Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
To receive the email edition of Weekend Encounter (without charge) click on the Subscribe button.
addresses to anyone. We value your privacy.
Global Communications Outreach:
Learn how to be a missionary right from your own home and have a vital part in worldwide gospel outreach by becoming an ACTS People Power for Jesus Partner. Click HERE There is no charge.
Vol. 16 – No. 3814 September 20, 2014
Thought for the week: "Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones." – Phillips Brooks
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
Hugging is healthy; it helps the body's immunity system, it keeps you healthier, it cures depression, it reduces stress, it induces sleep, it's invigorating, and rejuvenating, it has no unpleasant side effects, and hugging is nothing less than a miracle drug.
Hugging is all natural: it is organic, naturally sweet, no pesticides, no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, and is 100 percent wholesome.
Hugging is practically perfect: there are no moveable parts, no batteries to wear out, no periodic checkups, low energy consumption, high energy yield, insulation proof, non-fattening, no monthly payments, no insurance requirements, theft-proof, non-taxable, non-polluting, and, of course, fully returnable.
Reach for the stars. Pursue goals beyond your grasp. These are good life strategies. We never know how much we can accomplish until we try.
But what happens when we're told we must reach the stars or suffer consequences?
A common workplace strategy to spur employee achievement is to set aggressive productivity objectives that, like mechanical rabbits that lead racing greyhounds, are usually beyond reach. Benignly called "stretch goals" by those who set them, the idea is to generate maximum effort. A salesperson who's expected to increase sales by 10 percent may only achieve a six-percent gain, but that's still pretty good.
But there's a downside to this clever management technique. For one thing, it generates unhealthy stress and low morale when employees catch on to the game and resent being manipulated like racing dogs. For another, unrealistic stretch goals overemphasize short-term performance and encourage employees to conceal, ignore, and defer problems. Finally, some employees will simply cheat to make the numbers.
Organizational audits conducted by Josephson Institute reveal that a high percentage of employees who are pressured to achieve ever-escalating numerical goals manipulate numbers and distort reports. A significant number outright lie.
Pressure is no excuse for cheating, but it's a frequent cause. Those who play the stretch-goal game are accountable for the predictable side effects of relentlessly pursuing numbers, especially if they don't place even greater emphasis on honesty and integrity.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.... But as for me [Joshua] and my household, we will serve the LORD."1
"His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'"2
As a teen I was fortunate to be a member of a small, but very active church. In our youth group we were very much challenged to serve God with our life. Almost half of our group ended up in full-time Christian ministry. In one family the oldest brother chose to become a missionary and faithfully served God until he retired; of his two sisters, one dropped out of church but did reasonably well in the business world; the other sister not only dropped out of church, but became involved in an illicit relationship which ended in disaster. She started drinking heavily, and sadly, today in her retirement years has become an alcoholic having made shipwreck of her life.
Three friends—three different choices! One will certainly go to a positive heavenly reward. I'm not sure how the other two will fare.
The reality is that at the end of life's journey every person will be required to give an account of his or her life to either Jesus Christ or God. God's Word, the Bible, says: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."3
So, if we want to receive a good report when we give a personal account to the Lord, we need to make that our choice here and now, and to make any changes that are necessary, for we become the sum total of all the choices we have made in the past—and will become the sum total of these and all the choices we make in the future. As Brian Tracy reminds us: "It's choice, not chance that determines our destiny."
No matter what our past, the good news is that we can choose right now to start making productive choices, and do so at the beginning of every day so these choices will determine our ultimate destiny.
Let us remember too, that, as Winston Churchill said, "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." Albert Schweitzer agrees. He said, "I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."
For the Christian our highest service is to serve God—and we serve Him by serving our fellow man. In the words of another, "Our greatest legacy will be those who live eternally in heaven because of our efforts," and Billy Graham said, "I am convinced the greatest act of love we can ever perform for people is to tell them about God's love for them in Christ."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, my choice today is to love and serve You all the days of my life. Please make me usable and use me today and every day to be and effective witness for Jesus by helping me to be 'as Jesus' in some way to every life I touch and do this always for Your glory. So help me God. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
8. Receive Daily Encounter E-mail ... Without Charge
Daily Encounter, a without charge weekday e-mail inspirational from ACTS International is now going to 373,000+ subscribers. Scores of letters from around the world have come from readers saying how much they are being helped by this brief, practical devotional.
Over 95 million e-mail Daily, Weekend and Prayer Encounters are delivered to subscribers every year!
NOTE: Some ISPs (especially AOL) now use e-mail filtering software that allows you to add e-mail addresses to your 'buddy', 'safe', or 'approved' list. Please be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org to yours so you won't miss any issue of Daily Encounter.
One of ACTS greatest needs is Prayer Partners to stand with us as we seek to share the gospel with millions of people around the world through E-mail and the Internet and to win the lost to Jesus. If you would like to be an ACTS Prayer Partner, please subscribe to the Prayer Encounter list. Approximately one prayer report is e-mailed monthly. Thank you.
Weekend Encounter and Daily Encounter are just two of the ways the nonprofit organization, ACTS International, is working to improve the spiritual and emotional life of many thousands of people around the world.
Every weekday Daily Encounter is going to 373,000+ subscribers, and every week Weekend Encounter is going to 7,300+ subscribers worldwide—many of whom are in places where it is forbidden to spread the Christian gospel and message. Plus, we reach several hundred thousand more every week through our advertising. As a result, every day we are seeing an average of 5-6 salvation responses from around the world—almost 3,000 in the past 12 months!
If you find value in the Weekend Encounter and/or Daily Encounter, we hope you will be comfortable donating at least $26. That's only 50 cents a week for an entire year (tax-deductible in the U.S.). You can donate in one of the following ways:
Oprah Winfrey: "Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi." – Oprah Winfrey
1. Bible concordance and Bible helps
2. New Hope Crisis Counseling with trained
lay/volunteer counselors. www.newhopenow.org 3. E-Word Today for a daily Bible reading
4. To find your ZIP+4 Area Code in the U.S.A.
5. How to find and write to your U.S. Representative
6. ASK ... Smart answers fast
7. Send a greeting card without charge for all occasions
8. To check the weather in your area
9. Hoax Web Sites
10. Plus many more sources of helpful information
"Because the world is hungry,
go with bread.
Because the world is filled with strife,
go with peace.
Because the world is filled with deceptions and lies,
go with truth.
Because the world would die without,
go with the love of God."