Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I just sent the following letter to the Laughing Cow Cheese company. I will let you know if I get a response.

I have heard that the reason your cheese is so soft is that once you have the cows laughing the milk comes out their noses and that that passage of milk softens it. Is this true? If so, I am concerned about the cleanliness of this process and am also concerned about possible negative ramifications on the cows' respiratory systems. Please advise.

On the other hand, I have a pet dachsund that has seemed rather blue the past few years. Can you give me advice on how to get her to laugh please?

Thank you.

  posted at 12:33 PM  

Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I had a friend send me the following list of things supposedly in the healthcare bill. I do not know if this is the Senate or House version. I also don't know if there is even one iota of truth to this list. At the very least, it was put together by someone who had their own agenda to push.

In any event, this does make it clear to me that I need to learn more about what's really in this thing. Doesn't it make you feel that way too? The problem is that, at the very root of it all, I feel powerless.

• Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure!
• Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!
• Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)
• Page 42: The "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None.
• Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.
• Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard.
• Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
• Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (read: SEIU, UAW and ACORN)
• Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange.
• Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans)
• Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens
• Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.
• Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.
• Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No "judicial review" is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed.
• Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages.
• Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives.
• Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families.
• Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll
• Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll
• Page 167: Any individual who doesn’t' have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.
• Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).
• Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.
• Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that.
• Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected."
• Page 241: Doctors: no matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!)
• Page 253: Government sets value of doctors' time, their professional judgment, etc.
• Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.
• Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.
• Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!
• Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions.
• Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government.
• Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies!
• Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval.
• Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on "community" input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN.
• Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing.
• Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc.
• Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.
• Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone).
• Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?
• Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time.
• Page 425: Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.
• Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.
• Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.
• Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life.
• Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services: more payoffs for ACORN.
• Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations: more payoffs for ACORN.
• Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage.
• Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services.

  posted at 4:15 PM  

The following was written by Rick Warren.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people" Colossians 3:23, TEV)

The apostle Paul teaches that we are to work as though we are "working for the Lord and not for people." He's saying that no job is too small; no job is too menial; no job is too insignificant when you have the right motive and perspective. We should think, "I'm doing it for God; I'm doing this job as if I'm doing it for the Lord." I used to clean meat lockers in a butcher shop, and I would clean them as unto the Lord.

Now, how do I know if I'm doing my work for the Lord? Two characteristics will show up in your attitude: excellence and enthusiasm.

First, if I'm doing my work, not for the boss but for the Lord, I'll do it with excellence. That means I give it my best shot. I do the best I can because I'm not doing it for anyone's approval, except God's. I do it with excellence, being the best I can be.

Second, I do my work with enthusiasm. I'm working for God; therefore, I do it with a cheerful attitude. "Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically" (Romans 12:11, NLT).

When you are working with all your heart, motivated by the love of Christ, your work is transformed into an act of worship for God.

  posted at 11:29 AM  

In discussing my thoughts on healthcare, I think it’s important for me to give a little background on where I come from on this subject. My business directly employs about 55 people. Some of those team members are on our insurance plan for families, some for singles, and a few, at their choosing, are not on it at all. I do not have exact figures at my fingertips but the cost of health insurance for those 55 people and their families is around $500,000 annually. Of that amount, team members are paying around $100,000 and the company pays the balance.

Is it fun paying that amount for health insurance every year? No, it really isn’t. But I am okay with it because ultimately I know that it allows our team members and their families to be protected by the best healthcare professionals that this world has ever known. I like that a lot and, yes, my own family has benefitted greatly from it as well.

Ultimately, of course, the price that my company pays for health insurance is borne by our customers. There is no magic kitty from which those funds can come. And, when our health insurance costs increase, it means we have to increase our prices. So do our competitors and everyone else … and that fuels inflation. Of course, no one likes inflation but that is part of the game in which we play.

There’s an old axiom in business that starts with there being three basic ways an organization can provide goods or services that are attractive to customers. Those three possibilities are: 1) High Quality; 2) Fast; and 3) Low Cost. The axiom is that an organization can never fulfill more than two of those three things when providing their good or service. Most successful companies meet two of those criteria. Less successful companies tend to only meet one or sometimes even none.

In other words, consumers can buy things one of these ways:

A) High Quality and Fast, but not Cheap
B) Fast and Cheap but not High Quality
C) Cheap and High Quality but not Fast

For all my life, our country has benefitted from a healthcare system that generally was A) above – High Quality and Fast but not Cheap.

