Scripture Memorization, Week 35

This week’s memory verse is not a complete verse, but the point I think it makes is captured in the first part of the verse.

Do you understand all the ways of God? Do you have questions about what God allows? Do you sometimes doubt?

Then this week’s verse is for you!

Please enjoy (and memorize) this week’s memory verse:

The secret things belong to the Lord our God…

Deuteronomy 29:29

Any questions?

A Week with Zig Ziglar: Part 5

I continue to share this week I”m sharing an interview I did recently with leadership master and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar.

Here are the past posts in this series:

Part 1 

Part 2 

Part 3 

Part 4

My questions are in bold, followed by Zig’s answers. Occasionally, Zig’s son Tom interjects some thoughts. My personal notes and thoughts are in parentheses.

Here is part 5 of my interview with Zig Ziglar:

If you were starting over in your career today, would you do anything differently?

No, here’s why…

If you say what you’re going to do…go do it…no excuses…
I lived by that…and I’d do that all over again…

What was the tipping point in your career?

Tom: His faith…

When he became a Christian, his motivations changed. When he purposed in his heart to do it God’s way…everything changed…

Zig: I remember saying, “You know what God? I’ve always done it my way…now I’m going to do it your way…”

(When Zig became a believer he was broke and in debt. Since then, he’s never even had to ask for a speaking engagement…)

What advice would you give to young leaders entering their careers today?

Whatever you are going to do…talk about your family.

If you are just getting into sales…talk about your family….here’s why (always have a why)…it makes you more real and people trust you…

Whatever you are going to do…talk about your family.

(He went on to explain again that family is the most important thing in a person’s life apart from faith in God. And then he said, “I’m still courting the pretty redhead.” 🙂 )

What concerns you most about the changes you see taking place in today’s workplace?

We need to protect the family. Some things aren’t relative…my wife would never ask, “Were you relatively faithful this trip?”

There are some absolute truths…when it comes to integrity, honesty, character…society sees them as relative, but they are absolute truths.

So you’re famous for motivational speaking. Do you ever have days when you are not motivated?

(Emphatically) Not ever!

I know exactly when I go to bed what I’m going to be doing tomorrow, because I’ve already thought about it. I wake up planned for the day. It helps remove the stress from the day.

I’ve always believed if you are a Christian you are so grateful because you know where you’ll spend eternity.

(Zig Ziglar is such a gracious man…As we ended our conversation he said, “I’m grateful that you took the time to call me today...”  Wow! What a generous leader!)

Have you enjoyed my interview with Zig Ziglar this week?

A Week with Zig Ziglar: Part 4

I continue to share this week I”m sharing an interview I did recently with leadership master and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. If you missed part 1, click HERE or part 2 HERE and find part 3 HERE.

My questions are in bold, followed by Zig’s answers. Occasionally, Zig’s son Tom interjects some thoughts. My personal notes and thoughts are in parentheses.

Here is part 4 of my interview with Zig:

I learned one thing well talking to Zig Ziglar. An interview with Zig is a lesson in note-taking. He can spill out wisdom faster than one can type.

Here were some random quotes I was able to capture:

  • You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want…that works in the home, business, community and church.
  • If you thought before you talked, you’d have a better chance of coming up with the best answer.
  • I don’t linger very long before I take action on something. If I get an idea…I act on it…
  • One reason some people never wrote a book, is because no one ever told them they could…
  • Always have a notebook…two hours later I think…“What was that thought?”
  • If I think about it…I’m going do it…
  • Don’t ever tell people what you can’t do…if you don’t think you can do it…you’ll be right…
  • The more you know about anything the more creative you are…
  • The best way to close a sale, help them be a better person…
  • If people don’t trust what you say, they’re not going to listen to what you say…
  • Unless they have a why…most people don’t want to answer…Always explain the why if you are going to tell someone what to do…because then it will make sense to them…
  • Let your children hear you talking lovingly to your spouse….I always tell my wife, “I’m having more fun with you today than I did yesterday.” Let the kids hear you having fun together…(Zig has been married 64 years…)
  • I’m careful about who I read and who I listen to…
  • Tom: When Dad is reading a book, he quickly wants to see if the author is going to explain why as much as how…Dad also says, “Some people quit growing and start swelling.”
(I’m certain I missed some, but these were the ones I could capture.)

Click HERE for part 5 and the conclusion of my interview with Zig and learn the “tipping point” of his career.

A Week with Zig Ziglar: Part 3

I continue to share this week I”m sharing an interview I did recently with leadership master and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. If you missed part 1, click HERE or part 2 HERE.

My questions are in bold, followed by Zig’s answers. Occasionally, Zig’s son Tom interjects some thoughts. My personal notes and thoughts are in parentheses.

