Showing posts from May, 2012


Countless books and articles have been written about the need for specific goal setting. Someone once said that without goals there can be no achievement — so we’re encouraged to make a detailed list of everything we want, from professional achievements to material acquisitions.  The problem with this way of thinking is that it gets us focused on the wrong thing. We become successful not by eyeing the destination, but by tending to the details of the journey. Yes, it’s good to know where you’re going, so goal-setting has its place. More important, however, is the route we take in getting there.  In the last several years I've changed the way I go about setting goals. Mine are no longer defined by the target, because I can’t control the target. Targets tend to move and moving targets have a way of being missed. But I can control the process; I can control the steps I take. It’s this way in all phases of life. A salesman can’t control his income, but he can control how many ca


Our words can collide with people and condemn them, or our words can confirm them. Words are like honey; they fill you up but without the calories. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:24 that, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.” In those days, honey was a remedy for sickness such as a sore throat. It was also an energy booster, a total “pick-me-up.” Jesus said in Matthew 15:18 that our words are an overflow from our heart. What is on the inside will come out in our words. Two brothers were getting on in years, and one was envious of the other. The older of the two asked God, “Why has my brother been blessed with wealth and happiness and I have nothing? All my life I’ve never missed a single day without saying my morning and evening prayers. My church attendance has been perfect. I’ve not made a single decision without first calling Your name. And now as I’m nearing my final days, I’m in church every day and almost every night. Yet, I can


“Amazing Grace,” chances are you sang it before, but do you know the story behind this amazing hymn of the church? It was authored by a man named John Newton. He was a English sailor who worked on slave ships involved in human trafficking between Africa and England.  Newton and his fellow crew mates would pick up men, women and children who had been captured in tribal raids in Africa. They would trade arms and other goods for the finest of the prisoners. They would then chain them to prevent suicides, and lay them below deck side by side. As many as 600 people were crammed together on the ship as it made its three week voyage. Due to the inhumane conditions, at times, up to 20% of those captured would die. During such a journey the ship he was on began to flounder in a raging storm and it was at this time he found faith in Jesus Christ. After becoming a Christian, Newton left the sea for good and became a priest. He then wrote this hymn. Read these words carefully knowing now why he wr


 At the beach a grandmother was watching her grandson digging in the sand when a huge wave came and took him out to sea. Patiently she pleads, "Please God, save my only grandson. I implore you, bring him back." And a big wave comes and washes the boy back onto the beach, good as new. She looks up to heaven and says: "He had a hat!" Now, that's gratitude for you, isn't it? Have you noticed that some people just can't be satisfied? Some people — and I'm talking about you and me, not someone else — have a hard time expressing gratitude — much less even feeling it. Stephen Post, a medical school professor of bioethics, in 2001 created a research group called the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. It was dedicated to testing and measuring the effects of love, gratitude, and other positive caring emotions in human life. The research that Dr. Post uncovered was that spending 15 minutes a day focused on things you're grateful for can have the fol