- God deserves worship and praise because of Who He is, not just for what He does for us.
- ... he [their Dad] was releasing us as arrows from his quiver into the world to do God's will.
- There's a big difference between a "good idea" and a "God idea." If God is in it, it will work.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Being an All Pro Dad
- Love Your Wife
- Be a Role Model
- Show Affection
- Eat Together as a Family
- Pray and Worship Together
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
There are no limits with God.
His resources are far beyond your abilities. Never say, “I can’t” without saying, “He can.”
Never feel you are weak without knowing that He is strong.
You will never have to hold back or turn back because of fear, for He is with you…
You will never have to be defeated, because His victory is yours…
You will never have to settle for the ordinary because His life is extraordinary.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
So is leaning on our own understanding! If you want to spend an exhausting day, try to work out your circumstances leaning on your human viewpoint. Chase down all the possibilities you can think of. When you hit a dead-end street, back out, then turn down into another one. Drive fast, then slam on your brakes. Throw in a dash of panic, a pinch of fear, add a tablespoon of manipulation, three cups of scheming, and a handful of pills! When you are through, consider where you have been. That is an excellent recipe for “instant depression.” Furthermore, you will be mentally exhausted. Peace will flee from you. Living Beyond the Daily Grind Chuck Swindoll
Monday, January 14, 2008
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Sunday, January 13, 2008
Do you know what an earthen vessel is? It’s nothing more than a clay pot. … That’s a reference to our bodies and our abilities in the strength of our flesh. That is all you and I have to offer God . . . a pot. A perishable container. You may be like brittle, delicate china. You break and chip easily, and you could show the glue marks because of those broken times. Then again, you may be a rugged, scarred hunk of heavy pottery-not very attractive, but boy, are you useful. Or you may be composed of clay that hasn’t yet been fired in the kiln; you are still being molded and shaped for use… To tell you the truth, it isn’t the condition of the pot that’s most important. What’s important is the treasure inside-the light and glory of Christ’s salvation. What’s a few dings, or even a crack or two? If others can see the glory inside through the cracks, so much the better. 2 Corinthians 4:7
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Saturday, January 12, 2008
Speaking of our relationship with Christ…
“The key isn’t in your trying, it’s in your connectedness.”
“But believing in Him . . . and letting His love control you. Those are two different things.”
“It’s not about breaking His commandments, Toad. It’s about breaking His heart.”
“Seeking first His kingdom and His righteous, and all these things will be given to you. Christ wasn’t just talking about things like clothes and food, little brother. He was talking about life. As you seek Him, He’ll give you the ability to live life. His life. His way.
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About the movie click here!
Friday, January 11, 2008
Below are several principles taken from the book:
· Change will happen. Anticipate it.
· Don't hang on to old illusions.
· Don't hang on to fear. Deal with it and discard what is irrational.
· Watch out for little changes in your situation. They may be harbingers of big changes.
· Be ready to adapt quickly to change by changing yourself.
· Enjoy change -- savor the adventure of going off in a new direction.
· Be ready to change again -- and remember, there's always new cheese out there.
There is nothing profound in this little book, yet it is the kind of book that quickly and usefully reminds you of something you need to know -- that, like it or not, change happens. Regardless of your field of endeavor, your happiness, your satisfaction, and your success depend on how you handle change.
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Thursday, January 10, 2008
Methods are many, principles are few; Methods always change, principles never do. p.2
God does not want us to have ministry by imitation. He wants us to have ministry by incarnation. p. 2
Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God. P. 3
God did not call us to be manufactures. He called us to be distributors. p. 5
True servants of God help others whether they themselves get anything out of it or not.
