BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women

Archive for October, 2002

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

QUESTIONS COUPLES CAN ASK EACH OTHER TO HELP IMPROVE THEIR MARRIAGE:

 

 

A word of caution: As you proceed through these questions with each other, keep in mind that the tongue has the power of life and death (Pro. 18:21) So choose and use your words carefully!

When do you find me most irresistibly attractive?

At the heart of many of the worlds love stories is an obstacle something that threatens to keep the lovers apart. What have been our obstacles? Have they increased or decreased our passion for one another?

Excluding touch, what is it about me that brings you the most pleasure?

Researchers believe that a primary cause of stress is things left incomplete in a persons life the more things left incomplete, the more stress. What are the incompletes in our life together that are causing you stress?

Where do we need more originality in our marriage? In what ways could this add sparkle and jazz?

If you were to write one golden rule for a happy, healthy marriage, what would this rule be?

Where are you most tempted to want to change me? Why? How does this impact our relationship?

What are at least three things that have a potential of becoming a wedge between us? In what ways can we protect our marriage from these wedges?

When do you feel most supported by me? When do you feel most respected by me?

When do you feel most listened to by me? Describe a recent time when you felt this. When do you feel least listened to by me?

When do you feel most cherished by me? When is it that you feel least cherish by me?

What are three things you need to hear me express more often?

How do we establish priorities for our marriage? What are your top five priorities for us?

What is the greatest rival you have to fend off to attain the kind of loving relationship with me you

desire?

What are your expectations about a marriage partner that I am not fulfilling? In what ways are these expectations realistic or unrealistic? How essential are they to having a happy, fulfilling marriage?

+Questions drawn from 201 Great Questions for Married Couples, Jerry D. Jones, NavPress

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

SEVEN GUIDELINES IN HELPING YOU DETERMINE THE WILL OF GOD+

 

Discerning the will of God can, at times be a bit daunting. No wonder Solomon proclaimed, A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way? (Pro. 20:24) (See Pro. 16:9)

#1 BE SURE YOU ARE OBEYING THE KNOWN WILL OF GOD

 

For example: It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immoralityGive thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thes. 4:3;5:18) (Also consider I Pet. 3:17; 4:19; 5:2, and Matt. 22:37-39)

#2 SURRENDER TO THE POINT OF BEING WILLING TO DO ANYTHING HE SAYS

Going a little farther, [Christ] fell with his face to the ground and prayed, My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus (Matt. 26:39; Phil. 2:5) (See Lk. 9:23, 24; 14:26-33; Jn. 12:25,26)

#3 SEEK GODS WILL BASED ON PRINCIPLES FOUND IN HIS WORD

 

His guidance will never be contrary to His word. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my pathDirect my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. (Psa. 119:105,133)

#4 WATCH FOR PROVIDENTIAL CURCUMSTANCES.

If they align with his Word, give them careful consideration. God gave you a lot of leading, when He gave you a head. (Dawson Trautman)

#5 ASK GOD TO REVEAL HIS WILL

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to alland it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubtsshould not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. (Jms. 1:5-8 – excerpts )

#6 INNER PEACE

 

Through prayer, the study of the Word and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgement according to the best of my ability and knowledge. If my mind is at peace and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly. I have found this method always effective in trivial or important decisions. (George Mueller)

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts (Col. 3:15a) (See Psa. 29:11; Isa. 26:3; Jn.14:27; 16:33;

Rom.15:13)

#7 GODLY COUNSEL

 

Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidanceBlessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked (Pro. 20:18; Ps. 1:1b) (See Pro. 11:14; 15:22)

+ A number of these ideas are drawn/adapted from the pen of George Mueller +

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

TEN CHARACTERISTICS OF ENTREPRENEURS (Continued)+

In the last two issues, we have considered six characteristics: #1 Recognizes/takes advantage of opportunities; #2 Resourceful; #3 Creative, #4 Independent thinking, #5 Hard worker, #6 Optimistic.

#7 INNOVATOR

 

When Akio Morita of Japan dreamed up the idea of fastening a small hand held transistor radio to ones waist or head, the Walkman radio was born and the Sony Corporation was thrust into a worldwide market. Morita demonstrated the fact that one man can completely change the character of a country, and the industry of its people, by dropping a single seed in fertile soil. (John Gifford)

When Christ gave us the Great Commission, he left the means of execution to our innovative capabilities. (Matt. 28:18-20).

Question: Are you coming up with imaginative ideas on how to win your lost friends and associates to Christ; on how to excel in your career?

