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Leadership Lessons: Why You MUST Address Your Weakest Link

Leadership Lessons: Why You MUST Address Your Weakest Link

If you’ve been on a team, whether at work or in a service organization like a church, you’ve seen it. And if your leaders don’t address it, you’re going to continue to see it. I’d like to help you consider why you must address your team’s weakest link. If you don’t, the weakest link will address your team.

When a team is first assembled, and the tasks initially discussed, people are excited and there is lots of positive energy eminating from nearly everyone. Unity seems evident as you discuss goals and the advancement of the company/church vision. But as time passes, it becomes clear that one or more team members aren’t giving it their all — and the entire team begins to suffer. The organization’s goals may be met — but at a significantly slower pace and with much less positive impact than they would have otherwise. The company/church vision will suffer (it may even end up being something that is only written on paper and discussed in meetings, not fulfilled). 

ARE YOU ALLOWING ONE PERSON ON YOUR TEAM TO WEAKEN EVERYTHING?

All of this can be for no other reason than one or two members of a team not giving their all. What’s a leader to do? Your decision will determine the success of the team — and if your team fails, your organization will suffer. 

NON PROFIT NONSENSE
Before we move on, let me say this about church leadership and teams before I type another period: There is this unwritten assumption that churches and other non-profit organizations should accept lower standards than for-profit organizations because so much of what they do depends upon volunteers. People who aren’t paid, it’s thought, can’t possibly be as motivated as those who get a paycheck for their efforts. In reality, the exact opposite should be considered: until someone, whether a volunteer or employee, is motivated by more than mere money, they haven’t begun to give their very best.

Is mere money your greatest motivation? Do you, and the people on your team, understand that work is actually worship?

YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO NEEDS TO READ THIS.
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Money cannot rightly be our highest motivation for anything because it is temporal. Utlimately, what we do is an act of worship that reflects our attitude toward God — for better or worse. What’s your worship looking like these days? Do the people on your team(s) know that they aren’t merely working, but worshipping? It simply comes down to the quality and passion of our worship. If that’s addressed, the work will take care of itself.

What is your work ethic telling others about your attitude toward God? Is he worthy of your best? Does he motivate you, and if so, to what extent? Are you merely working for money, or is honoring God in all you do the bedrock of whatever you set out to achieve? Do the people on your team understand that work is, ultimately, worship?

TIME TO TAKE ACTION
What’s a leader to do? What are team players to do? Here are a few things to ponder and implement so that your team(s) thrive:

IS MERE MONEY YOUR GREATEST MOTIVATION ON HOW YOU WORK? IF SO, YOU’RE MISSING THE POINT.

1. Exchange a work mentality for a worship mentality. If money is your greatest motivation, you haven’t begun to reach your greatest potential. If you’re the leader, help the people on your team(s) understand this. It should inspire them. But don’t think that giving them a rousing pep talk once will solve the motivation issue. This is something you’ll have to revisit with them again and again and again. Focus on grasping this yourself, often, first. Then, teach it to your team(s). 

2. Help those who are not giving their all, but are capable of doing better, realize that they are holding everyone else back. It’s outright wrong for someone who can do better

DO ALL YOU CAN TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO GIVE THEIR ALL. THE SUCCESS OF YOUR TEAM AND ORGANIZATION DEPENDS ON EVERY INDIVIDUAL SUCCEEDING.

to be allowed to function at a sub-par level when their performance is hindering everyone else. God has called you to make the most of your life — the only life you’ll get this side of eternity. We need to help people who don’t understand that laziness and sub-par performance is not just a personal issue for them. It’s an issue that affects the ability of others to reach their God-given potential.

 

One day, we’re all going to give an account of ourselves before God — but have you ever stopped to think that the failure to give God your best could actually be hindering others from reaching their greatest potential for God? (I feel convicted even writing that, but it’s true and it’s motivating).

