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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Seven Life-Changing Books

By Linda Lin

The Four Agreements - Miguel Ruiz

Years ago, I read this book. The great thing about this book is that you can read just the chapter names and that one step alone can have a profound effect on how you view the world and how you react to what the world dishes out to you. This book can make changes for the better in your life. The key here is that you must read this book with an open mind. Cast your negative thoughts away before you even open the pages to this book. Promise yourself that you will believe every word here in the book and with that promise that you make to yourself, you will begin to see good, positive, constructive changes in your personality, in your day and in your whole life. Reread the book once every six months or so to renew your strength and your decision to keep an open mind and follow the principles that are stated out in the book.

The Greatest Miracle in the World - Og Mandino

Again, I read this book so many years ago. Actually, I read most of the book. This is one book that I skimmed. But I reached the chapter in the book that would most affect my life. Inside the book there are a number of pages that are filled with something called, "The God Memorandum". This magnificent piece of writing is totally awesome. I cannot tell you what it says because this memorandum must be digested piece by piece, and you must hear the exact words of Og Mandino's writing to get the full benefit of it.

Serenity (A Companion to 12 Step Recovery) - Thomas Nelson

This book is a comfortable paperback that you can carry with you. The book has the New Testament and along with that , in different chapters, the twelve steps are featured and explained. This is one of the most unique 12-step books on the market and well worth looking into . Step Three has brought so many changes into the lives of people that the miracles are uncountable in this world. Believing in God, reaching out to God and knowing and remembering that God is always with us are things that affect humans in most positive ways.

The Word According to Mr. Rogers - Fred Rogers

Mr. Rogers is awesome and so is his message to children and to adults. Here is a man that is truly a gentleman. He is no longer with us but his words stay with us through the books that carry his writings. This is one book that every child and every adult should have in their library. It just makes sense.

God Thinks You're Wonderful - Max Lucado

This book leaves me speechless because it is a solid reminder of God's love for me. If you ever need to buy a gift for someone who has everything, this book should be at the top of the list. The good thing about this book also is that there are cartoons on every single page. So this is a book for people who do not like to read and for readers alike.

2008 Writer's Market - Writer's Digest Books

This book is an interesting, complete compilation of agents, publishers, addresses, fax numbers, email addresses of all those people you need to contact to have your writing, your books, your poetry published. The book is large and sometimes as heavy as a small telephone book. And, of course, at times it could be considered expensive. Some of the books, the Deluxe Edition contain a special code number inside that enables the purchaser to go online and have a free year's subscription to Writersmarket.com If you have ever thought of writing, dreamed of writing or if you are serious about being published, you would and should purchase this book for yourself.

The Holy Bible - Thomas Nelson

I saved the best for last, of course. The Holy Bible has always been the most effective book when it comes to changing lives for the better. When one has faith, one has everything, even when one has nothing. Sounds contradictory? Yes, But that is all the truth. With the Bible in your hand or in your mind, you can accomplish things that you thought you could never accomplish. I remember when I was in the wilderness and I looked up at the huge mountain that we had to climb. (Yes, they called it rock-scaling but I saw a huge mountain in front of me). I froze in fear even though more than five people in front of me had climbed up quite successfully, and they made it look so easy too. But still, I froze in fear. Then I remembered my faith, I remembered what I had learned in the Bible so many years before. I remembered one of my favorite Bible verses, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me". Ah, I paused for one more moment, looked at the rock and begin climbing up to the top. With each step I said to myself, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me". I said it over and over with each step that I took up the mountain. Seems I went up there quite quickly. Later on that day, someone said, "I looked up at Lin and she was flying"!

Yes, the Holy Bible can and is and will be a very life-changing book in your life, even if you just take one single verse and use that verse on a daily basis. So there is my list of the seven life-changing books. You should have them all in your own library.

The author of this article has had many works published in the USA. She has traveled extensively throughout the East Coast and through the South while observing people and writing about life and everything that is in it. She invites you to connect with her at her website. Contact her through ezine, or reach her through towriteus@yahoo.com

Getting Things Done (GTD) With Junk Removal Services

By Amy Nutt

If there was ever a unique service provided to households, junk removal services are exactly that. These services will take your junk and will dispose of it in the proper manner so that you don't have to do it all yourself. Sometimes the junk that you have may be way beyond your handling capabilities, so you call on the junk removal service of your choice to get it done for you. When utilizing these services, you would be quite amazed at what kind of difference it makes.

How much of a difference do they make? They make quite a difference. If you are renovating your home and you have a lot of junk that is getting in your way, a junk removal service will clear out the obstacles for you. However, it is important that you choose a service that will provide you with the services that you need. This is because not one junk removal service is the same. They all get things done differently.

What does a good junk removal service do?

A good junk removal service will not waste your time, will carefully screen all of their workers to make sure your belongings will not be tampered with, they won't walk off of the job before they finish it, and the workers will have good moral character. That means they should treat you with respect when coming to haul off all of that unwanted junk.

The disposal

The junk removal company should be able to take around 70% of the junk that is retrieved and recycle it. This means that not all of your junk is going to end up in a landfill somewhere where it can hurt the environment. In fact, having a junk removal service dispose of your junk is probably the most responsible thing that you can do because they are going to make sure that everything is disposed of properly.

They may also take pieces of furniture and other salvageable items and have them fixed for use in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, homeless shelters, low income homes, and other uses that give them a second life. Even soil can get a second go around. If the soil is usable, then the junk removal company will donate it to greenhouses and nurseries because they can always use good soil. If you have any green waste, the junk removal will make sure it is placed within lakes and ponds because the aquatic life can thrive on it.

As for what can't be disposed of is common sense. Anything that is considered to be a hazardous material cannot be removed. This is for the safety of the junk removal service's workers and for the environment. There is also the fact that they may not have a license to remove hazardous waste. The best way to learn of how these materials can be disposed of is through your local waste management office or a recycling center.

