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Archive for October, 2011

Have you fallen victim to the trap that you need wealth for happiness and fulfillment?

Have you fallen victim to the trap that your family and spouse will provide you happiness and fulfillment?

Have you fallen victim to the trap that your job will provide you happiness and fulfillment?

Have you fallen victim to the trap that your hobbies will provide you happiness and fulfillment?

Have you fallen victim to the trap that your position, success, recognition and power will provide you happiness and fulfillment?

Have you fallen victim to the trap that retirement will provide you happiness and fulfillment?

Have you fallen victim to the trap that being involved in the church will provide you happiness and fulfillment?

If you think anything other than the sufficiency of Jesus Christ will give you happiness and fulfillment, you have fallen victim to the trap. Here are foolish words that are spoken all the time: “Maybe if I get that I will be happy.” Or “I think that will make us happy.” A fool has no discernment. The damage has already been done through the desire to want something more than God.

The ultimate consequences can be ruin and destruction. Living for your desires brings damage and devastation. Jesus said where your heart is, there your treasure will also be. You cannot serve two masters. Money is not evil; it is the desire for it that is the root. The root desire leads to the destructive behavior and resulting consequences. The desire for anything other than God is a root.

What are your desires? Are you caught in a trap thinking you need something other than the creator, redeemer and sustainer of life? If so, you have fallen into the trap like Adam and Eve.

You can fool others, but God knows the truth. God knows your thoughts. HE knows the desires of your heart.

Jesus be Lord of my life today. There is nothing I need more than you. You are the way the truth and the life. Forgive me for thinking I need anything other than you. You are my everything. You control the heavens and earth and all resources. You are a God of abundance. Thank you for your grace that has made me a child of yours. Thank you for forgiving me of my sin and giving me fulfillment and contentment as I rest in you no matter the circumstance. I will find joy and fulfillment only in YOU.

Copyright © 2011 Glenn Repple ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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This is a great story of how we can and should impact the workplace.

Steve

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Transforming a Workplace
TGIF Today God Is First, Volume 2 by Os Hillman
Monday, October 17 2011

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom 12:1-2).

A cab driver in the Philippines became radically saved. He was taught that he now had the power of God in his life to transform his community. Because he had not had any prior religious training to the contrary, he took a literal approach to believing what the Bible says about prayer and miracles.

He decided that the best mission field for him was the local bar in his neighborhood. So he began to visit this bar to find the most qualified sinner he could find in order to minister to him. He met the bartender and determined that he was a great prospect because he was also a gay drug addict and a pimp to 65 prostitutes. The cab driver visited the bar regularly and got to know the bartender while drinking his “usual” Coke. Eventually, the Lord used the cab driver to bring this man to Christ.

The power of God moved greatly in the bartender, and he was delivered from his homosexual lifestyle. He began to change his life and share Jesus with the prostitutes. All 65 of them became Christians, and they began meeting in the bar for Bible study.

Soon, the owner of the bar began to notice the change in these people, and he also was saved. The bar became a church, and the group started 10 cell group churches in the neighborhood. Now that is a miraculous transformation!

No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we should always remain aware that God wants to intervene. He desires a moment-by-moment relationship with us, and He wants to demonstrate His loving power to others through us. We can approach God about any situation, for there is nothing that is too small or too great for Him.*

Ask God to be a transformer in your workplace and city.

*Os Hillman, The 9 to 5 Window, Regal Books, Ventura, CA p. 143, 2005.

To subscribe to Os’ daily devotionals for businesspeople: http://www.marketplaceleaders.org/tgif/subscribe/.

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I really enjoy Mark Bilton’s weekly emails. They’re brief, encouraging, and almost always contain information that truly blesses me.

Steve

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Trouble maker.

“All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house.   They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.” (Job 42:11)

What! God causing trouble? I am not sure that fits in with my “come-to-Jesus-and-everything-will-be-OK theology.

Unfortunately God is bigger than our image of Him or our attempts to put Him in a box. We may have experienced and adopted the ‘milk’ of the word, well this one is more like the ‘broccoli; probably good for you but not a great experience.

The Lord will allow all sorts of things to befall us. We need to understand the difference between what needs to be submitted to and endured, what needs our persistence to overcome, and that which is an attack to repel. To get that level of understanding, we need an ongoing relationship with God, to lead and guide.

