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Archive for April, 2012

This week, I conclude my thoughts and ideas about our growth. ‘Growing toward spiritual maturity’ is an on-going journey for all of us. Below, I share some thoughts about a powerful book that captures our collective and individual dreams, visions, and life goals. It is called “God’s Photo Album.”

GOD’S PHOTO ALBUM

In a book entitled, God’s Photo Album, by Shelly Mecum and the children and families of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, rests an inspirational story about how they looked for God and saved their school. Ms. Mecum and her students had a dream, and the courage & faith, to make their dream soar. Determined to save the struggling Ewa Beach elementary school on Oahu, Hawaii, they mobilized an entire community to realize her vision: A spiritual quest for God and a brave book-writing adventure. Some 168 young children and their families, ranging from five to eighty years old, toted cameras, notebooks, and pencils across the island by bus, trolley, and glass-bottom boat. Their mission? To find God. Enclosed throughout the pages of this wonderful book are snapshots and inspiring observations, offering unforgettable moments of grace. Proof that no dream is too big!

http://www.writingforthelord.com

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PROMOTION COMES FROM GOD

“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another ” (Psalm 75:6-7).

The wise are neither young or old – their physical age tells us nothing, and more than the generality of men can be divided between age and youth on the basis of their knowledge. The wise are always young in will and energy and old in experience and reflection – Frances Lischner

Daniel
Daniel was a governmental officer and prophet of God (Daniel 1:1-6 and Matthew 24:15). As a young Jew he was taken captive and trained for service in the Babylonian royal court. He served in influential positions under four kings – Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus. He firmly refused to do anything contrary to God’s teachings, even when it meant risking his life (Daniel 1:8 and 6:7-16). Daniel’s gift of prophecy was evidence early in life as his name means God is my judge.

The Old Testament Book of Daniel depicts Daniel’s loyalty to God in the face of imprisonment, pagan religion, and false teaching. It also includes Daniel’s visions. He was frequently pushed to compromise his faith, but he did not. His well known choices include insisting on eating a healthy diet (chapter 1), worshiping God rather than avoiding the fiery furnace (chapter 3), interpreting the writing on the wall (chapter 5), and praying to God rather than avoiding the lion’s den (chapter 6).

The last portion of the book – chapters 7 through 12 – records visions God gave to Daniel that depict Israel’s future. This portion of Daniel is apocalyptic literature; it tells about the future with symbols and signs. These passage give hope that the cruelty would end and God’s triumph would become obvious. Because Daniel showed his faith, Kings Nebuchadnezzar and Darius honored God.

Titus
Titus was a Greek Christian coworker with the Apostle Paul, who may have converted Titus to Christ (Titus 1:4). He traveled on missionary journeys with Paul and took Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians with the assignment of helping the church correct its problems (2 Corinthians 7:13-15).

The New Testament Book of Titus is a book of encouragement in the face of opposition, from Paul to Titus. Paul reminds Titus to hold onto sound faith and sound doctrine, to urge him to seek Christian leaders with good character, and to show him how to teach.

Timothy
Timothy was a native of Lystra who learned the Scriptures from his Jewish mother Eunice and grandmother Lois (Acts 16:1 and 2 Timothy 1:5). His father was a Greek. Timothy means honoring God, and that he did as he served alongside the Apostle Paul, who was his father in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2). Timothy accompanied Paul on missionary journeys and was listed along with Paul in the sending of six letters –

• Second Corinthians
• Philippians
• Colossians
• First and Second Thessalonians
• Philemon.

The New Testament Book of Timothy were books Paul wrote to a young Christian coworker named Timothy. First Timothy warns against false teaching. It also gives instructions for church worship, presents characteristics of church leaders, and encourages Christian service. Second Timothy, written near the end of Paul’s life, gives encouraging advice to Timothy including how to endure and to serve Christ faithfully.

Take Heed to Wise Counsel

We gain insight when we listen to those who have gone before and know more than we do – insight we miss when our pride stands in the way. We are able to learn from others when we humble ourselves and acknowledge how little we really know. Willingness to learn is a mark of those who are truly wise.

Consider our Lord as a boy, “sitting in the midst of teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46). Proverbs 1:5 says that “a wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.” If you think you know everything, you have a lot to learn. Even Jesus increased in wisdom –
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52).”

