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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

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/.

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

 

 

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

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.

LET 5772 BE A GLORIOUS YEAR – GLORY!
Ruby and I were tremendously blessed in being able to live with the Jewish people in Ariel for seven years. It was very interesting to observe all of the customs that take place along with the different cultures of these children of God who He has brought back home. This time is very important in the Jewish community as it is the beginning of the new year.
Rosh Hashanah is the ‘head’ or ‘beginning’. The Jewish New Year. God puts within the hearts of His people a spirit of expectancy for great things to take place in the coming months. This time has an effect on the rest of the world in different ways. Many businesses start their new year during this time. One of the most important nations on the planet today is Iraq. The Lord is telling us that these are extremely important days for the nation of Iraq. Mystery Babylon is coming forth and will be a dominant nation in the coming days.
Let me encourage you to read the last part of Revelation and ask the Lord to give you understanding about what is taking place both in the world and in your own life. Ruby and I have been married for 55 years and we have seen many times that the next two or three months have been life changing for us over the years.
Each year while we lived in Israel we observed several customs traditionally associated with Rosh Hashanah. The dipping of bread and apples in honey is done as a symbol of the hope that the new year will be sweet. The apple also symbolizes the Divine Presence of God. The most important is the blowing of the shofar. These are days of soul searching as the tenth day is coming forth.
The Ten Days of Awe, beginning at Rosh Hashanah, are the time in which they believe God is determining the fate of each person. The Shofar is blown daily in the Synagogue to remind the people of the new beginning. These ten days lead up to “Yom Kippur,” the day of Atonement. This time is designed to give Israel hope for future redemption. While we were living in Ariel we would have Jewish friends come by and ask us to forgive them for anything they might have done or thought about us in the past year that was not right.
Let us be extremely thankful to the Lord that our day of atonement has taken place. We need to remind ourselves on a daily basis of how fortunate we are to have been redeemed by His blood and that He has great plans for us each and every day. Today is our day of salvation and with great joy we can draw out of His well of salvation strength for today. Glory!
Along with our Jewish friends we can be poised to enter a new season where the Eye of the Lord is looking to see how He might find those whose hearts are turned towards Him with great expectancy. The Hebraic Year 5772 actually conveys piercing into world structures to recover and restore Kingdom blessings that have been captured. Let us all expect great favor because we have literally become the “apple of His eye.”
“Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by your generous Spirit.” Psalms 51: 9-12
Be blessed in Him today and the coming days of this new beginning in your life.
Blessings,
Homer Owen
http://www.HomerOwen.com

(This information can affect everything we do–not just our finances.)

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Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till He comes and rains righteousness on you. –Hosea 10:12

It will require a determined heart and more than a little courage to wrench ourselves loose from the grip of our times and return to biblical ways. But it can be done. Every now and then in the past Christians have had to do it. History has recorded several large-scale returns led by such men as St. Francis, Martin Luther and George Fox.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no Luther or Fox on the horizon at present. Whether or not another such return may be expected before the coming of Christ is a question upon which Christians are not fully agreed, but that is not of too great importance to us now.

What God in His sovereignty may yet do on a world-scale I do not claim to know. But what He will do for the plain man or woman who seeks His face I believe I do know and can tell others. Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days. The Pursuit of God, 70-71.

“Lord, today I commit myself to ‘turn to God in earnest,’ to ‘begin
to exercise [myself] unto godliness,’ and to ‘seek to develop [my]
powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility.’
You determine the results. Amen.”
A.W. Tozer

(Terry’s website is www.settingcaptivesfree.com)

 

This guest column appeared in the Waco Tribune-Herald on Friday, November 12, 1999. As the 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001 approaches, I have been reflecting on the many great Americans, like my grandfather, who are no longer with us, and on many of their values, which also seem to be disappearing.

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In the 1930’s, when Oklahoma was synonymous with “Dust Bowl,” he and his wife met their basic needs by selling cream milked from their milk cows, raising chickens and turkeys, and growing a garden. For years, he awoke at 3:30 a.m. in order to take care of the milking and other chores.

At one particularly barren time, in search of a paying job, he walked to the government offices 12 miles from his farm. After a long delay, which included waiting for the office employees to go to lunch, he was told that the agency would give him some basic food and supplies.