Keep in mind

Keep in mind that there is a cost associated with junk removal and it will depend on what and how much you are disposing of. The service will most likely charge based on volume, which is how much space is consumed in the truck. Some heavier materials such as concrete and plaster may constitute a higher fee due to the fact that they are disposed of differently. That is why it is difficult for a junk removal service to give price quotes over the phone. Nevertheless, you'll find that junk removal is an affordable and environmentally friendly way to clear the clutter out of your life.

1-877-Junk-Two-Go (junk removal toronto) is the premier North American junk solution

 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reaping the Fruit of Success in Life

One way to become more successful in your life is to look at the lifestyle and habits of people who are already clearly reaping the fruits of success in life and who are living and growing towards their unique God given potential. What are some common characteristics and behaviour that we can apply to our own lives to help us on our own personal journey towards excellence? I have spent many years studying this area, and have discovered that there are common principles and habits which successful people follow and see positive results many times over. Even people who have achieved great personal growth in their lives know the importance of having established life habits and daily motivation towards their personal goals. Here are three important keys to unleash personal growth.

Three Steps towards Success to Grow You Beyond Better.

1. Believe in yourself

"You weren't an accident. You weren't mass produced. You aren't an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the Earth by the Master Craftsman"
Max Lucado Best Selling Author

We all are born with a unique personality and gifts and abilities. There is a purpose for each person's life and each person possesses all that is needed to fulfill that purpose. For more information on discovering your uniqueness and purpose check out
http://www.livingbeyondbetter.com/discovering-your-uniqueness.html

Believing in oneself is a choice we all have to make, sometimes many times a day. It is an attitude that we develop over time. It can be called self confidence, self esteem or self worth. We cannot base our belief about our worth on our past, our circumstances, or other people's opinions. We choose to believe that we are of value, have something to offer to others and the world, and that our
life has purpose. The strength of what we allow our mind to think and believe is incredibly powerful. The power of what we believe will become a self fulfilling prophecy over our life. It can be the difference between mediocrity and the results we desire. Successful people acknowledge their limitations, but keep on choosing to believe that anything is possible. It is not what life hands you that is important, but how you respond to it that makes the difference.

2. Become a life long learner

Successful people keep themselves up to date with information, which allows them to be on the cutting edge in their field of influence. As human knowledge has vastly increased, and is more accessible than ever before, so a commitment to life long learning is an important key to success. Making this a daily habit builds a solid foundation for positive growth. Many successful people are committed to reading at least one book every week. If you give one hour a day towards something you would really like to learn or accomplish in your life, it adds up to 365 hours a year!
Significant changes can happen in that amount of time. Using throw away time usefully is also a good exercise, for example listening to an audio tape or CD when traveling in the car. To grow beyond better, purposely schedule time into your day which you can use to devote to improving your mind, and increasing your skills. Consciously make the decision to assimilate and apply what you learn.

3. Keep good company.

Surround yourself with positive people. It is so easy to be affected by negativity, and drawn into that way of thinking. Make a point to mix with people who encourage you, inspire you and believe in you. Keep company with people who energize you towards reaching your goals. You tend to become like the people you spend the most time with.

Jim Rohn, a successful author and self-made millionaire wrote: "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with"

Increase the time you spend with positive successful people, and spend less time with those who have a negative influence on you. Being around negativity will decrease your self confidence and create discouragement. Look for new opportunities to mix with successful people. Observe and learn from their attitudes and lifestyle, and adopt and adapt things that might work in your life and situation.

Barbara White, of Beyond Better Development,speaks and writes with passion to inspire and empower people in their journey ofpersonal growth towards the excellence in life that they aspire to.

This article was written for her newsletter GrowingBeyond Better

Measuring Leadership Success With Leadership Metrics

By Sam Miller

Leadership is often equated with a position of authority. In the corporate world, a company's success could be dependent on how effective the leaders of that company are. A revolutionary way of measuring the effectiveness of an individual's leadership has been recently formulated. Leadership metrics present a scientific and systematic way of measuring how good a leader is by a series of capital elements. A leader's performance is graded through these elements. Also taken into account are the leadership conditions in which they operate in. The combined elements of leadership capital and leadership conditions are a surefire way to determine whether an individual is an able and competent leader or not.

The Leadership Capital Assessment is a formal instrument of measurement in this metrics. Leadership Capital refers to the six areas of competency possessed by a person in order for him to lead the company to brighter and more prosperous conditions. These competencies are innate qualities of an individual that are useful for effective leadership. He must have the wisdom, trust, courage, voice, values, and vision. Vision and values are two philosophical frameworks used by a leader in his operations. Wisdom and courage are sterling attributes for a leader to make effective strategies, come up with the right decisions, and solve problems. A leader's trust and voice could lead others to follow the path a leader is directing them to. These qualities are needed to interrelate with others in the company.

This self-examination metrics basically measure the six competencies on a scale of 1 to 99. An ideal average of 70 is needed after all areas of competency are graded. A score of more than 90 and less than 40 indicates that the individual is displaying tendencies for anti-leadership. Anti-leadership refers to either the lack or excess of leadership capital elements.

Although a leader may possess innate qualities that are very useful for him to lead the company, it is also important to consider the environment he works on and the prevailing conditions. These conditions are important elements that would provide the individual a good opportunity to lead. Ideally, the person must be at the right place and at the right time. He must also do the right things that would move the company forward. Most importantly, he must be working with the right people. These conditions are very vital since these would foster the leadership capital possessed by an individual.

The metrics rate these conditions from the range of very poor to very good. An individual must be presented with good to very good conditions in the four areas. Otherwise, their environment is not good for them and they will have less than ample opportunity to lead.