If the experience of trouble has been sanctioned from heaven, learn well and surrender fast, it’s a much easier journey.

Quick Prayer. “If it is you that has allowed this trouble, help me to endure and learn well.” Amen

Best regards and God bless,

www.calledtobusiness.com

Mark Bilton, BSc DipBus MBA

Founder and CEO,

Called to BusinessTM

 

 

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This post can also be read at www.visionforum.com.

The fifty-six-year life of Steve Jobs has ended. What is the message?

First, this was the full life of one of the greatest innovators and marketing giants since Edison. He was a man who understood that the computer revolution provided an unprecedented opportunity in history to shape culture. Over the last thirty years, American culture has been shaped by Hollywood, by music videos, by Madison Avenue, by the government schools, and by Steve Jobs. It is time for Christians to take inventory of these influences and consider our response.

Second, Jobs lived a type of aggressive life which thrived in controversy. This may be one reason why public opinion of this man unwisely tends to run from gushing idolatry to utter detestation. He showed us that businessmen could have the popularity of rock stars and the contempt of fallen politicians. My perspective on his life is different—appreciation, gratitude, disagreement, sadness. His life is a reminder that whether your name is Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, or Steve Jobs, in the end, your physical body becomes food for worms. More importantly, your eternal soul faces the same Judge that every human must stand before. This is just one reason why human idolatry is folly. We must never worship men (future worm food), but only the Lord. But it is also folly to be unduly disgusted with leaders like Steve Jobs, especially if such disgust shows a lack of appreciation for the fact that God used this man who was made in the imago dei to accomplish His providential purposes.

Third, Jobs reminds us that men of influence must be creative, have some understanding of aesthetics, work hard, and take initiative. Jobs was a college drop-out whose calligraphy-inspired love of minimalist art would help to shape the aesthetic tastes of an entire generation, not through art, but technologies—Steve Jobs made computers elegant. He was the Wunderkind who took a financially devastated company called Apple and turned it and the business world upside-down using innovation, moxie, and creativity. He was the CEO of Pixar who gave the world some of the more memorable digital films in history. He was even once a twelve-year-old boy who demonstrated initiative by calling Mr. William Hewlett, President of Hewlett-Packard, to ask for help on a school science project. He not only got the help, but a job offer.

Fourth, Jobs gave us practical tools of dominion. That may not have been his purpose, but he did it nonetheless. For these tools I am thankful. Creating clever tools was the mark of his life. Consider that long before Jobs gave the world iPods and iMacs, he was the visionary who introduced the world to the mouse. This being said, the coming of Steve Jobs’ wonderful machines did not mean that the world would become wiser or full of more knowledge. Society may have unprecedented access to information, but this does not mean it has greater understanding. Only the fear of the Lord brings knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; Psalm 111:10—there is a strong argument that we have become stupider and less wise because of our unprofitable use of these devices.) So while the world has changed greatly because of Apple and Jobs, we are not necessarily better off in any ultimate sense. It is righteousness and the very Spirit of God, not existence of technology, which ultimately prospers a people.

Fifth, when men take initiative, exercise diligence, and fight very, very hard, they are often rewarded with temporal success. Jobs did this. He was the beneficiary of what theologians describe as God’s common grace. Christian men can learn much, both about what to do, and what not to do, from the life of this focused, hard-working visionary.

Sixth, the death of Steve Jobs reminds us that to be wise we must understand the times—our technological times.  We live in a world in which technology tends to master men, not the other way around. Furthermore, technology is so ubiquitous that it is nearly inescapable. That means we better become the masters of it. Ironically, Jobs may not have written his own epitaph or obituary, but he made the tools for disseminating them. The death of Steve Jobs may be the first time in history when it could be said that most people on earth learned about the demise of a leader on a device created by the leader himself. In fact, at this moment I am writing you on a computer that Steve Jobs designed, having just spoken to my wife on my iPhone 4, and having earlier today home educated one of my children with a teaching aid on an iPad which Jobs introduced to the world less than two years ago. His technological and marketing fingerprints have become ubiquitous.

