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Archive for February, 2010

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.- Jeremiah 15:16 (NIV)

Anyone who is aware of nutrition will share with you, we are to eat to live, not vice versa.  Based upon what we take in, we gain energy by which we conduct our daily functions,  working, playing, and even sleeping.  Your food supplies you with energy.  In essence, you are what you eat as the old phrase goes.  Yet, the Scriptures speak about taking in the Word of God.  As Jeremiah says God’s words can be a joy and a delight to our hearts.  What we learn is that we cannot simply take in God’s Word  and simply leave it at that.  We need to take it in daily as our daily bread, as fresh manna provided from heaven above.  As we do so, we begin to exercise our faith, using up energy supplied to us by God’s Word.  From there, we give out from what we have stored up within us.  And, after we serve to the point of exhaustion, we realize that we must return again to God’s Word for another filling of His power to go on again.  Truly, if we are what we eat, then we will exhibit what we have taken in from God’s Word as we put his principles into practice.

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It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. – Albert Einstein

Most would-be entrepreneurs find themselves at a great distance from the dreams because they fail to commit to getting things started.  When your dreams remain dreams, they will never manifest into your destinations. If you are not pursuing your God-given purpose with vigor, you most probably are playing it safe by sticking to what you know rather than taking a stab at launching your own personal business.  Personally, I wish more people would start doing and stop dreaming, initiate and stop delaying.

Starting a business may require some homework and even some legwork, but its benefits and blessings pretty much outweigh the burdens.  There are tax write-offs and retirement options open to small business owners that you may not be aware of today.  Do you paint faces at local street fairs and kids’ parties on weekends? Are you a writer on the side, publishing where and when you can? Do you tutor students in your spare time? Take what you are doing (or dreaming about doing) and make it official, and then reap the benefits.  It doesn’t have to replace your full-time job.  It can just serve as additional income.    It can be a part-time “gig” or a weekend thing.  Just start it today.  You have numerous options available.  It will take prayer and patience, but it’s up to you.  Yet, there is still one thing left to do. . . Get started.  Get yourself started now.

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UCSD’s Compton Cookout is turning into the Chancellor Cop-out. Nice try but no takers on freedom speech and such defenses when its your campus. The incident demonstrated that racism and bigotry can be seen as a laughing matter to many on a campus where 2% of the population is ridiculed and mocked as “ghetto.” The last time I checked UC had some pretty stringent standards. Time for change is upon us. It’s today. Promote as much Black pride as you can muster in these last days of Black History Month. Our children and youth need to see us as leaders, not laughing stocks.
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Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”- Peter Drucker

I guess it is too much to ask people to make a commitment.  Let me back up.  What I really mean to say is that it is probably too much to ask people who are connected to make a commitment.  Disconnected people don’t commit.  They are either disillusioned about the vision and mission or they are so far out of the loop that it would take some time and effort to simply bring them up to speed at the least.  It is almost like asking someone to jump on board a train that is already moving at top speed.  That’s nearly impossible in most cases. 

The key to remember is that people who are connected to your cause or organization can easily transition to making a commitment.  From there, those who make a commitment can be counted upon to make a contribution.  Their contribution furthers the mission and vision of the organization.  Results are reached by committed individuals.  Resistance and reluctance is about all you can expect of those who fail to catch the vision.  They just are not connected. 

Truly, in my experience, it is too much to ask of someone who has no relationship to your agency or who sees no relevance in the work that you seek to accomplish.  As I said before, they are disconnected from what you are doing.  They will listen to you, but it doesn’t reach them.

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Faith-based organizations and churches may not always have the deliverables desired by most funding sources such as foundations. Even some grassroots organizations may have difficulty with this.  Let me add a warning at this point.  Chasing the money can lead to serious problems that may not be worth the strain a grant opportunity can place on a small agency or church.  What we may not have in the tangible results may actually be offset by the intangibles that exist in our daily work, serving the people of our community.  I learned early on in writing grants that a compelling story should be shared, an ancedotal narrative of the change that occurs as a result of the services that you provide. Yes, I agree that you should track your numbers with outputs and outcomes, even SMART goals where applicable, but that may not convey the story of a child learning to love literature by presenting a culturally-relevant reading curriculum.  Think of how you make a difference and share that with those with your potential contributors and donors.  Make an argument for the little things that occur that lead to you making a big difference.  Survey your clients.  Conduct focus groups.  Host forums and discussion groups.  Do all that you can to reach those who you claim as your target audience.  Craft your proposals so that they point to the results that go beyond the numbers.  You’re already making a difference by what you provide.  Now make a difference by how you present it to others.

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No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.- John 15:15 (NKJV)

The biblical example of keeping people in the loop comes directly from Jesus Christ.  He was deliberate in how He shared with His disciples His departure from earth.  Beyond sharing that his departure was inevitable and nearing, Jesus shared words of comfort with His disciples.  In essence, Jesus offered assurance to His disciples by keeping them in the loop.  He involved His disciples as friends, not simply as servants, because He made His plans known to themAs leaders, we should take something from the Lord’s example.  We need to keep people informed so that they will stay involved.  Informed people are usually involved people.  Do you want to see what happens to stop people from getting involved? The best way to kill involvement is to stop the flow of information.  Get into the practice of informing people in various ways through a wide variety of means.

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People are not to merely coexist. We are to do more than share air and space together. We are to connect with others as a community. I find that, with the advances of the Internet, social media, and other mobile communications, we have no excuse for not connecting beyond what we have done in the past. We should be even more connected to others than in previous times.

Look at what I said about community on my other blog. Visit https://revbruce.wordpress.com/category/community/ and discover insights and ideas about community in a modern perspective.

Check out www.give.org and www.pointsoflight.org for ways to contribute and connect within your local community. If you want to make a difference in your community, check out http://www.usaweekend.com/section/MDDAY and www.servenet.org today.

Keep up with the latest tweets from Life Path @ www.twitter.com/lifepath01/

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