Better not Bigger


Eatmorchikn

Eatmorchikn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently read an article about Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick fil-A. He is 91 years old now but still demonstrating the ability to be in touch with what really matters. When asked what he learned as he was growing up, Truett shared he learned the importance of pleasing his customers from his early years as a paperboy, being tuned it to whether customers wanted to receive their papers behind the screen door or some other place where animals couldn’t get to it.

A man, constantly motivated by incentive rewards, he recognized the Golden Rule in business was to treat your customers as you would want to be treated. He treats his employees that way now as Chick-fil-A has never opened on Sunday so that employees have a day to spend with their loved ones. He even noted this was perhaps the best decision he ever made helping him attract people who value the same things he does as well as honoring the Lord, which Cathy truly aspires to do.

He also makes commitments to help finance many of the individuals who want to own stores as they often rise up through  the ranks of Chick-fil-A employees to become franchisee owners keeping the costs down so that actual down payment is only $5,000. Cathy seems to represent a type of business hardly recognized in the world today as he notes his worst decisions was to open his second store, saying initially it felt like he had one too many of them(stores).

Chick-fil-A gradually grew but unlike many business owners today, Cathy is not interested in global expansion, high power marketing or even making more dramatic profits. He recognizes wealth does not necessarily bring happiness and often it causes more problems because it causes you to navigate among different people and Cathy seems to be the kind of man who likes to be with ordinary humble individuals enjoying his blessings.

Yes, I can always find some controversial topic, notorious person or anti-christian slant to write about, but sometimes it is good to learn from the best and Truett Cathy seems to be an excellent teacher. He does not need to have a 24/7 business running, does not need ad campaigns on every car, billboard, tv or radio and doesn’t need to look far for employees who respect him and enjoy working with him so much they consider becoming part of the Chick-fil-A family of owners.

Truett Cathy, founder of Chik-fil-a

Truett Cathy, founder of Chik-fil-a (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t help but wonder how different the world might be, how much more family life every successful entrepreneur might know, how many more hours away from loved ones in the name of business expansion might be salvaged and how many Sundays might be better remembered for everyone sitting down together to enjoy a great meal around the table if more business owners thought like Cathy and less like the status quo of bigger means better and success is directly related to expansion

 

God bless men like Truett Cathy who practice what they preach and live by the Golden Rule.

What’s your take on how a sincere Christian should go about developing a great business?

 

 

 

 

 

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WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?


I feel so badly that I haven’t posted on here for awhile. To be honest, I have been up to my ears writing other things; a new blog, a book which will be out in a few weeks and I never wanted this blog to just have “filler”.

Homeless Woman Iraqi War Veteran in Wheelchair...

Homeless Woman Iraqi War Veteran in Wheelchair and her Chihuahua, at San Diego Stand Down. Photograph by Patty Mooney of San Diego, California, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So many things have happened since the last post. Great issues to consider discussing; the presidential primary race, birth control and the Susan B. Komen foundation, the religious refusal to honor aspects of the new Health Care law and even the controversial killing of Trayvon Martin. But the other day I encountered 2 young men asking for a donation for some of their own who were homeless and I was appalled.

You see these men were both wearing military garb; fatigues and they were in front of a local grocery store asking for anything for homeless veterans. I was appalled because I cannot fathom or discern why America would permit any veteran to be without a home. Oh, I realize members of the military often deal with extreme forms of PTSD and other instabilities when they return from the battleground. I realize some can’t find work and some are bitter and disillusioned once they return home to America. But I cannot understand how we allow anyone who has served in our Armed Forces to end up without a decent home once they return.

These are individuals who have put their life on the line so you and I can experience freedom. These are people who have slept less than a few hours a night regularly in full battle uniform in heat above 100 degrees in the middle of a desert sand storm. These may have been individuals who left loved ones including unborn children to face a mission often so confusing and complex they are not sure what the purpose is yet they know they have a job they must do and a command they have no choice but to obey.

Several weeks ago, Sgt. Robert Bales was accused of mass murdering civilians in Afghanistan. A friend who has served in Afghanistan described it once as a country with less than Third World Nation hope. While Sgt. Bale’s actions are for another discussion, it is apparent that many who serve in our country’s military now face situations far different than those in previous generations. Statistics indicate that over 76,000 soldiers were diagnosed with some form of PTSD between 2000-2011.