It’s nice to think that we could have a system that was High Quality, Fast, and Low Cost but, time and again, that combination of things has proven impossible for any good or service of any type.

On a subject like healthcare, given the three possible combinations, I think we will all agree that High Quality and Fast is the most desirable.

So, if we want to change something about healthcare, is it safe to say that we want to keep it High Quality and Fast? Doing so means it won’t be cheap.

So, if it can’t possibly be made to be cheap, the question is this: Can the government make it less “not cheap” than it is today? Regardless of which side of the political fence you fall on, or even if you often find yourself straddling the fence, I think we will all agree that government’s track record of making things less “not cheap” is not good … as in the two pretty much can’t go together.

So, that brings me to what I think is the real question that our government needs to examine as it looks at healthcare – what really is wrong with they system we have now?

The answer to that is simple – healthcare is expensive and some folks can afford neither care nor insurance. But we’ve already established that we don’t want to give up on High Quality and Fast … and that Cheap is not possible in conjunction with those things. See the issue? Our healthcare system today is exactly where free enterprise puts it. Are there things that could be tweaked? Absolutely … but is there really any hope that a major overhaul can improve things? I for one don’t see how.

So, what do we do about folks who can’t afford healthcare or insurance? Well, fact is, hospitals and health practitioners already give millions and millions of dollars of free services each year to those without health insurance. Hospitals pay for that in three ways: 1) Increased billings; 2) Donations; and 3) Income from foundations. The mounting problem now is that hospitals are facing more demand than ever before for free healthcare, due to unemployment being high. And also, they are experiencing a decline in charitable giving as well as in interest receipts from their foundation investments.

Not a good situation.

In my opinion, that is the situation that really needs to be addressed. Keep our healthcare Fast and High Quality … and build a system that better allows healthcare practitioners and hospitals to provide free services to folks based upon need.

Obviously, I can be a bit biased and simplistic but the answer to all of that in my book is that government needs to support and further businesses – “Main Street” in particular. Ultimately, that is the only way the system works well. Any other approach and you can bet that “Fast” or “High Quality” or perhaps even both will be lost and my money is on the guess that they will not be replaced by “Low Cost” either.

  posted at 5:13 AM  

Sunday, July 12, 2009
Can't think of better guidance for the day ... for my life ... than this.

Faith under pressure
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don't ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that's a picture of the "prosperous life." At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing.

Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.

Don't let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, "God is trying to trip me up." God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one's way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.

So, my very dear friends, don't get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.

Act on What You Hear
Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God's righteousness doesn't grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.

Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

  posted at 7:43 AM  

Saturday, July 11, 2009
Here's a great article by Rick Warren.

"Whoever does not have the Spirit cannot receive the gifts that come from God's Spirit." 1 Corinthians 2:14 (TEV)

You can't earn your spiritual gifts or deserve them - that's why they are called gifts! They're an expression of God's grace to you: "Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us" (Ephesians 4:7, CEV).

Nor do you get to choose which gifts you'd like to have. Paul explains that God determines that, "It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have." (1 Corinthians 12:11, NLT)

Because God loves variety, and he wants us to be special, there's no one single gift given to everyone, and no individual receives all the gifts. If you had them all, you'd have no need of anyone else, and that would defeat one of God's purposes - to teach us to depend on each other.

Your spiritual gifts were not given for your own benefit but for the benefit of others, just as other people were given gifts for your benefit. The Bible says, "A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church" (1 Corinthians 12:7, NLT). When we use our gifts together, we all benefit. If others don't use their gifts, you get cheated, but if you don't use your gifts, they get cheated. This is why God wants us to discover and develop our spiritual gifts.

Whenever we forget these basic truths about gifts, it always causes trouble in the church. Two common problems are "gift-envy" and "gift-projection."

* Gift-envy occurs when we compare our gifts to others, feel dissatisfied with what God gave us, and become resentful or jealous of how God uses others.

* Gift-projection happens when you expect everyone else to have your gifts, do what you're called to do, and feel as passionate about it as you do. The Bible says, "There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving." (1 Corinthians 12:5, NLT)

Sometimes spiritual gifts are overemphasized to the neglect of the other factors that God uses to shape you for service. So keep in mind, your gifts reveal one part of God's will for your ministry, but not all of it.

  posted at 9:20 AM  

“Do you have any fears about flying in a small plane?” my friend Mike asked me as he was opening up the hangar door and preparing to ready his plane for flight.

