Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Polish Pastor, A Jewish Doctor and A Gestapo Officer

From the pages of The Wall Street Journal comes the story of a Polish man named William E. Wallner who became a Lutheran minister in Prague. 

Author John Murray writes: "By 1939, Wallner was leading a Lutheran parish in Prague. Shortly after Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia, a doctor in Wallner's parish was sent to a Nazi concentration camp...The doctor, a Jewish convert to Christianity, encouraged his fellow prisoners 'to die bravely, with faith in their hearts.' As a result, the doctor became a target of Gestapo officers.

"Although struck with an iron rod until one of his arms had to be amputated, the doctor would not be quieted. Finally... 'one Gestapo officer beat the doctor's head against a stone wall until blood was streaming down his face.' Holding a mirror before the doctor, the Gestapo officer sneered: 'Take a look at yourself. Now you look like your Jewish Christ.'

"Lifting his remaining hand up, the doctor exclaimed, 'Lord [Jesus], never in my life have I received such honor—to resemble You.' Those would be his last words on Earth.

"Distraught by the doctor's proclamation, the Gestapo officer sought out Wallner that night. 'Could Pastor Wallner help him, free him from the terrible burden of his guilt?'

"After praying with him, Wallner advised, 'Perhaps God let you kill that good man to bring you to the foot of the Cross, where you can help others.' The Gestapo officer returned to the concentration camp. And through the aid of Wallner and the Czech underground, he worked to free many Jews over the years that followed." In fact, he helped save more than 350 Jewish children from death at Nazi hands."

The power of the risen Christ can transform lives -- a Polish minister, a Jewish doctor, a Gestapo officer. He can even change you and me.

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know everything, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times, for they give you patience and courage.
Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes, for they humble and teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary, for now you realize that you are only human and appreciate the rest that you will get

It's easy to be thankful for the good things. 

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks. 

Gratitude can transform a negative situation into a positive oppoertunity. 

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Remembering a Great Man of God

Rev. David Wilkerson, 1931-2011
David Wilkerson died today due to injuries he received in a terrible wreck in Dallas. His wife is still in critical condition. As prayers go out to his family and Church. I saw his last blog. I want to share it with you. What an amazing man and legacy.

David writes today!
To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Thomas, “You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen” (John 20:29).

Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer—who trust beyond hope when all means have failed.

Someone has come to the place of hopelessness—the end of hope—the end of all means. A loved one is facing death and doctors give no hope. Death seems inevitable. Hope is gone. The miracle prayed for is not happening.

That is when Satan’s hordes come to attack your mind with fear, anger, overwhelming questions: “Where is your God now? You prayed until you had no tears left. You fasted. You stood on promises. You trusted.”

Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind: “Prayer failed. Faith failed. Don’t quit on God—just do not trust him anymore. It doesn’t pay!”

Even questioning God’s existence will be injected into your mind. These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the godliest men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks.

To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, “I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain.”

Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world. David Wilkerson 2011

Written by Danny Williams

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Does Prayer Change Things?

They say that prayer changes things, but does it REALLY change anything?

Oh yes! It really does!

Does prayer change your present situation or sudden circumstances?

No, not always, but it does change the way you look at those events.

Does prayer change your financial future?

No, not always, but it does change who you look to for meeting your daily needs.

Does prayer change shattered hearts or broken bodies?

No, not always, but it will change your source of strength and comfort.

Does prayer change your wants and desires?

No, not always, but it will change your wants into what God desires!

Does prayer change how you view the world?

No, not always, but it will change whose eyes you see the world through.

Does prayer change your regrets from the past?

No, not always, but it will change your hopes for the future!

Does prayer change the people around you?

No, not always, but it will change you - the problem isn't always in others.

Does prayer change your life in ways you can't explain?

Oh, yes, always! And it will change you from the inside out!

So does prayer REALLY change ANYTHING?

Yes! It REALLY does change EVERYTHING!

- Teressa Vowell

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Deeds Undone

What are the things that you have left undone?
It isn't the thing you do, friend, it's the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you the bitter heartache, at the setting of the sun:
The tender words unspoken, the letter you did not write,
The flowers you might have sent, are your haunting ghosts at night.

The stone you might have lifted, out of a dear friend's way,
The bit of heart-some counsel you were hurried too much to say:
The loving touch of a helping hand, the gentle and winsome tone,
That you had no time or thought for, with troubles enough of your own.

