Monthly Archives: June 2013

Procrastinate quitting

Winston Churchill said it, Never give up!

Lance Armstrong agrees, Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.

Michael Jordan agrees, If you quit ONCE it becomes a habit. Never quit!

Even the Scripture urges us not to quit when engaged in a worthy cause, Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

All that is good in life is attained and maintained by consistent effort and sacrifice. That’s why the temptation to quit is always with us. If that seems overwhelming keep in mind that you can always quit, so there’s no need to do it today!

When the devil comes knocking

The devil is a master of timing.

He doesn’t typically come with temptations when we’re focused, productive, and surrounded by family and friends. As when he tempted Jesus in the desert, he comes knocking when we’re lonely, hungry and exhausted. That’s when we’re vulnerable.

The good news is that Jesus successfully resisted the devil through the power of the Word of God.

But that wasn’t the end of the story. Luke 4:13 says, When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Like the Terminator, he will be back.

What’s a Jesus-follower to do?

First, stay out of the physical spaces and emotional places where you’re most likely to be tempted. Stay purposeful in every aspect of life. Pursue health. Walk in forgiveness. Be accountable to someone who cares about you. Second, since some temptation will come regardless of how much we avoid it, we must have a deep reservoir of God’s truth in us to recognize and respond to the devil’s lies.

As the old-timers used to say, The devil knocked. The Word answered. No one was there.

 

More than market share

Along with a number of colleagues I’ve been spending some time articulating
my personal and business Mission, Vision, Values and Beliefs. While reading the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 it occurred to me that in those words Jesus is communicating his values.

  • When he says “Blessed are the meek,” he is valuing humility.
  • When he says, “Blessed are the pure in heart,” he is valuing holiness.
  • And when he says, “Blessed are the merciful,” he is valuing mercy.

Those three words — humility, holiness, and mercy — really sum up all the values expressed in the Beatitudes. Interestingly, I’ve not seen any of them show up in the Values statement of a Fortune 500 company or a local business. They don’t seem to be kind of things that drive profits and market share.

Yet, we have it on the word of Jesus that those who live by his values are blessed. That may mean profits and market share.

Or perhaps something far more valuable.

The essence of integrity

When I first began running in 5k and 10k races a friend offered helpful
advice regarding the most  appropriate running shoes. He talked about things like pronation, arch support, heel strike, and all kinds of technical issues I had never heard of. He spoke knowledgably about all the major brands and which would be most appropriate for my size, weight, and running style.

Then one day I asked him what running shoes he preferred. I was shocked by his response. He told me he wasn’t a runner. He hated running and never did it.

After that conversation I never again asked him for running advice. Never mind that he might actually be right about what he said, it just didn’t feel right to me to be taking advice from a guy who didn’t take his own advice.

After all, practicing what you preach is the essence of integrity.

A positive example: In Matthew 5 Jesus says that those who practice and teach his commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Then in Acts 1 we’re told that Jesus practiced the commands he taught.

I could take advice from a guy like that.

 

Concealed carry


I heard a concealed carry handgun expert say that when you’re carrying a firearm you need to be as meek and gentle as a dove. Don’t get into arguments, reject road rage, and avoid any form of confrontation like the plague.

His point was that when you are carrying a lethal weapon you have a moral obligation to avoid any situation that would require you to use it.

That’s a wise caution for those of us who carry an even deadlier weapon — our tongue. The book of James calls the tongue “a restless evil, a deadly poison.” Through gossip and malicious talk we have the ability to crush hopes and destroy lives.

Perhaps that’s why the Bible everywhere encourages us to adopt a meek and humble attitude. As Micah 6:8 says, “What does the Lord require of you? To do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

 

Cheeseburger in paradise

Pop culture portrays heaven much like a Huggies commercial: babies in diapers
floating on clouds while playing harps.

No wonder no one’s in too much of a hurry to get there.

The Bible paints a bit of a different picture. No harps, no clouds, no diapers. But lots of food, music, and good times with old friends. Of course, heaven is more than just a girl’s night out at Joe’s Crab Shack. A lot more. It starts with judgment and then moves on to worship, wonder, and new assignments in service to God.

But from the previews of heaven we read about in the Gospels and the book of Revelation, it’s not too far-fetched to think we really might be able to enjoy a cheeseburger in paradise. Would you like fries with that?