Homeless Veteran on the streets of Boston, MA

Homeless Veteran on the streets of Boston, MA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans indicates that on any given night approximately 67,000 veterans are homeless and that homeless veterans account for nearly 1/3 of the entire adult homeless population. While no number can be exact, it is apparent veterans have an overwhelming need for support, employment and decent housing. I don’t think anyone should be homeless, but I especially think we have failed as Christians to rally to the cause of why individuals who have been trained to respect freedom, demonstrate physical and mental aptitude, survive brutal training and unselfishly put themselves in harms way should ever return home and face lack of decent housing and opportunity. This is not entitlement. This is an earned right that many others would never choose to earn given what they would be required to do to be eligible.

Two young men simply standing requesting a small donation for their brothers and sisters who left perhaps a youth behind and grew up far faster than most have to because of their military commitment.

Saying we have this many homeless veterans is like saying we live in Utopia but cannot make ends meet…but wait; maybe that is what is happening. We may try and take care of our less fortunate, our sick, our physically and mentally handicapped and still be doing a poor job, but when we fail to take care of those who have put their life on the line, we have failed in the very essence of humanity. We have treated our veterans as little more than expendable animals who can fend for themselves once they have served their masters.

US Army 53632 Week-long trip to Iraq ends for ...

US Army 53632 Week-long trip to Iraq ends for eight combat vets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many programs for veterans, but if they were working, I hardly think 1/3 of homeless population would be those who served our nation. What do you think?

 

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Can’t help but smile watching this vide


Can’t help but smile watching this video, especially today. http://ow.ly/93mpj

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Remember playing Follow the Leader. Why


Remember playing Follow the Leader. Why you’re not playing anymore. http://ow.ly/8DnYD

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SHOULD A CHRISTIAN VOTE A NON-CHRISTIAN INTO THE WHITE HOUSE?


English: The Book of Mormon, Another Testament...

“Is it possible to really be a Christian and vote for someone who does not believe in God?”,asked a friend of mine just the other day. I was at a loss as to how to immediately respond as she shared she did not believe she could cast a vote for anyone with beliefs so diametrically opposed to her own beliefs, specifically those of a Mormon.

It made me realize how often we allow people’s affiliations to form our first opinion but also made me realize how similar some beliefs can be to Christianity before going over the “edge”. Mormons believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost but do not recognize them as in the same Trinity that Christians believe. They also believe in the same organizational pattern as the beginning Christian church, acknowledging pastors, prophets, evangelists, apostles and teachers.

Part of the Mormon’s articles of belief are  that individuals can be “called to prophecy” and in the “laying on of hands”. Mormons support values such as chastity, honesty and benevolence. In evaluating these values, there would seem to be a disconnect between what values Mormons support and people who belong to the Mormon faith such as self proclaimed prophet, Warren Jeffs who practiced wide spread polygamy and child abuse.

Most people who hear, “Mormon” think of 2 things: 1) Joseph Smith’s( the founder of the Church of Ladder Day Saints(LDS) claims that through a vision he was instructed by God not to take part in Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist or any other religion because they were all wrong, and 2) a cult with widespread acceptance of polygamy, which did exist within the LDS church for over 50 years but has been  unacceptable by the Mormons since 1890.

Mormons believe in a three tiered heaven where everyone will be permitted to enter but only some will see God who exists in the “third level or tier.” Mormons do not believe in the idea of salvation by grace but believe each individual must “work” towards redemption. They also believe the Bible is the word of God but many translations of the Bible have led to misinterpretations and non factual information being passed down, similar to what happens if children play the “telephone game” and pass along a comment that becomes quite different once it reaches the final person from how it originally was intended. Mormons do not drink alcohol, coffee or tea and do not gamble. They believe salvation requires baptism by submersion and in tithing 10% to the church.

After really looking at the Mormon faith, I too, had a dilemma.I wondered how many Christians ruined relationships because of  gambling and alcohol. I wondered how many Christians do life with Mormons everyday and simply are not aware of it but would easily be convinced polygamy and radical events were taking places behind closed doors once they discovered these individuals were, “Mormon”. It does seem the name connotes some wild beliefs that truly were part of Mormon history but have been eliminated long ago. There are radical self proclaimed “prophets” in many religions who use history to perpetuate ideology and practices that have long been abandoned.