These little acts of kindness, so easily out of mind,
These chances to be angels, which even mortals find.
They come in night and silence, each chill reproachful wraith,
When hope is faint and flagging, and a blight has dropped on faith.

For life is all too short, friend, and sorrow is all to great,
To suffer our slow compassion, that tarries until too late.
So, it's not the things you do, it's the deeds you leave undone,
Which gives you a bitter heartache, at the setting of the sun.
- Bertha A. Lawson

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Power of Words

This short film illustrates the power of words to radically change your message and your effect upon the world. At Purplefeather we provide powerful, optimised web content to get you noticed online. Homage to Historia de un letrero, The Story of a Sign by Alonso Alvarez Barreda Music by: Giles Lamb Filmed by Director Seth Gardner

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Beautiful Modern Parable of Grace

Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course their freshman year, regardless of his or her major.

Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery.
Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously.

This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the professor's class.

The day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him.

"How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Dr. Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know.... I've never done 300 at a time"

"Do you think you could?" again asked Dr. Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," said the professor.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can...yeah, I can do it."

Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. No, these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls.

Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson's class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?"

Cynthia said, "Yes"

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"

"Sure!" Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten.. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes." Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship..

When the professor asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own push-ups?"

Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten push-ups.

Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Dr.. Christianson said, "Look! This is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts.
Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr.. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Sternly, Jenny said, "No."

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?"

Steve did ten. Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say, "No!" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks.

Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten push-ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert could count the set and watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr. Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups. You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO!

Don't come in! Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on.
Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him?"

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut."

Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said, "give me a donut."

"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason,bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room..

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda.

Then Dr. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr. Christianson, why can't I help him?"

Dr Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it alone; I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not.

When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book.
Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade.

Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups.
I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push-ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?"

As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said,"And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, pleaded to the Father, 'Into thy hands I commend my spirit.' With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life.

And like some of those in this room,
many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten. "

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

"Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor, adding, "Not all sermons are preached in words."

Turning to his class, the professor said, "My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not His Only Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole Church, now and forever.
Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid."

"Wouldn't you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?"

Author Unknown 
Source: Various Internet sites; earliest found was at 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Evaluating Prophets and Prophecies Today

By Rev Albert Kang

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good… (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21)

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. (1 Corinthians 14:29)

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

We live in a time and age of great spiritual blessings but it is also of spiritual dangers. Prophets and their prophecies, both true and false, not only saturate the churches but also flood the mass media. For the believers, it has become difficult to distinguish between what are true and what are false. Since all prophets and their prophecies must be ‘judged’ or evaluated by the Word of God, I have listed some guidelines, although not exhaustive, for us to evaluate the authenticity of modern prophets and their prophecies.

1. There are many so-called prophecies but they are mostly just words of encouragement. For example, someone would say, "The Lord says that He is happy with you and what you are doing". These are not predictive but supportive. They are not foretelling but forth-telling.

2. Do watch how so-called prophets who make claims about their divine callings. If a person has to use excessive mystical claims, such as having special glasses to read golden tablets from heaven (Joseph Smith of Mormonism) or Jesus asking the person to sit on his throne (a local fallen prophet) or other mysterious claims that could not be verified, then our alarm bells should go off.

3. We also have to carefully evaluate to whom the prophet is pointing too. There are those who use Jesus Christ to verify their own ministries. They first point to Christ and then subtly the focus moves towards themselves. After a while, many begin to trust their prophecies and to certain extent 'worship' these prophets. This 'utility-based' approach is a good indication that the authenticity of the prophet concerned is to be questioned.

4. Watch out for the 'Holy Man' or 'Swami' syndrome. The prophet concerned moves around as though he has a personal telephone line to God and that his words are often times more popular than the bible.

5. We have to check all the prophecies made by the so-called prophets... especially those that predict events. For example, I can write 5000 different prophecies (or in another word - guesses) and in a general way. Let's say 30 of these may become realities but what about the rest?

6. Check how the prophet quotes scriptures and check his exegesis and hermeneutics. Remember the Bible never says what it never did say.Listen very carefully whether he adds or takes away from the Word of God. There is a so-called prophet who does not take money but claims that God is wanting him to write "The Final Testament".

7. Evaluate the prophecies whether the prophet is repeating some of those prophecies claimed by previously known false prophets.

8. Check whether the prophet uses excessively terms such as "the Lord told me" and "according to the Lord" instead of "according to the Bible" or "according to these scripture verses".

