Monthly Archives: December 2011

A Christmas Devotion

I read a wonderful devotion From Pastor Pete Briscoe, from Telling the Truth Ministry, today regarding Christmas.  I have posted it for your learning and enjoyment.  God Bless.

Matt

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.” —Dr. Seuss (1904-1991), From How the Grinch Stole Christmas

For hundreds of years, the world has been in a culture war for possession of Christmas Day. It’s worth noting that December 25 was originally an ancient pagan holiday in northern Scandinavia. The sun completely disappeared during those winter months, and they thought that if they threw a really good party, the sun would be inclined to return in the spring. For thousands of years it seemed to work pretty well so we kept it up. The truth is, we really don’t know the date of Christ’s birth, yet atheists, Christians, humanists, and polytheists all seem to find new things to fight about every year about who owns this day—and the only ones who really seem to be winning are the big box retailers!

Maybe all the bickering is misguided. I think my dad puts things in an interesting perspective:

“The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.” —Stuart Briscoe

As important as Christmas is to many of us as a holiday, shouldn’t it pale in comparison to who Christ is in us every day?!

Father, give me the wisdom to choose my battles wisely. Above all things, may the eternal, supernatural, divine Spirit of Your Son, Jesus Christ, overwhelmingly supersede the annual, sentimental, human spirit of Christmas. Amen.

False Hope vs Hard Work – the “LIFE song” of our business

I just read a post on Dan Hawkins blog regarding the accomplishments of new Turbo 100 leaders in the TEAM leadership system, Gary and Erika Severson.  This last weekend I was able to hear them speak live in front of about 1700 people in Madison, WI and what impacted me the most was their humility.  The Seversons have applied hard work, serving others, over a number of years to reach their milestone and I know this is only a stepping stone.

As I reflect on the Severson’s victory, I go back to a sermon I heard by Greg Marshall at our church a couple of weeks ago.  The theme was about “worship” in life and who and what do we worship.  Greg, who is a musician, referred to our life as a song – “a life song.”  A song, he described, has a chorus and verses.  The verses represent a story to be told and the chorus represents the main idea or theme.  So as we sing the verses of a song the storyline unfolds and is interrupted by the chorus, or the main theme, to bring us back to a teaching point.  Interesting, I never knew that about music.

What’s your “life song?”

Greg challenged us to describe our “life song.”  What is your story?  Who do you worship?  What would the chorus, or main theme, of your life look like and what message would it convey?  Greg introduced an ancient Greek word proskyneo which means “to bend toward.”  As we walk through our life day to day, we “worship” or bend toward something.  The question is do we bend our lives (worship) toward God and his eternal purpose or do we bend toward ourselves for pleasure and comfort.

In the past, my life story tended to bend toward…. ME!  My natural tendency is self-serving and seeking pleasure.  I had friction in almost all of my relationships. I was judgmental of others, lacking patience, and I was kind to others only if there was some kind of reciprocation.  My work was only a means to a paycheck; otherwise I wouldn’t have sacrificed so much time away from family.   Life, when serving self and pleasure, becomes compartmentalized and pragmatic. We tend to measure the effort and sacrifice put into something based on what return we’ll get from the effort.  It leads to a very discontented life filled with shallow relationships and false hope.

On the other hand, when we bend our life toward a purpose, beyond ourselves, we find fluency to life.  In the Bible, God wants us to bend or lives toward him through serving others first, and having “fruit of the Spirit” as the apostle Paul describes in a letter to the people of Galatia.  When our life song focuses on something greater than ourselves, then our work, relationships, ministry and pleasure become interlaced.  Our work becomes more purposeful, our relationships become more fulfilling, and life becomes more meaningful.

What do the verses of your life song read like?  Is your chorus singing of self-pleasure and comfort?  Or, are you like Gary and Erika Severson who have decided to bend their life toward worshiping God through serving others.  By pursuing purpose beyond themselves through the LIFE business, Gary and Erika are providing real hope to people who desperately need it.

Orrin Woodward’s LIFE and leadership breaking records!

Orrin Woodward has completed the first month of the the-life-business.com and Dan Hawkins blog comment sums it up well.

LIFE is the collected knowledge of over 100 years in the networking field producing one of the most exciting and successful businesses in history! What makes this so viable is the products LIFE offers are incredibly valuable inside and out of the network that markets them.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my journey in the LIFE business is the privilege of sharing life changing information with people.  I am currently reading the “friendship” chapter of Orrin’s new book – Resolved 13 Resolutions for Life.  I have learned more about being a true friend in the first handful of pages than I did through a lifetime of rough experiences.

A summary of Orrin’s Eight principles of true friendships.

  1. True friends share a common bond.
  2. True friends accept one another withholding criticism but abundantly spreading grace and forgiveness.
  3. True friends protect each others’ weaknesses while enhancing each others’ strengths.
  4. True friends encourage and serve each other.
  5. True friends listen with empathy, learning the hopes, struggles, dreams, and fears of each other.
  6. True friends celebrate one another’s success without a hint of envy.
  7. True friends are trustworthy (gossip separates the best of friends).
  8. True friends are loyal, respectful and will proactively defend the integrity of the relationship by addressing misunderstandings before they fester.

If only I would’ve read this 30 years ago.  How many mistakes I’ve made over the years, relationships I’ve wounded, bonds I’ve broken.  The good news, we have a God and a life that is full of second chances.

I have experienced more fulfilling friendships in the last 5 years with our journey in the Life business then I did in my entire life before the business.  I am so thankful for our mentors, and founders of the Life business, Dan Hawkins, George Guzzardo and Orrin Woodward, for their courage, wisdom, persistence, and principles that they live by and have taught openly to hundreds of thousands over the years.

The Life business is truly making a difference in the lives of individuals and our country as it brings back the pursuit of integrity, character and truth as something worthwhile and significant.  God Bless.  Matt