#Faith Hero’s – Able & Enoch

This is a lesson recently taught at my home congregation.  This is a direct link to the audio file.

In it we discuss our desire for control, our heart, compulsion, as well as how walking as a parent relates to God.

Questions to consider:

  • Are you and I careful and thoughtful in how we serve?
  • Is sin crouching at your door?
  • Do we have a faithful attitude?
  • Do we know what it means to walk with God?
  • How is your heart?

Key verses to read:

  • Hebrews 11:4-6
  • Genesis 4:2-15
  • Genesis 5:21-24

Key Points:

  • If you do what is right, you will be accepted.
  • There is nothing God expects of us that we are not equipped to do.
  • Walking with God is not a forced march, rather it’s a choice to walk in faith alongside of him.

When it comes to faith, are you willing to walk with God?  What does that look like for you on a daily basis?  What is your favorite story of faith in the Bible?

The Precipice – The Challenge has Been Issued

Sheer Drop.  Abyss.  These are the descriptive words to illustrate a country’s culture using illustrative stories.  TC Avey goes for your heart and mind with her futuristic book of stories, questions, and links to current news stories.

In many ways her book is controversial, but not in a bad way.  It just “stirs the pot”.  TC uses various short stories, news articles, and questions to challenge any reader on matters of culture, technology, and heart.

These stories at first seem far-fetched and futuristic, almost sci-fi.  Yet they grab you, fling you toward a mirror and demand an answer.  You are confronted with situations to help you mentally work through tumultuous circumstances.  TC begs the question, what would you do?  How would you react?  Where is your faith in the midst of these stories?

After being confronted with this, you are given article after article to demonstrate just how close the “futurist” stories actually are.

Here’s why I suggest you read this book – you will be challenged, regardless of where you come from.

TC Avey is a Christian, wife, mom, and blogger who takes modern events and helps people see how God is at work.  Purchase her book between April 3rd and April 14th, email the receipt to her, and receive two additional books for free!  NOTE:  I received the book for free because I volunteered to read the book and offer constructive feedback.  That did not require a positive review.  The link to the book above is an affiliate which means I receive compensation if purchased through my link. 

#Growth Moment with JK Rowling

Imagine being described as a famed author of a book series that gripped children across Britain and the United States as well as the owner of the rights to a movie series that shattered records.  Yes, a tremendous success in writing and with motion pictures.

Now picture yourself as a recently single mom…on welfare.  Imagine writing sentence after sentence in a public café, after walking as a way to get your child to sleep.

JK Rowling’s series about a boy named Harry Potter turned her and her characters into household names.  Each new book and each new movie release seemed larger than the last.

Her magical escape transformed youth reading while energizing a new age of mythical novels and movies.

Hard work, persistence, and sacrifice helped JK Rowling become wildly successful.  It didn’t occur overnight, nor was it easy.  While in the middle of poverty and bouts of depression, the outcome she now enjoys would have been impossible to imagine.

In the end, her journey was worth it.  Her life, and many others have been transformed.

What are you doing right now that’s worth it?  Do you believe in your effort?  Leave a comment below.

The Reality of Life -vs- God’s Truth

Jason Avont Describes Life’s Most Important Journey

No matter who you are, or where you come from God is actively seeking you out, opening doors, and waiting for you to listen.  Others of us need to remember that our conversion and change of perspective didn’t happen over night.

What’s your story?  What are the ways you are laying the foundation for people to change their lives in the future?  Leave a comment below.

Growth Moment with Mark Cuban

Imagine being an “angel investor” or a “venture capitalist”.  You’re part of a television show where people present business ideas for your consideration of investing your hard earned income.  Can you imagine buying an NBA franchise?  Mark Cuban is the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

Mark Cuban described his early beginning in a series of blog posts entitled, Success & Motivation, in 2004.  Here he describes living in an apartment with six people while driving a car that burned oil.  He also explains how he was fired from a company for making a sales call in person instead of opening the retail store where he was employed.

Is that how you would prefer to begin your success story?

Not exactly – a total understatement!  However, during his time employed at the store, Mark Cuban learned two valuable lessons: 1) A love of working with personal computers; 2) How to get an information advantage.

We don’t always recognize what we’re going through or why.  During these times we are often in a place to learn and grow to be better prepared for future success.

What story will be fun for you to tell others about, and what did you learn?  Or what is you favorite story to tell regarding your current success?  Leave a comment below.

It’s All About Customers – What I Learned from Reading Jim Blasingame’s, “Age of the Customer”

AgeOftheCustomer_3dBook

While trying to learn more about leadership and book publishing I came across Michael Hyatt’s blog on intentional leadership.  I read his blog, listened to his podcast, and tried to apply what I was learning.  Over and over again he gave away more helpful information.  When he published his book, Platform, I bought it without hesitation.

Michael Hyatt exemplifies every aspect of Jim Blasingame’s book, Age of the Customer.

One main principal communicated in his book is delivering value.  Jim says it this way, “Demonstrate value by contributing before any business is conducted.  Contribute first, sell second.”  This is demonstrated by people like Michael Nichols who gives you his book, Creating Your Business Vision, when you sign up for his email list.  Here he takes a similar approach of Michael Hyatt’s Creating Your Personal Life Plan and applies it to your business.  This point is further driven home by the crash test dummy of online business, Pat Flynn.  He over-delivers in his e-book on creating ebooks.  He takes you along the ride of creating your own e-book with lots of content and visuals.  Both Michael Nichols and Pat Flynn give monster value at no cost to you – just signing up for their email list.