English: Christian Bible, rosary, and crucifix.

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There were some controversial practices in the early history of Christianity as well. Incest and adultery were evident in Christ’s lineage. The Crusades led by Christians often treated their enemies in ways that made water boarding look like an innocent prank. Christian leadership has had its share of controversial and unethical improprieties in their ranks. Without a doubt, religion no matter what its name has blemishes because humans err.

  People have elected officials who represent their interests often without realizing they share or do not share the same belief system. While I do believe a person’s faith is core for his or her value system, I also know what you believe does not necessarily mean you will be right or wrong for any job.

How do I think Christians should respond to a candidate whose faith is not similar? I would ask you if your child needed the best specialist available, would you questions your physician’s faith or simply go to one who was exceptionally skilled for what your child needed? Do you know the faith of the teachers who teach your children, the chef in your favorite restaurant, the mechanic who is honest and responsible and who you have taken your cars to for years? Have you asked what your hairdresser believes or know the religion of the ambulance driver who might save your life?

This is not different. Christians must vote for the person who truly is the most qualified leader and who shares similar goals for our country’s direction. Not all Christians will see each candidate the same and although the Evangelicals, Right Wing or Left wing, Conservative or Liberal all will support specific candidates, we must remember man gives people titles such as abolitionist, radical, pacifist, pro abortion, anti-gay, Tea Party, Republican or Democrat…God gives only one title to His children: Sons of God.

Religion and Politics often use semantics to draw a line in the sand. The best person for the job will still just be a “person”. I suggest those who believe in prayer, pray mightily for the hand of God to direct the call and then education themselves about each candidate and vote when the time comes…and continue to believe God is in control for whether Mormon, Jew, Christian or Non-Christian, I wEnglish: ballot boxant a leader who recognizes this:

“Power belongs to you, God,  and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”; and, “You reward everyone according to what they have done Psalm 62 :11-12

What about you? Could you vote for someone  who was not a Christian to be the leader of the country?

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If Not Cain Then Who is Able?


Break the Rules...Who Knows Where It Will Lead?

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This weekend Republican contender for the presidential nomination, Herman Cain suspended his campaign because of the recent allegations several women have brought forth, the latest who claimed a 13 year extramarital affair with Mr. Cain. Although no allegations have been substantiated and both the motives and backgrounds of several ladies who have brought forth these allegations questioned, Mr. Cain had determined that it was in the best interest of his family to remove himself from further campaigning.

Several other candidates on both sides have been criticized for a variety of reasons: their affiliation with anti government fanatics, stand on abortion, religious persuasion, involvement with specific lobbyists, financial background, tax evasion, and even lapses in memory.

2009 Five Presidents, President George W. Bush...

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John F. Kennedy - NARA - 518134

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While there is a huge difference between forgetting what you want to say and forgetting a vow you took to remain faithful; one thing is certain: The person whose job it is to lead the country must not only be above reproach but also at the top of his/her game mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.That leaves Christians with a major dilemma. Who do we know that is unblemished in any area? Who do we have that has not made mistakes,succumbed to political pressure, turned a blind eye to the obvious, given in to popular culture, diverted attention from shortcomings, been irresponsible and to put it succinctly…not sinned in at least some way.

Cropped portion of Abraham Lincoln Photograph,...

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I want the country led by someone with exceptional moral standards and the resolve to bypass popular notion and lead by example. I want the country led by someone who is willing to make extraordinary sacrifices to redeem our current economic status and who is not deterred or persuaded by those who hold the power over what bills come before congress or what gets passed on the Senate floor. I want a leader who is both compassionate but strong willed, someone who means what they say not just before they enter office but long into their presidency. I want someone who listens to the “little people” and not just for media attention but for the specific reason that people matter. I want someone who will remove unjust politicians, unhealthy pandering and irresponsible spenders and develop a strong following of individuals who do not waiver in resolve to do the right thing…but Jesus is not running!

English: campaign item for 1968 Richard Nixon ...

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Senator (later US President) Warren G. Harding...

