Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for March, 2002

Wednesday, March 27, 2002


Good Morning!


All the Trades and Occupations of the Bible  –  Herbert Lockyer


Built to Last – James C. Collins and

Jerry I. Porras


Business Through the Eyes of Faith – Richard C. Chewning, John W. Eby and Shirley J. Roels


Daily Grind I – Charles  Swindoll


Daily Grind II – Charles Swindoll


Just Business –  Alexander Hill


Keeping Your Ethical Edge Sharp  – Doug Sherman  


On Becoming a Servant – Robert Greenleaf


Ordering Your Private World – Gordon MacDonald


Spiritual Leadership –  J. Oswald Sanders


The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership –  John Maxwell


The 25 Most Common Problems in Business –  Jim Zabloski


The Significance of Principle – Les Carter


The Soul of the Firm – C. William Pollard




Balancing Life’s Demands –  J. Grant Howard


Business as a Calling – Michael Novak


Christ and Culture – H. Richard Niebuhr


Game Plan – Bob Buford


God the Worker – Robert Banks


Leadership is an Art –  Max DePree


Leadership Jazz –  Max DePree


Lessons in Leadership from the Bible –  Kenneth Gangel


Redeeming the Routes – Robert Banks


Roaring Lambs – Bob Briner


Seeker and Servant –  Robert Greenleaf


The Cornerstones for Life at Work – Thomas G. Addington and Steven R. Graves


The Leadership Engine – Noel M. Tichy


The Overload Syndrome –  Dr. Richard Swenson


The Power of Character – Michael S. Josephson


Thirty Days to Confident Leadership –

Bobb Biehl


Believers in Business – Laura Nash


Business by the Book – Larry Burkett


Christians in the Marketplace – Bill Hybills


Half Time – Bob Buford


Jesus CEO – Lauirie Beth Jones


Jesus in Blue Jeans –  Laurie Beth Jones


Loving Monday – John D. Beckett


Make a Life, Not Just a Living – Ron Jenson


More Leadership Lessons of Jesus – Bob Briner


Shopping for Faith – Richard Cimino and Don Lattin


Spirit at Work – Jay A. Conger


The Call –  Os Guinnes


The Five Temptations of the CEO – Patrick Lencioni


The Leadership Lesson of Jesus – by Bob Briner


The Management Lessons of Jesus – Bob Briner


Your Work Matters to God – Doug Sherman and  William Hendricks

 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, March 20, 2002


Good Morning!

 Noticeably missing from the service was the traditional black mourning garb. Rather, the gathering proved to be a joyful time of commemorating a woman who had celebrated life at every turn. Old friends spontaneously stood up and reflected upon experience after experience with this remarkable woman who had so impacted their lives.

 Years ago Sally Ann invested her life into a 19 year old lad who had recently been discharged from the U. S. Marine Corps. At that time she was a 54 year old widow on the tail end of raising two boys without a father. Somehow, amidst an already demanding life, she felt led of God to invite this young, uncut, ex-Marine to live in her guest house while he attended the university.  Her intention was to build Christ-like character into his life.  And build she did:

 “Gentlemen open doors for ladies.”
“The correct fork to use with the salad is…”
“The girl you are dating would be a poor choice for a life partner.”
“God has an important work for you to do.”

 Amidst her sometimes daunting challenges, Sally Ann communicated an unwavering belief in that young lad as she chiseled away at his life.  That is, she cared enough to confront and challenge him on important life issues, ploddingly building in polish, perseverance, and a Biblical perspective. Her infectious love for Christ spilled over onto him as she arose early, morning after morning to prayerfully ponder over the Scriptures.

 Was Sally Ann’s input into this lad’s life merely a nice thing to do? Or was it in response to the Divine mandate Christ gave to his followers to “go make disciples of all nations“?  (Matt. 28:19a) 


 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last…”  (Jn. 15:8,16a)  (See Mk.16:15,16; Lk. 24:47-49; Jn. 20:21; Act. 1:8)

 QUESTIONJust how seriously are you taking Christ’s Great Commission to “go make disciples?  Are you currently investing your life into that of another, with the view that they in turn will disciple others? Or are you just muddling along by allowing life’s pressures, and your preferences determine your priorities?  If you are not taking His command seriously, what do you plan to say to Him when you meet Him on the other side, as He calls you to account?

