Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

What are you Thankful for?


This list of my thanks lacks order of significance or priority, as most—perhaps all—intertwine directly or indirectly with one another,. I am Thankful for:


  • Eternal Salvation through Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, forgiving for my sin and any who believe in Him as their Savior
  • Relationship with the Holy Spirit who convicts my heart and conscience and guide my thoughts as He deems appropriate
  • Ability to Love
  • Ability to Forgive
  • Ability to Recognize God's hand, and presence in many circumstances—certainly still room to improve.
  • Gratitude
  • Joy
  • Mercy
  • God's Sovereignty
  • God's Provision
  • God's Protection
  • Prayer
  • Parents
  • Mom marrying Elliott last year—five years after Dad's death
  • Grandparents—even though they are no longer alive
  • Nephews—Cooper went straight to Heaven, he was sent for a short mission
  • Uncles
  • Aunts
  • Cousins
  • Friends
  • Mentors
  • Past Family Thanksgiving Dinners
  • Intense Laughter at Thanksgiving Dinners, and virtually all Family Dinners
  • Improved and inexpensive communication provided by advancing technology
  • Opportunity to study at Dallas Theological Seminary, with the great faculty and fellow students
  • Men's Bible Study group @ PCBC
  • Ability to Run
  • Great Coaches, Teammates, and Training Partners who challenged and continue challenging me over the years
  • Dallas Running Project
  • TTH
  • Clothing
  • Food
  • Bed
  • Shelter
  • Automobile
  • Ability to Read
  • Ability to Speak
  • Ability to Win Speaking Contests
  • Growing-up on Farm
  • Growing-up along a River
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Ability to Taste
  • Ability to Smell—most of the time J
  • Ability to Touch
  • Beta Sigma Psi National Lutheran Fraternity
  • The opportunity to serve numerous organizations
  • Health—Sick < 11 days cumulative in the last twenty-three years.
  • The plans God has for me that are not yet revealed
  • Wisdom from the Holy Spirit
  • Faith

Obviously many specific people and additional items of gratitude fall under each of these categories, and I am most likely inadvertently omitting something and/or someone(s).


See Christ, Believe Christ, Achieve with Christ!



Rick E. Meyer

See, Believe, Achieve Inc.




























Friday, November 16, 2012

Champions vs. Whiners

Food for Thought:

Champions win, whiners justify.  ~ Rick E. Meyer

Rick E. Meyer
See, Believe, Achieve Inc.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Leadership Observations in the Life of Nehemiah

  1. Nehemiah consulted with his brothers and other men from Judah (1:2)

Leaders consult with peers, which may include family.

2. Nehemiah inquired of the Jews who escaped and survived captivity and Jerusalem (1:2)

Leaders are concerned of others well-being.

Leaders are concerned about foundational and symbolic cities and/or geography.

Leaders are cognizant of other's circumstances—(surviving and escaping).

3. Nehemiah learned of the wall of Jerusalem being broken and its gates burned. He wept, mourned, fasted and prayed for days before God (1:3-5)

Leaders understand the significance of physical structures:

  1. Spiritual – The wall in those days signified the strength of one's god. Thus a destroyed and burnt wall reflected poorly upon God.

  2. Geographical

  3. Societal

  4. Political

  5. Emotional

  6. Relational

Leaders wholly, authentically invest themselves in others' lives—weeping and mourning for days

Leaders submit themselves to God (Nehemiah uses your servant (NASB) eight times in the first chapter in referring to himself, the Jews and Moses)

Leaders pray to God

Leaders fast before God

Leaders seek God in recognizing, acknowledging, and speaking God's awesomeness

  1. Nehemiah reminds God of His covenant and loving kindness for those obedient to Him (1:6)

Leaders understand the consequences of disobedience to God.

Leaders understand the significance of obedience to God.

Leaders seek God's attention when praying

Leaders Know God's Word, and Character--as much as humanly possible--which is a lifelong, perpetual gaining and growing.

  1. Nehemiah confesses sins of sons of Israel and himself (1:6-10)

Leaders confess personal sins

Leaders confess corporal sins

  1. Nehemiah approaches the King, and was afraid (2:2-3)

Leaders appropriately acknowledge their fears

Leaders appropriately avoid confessing their fears, unless and until necessary.

Leaders are honest, even when honesty could result in ridicule or death from the superior (in this specific case, the King).

Leaders are humble and respectful before their superiors.

  1. Nehemiah prays to God while conversing with King Artaxerxes (2:3-5).

Leaders humble themselves before the Lord (James 4:17)

Leaders recognize and acknowledge human inadequacy apart from God.

Leaders rely on God

Leaders inquire of opportunity

Leaders oppose those who oppose God

Leaders are bold

  1. Nehemiah responds to the Kings inquiries with specifics (2:6-8)

Leaders plan diligently

Leaders effectively deliver their proposal to the necessary people.

