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Archive for December, 2010

One Question

The Undiscovered Paul Robeson: Quest for Freedom, 1939 - 1976
Artists must learn to become activists.  Artists must somehow yearn to become activists who speak up and speak out, giving an artistic voice to the voiceless and raising some sense of cultural and social consciousness in the society that surrounds them.  Without doing so, the artist leaves a void instead of a legacy along with a mere dent rather than an impression on life in his or her times.

One Question (originally, published in Words from the Underground by Bruce Jackson)

There is an alert.

Someone sounded the alarm.

They sang out like a herald,

Crying out for change.

Someone said something must be done.

Yet, I raise a question:

Who will do it?

Who will lead the change?

The ones who ask for it merely scatter.

The ones who said it was necessary cringed.

No one stepped up.

No one stepped out.

Who will lead the change?

Who will it be?

 
The question lingers on.  Will you lead the change?  Answer for yourself.

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Life@Work GroupZine: The Art of Balance

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”- Psalm 53:1 (NKJV)
Foolish notions come from foolish people.  In life, your best bet may be to keep away from foolishness.  In business, it makes even more sense to do so.

I started reading Steve Marr’s Business Proverbs some years ago and I always go back to it as a devotional reading when I see myself sinking into a lull of seemingly foolish decisions in business and ministry.The book is a great resource that can keep one grounded in a biblically-based mindset for sound business practices.

Bob Briner is also a great read when it comes to management and leadership for Christians. I like The Leadership Lessons of Jesus and Roaring Lambs, but I truly have been blessed by reading The Management Methods of Jesus. 

Additionally, I have found other authors to present Christian principles for business practices in some profound and insightful books.  Laurie Beth Jones did so through The Path and Teach Your Team to Fish.  Larry Burkett’s Business by the Book still speaks volumes to any budding Christian entrepreneur or manager.

The Management Methods of Jesus: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Business
You have to engage in an intentional effort to remain ethical in these days.  Don’t let an uptick in sells numbers sway your thinking.  Maintain your resolve in times where fudging the numbers a bit won’t hurt anyone- or so they say.  Make it your business to handle your business matters like the Master.  Make it fool-proof.  That makes sense, even if the fool is you from time to time.

Try out some of the above-mentioned titles and some others listed below:

Providing Support, Promoting Success

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings
For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it. – Genesis 19:13 (NKJV)

Sodom was bound for destruction. Gomorrah was bound for destruction.  The men who visited the city appeared to Lot, the relative of Abraham, and warned him to depart from the city because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord.  Imagine that.  You live in the midst of mayhem and in a den of debauchery, but it seems normal to you until someone says that it will be destroyed.  Take a long hard look at Lot’s situation and think about where you are today.  Do your surroundings grieve the Lord? Is the sin that has settled in and taken root around you impairing your vision of what the Lord despises in His own sight?

There was a plan in the works long before these men even arrived at the city gates of Sodom that evening.  It is obvious from the previous chapter of Genesis:

20 Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

God had His mind set on wiping out the entire inhabitants.  Yet, in the previous verses, He acknowledges Abraham as “right and just,” seeking not to hide His intentions from the man whom He had chosen (verses 17-19). 

In His dialogue with Abraham, God hears Abraham’s rationale as the man asks: Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  It then becomes a narrowing down from fifty righteous souls to forty, all the way down to ten, in order that the righteous not be wiped out with the wicked.

Are you the one, like Lot, caught up in the bright lights of the city and immune to the pungent odor that offends the very nostrils of the Lord? You live among those who do evil and seem to get away with it at every turn.  Yet, your voice is silenced somehow.  You fear speaking out against it.  You take the position of one who is in the vicinity but not involved.  Is that you?

Or, could you be like Abraham? Could your relationship with God be so strong that He shares with you and speaks intimately with you? Does He lay burdens upon your heart of atrocities that seem to linger without an outspoken word? Does He show you how people are caught up, chewed up and spit out by the system with any systems of support? Does that sound like you?

Be sure to take note of Abraham’s response to God’s words.  He did not breathe a sigh of relief and say that it was not his place or his concern.  He did not thank God for bypassing his domain.  He asked about those who might be righteous within those cities.  He showed compassion. 

We all should be concerned when we hear of a Katrina, wild fires, earthquakes and other so-called natural disasters.  People die in such times.  Our hearts should still ache for those families who lost loved ones in the Oklahoma City bombings, 9-11, and other terrorist attacks.  It should pain us when lives are lost needlessly in our midst or in our times.

Will you be Lot or Abraham?

Lot?

Abraham?

A Voice in the Wilderness: A Pastor's Journal of Ground ZeroThe choice is yours today.