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So what then should Christians expect from those seeking office and what should we not permit? While we want a strong moral fiber and impressive character is it too much to expect a perfect match? If mere mortals are assuming this position do we need to remember how easily sin comes to man? Is it too much to ask for character beyond reproach? The country has been led by people who called themselves Christian for decades who also were involved in less than Christian behavior. John F. Kennedy was a philanderer and also had significant health problems, Richard Nixon was untrustworthy and deceitful, Lincoln, Harding, Cleveland and even FDR were reported to have had extramarital affairs some even fathering children outside of their marriage. The Clinton administration was rocked with scandalous behavior, as was George Bush’s if not for a different reason, Truman and Harrison were both said to have sat by while illegal deals were made during their terms in office. Ronald Reagan was said to have illegally funnel weapons to Iran and voted against the Apartheid, later in office his memory lapses due to Alzheimer’s were said to have become evident, Lincoln was severely depressed to the point of suicide and Jimmy Carter was thought to have been a good man but a weak leader; indecisive and often uninformed and inexperienced.

The list could easily go on. So how do you pick a leader among men? Biblical Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933immorality was evident as well. When Jesus was born a man, he came from the lineage of David, who although a remarkable king, also had an affair with the wife of the man who led his army and later had that same man placed in the front of the battle line to be killed. Solomon said to have been the wisest ever asking God for wisdom, taxed his kingdom unmercifully to continue his opulent lifestyle.

 

Corcovado jesus

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Obviously a perfect man or woman does not exist. What should we as Christians expect from someone who hopes to lead us? What are we willing to forgive and why? These questions require more than just a moment’s thought. History has revealed the flaws of many and will continue to do so. We may advocate for full disclosure but must remember the words, “…Let him who has no see cast the first stone.” (John 8:7)

Perhaps for now, all we can ask is that God in His divine wisdom reveal the direction He wants us to go in supporting a candidate. But unless this be truly Pollyanna behavior, we must also remember something else: His kingdom is not of this world and regardless of what we discover about someone whose job it may be to lead a nation, God will deal with them as He sees fit and we will never find a flawless leader this side of heaven.

What should Christians expect from a candidate who wants to assume who knows where this will lead to?leadership?

 

 

 

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NO WHISTLEBLOWER FOR UNHAPPY VALLEY


Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Joe Patern...

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“Ron, threw his sandwich in the trash.” “Jessie, took the dime off the counter.” “Mommy, Adam is teasing the cat again.”

Perhaps as a young child, you can recall “tattle-telling” on one of your siblings. Telling whatever wrong they had done was every child’s goal as it was sure to at least draw attention from whatever wrongdoing you were involved in and point the finger at a different target. But the same joy of getting your brother or sister into trouble just with a few words became less admirable in elementary school when “nobody liked a tattle-tell” and fitting in became more important than exposing wrongdoing.

We learned early and often that those who “told” often faced unpleasant consequences. You may not be picked to play on a team or you might not be invited to the birthday party because you made it a point to disclosure someone’s indiscretion. But often it didn’t end there. I recently read Kathyrn Bolkovac‘s story, Whistleblower  about her time as an employee of Dyncorp, an agency contracted by the United Nations to develop an International Police Task Force to train police in the war torn areas of Bosnia. Kathy witnessed her fellow contractors whose job it was to restore order and regulation taking part in prostitution and becoming regular participants at thbrothels where young girls were sold and trafficked.  Shocked by the casual reactions of some of her comrades, she soon discovered that any attempts to report this behavior ended up in the trash rather than under investigation. Realizing some Dyncorp employees were participating in the very crimes they were supposed to be policing, Bolkovac took her evidence to superiors. Initially she was demoted from her position and eventually fired when those who she blew the whistle on feared for their own careers. After more than a decade of fighting to keep the facts in the forefront she won a lawsuit against Dyncorp and exposed her story through her book and recent movie. Dyncorp continues to operate in Iraq, Afghanistan and the U.S. Mexico border. Kathy continues to be shunned from employment by some private security contractors because of her role in bringing down some of Dyncorp’s own.

Penn State Nittany Lions football

 I grew up just a few hours away from Penn State,a sprawling thriving campus known for turning out some of Pennsylvania’s best, Happy Valley seemed to be its own kingdom complete with its “ruler” loved by all, the amazing Joe Paterno. He was coach for as long as I could recall football existing and his infamous pace along the sidelines of his Nittany Lion team often seemed like a doting father determined to settle for nothing but the best for his “sons.” Joe was unassuming and dedicated.  He loved Penn State and Penn State loved Joe and I believed like many others he would have loved to breathe his last on the football field. Joe was Penn State but Joe was no Kathyrn Bolkovac.