Seventh, the life of Steve Jobs reminds us of one of the great fatherhood questions of our generation: Is it worth it to win the whole world, but lose the hearts of the children that God has given to us? Now to be fair, little is known of Mr. Jobs walk with his children except what he said himself. But during one of his only and final interviews on his private life, Jobs offered some insights into his personal absenteeism as a father. Walter Isaacson, Jobs’ authorized biographer, explained:

A few weeks ago, I visited Jobs for the last time in his Palo Alto, Calif., home. He had moved to a downstairs bedroom because he was too weak to go up and down stairs. He was curled up in some pain, but his mind was still sharp and his humor vibrant. We talked about his childhood, and he gave me some pictures of his father and family to use in my biography. As a writer, I was used to being detached, but I was hit by a wave of sadness as I tried to say goodbye. In order to mask my emotion, I asked the one question that was still puzzling me: Why had he been so eager, during close to 50 interviews and conversations over the course of two years, to open up so much for a book when he was usually so private? “I wanted my kids to know me,” he said. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”

Jobs won the world, but he needed a writer to reach out to his children on his behalf.

Finally, there is no evidence of which I am aware from the public record of Steve Jobs that he knew Christ or biblically sought to honor God. I hope that I am wrong. But if I am not, then this means that while he accomplished much in his life, none of it matters for eternity as far as his own soul is concerned. Zero. In other words, it is possible to lead a very successful life and even to be a tool of mercy for others used in the hands of God, and yet none of your philanthropies or business accomplishments earn you one moment in Heaven.

The death of all men reminds us of the brevity of life, the lost condition of our souls, and the uselessness for earning eternal rewards through human accomplishments outside of Christ.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Only one life, ‘twill soon be past;
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Persevero,

Douglas Phillips,

President, Vision Forum Ministries

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My friend and mentor Patrice Tsague shares these and many other principles from the Bible which we can apply to business. I encourage you to visit http://www.nehemiahproject.org and subscribe to his weekly newsletter, and/or take his courses on Biblical Entrepreneurship, even if you’re not a business owner.
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But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrew 11:6

You can please the customer and not please God. If you please God you will most likely also please the customer, and even if you do not, God will work it together for your good. We all aspire to please God but at times we struggle to understand how to please Him. We ask ourselves questions such as: is it possible to please God? Do I have to follow all Ten Commandments to please Him? How can an imperfect creation please Perfection? Pleasing God seems like an impossible task so many of us give up or just “shoot in the dark” and hope we make it. There is no simple formula or recipe to pleasing God but it is also not a mystery.

Hebrew 11:6 teaches us that “…without faith it is impossible to please Him”. In Matthew 25: 14 – 31 there are three servants who each receive talents from their master; two please the master and one does not. We usually believe that the one servant does not please his master because he does not steward his talent profitably. The servant’s lack of profitability leads to the master’s disappointment but is not the reason why the master is not pleased with him. I believe he could have pleased the master even if he had lost the talent. The reason why this servant does not please his master is because he lacks faith. Due to his lack of faith, he does not exercise any effort to put His talent to use. His lack of faith creates room for fear, which drives him to take the path of least resistance and hide his talent. His lack of faith demonstrates distrust for his master who, in giving him the talent, ensures that he has the ability to use it profitably. His inaction demonstrates that he does not believe he has the ability his master thinks he has. Everything the servant does is based on his flesh and Romans 8:8 states that “those that are in the flesh cannot please God”.

Faith is an unconditional trust in something or someone that leads us to act against conventional wisdom or defy logic. Faith is action based on our convictions. Faith moves us, contrary to our physical senses, into the realm of the supernatural which is contrary to the flesh. Without it, it is impossible to please God. Our faith must be based on the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God is spirit and without faith we cannot be in tune with His will. The servant who does not please God is not in tune with God’s will since he lacks faith. His lack of faith causes him to “play it safe” and preserve what he has in an attempt to protect himself against possible loss or danger. Had the servant exercised faith, he would have risked what he had with the knowledge that if he loses it, it will take him into a path of discovery and greater intimacy with his master.

Are your current actions pleasing to God? Have you been operating out of faith or fear? Are you being led by the Spirit or by the flesh? Take a leap of faith into a journey of discovery and intimacy so you may please your Master, for “without faith it is impossible to please Him.”

Copyright © 2011 Patrice Tsague ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

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