You and your people need to understand that the person who isn’t giving their all is hindering the strength, productivity, positivity and success of everyone else on the team and organization. Allowing that to continue is nothing other than irresponsible, poor leadership.

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM? JUST BECAUSE OTHERS WON’T SAY SOMETHING DOESN’T MEAN THEY DON’T SEE IT. IT’S THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LEADER TO ADDRESS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.

3. Stop pretending other people on the team (and in the organization) don’t see the weakest link. In truth, they often do, but won’t always say so. If you’re a leader, one of your responsibilities is to address the elephant in the room that everyone sees but won’t acknowledge. When a leader is mum about a team member’s poor performance, he or she invites and nurtures team and organizational dysfunction. You’re allowing your team or organization to be undermined from the inside out.

The failure of a leader to address poor performance ends up sending the message, “It’s alright. What we do isn’t really important after all. That talk about giving our best? Well, we didn’t really mean it. Our vision? It’s not as vital as we’ve all been kidding ourselves.” It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But leadership that settled for mediocrity (or worse) is leadership that invites and nurtures missed potential as a matter of habit.

Get your head out of your bucket. Address poor performance in team members so they rise to their greatest potential. When they rise, the whole team will move forward. If they don’t, the whole team will suffer.

ARE YOU LEADING AS YOU SHOULD? HAVE YOU BECOME THE WEAKEST LINK ON YOUR TEAM, HOLDING BACK YOUR COMPANY, CHURCH OR GROUP? WHAT CAN YOU DO TO GIVE YOUR ALL SO THAT YOU AND YOUR TEAM(S) SUCCEED?

Lost your motivation to give your all? Consider Colossians 3:17 (NIV): “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy, chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

Good Without God? New Majority Think It’s Possible

Good Without God? New Majority Think It’s Possible

“For the first time, a majority of Americans — 56 percent — say it is possible to be a good person without a religious belief.” The finding comes from two new polls conducted by the Pew Research Center, involving nearly 5,000 Americans.*

“’God is not a prerequisite for good values and morality,’ Greg Smith, Pew’s associate director of research, said in a post about the findings. Even white evangelicals, who traditionally believe a relationship with God is crucial to morality, have budged. In 2011, one quarter of them (26 percent) said it was possible to be good without God, while now almost a third (32 percent) say so. To be sure, most white evangelicals still say belief in God is necessary for morality,’ Smith writes. ‘But the share who say belief in God is a necessary underpinning of being moral has declined from 72 percent to 65 percent in just six years.’”*

 

Is it possible to be good without God? It’s a question worth contemplating — because one’s conclusion to this question has eternal consequences . . .


Post this on Facebook and Twitter —
Forward it by email or text.
Someone you know needs to read this.

 

WHAT DO THE POLLS REALLY TELL US?
I think the polls remind us that it’s far too easy to confuse the word “good” with the word “polite.” If these words meant the same thing, there would be no problem with the results of the polls — because it’s entirely possible to be polite toward people without God. Saying otherwise would be untrue. Many non-religious people are more polite than many religious people, because being merely religious can lead anyone to become nothing more than rigid, cold and legalistic.

Michael Anthony - Good Without God? - Michael Anthony's Courage Matters Blog

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO EMBRACE GOD’S DEFINITION OF “GOOD”?

If I’m honest, some of the most uptight, self-righteous, insensitive people I’ve met came from within the four walls of a church. Haven’t you met your fair share of folks who looked more like they were sucking on lemons than sitting at the feet of Jesus? (Keep in mind that their conduct is no excuse for any of us to turn from Christ. Someone else’s lifestyle is not a safety net for our own spiritual responsibility to follow God.) And, to be fair, some of the nicest, warmest, most wonderful people I’ve met became so because of God’s transforming work courtesy of Jesus.