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Daily Dabble

“To have a great day every day it helps to think great thoughts and to concentrate on at least one every day.”


Norman Vincent Peale

Have a Great Day

Daily you may find yourself bombarded with schedules and meetings.  Stop for an instance prior to 2011 and start prioritizing going beyond the norm.  Make an effort to approach each day with a new expedition to undertaken.  Seek to dive into today with dabbling.

Yes, I said dabbling.  Dabble in some of this and some of that, but dabble daily.  Set aside some part of the day to dabble into something new.  Learn Spanish.  Take up salsa or flamenco dancing.  Read biographies and autobiographies about famous business titans and politicians.  Start a new hobby.  Make your long-time hobby into a part-time business.  Make your daily dabbling deliberate.  Don’t get willy-nilly with it.  Plan it out with a month-by-month or week-by-week Day Planner.  Dabble in new things daily and see how much you grow from the experience.  Review each month’s activities and discover your daily dabble’s rewards.

Carpe Diem: Seize the Day

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Christmas Crime

Christmas With the Kranks

After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.
-Judges 2:10 (NLT)
This holiday season has disturbed me a bit.  No, it’s not because me artificial tree looks like it needs a stimulus package or recovery funds.  I can deal with that.  It’s not even because we have Christmas on a tight budget this year (and every year).  It certainly isn’t due to the fact that my Christmas savings account was empty before I had purchased a single gift for anyone.  None of that is a big deal to me.

The Ice Harvest


These holiday criminals have me puzzled.  They prey upon households that tend to be the people who really don’t deserve to be robbed blind if there ever such a list existed.  For instance, a woman from our church and a family friend spent much of early December helping prepare for our church’s Angel Tree celebration for the children of the incarcerated through Prison Fellowship.  Yet, her house was robbed and ransacked just days before Christmas.  My neighbor who never fails to speak or wave and who always seems to be ready to offer a cheery smile was robbed the day before Christmas as I grumbled about losing a gift card for one of my family members.  Here I was complaining about the $30 card I had lost, but this man and his family were wiped out in an instant.

Trapped in Paradise
It is some sad commentary on us when we think that we are immune to Christmas crimeLook at the world today.  Crime may be on an upswing due to hard times and other factors.  It’s unreal out here with the economy and the job market.  However, if we do not see the reality that is before our eyes, we may end up wondering the worst and missing our own miracles.
Home Alone
Imagine the worst and expect the worst.  It comes out like that.  It is like Murphy’s Law or a self-fulfilling prophecy.  We tend to live up to the expectations of others and we live out our own expectations of ourselves. Don’t let bad things run around in your mind to the point that you embrace cynicism and negativity as part of your outlook on daily living, even the holidays.  Embrace the miracle of what you have been given today and in this moment.  The miracle is that God allowed you to see or hear about it.  Do something about it.  Do something special for the people who had to deal with it.  Take full advantage of today.  Make the most of every God-given opportunity today.
What kept it from being your house? Grace.  Why wasn’t it you? Goodness (His, not mine).  Who could have prevented it from happening to them? No one but God.  Then, after all of that line of questioning, you still have to ask: Why did He allow it to happen to them?
I suspect it was done so the Lord could  use you somehow in some special way for someone else.

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Roadmap to Success: Building Your Business God's Way
http://www.amazon.com/Roadmap-Success-Building-Your-Business/dp/B003D7JZXA?ie=UTF8&tag=ministrioc-20&link_code=btl&camp=213689&creative=392969

When you plan your events for 2011, think about adding some special offers or discounts for those who register or purchase tickets early. 
Chase's Calendar of Events, 2011 Edition: The Ultimate Go-to Guide for Special Days, Weeks and Months
Go out of your way to treat your early birds special.  Have plenty of giveaways and logo-covered items ready for your event “swag bags.” Be sure to allow the early birds to experience V.I.P. and red carpet treatment throughout your event.  If you remember them, they will certainly remember you and your special treatment of them when your next event comes up.

The Five Star Church: Helping Your Church Provide the Highest Level of Service to God and His People 

The One Minute Manager

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http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=ministrioc20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0801072824&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrHere is an update to those who may want to know what happened to From Eden to Egypt– Days #20 & #21.  I published each post only at Rev Bruce’s Blog.

From Eden to Egypt
I use the Defender’s Study Bible by Dr. Henry Morrisalong with The Genesis Record in a way that allows me to study the Scriptures and benefit from a creationist’s view on the first book of the Bible that he exhaustively explored and explained.

Day #20- Genesis 12:10
Day #21-Genesis 16:1-2

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