An ideal leader is someone who exhibits the right balance in all six competencies. Deficiency and excess in these competencies could result to disastrous leadership. Metrics are very important here since these could identify problems in leadership and could save a company from the perils of disastrous leadership. More importantly, the leadership metrics used are better than a mishmash of opinions and judgments where certain elements of leadership might be left unexamined or over-baked in scrutiny.

If you are interested in leadership metrics, check this web-site to learn more about leadership dashboard.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

6 Vital Leadership Characteristics

By Duncan Brodie

Questions are often asked about whether leaders are born or whether they can be developed. My own view is that anyone who has the desire and is willing to do the work can become a great leader. At the same time there are certain characteristics or qualities that are vital in leaders.

Characteristic 1: Enthusiasm

Those that succeed as leaders are enthusiastic and upbeat. They know that they might not have everyone on board with all of their ideas, that they might not have all of the skills or the knowledge they need. They are however highly positive and know that there is a solution to obstacles that arise. They just need to find it. One of the real benefits of being enthusiastic and positive is that it is infectious. Who would you rather be around- a leader who is upbeat and positive or a leader who is negative and pessimistic?

Characteristic 2: Integrity

Personal integrity is the second vital leadership characteristic. Leaders with integrity set the tone in terms of expectations of how they will behave themselves and how others behave. Another way of looking at integrity is professionalism. The acid test in terms of integrity is whether what you are planning to do will stand the test of public scrutiny.

Characteristic 3: Warmth

Inclusion of warmth in a list of leadership characteristics might seem strange. People often confuse warmth with being soft. In truth leaders can be considerate of others, show empathy and at the same time be the person who makes the tough calls.

Characteristic 4: Courage

Read the autobiographies of successful people and a trend that you will continually identify is that they were people with courage. They are willing to go and try things and take risks. Where do you sit on the risk continuum?

Characteristic 5: Judgement

While leaders are courageous they are not reckless. They weigh up the pros and cons and take balanced risks. Judgement is all about make the best decision you can with the information you have available.

Characteristic 6: Tough but fair

Leaders recognise that they cannot be popular all of the time. They know that they need to make tough decisions from time to time. They take the tough decisions and at the same time will seek to act fairly.

Leadership characteristics take time to develop. So what leadership characteristic could you start working on to achieve greater success?

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements (G&A) works with individuals, teams and organisations to develop their management and leadership capability.

With 25 years business experience in a range of sectors, he understands first hand the real challenges of managing and leading in the demanding business world.

You can learn more about Duncan, Goals and Achievements services and products and sign up for his free e-course and newsletter at http://www.goalsandachievements.co.uk/

Sunday, June 22, 2008

3-Golden Rules of Innovation

By Pete Koerner

It isn't always easy to be different; yet, if you want to be innovative, you've got to break with trends, traditions, and even your own habits. There's no way around this; innovators are bringers of new things - not old things. New means change; change means different. You won't find those inspirations and motivations to do new things, however, by staying in your comfort zone. Innovators in business, industry, and technology all follow certain rules - their own rules - not the standard rules of thinking and acting that most of society uses. To break through to a new reality, try following these "golden rules" for creating change:

  1. Be Creative. Do something new; do something different. You can use old things and ideas for inspiration; but avoid repeating old ideas. Instead, seek that which is new - no matter how scary it might be to be radically different.
  2. Be Bold. Stand and face the world courageously; you are not really any safer sitting at home with your un-tried ideas dying a slow death. When you do something new and different, never apologize; always move forward learning and growing from each new experience. Don't be afraid of being different; be proud of being different - revel in your uniqueness and boldness.
  3. Be Focused on Your Vision. Diligent thought, imagination, focus and concentration are the true tools of successful innovation. The Wright brothers did not solidify their vision of a powered airplane by casually chatting about the possibility for a few minutes each day; they were beset with a firm belief that they could fly - and they stayed focused on that vision until it came to fruition.

The stimulus of the outside world (television, news media, entertainment media, family drama, friends, schedules, conflicts, etc...) is always pulling at our focus and attention; and, combined with all of this environmental "noise," the repetitive programming and conditioning we are exposed to make it nearly impossible for anyone to have a truly original thought. Coupled with the unfortunate fact that many people's spirits are often "beat into submission" at a very young age with verbal, emotional, and physical abuse, creating something new - and stepping out of the box - can present quite a challenge. But you will find that the journey is worth it if only you stay the course, stay awake, and follow these simple rules for realizing your goals and dreams - and creating a positive change in the world.

If you're ready for change, and ready to break-through old barriers and overcome old limitations, try using EFT* to set yourself free of old limitations and unlock your creativity.

*To download your FREE, Illustrated Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) Manual, go to: http://www.ExploreExpandEvolve.com/free_download/ (It only takes about 10-seconds to get your Free EFT manual and start erasing fears and limiting beliefs!)

Pete Koerner is the author of The Belief Formula: The Secret to Unlocking the Power of Prayer. The Belief Formula is a look at how you can use ancient wisdom and modern scientific awareness to learn how to use your mind to reclaim your health and create the life of your dreams.

For a Free Report on Making The Belief Formula Work for You, visit: http://www.TheBeliefFormula.com

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Leadership and Team-Building - the Courage of the Follower

By Ira Chaleff

"Follower" is not a personality type. It is a role most people play at some times in groups and organizations. But playing it effectively and, in particular, playing it morally, requires courage.

Courage is a great balancer of power in relationships. It is not just those in the leader role who need to act with courage. An individual who is not afraid to speak and act on the truth as she perceives it, despite external inequities in a relationship, is a force to be reckoned with.

Courage implies risk. If there is no risk, courage is not needed. Life, of course, is full of risk at every turn, at every moment. We usually structure our lives to reduce risk to an acceptable level. Courage requires a willingness to consciously raise our level of risk, at least in the short term.

