BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for December, 2002

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

TELLING IT LIKE IT IS:

 

In our convoluted world of excuse making and blame casting the mother of all no fault societies – we have:+

Ridiculed the absolute truth of Gods Word and called it pluralism;

Worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism;

Endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle;

Exploited the poor and called it the lottery;

Neglected the needy and called it self-preservation;

Rewarded laziness and called it welfare;

Killed our unborn and called it choice;

Shot abortionists and called it justice;

Neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem;

Abused power and called it political savvy;

Coveted our neighbors possessions and called it ambition;

Polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression;

Ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

 

As a people, surely we are under His indictment: Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness (Isa.5:20a)

If you, as a professed follower of Christ are living Biblically, you are an affront to your non-Christian associates. They dont like what you stand for. Your values, focus and application of Biblical truth angers and annoys them: Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Tim. 3:12)

When my new neighbor found out I was a follower of Christ, his immediate reaction was, You and I may have some problems. (My determined purpose is to say less and love more Such as helping him this morning dig out a leaky water main. And hey! It is working!)

QUESTION: Are you a cultural Christian or a Biblical Christian? Are your values, world-view, judgments, heart-involvement and lifestyle in line with Biblical truth or have you allowed the allurement or pressure of the world to bend your values to conform to its seductive powers? Dont let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within (Rom.12:2a Phillips)

+Adapted from a prayer given by Pastor Joe Wright of Central Christian Church, Wichita, Kansas, USA, at the opening prayer of the Kansas State Senate, January 23, 1996

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST, I HAVE TWO OPTIONS AS TO HOW I WILL LIVE MY LIFE:+

 

#1 By the clock – That is, manage my life by such external forces as my

 

Commitments

Appointments

Schedule

Goals

Activities

 

#2 By the compass – That is, lead my life by such internal values as my

 

Calling

Vision

Values

Mission

Direction

 

Our struggles come when we sense a gap between the clock and the compass; when what we do doesnt contribute to the values we hold most dear. To help determine whether you are a slave to the clock or are guided by the compass, take a few minutes to prayerfully evaluate and answer the following questions:

What is my calling in life?

What is my vision?

What are my core values?

What is my mission in life?

What is my direction?

Can I defend how I answered the above questions Biblically?

It is Gods intention that we are guided primarily by our inner compass when it is based on the leading of the Spirit in accordance with the truth and authority of Gods word:

Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposely and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. (Eph.5:15-17 Amp.

 

QUESTION: If your life is managed primarily by the clock, rather than led by the compass, what changes do you need to make at this time?

+Key thoughts adapted from First Things First Steven Covey, Simon & Schuster

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

FOUR ACTIONS MEN TAKE TO KILL COMMUNICATION IN THEIR MARRIAGE:+

#1 WITHDRAW: That is, they,

Try to avoid the conflict by pulling away.

Turn off.

View their wifes comments as nagging.

#2 ESCALATE the conflict, rather than try to resolve it. They,

Get angry or defensive.

Turn negative, telling their wife her comments are nagging.

#3 INVALIDATE their wife by,

Putting her down.

Engaging in name calling or character assassination.

 

#4 INTERPRET the situation negatively. That is, they,

Tend to read more into the issue than was intended.

See what they expect to see in their wife.

This is not the way God intends for us to live as couples, Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. (I Pet.3:8a-11)

FOUR ACTIONS MEN CAN TAKE TO HELP RE-ESTABLISH MARITAL COMMUNICATION:

 

#1 CALL A TIME OUT:

 

Wait until both parties have cooled down before broaching difficult issues.

Schedule the discussion of hot topics apart from meaningful family times together.

#2 CARVE OUT FUN TIMES where both parties agree to refrain from known areas of conflict.

#3 LEARN HOW TO LISTEN:

 

Practice James 1:19, Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

Develop the discipline of allowing one person to speak at a time until they are finished.

Learn how to ask questions for clarification.

#4 DEVELOP A CONSTITUTION or CONTRACT that will allow the two parties to come to an agreement on basic ground rules as to how they are going to function as a couple.

+Main ideas drawn from a radio broadcast of Focus on the Family in late 1999