9. Here is a warning by the Apostle Peter -- But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2:1-3)

As for the recent prophecies that flood the internet world, I would recommend that you just stick to the prophecy mentioned by our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, found in Matthew 24

 Matthew 24:4-8
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains”.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sanctification and the Grace of God

Self-righteousness is trying to maintain moral behavior by fear and guilt. Nothing sanctifies us more effectively than the application of the pure grace of God. 
To become like Christ, we need the help of Christ. Knowing how much He loves us even to the point of tolerating (not accepting) our disobedience, we receive the grace to live a life of obedience and harmony with His will.
Albert Kang 
SET APARTSanctification (Gk.. hagiasmos) means “to set apart.” In English we use the words ’holy’ and ‘saint.’ There are three aspects to sanctification; 
(1) Positional sanctification
(2) Experiential sanctification
(3) Ultimate sanctification
That is to say, we are sanctified, being sanctified, and will be sanctified. Positional sanctification and Ultimate sanctification are something that God alone does for us. But Experiential sanctification requires our active participation with the Holy Spirit to become more and more like Christ in our daily lives.

Positional sanctification has to do with our standing before God based on what Christ did for us. All those who are truly born again believers are called “saints” and St. Paul refers to believers as saints in many of his epistles. (see Romans 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; Eph. 1:1). Positional sanctification is achieved through the once-for-all death of Christ (Heb. 10:10, 14, 29).

Experiential sanctification has to do with our experience in daily life. St. Paul desired the believers in Thessalonica to be completely sanctified in their experience as can be noted in First Thess. 5:23. St. Peter writes to believers, drawing from the Old Testament Leviticus 19:2, to be holy (First Peter 1:16). As a believer grows in his or her walk with the LORD, experiential sanctification takes place (Romans 6:13; Romans 12:1-2) and desires change. Old, destructive patterns stop and are replaced with God honoring choices on a daily basis and often suffering is involved (see Philippians 3:8-11). Experiential sanctification cannot take place without the Word of God (John 17:17; Psalm 119:9-16) and it is both God and the believer who have an active part in experiential sanctification (Phil 2:12-13).

Ultimate sanctification has to do with the future and the final transformation of the Christian into the likeness of Christ. It deals with the believers being presented the LORD without blemish (Eph. 5:26-27).

(Some of the above is from Moody Handbook of Theology; Nelson Study Bible NKJV; and inspired by the sermon of Dr. Richard Mayhue of the Master’s Seminary

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Committing to the Commitment by John C. Maxwell

At the age of 67, Thomas  Edison watched as fire destroyed much of his work and equipment. Time to  retire? Time to hang up the lab coat?
No way.
“All our mistakes are  burned up,” the inventor said. “Now we can start anew.”
There is a time to retire,  but Edison knew his time hadn’t come. The fire  that consumed his work didn’t destroy the fire that burned within him to  continue his work. Edison’s commitment  remained.
People tend to associate  commitment with emotions. If they feel the right way, then they can follow  through on their commitments. But true commitment doesn’t work that way.  Commitment is not an emotion; it’s a character quality that enables us to reach  our goals.
Emotions go up and down  all the time, but commitment must remain rock solid. A solid team—whether it’s  in business, sports, marriage or a volunteer organization—must have team  players who are solidly committed to the team.
Let’s look at four things  every team player needs to know about being committed:

1. Commitment is usually discovered in the midst of  adversity.
  You never know the level  of your commitment or that of a team player until things get tough. Every one  of us could stay committed to a marriage if everything was always good. Every  one of us could stay committed to good health as long as we were healthy. The  trick is to stay committed to the commitment when the economy takes a turn for  the worse or when you lose your biggest account or when your plant burns to the  ground. 
Commitment, because it is  a character trait, is revealed, not built, by adversity.

2. Commitment does not depend on gifts and abilities.
  Commitment and talent, I  have found, are unconnected. Many very talented people lack commitment. Many  people who lack skills and talent are tremendously committed. So if you find  somebody who’s extremely talented, there is no guarantee that there is a high  level of commitment.
For this reason, it  becomes a great day when we connect talent with commitment—for ourselves and  for those on the teams we lead. The moment that happens, the team goes to a  whole new level.

