Thursday, February 19, 2009

Give when Able

Proverbs 3: 27-28 “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor; ‘Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’ – when you now have it with you”

Imagine a hot July day, the thermometer is reading 108 degrees; a person with fresh cool drinking water is approached by someone who needs water to retain coherency, their mouth is dry, their strength wavering – this person has been working in the yard of the homeowner. Yet the homeowner refuses to give their contractor a drink. Rather he says, “Come back later, then I will give you a drink.” Unfortunately, we frequently see this occur.

Perhaps an employer withholds a paycheck from a contractor or employee. A boss refuses to give a promotion; an employee refuses to give their employer their best effort. Possibly a professor withholds a worthy grade. Numerous scenarios are applicable.

We are to give our best to those God places in our lives in a fair and just manner. Obviously, giving more than deserved can promote complacency, depending on the heart of the receiver.
Equally, who is more deserving of our Praise, Worship, Tithes and Offerings than God?

As Jesus says in one parable, whatever we do to the least of these we do to Him. Your generosity and fairness is recognized and rewarded by God our Father, Christ our King, and the Holy Spirit our Comforter.

Make it a Great Day in Christ!

Rick Meyer Speaking

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vision & Focus

Without a vision, the people perish!

It was Angela’s first week at a major University; she arrived from her hometown of a population of about 500. Through intense, diligent studying, Angela earned all, or nearly all A’s through her high school graduation. In K-Town, where she grew up, she knew everyone in her grade, as well as those in the grades directly above and below.

Angela now sat in an auditorium with 1,011 other students for first year Chemistry. This was twice the entire population of K-Town; or as she illustrates, everyone in town and their pets. Angela knew no one, no one knew her. Have you ever felt alone, knowing no one in your new environment? They were simply a distraction to her. How did shy, small-town girl, Angela overcome this situation? Angela says, “I sat in the front of the class where I could clearly see the professor, and a few people around me. By keeping my focus on the front, I became oblivious to the thousand plus strangers sitting behind me.” Angela kept her focus, her vision, on the leader of the class, the professor. She sought to learn and understand the message of the professor.

You and I can learn a great deal from Angela’s transformation and adaptation from a small Kansas town to a major University. Where should we place our vision, our focus? Just as Angela placed hers on the leader of the class, should you and I place ours on the leader of our lives – Jesus Christ? When we place our focus on Christ we too will become oblivious of all the intimidating circumstances surrounding us. We will seek to learn and understand the words, the message, of Christ.

Yes, Angela survived that first week, first year, and first degree. Today Angela continues to practice as a Medical Doctor (M.D.); she attained a vision and kept her focus on those who assisted her achievements. Most importantly, Angela has kept her life-long focus on Christ, enabling her to remain calm in life’s storms. We all have storms in life, don’t we?

I invite you to follow Angela’s example, focus on Christ rather than the distractions of over a thousand non-goal achieving items and events surrounding you.

With a Christ given Vision, Focusing on God’s Will for your life, you too will achieve great things!

Make it a Great Day in Christ!

Rick Meyer Speaking

Monday, February 16, 2009

Attitude - Time & $$$$$$

“One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.” (Proverbs 13:7)

Success is an attitude! During the three (3) year period when I continuously ran 80 to 135 miles per week, in addition to working full time, every minute was valued. If an hour existed between getting off work and my next appointment, I ran 5+ miles, showered and drove to the appointment, meeting or social event. The run took nearly 30 minutes, leaving 15 minutes to cool down, shower, dress, and be in the car. In Kearney, Nebraska at that time, every destination was within a ten (10) to fifteen (15) minute drive.

Today, I view every minute as opportunity to practice or improve a speech, writing, working on a proposal or resolve a challenge of clients.

Transforming every minute into a goal achieving activity enabled me to become a reasonably fit runner, an award winning speaker, additionally an effective professional.

Other times in life, I have viewed thirty- (30) or sixty- (60) minutes as, “not enough time to do anything worthwhile”. As you probably suspect, my productivity drastically decreases when I lessen the value of a minute.