Joe did know the rules of football, but he forgot the rules of life; sometimes you have to blow the whistle and face the outcome. Sometimes it is not enough to simply tell someone else and hope they run with the ball. Sometimes you have to show them how. Sometimes you have to pick up the ball and run even if it means getting tackled and losing the game. Joe did share his concern about his defensive coach, Jerry Sandusky with his superior just as Kathyrn Bolkovac did but Joe then went on doing what Joe did best…coaching his beloved Nittany Lions. He never really blew the whistle, he only handed it over for someone else to do so. It doesn’t make it a crime or does it?  Joe is nearly 85 years old. His legacy should have been the brightest light for the campus. He won’t be forgotten for his incredible football career but he will certainly be remembered for not blowing the whistle, not following up, not making inquiries and not confronting the person who used the weight room with his team about his concerns.How can anyone  work alongside of someone they know has harmed the very individuals who have looked up to them with respect and admiration, and simply continue to conduct “business as usual”?

Is it our job to tattle, to exposure, to uncover or to overturn as Christians? I don’t necessarily think so. But I do think we have a moral responsibilityto go beyond simply giving our whistle to someone else to blow and hope they choose to do what we cannot. I do believe we need to make certain that wrongdoing is not only addressed but especially when it comes to children that it is aggressively and proactively met with determination to prevent any further harm. Fifteen years of this behavior going on means no one blew the whistle whether a colleague, a coach, or even a law enforcement officer.

Qiqi Green Whistle 8-16-09 3

Image by stevendepolo via Flickr

Whether it involves ostracism, outrage or even loss of support from those who don’t think there is a moral responsibility to pursue justice, each Christian must be prepared to blow that whistle. Yes, it is far easier to look away, pass the buck and delegate it as another’s job, but when we work, train, coach, raise, teach or are involved with children as a protective figure, we have the responsibility to do more than simply pass the whistle. We have the responsibility to blow it loudly until everyone knows that an infraction has occurred and a penalty need to be given.

JoePa was a generous old man who loved his university, his team and his town but Joe “tattled” when he should have been blowing a whistle and while many of my contemporaries and their children are “Penn State”, I am afraid that Joe as well as several others failed to signal, “GAME OVER”

It’s too late now to return the innocence to children who lost theirs at the hands of people who should have been trusted. There is no stopping the clock or replaying the down. There are instances daily when someone needs to put the whistle in their mouth and blow loudly.Being a Christian does not absolve us from but rather insists that we lead by example.

What are we as Christians choosing to disregard and look the other way about today while hoping someone else will blow our whistle?

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TO OCCUPY OR NOT OCCUPY IS NOT THE QUESTION


sit-in

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In recent weeks, groups of Americans disillussioned with the direction the country is going have attempted to bring several issues to the forefront by staging non violent protests in the form of sit-ins in various parts of the country. These movements are being staged on Wall Street, in Boston, Atlanta, Charlotte and numerous cities not only in American, but also in London, Jakarta, Melbourne, Paris and Toronto.Christian Science Monitor

While many of the faces in the movement are younger individuals, and while the purpose behind the movement may fail to demonstrate a single theme, the very fact that people around the globe are sensing a need to bond in a movement that is loosely connected by similar needs or views demonstrates two important things. One, things are not as they should be in the world, and two, people, even strangers can unite when they believe something strongly.

From the dawn of time everything from protests to major insurrections have stirred the globe’s soul. Some have been peaceful, many have not. From Tienanmen Square to Kent State, Bosnia to Greece, Little Rock to Rwanda, the world has seen how a reaction can cause an action and vice versa. Whether supporting abortion or begging for its repeal, struggling to free citizens in a bondage government or seeking a right to sit at the same table as someone with a different skin color from peace signs to dollar signs, there will always be something that moves the human spirit.

This is not about whether the OCCUPY movement is right or wrong or even whether any protest is good or bad. This is about recognizing personal responsibility as a Christian. Christianity has evolved from its share of protests and battles. We live in a fallen world and the lack of complete justice and perfection is proof that we cannot attain paradise here. This does not mean we should not try to strive for making the world a better place.