A priest must be willing to tell the bishop that moral turpitude is being covered up in his see. An aide must be willing to tell the governor that her policies will cause extreme hardship. A mid-level manager must be willing to tell senior management that by only paying lip service to quality or customer service they are not only undermining their brand, but the company's integrity.

While silence may appear the safe choice, it often leaves our relationships with leaders or peers sapped of the vitality that honest dialogue produces. A follower needs the courage of an inquisitive child who asks questions without fear, but also needs the courage of an adult who bears the responsibility for a family. The family's need for security may clash with the need to risk that security for higher principles. This is a core issue, for without the willingness to risk on this profound level, we won't speak the truth at times that our integrity requires us to do so. From where can we draw the courage that is needed?

On a practical level, if our livelihood depends on our position with the leader, it is healthy for us to develop contingency plans. Another job opportunity, money in the bank to support us during a transition, a working spouse or partner, any of these can provide a safety net that makes our leap of courage less intimidating. Being prepared to be fired is an antidote to silencing ourselves, though getting fired occurs much less than is feared. Sometimes the courageous truth teller is even rewarded, once the leader recognizes the value of the service provided.

On a deeper level, each of us may find our own courage springs form different sources:

our religious beliefs,

our philosophy,

a role model,

a vision of the future,

a vow made from past experience,

an event that tested us,

a conviction we hold,

our values,

our empathy for others,

our self-esteem,

commitment to our colleagues,

outrage felt towards injustice.

If we are clear on the sources of our courage, this prepares us to accept the consequences of our actions. To act courageously, we may not need to free ourselves from fear, but to experience our fear in the context of our source of courage. If our principles and goals are clear, enormous self-empowerment can occur.

When dealing with the misuse of power, we probably have to fail a few times before we succeed. The first time we are confronted with the misuse of power, with the attitude and force that usually accompanies the misuse, it is so startling that we may flinch or freeze. We may need to go away and prepare ourselves to meet it again.

Our "courage muscle" will develop to the degree we exercise it. If we exercise it when the risks are small. It will be strong enough to meet the challenge when the risks are high. Ultimately there are no formulas for courage: we develop it through determination and practice, self-forgiveness when we fail, and growth when we learn. We may lose a specific "battle" but we win the more important victory of preserving our integrity and providing good stewardship to those in our care.

This article has been adapted from The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders, 2nd edition, by Ira Chaleff (2003) and may be reprinted for free in this form with attribution to the author and this biography. Also, please include a link to his web site: http://courageousfollower.net Ira Chaleff is president of Executive Coaching & Consulting Associates, http://exe-coach.com in Washington, DC., and is an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University. He is also the co-editor of the Art of Followership (2008).

How to Increase Faith

The Holy bible says "faith comes by the hearing, and the hearing, of the word of GOD". I do not believe that the repeated word "hearing" is a misprint. I believe that it says it this way to make a point. The point is to hear the word of GOD, and hear it again. When a person reads, do they not in effect "hear" the words in their own mind?
Of course. Another way to hear the word of GOD, is to get into a good bible based church.

I believe that when Jesus healed the two blind men, He was not only showing others the glory of GOD, but also teaching. The lesson He wanted them to learn, was you must first believe, to receive. The reason I know this is because of the way Jesus did it. He could have just said "be ye healed", and they would have been. Instead He asked them first "believe ye Me that I can do this?" When they said yea LORD. He then said unto them, "according to your faith be it unto you".

Do I take this to mean they would have not been healed had they really not believed? Yes I do, for He would not have said "according to your faith, be it unto you". This was for the benefit of the onlookers, in so they could learn, that it was a requirement for it to work.

The lesson learned here was, it is a requirement of the LORD, for the person being healed, to believe they would be healed, in order for it to be given. Unless, the person being prayed for is "knocked out."

I have seen people cheated out of a divine healing, simply by saying "if it is the will of the LORD, it will be done." The little big word "if" conveyed the thought, they had a seed of doubt. When you doubt the word of GOD, you are in effect doubting GOD.

When you throw a ball into the air you believe "doubting nothing" that it will come back down. The same is true when you pray. Matthew says " when you pray you must believe doubting nothing" it will be given. Likewise when you pray for the healing of another, the person being prayed for has to be of
like mind, that is they have to expect that it will be done.

The person saying the prayer has to believe the same. For if the seed of doubt is present in either party, it shall not be given. Because the seed of doubt, comes not from GOD, but from the devil. He wants nothing more than to cast a stumbling block in front of the healing.

When he does this, he is causing the person, to not fully believe in GODS almighty power. Being the master of deception, he knows the tiniest seed, will cause failure.

If you want to increase your faith in GOD, then simply increase your faith in the word of GOD. I have heard a few people say "well men wrote the bible, not GOD", this is true but the people who GOD gave His word to, got it through the holy spirit. The holy spirit is of GOD, and cannot lie.

First John says "in the beginning was GOD, and the word was with GOD, and the word was GOD." So, we can believe the word of GOD, because it is in fact of GOD.

If we say that we believe in GOD, how can it be possible to not believe in His word? When we learn to trust GOD fully, then we also must trust, the same amount in His word. When we do this, we are in fact, increasing our faith in both.

GOD knows every mans heart, and if we say that we trust GOD, but trust not, in each and every word, of His word, we are doubting HIM. The word of GOD says " if you want to know ME, than know My word. The LORD says " I change not."

Therefore His word changes not. The word of GOD, is the only absolute truth, on earth. The difference between men"s truths, and GODS truth is this: men"s truths are always subject to change, where GODS truth never changes.

