Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for August, 1998

Wednesday, August 26, 1998


Good Morning!

Whatever happens, I can trust God, realizing He is using life’s circumstances to  conform me into Christlikeness:

“…We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”  (Vs. 28-30)

The fact that people are against me pales in light of the fact that He will furnish all that I need in life, including Christ Himself:

“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?  e who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”  (Vs. 31,32)

Accusations against me are meaningless in view of the fact that Christ is in constant communication with the Father on  my behalf:

“Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”  (Vs. 33,34)

I can rest in the assurance of Christ’s love as He promises me complete victory in every situation:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  (Vs. 35-37)

No controlling factors in life can separate me from the love of God that is found in Christ Jesus:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Vs. 38,39) 


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, August 19, 1998


Good Morning!

Most of us would like to do something noble or great. Perhaps have our names in lights…

We are captivated by outstanding speakers, renown scientists, business tycoons, and athletes who seem to do the impossible. And we sigh because our lives appear to be so routine, pedestrian and unsung.                        

As I observe the men with whom I am involved, however, I often see nobility and true character being forged in them as they quietly work through extremely trying circumstances. These silent heroes of the faith are, for the most part unnoticed. Little appreciated. Rarely applauded.

One man has a son who is severely ill with a disease that will probability take his life within the next few years. The boy’s unimaginable suffering permeates the family. But there is a calm grace about the way they are handling it. No whining or grousing with God as they walk through their Gethsemane.

A second man is an executive in a company where the top management steps on anyone who excels or shows any evidence of genius.  He refuses however to play the corporate political games that are necessary to garner the coveted positions. Brilliant in his field, he purposely remains understated as he unobtrusively facilitates his subordinates in order to insure their success.

A third friend is enmeshed in an insolvable marriage. Yet I never hear one word of complaint, as he chooses to exhibit compassion and graciousness toward his spouse.

These men probably will never have their names in lights. But in my book they are the real heroes! Heroes who are becoming Christ-like. 

My guess is that you too have  your Gethsemane.  You too have your cross. And your cross is not the gold-plated, smooth or shiny model.    Rather, it is rugged and bruising, and with you all the time.

How you decide to respond to that cross will spell the difference between a life of crippling bitterness that diminishes your inner spiritual life, or a life of praise that enables you to  surmount, and ascend. 

“…Each (man) shall bear his own private burden…Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you…because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (Gal. 6:5 – Wuest Translation; I Cor. 15:58) 


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, August 12, 1998


Good Morning!

Given the fact that the Pacific Rim is shrinking; that East and West are in fact meeting, I thought it prudent to pass on a vocabulary guide to our Western friends who may be untutored in the Chinese language:

 Chinese Phrase    English Translation
 Ai Bang Mai Ne     I bumped into the coffee table
 Chin Tu Fat    You need a face lift
 Dum Gai      A stupid person
 Gun Pao Der      An ancient Chinese invention
 Hu Yu Hai Ding   We have reason to believe you are harboring a fugitive
 Jan Ne Ka Sun    A former late night talk show host
 Kum Hai   Approach me
 Lao Ze Sho  Gilligan’s Island
 Lao Zi   Not very good
 Lin Ching       An illegal execution
 Ne Ahn     A lighting fixture used in advertising signs
 Shai Gai  A bashful person
 Tai Ne Bae Be    A premature infant
 Wan Bum Lung     A person with T. B.
 Yu Mai Te Tan    Your vacation in Hawaii agrees with you
 Wai So Dim     Are you trying to save electricity?
 Wai U Shao Ting    There is no reason to raise your voice

 “A cheerful heart is good medicine…”  (Prov. 17:22a)


  My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, August 5, 1998


Good Morning!

 Several months ago I mentioned a simple method of meditating on the Scriptures: READ a passage; RECORD the facts; REFLECT upon the implications of the facts; RESPOND by applying one of those implications to your life.

You may want to employ these four “R’s” to the following passages during your devotions:+

 Acts 17:24 – 27    God made and controls all
 Luke 7:11 – 17  Jesus raises the widow’s son
 Luke 8:22-25   Jesus calms the storm
 Romans 5:6-9    Christ died for our sins and to save us from wrath
 1 Corinthians 15:3 – 8    Jesus rose and appeared
 John 3:16 – 21   Eternal life or choosing darkness
 John 5:21-24, 28, 29  Honor Christ, believe and be sure
 Hebrews 1:1-3    Christ, the Creator, cleanses from sin
 Ephesians 2:1-5, 8-10  We are saved by grace and faith
 1 John 5:9 -13  Great assurance
 2 Peter 1:2-4      Know Christ and the Word
 Colossians 2:6,7   Be built up in the faith
 Philippians 4:6, 7     Prayer and peace
 Romans 12:1,2  Surrender, and resist conforming
 Hebrews 12:1,2   Run hard, and focus on Jesus
 Romans 8:35-39  No separation; overwhelming victory
 Matthew 22:36-40     Christ’s two great commandments
 Ephesians 3:16-19    The Spirit’s strength to know Christ’s love
 Acts 4:12-13  No other name for salvation, bold witnessing
 2 Corinthians 5:18-20  We’re ambassadors to proclaim peace with God
 Matthew 28:18 – 20     Make and teach disciples
 Colossians 1:28, 29  Admonish and teach everyone
 John 14:21, 23, 24    Obedience proves love
 2 Corinthians 9:6-8   Generosity pays
 Galatians 5:16, 17   Live by the Spirit and not the flesh
 Galatians 5:22 – 26  The Spirit’s fruit
 1 John 2:15-17     Don’t love the world
 1 Peter 2:9-12  Avoid lusts, and show Christ
 Philippians 3:7 – 14    Count everything loss to know Christ better
 Psalm 1:1-3  Avoid sin, and meditate on God’s Word
 Colossians 1:9-11     Pray for discernment and righteousness
 James 1:2-5  Be joyful in trials
 1 Peter 4:12-16   Rejoice in sufferings
 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18  Christ is coming again
 Psalm 23     The Good Shepherd’s sufficiency


My prayer is that you are having a great week!