Here is a simple way you can do this too:  Identify a group of people, or several individuals and send them something of value.  Over-deliver!  Send a book, a magazine, or an article that applies specifically to that person.  If you offer a free ebook on your site, re-read it.  Does it add monster value?  If not, create one that does.

After you do this, send me a note, comment or tweet about it – what you did, and how it was received.

Have you ever over-delivered for a customer?  What was their reaction?  Have you ever been the recipient of a person over-delivering?  How did it make you feel?  Leave a comment below.

Growth Moment – Learning from Brian Tracy

Imagine being an International best-selling author of over 55 books.  Imagine being a sales and goals legend and Hall of Fame Speaker!

What shapes a person?  What helps people become successful?

In a back-and-forth exchange of goal-setting ideas with Success Magazine’s Darren Hardy, Brian Tracy revealed one element of his personal development:  He slept on the floor of a friend’s house, missed meals, after what he described as “bombing out of high school”.

Not exactly the best start for a hall of fame speaker – is it?  Yet this season of failure was actually one of preparation for immense future success.

Brian Tracy’s experience would humble any person.  His experience would cause most people to give up.  Yet, he attributes his success today from what he learned then from a book on goal setting. That book forever changed his life.

How is your life?  What season are you in?  What future experience are you being prepared for? 

(Leave a comment below)

Being Clueless in a Dying World (Part 3)

We have to meet people where they are and we can only do that when we get personal!

Servant leadership –obviously implies what you do – you serve.  Folks suggest this started with a man named Robert Greenleaf, in 1977.  Nowadays several others carry this torch, specifically an executive at Chik-fil-a, Mark Miller who has written two books The Secret and most recently The Heart of Leadership.  He has coined the phrase “Think others first”.

We know that real servant leadership was displayed by Jesus Christ. 

Matthew 4:23-25 gives us a great summary:

After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.  Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.

Here are other verses offers more insight:

Matthew 14:13-21 – he fed people.

Matthew 12:9-13, Matthew 9:27-33, & Matthew 8:14-16 – he healed the sick.

Not only did these fulfill prophecy (Matthew 8:17) but it helped create a caring atmosphere. 

Let that sink in for a moment.

Jesus helped people by addressing physical needs as an outreach for their spiritual needs.

John 4 – the woman at the well, and her entire community heard about Christ because of her.

John 8 – the woman “caught in adultery” where Jesus tells her to “go now and leave your life of sin”.

Imagine Jesus being too busy, getting water quickly by himself, or burying his face in his phone, or rushing off to his next event.

Can you see where being clueless kills?

Inside and outside of the community of believers we must intentionally get personal.  Phone calls, texts, private messages, dinner, notes, recreation, worship, every where – it’s our job to help people – and our help is God’s son.

We will not get the opportunity to share Christ or encourage staying with Christ if we’re self-involved.  Who would you be if your hero/mentor did not have time for you?

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.  Accessed via biblegateway.com

Being Clueless in a Dying World (Part 2)

In “Being Clueless in a Dying Word (Part 1)”, a final question was asked regarding our knowledge of being clueless, and what we must do.

We must slow down, pause, reflect, and pray (PART 2)

We will never be aware of others if we’re always running wide open.  We will be unable to anticipate the needs of others if we’re too busy or too distracted to think about them.

Think for a moment about your own schedule.  Isn’t it full?  Isn’t it hard to work things in?  Sometimes we simply have to say no, but other times we have merely filled our schedules too full.

Read Matthew 14:22-23

“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.”

This verse comes after John the Baptist is beheaded, and after the feeding of 5000 men.  Jesus needed this time – and so do you!

In fact no matter where you turn – scripture, modern leaders, parenting advice – all of these reference you having an opportunity to reflect (leadership author John Maxwell calls it “thinking time”, parent training calls it “quiet time”).

We need time to process things, to stop merely reacting, and to think long-term.

What are ways you slow down, pause, reflect, and pray?

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.  Accessed via biblegatway.com

Strive to Thrive: a book review

I recently finished reading Dave Arnold’s book, “It’s Possible: Learning How to Thrive (not just survive) in Life,” which I really enjoyed.

Possible Book Cover

One of the reasons it was a good read is that Dave has had a life we have all had – a busy grind.  He challenges that perspective by breaking down three types of people categories that seem to fit everyone.  While doing this he quickly hits the strength and weakness of each type of person with precision and honesty.

The second thing that makes Dave’s book a helpful one is that it asks you to recognize “deterrents” and to be a person of action.  These embody an attitude that flows throughout the book – you really do not have to simply survive life!  That specific message is an encouraging one.

A third element that I enjoyed was the actual content.  Dave presents several ideas that confirmed my previously held beliefs, while also including others that challenged me as a person in a positive way.  One illustration: an idea that centered on the courage muscle of your heart growing and a second idea on running an effective race.

Finally, the last element of help was Dave’s willingness to pull other bloggers and commenters into his book seamlessly.  This example added to his book because he demonstrates in writing exactly the fact that you need others.  Pulling a book together is not a solo job regardless of your size (small, medium, or large).

I believe that this quick read has the ability to help you take the first steps toward thriving in life.  If you’re interested in the book, Dave Arnold has some great bonus material if you take the plunge and buy it this week.  Check it out - “It’s Possible: Learning How to Thrive (not just survive) in Life”

What is the first step you need to take to thrive?  What was the best step that helped you thrive?

 

Full disclosure:  I received a copy of Dave’s book, but was not required to write a positive review.

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