So to sum this up, let us put full faith in GOD, and His word. It has been said " I do not fully understand some of the scriptures." If you want more understanding of scriptures, then do this first, ask GOD for forgiveness of sin. If you say "you are without sin" then you are deceiving yourself.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of GOD. Once you have been forgiven of sin, then you have a pure heart.

It is necessary to have a pure heart, in order for the holy spirit to dwell inside you. If you are not sure if you have the holy spirit, take the steps above, and ask the LORD, to give you the gift of the holy spirit. The bible says "The holy spirit, shall lead men into all truths". If you want to understand the scriptures, get the holy spirit, and ask the Lord to give you wisdom, and understanding of the scriptures.

It shall be given, When you have a better understanding of GODS word, then you have a better understanding of the LORD. Therefore, to build up your faith in GOD, build up your faith into His word. When you know the absolute truth, hold on to it, revel in it, abide in it and HE will abide in you. Your faith in HIM and His word will increase. Then, with the holy spirit of truth, you can discern all things spiritual.

Stephen Monday is a Web Copy writer, content manager, Minister, and sole writer of the website Beacon Of Truth http://www.truth-witness.com (Writings Of The Holy Spirit) my email address can be found at http://www.AAAWebcopyServices.com

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Leadership and the Rise and Fall of Nations in Bible Times

By Leopold A. Foullah

This section is a historical reflection of specific periods of two nations in Bible times. These periods would be periods of success and failures. The goal of the reflection is basically to identify the roles played by the leadership during these periods and see the relationship between the roles and the rise or fall of the nations. The nations that will be discussed are Israel and Egypt.

THE RISE OF ISRAEL UNDER GOOD LEADERSHIP

During the long history of Israel between the time of the exodus from Egypt and the return to Judah from Babylon captivity, there had been times that Israel had prospered as a nation. The periods of prosperity and success can be identified with specific leaders or leaderships. Three of these leaders-David, Solomon and Nehemiah will now be discussed.

David

The biblical records show that David came to the throne about 1000BC and reigned for approximately forty years. Ted W Engstrom made two observations about the forty years reign of David. First, he pointed out that David fought many wars.1 It was observed from the biblical records that David took up leadership in Israel at a time of political instability. Israel had many enemies and some were afraid of Israel becoming a powerful nation, which will subsequently dominate them. In fact, when the Philistines heard that David had been made king they came to attack him. For this reason David had to make his throne secure from Israel's enemies. One can therefore understand why in his first campaign as king he captured the walled city of Zion or Jerusalem and made it his capital. Without political stability there would hardly be any form of development in a nation. It should be observed that political stability is not only an external matter but also an internal matter. For this reason, David did not only fight the enemy nations of Israel but also established a capital to exercise his rule and control over the people. Second, Engstrom pointed out that David established international relationships with other nations, citing Hiram of Tyre as one of them.2 A leader who looks forward to development and progress in his country seeks relationship with other countries that will help him achieve his goal. Later on, under Solomon's government the benefits of these relationships will be better seen. David took special precautions to handle the political situations of the nation because it can directly affect the nation positively or negatively.

William Dumbrell also observed that David moved the Ark of the Lord from Kiriath-Jearim to the capital he had established. He said this was to centralize all of Israel's sacred traditions in his new capital. Dumbrell further observed that the move was a blatant political one.3 It is noteworthy that one cannot completely separate religion from politics. The unity of a nation can to some extent be maintained under the banner of religion.

Political rest or stability and religious unity of a nation establishes the foundation for her economic prosperity. This was not so for the nation of Israel under the leadership of Saul. So, David who succeeded Saul changed the potentially bleak destiny of the nation to a positive one. David also built up the resources and made preparations for the development of the nation. One example is his provision for building the temple.

Solomon

Solomon was David's son who succeeded him as King. John Maxwell observed that Solomon took a good kingdom and turned it to a great kingdom.4 A reflection on the state of the kingdom David left for Solomon, gives one an understanding of what Maxwell meant by good kingdom. The biblical records in the first three chapters of first Kings state that Solomon himself possesses both wealth and wisdom as he began to rule. Also, Israel had become a major military force, and in addition David had accumulated wealth and some of the materials for the building of the Temple. Solomon achieved a great deal in assuming leadership. What then did he do for the nation for Maxwell to have said he turned a good kingdom to a great one. Maxwell pointed out what impressive administration that he built, and the fact that he made use of the talents of his twelve governors. Also, about the alliances he built with neighboring powers, the trade relationships he established, his building projects and extensive defensive fortifications for the city.5 There is no question about the fact that the nation prospered under Solomon. The nation enjoyed peace and saw great development. It should be noted that the political stability and the religious unity achieved during the reign of David laid the foundations for Solomon's success.

Nehemiah

John White observed that the setting of the book of Nehemiah is the rebuilding of a nation. It may be misleading to consider the setting of the book as the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall and gates. To make his point, White gave a historical reflection of what happened to the nation prior to Nehemiah's leadership. He said the Babylonians had plundered Jerusalem and the southern Kingdom of Judah, and exiled the citizens about a hundred and fifty years before Nehemiah came. But when Babylon fell to the Persians, King Cyrus reversed Babylonian policy and allowed some Jewish groups to return back to Jerusalem in 538 BC. However these people were not able to make the city defensible again. There was political instability, poor economy and a collapse of the true Jewish religion and tradition, which usually unites the people as a nation. It was from this background that Nehemiah exercised leadership.6

The nation of Israel at that time had no future hope. They seemed to have been left at the mercies of their enemies. Under Nehemiah's leadership the situation changed. The wall and gates of Jerusalem were built, but not only that the future of the nation was changed. This was because the nation began to experience security and political stability, unity of the people as a result of religious awakening, and prosperity once again. Ted W. Engstrom observed that these achievements should be ascribed to Nehemiah because as a leader he displayed great courage in the face of much opposition, had deep concern for his people, and exhibited by his insight, tact, impartiality, and decisiveness.7 The way Nehemiah handled the political situation, the religious atmosphere and the economy, changed the destiny of the nation at that point in time.