It’s vital to recognize that “good” and “polite” are not the same thing — and herein lies the underlying problem with the attitudes expressed in the polls. The poll-takers essentiallly mistake manners for morality. Though related, they are vastly different. The polls demonstrate that we are now confusing, en masse, being polite with being holy. If manners were all God wanted, we have a huge problem with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Let’s think about this for a moment, because there’s a great deal hanging in the balance of our beliefs.

 

WHY THE CROSS?

Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people alive. And by “alive” I mean righteous, or holy. Righteousness and holiness are not the same as being polite, or having manners. They are not the same as our human understanding of “good.” Jesus died to make unholy people holy — to make unrighteous people righteous in the sight of God. Jesus gave his sinless life in exchange for our sin-filled lives. He came to bridge the gap between human beings and the eternal Being, God.
 
Michael Anthony - Good Without God? - Michael Anthony's Courage Matters Blog

BEING “GOOD” IS A RELATIVE THING. GOD DOES NOT COMPARE US TO ONE ANOTHER, BUT TO HIMSELF.

Romans 3:20 (NIV) says, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin” (Bold italics mine, for emphasis). The real issue is whether or not we can become righteous before God, because righteousness is God’s definition of “good.” In the eternal scheme of things, God’s opinion is the only one that truly matters. If following the Old Testament law cannot make anyone “good” in the eyes of God, then what makes us think we can create our own standard of “good” that God will embrace? (See Galatians 2:16, too).

 

To be righteous is to be holy, and holiness, not mere manners, is what God requires. With this in mind, how are you doing? Can you be righteous and holy apart from God? If we could be holy and righteous in our own strength, through our own effort, then the cross is the most confusing event in all of history — courtesy of God himself. God would have sent his Son for a need that doesn’t, after all, exist. But the need does exist because the Bible says, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

PROOF: WE CANNOT BE “GOOD” WITHOUT GOD
The fly in the ointment of people thinking we can be “good” without God is the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross is the definitive statement of good and evil, and that God requires perfection, not manners. If we believe we can be good without God, then the cross means nothing. The cross is nonsense if we believe we can be good without God. Why the passion of the Christ if it’s possible for each of us to be good apart from him?
 
Jesus said, “No one is good — except God alone'” (Mark 10:18, NIV). I don’t think there’s a mortal in position to correct Jesus’ take on the matter.
 
Your greatest need is not to be polite, but to be holy. It’s my need and the need of everyone on earth.
 
Michael Anthony - Good Without God? - Michael Anthony's Courage Matters Blog

TO ACCEPT CHRIST’S SACRIFICE IS TO EMBARK ON AN ENTIRELY NEW WAY OF LIFE. THE REST OF LIFE IS LIVED TO ENJOY AND HONOR GOD IN EVERYTHING.

The Bible says, “without holiness, no one will see the LORD” (Hebrews 12:14). It does not say “without manners, no one will see the LORD.” A person can be “good,” as far as comparing one person to another — but God does not compare us or judge us in comparison to each other. He judges us in comparison to his standard of perfection, righteousness and holiness. God compares us to his one of a kind, unique Son, Jesus. Holiness is only made possible through the substitute sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross — for you.

 
What have you done with Christ? Have you accepted what he did for you, and adjusted all of your life as a consequence?
 

The evidence of personally accepting the sacrifice of Christ is a life that no longer goes on, business as usual. Do you forgive people? Do you reconcile with people or hold grudges? Are you bitter or are you becoming more like Christ in character? These are the questions that reveal whether or not you really accepted Christ and are continuing in him.

 

THE DEEP QUESTION
The polls reflect a deeper belief system becoming more and more popular in the twenty-first century. It is that people think it’s possible to live life without belief in a God who defines good and evil on his terms, not ours. The real question is whether or not people believe life can be lived without absolute truth that comes from someone other than mere mortals.

The real question is “What does the cross of Christ mean?” If we can be good without God, then the cross was not merely unecessary. It was the most painful, pitiful act of nonsense ever undertaken  — and that presents a fundamental problem with the historic reality of Jesus of Nazareth, the gospel accounts, and the whole record of scripture and history.
 