Sit-in

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So how then should Christians react to movements? I propose we need to take a good look at biblical teaching.

We know from John 16:33, in this world we will have trouble. We also know we have been taught “to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s”(Matthew  22:21) as well as to,”…turn the other cheek”(Matthew 5:39) or to”… fight bravely for the cities of our God.” (1 Chronicles 19:13)

The corner of Wall Street and Broadway, showin...

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So how do we respond to issues that stir our soul? If we resolve to approach an issue with a sound biblical background, we should then use discernment and seek wise counsel before we react.In James 3:17, we are told, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.This does not necessarily mean Christians should never carry a banner, sign a  petition, be part of a sit in or even refuse to comply with a man made law. It does mean however that we need to look at both sides of the issue and react in a way that can make a difference without causing us to slander or abandon our Christian perspective. Walking to repeal abortion is far different from killing doctors who perform them(abortions). Staging a sit in is quite different than storming an embassy and speaking out against inequality is different than placing IED’s on the roadside. We won’t win a war with words or change all of life with a sign or a few sit-ins.  But, we do have a responsibility to take a stand against injustice, inequality and inhumanity and we must do so after learning the facts, and seeking the biblical perspective on the best way to address the issues so that we represent solidarity that is peace-loving, full of mercy, impartial and considerate. We have an obligation on both ends and whatever that means for us, however we demonstrate, our role as Christians must first and foremost be to determine if the actions we take to make changes are sanctioned in a biblical way.

The world is and always was less than perfect. There are countless political, economical and relational issues requiring attention and demanding action. It is certainly not about whether it is Christian to carry a placard, protest, or occupy. It is about whether what we do is done because of a biblical principle and in a biblical way. That is not contradictory, nor is it Pollyanna, it simple is what we are told.

God knows there will be trouble. He knows we will be asked to stand up and fight but we must first be sure we are fighting for God’s principles, by His rules and with His direction and then we need to go out and do it with His armor, not only because we can but because we should. We are never asked to put our head in the sand but we are told how to defend our beliefs and whatever that means for you or I must be  within the confines of this biblical admonishment.

What is God asking you to fight for or against?Are you sure it is His request and not simply your emotions? How can we best display a Christian effort fighting for or against a cause?

 

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Get Well Soon…An Invitation to Help Recover


one nation under God indivisible

I’ve lived long enough to have been impressed by several things I have seen, heard or felt but recently I attended a series of talks by Andy Stanley at North Point Community Church called Recovery-Road  and was overwhelmed at how simple changing our nation’s direction might be. Many times, we look at religion through the filter of our politics but Andy believes that if every Christian viewed politics through the filter of  faith we could put aside our labels and approach the opportunity we all now have as Christians to take the country in a different direction.

The essence of the messages, which you can access at Recovery Road is that when we hear of a wealthy individual or country that has gone bankrupt, we often think, “If I had that money or owned that company, I would have done …..” so when we hear America is bankrupt we can barely believe the richest country in the world could be in trouble and our comments become, “If I was in charge or if I was in Congress…”

But Andy believes our country’s problems stem not from a lack of prosperity but from an abusive of prosperity. He says we have a discipline problem as a country; a country that doesn’t like to hear, “no”; a country that reaches into the future and leverages it for what we want today; a country spoiled to believe we should all have what we all want, whether rich, poor or middle class. We have a greed problem and believe what we have is for our consumption and we have a “failure of nerve” problem meaning that those running the country know what they need to do but don’t want to face the consequences to do it. But similarly, as a parent, or professional, student or human being, we have all often known what we should do and  still have not  done it.

Hearing this, we are apt to blame the Democrats, Republicans, tea party or no party people but we seldom realize each one of us has behaved similarly with an abuse of prosperity, sense of entitlement, greed and failure of nerve in our lives and it has a domino effect.

