September 26, 2017

Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan. (Larry Winget, social commentator)

“Plan your work and work your plan,” they say. Sounds like a good idea, but some of us don’t like to spend the time it takes to develop a really good plan. As Winget suggests, however, failure to plan can have some really unpleasant results. So, which is better—spending time fixing up what happens without a plan or taking time to plan carefully?

Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. (Proverbs 14:22).

September 25, 2017

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. (Ken Blanchard, management expert and author)

Sometimes we may think that our authority should motivate our colleagues to accomplish their work more effectively. But, forcing people to do what we want because we have the power to do so is often an unsuccessful strategy. However, influence by persuasion, careful counsel and concern will likely accomplish more than merely exercising one’s authority.

For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. (Romans 13:4).

September 24, 2017

The immediate goal is winning on the field, but the ultimate goal is winning in life. (A paraphrase of Gil Haskell, professional football coach)

Successful athletes focus on the task at hand—win the game, defeat the opponent, capture the prize. Everything else is secondary at the moment. But, as everyone knows, there’s more to life than a particular game, race, or contest. Whatever the immediate goal, every person has to give his or her greatest effort to be a successful person in life, living to one’s fullest potential.

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1).

September 23, 2017

Effective performance is preceded by painstaking preparation. (Brian Tracy, self-development speaker/author)

Some of us long for the ability of an accomplished musician or artist. We’d like an instant infusion of talent, so we could perform right now as well as an artist we admire. Of course, life isn’t like that. Given a certain amount of natural talent, even the greatest artist has to work hard and long to achieve prominence. Every worthwhile effort requires consistent and arduous work.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. (Romans 12:6).

September 22, 2017

No great dream has ever been built on the fear of what might go wrong but rather on the hope of what might go right. (Rich Yauger, men’s leader)

Many dreams and worthy ideas have been dashed by the fear of possible mistakes and ultimate failure. We all wish that our hopes could come true without any hindrances or obstacles. No one wants things to go wrong in his or her pursuit of fulfilling a dream. In reality, of course, we can learn and improve by encountering and overcoming setbacks. Do not fear them!

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

September 21, 2017

Vision is the ability to see people, places and things, not just the way they are, but the way they could be. (Sam Adeyemi, pastor)

We might think of a pessimist as a person who sees things as less than they really are, an optimist as one who sees things as he wishes they were, and a realist who sees things as they really are. In that same vein, then, perhaps a visionary is the one, as Adeyemi suggests, who sees things as they could be. Which of these are you? Which would you really like to be?

Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).

September 20, 2017

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. (Joshua J. Marine, author)

When you are faced with a challenge—perhaps an obstacle in your planned path, how do you respond? Some become discouraged; maybe they even give up altogether. The brave people who face the challenge head-on, no matter how difficult, most often are the leaders who win over such difficulties and discover that life has become more interesting and rewarding.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart (Proverbs 17:3). Consider it pure joy . . . whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2-3).

September 19, 2017

You have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate. (Jeff Bogue, pastor)

It’s generally thought that people don’t like change. The older you are, the more likely it is that you will resist change. Leaders with new ideas often have to face that reluctance; they come to understand that it is part of progress—to expect that their ideas will be resisted by some. It takes a good bit of courage and “thick skin,” maybe, to bring helpful change.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind (Romans 15:5).

September 18, 2017

I wrote some of the worst poetry west from the Mississippi River, but I wrote. And I finally sometimes got it right. (Maya Angelou, 20th & 21st centuries American poet)

Very few artists achieve instant success and fame. A writer may produce numerous short stories, novels, or poems, before he or she is ever published. What makes them successful, in addition to their great creative talent, is their perseverance and an attitude that seems to say, “Never give up!”

Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded (2 Chronicles 15:7).

September 17, 2017

God permits what He hates to accomplish what He loves. (Joni Eareckson Tada, radio host)

“Why do bad things happen to good people?” Books have been written on this subject, but here is an answer that is succinct and enlightening. Paralyzed from a diving accident in her youth, Tada has had long experience as a quadriplegic, and she passes along the meaningful conclusion quoted above. God hates pain but often uses it to achieve good results in our lives.

In all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).