Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
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Vol. 18 – No. 0716 Febuary 13, 2016
Thought for the week:
"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears." – Nelson Mandela
"Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish. But you can only spend it once." – Michael Josephson
"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." – Henry Ford
"Difficulty is the excuse history never accepts." – Edward R. Murrow
"It is better to walk in the dark with God, than to run in the light alone." – Dr. Alexander Blackburn
"Success is where preparation and opportunity meet." – Bobby Unse
"Don't pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger people. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle." – Phillips Brooks
As a young man Demosthenes, the famous Greek orator, had a speech impediment that made him feel shy and insecure. His father left him a wealthy estate, but according to Greek law at the time, to claim his estate he had to establish his right of ownership through public debate. Because of his inability to speak clearly and prove his ownership he lost his inheritance.
Motivated by his loss and through dogged determination Demosthenes overcame his speech impediment to become one of the great orators of ancient times. Nobody remembers who got his inheritance but the story of Demosthenes has been told to countless numbers for centuries.
On the "Today Show" some months ago last year, Matt Lauer interviewed one of the wives of one of the Navy Seals killed along with the US ambassador in Libya. He asked, "What she would say to her children about their dad and how she would want them to remember him."
Her answer, and I quote, "His love for Christ," and then continued on with a few other things.
Throughout the day and on MSN homepage, replaying the story they edited the "Love of Christ" part out. Why? Because using the word Christ might offend someone!
Well, I am a Christian and I am offended! I'm offended that they would edit it out. Offended that we as Christians are asked to tread lightly so as not to offend someone of another religion. I think anyone who missed the original broadcast that morning should know what NBC has done.
This man loved his country and loved his God and gave his life for both just as Christ gave His life for him.
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out,
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
– Author Unknown
For all the sad words of tongue or pen the saddest are these: "It might have been!"
Racing dogs are trained to chase a mechanical rabbit that always goes a little faster than the fleetest dog. This causes them to run faster than they otherwise would.
Companies that annually set overly ambitious performance objectives for their employees employ this greyhound principle. To a point, it works. Most people achieve more when expectations are set high.
The strategy turns negative, however, when firms chasing Wall Street's rabbit continually set "no-excuses" double-digit growth goals without regard to market realities (including multiple competitors driving toward the same goals) or systemic understaffing (part of the "do more with less" philosophy). Consequently, many corporate leaders are caught up in a ceaseless upward spiral of stress.
Yes, the financial rewards for such success are ample, but the driving motivation is usually not greed and certainly not job satisfaction – it's fear. This can often morph into desperation, a dangerous mindset that can spawn imprudent short-term decisions and outright cheating.
It's unwise and unethical to ignore the business and moral implications of aggressive growth strategies that put executives under unprecedented, unrelenting, and unreasonable pressure.
On one level, it's a matter of values. Work-life balance should be more than a rhetorical ideal. A good company cares about its people. The path to career success shouldn't be littered with the ruins of failed marriages and neglected children.
On another level, it's long-term self-interest. Without an abundant and replenishing pool of talented and committed leaders, no company will succeed for long. The organizations that will pull away in the next decades are those that can attract and retain the best talent because they're places where those people want to work – and that will take a lot more than money.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
"The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be
alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'"1
It is good to remind ourselves that God created mankind
primarily for relationships from which come eighty
percent of life's satisfaction. To live meaningfully we
need to be in meaningful relationships, without which
life can be very empty and lonely.
If we don't know how to relate in healthy ways, we
don't know how to live fully, and we can impair both
our mental and physical health as a result. Or another
way to put it: to fully live we need to fully love!
It helps us to remember that God Himself is in
relationship through the Trinity (God the Father, God
the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). Also, Jesus started
the Christian movement with relationships: "He [Jesus]
appointed twelve...that they might be with Him."2
Furthermore, practically all of Christ's ministry was
done while in relationship with His twelve disciples.
As a Christian, our first need is to keep in a right
relationship with God, which begins by accepting Jesus
Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. Trying to live
the Christian life without this is like trying to go
east by traveling west.
We then need close, healthy relationships with people.
Only then can we realize some of the deepest longings
of the human heart. This doesn't mean that we are to be
over-dependent on others, codependent with them, or
independent from them, but interdependent with them.
The reality is that we need people. Barbra Streisand
expressed it well in the song: "People who need people
are the luckiest people in the world."
Furthermore, the degree of our mental health, emotional
maturity, and spiritual well-being will be reflected in
the health of our close relationships. God's command to "love one another" is not a sentimental suggestion.
It's an imperative.
Suggested prayer, "Dear God, please help me first of
all to have a right relationship with You and then to
resolve any character issues in my life that may hinder
my having healthy relationships with others. Help me to
love You and others more fully and myself in a healthy
way. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer.
Gratefully, in Jesus's name. Amen."
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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
Books by Dick Innes, Editor of Weekend Encounter You Can't Fly With a Broken Wing How to Mend a Broken Heart I Hate Witnessing—A Handbook for Effective Christian
Healing, Wholeness & Happiness by Dick Innes
Loving & Understanding People by Dick Innes
I Hate Witnessing by Dick Innes
God's Formula for Success by Dick Innes
Damaged Emotions by David Seamands
Healing of the Memories by David Seamands
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