March 31, 2017

I am writing these next few articles early, as I will be away attending a conference. As I was thinking about what to write about, the screen saver on my computer kicked in. It is set to access all the picture files on my computer hard drive randomly. I normally pay very little attention to what is displayed because I have usually walked away by the time it kicks in and the computer has gone to sleep when I get back.

In fact today, I let the screen saver kick in several times so I could watch the kaleidoscope of pictures tell an incredible and interesting story. I watched with fascination and much emotion as the pictures of personal extended family, church family, and events precious moments moved across the screen. I was surprised at the number of people who were part of my life over the last 20 years who are no longer with us except in memories. I thought about these individuals and the impact of their lives. I saw pictures of young children who are now grown up with children of their own and reflected upon the process of their lives. I considered the importance of the words of a song which flashed through my mind, “May all who come behind me find me faithful.” We really are accountable for the type of legacy we leave behind, in how others will remember us.

The pictures which come up on my computer are always different, but the first picture is always the same. This picture is of a book cover that was created for a book I intended to write, which remains unwritten. In this moment of time I came to the realization of how appropriate it is this picture initiates the process of random pictures which follows. It is a reminder of the importance of not procrastinating on things which ought to be done in the process of influencing, encouraging and empowering those around us. We have choices we must make and our response to those choices will impact relationships and create future outcomes not just for ourselves, but for others.

While there is a book to be written to connect with the book cover, there is another, the contents of, perhaps set the foundation for what is yet to come. The first book is close to being finished and sent to the printer. Once formatting and set up are completed and the final pieces of the covers have been decided upon it will be ready.

The impact of saying YES to the relationship with Jesus cannot be under estimated in terms of your influence on others. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” It may not be through watching a computer screen saver, But it could perhaps be through flipping through some old photo albums you get your chance to reflect back and remember who and how others influenced you and who and how you had the privilege of influencing them through saying YES to the relationship.

March 30, 2017

I was in contact with the art gallery yesterday to discover the status of some art our family had ordered back in January. Our order was confirmed. While we had ordered a limited edition, the artist creates each piece individually. While the design may look like some others, it is completely unique and is only brought into existence once it was been ordered.

I began to think about the concept of this art’s uniqueness and that took me on a thought journey about the marvel of how each person, even if they are a twin, is still a unique individual. Each person has their own personal DNA frequency.

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 139:13-14, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. {14} I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”.

We read the words of God to the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, “‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’”

When you purchase an item that needs assembling before it is functional you assume that the creator of the concept planned for every aspect of the product to work as it is supposed to. There is also the assumption all the parts that were designed to be included, were included by the manufacturer. God as designer knows exactly what we need before we were born in order for us to fulfill our destiny. All the pieces have been included and there are no unexpected surprises from His place of reference.

There may be unexpected surprises to us on our journey. Some of these we may not understand or even view as positive initially, but that does not mean God cannot turn them into powerful pluses on our behalf if we will allow Him to.

That is why we are counselled in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. {6 }Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track” (The Message Bible).

There is great power in acknowledging your uniqueness and its source, activating your faith and trust in the plan for your life and then successfully achieving the outcomes designed especially for you. Celebrate your life each day.

March 29, 2017

How do you approach the start of a spring day when the first light reveals a cloudy, foggy expression of weather with the temperature just warm enough any precipitation that falls will not be white? Your schedule reveals only a “to do list” of items you are not highly motivated to accomplish but must be done. You understand and declare, but not with great enthusiasm Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Realizing that was a pretty pathetic effort you express the statement, “I believe something wonderful is going to happen to me today!” Then confronted by what you see on the radar screen of your schedule, that balloon of positivity and hope quickly bursts. Acknowledge the moment for what it is and move forward. Ever had one of those starts to your day? I trust it does not come your way often.

In that segment of time you have a choice. You can activate a plan to change the direction you are headed, or given in to the feelings of gloom and negativity and allow your day to proceed accordingly. I would be a good idea to make a deliberate decision to begin to look for the “gold,” as you proceed through the day so there is the possibility of something wonderful coming your way. Decide, you will put effort into the mundane yet important things to be done. Sing, and/or listen to music that will up lift your spirit, if possible. Put a smile on your face. Think about things for which you are thankful and grateful. Do whatever it is so you can feel a little better than you were.