Good and evil are ultimately determined not by people but by God  — and the cross of Christ is the definitive statement that mere mortals cannot be good — let alone define good — without God.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? DO YOU THINK IT’S POSSIBLE TO BE GOOD WITHOUT GOD?

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

Suicide By Smartphone: Is Using Your Smartphone Making Your Child Stupid?

Suicide By Smartphone: Is Using Your Smartphone Making Your Child Stupid?

Now that I have your attention . . .

If you’ve given your child — or teenager — a smartphone or tablet without constant, close supervision, you could be asking for trouble. Big trouble. Yet another study was just released, disclosing the harmful effects of giving regular smart device access to a child or teen. In some ways, you might as well give them a loaded gun, without teaching them how to handle it. Is using your smartphone making your child — or teenager — stupid?

I’m not using the word “stupid” in a derogatory way. I mean it in the classic sense that you could be diminishing your child’s ability to reach his or her greatest social, emotional and spiritual potential — or worse — without realizing it. It’s time to really, really think about this before it’s too late, and make adjustments so you are using your smart devices wisely.

BLESS YOUR FRIENDS BY THEM SHARING THIS
ON FACEBOOK, BY EMAIL OR TEXT.

Research is emerging, again, to suggest that children who use a smart device often, without constant, direct adult supervision, will suffer in many, many ways. Is your lax attitude toward a smart device hurting your child? It could be — and you are responsible to stop the nonsense — now.

 

“Between 2010 and 2016, the number of adolescents who experienced at least one major depressive episode leapt by 60%, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 2016 survey of 17,000 kids found that about 13% of them had a major depressive episode, compared to 8% of the kids surveyed in 2010. Suicide deaths among people age 10 to 19 have also risen sharply, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Young women are suffering most; a CDC report released earlier this year showed suicide among teen girls has reached 40-year highs. All this followed a period during the late-1990s and early 2000s when rates of adolescent depression and suicide mostly held steady or declined.”

‘These increases are huge—possibly unprecedented,’ says Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of iGen, which examines how today’s super-connected teens may be less happy and less prepared for adulthood than past generations. In a peer-reviewed study that will appear later this year in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, Twenge shows that, after 2010, teens who spent more time on new media were more likely to report mental health issues than those who spent time on non-screen activities.” — TIME HEALTH

UNINTENTIONAL DESTRUCTION:
DON’T DUMB DOWN YOUR CHILD

Your smart phone is not a baby sitting device or a good role model. As a pastor, I see so many parents who hand their child a smart phone when interacting with others, as a means of enabling the parent to interact with another person. STOP IT! My pastor friends and I counsel parents and guardians all the time, and have to comfort them and their children for the consequences of using smart technology foolishly.

Suicide by Smartphone - Michael Anthony's Courage Matters Blog

HOW YOU USE A SMART PHONE OR TABLET WITH YOUR CHILD, TODAY, COULD SET THEM UP FOR A LIFETIME OF FAILURE. NOW IS THE TIME TO BE SMART ABOUT SMART TECHNOLOGY.

Your child or teenager should not have unmonitored used of a smart phone or tablet, especially if it has internet access. If you allow this, you are . . .  stupid. There, I said it. To be clear, I mean “stupid” with all due respect, in the sense that the way you are dispensing a smart device to your child could very well be hindering his or her best chances of being emotionally, spiritually and socially healthy.

I’d rather be the brunt of your angst for a moment, by speaking frankly, than say nothing and have you learn the hard way and suffer long-term consequences. I can tell you from the people we pastors are counseling: there will be hell to pay if you are unwise in how you use smart devices with your child or teen. It’s time to wise up — starting right now. Don’t let another day pass without making changes!

 

A smart device is no substitute for real human interaction, a book, or a game played without an electronic device. In fact, it may be far worse. You may be using your smartphone or tablet in ways that will negatively, permanently, damage the most precious gift ever given you: your child.