Here is part 3 of my interview with Zig Ziglar:

If people used three words to describe you, what would they use? 

Encourager, Consistent, Faith

Tom: I would say he walks his talk, and Dad is a pretty good talker.

How did you develop so many great leadership principles and sayings?

Whenever I have a thought, I always write it down. The first thought sometimes is the best thought and I never want to lose it. I still have fun reading at least three hours a day… a practice I’ve had about 40 years.

The more you know about a subject…the more creative in that subject you can be…so I keep reading…including all the new authors.

You have created a great legacy as a leader, and as a motivator. If people were going to summarize your life’s contributions to society, what would you want them to say?

Here’s a man that loved his family…and he loved them because they always helped him. If the people that help you help you…you should remember those people and talk about them.

My children know that I always put my wife first…

Tom: He wants to be known as a man who loves his family and was loved by his family. Plus, he left a message of hope and encouragement.

Zig: Encouragement is the number one thing that people need today.

A lot of people never hear an encouraging word…encouragement is the missing ingredient in many families…

How do you stay so positive?

You are who you are and what you are because of what goes in your mind. You can change who you are by changing what goes in your mind. If I can’t teach it I’m not going to read it.

I always ask myself when I’m reading, “How can I learn something in here that I can use to help someone out there?”  

(He said he reads business books, self-help, autobiographies, success stories, and Biblical principles. He makes sure he reads something encouraging every day and he avoids clouding his mind with negativity.)

Tom: After his accident, there was so much inside him already that there was no chance for a pity party.

(Click HERE for part 4 of my interview with Zig where I’ll share some random quotes from Zig, which will challenge and inspire you.)

A Week with Zig Ziglar: Part 2

This week I”m sharing an interview I did recently with leadership master and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. If you missed part 1, click HERE. My questions are in bold, followed by Zig’s answers. Occasionally, Zig’s son Tom interjects some thoughts. My personal notes and thoughts are in parentheses.

Here is part 2 of this interview:

I read that you grew accustomed to setbacks early in life.   

My father died when I was 5. I was the 10th of 12 kids. I started selling peanuts on the street at 6…and then mowing yards…

I decided you can either complain about it or do something about it…

Some things I can’t do anything about…

I’ve not always been pleased with some of the things that happened to me…but I’ve never complained about them.

Since your father died when you were so young, who invested in you early in life?  

At 12 years old, I started working at a grocery store with Mr. John R. Anderson. He treated me as his son. He knew I didn’t have a father, so whenever he went places he often took me with him. From Mr. Anderson, I learned that if you were kind to people and follow through you’ll have a better career.

Tom:  Mr. Anderson was a very successful businessman who had previously been an English teacher. He would correct Dad’s grammar. Who would have ever thought a 12-year-old boy in the heart of the Depression with no father in Yazoo City, Mississippi, would be an influential motivational speaker?

He had a couple of farms…he would supervise the workers…Dad would see how he treated the African-Americans with respect and kindness…so dad saw that principle in action….

Zig: My favorite quote: “God don’t make no junk…color has nothing to do with it…it’s your heart…”

Your children are obviously a great blessing to you right now.  What does that mean to you?

They are one of the most important parts of my life. I believe children should have a lot of attention. You spend time teaching them what they need to do and the way they do it.

I always say if you will help the children understand why they are doing something, they’ll be more likely to remember it and actually do it. (That works in leadership, too.)

Success in the family begins in the marriage…and I’m still courting that pretty redhead. (He said that several times…he obviously is still madly in love with his wife.) Divorce would go way down if the man wouldn’t quit courting his wife after they’re married.

Tom: My favorite joke dad tells is when he repeats Ethel Waters saying, “God don’t make no junk.” Then dad adds, “God don’t make no junk…and thanks to your mother….neither do I.”

(Zig is a man of deep faith and conviction. He talks most passionately when he mentions issues of family and character. It’s obvious to see the connection between what he values and what he teaches.)

Click HERE for part 3 of my interview with Zig where I asked Zig about the legacy he wants to leave behind.

Do you recognize how the pain of your past helps shape who you are today?

A Week with Zig Ziglar: Part 1

Zig Ziglar! The man!

John Maxwell pays tribute to Zig Ziglar in his book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.” He heard Zig at a seminar say, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”” Maxwell realized in that moment what was missing in his communication skills. It was that encouragement, which set Maxwell on a path to be a great communicator and connector of people.

Seth Godin did a post about Zig where he claims Ziglar “invented modern day motivational speaking.”

Bottom line: Zig Ziglar is an amazing man who has had a tremendous impact on our culture.

I had an incredible opportunity recently to interview the famous Zig Ziglar.