I smiled and said “No, I don’t … but, tell me, how are you feeling today because I sure don’t want to have to figure out how to fly this once we’re up there!” I’d forgotten to bring along my “Piloting For Dummies” book.

Mike laughed. “That’s a good question,” he said. “Most people don’t think of that.” He assured me he was feeling fine.

Fact is, I’d flown in four and six seat private planes a few times before as well as had countless flights in small commuters. And, shy of the time Lisa and I took a small tourist flight over the Grand Canyon and it started snowing while we were ascending, I really had never experienced fear from flying in a small plane. (Ask me sometime about my very scary flight in a larger plane over the Alps though!)

I’ve always wanted to get a pilot’s license, in fact, but at this point it would totally freak out my life insurance agent so I’ve pretty much put that dream to the side.

Anyway, it was a real neat opportunity when Mike asked me early this week if I wanted to fly up to Toledo with him on Thursday morning to look at some equipment. It was pretty exciting for me to ride in the right hand seat and get to wear the big bulky headphones. I felt like a little kid – tried my best to contain my excitement but it was a very cool experience.

“Beautiful day for flying,” Mike said across his headset as we headed toward the runway of the local airport. And it was beautiful. Not too warm but sunny and not a cloud in the sky.

I watched him as he walked around his plane. He checked the oil and some other obvious things but I could clearly tell that he had a keen eye for making sure the plane was safe and flight ready.

Then we climbed in. He reminded me to not step on the flap and assured me that I didn’t need to touch anything – that he would have it all under control. He plugged into the plane’s controls our destination so that it would determine the best flight path.

Shortly after we gained some altitude, I could see both Grand Lake and Indian Lake to the north of Sidney. I was amazed how quickly and clearly they came into view. You enjoy a perspective in a small plane flying at a lower altitude that you don’t get in a big plane at 30,000 feet or whatever. From a lower altitude, you can see details but your horizon stretches for miles and miles.

One thing I’ve noticed before in planes is that, as you gain altitude and look out the front window, you can’t see over the dash. That is sort of an odd feeling to someone who wants to try to equate flying a plane to driving a car. In a car, you can see over the dash pretty well. But I realized from the perspective of the front seat as we went up that there was no reason for me to look over the dash – the plane pointed my vision at exactly where we were going – up up and away if you will – and that was where I needed to focus. There was no reason for me to look below us or see where we’d been. I needed to look at where we were going.

After we landed at Toledo, a gentleman from the airport came out to meet us. Mike wanted him to help tell him where to park but the gentleman wasn’t being overly cooperative. Not getting any direction from him, Mike eventually had to make the call himself and park where he though the plane would be fine and not in the way of anyone.

We walked up to the terminal and, while Mike took care of the things he needed to take care of with the airport people, I looked at a cabinet where they had various flying-related things for sale. Included in the cabinet were air sickness bags, aka “barf bags”. There’s too much eight year old boy in me still to not have laughed at that a bit. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could get airsick in the smooth and beautiful flight that my friend had just taken me on. But I suppose it happens – one should be prepared.

We went from there to look at the equipment and then we went back to the airport for the flight home. I marveled at Mike as he flew the plane. He was constantly watching gauges, running his fingers over them to verify that he’d checked them. Even tapping on them to make sure they weren’t stuck and giving a false reading. A bad reading on the gauge could indicate a problem that needed to be corrected.

We had a great flight home. As we ascended, we approached some big fluffy clouds. I was wondering if we’d experience turbulence if we went through them but Mike instead guided the plane over and around the clouds. As I looked down, I saw a patchwork of beauty unfold. Green fields of growing crops. Amber fields of wheat. Brown fields that weren’t being planted this year. Wooded areas and their multitude shades of green. People’s houses, driveways, roads, swimming pools. It was all beautiful – again from our not-too-high perspective.

It was indeed a beautiful day for flying and I am grateful to Mike for asking me to go along. There could not have been a better way to spend a morning.

As I have reflected back on Thursday morning, I realized that my plane ride included some great lessons on life …

1) Always keep a close eye on things … make sure that you’re in good running condition.

