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“Be not simply good – be good for something.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Imagine if you had nothing getting in your way, nothing holding you back.

What would you do with your life?

Could you see yourself doing whatever you could to help someone else?

Could you see beyond yourself and make a difference for someone else?

Just imagine if you had that opportunity.

No obstacles.

No opposition.

No other objective.

Just being in the position to do good for someone else, uplifting their spirit and blessing them through what God has already done for you.

Now it’s time for a reality check.

The only thing holding you back from doing such mighty works is you.

YOU…Your Own Unwillingness

If you could somehow shake that unwilling spirit, then you can do it.

Oh, that’s not you?

Then it must be. . .

YOU. . . Your Own Unworthiness

That is the pitiful self image that says that you are not worthy of doing good because you know that you are of no earthly good.  Our Bibles tell us that we are a “new creation” based upon the work of the Lord.  We are worthy!

So, you still think that’s not you?

How about. . .

YOU. . . Your Own Unfaithfulness

You just don’t believe that God can use you in such a way.  You don’t believe that you can be a blessing, especially since you are in the need of a blessing yourself.  Elijah was fed by ravens by a brook, and then he was fed by an impoverished widow.  There was another widow who gave all that she had when she placed two mites in the offering.

Get YOU out of the way and let God have His way.

Sit YOU down and set yourself up to be a blessing to someone.

Give YOU his walking papers and give God an open opportunity to use you like He’s never used you before.

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8 (NASB)

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Winning at All Costs

“Winning isn’t everything,
but wanting to win is!”
Vince Lombardi
Head Coach
Green Bay Packers

Look back at Lombardi.  He bred and led champions.  the NFL has named its coveted championship trophy after him and in his honor.  He was a pioneer in the sport’s history-making era.  He stood out as a man who could lead men, a man’s man and a player’s coach.  If there ever was an example of gridiron guts and gallantry to behold, Lombardi was the prime example for all to lay there eyes upon.

Today’s NFL is nothing like Lombardi’s heyday.  Hard work and determination have been replaced with performance enhancing drugs and off-field antics that border between publicity stunts and public disgraces.  Bountygate has taken prisoners among both players and coaches, revealing true character as it has unraveled before our own eyes.  The NFL currently suffers more black eyes than Pacquiao after his last bout.

The sad truth is that Lombardi’s words speak to our character once we get set on winning.  We become consumed with winning at all costs.  We will cut corners to get an edge on our competition.  We will kick an opponent while he’s down and out, leaving him with no recourse except to wave the white flag of defeat.  That’s what becomes of us when we let a “winning” spirit take over and consume us.

That doesn’t have to be the case, though.

He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver
nor he that loves abundance with increase: 
this is also vanity.
 – Ecclesiastes 5:10

Putting our focus on the prize can detour us from the right pathway.  There are no shortcuts to righteousness.  Purity and holiness do not have a cheat code available to a select few.  No, the Lord shows us that a wise choice is to take the moral high road rather than to stoop to the level of cheater just to get ahead.

Our desire to win should remain in check as win people over on our way towards achieving the prize.

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“You must succeed at doing what is necessary.” – Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill stands out as a prominent figure due to what history has made out of his accomplishments as part of Great Britain’s wartime stance against the air raids of the German Lufthansa during World War II.  However, Churchill’s many quotes should also provide today’s business leaders with some stirring words to ponder.

How many of us view success as “doing what is necessary?” That is not a common perspective for most people, especially those trying to run a business on their own in the hopes of growing and increasing revenue or the pastor of a storefront church who has aspirations of growth and expansion.  Necessary things seem to fall right into the mix with all of the other unexpected fires that have to be put out as one makes it day by day and step by step. Yet, Churchill offers such words to cause us to ponder if what we are tinkering with here and there is really leading towards true success.

Ask yourself if you have done “what is necessary” in order to keep the doors open and the lights on.  Develop a list of fundamentals that have to be in place before you move to bigger things.  Utilize this list as a check-in point for yourself before you get started on your daily grind.  I guarantee that such a checklist is exactly what will come in handy as you work on getting to that crucial point that we all seek so desperately and tirelessly that we tend to call success.

