Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for April, 2001

Wednesday, April 25, 2001


Good Morning!

LEADERSHIP!  Isn’t that the hot word today?  Have you ever heard of a “Servanthood Conference”?  I haven’t. Who would come?  But put out the word on a “Leadership Conference” and the turnstiles start spinning.  The term “leadership” kinda titillates your ego, doesn’t it?  Interesting, is it not that Christ had little to say about leadership, but spoke profusely on servanthood.  For example,

“…Whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mk. 10:44b, 45) (Jn. 12:26; 13:2-17)

Dr. R. Edmund understood the Biblical perspective on leadership and servanthood in stating, As Christian educators and disciplers  “our job is to train servants.  It is God’s responsibility to raise up leaders.”

 We often find the idea of “servanthood” similar to a wedged chicken bone in our throat because:

  • We don’t like to be treated like a servant. Yet, we like to be known as one: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”  (I Pet. 2:18)
  •  We don’t like to serve when the visible results are meager or nonexistent: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (I Cor. 15:58) (I Thess. 3:5)
  • We don’t like to be taken for granted: “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ” (Lk. 17:10)
  • We don’t like to be maligned, misunderstood, or judged for our efforts: “…As servants of God…: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger.”  (2 Cor. 6:4,5)  (1 Cor. 4:13)
  • We don’t like what it costs us in terms of time, resources, comfort or safety: “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain…salvation…” (2 Tim 2:10a,c) (I Cor. 9:19-24; 2 Cor. 6:4,5; 11:23-29)

Christ’s true ungrudging toilers anticipate the day when He will utter to them,

”Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”  (Matt. 25:21b) (2Cor. 5:9)

 QUESTION: Is that your anticipation?



My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 18, 2001


Good Morning!

 #1  Get rid of every “encumbrance” and sin “that cleverly places itself in an entangling way around [you].” + To name a few:

  • THE CRAZE FOR SEX (I Jn. 2:16 – Living) (Col. 3:5; 1 Pet. 2:11; 4:2; Eph. 2:3; Tit.3:3)
  • THE ENTICEMENT OF THE EYES.” (I Jn. 2:16 – NAB)  (Gen. 3:6; 6:2; Josh 7:21; Job 31:1; Matt 4:5-7; Luke 8:14; 18:22,23; 12:15)
  • THE PRIDE THAT COMES FROM WEALTH AND IMPORTANCE (I Jn. 2:16 – Living) (Psa. 73:3-12; Esth.1:3-7; Dan. 4:30)
  • MALICE – Vicious intentions; the desire to hurt others. (Eph. 4:31, 32; Col. 3:8; 1 Pet. 2:1)
  • HYPOCRISY – Playacting: “…On the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”  (Matt. 23:28)  (Psa.  32:3;  34:14; Jms. 3:17; 1 Pet. 2:1; 3:10)
  • ENVY – Jealousy, spite, ill-will: “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”  (Gal. 5:26) (I Sam. 18:8, 9; Psa. 37:1; 73:3; Prov. 24:1, 19; Gal. 2:21, 26; Jms. 3:14, 16)
  • SLANDER – Evil speaking, defamation, back biting: “…Wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.”  (1 Tim. 3:11b) (I Pet. 4:4; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; 1 Tim 3:11; Tit. 2:3)
  • THE LOVE OF FAMILY OVER LOVE FOR CHRIST“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”   (Matt. 10:37) (Lk. 9:59-61; Lk. 14:26)
  • ANXIETY“…The worries of this life…come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19a,c)  (Lk. 17:26-30; 21:34; Matt. 6:24, 25; Phil. 4:6,7)

#2  Run the “race” before you with patient enduance.  (Heb. 12:1) (Heb 6:15; Rom. 2:7;8:24,25)

#3  Keep your eyes on Jesus and emulate His example.  (Heb. 12:2,3)  (Lk. 6:40)

 “…Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  (Heb. 12:1b-3)


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 11, 2001


Good Morning!

On Leadership:

Everyone’s a Coach by Don Shula and Ken Blanchard – Five proven secrets anyone can use to become a great leader. (Zondervan Press)

Leaders by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus – Emphasizes strategies for personal and organizational management. (Harper and Row)

Leadership is an Art by Max DePree – Fortune magazine said his company (Herman Miller)  was one of the ten best managed in American; principles of leadership for personal growth and for application in the marketplace. (Doubleday)

The Making of a Leader by Robert Clinton – Emphasizes the six stages of leadership development. Perhaps the best current book on Christian leadership.  (NavPress)

On Prayer:

 Lord, Change Me! By Evelyn Christienson (Victor)

Prayer by Richard Foster (Harper San Francisco)

Power Through Prayer by E. M. Bounds (Moody)

 On the Holy Spirit:

 Flying Closer to the Flame by Charles Swindoll (Word)

Keep in Step with the Spirit by J. I. Packer (Revell)

 On Evangelism:

 Becoming a Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg (Zondervan)

How to Give Away Your Faith by Paul Little (Inter Varsity)

Out of the Saltshaker by Rebecca Pippert (Inter Varsity)

On Spiritual Disciplines:

Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster (Harper San Francisco)

The Spirit f the Disciplines by Dallas Willard (Harper San Francisco)


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 4, 2001

SLOW DOWN! God is still in heaven. You are not responsible for doing it all – yourself – right now!

Good Morning!

 In a few minutes I am having breakfast with a business executive who is experiencing re-occurring health problems (heart attack 5 years ago).  Unabated work pressure, frequent travel, and little time for himself are taking their toll on his life. Perhaps slowing down is at least part of the solution.  Six pointers: +

  • Allow Yourself Some Time to be Lazy and Unproductive – Rest isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.

“….Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’”  (Mk. 6:31)

  • Once in a While, Turn Down the Lights and the volume. Turn down the throttle, and the invitations. Less really can be more.

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life…Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.”  (I Thess. 4:11a; Ecc. 4:6)

  • Create a Place in Your HomeAt your work…in your heart…where you can go for quiet and recollection.

” The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever…In quietness and trust is your strength…”  (Isa. 32:17; 30:15a)

  •  Take Time Just to Think – Action is good and necessary, but it’s fruitful only if we muse, ponder, and mull.

 “…Watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly…” (Eph. 5:15, 17b – The Message)

  •  Talk and Play with Children – It will bring out the unhurried little person inside you.

 “Jesus said, ‘…Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me…Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt. 19:5,14)

  •  Take Time to Wonder – Without wonder, life is merely existence.

 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”  (Psa.8:3,4)



My prayer is that you are having a great week!