If you’ve given your teenager a smart phone, and think they know how to handle it and don’t closely monitor their use — daily — you’re out of your mind.

Keep in mind that many teens can start off with a good moral compass, but can easily be led astray with the passage of time. That time may pass more quickly than you realize. A teenager can be led astray in a very short time. Shame on the parent or guardian who is the source of the wandering. If that’s you, it’s time to ask God for forgiveness and change your ways.

WHAT ABOUT PUSHBACK?

Never mind the pushback you may get from your teen by imposing new, appropriate oversight. They may think you’re being too strict — but research is on your side. It proves that oversight is not just important; it’s imperative.

Your teen may grumble now, but they’ll thank you later. Moreover, God sees what you’re doing to your teen for better or worse, and will hold each of us accountable for how we parent. (Consider 2 Corinthians 10:5).

“Smart technology” can be used foolishly. It is no substitute for real human interaction, a book, or a game played without an electronic device. And, do you realize that internet access gives your child or teen UNHINDERED access to a universe of smut that could lead them into a cesspool, creating deep addictions that will haunt them for the rest of their lives? Is it time for you to wake up?

There, I said it, and it needed to be said. You probably know someone who needs to think long and hard about this, and make changes in their parenting. Janet and I encourage you to share this, so you can spare a parent or child a life of remorse they could easily, and totally avoid — if only you took heed.

HAVE YOU BEEN USING SMART TECHNOLOGY IN DUMB WAYS? IS YOUR USE OF YOUR SMARTPHONE OR TABLET HINDERING YOUR CHILD? THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR WAYS AND SPARE YOUR CHILD OR TEEN A LIFETIME OF UNNECESSARY HARDSHIP. IT REALLY IS UP TO YOU . . .

 

Michael Anthony, CourageMatters.comABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

 

What Happened In Vegas Won’t Stay In Vegas: How To Talk With Your Child When Tragedy Strikes

What Happened In Vegas Won’t Stay In Vegas: How To Talk With Your Child When Tragedy Strikes

What happened in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas. As details emerge from the Las Vegas shooting, your child will have questions and fears. He or she will want to know why this sort of thing happens — and, he or she will need to know how to mature into a healthy, engaged adult in a world where darkness is on the rise. The Las Vegas tragedy presents significant opportunities for you, a parent or guardian, to help your child process the emotional, spiritual and practical aspects of what went down in Las Vegas. You need to know how to talk with your child when tragedy strikes. Here are some suggestions on how you can — and should — help your children process the worst shooting in United States history.

You probably know someone who needs to read this.
Why not share it on Facebook, or by email or text?

1. REMEMBER THAT IF YOU DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CHILD, SOMEONE ELSE WILL. If you aren’t the go-to source of information for your children, someone else will be. Are you okay with that? No, you can’t be an expert on everything you child needs

PAY ATTENTION: THIS IS A CHANCE TO COMMUNICATE AND BOND. IT’S ALSO A CHANCE TO HELP YOUR CHILD MATURE IN HEALTHY WAYS.

to learn — but you can, and should, be the first source they consult before going elsewhere. It’s a blessing, not a burden, to be the person your child looks up to for credible, timely information on anything they need to know in life. It’s no less true when it comes to processing tragedy.

 

 

2. PRAY FOR WISDOM; YOU CAN DO IT. Helping your child process tragedy is not as difficult as it may, at first, seem. Don’t let yourself be intimidated unnecessarily. If you follow the next few steps — and stick to them — you’ll find that you really can help your child process, and this will actually strengthen the bond between you. James 1:5 (NIV) says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Don’t forget to share your comments, below!

ASSERT YOURSELF. BE THE PARENT/GUARDIAN YOU’RE MEANT TO BE.