3. Commitment results from choices, not conditions.
  In writing about choices,  Frederic Flach notes that most people look back on their lives and point to a  specific time and place that marks a significant life change. “Whether by  accident or design,” Flach writes, “there are the moments when, because of a  readiness within us and a collaboration with events occurring around us, we are  forced to seriously reappraise ourselves and the conditions under which we live  and to make certain choices that will affect the rest of our lives.”
Our commitment springs from  those choices.

4. Commitment lasts when it is based on values.
  Establishing commitment  from a team is a critical piece of leadership, but leaders I work with are  equally concerned about sustaining that commitment.
I’ve found the only way to  sustain commitment is to link it with the personal values of an individual.  Once your commitment is based on your values, you have no problem sustaining  it. Values are what drive your choices; they transcend your talents and skills  and they stand up under the tests of adversity.
Commitment based on  something other than solid values usually is a house of cards; when the wind  kicks up, the house comes down.

An article by John C. Maxwell

The Qualities of Skillful Leadership by Jim Rohn

If  you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a  person of quality yourself. Leadership is the ability to attract someone to the  gifts, skills, and opportunities you offer as an owner, as a manager, as a  parent. I call leadership the great challenge of life.
What’s  important in leadership is refining your skills. All great leaders keep working  on themselves until they become effective. Here are some specifics:

Learn to be strong but not rude. 
It is an extra step you must take to become  a powerful, capable leader with a wide range of reach. Some people mistake  rudeness for strength. It’s not even a good substitute.

Learn to be kind but not weak. 
We must not mistake kindness for weakness.  Kindness isn’t weak. Kindness is a certain type of strength. We must be kind  enough to tell somebody the truth. We must be kind enough and considerate  enough to lay it on the line. We must be kind enough to tell it like it is and  not deal in delusion.

Learn to be bold but not a bully. 
It takes boldness to win the day. To build  your influence, you’ve got to walk in front of your group. You’ve got to be  willing to take the first arrow, tackle the first problem, discover the first  sign of trouble.

You’ve got to learn to be humble, but not timid. 
You can’t get to the high  life by being timid. Some people mistake timidity for humility. Humility is  almost a God-like word. A sense of awe. A sense of wonder. An awareness of the  human soul and spirit. An understanding that there is something unique about  the human drama versus the rest of life. Humility is a grasp of the distance  between us and the stars, yet having the feeling that we’re part of the stars.  So humility is a virtue; but timidity is a disease. Timidity is an affliction.  It can be cured, but it is a problem.

Be proud but not arrogant. 
It takes pride to win the day. It takes pride to  build your ambition. It takes pride in community. It takes pride in cause, in  accomplishment. But the key to becoming a good leader is being proud without  being arrogant. In fact I believe the worst kind of arrogance is arrogance from  ignorance. It’s when you don’t know that you don’t know. Now that kind of  arrogance is intolerable. If someone is smart and arrogant, we can tolerate  that. But if someone is ignorant and arrogant, that’s just too much to take.

Develop humor without folly. 
That’s important for a leader. In leadership, we  learn that it’s okay to be witty, but not silly. It’s okay to be fun, but not  foolish.

Lastly, deal in realities. 
Deal in truth. Save yourself the agony. Just  accept life like it is. Life is unique. Some people call it tragic, but I’d  like to think it’s unique. The whole drama of life is unique. It’s fascinating.  And I’ve found that the skills that work well for one leader may not work at  all for another. But the fundamental skills of leadership can be adapted to  work well for just about everyone: at work, in the community, and at home. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rules for Success from a Motivated Taxi Driver

 by Zig Ziglar

One morning in Houston, Texas, I caught a taxi (to go to a breakfast meeting) and during a short ride I heard one of the finest sales talks on America and free enterprise that I ever heard. The cab driver had been a professional health care provider in his native Nigeria, but he preferred living in a free society, with the opportunity to do what he pleased, and so he was very excited about being a cab driver in Houston.
During our conversation, my immigrant friend quickly turned to motivator and his enthusiasm led him to give me some rules for success! I offer them here so that you might benefit from them, too.
1. Pay your bills.
2. Obey the laws.
3. Keep your eyes on God. God is in charge.
4. Run from lazy, crooked people.
5. Make your workplace your home.
6. Love and honor your boss.
7. Keep your promises.
8. Mind your own business.
I was motivated by the cab driver who was excited about his dream and having the opportunity to live it. He had set his goal long ago. He was living his dream. He wasn’t waiting until he could get into something better; he was performing with the opportunity he had. He was happy with what he had and was enthusiastically giving life his best shot. That, my friend, is marvelous preparation for a better tomorrow!