2) Watch your gauges carefully – those things that tell you when you’re off course. Even tap on them occasionally to make sure that they aren’t giving you a false “good” reading and making you think you’re on track while you’re not. Sin has a way of deceiving us into thinking it’s okay.

3) Just like I had to give up control to Mike who knows how to fly planes and I don’t, we need to give up control to God. He knows the real pathway. We mess things up when we try to control them ourselves.

4) Don’t fly too high. Fly high enough for a good perspective but not so high that you lose track of details nor that you can only see yourself.

5) Know in general terms where you’re going … plug in the coordinates and God will work out the details of the exact flight path.

6) Look to others for leadership when appropriate but, if they aren’t providing it, step up to the plate just as Mike did in deciding on his own where to park the plane.

7) Keep your eyes and attention focused on where you’re going, not where you’ve been.

8) Be flexible to steer around clouds when you can but realize that ultimately you’re following God and you may need to go through the clouds on occasion. Bring along a barf bag just in case.

9) Look around and enjoy God’s beauty. He has provided it to us for sustenance, inspiration, and enjoyment. Bask in it.

10) And never turn down Mike if he asks me to go flying again sometime.

  posted at 8:08 AM  

Monday, July 06, 2009
Surely I’m not the only person who has ever glanced into the cart of the person in front of them in the checkout line at the grocery store. Am I?

You can often tell a lot about what’s going on in the lives of people by observing their groceries. You can tell when there is going to be a birthday celebration … or a fancy dinner party … or a cook out. You can tell when a group of 20-year old guys are hoping for a weekend of R & R.

Tonight I glanced into the cart of the young guy in front of me. I couldn’t help but notice that he had an odd assortment of things in his cart. I couldn’t really pick up on a theme to the things he had. At first I thought he must be a bachelor … so I checked and ruled that out because he had a wedding ring. I do not remember everything in his cart except I do remember generic Raisin Bran, frozen vegetables, and milk. And two other things. He had a huge number of individual serving cups of vanilla pudding. I mean like probably 30 cups of vanilla pudding. I imagined that he had an expectant wife at home who was craving vanilla pudding and he was determined to feed that craving. He also had a huge amount of toilet paper. There is too much 8-year-old boy in me to not chuckle whenever I see someone buying large amounts of toilet paper at the store.

As I chuckled to myself about the toilet paper, I sort of grimaced and nodded, acknowledging that he did indeed have an odd assortment of things in his cart …

And then I looked into my cart.

What made perfect sense to me in my own cart would have looked positively schizophrenic to a stranger.

… and so it is with life. Everyone else’s cart looks like a confused jumble … until we look at our own. And then we remember that we ain’t so perfect either.

I’m glad that our Savior loves me and even desires me no matter what stuff is in my cart. My cart is full of weird habits, oddities, quirks, crazy antics, and areas where I just simply need to grow … a lot. But He loves me anyway.

I’m trying to learn to not judge others by their carts. The concept of Christian community calls us to be willing to share our carts with each other but the only way someone will share their cart is if they trust you to not judge them by their cart.

I want to be someone who can be trusted to not judge people by their carts … because God doesn’t judge me by mine.

One book that I have read which has influenced me in this area is “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” by Philip Yancey. I’d highly encourage it if not judging others by their carts is a growth area for you the way it is for me.

  posted at 8:27 PM  

Thursday, July 02, 2009
The following was written by John Fischer and is a devotional I received in email today. It was the second time already today that I have been challenged with the idea of the change of mindset and attitude that occurs when the Holy Spirit is really manifest in oneself. I didn't think I could ignore it since it was the second time today. God is trying to point something out to me; I hope I can figure it out.

One of the prerequisites for being a servant of God is to think like a servant. This would be fine if it wasn't so impossible. We are all naturally wired to think only of ourselves.

Learning to give preference to others is one of the true marks of a Christian because it is so contrary to human nature. That's why desiring it comes from God, and doing it comes through the Holy Spirit.

Paul said of Timothy: "I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares for your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ" (Philippians 2:20-21, NLT).

Hidden in these verses is the secret to making an attitude of servanthood become a part of your thinking. It starts with Jesus. When you fall in love with Jesus, you focus on Him and worship Him. As you do this, you find out about Him?you get to know Him as you would a friend?and soon you come to know what matters to Him, until finally, you start to realize that what matters to Him, matters to you. This is not just a factor of familiarity, either. There is a supernatural element at work here as well. What matters to Jesus connects with the Holy Spirit in you, and the Spirit answers from deep inside you to the call of truth.