3. ASSERT YOURSELF — BE THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN YOU ARE MEANT TO BE. A good parent doesn’t wait for his or her child to always bring up issues. Of course, there are times when a child has an issue you can’t anticipate — but when you know an issue is real, and your child will be thinking about it, you need to be proactive, assert yourself, and bring the topic up so they know it’s important to process things, not sweep them under the carpet.

 

Sit down with your child and tell them, “I want to talk with you about something bad that has happened.” Then, ask them if they are familiar with whatever tragedy it is that needs to be addressed. (In this case, it’s the Las Vegas shooting). If they say they know about it, ask them what they know — and listen. Don’t assume they have accurate or complete information. And, don’t assume they need to have complete information, which brings us to the next point . . .

LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. BY LISTENING, YOU WILL KNOW THE CONCERNS YOUR CHILD HAS — AND BE ABLE TO ADDRESS THEM. YOUR CHILD’S BIGGEST NEED IS TO KNOW YOU HEAR THEM AND UNDERSTAND.

4. SHARE WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW, NOT NECESSARILY ALL THE DETAILS. I can’t stress it enough that too much information can be harmful information. In the case of the Las Vegas shooting, your children simply need to be told something like this: “A man with mental problems and a very bad temper used rifles to harm people in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, he took the lives of many people, and wounded many others.” That’s your foray into the subject. Ask your child if they understand what you said, and if they have any questions. Patiently wait for them to respond.

Remember to “K.I.S.S.” your child when answering a question: KEEP IT SUPER SIMPLE for starters. A good thing to practice is to answer the question as briefly as possible; stick to the realm of what your child asks. Short answers that stick to the question are the most helpful, and will prevent you from making your answer(s) too complex.

Remember that the purpose of answering their questions is to help them process what they need to know. Too much information can provide information they don’t really need, or what will plague them thereafter if they know. They don’t need to seek photos or video of the event, nor do they need to know, as children, the destructive power of high-powered rifles and ballistic bullets. They simply need to know the facts: people were killed and wounded and that a sick individual committed the crimes.

DON’T LEAVE PRAYER UP TO YOUR CHILD TO DO ALONE. PRAY WITH YOUR CHILD.

5. ASK YOUR CHILD IF YOUR ANSWERS SATISFIES THEIR CURIOSITY. HELP THEM STAY AWAY FROM SEEKING UNHEALTHY, DAMAGING INFORMATION . This approach helps children process what they know, and will help you know whether they are having a hard time digesting what has transpired. If your child demonstrates a curiosity toward the gruesome details, help them be compassionate, instead, and focus on how the victims and survivors need compassion and love.

6. HELP YOUR CHILD UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE LIVING OUTSIDE OF EDEN, IN A FALLEN WORLD. We’re not in Kansas anymore (i.e. The Garden of Eden). Bad things happen to good people. Sin is the reason for all hardship, pain, suffering and, ultimately, death. We are spiritually separated from God because of sin, and physical death is a consequence of sin, evidence that it is the real, fundamental problem for humanity. Help your child understand these truths as you put the tragedy into the bigger picture of the fallen world in which we live.

7. PRAY WITH YOUR CHILD, SO HE OR SHE LEARNS HOW TO PRAY FOR THE SURVIVORS AND FAMILIES AFFECTED. Children need to learn how to pray, how to develop empathy, and how to process tragedy in ways that are healthy. Your prayer does not need to be lengthy, but it does need to be sincere, engaged and heartfelt. Be real with your child

BE YOUR CHILD’S SHIELD. TV AND RADIO SHOULD NOT BE THEIR UNSUPERVISED SOURCE OF INFORMATION. THAT SOURCE SHOULD BE YOU.

and real in your praying, and you’ll teach your child that being real with God, and people, is normal, healthy and helpful.

8. DO SOMETHING POSITIVE AND UNIFYING. In the aftermath of tragedy, children need comfort and reassurance. Spend time with your child doing something that will bring you

closer together and help him or her know they are safe at a time when their world (which is much smaller than an adult’s world) is a place where they are cherished and sheltered, thanks to your engagement with them.