THE FALL OF ISRAEL UNDER BAD LEADERSHIP

This section is a reflection of the three hundred years of Israel's history under the Judges. Eugene H. Merrill noted that the three hundred or so years of the history of Israel under the Judges were marked by political, moral, and spiritual anarchy and deterioration. The situation was so pervasive that even the sons of Eli, the high priest at the end of the 12th century, had completely apostatized, and had used their priestly office for their own gain and licentious pursuits?8 One may wonder what happened to this powerful nation which left Egypt under the leadership of Moses, conquered and took possession of the Promised Land under Joshua's leadership.

God raised up many Judges to rule Israel during this period of time. Duane F Lindsey pointed out that these Judges were primarily military and civil leaders, with strict judicial functions included as appropriate.9 Joyce Peel highlighted some of the problems for Israel's failure. She noted that the various tribes failed to drive out all the Canaanites from the land. Also, the pure worship of Yahweh was contaminated by the idolatry of the Cananites.10 Peel, like other Bible commentators, acknowledged that the nation failed during the period in question and the areas of failures that she highlighted can be seen as political and religious. It follows that once a nation fails in those two areas, there is an obvious economic failure, and this is evident in the book of Judges. Peel made a striking statement as she concludes her commentary on the book of Judges. She observed that Judges 21:25 is a diagnosis of the troubles that were past, and a pointer of the remedy lying ahead.11 Judges 21:25 reads: "In those days Israel had no king everyone did as he saw fit...." This verse points to the fact that lack of good sustainable leadership was the cause of Israel's failures. Under these conditions Israel was doomed for complete destruction had it not been for the timely intervention of God.


THE RISE OF EGYPT UNDER GOOD LEADERSHIP

There has been a series of rising and falling of the nation of Egypt. In this section, however, a particular period is in focus-the period the nation experienced seven years of agricultural bounty, which was followed by seven years severe of famine. R K Harrison, in his article discussed this period in Egypt's history. Citing the biblical records in Genesis, he said the ruling Pharaoh had prior knowledge of the seven years of agricultural bounty, which will be followed by seven years of severe famine. This knowledge came to him through a dream that was interpreted for him by Joseph. Joseph followed up his interpretation bay advising Pharaoh to 'look for a man discerning and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt'. Pharaoh and his men accepted the advice, but appointed Joseph as second in command over all Egypt, and gave him the responsibility to plan for those fourteen years 12. The strategy that Joseph devised saves the nation and surrounding nations from seven years of severe famine. Pharaoh's leadership must be commended here. Many political leaders like Pharaoh, have had knowledge of a failing economy, or of problems in their country and failed to take action. Pharaoah's political action was very tough-he appointed a foreigner, a slave and prisoner for that matter, over all other officials in Egypt. Pharaoh certainly would be aware of the potential danger, but because that action was really necessary for the nation to survive the period, he was willing to take the challenge. Also, a relationship between religion and politics can be seen. Pharaoh in the first place didn't question the dream from God, nor the interpretation given by the godly man.

The effects of those seven years of famine could have been devastating for the nation. However, good leadership changed the destiny of the nation at that time.

THE FALL OF EGYPT UNDER BAD LEADERSHIP

An another important period in the nation of Egypt's history was the period preceding the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The Egyptians had prospered and developed their nation by using the Israelites as slaves. As a result of the free labor the nation was exploiting, Pharaoh Amenhotep II refused to let the Israelites leave his country. William Dumbrell observed from the narrative that pharaoh was warned before any of the plague, which devastated the nation, was commanded by Moses. According to Dumbrell, in the first three plagues, God showed his supremacy over the magicians of Egypt. In the following three plagues (Insects, pestilence, boils), God showed his presence in Egypt, making a distinction between the Israelites and Egyptians. In the next three plagues (hail, locust, darkness) God emphasizes his incomparability. Pharaoh's unreasonableness must give way before Yahweh's manifested power.13 Pharaoh belongs to a nation which reverence supernatural powers. He was aware that what was happening was far beyond the natural, but he still clung to his ways. He resisted until the economy of the nation was destroyed, and after the tenth plague led his army to total destruction pursuing the Israelites. He had advisers but was determined to do things his own way. His actions were clearly that of a present day dictator, and one can see how such leaders can destroy a nation. It can be seen, that when politics or political powers, religion and the economy of a nation are not handled properly, the nation falls,

Conclusion

The examples of Israel and Egypt cited in this article regarding good and bad governance typify a situation that is still prevalent in our modern world - Africa in particular and the so-called third world in general. The entire Bible is full of teaching concerning the relationship between righteous rule and peace. The opposite is, unrighteous rule and turmoil.

True religiosity rests on justice - "He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor." National progress rests on righteousness - "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" (Prov. 14:31; 34).

End Notes

[1] Enstrom, Ted. W., The Making of a Christian Leader: How to Develop Management and Human Relations Skills (Michigan: Zonderman Publishing House, 1976) p. 32.

2 William Dumbrell, The Faith if Israel: Its Expression in the Books of the Old Testament (Leicester. Inter-Varsity Press, 1992), p.81

3 John C. Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in Leader's Day: Revitalize Your Spirit and
Empower Your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000) p. 263

4 Ibid. p. 263

5 Ibid, p. 263

6 John White, Excellence In Leadership: The Pattern of Nehemiah (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1986), p. 10

7 Ted W Engstrom, The Making of a Christian Leader: How to Develop Management and Human Relation Skills (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p. 34.

8 Eugene H. Merrill, I Samuel: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishing, 19985), p. 431.

9Duane F Lindsey, Judges: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1985) p. 374.

