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Archive for the ‘success’ Category

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:11-13 (NKJV)

Learning to become content is not easy.

Christians have a real hard time with it because they have to somehow find a balance between this world system and the Word of the Lord.  Many Christians have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, yet they find themselves at the mercy of the world’s temptations and enticements.  The desirable things of the world some to lure Christians down a dark pathway of rampant consumerism and debt that comes at the high cost for keeping up with the Joneses.

 

Consumer economics says that America has it backwards.  Our savings rate is almost nonexistent, but we are constantly measuring consumer confidence as an index of American corporate profitability.  Our educational system is steadily falling behind the rest of the developed world.  However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index continue to serve as the benchmarks by which we measure mutual fund performance and the overall performance of stocks.  

I like the way Dave Ramsey poses it to callers to his weekly radio broadcast who have gotten themselves up to their eyeballs in debt and don’t feel that they need to make drastic changes.  Like so many of us within American society, they just haven’t started hurting bad enough yet to regulate themselves to PB&J sandwiches and tuna fish with crackers.

We can become content when we learn to live within our means.  Live on less than you make and you can save something on a regular basis, not just for emergencies and rainy days.

  • Consider how much you need for retirement.
  • Identify additional insurance needs like long term disability coverage
  • Do you have an estate plan?
  • Do you have a will?
  • Could you handle a job loss for 3 months? 6 months? How about over a year?

To become content, we have to learn how to live a simple and quiet life.  Paul shared such wisdom with the Thessalonians in his first letter to them: “. . . But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;  that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,  that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing” (1 Th. 4:10-12)

Becoming content with what you have is enough to get you scrutinized by your neighbors and family as cheap, not just frugal.  They will consider you some kind of coupon freak or bargain hunter.

You just keep saving.

People will say that you are ruining your own lives, even the lives of your children.  They will say that you will never reach the American dream.

Accept none of their gibberish.  Keep on saving.

Keep Benjamin Franklin’s money wisdom in mind: “Content makes poor men rich, discontent makes rich men poor.”

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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.

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Then Elisha said, “Listen to the word of the LORD; thus says the LORD, ‘Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.'” – 2 Kings 7:1 (NASB)

Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the LORD had said. 
– 2 Kings 7:16 (NIV)

It happened as the man of God had said to the king: “About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” 
– 2 Kings 7:18 (NIV)

The man of God in the Old Testament was more than priestly.  He usually stood out as a messenger of God, a prophet.  Elisha was such a messenger.  He was an advisor to the Hebrew kings of his generation and times.  He provided spiritual insight and interpretation for the benefit and blessing of the entire kingdom based on the word of the LORD.  

A severe famine had struck the land due to invaders surrounding the city and placing it under siege.  This same famine caused the market rates to go sky high.  During this famine, a  donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver and quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels ( 2 Kings 6:25, NIV).  Eighty shekels of silver was the equivalent of approximately two pounds, while a quarter of a cab represented about 1/2 pint of seed pods.  In such an economic crisis, no one can get much for their money due to the limited supply and a high demand.  When did donkey heads become listed commodities on the open market? That’s when you know things have gotten real bad.

Things had gotten so bad that a woman had agreed to cook her son and eat him with another woman. Upon hearing of this, the king becomes distraught and tears his robe as a sign of mourning.  He vows to have the head of Elisha, God’s messenger.  Obviously, Elisha quickly fell out of favor with the king at this point due to the dire conditions of the kingdom in that day. God’s messenger is His representative among the people, too.  That also makes him the perfect target for outrage and criticism when things go awry.

Elisha offers a prophecy of coming profitability.  God shared that the famine would end soon and things would turn around.  He prophesied that by the next day  a “seah” of flour and two of barley would both sell for only one shekel.  When it comes true, the people are overjoyed and elated.  They readily grab hold of  all that they could and lived on during the economic recovery.

Keep in mind that the head of God’s messenger was sought by high ranking officials just hours before things turned for the better.  Even though he believed it to be so, others did not readily believe it until they saw it for themselves. 

Today’s financial conditions will not remain the same always.  Hear where God is directing you and see where He is making swift changes and movements that impact our global economy right before our eyes.  You may need to prepare for today’s prophecy becoming tomorrow’s reality quick and soon.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: 
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 
– Matthew 5:12

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Remain Positive

He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

-Proverbs 13:20

Why suffer needlessly? It’s senseless.  It’s foolish.  It’s totally unwise.

In midst of all of this foolishness that may come your way, I suggest that you remain positive.  Norman Vincent Peale wrote The Power o f Positive Thinking many years ago and it still generates fans to this day.  Keep yourself positive.
How?
Keep a positive perspective on things.  Be an optimist.  Winston Churchill once stated: “The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Maintain a positive perspective.
Stick with positive people.  Don’t fall in with the wrong crowd at the copy machine or water cooler.  Keep yourself surrounded by people who will build you up and lift your spirits.


Stay positive.  We all know that bad things still happen to good people.  That’s still a reality.  Let’s maintain our own positivity in the midst of the storms of this life.  hink about the folks who survived Hurrican Sandy and who were so thankful to God for sparing their lives and the lives of their loved ones.  That’s how to stay positive in the storm and beyond.

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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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All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.

-Proverbs 14:23 (NIV)

You have been pouring your heart into this latest venture.  You can see the vision that you have for the future as clear as day.  It is in view.  Yet, as you continue to toil away by the sweat of your brow, you start to stress.  You feel yourself losing your nerve.  You begine to agonize over the potential pitfalls and staggering stumbling blocks that could emerge as you chase your dream.

That’s common.  You are just like many other entrepreneurs who fail to walk down beaten path.  Yes, it is common, but it far from healthy.

The Bible says that all hard work leads to a profit.  According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), that’s not necessarily so.  The births and deaths of business are measured in what is called “business churn.” Business churn amounts to combination of business births and deaths during a specified period, whether a quarter or a year, providing an indicator for the overall scope of business.  During this first quarter of 2012, things appear to be churning upward.  However, that means some businesses did still die during this period.  They closed shop and called it quits, never to arise from the ashes of defeat again (at least not under that company name).

So, what does that mean for Christians in business or seeking to jump into business?

It means that there is a slight and gradual recovery from the recession.  It means that the landscape is still full of uncertainty.  It means that, as Christians, we still have to have faith, even to go into business in this day and age.

Keep your faith.  Maintain your focus on what you can do.  Keep costs and expenditures, especially debt, low.  Seek to grow your business step by step, taking it slow if you have to in order to keep things balanced.  Stay close to the Lord throughout the venture.  Don’t wait until you have a pending bankruptcy to call on the Lord.  Start praying as you start planning.

After all, the profit that the Bible speaks of may not be limited to monetary riches and social prestige.  The type  of profit  spoken of by the Bible extends far beyond money.  You can be a success at making a difference in the community and in the lives of the people who benefit from your business, customers, employees, suppliers, partners and more.

Success is just within your grasp.  Go on and keep going for it.

Strive for Success with Life Path Consulting. . .

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