Knew and provided a definite duration of the journey

Summarization of Leadership Principles

Nehemiah serves in upper management with King Artaxerxes, as his cupbearer. Consequently, a self-centered leader would lack concern for others, especially those who lack adequacy to aid one's secular gain. Conversely, Nehemiah's God-centeredness immediately illuminates as he inquires of his brother and peers regarding the status of the Jews who survived and escaped captivity and about Jerusalem. Nehemiah deeply grieves for days over the destruction of Jerusalem's wall because of its spiritual and societal implications. He recognizes this results from disobedience to God, the vulnerability of the Jews without the wall, and the symbolism of God appearing weak to society. Nehemiah responds with fasting and prayer, along with confession of sins of him and the Jews as a whole. He pleads to God, reminding God of the covenant, including God's promised response of the Jews obedience and disobedience. Nehemiah diligent planning included prayer while speaking to the King, this also provided God's favor before the King. Nehemiah responded to the King's questions with specific plans, including the necessary approval letters of others in authority over his route to Judah. Nehemiah's leadership displays the significance of loving God, including his people (Deut. 6:5; Mt. 22:37-40). His leadership and vision relies on knowing God's word, the necessity of obedience, preparation and prayer.

Admirable skills/principles noted before engaging the King
  1. Nehemiah is concerned about the Jews and Jerusalem
    1. Nehemiah records specifics of month, year, and location of inquiry (1:1)
    2. Nehemiah consults with peers and experts (1:2).
    3. "I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped and had survived the captivity, and about Jerusalem. (1:2)
  2. Nehemiah responds to destruction and disobedience with grief for days, before God.
    1. Sat down
      1. Lack of physical strength caused from deep mourning
      2. Displays long duration of events
    2. Wept
    3. Mourned
    4. Fasting
    5. Praying
  3. Nehemiah submits to God
    1. "I beseech You, O Lord God of heaven the great and awesome God" (1:5)
    2. Acknowledges God's covenant for those who obey
    3. Seeks God's ear
    4. Confessing personal sin
    5. Confesses organizational sin
    6. Acknowledges consequences of disobedience
    7. Acknowledges God's character in stating God's past use of power and deliverance.

Admirable skills/principles noted while engaging the King
  1. Despite being afraid (2:2), Nehemiah responds with honesty
  2. Humble and respectful before the King, his earthly superior.
  3. Clearly articulates his concerns to the King
  4. Prays to God during the dialogue
  5. Specifically states his request of and desire to rebuild the Jerusalem wall
  6. Provided the King a definite time of duration for the journey
  7. Specifically requests the necessary letters of governors to allow his passage into Judah
Personal Application

Nehemiah's God-centeredness begins in this passage with him caring about the Jews who escaped and survived, as well as Jerusalem. The power of this is amplified when recognizing Nehemiah's lofty position of cupbearer for the King. Self-centeredness responds with, "Why care about others as long as I have it good?" I, like Nehemiah, need to focus on my relationship with God as this internalizes the instinctive concern of God's people and property.

Nehemiah verifies his authentic concern of the Jews, Jerusalem, and the destroyed wall's causative perception of God by responding in weeping, mourning, fasting, and praying for days. False concern(s) endures briefly at best. I strive to follow in Nehemiah's example of response by grieving and praying over the hurts of peers, and the world's perception of God's kingdom.

Additionally, I seek to follow Nehemiah's example of prayer, including confession my sins, and the sins of the organization. Nehemiah provides a terrific example of knowing current application of God's word, character, and past actions, including responses for disobedience and obedience. I also seek to follow Nehemiah's example of offering myself and the organization as servants to God.

Nehemiah's faith continues shining when confronted by the King, as he risks his ego and possibly his life in honestly answering the King regarding his sad face. I hope to continue speaking honestly in all circumstances.

Honesty has positive and negative consequences. Nehemiah powerfully shows and reminds me that the benefits of serving God with honesty far exceed any perceived false benefits of dishonesty. Nehemiah continues his Godly leadership example of being respectful of the King and silently praying during his dialogue with King Artaxerxes.

I, like Nehemiah, need to remain respectful of superiors and silently pray during conversations, especially with high stakes at risk. Nehemiah reminds me to diligently plan, have precise details ready to the best of my ability when meeting with decision makers. This includes the task's duration and any necessary documents. I will seek to boldly state, when appropriate, my desired tasks, as Nehemiah did when declaring his intention of rebuilding Jerusalem's wall.

Nehemiah encourages me, as a leader, to love God, care about others, grieve for others hurts, pray, confess personal and corporal sins, know God's word and character (as best as humanly possible), boldly and honestly face superiors with respect, continually praying during the dialogue, diligently plan, articulate details of my intentions, seek the appropriate documents, etc and praise God for the favor of his good hand on me.

In consideration of economic uncertainty and spiritual depravity, American Christians should follow Nehemiah's example of mourning, weeping, praying, fasting (if you feel so inclined), confessing of personal and national sin, remember God's word, and seek obedience to God. We, like Nehemiah, will diligently develop and implement a Godly vision and plan, serving God despite dangers, risk, inconvenience, and discomfort.

See Christ, Believe Christ, Achieve with Christ!
Rick E. Meyer
See, Believe, Achieve Inc.

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