9. BE THEIR SHIELD — MONITOR WHAT THEY WATCH OR HEAR FROM THE MEDIA. Radio and television can be graphic, blunt and disturbing — especially in times of tragedy. Your child does not need to watch videos of the tragedy, or have a television or radio personality describe the situation. That’s where you need to be their shield, protecting them from the blunt force trauma of hearing or seeing things from unfiltered sources.

BE AVAILABLE AND APPROACHABLE. BE THE SHELTER YOUR CHILD NEEDS, AND CAN TRUST.

10. BE AVAILABLE AND APPROACHABLE. Your child will potentially have additional questions. Repeat the above steps and you’ll be well on your way toward helping your child process tragedy — and grow into being a positive factor of influence in a day and age when it’s needed most.

 

 

 

ARE YOU HELPING YOUR CHILD PROCESS THE LAS VEGAS TRAGEDY? BY DOING SO, YOU WILL HELP HIM OR HER GROW UP TO BECOME A LOVING, ENGAGED ADULT IN AN AGE OF APATHY AND FEAR.

 

ABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I publish my blogs here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

 

Live Like It’s Beneath You

Live Like It’s Beneath You

Here’s what you need to know to live like your enemies are beneath you — because if you’re sitting in the right place, they already are. But if you don’t know the truth, defeat will be a regular occurrence. To live free, you need to know the truth. Are you under attack or facing a challenge? You really can live like it’s beneath you.

You have three arch enemies in life, in no particular order: the first is the world. It has a mold that it is constantly trying to press you into, to get you to conform to the status quo — or worse.

Your second arch enemy is your own flesh. Have you noticed that you can, at times, be your own worst enemy? That’s because it’s true.

IT’S TIME TO SHED SOME LIGHT on what defeats your enemies.

If you’re not careful, you can talk yourself down (or talk yourself up), into believing things about you that are not true. Once you take the bait, it’s all downhill thereafter.

Your third enemy is the devil. And, yes, I realize you may not believe in him, but that won’t change the reality of his existence. Denial will simply strengthen his ability to negatively influence you.

Denying the existence of your three primary enemies won’t do anything but guarantee an ongoing cycle of defeat. The first step toward defeating an enemy is to acknowledge its existence. But simply acknowledging your enemy is not enough to bring it to its knees. You need a strategy to not merely recognize your enemy, but to defeat it. This is where understanding your position comes into play.

 

YOU REALLY ARE ABOVE IT ALL
Ephesians 2:6-7 (NIV) says this: “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

The truth is that if you have given your life to Christ as your savior, you have more than you could have ever dreamed. You not only have all your sins forgiven, once and for all — even though that would have been enough in itself. (Having all our sins forgiven is massive, a huge gift from God, who was not in any way obligated to rescue any of us).

The moment you receive Christ, you are seated with Him in His position of absolute victory. This is why Christ’s ascension is so important.

YOUR ENEMIES REALLY ARE BENEATH YOU. The key is to live like it.

There is no one higher than Jesus. Consider that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11, NIV). The point of these verses is to show us that God the Father is so totally pleased with His Son, Jesus, and no one is above Him.

Guess what that means for you, if you have given your life to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and invited Him to be the Master of your life? It means that the world, the flesh and the devil are beneath you. They may seek to bring you down, but given your position with Christ, at the right hand of favor with the Father, every single one of your enemies is beneath you.

You don’t have to settle for giving up and giving in to your enemies. The truth is, you can live above them all.

Have you given your life to Christ? If not, what are you waiting for? Victory over your foes is only possible when you’re in a right relationship with Him. Until you are, you’re wasting precious time, and the only life you’ll ever have this side of eternity.

Right now is a great time to surrender to God by accepting what Christ did for you on the cross. And, if you know Christ as your savior, make sure you live as if your enemies are beneath you. The truth is, they are. 