#8 RISK-TAKER

 

General Dwight Eisenhower was a risk-taker in mobilizing the largest movement of men and equipment in the history of warfare – the Allied troops at Normandy during World War II. Uncertain weather patterns threatened havoc, forcing Eisenhowers hand in making a courageous decision to execute the invasion.

God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Tim. 1:7)

Question: Are you by faith, willing to move past your fears to trusting God with decisions that involve risk?

#9 VISIONARY

 

In 1990, Bill McCartney, a university football coach, visualized athletic stadiums across America packed with men receiving spiritual help, and singing praises to God. Thus, Promise Keepers came into existence.

 

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

Question: Do you have a vision for your life that is larger than yourself, and that demands faith and sacrifice?

#10 LEADERSHIP

 

Over five decades Billy Graham changed the face of Christianity in the 20th Century by mobilizing thousands of leaders around the world to help him preach the Gospel in almost every quarter of the globe. Napoleon Bonaparte once observed, A leader is a dealer in hope. Certainly that has been true of Billy Graham.

You became our followers and the Lord’s (IThes. 1:6)

 

Question: If God has endowed you with the ability to lead, are you utilizing your gift for His glory, or yours?

+According to a survey by Ernst and Young in collaboration with Roper Starch Worldwide

Wednesday, October 9, 2002

TEN CHARACTERISTICS OF ENTREPRENEURS (Continued)+

 

Last week we considered three characteristics: #1 Recognizes/takes advantage of opportunities, #2 Resourceful, #3 Creative.

 

#4 INDEPENDENT THINKING

 

In the early 1920s a German Jew named Albert Einstein challenged almost 300 years of commonly accepted Newtonian physics with the theory of relativity. This discovery played a major role in catapulting the 20th Century into an unprecedented era that exploded with scientific discoveries.

The Berean believers were commended for their healthy, independent thinking,

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Act. 17:11)

 

Question: Are you willing to step outside the norm and think in new realms?

 

#5 HARD WORKER

Thomas Edison, who gave the world a myriad of modern conveniences, commented, Genius is ninety-nine percent perspiration and 1% inspiration. It took him ten thousand tries to find the right materials for the incandescent light bulb.

What pity [Jesus] felt for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know what to do or where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd. The harvest is so great, and the workers are so few, he told his disciples. (Matt. 9:36-38 Living excerpts) The term worker here connotes the idea of a toiler-teacher.

 

Question: In your efforts to build the Kingdom of God, and complete your calling, are you toiling, or dabbling?

#6 OPTIMISTIC

 

Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Roosevelt stood before Congress and declared, We have nothing to fear, but fear itself. Upon the heels of that statement of courageous optimism, Americas industries were converted into a massive war effort that eventually crushed Hitler and the Axis powers.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:13)

 

Question: The future is as bright as the promises of God. Are you demonstrating that assertion to be true?

To be continued next week.

+According to a survey by Ernst and Young in collaboration with Roper Starch Worldwide

Wednesday, October 2, 2002

TEN CHARACTERISTICS OF ENTREPRENEURS+

#1 RECOGNIZES/TAKES ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES+

 

In the mid1980s a teenager named Seven Jobs came up with the radical idea that every home should have a personal computer (PC). Apple Computer and the modern phenomena of cyberspace was born.

Opportunities abound for the child of God to further the Fathers Kingdom, if he will but recognize them,

Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. (Jn. 4:35)

Question: Are you alert in spotting the ubiquitous opportunities for advancing the Kingdom of God and fulfilling your calling?

#2 RESOURCEFUL

 

Back in the 1930s Bill Hewlett, and David Packard, working out of a garage in Palo Alto, California, USA, cobbled together their meager resources, mobilized their massive ingenuity, and give birth to a company that has significantly contributed to much of the electronic wizardry we take for granted today.

It is Gods intention that we utilize to the best of our ability the resources He has placed at our disposal,

"A noblemancalled together ten assistants and gave them each $2,000 to invest while he was goneUpon his return he called in the mento find out what they had done with [the money], and what their profits wereThe first man reported a tremendous gain–ten times as much as the original amount! ‘Fine!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good man. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, and as your reward, you shall be governor of ten cities.’ (Lk. 9:9-31 excerpts)

 

Question: Are you fully employing your God-given assets in fulfilling His calling on your life?

 

#3 CREATIVE

 

Martha Stewart, through her writing and television program, has become a treasure trove of creative ideas for millions of homemakers.

The Scriptures speak of Gods creative nature, which He has passed on to us,

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earthThen God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness" (Gen. 1:1;1:26a)

Question: Are you applying your God-given creativity to carry out His calling on your life and work?

 

To be continued next week.

+According to a survey by Ernst and Young in collaboration with Roper Starch Worldwide