Saturday, October 31, 2009

Keep Working

Jesus heard Lazarus was dead, yet he waited two days before going to Judea. Jesus finally arrived at Lazarus’ tomb four days after his death. Martha informs Jesus that if he had been present when Lazarus was sick, his death could have been prevented at the time. We know the story: Jesus brought Lazarus back to life. Jesus desired for God to be glorified with the raising of Lazarus from death.

Do you question Jesus’ care of you and your family when prayer answers are delayed? As a child I recall being rather hungry from farm work, ready to eat now. I typically “only” ate three to four big pancakes for breakfast. Innumerable times I entered the west porch of our farmhouse, then opening the house door from inside the porch, sticking my head in the kitchen-asking mom if dinner is ready. She always replied that dinner would be ready at noon.

She then instructed me to look at the clock on the east wall, often it displayed between 11:00 AM and 11:30 AM. I struggled to believe I could continue working another thirty to sixty minutes without food. Mom insisted I wait, knowing I would survive in spite of my child’s mind doubts. At times, I received a piece of bread and butter for sustenance. Fortunately, the delicious and filling dinner was always ready at noon as promised.

Mary, Martha, and we respond this way with our prayers. Just as I strongly desired food at the moment of request, believing I am unable to continue on without food: we insist on Jesus answering our prayers immediately. They believed Jesus needed to be with Lazarus before his earthly death. My mother knew I would survive without dinner for another thirty to sixty minutes; a mealtime of noon coincided with her cooking plans and my dad’s work plans. Jesus waited two days to travel to Judea for Lazarus and often waits to provide an answer to us based on the plans of he and the Father in Heaven.

Jesus brought Lazarus back to life as Martha requested and correlating with the Father’s plan. Today Jesus rarely revives our loved ones from their physical death. However, if our dreams and goals correlating with the Father’s will seem ‘dead’ to us in waiting; Jesus will bring these dreams and desires to life in the proper time.

While I waited for dinner, I could see a clock, knowing how much longer the wait endured. Jesus does not provide us with an exact date and time of his answering. Since we continue to work despite our hunger knowing our mother will feed us as promised, we too must continue our work knowing Jesus will feed us with answered prayers at his appropriate time. Let us pray and continue our work in faith. He awakened Lazarus from the bodily death: What can Jesus do with your long awaited dreams and goals? He desires Glory for the Father in your life too!

Keep the Faith: Walk with Christ, Talk with Christ, Achieve with Christ!

Make it a Great Day!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Constructing Achievements

In September 2006, I had the privilege of visiting friends in Washington State. Doug and Gaylene live north of the Columbia River, about 50 miles south of Canada. Doug retired from his logging business and now ranches in the Colville National Forrest. Geologist state Ice Age glaciers in excess of 10,000 years ago initially molded this National Forest’s 1.1 million acres. Fred Flinstone’s unwillingness to “go green” must have caused the glaciers to melt.

Doug added a lean-to on his barn for hay storage. The process began as a germinating tree seeds in the forest, over many years these seeds receive the necessary sunlight, fertility, and water: eventually growing into a mature trees. Doug identifies these trees as healthy, and mature; then cuts them down for lumber. I do not know the precise process and timeline as the trees are debarked, cure, and dry. Before boards formed from the logs, a vision for use is determined. Boards are cut into various sizes (2 x 6s and 2 x 4s, etc) based on the requirements for the desired building. Board length also varies depending on the log, and where on the log the boards are cut.

The lumber is now dry, the warped boards are tossed into a separate pile of discarded lumber; the building begins. The process remains challenging and incomplete. The boards must now be selected in the proper order and appropriately placed based upon the building’s design and surroundings. An errantly placed board hinders the entire building. The boards are now properly and securely placed, a building now stands.

The process from seeds to building is long and tedious, with the finished product lacking any resemblance to the seeds or trees of origin. However, without the seed, soil, fertility, and sunlight, and curing the building would remain absent.

Constructing achievements is similar. We commence with a seed, a thought, an idea. We plant this ‘seed’ in scripture, fertilizing it with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding; and watered with encouragement and guidance from the Holy Spirit, including our friends filled with the Holy Spirit. These ideas, or thoughts, grow until ready for construction to begin, the warped ideas are permanently tossed out of our mind. We then must mold these ideas into various shapes and sizes, allowing proper ‘curing’. Then diligently choosing the right ideas and implementing these ideas with prudence. The process is often long and tedious, the wait and effort is worth it as we view the final product as a great achievement. This achievement may have little resemblance to the ideas as they were growing and first harvested. The proper curing and placement are necessary.

Trees ranging from seed to mature populate a forest, and loggers have lumber in all stages. Carpenters begin a project either during or immediately following the completion of one. We too are wise to have perpetual seeds of ideas germinating and growing in our mind while we construct current achievements. Just as a healthy forest needs rain and fertility, we too must remain in scripture, prayer and Spirit filled friends.

Talk with Christ, Walk with Christ, Achieve with Christ.

Make it a Great Day in Christ!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do not Compare yourself to others....

“Do not Compare yourself to other People as their Standards may be too low.” ~ Congo

Last Friday I attended, as a spectator, the Nebraska State cross country meet at the Kearney Country Club. I have attended numerous meets on this course, including the 1994 NCAA Div II Regional and National Championships.