 And yes, if you were wondering about the identity of that young ex-Marine?  It was I!


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, March 13, 2002


Good Morning!

#1  He played to her ignorance of the ScripturesSatan to Eve,  “Did God really say, ‘You must not  eat from any tree in the garden?'”  (Gen. 3:1) 

In response, Eve stated, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” (3:2,3) In fact, God had said nothing about “touching” the fruit.  (2:16,17)  Simply not to eat it. Sadly, Eve was ignorant of the word of God that had been given to her.

 “…Ignorant…people distort…the…Scriptures, to their own destruction.”  (2 Pet. 3:16b)  (See Matt. 22:29)

QUESTION:  Are you steeping yourself in the Scriptures in preparation for Satan’s inevitable attacks of lies and deception?  (See 1 Chron. 21:1; Jn. 8:44; Rev. 12:9; 20:12)

#2  He played to her egoSatan to Eve, “You will not surely die…”  (Gen. 3:4)

 Remember the bumper sticker, “Question Authority”?  Translated means,  “No one’s gonna tell me what to do!   I’m the captain of my ship, the master of my fate!”

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way…” (Isa. 53:6a)

QUESTION:  As God reveals His truth to you, are you choosing to respond in humble obedience?

 #3  He played to her curiosity:  Satan to Eve,  “…God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  (Gen. 3:5)

Are we not often enticed into sin through our curiosity? That is, we choose to step beyond God’s ordained  boundaries to experiment in areas that ultimately could (and would) harm us.

“…Be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods…I want you to be…innocent about what is evil…innocent as doves…”  (Deut. 12:30b; Rom. 16:19b; Matt. 10:16)  (See Eph. 5:27; 1 Thess. 5:23)

QUESTION: Can we appreciate the fact that there are certain areas of knowledge and experience into which our loving Father desires us not to enter?  Are we willing to surrender to His wise and protective care?

#4  He played to her senses:  “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”  (Gen. 3:6)

“…David…saw a woman bathing…[She] was very beautiful, and…[he] sent…to find out about her…Then David sent…to get her…and he slept with her…”  (2 Sam. 11:2-4 – exerts)  (See Josh. 7:21)

 QUESTION: Just what level of arousal would it take to draw you into sin?  Does “every man have his price?”  What stimuli are you presently allowing in through your senses that, given the right opportunity, could prove to be your spiritual undoing?  (See Matt. 6:22,23; 1 Cor. 10:12; 2 Tim. 2:22; I Pet. 2:11)


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, March 6, 2002


Good Morning!

Recently a close friend’s marriage crumbled. Actually, it had been in the process of disintegration for years, but the crisis was carefully masked from public view. Needless to say, I and many others were shocked. Shocked because for years Bert had been intensely involved in investing his life into others. But something just didn’t add up. Over the years I remember thinking, “He’s doing all the right ‘stuff’, but something is wrong at the core.”

 The problem?  Chemical addiction.

 The greater tragedy is not the addiction, however, but Bert’s refusal to come forth, acknowledge his problem, and make himself available for help and accountability. His friends would have gone to the ends of the earth to help him.

 When it comes to addictions (sexual, chemical, etc), two ingredients are essential in breaking the cycle of defeat, anguish, repentance, indulgence, despair, etc., etc.:

#1  Acknowledge of the problem:

 To yourself.  To God.  To those closest to you.

 You can (and should) repent, pray, memorize Scripture, attend church, etc., etc., but it is axiomatic that you will not break the cycle of addiction without confessing it to another.

 “…Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…”  (Jms. 5:16a)

 #2  Accountability to another person (or persons):

 You need someone walking with you who will compassionately hold your hand, while firmly holding your feet to the fire in helping you follow through on the necessary behavioral changes,

 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up…Better is open rebuke than hidden love.”  (Ecc. 4:9,10; Pro. 27:5,6a)

 QUESTION: Do you suffer from an addiction? Do you want deliverance?

If your answers are “yes” and “yes”, then today, confess the problem to a caring fellow-believer and choose to become accountable to a individual or group, as you work toward change. Over the long haul, victory, as demonstrated by behavioral change will not transpire without acknowledgement and accountability. Are you up to the challenge?


My prayer is that you are having a great week!