When I believe I have all the time in the world, time slips away; leaving me with little to achieve worthwhile goals. Conversely, when I believe each minute, each second, is precious and to be engaged, when I believe time is scarce; my effectiveness and achievement exponentially increase.

Proverbs 13:7 informs us that money operates on this same principle as time. When we believe money is abundant, we carelessly waste it as we do time. Conversely, as with time, when we acknowledge the scarcity of money, valuing each penny; assuring its proper allocation, our wealth increases.

Would you agree our Lord desires us to be mentally broke with time and money; to achieve all that He has called each of us for His Glory? Success hinges on our Attitude towards the Gifts of Time and Money from Christ!

Make it a Great Day in Christ!

Rick E. Meyer Speaking

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Proverbs 8:13 – “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”

Many times in my life, whether working on the farm, running, speaking, writing, hunting or an array of other activities drawing my participation; I readily acknowledge, “Lord, I need you!” When my request originates in a humble heart, God’s presence and assistance is immediately evident. God’s presence transforms the impossible to possible; rarely the tough to easy. He desires our dependence remain on HIM. Instead of my legs collapsing, they continue in great pain.

Ashamedly there have been moments when requesting God’s assistance is self interpreted as bothersome to the Almighty God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. During a qualifying track race, I once quipped, “Lord, I can handle the mental part of this race. You just take care of the physical.” This 3200-meter run is one of the worst mental races in my life! I failed to qualify. I became prideful and arrogant. I thought I was doing God a favor by asking Him to only assist with the physical strength in running this race. I errantly believed I could handle the mental toughness equal to God. Would you vote for me as “Idiot of the Decade”?

Other times I readily confessed, “Lord, I cannot, You can, We (Christ and I) Are”. I went beyond previously known limits. One Saturday morning my training included a 14-mile run, with a 10-mile steady state in the middle. I was averaging 115 miles per week; my legs were fatigued as I began this workout. After two (2) miles of warming-up, I set the internal cruise control at 5:08 per mile through the gravel road hills a mile North of Kearney, Nebraska (These roads are now somewhat level and paved).

The first few miles were monotonous. The necessity for intense concentration trended upward as I entered the sixth mile. Lactic Acid, the chemical from fatigue causing the burning sensation in the muscles, levels had reached equilibrium. The burn was constant, but tolerable, my muscles were metabolizing the chemical nearly equal to the rate of production. Concentration trumps the desire for comfort. Where does one find the required mental capacity for concentration? “Lord, I need you!” I maintained the 5:08 per mile the entire ten (10) mile steady state run.

Perhaps other runners are able to do this without dependence on our Lord. If I have a talent, it is one of faith as opposed to physical ability.

In those moments when I relied on myself, I believed my mind is strong enough to replace the assistance of God. This is pride and arrogance! Pride and arrogance are the self-turned inward, another name for sin, believing our efforts and abilities are par with the Creator of the Universe. The bible states, “Without Faith, it is impossible to please Him (God)”.

Have you been convinced you can achieve your professional, personal, financial, recreational, and relationship goals on your own? Have you ever achieved a level of success saying, “Thank You Lord, I do not want to bother you any longer; I can do this on my own”.

God has loved me enough to allow me to be severely humbled when operating with pride and arrogance. Has He allowed the same for you? Have you, like me, received a “Pridectomy”? I give my friend, Chuck, full credit for originating this term.

We receive “Pridectomies” because God loves us, while hating pride and arrogance. The Holy Spirit reigns in our life, when we are cleansed of those things God hates. This draws us near to God, calling on Him with great ferventness in future endeavors. God created us to fellowship with Him.

Next time you are humbled, receiving a “Pridectomy”, thank Christ for loving you enough to cleanse you of pride and arrogance.

Make it a Great Day in Christ!

Rick Meyer Speaking

Monday, February 9, 2009


The tough workout had finally ended, the 10 X 1000 meter runs with an average pace of 2:48 (equivalent of a 4:30 mile) were challenging; physically and mentally. Have you had days this like this, either in your personal or professional life? The dirt trails around Cotton Mill Lake outside of Kearney, Nebraska added as dash of tranquility to the mild September afternoon. Our cool down run included running back to the UNK (University Nebraska – Kearney) Coliseum, after we gathered a few additional miles in maintaining the weekly mileage of 70 to 80.