Frequently, coaches and fans encourage runners to get out fast with the leaders. For those who are physically able, starting fast is a fine strategy. Many have blamed poor finishes on “going out too slow.” They believe that a slower start condemns runners to remain in the back of the pack, unable to pass a significant amount of runners enabling a march to the front; resulting in a poor finish. However, believing a slow start nearly guarantees a slow finish is a fallacy. How do we define “fast” and “slow” starts? These terms are relative to the competition and a runner’s level of fitness.

Both of our state championship runs at Manhattan, on a two-mile course, our teams began near the back. A quarter of a mile into the 1983 championship race, our seven runners were among the last ten in the race. Two of our runners finished fourth and ninth, we won the team championship. Yet my friends on Friday said this strategy is unsuccessful. A year later, we once again started the race slow compared to the competition. We won the championship again with our first five runners scoring 54 points.

Congo taught us to continually drive forward, not comparing ourselves to other people. Many runners are content to run with those around them. Consequently, if they start slowly they just run with the slow runners.

This is similar to life, we are free to move up, and we are encouraged to run as hard as we can in the middle of life’s race, instead of just hanging with those preferring a slower pace. We should give everything we have as we near the finish. The elderly may not lack the physical stamina they once possessed, however they should share their wisdom with the younger generations with all of the energy they possess.

In racing and life, your start does not determine your finish. Trust in our Lord, he will enable you to increase your pace throughout life.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Upcoming - Wisdom of Elderly

How many of us learn a great deal of wisdom from our parents, grandparents and others one, two, or three generations ahead of our own? I attained a great deal of wisdom from my grandparents in their final years and months. Under Obama's proposed health care plan these grandparents would have been left for dead,told to, "take a pain pill." I would have missed out on the attained wisdom. Obama and liberals in Congress intend to allow the 'eldery' die to 'save money' and lessen opportunities for wisdom to be passed to younger generations.

More to come later today.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pray for Friends

“After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10 (NIV)

Typically when we study the story of Job we observe Job’s wealth and righteousness; the loss of his family, wealth, and health; and finally the doubling of his wealth. The dialogue between God, Job, and his friends is certainly great opportunity for discussion as well.

However, we miss critical words at the beginning of the above sentence: “After Job had prayed for his friends.” Despite enduring suffering and torture beyond our imagination, and being ‘put in his place’ by God; he was not immediately blessed with: “twice as much as he had before.”
God richly blessed Job after Job prayed for his friends!

This correlates with the second greatest commandment indentified by Christ: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” When we love our fellow man, desiring their righteous success as much as our own success; we fervently pray God pour blessings on them. Christ prayed for our betterment through God’s Will as he contemplated his crucifixion.

Is it okay to pray for the fulfillment of our own desires? Yes! Jesus says we have not because we ask not; and to “ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” The Bible explains this is done to glorify our Heavenly Father.

However, when we pray for our friends first, God blesses us with twice as much as before. Perhaps this exponential blessing will be monetary, emotional or spiritual. The Bible does explain the details of how Job’s wealth was restored, since the blessings included ten children we can be reasonably certain this did not occur instantly. Would you agree we may reasonably presume Job worked with diligence, prudence, sweat, and wisdom?

Pray for your friends, and respond in faith with God given diligence, prudence, sweat, and wisdom!

I pray each of my friends are receive Godly blessings of Love, Forgivenss, Faith, Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding exceeding their imaginations.

Make it a Great Day in Christ!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Passion and Relationships

Occasionally, I struggle to write: shoring up stories and points in a book I am finishing. Conversely, when an idea will aid a friend, I quickly share this idea. I am eager to offer friends value: I love to win! ‘Winning’ is achieving greatness through Christ.

Why the contrast in writing efforts?

When I view writing as a 'task’, or just going 'through the motions,’ ideas are logged jammed. Water held by logjams can become stale, as can our mind. Failing to visualize individuals benefiting from my ideas and stories creates a logged jammed mind. Log of selfishness jam deire and creativity. Who desires a stale mind?

Speaking and writing to inspire greater achievements in any endeavor for societal betterment is my passion. I write best when visualizing the personalized benefit, seeing specific people reaping rewards from the message. This includes visually reflecting back on the vast array of individuals offering gratitude for an idea that enhanced their lives. Passionately assisting in the betterment of others’ lives enables me to write with passion!

What about your profession, do you become lulled into completing 'tasks,' satisfying a boss, board of directors, or a deadline, instead of specific individuals of end users? You continue to perform well, but perhaps lack the passion necessary to prevent logjams. How do you avoid this quandary?

Visualize, incorporating all five senses if possible, a family's improved relationships because of your product or service. Inquire of your profession: “How will my task, my product, or service enhance a person’s relationships with the Lord, along with their family, and friends?”

Manufacturing a wheel bearing may appear mundane compared to a UPS driver delivering a favorite Christmas present. How would the UPS driver deliver the present efficiently without wheel bearings in his vehicle? Brad is a UPS manager and a terrific runner, but his running efficiency is dwarfed compared to those in delivery trucks.

Holy Spirit assignments empower relationships. Let this relationship enhancing passion empower you to great achievements, glorifying our Lord.

Make it a Great Day in Christ!
Rick Meyer Speaking