Wizzley

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“I will utterly consume everything

From the face of the land,”

Says the Lord;

“I will consume man and beast;

I will consume the birds of the heavens,

The fish of the sea,

And the stumbling blocks along with the wicked.

I will cut off man from the face of the land,”

Says the Lord.

-Zephaniah 1:2-3 (NKJV)

Consider yourself warned.  God will have a day of reckoning.  he prophets spoke of it.  In particular, Zephaniah spoke explicitly about it.  It would be the type of day that no one would want to see in their lifetime.

Think you have had a bad day? That’s nothing like what will happen when this day comes about.  The Lord will not be slow to anger on that day.  He will set forth His wrath like it has never been unleashed before.

Take care of business, brothers and sisters.  Know that how you manage your business affairs is part of how you reflect God in your daily life to others, especially those who are not of the faith.

  • Are you viewed as shrewd and crafty, ready to cut costs at the expense of the livelihood of your employees and vendors?
  • Do you readily examine the bottom line or the heart of the matter when making decisions?
  • Do you pray over your business decisions and seek godly counsel from other Christian business men and women?

Consider how you handle your business.  Others are watching you.  Others take into account that you say that you are a Christian.  God is watching.  God will not always be waiting.  One day, and we we do not know when, God is going to call us on what we have done and what we haven’t done as His children.

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Expertscolumn.com 

Most of us have dreams of having our names in lights.  We dream of seeing our names plastered on some billboard near the Hollywood sign or in pixelated images overlooking the Strip in Las Vegas.  Stardom has a certain appeal that keeps our heads in the clouds.

Beyond dreaming is doing.  You have to do certain things to get to the point where you earn that type of name recognition.  You might not be able to point out James Patterson in a shopping mall or the grocery store, but you most probably know him for his best-selling Alex Cross novels.  That’s name recognition.

How do people recognize your name?
What do people attribute to or associate with your name?
Is there more that you can do to build a better brand out of your name?

Make a name for yourself in your industry.  Become a recognized expert in your field within your city or region.  Do not let opportunities to share and show your expertise pass you by simply because they all do not pay in per diem or client fees.  Some of your biggest dividends may be the fact that people begin to recognize your name, even if it isn’t in lights.

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“Christ came to redeem us from sin and bring us back to serve and glorify Him.”
– Andrew Murray, God’s Plans for You

Let’s get real.  Salvation is part of God’s master plan for all of us.  It isn’t the whole thing, but it is a major part of the plan.  What is highly important is that we recognize that God has a plan.  Even more refreshing for us is that we are included in God’s plan.
That includes your business.  That includes your special gifts and abilities.  That also includes your example that you set for others, especially unbelievers, through how you live your life.  It is all part of God’s plan.
What’s the point of God’s plan?
He shows us love because He is love.  He expects us to live as reflections of Him.   We are to serve Him.  We are to glorify Him.

Guess what?

It’s all in His plan.

 

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Commit your works to Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.
-Proverbs 16:3

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
– Proverbs 16:9

I don’t care if it’s a business or a ministry, even a small group or just some friends getting together to do some good work within the community, you need to start from your heart.  That’s where you get the commitment that you will need to endure any such work.  It will have to come from deep within you.  It will have to start in and come from the heart.

The Bible says so in Proverbs as we see in the verses above.  It comes up in other places in both the Old Testament and New Testament.  Don’t get it wrong.  The Bible is certain to cover such a matter as this due to its importance to success of any such venture in faith.  After all, the Lord’s name is on the line any time that we step out there with the blood of Jesus Christ covering us.  Other folks are looking.

Other writers have shared the importance of a leader having a heart for his or her work.  Check out how Ken Blanchard and John Maxwell deal with matters of the heart.  Steve Marr used Proverbs to publish a daily devotional for business professionals called Business Proverbs.

No matter how much you may try to rationalize otherwise, if your heart isn’t in it, you can bet the rest of you isn’t too into it either. Get your heart into it or get out of it. 
God doesn’t want you giving Him a half-hearted effort.  What He did that towards us? Would we praise Him with our whole hearts still? Would we still sing songs of Zion to His glory? Think on that.

Get your heart into before you even get started.  Let God have your best by putting your whole heart into it.  He has already give you His best in Jesus Christ.  Go on and get your heart into whatever you will do in His name.

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