Sunday, August 26, 2012

In 1979, interviewers asked new graduates from the Harvard’s MBA Program and found that :
  • 84% had no specific goals at all
  • 13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
  • 3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them
In 1989, the interviewers again interviewed the graduates of that class.  You can guess the results:
  • The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all.
  • Even more staggering – the three percent who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.

It becomes obvious he who has no plans to succeed indeed plans to fail.  Though we are unable to see God's initial blue prints, there is evidence that God is a detailed planner.  Being the guiding author of the Bible, this book shows these plans in a stunning manner; the orchestration of creation, the redemption, the end of the world and the world made new.  The four gospels also direct us to the life of Christ here on earth where 'he rose up early in the morning to pray.'  This was his time to meet with his father to plan his day.

Successful people have used this principle to get as much done as possible in their daily lives.  I recently read Donald Trump's book: TRUMP - The Art Of The Deal, where he outlined 'a week in the life' of Trump.  This first chapter of the book gives the reader a picture of his daily routine for a week by the hour.  Under close examination his daily routine is no different from the average individual except for the fact 'he schedules his a time for everything he does within that hour."  Neither does he spend endless hours of the day playing video games or watching television. He has a multi-billion dollar business to run and carefully guards every second of his time.  Donald Trump's day is not longer or shorter than ours.  It consists of twenty four hours like everyone else.  The difference is he plans his daily routine as God does.

God wants us to plan our lives.  Time is limited and once it is gone we can not get it back.  I was often told time is money so treat it well.  Is it no wonder time and money is the two things we steal from God (we will get to that topic in the future).

If you wish to be successful and fulfilled ask God for instruction.  How do we do this?  Start by praying.  Take time out of your day for self-examination.  Ask God what are his plans for you.  With a pen and paper handy, listen for the answer.  Be patient as in some cases the answer may not come immediately but do not give up.  He is an on time God and will respond.  His answer may not come the way you are expecting it however, if you trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding ........ he will show you the way. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

From The Abundance Of The Heart

     Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
     Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
     Nicodemus being a Pharisee, was very intelligent.  He was educated and had political 'clout', yet he was moved by the words and deeds of one whom it was perceived to be a high school drop out.  Who were his teachers; a simple house-wife and a carpenter who themselves knew only the basics of academics.  Yet Jesus spoke with power and conviction.   
     Burning with the desire to find the secret to success without arousing suspicion, Nicodemus left his comfort zone and by night went to see Jesus.  "What is the secret to success and a fulfilled life?" he asked the great teacher.  "Change your way of thinking," was the response.

Nicodemus and Jesus

     Today, many people are longing for a better way of life.  One of happiness, a sense of purpose, safety and a sense of belonging.  How can they achieve this dream they ask?  The answer is simple - change your way of thinking.
     Eighty percent of success is mental.  "As a man thinks in his heart, so he becomes," writes the Psalmist David.  If you want something badly enough, you will achieve it.  It calls for discipline, planning, faith and hard work.  Too many individuals wish to have the result without putting in the effort.  God says 'by the sweat of your brow you will eat bread', in addition the son says for anything you ask of my father in my name you shall receive.  This is not an empty promise, neither is it one that encourages entitlement.  If we persevere in faith and move out of our comfort zone we will reap the rewards.
     Seeing the startled look on the face of Nicodemus, Jesus said, “You are Israel’s teacher and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.  I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
     Too many people view the gift of God (success) as something which is difficult to achieve and give themselves excuses why it can not be attained.  This limits the effectiveness of God to work in their lives.    Let's not therefore limit our thinking as Nicodemus did.  God wants us to see things his way as he is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.