they may break into words at any time.
- Don’t waste your thoughts on those who don’t hunger for them.
- The first person you lead is you, and the first organ you master is your mind.
- Don’t let your mind drift away from God’s truth and into vain envy.
- Stay confident that your vision will come to pass.
- Discipline your thoughts to remain steadfast in what you know is right.
It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man (Psalm 118:8)
King David gives us this warning from experience. He had come to the conclusion, and rightly so, that trusting in any man is risky and that it is only God that can be trusted. He had experienced treachery and betrayal. First, from King Saul who became jealous of David because of his exploits at war (1 Samuel 18). David’s son, Absalom, also rose up against him (2 Samuel 15).
The Bible also tells us of how David and his men had been kind to Nabal’s shepherds and protected his sheep and goats. However, when David asked Nabal to give him and his men food, Nabal not only refused, he also insulted David (1 Samuel 25).
It is not surprising therefore that David would say in Psalm 41:9, “Trust in no one but the Lord. Yea my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread hath lifted up his heel against me. Again in Psalm 55:12-13, David says, “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me and taunts me, then I might bear it: nor is it one who has hated me who innocently vaunts himself against me – then I might hide from him. But it was you my companion and my familiar friend”.
The Bible is replete with examples of people being disappointed and betrayed by those they least expected. For example, Moses own sister, Miriam and Cousin Aaron criticized him and joined the people in murmuring against him. Joseph was sold into slavery by his very own brothers and not strangers. While in prison, Joseph had interpreted the dream of the Baker and Butler and made the Butler promise not to forget him. The Butler did forget and only remembered Joseph two years later. Finally, the Bible tells us of how Jacob was deceived over and over again by his own uncle, Laban.
Friend, it is Jesus and He alone that will never betray us. The Bible says He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). We cannot afford to trust anyone but Jesus. Man will befriend us only when it suits them and when they have something to gain, but Jesus says I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
Today, I encourage you to put your trust in Him and in Him alone.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for your faithfulness towards us Even when we are not faithful you are still faithful. Help us to put all our trust in you and not in man because man will disappoint us but you have promised that you will never leave us nor forsake us. We bless you today and always. Amen.
By: J. Gordon
Zappos believes in delivering it. Coke wants you to open it. Countless books try to help you achieve it. Research demonstrates that you are more productive with it.
And yet the truth is that so few people feel it, especially at work.
Is it because leaders don’t create “happy” workplaces? Is it because work is inherently miserable? Is it because of our attitudes about work? Or perhaps it’s who we’re working for (more on that in a minute).
A negative boss, bad working conditions and a toxic culture can certainly make people unhappy.
I’ve also seen how leaders can create happier and more productive employees by creating the right culture and work environment.
However, I believe the biggest determinant of our happiness at work is… us.
Our happiness has less to do with forces outside of us and more to do with what’s inside of us.
Happiness is an inside job… and it begins in our minds.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such thing.” – Philippians 4:8
I’ve met bus drivers, janitors and fast-food employees who are more passionate about their jobs and happier than some professional athletes making millions of dollars.
Our happiness comes not from the work we do but from how we feel about the work we do, and that is based in part on WHO we are working for.
Here’s a question to ask yourself… are you working to please yourself, to please your boss or to please God? Are your daily interactions and activities mundane and routine or are you pursuing every opportunity, even at work, as if you are doing so on God’s behalf?
As I wrote in The Seed, happiness is a byproduct of passion and purpose, all of which God provides in unlimited supply… if we turn our sights onto Him as our source.
But Jon, “I don’t know what my passion and purpose is,” you might say.
That’s okay, you’re not alone. The first step is to simply be the SEED. Plant yourself where you are and begin to serve and make a difference. Realize that God has a perfect plan and even though you might not like your job some days, He wants to use you right where you are to make an impact on those around you. Your work matters and when you shift your perspective, you grow.
When you work with passion and purpose, as if you are working for God, you don’t have to seek happiness, rather it finds you.
So today, think about good things and how you can make a difference right where you are.
Scripture of the Day: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” – Colossians 3:23