Archive for the ‘perception’ Category

There are times in our lives when we just have to agree to start expecting more.  We cannot simply keep accepting the status quo.  Something has to change.

Why not change your perspective on life?

As a Christian, you may not escape the pains and heartaches of this life.  Pain will come.  Heartaches will happen.  That is life.  Yet, how we live our lives is what should separate us from the rest of the world.

Start changing how you approach matters in life.  Let each be met with eager anticipation, expecting God to do marvelous works right before your eyes, right in the midst of your presence.

Start meeting your days with expectancy.  Start watching God do His best for you and through you.

Oh, and by the way, be ready.

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If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. – John 15:18 (NLT)

Think about the Avengers or X-Men.  Those guys were bitten by spiders, struck by gamma rays or born mutated, only to emerge with super powers that spanned the full range of strangeness.  As much as we may love Professor Xavier, we certainly do not want anyone reading our minds or trying to control our thoughts.

We’re like these mutated brothers and sisters to a degree.  The world does not understand us, so in turn, it despises us and seeks to destroy us.  The world resists what we have to say, especially about Jesus.  It will consider us weird because of how intensely we follow the steps of Jesus along with His words, almost in the same way that some follow Star Wars or Star Trek.  For us, our church conventions and praise festivals are like our own version of Comic Con spread from town to town.

No one in this world will ever hate the follower or fan as much as they hate the original icon.  We are not hated because Captain Kirk and Spock grew old or that someone got thrown off because Mr. Sulu came out of the closet and that viewers discovered somewhere around Babylon 5 that the same plots keep playing over and over.  No, we’re hated because the world first hated Him. 

Just like Professor X and the Uncanny X-men, we represent the world’s opposition to tolerance.  We stand in outright defiance of all that seems so-called normal to the folks who cannot accept change.  We live as the litmus test of the degree of openness such an “open society” really has for all of its people, even the ones who seem to be as weird as mutants.

The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. – John 7:7 (NIV)

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Passion or Purpose

What’s driving your pursuits?
Which is it?

Passion is simply defined as “a powerful emotion.” That is usually enough to get things started or to spark something spontaneous, but it may not be enough to keep things going.  You may need more than just the power of emotion driving you into action.  You very well need something beyond passion.

The definition of purpose is “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.” Purpose gives a reason for actions.  Purpose does more than fuel and drive the person into action.  Purpose causes the person to continue to pursue his or her goals through the ups and downs of the various periods of life.

Perhaps, given the definition of purpose, that is why Rick Warren sold so many copies of The Purpose Driven Life.  With that in mind, perhaps it makes sense when we come across so many people who are trying to find their purpose in their lives. 

You do not discover your own purpose moving to Calcutta to be the next Mother Theresa.  That was her calling and purpose, not  necessarily yours.  Oddly enough, that makes a world of sense when you listen to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  It was his dream, not each and every other person’s dream.  It was his dream.  Too many people are chasing after other people’s dreams and purposes, never looking at themselves and their own pathway.
Let your purpose drive you into pursuits that you can become passionate about in this life.  Let such a purpose force you to grab hold of a vision and not let loose until you have accomplished more than you ever imagined possible.
“Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~St. Francis of Assisi

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>Fiddler on the Roof (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
Every single entrepreneur should be expressive.  Each one has to share about his or her wares with others.  Otherwise, who will know that they are even in business?

Entrepreneurs do not have the luxury of living in a vacuum. The entrepreneur may not be a “people person,” but he or she surely needs to develop a way to interact and engage people if he or she plans to stay in business long.  An entrepreneur’s survival is dependent upon the ability to sell others on what he or she provides as a service or product.

Learning how to network will go a long way.  I don’t mean selling to the point where people duck and dodge you at the local chamber of commerce gatherings every time that you come around.  Salespeople are too pushy in my opinion.  You want to learn how to schmooze with smoothness.  You want to make talking about your business flow naturally in every conversation.Porgy and Bess Poster Movie 11x17 Sidney Poitier Dorothy Dandridge Sammy Davis Jr. Pearl Bailey

I think back of the famous plays like Porgy and Bess and Fiddler on the Roof.  You learned about what those men did for a living in that fishing town as they sang It take a long pull to get there  in “Porgy and Bess.”  The same with the matchmaker as the girls sang in hopes of the matchmaker making them a match and finding them a catch.  When I went to a baseball game last season, I heard the concession vendor calling out to fans and rattling off how he hot dogs and peanuts with a melodic-like tone.  That’s what the entrepreneur must do.  The entrepreneur must speak up and express how the product or service will benefit others.  The entrepreneur has to express it with heart and feeling, seeking to win others over to believing it just as much as the entrepreneur does himself.

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The Power of Positive Thinking
Look at how Norman Vincent Peale breaks down some common challenges for people.

Positive thinking is powerful.  It has both blessings and benefits.  The power of positivity can carry you through some unbelievable storms.  Don’t think that bad things don’t happen to good people.  We all encounter various challenges day by day.  the difference is made by how we handle those challenges.

Embrace a positive mindset.  Don’t let negative thinking invade your mind.  Keep a positive outlook and expect positive outcomes.

Let the Lord and His Word work on you.  Let His Word sink in and enrich you.  Let it take root in your willing soul.

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.- Philippians 4:13 (NASB)

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“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth. “- Peter Drucker  
Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Too many entrepreneurs believe that they have to build the next big thing.  I always like the concept of piggybacking on the success of others.  You know, that ancient business approach of building a better mouse trap rather than simply trying to replace the mouse trap.


