Tuesday, November 29, 2011


“The woman you put…with me…gave me…the fruit, and I ate it.”  Genesis 3:12 – 13

A man smokes 3 packs of cigarettes a day for 40 years, dies of lung cancer and his family sues the tobacco company.  A woman crashes while driving drunk then blames the bartender.  Your kids are out of control so you blame violence on TV, lack of discipline in school or the influence of their friends.  Excuses – we have got hundreds of them!  Our parents failed us…our friends let us down…somebody gave us bad advice…our mate does not understand us.  The blame game is not new; we have been playing it since the dawn of creation.  In Genesis the first couple offered God every excuse in the book to avoid responsibility for their actions.  Adam actually blamed God by saying, “It was the woman you put…with me.”  And Eve was no better; she said, “The snake tricked me.”

Solomon says, “The wise are glad to be instructed…fools fall flat on their faces” [Proverbs 10:8], because the ability to accept responsibility is the measure of your character and maturity.  But more importantly, God cannot forgive and restore you till you acknowledge and turn away from your sin.  Nowhere in Scripture does He ever excuse your sin because of somebody else’s behavior.  In fact, when you make a habit of blaming the other guy you will never reach the place of honest repentance.  The Bible says we will all “appear before Christ and take what is coming to us as a result of our actions” [2 Cor 5:10].  Acknowledging your sins and shortcomings here and now frees you to receive God’s forgiveness and move on to maturity.

Blaming others for our shortcomings and mistakes is usually the way we avoid facing the truth about ourselves.  Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “All blame is a waste of time.  Regardless of how much fault you find, it will not change you.  The only thing blame does is keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration.  You may succeed in making another feel guilty but you will not succeed in changing whatever is making you unhappy.”

The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness, making a journey that should have taken 11 days [Deut 1:2].  That is because they blamed God, and Moses, and whatever, for all their problems; everything that happened was somebody else’s fault.  Sound familiar?  Solomon says, “Do not try to disclaim responsibility by saying you did not know…God…knows all hearts…and he will reward everyone according to his deeds.”  The truth may be hard to face, but hiding from it does not make it go away.  In fact, until you are willing to admit your mistakes you will keep having problems and fixing blame.  

Remember, Satan will never stop trying to engage you in the blame game through your thoughts and emotions.  And when you go there he wins and you lose!  Paul said, “Do not let yourself be overcome by evil…overcome…evil with good” [Romans 12:21].  Did you get that?  You get to decide how much ground you will give to “the accuser” [Rev 12:10].  Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.”  So stop passing the buck, get honest with God and begin to correct the things in your life that are out of order.

Friday, November 25, 2011


1st Law: Be an Ardent Follower
       Follow those whom you help develop so you may learn how to help them become better human beings. In the process you become a better human being, too.
       Your ability to help others achieve their purpose enables them follow you as their leader.
       Teammates and Employees are bigger bosses. They help you meet deadlines and budgets, deliver quality products or services on time, and do that thousand-and-one little extra, out-of-the-box, beyond-the-rule things that make your daily life so much easier and more productive.

2nd Law: Reflect Humility
       Put others first.
       See yourself as the vehicle for others’ growth and enrichment.
       Get passionate about helping others grow their souls – Put everything you have got into anything you do.  Halfway measures usually produce no-way results.
       Share the glory and be willing to take the blame when you are wrong.

3rd Law: Grace and Honor Others with Your Words
       Your words paint a picture: Be sure they are a Rembrandt.  Your language can help others grow their souls and become finer people.  Let your words enrich the receiver.
       Speak only those words you truly mean: Words spoken in jest sometimes reveal more than we want them to.
       Take the time to acknowledge another’s contribution to you. Personal acknowledgement is the ultimate gratification for you both.

4th Law: Always Be a Student
       Learn your lessons well: Mistakes are great teachers.  They are life’s trial by fire. Be ready to walk across the “hot coals.”
       Learning doesn’t happen to you; it happens through you. You are not an empty vessel that some teacher fills with learning. You must be an actor on the stage, completely immersed in the play of your life, not a spectator in the second row. Learning is scary and takes a strong dedication.
       Beware of the “I’m-too-busy” trap. Many people talk about wanting a better-paying job, more education, or a brighter future. Not all however, truly dedicate the time and energy to learn what it takes to grow their skills and competencies.

5th Law: Honor Your Relationships
       Treat others – Employees, Customers, Suppliers, Community Members – as you would your father and mother.
       Put family first – they and you deserve it.  If you think there is no time for your family, then there’s something clearly out of balance.  Make time to be with your family, particularly your primary family. It’s a soul-satisfying experience.  Your work-place family is also very important as you tend to spend most of your hours with them.  Cultivate a filial relationship with your colleagues at work and it will enhance the growth of the organization.

6th Law: Be the Instrument for Others’ Soul Growth
       Coach others to grow their minds and develop a more fulfilling life.
       Create the theatre, the stage, and the rehearsal sites for your coaches’ great performance.
       Be the emotional bridge to the future: Give affirming support. Be there for the person you are coaching. Be an ear, a smile, an encouraging word, and some sage advice to the younger ones in your ranks.

7th Law: Keep Your Commandments
       Commitment is the foundation of all relationships.
       Choose first
       Commit second
       Give up Options third.  When you have made up your mind on getting a task achieved and have chosen the best way to go about it, you need to get focused and do away with the other options so as not to get distracted from achieving your goal.
       Be true to yourself.  Commit to those actions that live your values.
       Align actions so that all members of your family can achieve their personal commitments.