He was insulted. He had come for work, he said, not to be “given” anything. He promptly left and made the 12-mile journey back to his home.

He was my grandfather, Hudson M. Powell. My grandfather – “Paw Paw” to us – was a member of an almost-vanished segment of our population: those few remaining people whose actual memories provided a baby-boomer like me with a link to the 19th century.

In other cultures, “Huddie’s” last years might have been filled with visits from friends and relatives – people eager to gain wisdom from him while he was still alive. Instead, my mother and I were the only ones to spend much time with him in his last years. But those of us who knew anything of him at all were indeed privileged to have known this man. Through him we discovered a world quite unlike ours – a world where a man’s work was valued, as was his word.

Born in Mangum, Oklahoma Territory in 1896, Hudson was only 12 years old when his mother died. Since his father had abandoned them, young Hudson was saddled with the job of rearing five younger brothers and sisters, including a 6 month old baby, thus sacrificing any hopes for his own formal education.

Despite the hardships he had faced and his relative lack of material riches, Paw Paw always maintained his faith in God and his sense of humor. He often expressed thanks for simple things like a nice rain, a good crop from his fruit trees, or whatever else was on his mind – he looked for opportunities to be thankful. He would often say, “Well, you know, Steve, I’ve been wonderfully blessed . . . .” And he had been. In return, though, his life is still a blessing to us, his family, and now, I hope, to you as well.

He was a man who whistled a tune, loved a song and humorous stories, and one who never harbored bitterness about all the tough times. The legacy he left is priceless. By example, he taught me how to work and to love the land that God gave us all. He taught concern for one’s family, friends, and neighbors. He showed me that no matter where I live, or what work I do, true freedom and wealth are inseparable from my relationship with God.

Paw Paw went to be with God in April 1984. I know how important it was to him to leave a good name for his descendants. I hope he realizes how thankful we are, not only to have had him in our lives, but also to know that we can rely on the same Source which strengthened, guided and blessed our Paw Paw.

Called to the Ministry
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2 by Os Hillman
Monday, September 05 2011

“Usually a person should keep on with the work he was doing when God called him” (I Cor. 7: 20 TLB).

We’ve all heard stories of men or women in the workplace that left their jobs for the “ministry.” Certainly God does call people into vocational ministry. However, many times this move is more rooted in dissatisfaction with a career combined with a spiritual renewal or first time commitment to the Lord. The idea of a “higher call” can also appeal to our sense of a greater and nobler destiny.

We have incorrectly elevated the roll of the Christian worker that serves within “the church” or a traditional “ministry” role to be more holy and committed than the person who is serving in a secular environment. Yet the call to the secular workplace is as important as any other calling. God has to have His people in every sphere of life to meet the needs of His creation. Also, many would never come to know Him because they would be separated from society.

I learned this lesson personally when I sought to go into “full-time” service as a pastor in my late twenties, only to have God thrust me back into the workplace unwillingly. This turned out to be the best thing He could have done for me, because it was never His will for me to be a pastor. He knew I was more suited for the workplace.

We are all in missions. Some are called to foreign lands. Some are called to the jungles of the workplace. Wherever you are called, serve the Lord in that place. Let Him demonstrate His power through your life so that others might experience Him through you today. View your vocation as means to worship Him.

Paul said it right; “In most cases we’re going to remain in the place where He first called us.”

We all have times and places of significance in our lives. And I’m sure as you are reading these words, you are thinking about those times and places that are special to you: where you proposed to your wife, the day you got married, when you found out you were going to be a parent. These memories are precious to us, but so often they are memories of earthly things. When was the last time you had a significant moment with God?

All throughout the Bible, people built altars to God as reminders of significant moments or encounters with God. In Genesis 35, Jacob was fleeing his brother Esau when God appeared and spoke to Jacob. In honor of God and in memory of this encounter, Jacob set up a stone pillar as an altar to God, and called it Bethel. In Joshua 22, Joshua goes about building an altar, not for sacrifice, but as a visual reminder for generations to come of all the things God has done for us, and how we are to give thanks and give to God what is God’s.

As summer comes upon us, let’s focus our thoughts not only on good times and memories with family, but also on those special moments with God. Let’s strive every day to make a special connection with Him. Making Him a part of our daily lives may not only impact ourselves, but others around us as well.

Blessings,
Caleh