Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for September, 1999

Wednesday, September 29, 1999


Good Morning!

O Holy Spirit of God, visit now this soul of mine, and tarry within it until eventide.+  –

[“…Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength…”  (Isa. 40:31)] 

Inspire all my thoughts,  –  [“…We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2Cor 10:5b]

Pervade all my imaginations,  – [“…Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”  (Phil. 4:8b)]

 Suggest all my decisions. –  [“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”  (Psa. 32:8)]

Lodge in my will’s most inward citadel[“Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”  (Psa. 51:6)]

Order all my doings.[Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Prov. 16:3)]

Be with me in my silence [“…In quietness and trust is your strength…” (Isa. 30:15b)]

In my speech, –  [“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt…” (Col. 4:6b)]

In my haste, and in my leisure,[“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?”   (Psa. 139:7)]

In company, and in solitude, [“Be still, and know that I am God…”  Psa. 46:10a)]

In the freshness of the morning  – [“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”  (Psa. 90:14)]

In the weariness of the evening.  – [“My soul yearns for you in the night…”   (Isa. 26:9a)]

And give me grace at all times to rejoice in Thy mysterious companionship.” [“Let the righteous rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him…”  (Psa. 64:10a)]


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, September 22, 1999


Good Morning!

 Recently, I had a conversation with “Christian” businessmen who make  a practice of manipulating financial documents and transactions in order to avoid taxation or accountability to monitoring agencies. All this is done, they tell me, to help both the customer and themselves  realize a fair profit. No one is hurt. All involved stand to gain. 

When I challenged them on this routine, they responded, “Dwight…that’s the way it is done here. You just can’t operate any other way.”

That evening, as I recounted our conversation, I could not get a particular Scripture out of my mind,

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither… thieves nor the greedy nor…swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”  (I Cor. 6:9a, 10)

According to this passage, three classes of people are not going to heaven:

Thieves – Perhaps you will recognize the Greek word:  kleptes – from which we get  kleptomaniac. This is someone who is compelled to take what is not rightfully his; is driven to take more than his fair share.  In many quarters, it is standard business practice to ask,  “How can we bilk from others in such a way that we leave a smile on their face?” 

The greedy – This person, in his scramble to get, or stay ahead of the rest of the pack, has an avaricious appetite for more, and is willing to defraud others to get it.

Swindlers – The other night while eating in a restaurant,  I observed a man  attack his meal. Noodles hung from his lips. His cheeks were stuffed to the breaking point with food, as he gulped liquid to wash it all down. Then another helping. Gulping, etc. That is the spirit of a swindler: Grasping. Gluttonous. Ravenous. Predatory. In a hurry. 

As people whose lives have been transformed by the Lord Jesus, are we not compelled to express that change in such a manner that the  people  around us sit up and ask, “Why are these people so different?”  After all,

“…You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  (I Cor. 6:11)



My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, September 15, 1999


Good Morning!

Is it possible to rise above the daily fray of demanding schedules, cash flow problems, personnel issues, the incursion of competitors, etc., etc., and still maintain a big vision of the big picture?

Yes! Tough as it may seem, it is possible. Isaiah did it and so can you, 

“Because the Lord God helps me, I will not be dismayed; therefore, I have set my face like flint to do his will, and I know that I will triumph.”  (Isa. 50:7 Living)

Kent Humphries, a committed follower of Christ, and CEO of a U. S. – based company of 300 employees, proffers the following questions in his quest to maintain eternal values amidst the incessant demands of business,

  • “How do we (particularly as CEO’s) give up control of our companies, families, management team, and plans to God?
  • “How do we open up our clenched fists and turn over our hands,  emptying them on God’s alter in the areas of finances, the future, ministry strategy, and our children’s lives?
  • “How much is strategy, planning, and preparation verses ‘sensitivity to God’s leading’ in determining the influence that God can have through me and others in times of stress, change, growth, acquisitions, mergers, etc.?
  • “How do I mentor a son or daughter in the family business or in the ministry?  What place does communication, prayer, example, control, planning, encouragement, advice, etc. have in this process? 
  • “How do we teach, train or model to our children how to raise their children, handle money, have a heart for God, or have a ministry? 
  • “How do we minister in the marketplace without getting corrupted by its lusts for power, position, pleasure and possessions?  How do we find ‘balance’ in this area? 

QUESTIONCan you clearly and simply articulate your vision? For the company? For your family? For the lost in your world? If not, then you may have a dream, but you are not possessed by a vision

And the consequences

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


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, September 8, 1999


Good Morning!

In most of the seminars I’ve attended on priorities we were given the traditional list,


For some reason that prioritized list never  quite set right with me,  as it seemed to separate  God from the other important areas of our lives (marriage, etc.).   Perhaps a better way of looking at priorities would be,

GOD in my marriage
GOD in my family
GOD in my work …….Etc.

Chuck Swindoll comments, “Too often we give GOD a few minutes in the morning, put Him back on top of the shelf, then work our way down the bookcase of priorities without taking Him into account.

 “…Seeking God alone in our quiet time each day should be the thing that encourages us to seek Him in every other area of our lives. He should take priority in every thought we think, in every word we speak, in every relationship, in everything.  Period.”+

 To determine what your real priorities are, take a moment to write them out.  Now ask which is the most difficult area to give to God priority-wise.  As you ponder the answer to that question, consider,  Mt. 6:19-21, I Jn. 2:15-17, Phil. 3:7-8, Heb. 12:1,2.

 “It is easy to say we’re putting Christ first, but do our lives really reflect this commitment?  Write out a priority list based on how you spend your time.  Next, write out one based on how you spend your money.  Now write one based on what you feel most strongly about.”  Write one out on what you think about the most.  “Finally, write one based on what you talk about most

 “If these different lists were given to a court for evidence in determining your true priorities, how do you think the court would rule?  Write out the list that you think an impartial jury might come up with.”

 No person was ever great for God who failed to discipline himself to live by Biblical priorities. How would you categorize yourself? Disciplined? Focused? Or mucking around in mediocrity?


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, September 1, 1999


Good Morning!

If you are in the people business, than you will be interested in this sage summation of business principles from Mr. Peter Drucker,  whom Forbes Magazine recently called “the most perceptive observer of the American scene since Alexis de Tocqueville.”

  1. The mission comes first. The mission of nonprofits (including churches) is changed lives.
  1. The function of management is to make the church more church-like, not to make the church more business-like.
  1. An organization begins to die the day it begins to be run for the benefit of the insiders and not for the benefit of the outsiders.
  1. Know the value of planned abandonment…you must decide what not to do.
  1. Know the value of foresight…you can’t predict the future, but you must assess the futurity of present events.
  1. Focus on opportunities, not problems. Most organizations assign their best resources to their problems, not their opportunities.
  1. Management is a social function and has mostly to do with people, not techniques and procedures.
  1. People decisions are the ultimate control mechanism of an organization. That’s where people look to find out what values you really hold. 
  1. All work is work for a team. No individual has the temperament and the skills to do the job.  The purpose of a team is to make strengths productive and weaknesses irrelevant.
  2. The three most important questions are “What is our business?”, “Who is the customer?”, and “What does the customer consider value?”



My prayer is that you are having a great week!