God works not inspite of us or instead of us (Let go & let God!) but in us & through us! Serving God isn’t punishment; it’s nourishment. p. 14
When people we serve irritate us or disappoint us, we should pray for ourselves and ask God to increase our love. p. 14
God often allows problem people to come into your life so that you’ll learn to depend more on His power and not your own resources. p. 16
Don’t pray, “How can I get out of this?,” but pray, “What am I going to get out of this?” p. 16
Remember to always keep your chin up and knees down! p. 17
Bob Cook says, “If you can explain what’s going on, God didn’t do it.” p. 20 When God blesses your work, you won’t be tempted to take the credit. P. 6
It’s possible to (Ps. 106:15) succeed in Christian work and be a failure in Christian ministry. p. 20
God is glorified when people see the Lord and not the servant. (Matt. 5:16) p.20
You have to decide whether you will be a servant or a celebrity, whether you will magnify Christ or promote self. p. 20
God is glorified when people see the Master and not the minister. p. 21
There is a difference between “fruit” and “results”. You can get “results” by following surefire formulas, manipulating people, or turning on your charisma; but “fruit” comes from life. p. 21
Be yourself – your best self – and God will use you in a special way. p.26
…build on your strengths, and ask God for helpers who can compensate for your weaknesses. p. 26
Focusing on serving the Lord can make a big difference in your ministry. For one thing, you will be motivated to do your work and not look for excuses. If you serve only to earn a salary, you never do your best as long as you think you’re underpaid. If you minister to get recognition, you will start doing less when people don’t show their appreciation. The only motivation that will take you through the storms and keep you on the job is, “I’m serving Jesus Christ.” p. 29
You can’t please everybody, so don’t even try. Just live and work in such a way that your Master will be able to say, “You are My beloved servant in whom I am well pleased.” p. 32
If you’re serving in the will of God, you’re like Esther: “You have come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14) p. 37
A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God. Robert Murray M’Cheyne p. 40
There’s no substitute for Christian character. No matter how much talent and training we may have, if we don’t have character, we don’t have anything. pp. 40 - 41
Your … sermon lasts but an hour or two – your life preaches all the week. Robert Murray M’Cheyne p. 41
Your purpose in serving isn’t to build the biggest church or Sunday school class, the greatest choir, or the most efficient band of ushers. Your purpose is to build people of Christian character whom God can bless and use to build others. You can use all kinds of gimmicks and techniques to gather a crowd or build an organization, but that’s not the same as building His church. pp. 45 - 46
The danger is that we exploit people to get things done instead of ministering to them so that what they’re doing helps them mature in Christ. Remember, in God’s eyes, the worker is more important than the work. If the worker is what he or she ought to be, the work will be done right and will please God. p. 46
Christian educator Dr. Ted Ward says it best: “Leadership is a serving relationship that has the effect of facilitating human development.” p. 47
Thomas Merton said, “To consider persons and events and situations only in the light of their effect upon myself is to live on the doorstep of hell.” p. 51
W.A. Tozer once said, “Never be afraid of honest criticism. If the critic is wrong, you can help him; and if you’re wrong he can help you. Either way, somebody’s helped.”
…laughter is also the lubricant that helps people work better together. p. 54
…(1) our work is supposed to make us grow; (2) we’re always being measured; (3) each job prepares us for the next one; and (4) the Lord may move us when He sees we’re ready. Matt. 25:21 This outline goes with the quote by Marsden
“Make every occasion a great occasion, for you can never tell when someone may be taking your measure for a larger place.” p. 58
If our service for the Lord doesn’t make us grow, two things may be true: either we’re in the wrong place, or we have the wrong attitude toward the right places. p. 58
There’s no place in the Lord’s work for “pyramid climbers”…p. 61
Let’s begin with the obvious fact that nobody except the Holy Spirit is indispensable in the Lord’s work. p. 61
It’s a law of the Medes and Persian’s that we never resign when (1) we’re tired and discouraged, (2) we aren’t getting our way, and (3) we feel unappreciated and we’re looking for some strokes. p. 66
When your best ideas are turned down, remember two things first, if the Lord wants to expedite your ideas, and if you wait and pray, He’ll start to change people’s minds. Second, your ideas may come to fruition after you’ve moved out into a different ministry. It’s amazing how much God can accomplish if His workers don’t care who gets the credit. pp. 67 – 68
When your service is the most difficult, God may be doing His deepest work in your life, so don’t run away. p. 70
God uses you to build His work, but He also uses the work to build you as He prepares you for the next assignment as well as for eternal service in glory. p. 70
How do we learn from our failures? The smart thing to do is to evaluate what we did and try to find out what went wrong. p. 76
Honest self-examination is one thing, but brutal introspection only opens the way for the devil to start accusing you. p. 77
The older we get and the longer we serve the Lord, the more we need to work at being contemporary and not becoming dusty relics in a religious museum. p. 79
1). Never take down a fence until you know why it was put up. p. 84
2). If you get too far ahead of the army, your soldiers may mistake you for the enemy. p. 84
3). Don’t complain about the bottom rungs of the ladder; they helped to get you higher. p. 84.