10 Joyce Peel, A Journey Through The Old Testament: The Story of God's Relationship with Man. Woman and the World (Oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1993) p. 58

11 Ibid, p. 62

12 R. K. Harrison, The New Unger's Bible Dictionary (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982), p.

13 William Dumbrell, The Faith of Israel: Its Expression in the Books of the Old Testament (Leciester:Inter-Varsity Press, 1992), p. 32

Dr. Leopold A. Foullah is currently Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Mount Aureol, Freetown. He is also the General Superintendent of the Missionary Church of Africa, Sierra Leone Conference. He holds the following academic qualifications: Dip.Th., B.Th., M.Div., M.Th. and Ph.D (Leeds University, England). He is interested in Biblical Theology and Social Issues. He is External Examiner for both The Evangelical College of Theology (TECT), Jui and the Sierra Leone Theological College & Church Training Centre in Freetown. He is married with three children.

When Success Comes Too Fast

By Dale King

Legendary Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu once said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

That saying is especially appropriate when it comes to running a business.

So many small business owners want to travel the entire thousand miles in a single bound. They don't want to exercise the patience that's required to do it right - one step at a time. They want instant riches, fortune and fame. And they want it yesterday.

So what's wrong with that? What's wrong with wanting to travel the entire thousand mile journey at warp speed? Because there are risks involved when success comes too fast. Let me tell you a true story: The whole world knows who Michael jackson is. He is arguably the greatest and most successful entertainer who ever lived, and holds the Guiness World Record for most successful album in music history, "Thriller."

However, what you may not know is that Michael Jackson was a world famous superstar and had four #1 records by the time he was ten years old. That's right, four #1 records by the time he was ten - an unprecedented feat that still hasn't been matched to this day. In fact, he and his brothers, The Jackson 5 were the biggest musical act in the entire world when Michael was only ten.

While that's an impressive resume by anyone's standards, it came with a huge price. Psychiatrists say, Michael's current psychological problems stem from the fact he never had a real childhood. He was forced to grow up too fast. That's why he built an amusement park as his palace. He wanted to live the childhood he never had. As a result, he turned into the extremely dysfunctional adult you see today.

You're seeing the same type of dysfunction with today's young stars. Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Amy Winehouse. You're seeing the dysfunction of what happens when success and stardom comes too fast. And you don't get to experience life as a natural progression.

While the aforementioned may be extreme examples, the same premise holds true in business. When success comes too fast, you risk missing out on so much. You risk missing out on gaining valuable business insight, knowledge and experience.

You risk missing out on nurturing your business and watching it grow. You risk missing out on the joy and pain, the triumphs and disappointments, the heartache, jubilation and appreciation that come with failure followed by success. You risk missing out on sharing war stories with your colleagues. You risk missing out on acquiring memories that will last you a lifetime.

Those are just some of the many things you miss out on when success comes too fast.

In closing, slow down, enjoy life. Shoot for the stars, yes! But don't stress out over being an overnight success. When success comes it comes. Work hard for success, but don't try to rush it.

Or in the famous words of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., "Rome wasn't built in a day!"

Dale King is the owner of GuruKnowledge.org - The Ultimate Internet Marketing Resource!

Defeat soaring gas and food prices! Increase your income with ebay! http://guruknowledge.org/pages/Make-Money

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

True Freedom Only Comes With Taking Personal Responsibility

By Nick Arrizza, M.D.

In "Handbook For A New Paradigm" channeled by George Green and which can be downloaded for free by gooling it.

The point is made that: "there is no freedom without taking personal responsibility".

What does this mean and what does it pertain to?

Well it has consequences not only for each individual but also for the entire planetary experience we are currently living.

If you look around you I think you will readily see that the situation on planet Earth is rapidly deteriorating. So who or what is responsible for this situation?

Yes, I know you may "think" that there are "forces" that are larger than yourself and that you have no hope of ever influencing that are taking you and everyone else on an unwilling journey to destruction.

I ask you however to look at the basic assumption built into those beliefs i.e. "I am small and powerless".

Now how does that make you feel?

Well if you look at your experience of the effect of that belief you will feel the following: weak, afraid, helpless, alone, anxious, vulnerable, frightened, sad, hopeless, depressed, drained, heaviness and so on.

So what does all of that amount to? Well it amounts to the experience of having declared yourself a "Victim"!

A victim is someone who has essentially sold out their "power" and consequently themselves.

Dose that make you feel good? I doubt it.

So now we come back to the issue of freedom and responsibility.

Freedom, by definition, implies just that, the freedom "to be" and to live your life as you desire it. That is the antithesis of slavery and victim hood.

So how does one achieve this? Well one must recognize where the "bars" of the prison are first.

Here is one of them; now watch closely: "I am a small, powerless and helpless individual"!

I hope you caught that. If not here it is again: "I am a small, powerless and helpless individual"!

Yes! You see the prison is one that is "embedded" right within your mind as negative programming which you, yes you, have allowed to be foisted upon you. In other words you gave your consent to allow such disempowering thoughts/beliefs to exist right within your mind/body.

So why on earth would you allow such a thing to happen given the negative and toxic effects it is having on you?

Well probably because you "bought into the lie" that such beliefs would relieve you of responsibility for having to do anything to change your personal and our collective situation thereby "supposedly" taking the "load off" you and giving you a sense of relief. Correct?

So how relieved do you feel as you recall that this has led you into the prison of victim hood you and we find ourselves in?

None!

So how does one rectify this situation?

Well, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you visit Mr. Green's web site, download his book and read it. It will be, in my view the first powerful step you have taken in your entire life to help rectify your and our collective situations here.

Blessings!