Two Days We Should Not Worry

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry,
two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is Yesterday with all its mistakes and cares,
its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.

Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday.

We cannot undo a single act we performed;
we cannot erase a single word we said.
Yesterday is gone forever.

The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow
with all its possible adversities, its burdens,
its large promise and its poor performance;
Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.

Tomorrow's sun will rise,
either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise.
Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow,
for it is yet to be born.

This leaves only one day, Today.
Any person can fight the battle of just one day.
It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities
Yesterday and Tomorrow that we break down.

It is not the experience of Today that drives a person mad,
it is the remorse or bitterness of something which happened Yesterday
and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring.

Let us, therefore, Live but one day at a time.

Author Unknown

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What Are The Doctrines of Grace?

John Calvin
The recent raves about "Radical Grace" have produced many adherents. Some of the authors and proponents of this belief claim nothing less than divine provision of this 'new' concept.  The truth is that there is nothing new about the so-called "Radical Grace". It is just the adaptation of Calvinism or what is now known as "Doctrines of Grace". 
Rev Albert Kang

The phrase “doctrines of grace” is used as a replacement for the term “Calvinism,” in order to remove the attention from John Calvin and instead focus on how the specific points are biblically and theologically sound. The phrase “doctrines of grace” describes the soteriological doctrines that are unique to Reformed Theology, which is Calvinistic. These doctrines are summarized with the acronym TULIP. The T in TULIP stands for Total Depravity, U for Unconditional Election, L for Limited Atonement, I for Irresistible Grace, and P for Perseverance of the Saints.

Reformed Christians believe that all five of the doctrines of grace are derived directly from the Scripture and that the acronym TULIP accurately describes the Bible's teaching on soteriology—the doctrine of salvation. The following is a brief description of each of the letters in the acronym TULIP.

Total Depravity - As a result of Adam’s fall, the entire human race is affected; all of Adam’s descendants are spiritually dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1, 5). Calvinists are quick to point out that this does not mean that all people are as bad as they could be. Rather, this doctrine says that, as a result of man's fall in Adam, all people are radically depraved from the inside and that their depravity affects every area of one’s life.

Unconditional Election - Because man is dead in sin, he is unable (and stubbornly unwilling) to initiate a saving response to God. In light of this, God, from eternity past, mercifully elected a particular people unto salvation (Ephesians 1:4-6). These people are comprised of men and women from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation (Revelation 5:9). Election and predestination are unconditional; they are not contingent on man’s response to God’s grace (Romans 8:29-30, 9:11; Ephesians 1:11-12) because man, in his fallen state, is both unable and unwilling to respond favorably to Christ’s offer of salvation.

Limited Atonement - The purpose of Christ's atoning death was not to merely make men savable and thus leaving the salvation of humanity contingent on man's response to God's grace. Rather, the purpose of the atonement was to secure the redemption of a particular people (Ephesians 1:4-6; John 17:9). All whom God has elected and Christ died for will be saved (John 6:37-40, 44). Many Reformed Christians prefer the term “particular redemption” as they feel that this phrase more accurately captures the essence of this doctrine. It is not so much that Christ's atonement is limited as it is particular, intended for a specific people—God's elect.

Irresistible Grace – God has elected a particular people to be the recipients of Christ’s atoning work. These people are drawn to Christ by a grace that is irresistible. When God calls, man responds (John 6:37, 44; 10:16). This teaching does not mean that God saves men against their will. Rather, God changes the heart of the rebellious unbeliever so that he now desires to repent and be saved. God’s elect will be drawn to Him, and that grace that draws them is, in fact, irresistible. God replaces the unbeliever’s heart of stone with a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). In Reformed theology, regeneration precedes faith.

Perseverance of the Saints - The particular people God has elected and drawn to Himself through the Holy Spirit will persevere in faith. None of those whom God has elected will be lost; they are eternally secure in Him (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:3-14). Some Reformed theologians prefer to use the term “Preservation of the Saints” as they believe that this choice of words more accurately describes how God is directly responsible for the preservation of His elect. It is clear in Scripture that Christ continues to intercede for His people (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). This continues to provide believers with the assurance that those that belong to Christ are eternally His.

These five doctrines together form the doctrines of grace, so called because they summarize the salvation experience as the result of the grace of God, who acts independently of man’s will. No effort or act of man can add to the grace of God to bring about the redemption of the soul. For truly it is “by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).