Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for January, 1998

Wednesday, January 28, 1998


Good Morning!

Then consider these thirteen questions:+

  1. Have you defined the problem accurately?
  1. How would you define the problem if you stood on the other side of the fence?
  1. How did  this situation occur in the first place?
  1. Who was involved in this situation in the first place?
  1. What is your intention in making this decision?
  2. How does this intention compare with the likely results?
  1. Who could your decision or action injure?
  2. Can you engage the affected parties in a discussion of the problem before you make your decision?
  1. Are you confident that your position will be as valid over a long period as it seems now?
  2. Could you disclose without qualms your decision or action  to your boss, your CEO,   the board of directors, your family or society as a whole?
  3. What is the symbolic potential of your action if understood?
  4. Under what conditions would you allow exceptions to your stand?
  5. What would Jesus do?

“Righteousness exalts a people, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Prov. 14:34)



 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, January 21, 1998


Good Morning!

Yesterday I had coffee with a dad who excitedly told me his son was flying home from college that night  to join the family for vacation. Struck by his sense of anticipation and what obviously was an unusual “bond” between father and son, I quarried him as to how this friendship “happened.”

So he proceeded to relate how every night for 21 years he had put his son to bed, kissing and affirming him, praying with him, and talking things over,  etc.. He recounted that if his boy came in late at night, he would make a concerted effort to stay up and meet him at the door, chat with him for a little while before they both retired for the night. 

Then, in the morning, he would go into his son’s room and spend a few minutes with him as he started his day.

“The last 10 minutes of the day and the first 10 minutes in the morning are the most important in raising your kids,” he said with deep conviction. Today, this young man strongly embraces the family’s values, is doing well in school, and, along with his parents, is a sincere follower of Christ.

As I was musing over this remarkable father-son relationship, I recalled another conversation I  recently  had  with another dad, who by contrast is anguished over his estranged relationship with his 21 year old son. 

Years ago, when his offspring was but a lad,  he had “neglected” him for his career. Speaking with angst over his son’s intense contempt for him, he explained how this young man  is now punishing him  by  pursuing a  defiant life-style that includes a live-in girlfriend, and a casual approach to work and career, etc..

QUESTIONAs a father, what practical, thought-out, and consistent steps are you taking to insure the fact that you and your children are developing a healthy, inseparable bond?

We often quote Proverbs 22:6 as a guarantee that our children will turn out “right”.  Surely a concerted effort at bonding would help insure the fulfillment of this verse of Scripture:

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”



 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, January 14, 1998


Good Morning!

  1. A belief that, to meet a specific deadline or a performance goal, some corners must be cut;
  1. A lack of resources (human or otherwise) or time needed to accomplish a particular task, thereby necessitating some drastic or improper action;
  1. Peer pressure;
  1. Pressures from higher up the chain of command to produce and to get the job done no mater what;
  1. A belief that the decision or act is not really illegal or unethical;
  1. A belief that the decision or act is in the individual’s or the organization’s best interest and  thus would be condoned by others;
  1. A belief that the decision or act will never be discovered; and
  1. Fear of authority.

KEEP IN MIND that God, in His sovereignty  has placed you in your situation to demonstrate His character to people in desperate need of a model. Job’s intense announcement of his determination to maintain his integrity should serve as an encouragement:

“As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit…till I die I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it.”  (Job 27:3-6)


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, January 7, 1998


Good Morning!

  • A disintegrating marriage
  • One of our kids in serious trouble
  • A failed business venture
  • Cancer

Am I correct in hypothesizing that the more talented we are, the more difficult we find it is to depend upon God

After all, if we can “make things happen” why would we need to totally trust God?

Apparently the massively gifted St. Paul shared the same struggle, armed as he was with a pedigree background, the equivalent of two or three Ph.D’s, and political connections that would be the envy of any power broker!

So God, in His compassion disciplined Paul by bringing him to the brink:

We do not want you to be uninformed…about the hardship we suffered…We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death…

“But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God…”  (2 Cor.1:8,9)

So…if you tend toward cool-headed self-reliance that pushes God to the edge of your daily experience, hold on to your hat: Your loving Heavenly Father is committed to using or arranging  the tough circumstances of life to teach you,

not to rely on yourself  but on God.”     

Let’s just hope that the damage to ourselves and others before the turn around is not irreparable!


My prayer is that you are having a great week!