Let’s attack the obvious first. The mouse trap you seek to innovate already has an existing audience.  You don’t have to search high and low to find them.  You will need to do some market research in order to reach them with what you have for them.  You will need to identify their wants and needs, especially where what you offer falls on their list of priorities.

Your next move is about accessibility.  How do you get access to your audience? Do you purchase a mailing list or do you cold call everyone in the phone book? Do you need to place ads in areas frequented by those who meet the demographic profile of your audience? Is there a low-cost mechanism that will reach a broad audience? Could you tie in with a human interest story for your local newspaper reporter?

How do you make what you have to offer easily accessible to them? Can they order online and off line? Do you have other sites where your products are available? Are you the sole proprietor and the sole soul serving in every capacity of the business? [Uh-Oh, I think I hit a sore spot.]

Make a list and see where you stand.  You may discover that you are on the right track.  Or, you may find yourself way off course and in need of some immediate changes before you find yourself facing serious issues.  In either case, be sure to take the real answers into consideration and do not get into making assumptions regarding your target audience.  Read Inc and Entrepreneur, even Harvard Business Review.  Be sure to check your competition.  Get ideas from those who have a greater amount of the market within their grasp.  You are not seeking a mother lode.  You just want to get a piece of the action.
I guess that I could put in simple terms by saying that I like Inc’s “How to Run a One-Person Business.” In addition, their site offers some other valuable resources as well.  Essentially, I believe that such sites offer budding entrepreneurs insights and ideas on how to start and sustain their own business whether they are traditional brick and mortar shops or if they are mobilized and globalized ventures.  Check out the landscape before you go setting up shop.  Do your homework and ensure that you are making the right moves in the right direction.

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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.”

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“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

Exceed expectations. Are you getting any closer to excellence?  Merely meeting expectations is a minimum.  When you exceed those same expectations, you start to enter into excellence.  We are to offer God our best every step of the way.  Excuses do not excuse us from the expectations of our Eternal Father.

We have to go further than we have ever gone before.  We have to take actions that will lead to exploring new territory.  Excuses are just excuses.  They do not excuse us from His expectations.  They can hinder us from doing His will or walking by faith.  They can harm progress in our spiritual maturity.  They may not even help us at all.  We have to see what excuses really do for us.  They offer nothing but trouble because they lead to procrastination, problems and poor performance or pitiful productivity.  That’s what comes forth out of excuses.

Let excellence serve as your trademark.  Lead by example.  Let excuses go.  Let others see the distinct qualities that set you apart from the crowd.  Demonstrate that you are not simply going with the flow.  In fact, if you live for Him, it may even cause you to go against the grain at times.  You begin to discover that God has put more in you than you think, but you won’t discover it until you have been put to the test.  When the tests, trials and troubles come your way, it won’t be time for excuses.  That will be the time you set your heart on excelling beyond expectations.  At that point, you become David facing a giant called GoliathRight then, you become Moses standing before a raging Red SeaIn the midst of  it, you stand out like Paul, writing as a concerned parent to his dear children, addressing believers in Rome with an assurance that every Christian is more than a conqueror.  We overcome with overwhelming strength supplied by the Supreme God, God Almighty.

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But I tell you the truth. . . – John 16:7 (NIV)

Jesus combatted tradition with truth.  He shared the truth openly.  He did so with His disciples.  He also did so with the multitudes.  In fact, He even did so with those who opposed Him like the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Jesus took on tradition with truth.

In Matthew 5, Jesus takes on tradition with two repetitive phrases: “You have heard that it was said” and “But I tell you.” He speaks of “You have heard that it was said” in verses 21, 27, 38, and 43.  Verses 31 and 33 are some variation of the same phrase.  He speaks of  “But I tell you” in verses 22, 28, 32, 39, and 44.  Jesus addresses tradition, but He accentuates truth.  Jesus opens with what has been said, but He discloses how to truly do what pleases God the Father.  He offers the truth as opposed to tradition.

Are hearing truth or honoring traditions? The Lord offered truth that outweighed tradition.  If you have truly heard the truth, test tradition against the truth.  Does it withstand the test? If so, uphold it and continue with it.  If not, you may need to discard it and discontinue it.  Put your traditions to the test with truth.

The teachings of the truth allow us to live and lead by the truth.  Learn the truth.  Live in the truth.  Lead by the truth.

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.- John 8:32 (NLT)

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Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers–the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt.- Exodus 3:16 (NIV)

Moses was to gather the people to garner the buy-in.  The burning bush encounter wouldn’t be enough to convince the children of Israel that God had spoken through the former prince of Egypt who now returned as a self-proclaimed prophet of God for their deliverance.  God told Moses what He planned to do.  God told Moses how He planned to use him.  It still did not register as enough for Moses.  He even offered Moses the evidence of signs if the people would not hear his voice

God offered Moses His divine guidance and support.  God offered Moses signs before his very own eyes.  God gave Moses everything he needed.  How did Moses respond?

But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.”- Ex. 4:16 (ESV)

God answered all of Moses’ excuses, even his request for someone else to take on the task.  God asks about Aaron the Levite, the brother of Moses.  He tells Moses that He will use Aaron along with Moses to speak to the people and reveal what God’s plan for them to them.  They would even work together with the elders to take their request before the king of Egypt

Moses got more than he asked for with this task.  God did not relieve him of the responsibility of the task.  He offered him relief for his fear and reassurance through Aaron his brother being his mouthpiece.  The task was still in the hands of Moses.  He was still to take on the task to lead God’s people to deliverance.

28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the Lord with which he had sent him to speak, and all the signs that he had commanded him to do. 29 Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel.– Ex. 4: 28-29 (ESV)

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