You may not know that about four years ago, Zig had a fall down a flight of stairs. His children now help him in the business, so his son Tom was in on the interview and adds some of his own thoughts, which I indicate throughout the interview. This week I’ll be sharing some thoughts from the legend…Zig Ziglar.

The interview was random at times, because I couldn’t keep up with the wit and wisdom, so I gave up following my notes. I’ll share it in interview style over several posts. My questions are in bold and his answers follow. Whenever you see a parenthesis along the way, those are my thoughts on the discussion.

Here is my interview with Zig Ziglar:

Mr. Ziglar, are you willing to tell us about your accident?

Well, I fell down some stairs about four years ago, but through it I learned to embrace the struggle. (He is so incredibly positive that he never lingers long on the negative of a situation.) It was fortunate that I hit my head…that’s the hardest part of my body…

(Through this injury, Zig had a brain injury and now suffers from short-term memory loss. His long-term memory appears fine and he certainly was engaging throughout the interview.)

Obviously this has impacted your ability to do some of the things you are most passionate about doing.  How have you adjusted to this change in your life?

I’ve not had to change anything. I’m not quite as busy because I’m getting older, but I still write and speak. I have short-term memory loss, but my mom always said, “If you always tell the truth you don’t need a long memory…”

Tom: He still feels he has a message to tell.

Zig: Tom and/or his sisters help me now. We have the same message we’ve always had.

(Tom serves as CEO of Ziglar, Inc., and his two sisters work in the company. Julie is an editor and speaker. Cindy does customer service.)

Have you learned anything as a result of this setback?

Although we didn’t like it, in many cases it has brought us closer together as a family…

It gave us the home court advantage. We’ve always believed that if you are part of a family…close together….it makes life easier…

As a result, one daughter moved closer…our children now travel together…

Tom: So many people are dealing with their own struggles…they see someone like Dad…who is the definition of success…and now he’s dealing with this injury…yet his attitude and his mission are still the same…it’s encouraging to them. He’s not quit. He’s just figured out a different way to accomplish the same things.

Zig: I’m busy as a one-armed man calling on twin sisters…and loving every minute of it.

(Click HERE for part 2 of my interview with Zig and read some about how a painful childhood impacted who Zig is today.)

Has your life been impacted by Zig or someone he’s impacted…such as John Maxwell? 

5 Reversals of Emphasis…

R E V E R S A L – N E E D E D

Sometimes I think we emphasize the wrong things…

What if we reversed a few things?

I wonder how much better it would be to emphasize:

  • Where you are going over where you have been…
  • Who you will be over what you have done…
  • What you accomplish over what you dream…
  • What you believe over what you deny…
  • What’s in your heart over what has been your actions…

If we did a reversal on the things we emphasized…

Started concentrating more on these things…

Would it change the way you viewed yourself…or the way others view you?

For which of these do you most need to reverse your emphasis?

Is Suicide an Unforgivable Sin?

Suicide sucks!

I realize this is a heavy issue for this blog, but seriously…I have had to sit with people several times after a loved one committed suicide. A clouded or confused mind may see suicide as the only way out, although it is never the right option, but it is never easy reconcile for the people left behind. I believe one of my dearest pastor friends died of a broken heart after his son committed suicide. Sadly, suicide appears to be on the rise. Our local paper reported this week (see article HERE) that our state has been awarded $1.4 million to aid in suicide prevention.

Suicide sucks!

This post is not aimed for those who have ever considered suicide…

If you are at all thinking of taking your life…STOP and call for help NOW!!!

This post is for those who are victims of knowing someone who has taken his or her life…

One of the things I hear after a suicide breaks my heart. Families are often left wondering what happened to their loved one. Well-meaning people often repeat something they’ve heard before…that friends and family members who commit suicide are destined to be separated from Jesus the rest of their lives. They assume that suicide is the unforgivable sin. I’ve encountered people who struggle for years with the thoughts that their loved one died apart from Jesus. The only problem with that assumption is that I can’t prove it in the Bible.

Yes, suicide is a sin.

Murder is a sin…taking a life is a sin…suicide is a sin…

Please don’t resort to that…There is always a better way…

If you are at all thinking of taking your life…STOP and call for help NOW!!!

But, suicide is NOT the unforgivable sin.

The grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient even for this sin…

I’m fully convinced there will be brothers and sisters in Christ who are in Heaven, who were experiencing terrible trials…who felt trapped or helpless…who made a bad decision…who took their life…but fully believed that Jesus was the only answer for salvation.

Jesus describes the unforgivable sin in Matthew 12:22-32. It says nothing about suicide.

I know this is a delicate issue. You might read THIS POST or THIS POST I found which addresses this issue in better detail.

I’m praying for those struggling with this issue as I post this…