When you take action to change your focus you open the door to achieve the result you desire, rather than one which would have been if you had drifted through the day by default and negativity. Being confined and defined only by what you can see, limits the possibilities in your life. In reality, such limitations are holding you back from your full potential. This day can be a terrific day with great possibilities if you are willing to acknowledge it, activate the steps to allow it to be so and enjoy the benefits of its achievement.

It really can be a day you can rejoice and be glad in. Remember, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

March 28, 2017

In the process of teaching a seminar today, I came to the realization that over the last number of years my desire to connect with truth in many areas of life has become a reality. But, in the same breath, I must admit there is much more that I don’t know and a whole lot more that I don’t know that I don’t know than ever before. This provides an incredible opportunity to continue to move forward in search of the unknown in order to make it known.

As part of today’s seminar I was reviewing the resources of specialized information and knowledge available to the group that was meeting. I desired to attempt to help them understand they could impact, influence and persuade others in positive ways as they sought to express the benefits of saying Yes to the relationship with Jesus. Being able to share their personal story from a basis of only three words was something they could connect to.

How often do we complicate things by what we say because we have never thought to distill it down to its bottom line basic elements? In the process of distillation we are bought face to face with the need to really understand what something is all about at its core. This may not always be an easy process, but the results are worth the effort if we are willing to persist.

The Apostle John in seeking to provide credibility to what he wanted to say and focus for what he was about to share delivered a powerful punch in one sentence. He wrote in 1 John 1:1, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.”

The “hook” was cast and “set” in one short distilled “sound bite” style sentence. In that moment “a tell me more” response has been created. If we want to connect people to God then finding ways to duplicate John’s process to our world today is essential. Finding the point of attraction and being able to share the power of our story to influence them is a must do. Adapting the point of your three words to the specifics of the individual’s need opens a door which otherwise might remain closed. If you cannot create interest and curiosity immediately you will not be able to reach people with your message

What can you share from the foundation of your experience and resources, that if distilled down and shared, could impact and empower others? Your specialized knowledge and information is exactly what others could benefit from because you have a unique, one of a kind perspective which only you can give.

March 27, 2017

Every person who is in a place of influence is in a place of accountability. For those who didn’t understand the first sentence. Everyone is accountable, because everyone is a person of influence. When you come to that realization you then must deal with the issue of honesty and integrity. What will you do with the power of influence you possess? What will be the intention and motivation which will drive what you do in terms of the how you will use it?

While techniques are important in this process, the quality of your character will determine the steps in your process. What you are prepared to acknowledge (information or proof), in the process to activating someone’s response (a yes or no) to what you offer, on the way to achieving a result (the goal intended), testifies to the reality of who you really are.

The art of persuasion, getting people to say yes to what it is you have to offer, is in the words of Joel Bauer, “Very doable, . . . no matter what your situation – that is, if you don’t let your fears get the best of you.”

Those who would oppose the use of persuasion as a method of influence need to deal with the reality, it is a part of life. The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to Philemon. It is a small book in the New Testament which I encourage you to look up and read. It concerns a run away slave Paul met named Onesimus who had previously been owned by Philemon. The Apostle saw great potential in this slave as a person of great influence for the Kingdom of God. He used persuasion as a means to influence Philemon to make the right decision in setting Onesimus free so he could be a greater influence for the Kingdom of God.

There are historical accounts of Onesimus becoming very useful and not just to Paul and Philemon. Onesimus later came to be known as Onesimus of Byzantium and The Holy Apostle Onesimus in some of the Eastern Orthodox churches. He was also referred to as Ignatius of Antioch and Bishop in Ephesus.

Utilizing the rule of accountability and integrity to the application of persuasion and influence must never be ignored or abandoned. We daily face the challenge of appropriate response in the journey of life. May you choose wisely in what you do.