What a reminder to all of us that it’s our mission on earth that’s important. June serves as an honorable example of one who lives for her mission. She was born to turn around tragedy not to get turned around by tragedy. Let’s be inspired by her message to keep moving forward in our own God-given mission and turn our tragedies into triumphs.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” James 2:14.
This verse calls us to put our faith into action. What a challenge it is to practice radical faith that James describes. I am inspired by stories of people who live out their faith in very obvious and dynamic ways. George Mueller grew up in Germany in the 1800s. During college George became a Christian and wanted to become a missionary. His father refused to listen to him and told him he wouldn’t pay for college if George insisted on being a missionary.
George was intent on pursing his calling, and God provided in miraculous ways for him. He eventually became the pastor of a small church in England. The church wanted to pay him a good salary from the money it received renting pews to rich church members who sat at the front of the church. Poor members had to sit in the "cheap" seats in the back. George told them that if was to be their pastor, the practice of favoritism must stop. Even so, he did not allow the church to pay him a salary. He trusted God to meet his needs, and God did. George and his family never missed a meal and were always able to pay their rent.
George believed God was calling him to open an orphanage and care for children. God provided a building, staff, furniture, food, and clothing. George faithfully prayed and worked diligently on behalf of children. The needs of the orphanage were met.
More than 10,000 children lived in the orphanage over the years. As children became old enough to leave the orphanage, George gave each one a Bible in his right hand and a coin in his left. He explained to the young person that if he held onto what was in his right hand, God would always make sure there was something in his left hand as well.
God blessed many through the ministries of George Mueller. While pastoring a church of 1,200 members, he operated Sunday schools that taught thousands of children, oversaw the work of the orphanage for many decades, and supported missionaries.
George Mueller was willing to sacrifice his own comfort and family relationships in order to put his faith into action.
For a balanced life of faith, we are to think about others and act for others. There must be prayer and effort. There must be faith and deeds. It is through deeds that faith can prove itself. Real faith is bound to overflow into action.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
2. Continuum. At the end of your workday, identify the first task you’ll work on the next day, and set out the materials in advance. The next day begin working on that task immediately.
3. Daily goals. Without a clear focus, it’s too easy to succumb to distractions. Set targets for each day in advance. Decide what you’ll do; then do it.
4. Deadline. Set a deadline for task completion, and use it as a focal point to stay on track.
5. Gap reading. Use reading to fill in those odd periods like waiting for an appointment, standing in line, or while the coffee is brewing. If you’re a male, you can even read an article while shaving (preferably with an electric razor). That’s 365 articles a year.
6. Mini-milestones. When you begin a task, identify the target you must reach before you can stop working. For example, when working on a book, you could decide not to get up until you’ve written at least 1000 words. Hit your target no matter what.
7. Minuteman. Once you have the information you need to make a decision, start a timer and give yourself just 60 seconds to make the actual decision. Take a whole minute to vacillate and second-guess yourself all you want, but come out the other end with a clear choice. Once your decision is made, take some kind of action to set it in motion.
8. Nuke it! The most efficient way to get through a task is to delete it. If it doesn’t need to be done, get it off your to do list.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Personality. We all have one. We’re born with one. Ever heard the 1959 song “Mr. Personality?”
’cause you got personality,
Our inborn personality is reflected in our “walk, talk, smile, charm, and love.” Personality is made up of a pattern of thoughts, feelings, and actions that make us unique. While our circumstances do affect our personality, it originates within us and stays fairly consistent throughout our lifetime.
The study of inborn Personality traits actually began around 400 BC when Greek thinkers studied life and the universe and the “natures” of people.
Hippocrates theorized that what made people so different was their body chemistry. He and other Greek thinkers believed that people could be categorized into four basic groupings based on the “fluids” in their bodies.
Around AD 190, Greek physician Galen built on these ideas and called them the four temperaments: sanguine, choleric, melancholy, and phlegmatic.
· Choleric - Organized, goal-oriented, outgoing people who love to be in charge.
· Melancholy – Quiet, deep, thoughtful people who strive for perfection.
· Phlegmatic. – Balanced, contented, easygoing people who don’t feel the need to be the center of attention
A study of personalities reveals insights into why we do the things we do.
I first studied personalities when my sons were little and I read How to Understand Your Child’s Temperament by Beverly LaHaye. Most recently, I’ve read the writings of Marita Littauer and her mother Florence. For more than 25 years, the Littauers have helped thousands of men and women with their personal and professional relationships.
Teaching others to use their personality to their advantage has now become a passion. I’ve taught over 100 men and women how to use The Power of Your Personality to improve relationships and live in their strengths. Click here to take your personality test.https://acrobat.com/app.html#d=uCHWjn7kvfN3KZN8GHQuaQ
Sunday, April 8, 2012
On the third day he arose. Resurrection Sunday! Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! The resurrection is the foundation of our Christian faith. Jesus’ resurrection gave proof that he was the Son of God and that He had conquered death. Acts 1:3 tells us that after the resurrection there was a period of forty days in which Jesus appeared to His disciples and followers. Jesus had spent three years with his disciples trying to prepare them for his final days on earth, yet they didn’t really grasp the meaning of his words. Were the disciples really any different from us? They too had to see, to witness, to experience what Jesus said before they truly believed. So…after three years of teaching, Jesus spent forty days with his disciples in what can be called a “cram session,” a review of all he had taught them.
Look at the things Jesus did during those forty days to prepare his followers to continue the Gospel after his ascension to heaven.
1. He appeared to his devastated follower bringing relief and joy that he was alive (Acts 1:3).
2. He taught them many things concerning the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). Luke tells us, “He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way” (The Message).
3. He commissioned them to “go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life” (Matthew 28:19 The Message).
4. He lifted his hands and blessed them and then left them and ascended to heaven (Luke 24:51).
Jesus restored their faith, gave them hope, and set them out to share the Good News. The early church very soon began meeting on Sunday in honor of the resurrection of Jesus, which took place on the first day of the week.
As a result, 2,000 years later we still celebrate a risen Savior. We still set aside Sunday as a day to worship this risen Lord. And he still restores faith, gives us hope, and still wants us to share the Good News. Let’s celebrate Resurrection Sunday every day by following Jesus.