4). If you want to enjoy the rainbow, be prepared to endure the storm. p. 85
Readers are leaders. Your heart grows by giving out, but your mind grows by taking in…p. 86
Readers are leaders only if they turn their learning into living. Assimilating what you read, relating it to what you already know, and practicing it where you serve put the treasure to work paying dividends. p. 88
Marriage means a man and a woman must no longer say “mine” and “yours”; they should only say “ours”. If one of them has a ministry, they both have a ministry… p. 95
If you do get married and you want to serve the Lord, choose the kind of Christian mate who is pleased when you please the Lord. p. 95
…if your ministry is hurting your love, there’s something wrong with your home or your ministry or both. God doesn’t usually tear down one good thing to build up another good thing. Remember the best thing you can do for your ministry is build a godly family; and the best thing you can do for your family is build a ministry that glorifies God. p. 98
M’Cheyne wrote, “It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus.” p. 101
…nothing happens to you except what God ordains. p. 102
…God’s servants have the privilege of investing their lives in what is eternal. p. 102
We read the Bible to get to know the heart and mind of God. p. 105
One of the dangers in ministry is that we start thinking the way the world thinks and then doing things the way the world does them (Ps. 1: 1-3). To be sure, the children of this world can teach us some things (Luke 16:8); but note that their counsel is limited to “their generation” and doesn’t touch the eternal.
“For as the heaven’s are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:9) p.106
Your place of service may not be a big one, but it’s an important one; and God put you there because you’re the right person for the job right now. p. 109
No matter what task God has called you to do, always remember that your ministry touches a whole world if you are truly serving the Lord. p. 113
You may not see how God is using your ministry, but that’s not important. You may think that your place in His vineyard is a small one, but it isn’t. p. 113
As far as we know, only 15 people in Bethany saw Mary’s act of worship when she anointed the feet of Jesus – and 12 of them criticized her for it! – but Jesus said that the message of what Mary did would travel around the world! (Mark 14:3 – 9; John 12: 1-8) p. 114
Our English word “loyal” comes from the Latin word “legere”, which means, “to choose,” “to pick.” It also gives us the words “diligent”, “eligible”, and “allegiance”, all of which are good words to remember in ministry. p. 115
Many disagreements and divisions start when we focus on a minor detail and forget the big picture. p. 116
I know of one Christian ministry that reads its “ministry purpose” at the start of every board meeting. Then the directors look at the agenda to make sure everything on it relates in some way to that purpose. If during the meeting the discussion starts to digress, somebody will say, “Focus!” and the directors will move the discussion back on track. p. 117
If I’m determined to protect and promote only my small corner of the field, I’m bound to create problems. p. 117
Philip Brooks said, “To be a true minister to men is always to accept new happiness and new distress, both of them forever deepening and entering into closer and more inseparable union with each other the more profound and spiritual the ministry becomes. The man who gives himself to other men can never be a-wholly sad man; but no more can he be a man of unclouded gladness.”…the next time a Lot or an Esau or even a Judas breaks your heart, and you wonder if it’s worth it all to serve the Lord, remember what Phillips Brooks: Ministry means deeper depths of sorrow and higher heights of joy, and they often come together. pp. 120 – 121
When Moses was discouraged because of what his people did, he communed with God and prayed, “Please, show me Your glory” (Ex. 33:18) No matter how much we fail or people fail, the only thing that really matters is the glory of God. The sin of Israel gave Moses the opportunity to glorify himself, but he refused to do so. p. 122
So, the next time people fail you and you feel like you’ve failed, go to the mount and ask God to show you His glory. Don’t focus on yourself or the people you serve; focus on God and His glory. p. 122
The joy of the Lord grows primarily out of our relationship with Him, while the fear of the Lord grows out of our responsibility to Him. p. 125
…acceptable Christian service isn’t based on feelings; it’s based on obedience - p. 130
In my devotional time each morning, I like to pray my way through the day’s schedule and turn every commitment over to the Lord. That means the day’s obligations and interruptions are in His hands, and I shouldn’t fret if He changes my plans. This little step of faith takes away a lot of the pressure that can be generated by a busy schedule. p. 131
You aren’t responsible for the way others treat you, but you are responsible for the way you respond. p. 134
…it’s good to have things that money can buy, provided we don’t lose the things that money can’t buy. p. 142
…John Wesley’s dying words were right on target for today’s church: “The best of all is, God is with us!”
