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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Prayer Plan

Okay, folks.  The year is closing out.  We are wrapping up the third quarter and getting into the final and fourth quarter of the year, looking ahead towards 2011 with eagerness and excitement. 

Here's my sound advice for the evangelical entrepreneur or the Bible-believing businessman or businesswoman:

"Pray constantly."- 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (HCSB)
My Daily Prayer & Praise Journal: Keynotes (NEW LIFE BIBLE)


You don't have to be consumed with the latest headlines and the market conditions through the news wire and constant streams of Internet data that reveal the ebb and flow of the business world moment by moment.  Get saturated in prayer.  Let your prayer life set you apart from how others approach business.


Pray over your business and everything that is connected to your business.

How often you pray impacts how you pray, and how you pray impacts how often you pray.

Pray for your business today.  Pray with your future in mind.  Pray for guidance d strength

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Children of Darkness or Light

And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light.- Luke 16:8 (NLT)


Manga Messiah
 
I think about the recent terror scare regarding explosives discovered in packages destined for Jewish houses of worship.  It's sent the world into a new frenzy of terror.  It has TSA and FedEx into a scurry about security along with everyone else from DHL and UPS as well as USPS.
 
Imagine if they weren't Islamic terrorists.  What it they were evangelical extremists? I am talking about some Bible-thumping, gay-bashing, King James-only, moral flag wavers.  What if that was the case?
 
How quiet is it kept that hate crimes can be committed in the name of Christ just like Allah? How much of an uproar is stirred up when Christians blow up abortion clinics or attack others for their "sins?"  Paul said that we are all like "filthy rags."
 
Where is the love?
 
The hate is evident.  It is surely visible.
 
Where is the love?
 
The fruit of the Spirit should be pouring out from us.
 
Think about it and be real honest with yourself.
 
What if the tables were turned?
 
Evangelical extremists? Could there be such a thing?
 
This year Halloween falls on a Sunday.  Don't allow your congregation to fall prey to the subtle idolatry that may slip as "for the kids' sake" or "just having some good, clean fun."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Internal Resource Inventory


23  Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, 24 for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations?  Pro. 27:23-24 (ESV)

Tom Peters named it "Management By Walking Around." It sounds silly.  It seems like it is something that everyone should do.  Unfortunately, most do not do it.  In fact, many do not do it at all.  Peters dubbed it the "technology of the obvious."
How well do you know the condition of your flock?

Is it your ministry team? When was the last time that you saw Sister Fletcher's husband at church? Was it before he was laid off or not? Think hard.  Can you recall?

Have you kept tabs on Brother Edwards? He used to be one of your most faithful and devout Sunday school teachers.  Have you sent a card? Have you paid a visit? Since when?

Why hasn't Anne Marie sung a solo lately? Is she back on the streets? Is she back on drugs? Is she hooking again?

How would you know the answers to any of these questions if you have lost touch with your flock?

Develop a means for leading God's people beyond a set schedule of meetings and appointments.  Carve out time for "pastoral care" that includes home visits as well as lunches and coffee breaks with members and ministry leaders throughout the week. Be sure to reserve some time for drop-in emergencies.  You never know when Ann Marie may come on her own.  It would be a shame if she was turned away because you were too busy or she didn't have an appointment scheduled.

Know the condition of your flock.
Pay attention to those under your pastoral care and leadership.
Stay in touch with them and love them as if they were your own.

"The true shepherd spirit is an amalgam of many precious graces. He is hot with zeal, but he is not fiery with passion. He is gentle, and yet he rules his class. He is loving, but he does not wink at sin. He has power over the lambs, but he is not domineering or sharp. He has cheerfulness, but not levity; freedom, but not license; solemnity, but not gloom."- Charles H. Spurgeon

Open Opportunities

"Opportunity exists where you find it." - John C. Maxwell

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently

Find your own opportunities.  Don't wait on someone else.  They won't knock on your door.  They won't yell out and beckon you unto them.  You'll have to search and seek them out.