We have worked hard to make dreams come true for everyone, such as making it possible for everyone to own a home, buy things they want, get an education, own a car, etc, but the good intentions caused those of us never in a position to have everything we want to charge, layaway, refinance, mortgage, attend the best of schools and live lifestyles we might never have had. When the bottom drops out, everyone loses from those at the top to those at the bottom.He talked about how our culture advocates using the future to live in the present and makes a strong point that we have become a nation that pays interest rather than makes interest Recovery Road Part 5

We have allowed ourselves to be part of a bandwagon that we did not even realize we climbed on until it was far down the road we weren’t planning to travel. Andy thought perhaps the 12 Step Recovery program similar to the one individuals addicted to behaviors take should be done by individuals, families, communities and even as a country because the one step of “taking a fearless moral inventory” would allow us to own our personal responsibility rather than assume we could recover by blaming others. Andy says that partial ownership will never allow us to recover, but we must look at our own behavior and assess what we personally need to do to recover and he encourages us to expect our leaders to be without reproach because they  represent us and asks that we expect any candidate to first be morally responsible before they cater to special interest groups. (Recovery Road Part 3) Andy has several strategies for how to deal with the current crisis in America but one thing he did observe is that we need to stop voting for individuals who promise no more increase in taxes, no cutbacks in programs, no change in entitlements because to vote for those who promise that is to vote for a lie. but he also reminds us that recovery begins with “we not with they”.

Having recently visited a far poorer nation, I realize that growing up in America has made me assume I should have more, better, bigger and newer.  I think comfortable and peaceful should be expected just because I do live in the richest nation. I don’t have a spending problem, I have a greed problem….I want it all. Don’t you?

Changing America will cost all of us something.  It will mean each of us will need to leverage what abundance or little we have to recover. It will mean we may need to open our hands from what we assume is ours trusting God to do with it want He wants.It sounds Pollyanna but really what I came away with is that recovering as a nation does really begin with each individual. For me, it means realizing that I already have more than I need even on the days I feel that I have less. It means reflecting more intently on whether I have “wants” or “needs” and it means realizing I can hold on to my time, resources, experiences, or influence because it is mine or I can be less greedy with the “goods” I have and recognize recovery of this nation begins with me, step by step, bit by bit, day by day, decision by decision.

Look at your money. It says, “In God we trust”. Perhaps if each of us took a long look at how we contributed to where we are we could begin the walk back to where we need to be. Andy says, “Recovery begins with we not with they.” Are you ready for your fearless moral inventory?

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PRO ACTIVE PRAYER


Church

Non-believers may wonder why sometimes as believers we have a tendency to forget how to pray. What do you think?

This post come courtesy of Dan Miller author of 48 Days to the Work You Love and No More Mondays.

pray-with-your-legs

“I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” — Frederick Douglass

Okay – I referenced this quotation last week and it continues to prompt a whole lot of questions from you, our readers. People want to know what that means, and furthermore, can I find scripture to support whatever it means.

Yes, I see far too many people who are “praying” for solutions and answers – and simply living in that prayerful mode – hands folded and eyes closed, waiting on God to supernaturally give them the specific answer that will remove their challenge. So, just how does God answer our prayers?

Imagine any of these situations with me:

  • You really need a job
  • You’d like a better car
  • You want to make peace with your spouse
  • Your lawn mower is broken
  • You want to have a best-selling book
  • You would like to have a college degree
  • You want to be a more effective parent
  • You must have $5,000 for a new air conditioning unit

I believe God is the providential supplier of everything we need. But I also believe that his delivery system requires our active participation – “praying with our legs.” If you need a job identify 30-40 target companies; contact them each three times and God will provide a job. If you want a best-selling book write something of value then be willing to persist through the rejection of 14 publishers as Max Lucado did with his first book (his books have now sold over 30 million copies.) – and watch God open doors. If you want a college degree explore six options for doing so that are possible even while you continue working. Block out 2 hours a day for focused study and see God allow that degree to be yours.

And can I find scripture to support faith and prayer that involve our legs? Oh yeah. My favorite is in Exodus 14:15. Moses is dealing with those whining, complaining children of Israel who see the Egyptians coming after them in the desert. I can just see them on their knees, praying and begging God to solve their problems. And the verse says – “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward, march!’” (Living Bible)

God provides food for the birds – but he doesn’t just show up and throw it in their nest. Sometimes the exercise of faith we need most may be to engage our spiritual quadriceps, stretch those hamstrings and use our gluteus maximus for something other than supporting our head while we pray.

Is it time for you to be praying with your legs?

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