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Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Summary: it's not circumstances; it's your response to circumstances (i.e. 'Attitude’) that counts. Study the attitudes of winners. Treat everyone you meet as the most important person in the world. Think positively ('The Israelite soldiers thought, "Goliath's so big we can never kill him". David thought, "He's so big I can't miss"'). Be an optimist ('Asked which one of his works he would select as his masterpiece, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, at the age of 83, replied, "My next one"'). Learn to accept what you can't change (Voltaire said each player must accept the cards they're dealt. But each player decides how to play them to win the game). Never ever say 'It can't be done.' Maintain the right attitude when the going gets tough: what happens in us is much more important than what happens to us. Hang in there; be patient: anyone can start, but only thoroughbreds finish. Avoid negativism (like Chisholm's 'Any time things appear to be getting better you must have overlooked something'; or false truisms like 'Leaders are born, not made'; 'Nice guys finish last'; 'It's not what you know but who you know'; 'You can't teach an old dog new tricks' etc.). Success means hard work ('You can tell when you're on the road to success; it's uphill all the way'), and repeating positive thoughts to yourself ('I know salesmen who repeat this phrase out loud fifty times each morning and fifty times each evening: "I can do it"' p. 144). 'Our feelings come from our thoughts. We can change them by changing our thought patterns' (p. 152. My comment: if only it were that simple!). You can't learn without mistakes. Whoever makes no mistakes makes no progress. Find something you can do well and do it often. Trust in God…
Here are some good stories from the book:
· Like this one: '… the attitude of Amos on radio's old "Amos 'n Andy" show. Amos was tired of Andy's constant criticism. Most irritating was Andy's finger continually thumping on Andy's chest. One day Amos could take it no more. He bought some dynamite, taped it to his chest and told his friend Kingfish, "The next time Andy starts criticizing and thumping his fingers on my chest, this dynamite is going to blow his hand off!" (p.111) [I'll leave you to figure out the moral…]
· And this one: '… like the man who angrily jumped out of his car after a collision with another car. "Why don't you people watch where you're driving?" he shouted wildly. "You're the fourth car I've hit today!" (p.21)
· And this: 'One day Charlie Brown was in his back yard having target practice with his bow and arrow. He would pull the bowstring back and let the arrow fly into a fence. Then he would go to where the arrow had landed and draw a target around it. Several arrows and targets later, Lucy said, "You don't do target practice that way. You draw the target, then shoot the arrow." Charlie's response: "I know that, but if you do it my way, you never miss!"' (p.142).
Finally, some wisdom to think about:
· The Duke of Cambridge once said, "Any change, at any time, for any reason, is to be deplored". People who believe that nothing should ever be done for the first time never see anything done' (p.147)
· Take your mind out every now and then and dance on it. It is getting all caked up' (Mark Twain).
· Pacesetters' Prayer: 'Lord, give me the courage to fail; for if I have failed, at least I have tried. Amen'
· Anything less than God will let you down (E. Stanley Jones).
· 'I wonder why it is,' an Anglican bishop once pondered, 'that everywhere the apostle Paul went they had a revolution, and everywhere I go they serve a cup of tea.'
Below is a thought, quote, or principal I received from each chapter:
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz
Chapter 1:”We, too, have been given a handbook to attitude living…the Bible” (p. 4) Christ was selfless, secure, and submissive. (p. 5)
Chapter 2: “The attitude is an inward feeling expressed by behavior” (p. 9)
Chapter 3: “…effective ministry to one another is based on relationships” (p. 19)
Chapter 4: “The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances” Victor Frankl (p. 41)
Chapter 5: “A rubber band pulls the object it holds together and is effective only when stretched.” (p. 49)
Chapter 6: “How we see ourselves reflects how others see us.” (p. 63)
Chapter 7: “It becomes hurtful, however, when we start placing limitations on our child because he is a ‘C’ student, a ‘fair’ runner, or a ‘plain’ child” (p. 71)
Chapter 8: This is a very rich chapter. Therefore, I need to list many items.
“Many storms can be avoided by thinking and planning ahead” (p. 84)
ROUGH WEATHER INDICATORS: QUESTIONS TO ASK MYSELF
Lack of experience: Do I know someone else with successful experience in this area?
Lack of knowledge: Have I studied sufficiently to direct my course effectively?
Lack of time: Did I allow the process of time to work on me as well as the storm?
Lack of facts: Are all the facts gathered to allow a proper decision?