Some will be obvious.  They'll be right before your face.  They may be sitting right in your own backyard.  You will simply have to recognize them as opportunities.

Some will be more obscure.  They may appear to be obstacles or challenges.  Yet, you will discover an opportunity to put your talent and skills to work on discovering a solution.

Some will need to be created. When I didn't find much success in peddling my self-published books through online resources, I decided to turn my lessons learned into resources that drew people into me.  I wrote a blog and published a newsletter where I could get people's attention and inform them about tidbits of what I had already published and what I was currently working on with my writing.  it does work, but I had to find a way to make the opportunity work out for me.

Find your opportunities today.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Building Through Vision

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.
- Proverbs 29:18 (NIV)

 

 
Be sure that our people are:
  • Aware of the vision
  • Activating the vision
  • Advocating for the vision

 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Family Business Cutthroats

"The person who will not stand for something will fall for anything."

You can make your business a family affair.  Entering into business with family seems fun and exciting.  Just slow down a little first.  There's a lot more than you need to get clearer on before even going beyond the mere idea of it.

Going into business with family can be troubling.  It can be outright trouble, too.  You have to be certain about what you are getting into with whom.  Otherwise, blood or not, things can get real sticky for folks.

Jacob was a swindler.  He came out of the womb that wayHis name reveals his dominant character.  He swindled his way through his early life and found himself on the run from his brother for dear life with a stolen birthrightHe met his match when he met up with Laban, his uncle and soon-to-be father-in-law.

If Jacob was shrewd, Laban mas even more shrewder. If Jacob was a swindler, then Laban was a swindler of the utmost kind. If Jacob could work one on you, then Laban sure enough could lay one on you and leave you both broke and blind before you could catch your breath.

Without a doubt, once these two got together, the fireworks got lit and kept exploding.  Women, labor, sheep and goats, even idols, came between Jacob and Laban.  Jacob lost trust in Laban after his midnight switcheroo on Jacob's wedding night.  Laban surely lost trust in Jacob after he got bamboozled out of his flock by the younger man.  They mistreated each other in numerous ways and by various means.  The sad part was that they were related by both marriage and blood.  It still didn't make any difference.

Don't let this poor example of family business deter you from thoughts of going into business with family.  Let it serve as a lesson for you to truly look at a person's character (the revealed actions and interactions that reveal who people really are under all of the masks and facades that people sometimes tend to hide behind).  See them for who they are and what they are and leave it at that.  Discern about them and more about yourself.  See if you can't handle being in business with them.  After all, who has a better look at them than you? You've known them since they were in diapers.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gaining by Giving

Give, and it will be given to you... - Luke 6:38 (NASB)

You may not be getting much because you are not giving much.  It may simply boil down to a simple survey of two major things:
  • What you have done
  • What you haven't done
Unfinished business is simply that; it is unfinished and incomplete.  You do not gain anything by starting and stopping.  In addition, you surely will not gain anything by never starting at all.

Look at it from another perspective.  What do you have to offer? If you offer of what you have, that is related to stewardship and sacrifice.  Stewardship requires some discernment as well as discretion.  Sacrifice requires you to commit and contribute.  Let your sacrifice be in order and through obedience to God.

Give where you can and give what you can. Wait and see what comes of it.  Don't expect your return on your blessing to come from the same source that you have blessed.  God may use some unconventional means to supply you.  The expectation of being "repaid" for what we give in the "same measure" does not mean it will be paid back to use in the same manner.  you may not receive money back for an offering or gift.  You may not receive the same thing back in the same way, but you may receive repeat business for sponsoring a Little League team.  You may receive new prospects for the volunteer work that you have done with social service agencies.  You may become connected to new business relationships for the table you bought for that gala fund-raising event for a worthy cause.

You just never know where your business blessing may come from next.  You just need to be sure to give and know that you should give freely.

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.- 2 Cor. 9:7 (NIV)