Scripture Memorization, Week 36

It’s been a long week. God was more real than ever before, but I was a true pastor this week. There were more needs than I had time or energy. On weeks like this, I need this type reminder.

Here is this week’s memory verse:

I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, Lord, make me live in safety. Psalm 4:8

God only knows what another week has for us.

Do you need this reminder?

When there aren’t words to say…

I did the funeral for an 18 year old young man once. (In fact, I’ve done a few too many funerals for children when the parents are still living.) For this boy, I went to school with his mother and his father is a dear, personal friend. He was supposed to start college the following Monday, but tragically died in a car accident on the prior Sunday night. He was a well-loved, funny, popular boy and the funeral home was packed with people paying their respects. As you can imagine, there were hundreds of students wrestling to understand why this happened to their friend.

In times like these, there usually are no words that can fully bring comfort to the family. They are hurting. They are hurting with a pain whose depths most of us can never imagine. I frequently get asked, “What should I say to the family?”

When there aren’t words to say…

Say nothing if there’s nothing to say…just be there…

Tell them you’re sorry…but don’t try to make explanations…

Give them a hug…and hold them until they let go…

Cry with them…and assure them you care…

Pray for them…and do this continually after you leave their presence…

When there aren’t words to say…

Just be a friend…

When was the last time you were in a situation where there was simply nothing to say? 

Introducing: Open Church

Kent Shaffer is the mind behind Church Relevance and other online ministry resources. Kent is one of my early mentors for my blog and has since become not only a social media friend, but someone I’ve been able to hang out with a few times. I learned how to leverage influence by watching Kent online.

Now Kent has a new project and I’m excited to help introduce it to you here.

Introducing Open Church

Open Church is a nonprofit designed to empower global church leaders to equip each other with ministry ideas and free downloadable resources. You can visit http://openchurch.com to learn more about it, but consider this diagram to fuel some thoughts:

Be honest, did you know 80% of global church influencers are Americans, but Americans are only 10% of Christians? Have you even thought about learning from Christians around the world? Do you think they may have something they could teach us as Americans?

Social media has made the world a smaller place. I interact with pastors around the world everyday. Open Church is designed to allow believers to truly learn from one another.

Still want to know more? Check out this brochure for Open Church HERE.

We can only see what we can see…

I say this often…

We can only see what we can see…

I don’t know why…

I just find times that it seems to fit…

Sometimes the simplest statements have the largest meaning…

The fact is…

We can only see what we can see…

The rest requires faith…

In my experience, sometimes God lets you see miles down the road…

He told me once, for example, to plant a church…

17 months later we launched…

(That was after the 10 years I ignored what He was saying…but that’s another story…)

Sometimes God lets you see only a few steps…

It was that way when God called me into ministry…

I had no idea where I was headed next…

I could only see what I could see…

The rest required faith…

When you can’t see beyond the steps…and even when you can…

Remember “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7)

Because…

We can only see what we can see…

What about you?

Are you seeing the miles…or are you seeing the steps?

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?