Nick Arrizza is trained in Chemical Engineering, Business Management & Leadership, Medicine and Psychiatry. He is former medical doctor & psychiatrist Key Note Speaker, Stress Management Coach, Peak Performance Coach & Energy Medicine Researcher, Specializes in Life and Executive Performance Coaching, is the Developer of a powerful new tool called the Mind Resonance Process(TM) that helps build physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being by helping to permanently release negative beliefs, emotions, perceptions and memories. He holds live workshops, international telephone coaching sessions and international teleconference workshops on Physical. Emotional, Mental and Spiritual Well Being.

Email: nickarrizza@gmail.com

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Leading Some People Can Be a Tough Challenging Difficult Calling: Real Leadership is Seldom Easy!

By Sandy Shaw

God had brought His chosen people out of Egypt, under the strong powerful leadership of Moses, but Egypt was not yet out of them! That is always the harder thing to do.

When we come to Jesus Christ - Jesus saves us from our sins - He rescues us out of our messes - but to get the sin out of us can be a different matter - the envy - jealousy - longings - desires - the looking back to our former way of life. To get all that out of us is a very different matter.

Now they are wishing they were dead. Oh how some people exaggerate situations!

After a whole series of amazing miracles as Moses led them from slavery into freedom there is now a problem with the food supply.

The Hebrews were remembering what they had to eat, back in Egypt, while they were in their sinful and sore captivity, and they seem to be longing to get back into all that.

Was it really as good as all that in the good old days, Israel? No - of course it wasn't.

In verse 3 of Exodus Chapter 16, they accuse Moses of deliberately wanting to destroy them. People can generate such fantasies at times. God had delivered them - released them from all that suffering - the bricks - the quotas - the targets. They so soon forgot.

God is so graciously going to give them bread, and He is going to give them meat.

He is going to give them bread - miraculously - and He is going to give them what they need - but with a test - verses 4 and 5.

On the sixth day they are to bring in as much manna as they will need for two days - and one principle here is - there has to be a Sabbath days rest in their lives from the very beginning. The principle is here, before THE LAW!

So that the people will know that the Lord is in control, Moses and Aaron explain., but we see who they have really been grumbling against - the Lord God Almighty.

This is made very clear - when we grumble against or complain against the anointed servants of the Lord - we are not simply complaining against men - but against the Lord God Who chose and called and raised up these men - these leaders. Note how this is repeated a few times here - and it is not just Moses rubbing it in - if we miss it first time round God gives us another opportunity. Surely it would register after a while.

In verse 10 another cloud appears - a cloud of quails. Quails are little birds, and they migrate in thousands, and they become exhausted in their flying, until they hop over the ground or fly at just a few feet off the ground, and can be caught fairly easily.

And the bread - verses 13 to 15 - they wondered what it was - and they called it MANNA - 'what's it'!

In verses 17 and 18 we learn that each had what each needed and required. Now that should be happening each time we come to read and hear the Word of God - each should be receiving just what each of us needs.

But then there came a test - 19 and 20 - and some failed the test. If you grab more than you should - or if you keep what is meant for sharing - if you disobey what the Lord God is saying to you in some way - then things will go wrong - things will go maggoty - things will begin to smell.

Some would not take God at His Word. You cannot get around this miracle. There is no way you can explain it away.

In John chapter 6, Jesus Christ referred to this manna and explained, "I am the bread of life".

Eat Me and you will have life that will go on for ever - eternal life - and, we need every Word of Jesus Christ Who is the Word of God - because man cannot live by bread alone.

That is why we who belong to Jesus Christ feed upon Jesus and His Word. There comes that time when the world and the things of the world just cannot satisfy you.

When God deals with His people, He aims first at inspiring faith - and promoting spiritual maturity and responsibility - but can at the same time expose unbelief as the sinful evil thing it is. These two things are always present when Jesus is speaking and working and moving among His people.

There is another lesson here too - the very opportunities for the deepening of our faith can also be occasions for doubt and questioning and disobedience.

Some of these people just decided to disregard Moses warnings - revealing an underlying attitude which should teach us all to keep well clear of.

What Moses had said ran contrary to what they were inclined to do - and they reacted, "Why should we do what he says? Why should we listen to him? Let's pay no attention to this funny teaching about not taking more than we need."

They were found out.

God is at the very heart of this.

Verse 32 - Some of the manna was to be kept in a jar - where the people were later to worship. When they came to worship and praise the living God, they would see the manna - the bread - and they would be reminded that it was the Lord God Who was providing for their material needs - that it was Almighty God who was supplying all they required.

We require reminders of His Love and Mercy - each of us needs to be reminded regularly - so that we remain grateful and thankful.

Surely that would be their grumbling over for ever - not so - into Chapter 17 - where we read that they are short of water again - and again they argue with Moses - harping back to former days.

They accuse Moses of leading them and their cattle out of Egypt so that all would die! Haven't we learned this time and time again- once we deal with one problem another one soon crops up - once we get one thing out of the way, something new suddenly arises.

They are dry and thirsty, but this time they almost push Moses to the brink. The situation is once again very serious, with yet another leadership crisis.

We must learn not to push God too hard, and never play around with His promises.

We have seen what happened to Pharaoh when he thought he could get off with things and God dealt with him. But here, the Lord God continues to be so gracious and merciful - and when Moses does what he is told to do - water pours out of the rock.

We are told in Corinthians that that water was from Christ the Rock!

The pre-incarnate Christ - the Son of God was following this dear people - and they were unaware of it!

Today - as you read your Bible - as you pray - get what you need - that refreshing water from Christ the Rock - and that nourishing manna from Jesus the Bread of Life. Get what you came for. There is plenty. Eat and drink. We will never drain Him of resources. Swallow what God sets before you - with real thanksgiving - with true thanksgiving - and be truly satisfied.

Sandy Shaw

Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled "Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.

His M.A. and B.D. degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.

Sandy Shaw
sandyshaw63@yahoo.com