Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
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Vol. 16 – No. 4714 November 22, 2014
Thought for the week: "To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." – Thomas Jefferson
The United Kingdom (UK) proposed a new law to prevent the insulting of religion, to replace the existing law on blasphemy. Such a law is already in place in Australia where an Australian court found Pastor Daniel Scot "guilty of religious vilification after he criticized Islam in a church seminar."
There can be no doubt that militant followers of other religions will use such laws to take Christians to court. Other countries are likely to attempt to legislate similarly. A full briefing can be found at the Christian Institute: http://www.christian.org.uk/home.htm
Some years ago when Apple Computer fell on hard times, Apple's co-founder and chairman, Steven Jobs, went from California to New York City. "His purpose was to convince PepsiCo's John Sculley to move west and run his struggling company. As the two men overlooked the Manhattan skyline from Sculley's penthouse office, the Pepsi executive started to decline Jobs's offer. 'Financially,' Sculley said, 'you'd have to give me a million-dollar salary, a million-dollar bonus, and a million-dollar severance.' Flabbergasted, Jobs gulped and agreed—if Sculley would move to California. But Sculley would commit only to being a consultant from New York.
"At that, Jobs issued a challenge to Sculley, 'Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want to change the world?' In his autobiography, Oddesy, Sculley admits Jobs's challenge 'knocked the wind out of me.' He said he'd become so caught up in his future at Pepsi, his pension, and whether his family could adapt to life in California that an opportunity to 'change the world' nearly passed him by. Instead, he put his life in perspective and went to Apple."1
Let me ask you a question, "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling "sugared water"—or doing what you are doing today for the rest of your life? Or do you want to help change at least your world?" There's nothing wrong with selling sugared water ... or doing a million other things; but there's nothing earth-changing about many of these undertakings either.
The question is, "Is what you are doing making a difference in someone's life—or that of many lives—and that for eternity? Do you want to join hands with Jesus Christ and help make an impact on your world? If your answer is yes, he may call you to be a prayer intercessor, to give sacrificially, to change your profession, or he may call you to leave your comfort zone to go out into the world of Christian service.
Whatever you choose to invest your life in, be sure that what you are doing is investing in people's lives for all eternity, and in so doing, storing treasure in heaven.
1. Leadership, Spring, 1991, Vol. XXII, No. 2, p. 44.
Take a look around—in business, education, and politics. If there's one thing we don't have enough of, it's good leaders: men and women who have the vision and the ability to change things for the better.
Former Air Force General William Cohen has written a fine book called The Stuff of Heroes where he identifies eight laws of leadership.
Here are his rules:
First, Maintain Absolute Integrity.
Second, Know Your Stuff.
Third, Declare Your Expectations.
Fourth, Show Uncommon Commitment.
Fifth, Expect Positive Results.
Sixth, Take Care of Your People.
Seventh, Put Duty Before Self.
Eighth, Get Out in Front.
His laws embrace important competencies like knowledge, communication skills, commitment, optimism, caring, and a powerful sense of duty; but General Cohen recognizes that the foundation of the successful leader is character, including complete trustworthiness, honor and courage.
The best leaders draw on these moral qualities to influence others through inspiration, persuasion, trust and loyalty. They do the right thing despite the costs and risks, and do it not because it will yield approval or advantage, but simply because it is the right thing.
In these cynical times, it's easy to think such leadership is unattainable; yet in every walk of life are hundreds of men and women—parents, teachers, coaches, civic activists—who fit the mold. What's more important, every one of us could be among them.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
"Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, While our vineyards are in blossom."1
Today in the Word shared how "researchers who had made repeated dives to the wreckage of the Titanic challenged the accepted theory that an iceberg tore a 300-foot gash in the side of the ship. The ship's bow is mired in mud, but the team 'looked' at the hull using sound waves. They concluded that the damage is 'astonishingly small,' just six small gashes along the starboard hull. Unfortunately, the openings were made at the worst possible place, along six watertight holds."
Little things can do great damage: a little lie here, a little cheating there, a little stealing, a little gossip, and/or a little unresolved conflict—like a little gash in a mighty ship—can open a floodgate of damage somewhere down the track.
Any holes in your life? Any in mine? Let's not neglect them. Let's get smart and, with God's help, take care of them today—before they sink us.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see the 'little' things in my life that, if I fail to resolve them now, they may 'burn out of control' farther down the line. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
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