Before entering the Coliseum, the cross country runners met across the street on the grass field to the West. On the grass, we completed various drills; seemingly having little to do with running cross country; at least to the untrained eye. Coach Claussen instructed us to move our legs in all directions as we bound, skipped, and trotted across the grass infield along U.S. Highway 30. Do ever wonder why God allows you to endure situations that seemingly have nothing to do with what you have asked God to bless you? A sign two miles West on Highway 30 indicates the half waypoint from Boston to San Francisco, 1733 miles to either coastal city. Do you ever feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere?

I was not a member of this team, rather a local agronomist who started my workday early to allow joining the cross country team for their daily practices. I knew this group of runners were good, however in September they were getting beat by the teams ranked in the nation’s top five. The guys were training and racing intelligently and intently; yet they were unable to overcome the traditional National powerhouses. Would you agree we all have those moments when fall just short of elevating our performance to compete with the best?

Snow began falling near Halloween; ice covered the streets as the UNK cross country team continued training outside. The cold, slippery environment was less than desirable. Why are they unable to train on the new indoor track? Why are we unable stay comfortable environments, physically, emotionally, and spiritually?

The NCAA Div-II championships finally arrived the Saturday before Thanksgiving 1991. The seven varsity runners and Coach Claussen flew to St. Louis; several other team members, a graduate assistant, and I rode in a van to Edwardsville, Illinois. The race began around noon. Coach Claussen and I left the hotel early Saturday morning to run the national course for our morning run. The hills were long, even steep in places; the corners were often hairpin turns. Numerous times the runners came down a long hill, turning immediately 180 degrees to run up another hill forty or fifty yards from the previous hill. This course was tough! The training run tested ones fortitude.

Finally, race time arrived! Light snow filled the air, not enough to accumulate on the ground. The teams from the East and West coast were complaining of the weather. The UNK runners had trained to endure, they knew the weather was the same for every runner on the course. The starting gun sounded, nearly 200 runners were off, many sprinting down the initial down hill. Shortly after the start Tom S. stumbled over a competitors feet; his teammates grabbed him in preventing him going down. Tom’s strong legs enable immediate continuation of the pace.

As the 10K (6.1 mile race) across the hilly rough grass course developed, the men in white over blue, with “Kearney” written across their singlet; gradually moved up in the pack. All of those seemingly useless drills of bounding, skipping, and trotting were paying off; this tortuous course mandated leg agility and strength. Bob, Tom M., Derek, and Tom S. all earned individual All-America finishing in the top 27; Joe missed it by a couple of spots after overcoming a mid-season hamstring injury. The UNK men’s cross country team finished as 1991 NCAA Div-II National Runner-Up; shocking the cross country world. The UNK men beat runners and teams whom had previously defeated them easily. These runners were not ‘blue chippers’; many had to work to earn their way through school.

Coach Lyle Claussen spent the season preparing these men for the National meet. He knew the workouts and drills would payoff, even when they made little sense to the runners.

Our life coach, Jesus, is preparing us for great achievements. He gives us workouts and drills that often seem worthless, useless, a waste of time to us. You, like them, may not be the most talented in your endeavor. When we follow, the 1991 UNK men’s cross country team’s example of discipline and obedience we too will enjoy success beyond our beliefs. You too will shock the world with your achievements in Christ Jesus.

Make it a Great Day in Christ!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Self Confidence vs. God Confidence

Proverbs 28:26 - He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

Bookstores are plenteous of books uplifting self-confidence, stating this as the key to success. Scripture, the pure Word of God, gives us a different perspective. Is any author more knowledgeable than our Lord?

Whether running a race, working on the farm, or in the office; I have become completely fatigued numerous times. You have too, right? Where do we find the strength for continuation? 

Whenever I lean on self-confidence, strength and success are fleeting. Those moments in which I am collapsing, only placing my trust in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; am I able to go on. Knowing and applying the Word of God enables our walking in wisdom.