This is especially true of good leaders.

8th Law: Always Deliver Your Best
       Great performance, doing your best every time, is the key to personal fulfillment.
       Focus on helping others fulfill their destinies: It also helps you fulfill yours.
       Engage your bosses to identify great performance for you.
       Measure against the best – anywhere. Whom you choose to measure yourself against will determine how great your performance is.
       Always deliver your best to your bosses – as defined by them. Do it to enable them to live their dreams while enabling you to fulfill yours.

9th Law: Be an Open Book
  • Your private words and actions are your true testimony of whom and what you really are. Your words and actions are the messengers from your inner self. They reveal the truth about you, what you stand for, and what you really believe.

       Get to know the expectations of your bosses.
       Get to know the needs of your customers and their business.
       People need facts to make good decisions. Build the systems that get actionable facts to the people who need them.
       Let your courageous words and actions be testimony for who your really are.

10th Law: Build a Community Of People Dedicated To Achieving A Higher Purpose
       Build the “We” Community based upon mutual, other oriented commitments.
       Park your ego at the door. Great people “abandon their ego to the talents of others.” It takes a very special person to see their joy in other people’s achievements, particularly when their name is not attached to the achievement.
       Get everyone on the same page, singing the same tune.
       Focus on helping other people become the captains of their fates and the masters of their souls.
*   All members of the community are better than one member alone – and no one is ever alone.

The future is yours to have and to hold if…
       You care
       You believe
       You learn

Monday, November 21, 2011


“Do not let the world…squeeze you into its…mould.”  Romans 12:2

Howard Hendricks says, “A belief is something you will argue about.  But a conviction is something you will die for.”  Knowing what to do [knowledge], when to do it [wisdom], how to do it [ability], is worthless without the conviction to actually do it [obedience].  People without conviction follow the crowd, which is why Paul wrote, “Do not let the world… squeeze you into its…mould.”  If we do not take a stand for something, we will fall for everything!  Ironically, a lot of us have strong convictions about weak issues such as football, fashion, etc., while having weak convictions about major issues such as what is right and what is wrong before God.  Conviction helps us grow spiritually.  But growth requires time and effort.  Without a deep conviction of our need to grow spiritually, we become discouraged and give up.  No one stays with a task that is difficult unless they are convinced there is a good reason for doing so.  Jesus’ life was dominated by the conviction that He came to do His Father’s will – nothing else!  This conviction kept Him from being distracted by the agenda of others.  Check the number of times Jesus used the phrase “I must.”

Why do cults attract so many people?  This is because we all want something to believe in, something to give our lives for.  Without clear, strong convictions we will never attract the level of commitment that Christ deserves.  We must burn with a conviction that advancing the Kingdom of God is our calling and reason to live.  Vance Havner said, “Jesus demands greater allegiance than any dictator that ever lived.  The difference is, Jesus has a right to it!”

Friday, November 18, 2011


"I have...plans to give you the future you hope for."  Jeremiah 29:11

In Jeremiah 29:11 we have a great promise in a not-so-great chapter.  So if things are not going too well in your life at the moment, this verse is for you!

God's people were living as slaves in Babylon.  Why? Because of disobedience to God.  And worse, Babylon was about as pagan as you could get.  It was not the kind of place Christians hung out; it was a moral and spiritual wasteland.  And on top of that, the Israelite own preachers were leading them astray.  So God told them, "Don't let all those so-called preachers and know-it-all...take you in with their lies" (Jer 29:8-9).  Yet in the midst of all this, along comes the God of hope saying, "I still have a plan for you.  It is not over till I say so.  I am going to turn things around for you.  Your best days are ahead."

You say, "How do you know that God still has a plan for me?"  Because you are still breathing!  He has a plan for every single person He ever created, and it never goes out of date.  Unlike the milk in your supermarket that has an expiration date on it after which it cannot be used, God's plans do not have expiration dates.  Even if you have missed His plan entirely for years, that plan can still swing into operation the moment you turn your life over to Him and fall in line with His will.  Now, your plan might be somewhat modified from what it would have been 20 years ago if you had paid attention, but that does not stop God.  He can adapt to fit anything that comes up, in any life that has ever lived - including yours.  So, there is hope for you

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


"All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another." 1 Peter 5:5

Peter writes "all of you, clothe yourselves with humility...for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you" 1 Peter 5:5 - 7.  Peter expressed 4 very important thoughts.  And he combined them for a reason.  Let us look at each:

  1. "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another."  Peter's expression "clothe yourselves with humility" referred to a white scarf or apron typically worn by servants.  Did you get that?  We are called to be servants, not celebrities!  "All" let us know we all stand on an equal footing before the cross.
  2. "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble."  Those who are self-centered find themselves at odds with God, while the humble enjoy His blessings.
  3. "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time."  The phrase "The mighty hand of God" is used in Scripture to symbolize 2 things: God's hand of discipline, and His hand of deliverance.  And you need both.  So submit to His discipline today and you will experience His deliverance.
  4. "Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."  Peter addresses the core issue - worry that if we do not look out for ourselves nobody else will.  But if we really believe that God "cares for us," we need not worry about serving our own interests.  We can focus on the needs of others, confident that God will spare nothing when it comes to meeting our needs.