Lack of prayer: Is this idea God’s or mine? If mine does, God bless it and back it through the Word? (p. 85)
The wrong decision at the wrong time = disaster.
The wrong decision at the right time = mistake.
The right decision at the wrong time = unacceptance.
The right decision at the right time = success. (p. 86)
“You’ll Be Fine If You’re Connected To The Vine” (p. 87)
“Apart from Me (Jesus) you can do nothing.” (p. 87)
“What really matters is what happens in us, not to us.” (p. 87)
“What we sow, we always reap” (p. 88)
“The difference between success and failure in decision-making is often timing” (p. 88)
Chapter 9: This is also a very rich chapter. But, I will list only one quote.
“It is more important to be obedient to God than to be concerned with survival.” (p. 93)
Chapter 10:””Oh Lord, help me please everybody.” (That is definitely a prayer for failure.)”” (p. 110)
Chapter 11: “His Word within me, not the world around me, began to influence my attitudes.” (p. 133)
Chapter 12: Chart on page 145
Replace These Words - With These
I can’t - I can
If - I will
Doubt - Expect the best
I don’t think - I know
I don’t have the time - I will make the time
Maybe - Positively
I’m afraid of - I am confident
I don’t believe - I do believe
(minimize) I - (promote) You
It’s impossible - God is able
Chapter 13:”There are two keys to determine who we are: (1) who we perceive ourselves to be and (2) who we associate with.” (p. 161)
Chapter 14: This is a super chapter!!!
“They waited, and they were filled. The early Church was launched! The theme of this growing group of believers was ‘forward through the storm’. Seven difficult problems confronted this New Testament Church of the book of Acts. After each obstacle, we read that the church was enlarged and the Word of God multiplied. Setbacks became springboards. Obstacles were turned into opportunities. Barriers turned out to be blessings. Cowards became courageous. Why? Those within the Church were filled with the Holy Spirit.”
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Sunday, January 6, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
Twenty of the most common faults that hold you back from the top (pgs 40 – 41):
1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs in all situations—when it matters, when it doesn’t, and when it’s totally beside the point.
Examples of this behavior: argumentative, put others down, ignore others, play favorites.
2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.
Examples of this behavior: Improving the content of another’s idea by adding my two cents worth.
3. Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them.
Examples of this behavior: Grading people’s answers in a defensive way.
4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.
Examples of this behavior: Any untrue comment that will hurt the customer or our company.
5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”: The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.”
Examples of this behavior: Commonly used words (verbal/written) in order to gain power.
6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are.
Examples of this behavior: Nodding my head when others are talking suggests that I’ve heard this before.
7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool.
Examples of this behavior: Reserving a special place in my mind for those colleagues we brand as “easily combustible.”
8. Negativity or “Let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we weren’t asked.
Examples of this behavior: Inserting myself into a situation as chief arbiter or senior critic.
9. Withholding information: The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.
Examples of this behavior: Answering questions with a question. Leaving people out of the “information flow.” (Un-forwarded emails or meeting invites).
10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward.
Examples of this behavior: Depriving people of deserved recognition for success/accomplishments.
11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.
Examples of this behavior: Hogging recognition for ourselves.
12. Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.
Examples of this behavior: Saying I’m sorry by using a lame excuse.
13. Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else.
Examples of this behavior: Using the past as a weapon against others. To highlight something positive about ourselves at the expense of someone else.
14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.
Examples of this behavior: “A dog never talks back!”
15. Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognizes how our actions affect others.
Examples of this behavior: Apologizing forces us to cede power or control.
16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.
Examples of this behavior: Displaying extreme impatience, multitasking.
17. Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners.
Examples of this behavior: Failing to say “thank you!”
18. Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help us.
Examples of this behavior: A combination of #’s 4, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17
19. Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves.
Examples of this behavior: “Saddling others with the shame of our failure.”
20. An excessive need to be “me”: Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are.
Examples of this behavior: Always expressing our opinion, no matter how hurtful or noncontributory it may be.
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Tuesday, January 1, 2008
- Offer myself daily to the Lord (Romans 12:1)
- Pray to the Lord (Psalms 86:3)
- Search the Word of God (Acts 17:11)
- Die to self (1 Corinthians 15:31)
- Speak to someone about Christ (Acts 5:42)
- Help someone in need (Hebrews 3:13)
- Live in light of the second coming (Proverbs 8:34)