About 17 years ago I had the flu for a couple of days. That week my boss and I were schedule to drive 140 miles to soil sample a large farm in western Nebraska, approximately 20 miles east of the Colorado border. The fields were on the south side of Interstate 80. 

As we left early that December morning, each driving a pick-up, my inner-fuel tank hovered near empty. My body ached, my mind wandered. Mark was adament in going only if I felt up to the task. In my love of healthy challenges, I said, "Let's get it done".

During the morning I kept plugging away, searching for the strength to speed up my work and to feel better. Suddenly I was reminded the source of all strength. We are to possess God-Confidence as opposed to self-confidence.

What is wisdom? How do you walk in wisdom? Previous articles on this site discuss wisdom, I will avoid repeating previous entries. Walking is wisdom is continually seeking our Lord Jesus Christ with all of our heart, soul, and mind. 

Walking in wisdom is living congruently with scripture, the story of the Christ our Savior. Do my thoughts and actions match up with God's pure word? When we find a descrepancy, we must change course immediately; setting our sights once again on Christ.

When you face challenges, seek and act with God confidence (Prov. 3:5-7). Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-23). This will result in your living prayerfully, thankfully and joyfully always (1 Thess 5:16-18). This occurs strictly because of God, rather than merit that you and I attempt to achieve or earn.

Live with God Confidence!

See Christ, Believe Christ, Achieve with Christ!


Rick E. Meyer

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Your Heart is Tested

Proverbs 17:3 - The crucible for Silver, and the furnace for Gold, but the Lord tests the heart.

In the 1990s, I trained with UNK (University of Nebraska-Kearney) cross country and track teams. The early 1990s cross country teams were stellar. They placed in NCAA Divsion II Championships 8th, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th from 1990 to 1995. Coach Claussen was given only 4 full scholarships to allocate, conversely the majority, if not all, of his competitors received 12 from their respective institutions. To place this in perspective, the football program at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln did not attempt to compete with nation's best with only one-third of the scholarships of the competition.

The 1992 team that finished third (3rd) was agrueably the best college team of American born runners in any division that season. The seasons began with the freshman often telling how good they were in high school, and an occassional person exaggerating on their summer training. The first organized training run of the year consisted of running to Cotton Mill Lake, a recreational area outside of Kearney. A nice trail connected the campus to Cotton Mill. The pace going out was moderate at best, with a great deal of laughing and joking around. Once we arrived, running the loop around the swim area, returning to the college; hold onto your hats, this was like a horse returning to the barn.

The pace quickly became intense, the 'heat' was cranked up; with the lead pack dwindling. The last two (2) miles over eager freshman, and those who exaggerated were quickly identified as they fell off the pace. A few freshman did remain over the years, they were indeed excellent runners. Covering the final two (2) miles in roughly 9:20 to 9:30 quickly displayed those whose mental and physical conditioning were pure.

Gold and silver are also tested for purity. A crucible is a melting pot, just as a furnace cranks up the heat; any impurities in the silver and gold will be revealed in intense heat. The silver and gold are tested to assure their purities.

Have you ever wondered why life is full of challenges? Have you ever questioned why God allows you to be tested continually between blessings? Foremost sin is real, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Secondly, God wants our hearts, our pure hearts.

Just as we desire pure gold and silver, our Lord desires our pure heart. The Lord places us, our hearts, in the fires of life allowing our heart to be tested, burning off any impurities. Does our heart, true desires match our talk?

Next time life 'heats up', the intensity quickly increases; know the Lord is testing your heart. Ask Him to allow the impurities to burn off; leaving only the pure heart that desires Him and His will in your life to remain. Ask Him to allow the impurities of laziness, complancency, greed, lust, gossip, envy, and deceitfulness to burnoff just as impurities are removed from silver and gold.

It is the impurities that create black, ugly smoke both in substances and in our hearts. God loves you, this is why he desires your pure heart. This is why He allows you to be tested continually. Thank Him for loving you enough to test and purify your heart.

Make it a Great Day in Christ!