Source: Give God the Glory! Called to be Light in the Workplace by Kevin Wayne Johnson, 2003, Chapter 3 – Maturity.

http://www.writingforthelord.com

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“The office is a community, and like other communities, it functions best when people are polite and kind to one another. This means being polite to people at every level of the office hierarchy, not just those who are higher up.”
– Complete Book of Etiquette, Amy Vanderbilt, 1952.

DO NOT DESPISE THE SMALL BEGINNINGS

Everything big starts with something small. The size of a mustard seed is so small that it is difficult to see. However, when it grows to full maturity, it is one of the largest plants on the face of the earth. Under favorable conditions, its dimensions, after fully mature, can be ten to twelve feet tall after only five months.

“For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet of the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth (Zechariah 4:10).”

One kernel of corn can produce a stalk with two ears, each having 200 kernels. From those 400 kernels come 400 more stalks, producing 160,000 kernels. From those 160,000 kernels, comes 160,000 more stalks, producing a total of 64 million kernels. The principle of compounding is at work here. Dr. Polly Matzinger was working as a cocktail waitress when she was “discovered” to be a scientist in the making. Today, some think her theory about the immune system could revolutionalize the way we treat disease. For decades, scientists thought that the immune system reacts to foreign cells entering the body. Instead, Dr. Matzinger postulates that the system responds only when it receives signals from injured cells. “Think of the body as a community that welcomes visitors,” she says, “but alerts the cops when someone starts breaking windows. In the same way, the immune system is alerted by damage-induced alarm signals, not foreign cells.” The Danger Model challenges the theory on how the body defends itself. Dr. Matzinger, now section head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, began in an unrelated field of endeavor. This college dropout, dog trainer, jazz musician, carpenter, and waitress, found each of her jobs boring. It was through conversations with faculty members that frequented the bar that she interjected her knowledge about evolutionary adaptations in skunks that got the attention of the faculty. She was then encouraged to become scientist and completed her field of study by earning a Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego. “What’s nice about science is if things don’t make sense, you can question them and not get fired for it.”

…walk worthy in the job that you have

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called (Ephesians 4:1).”

Your walk should reflect your calling. Bring credit to His name everyday. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Live in a manner befitting the divine call that summoned you to salvation.

Source: Give God the Glory! Called to be Light in the Workplace by Kevin Wayne Johnson, 2003, Chapter 1 – Growth.

http://www.writingforthelord.com

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A CORRECT ATTITUDE TO GROW (while at work)

Your attitude is one of the few things that is totally under your control. Life is 10% of what happens to us, but 90% of how we respond to life’s situations and circumstances. Jesus Christ’s first public sermon is a powerful teaching about the importance of having a correct attitude. His timing is crucial as He teaches this awesome message after being tempted by Satan on three different occasions. In Matthew, chapter four, The Holy Bible records the confrontation between Jesus and Satan. Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights and was hungry (verse 2). Satan attempted to persuade Jesus to “partner” with him during this trying time. He mistakenly assumed that Jesus was too weak to resist his three proposals. But, the Word records their conversations as follows:

“…if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But He answered and said, It is written, MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORK THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD. Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple. And said unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down…Jesus said unto him, It is written again, THOU SHALL NO TEMPT THE LORD THY GOD. Again, the devil took Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shewed Him all the kingdoms of this world, and the glory of them; And said unto Him, All these things I will give thee, if thou fall down and worship me. Then Jesus said unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, THOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE (verses 4-10).”

Then the devil leaveth Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him (verse 11).”

The Beattitudes – ‘The attitude we ought to be’ – is the first message that Jesus taught in His Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Matthew, chapter 5, verses one through twelve:
“And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when he was set, His disciples came unto Hiim: And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying,

:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.
Attitude #1 – Humility

:4 Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Attitude #2 – Concern about the sinful condition of this world.

:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Attitude #3 – Keep your strength (power) under control.

:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Attitude #4 – Fulfillment comes from being right with God.

:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Attitude #5 – Be compassionate towards the plight of others.

:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Attitude #6 – Be sincere in your actions.

:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Attitude #7 – Avoid strife, drama, and contentions. Exhibit a peaceful demeanor even in the midst of a storm.

:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.
Attitude #8 – Others will not understand that your success is contingent upon your Godly lifestyle and your personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. When they resent it and speak evil against you, continue to seek God first and foremost in everything.

:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Attitude #9 – Remain steadfast in the faith. Even Jesus was persecuted.

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

A positive attitude is a powerful force. It cannot be stopped.

Source: Give God the Glory! Called to be Light in the Workplace by Kevin Wayne, Johnson, 2003, Chapter One (Growth)

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