Other people mattered deeply to Jesus. He could read their hurt and pain. Scripture says He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Well where did that grief and sorrow come from if it didn't come from the suffering of people around Him? In other words, He was carrying their grief. He was empathizing with their sorrow. Once a woman touched him in a desperate need to be healed, and He could feel the compassionate power go from Him even though He didn't see who touched Him in the press of the crowd. He was that sensitive to the needs of those around Him.

Now truly, thinking like a servant doesn't automatically make you one, but it goes a long way toward getting you there. If you are thinking like a servant, you are noticing others; and the more you are aware of others, the more the Holy Spirit can use you in reaching out to them. All this increases the opportunity for the gospel. People are simply not used to being served.

Take it from me, a guy who is not by any stretch servant material, it's actually a relief to get off my most popular subject?me?and on to someone else. Ask God to help you think like a servant today, and I'm certain you'll get a chance to be one.

  posted at 8:45 AM  

The following was written by Os Hillman. It speaks well to the concept of workplace ministry.

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

What does it mean for workplace believers to live for a cause greater than themselves in our day and time? Jeremiah Lanphier was a businessman in New York City who asked God to do this in his life in 1857.

In a small, darkened room, in the back of one of New York City's lesser churches, a man prayed alone. His request of God was simple, but earth-shattering: "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" [John Woodbridge, ed., More Than Conquerors (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1992), 337]

He was a man approaching midlife without a wife or family, but he had financial means. He made a decision to reject the "success syndrome" that drove the city's businessmen and bankers. God used this businessman to turn New York City's commercial empire on its head. He began a businessmen's prayer meeting on September 23, 1857. The meetings began slowly, but within a few months 20 noonday meetings were convening daily throughout the city. The New York Tribune and the New York Herald issued articles of revival. It had become the city's biggest news. Now a full-fledged revival, it moved outside New York. By spring of 1858, 2,000 met daily in Chicago's Metropolitan Theatre, and in Philadelphia the meetings mushroomed into a four-month long tent meeting. Meetings were held in Baltimore, Washington, Cincinnati, Chicago, New Orleans, and Mobile. Thousands met to pray because one man stepped out. Annus Mirabilis, the year of national revival, had begun.

This was an extraordinary move of God through one man. It was unique because the movement was lead by businessmen, a group long considered the least prone to any form of evangelical fervor, and it had started on Wall Street, the most unlikely of all places to begin.

Could God do something extraordinary through you? Take a step. Ask God to do mighty things through you.

  posted at 5:50 AM  

Wednesday, July 01, 2009
The last few months have been interesting, wouldn’t we all agree? You know what really strikes me though? The number of people I keep running into who are re-focusing their lives from themselves to others. That is exciting stuff.

And, because it is where I primarily operate, I am seeing this in the business world but I have to think it exists in other circles as well.

Increasingly, I am finding myself meeting with people who think big – people who want to change lives, change communities, change the world and build the new Kingdom. Again, exciting stuff!

But then I start to think about money – how will things be funded? And that tends to stymie some of my thinking at least. It tends to put ideas from the “Let’s get going!” mindset to the “Someday something will happen and we will have the resources to do that” mindset.

But I was thinking yesterday and reminded myself just how wrong that is to take something that is from and of God and reduce it to a question of resources. Acts 1:8 says “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” In the original text, the word “dunamis” was used for “power”. And, in Greek, “dunamis” translates to “dynamite”. No lack of resources can overshadow the presence of dynamite!

Hopefully you’re seeing the same thing I am seeing with people re-focusing their lives on others and on God’s Kingdom. Let’s, all of us, remember that the lack of resources is not something to hold us back. When the Spirit is there, it brings dynamite power. And that is all that is needed.

With God’s dynamite power, we can indeed change lives and communities and the world. We can do exactly what God calls us to do – prepare His Kingdom.

  posted at 8:21 AM  

Who Am I?

Todd M


An ordinary guy. A wife I love very much. A great son. Wonderful friends. A metal roofing business and a sales training business. A loving church family. A few trade associations. A Christian school. And a four-pound poodle. Just trying to follow God and see where He leads.

My Complete Profile

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  • Trying To Lose My "Self" In Israel

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