 

HOW HAVE THESE TRUTHS ENCOURAGED YOU? HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING OUT OF LINE WITH YOUR POSITION IN CHRIST, OR PERHAPS PUT OFF GIVING YOUR LIFE TO HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE? WHY POSTPONE GOD’S BEST?

Michael Anthony and Family

Simeon, Janet, yours truly, and Titus

ABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I typically publish my blogs Tuesday through Friday, here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

Your Fortune: Life In Overflow

Your Fortune: Life In Overflow

I love Chinese food – especially when it’s spicy. One of the reasons I enjoy eating at Chinese restaurants is because I know what’s coming at the end: the fortune cookie. I simply love surprises. It was famous philosopher Confucious who said, “The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.” 

What kind of person are you — one who pursues virtue or comfort? Your real fortune lies in living your life in the overflow. Lasting comfort, the kind we really want deep down, is a byproduct of pursuing and living a virtuous life. In other words, when we choose to live life from the inside-out, things begin to fall into place.

YOUR ADVENTURE begins when you make good character the foundation of all you do. Lasting comfort is the result of good character.

If there is one thing that can be said about what’s become of America, it’s that our nation needs change from the inside-out — one person at a time. The change we need to see “out there” needs to begin with you and me — in the secret recesses of who we are.


Why not share this post
on your Facebook page,
or forward it by email or text?

 

MISSED OPPORTUNITY
Theologians debate about whether we are body and soul (dichotomists) or spirit, soul
and body (trichotomists). For all the spirited debate, I think most people engaging in it miss the point: we have unseen and seen parts of who we are — and both need tending. 

The most obvious thing we gravitate toward tending is our physical appearance. It’s what we, and others, easily see. But the part that is not easily observed with the human eye is actually the part of who we are that is most important. It’s the most important thing about us — from which everything else flows, for better or worse. It is the neglect of the unseen that eventually makes its way into what is seen.

Your real fortune in life comes from living in the overflow of good character.


YOUR BEST VERSION OF YOU

Life is happening, and if you don’t prioritize the kind of person you want to become, you run the risk of missing the best version of you. Good virtue is not an accident. it’s the result of living the only life you have with intentionality. Good character is the result of many things, including (but not limited to) these:

  • The people with whom you spend time. You become like the people you associate with most closely;
  • Evaluating the hardships and challenges you face in life, seeking ways to learn, grow and improve;
  • Reading good books, blogs and articles that make you think about what matters most in life: people, love and developing a positive, lasting legacy, and,
  • Having a daily discipline of “quiet time,” where you reflect on your life, pray and think. I’m highly partial to the Bible because it’s responsible for every good character change in my life and in the lives of many others. Sure, there are hypocrites in the world, but the truth is that we are all hypocrites in need of recovery. The Bible is what can help move an individual from being a mere hypocrite to a recovering hypocrite.

Don’t waste your life. You won’t get another.

 

2 Peter 1:5-8 (ESV) says this about the secret of living life in the overflow:

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (bold mine, for emphasis).

 

WHAT ABOUT YOU? IS GOOD VIRTUE AMONG YOUR HIGHEST PURSUITS IN LIFE? HOW HAS THIS POST HELPED YOU THINK . . . AND GROW?

 

The National Week of Repentance is a chance to reset your life and family by using all the truly free resources that are specifically designed to help you develop good character (aka virtue). Download them for free, until October 2, 2017, at WeekofRepentance.com/free-resources. You’ll be glad you did. Our nation needs change from the inside-out — one person at a time.

 

Michael Anthony and Family

Simeon, Janet, yours truly, and Titus

ABOUT ME: Most of the lessons I’ve learned in life I’ve learned through failure. I typically publish my blogs Tuesday through Friday, here and on Facebook. We welcome and read comments from readers just like you because they help us (and others) think and grow. Don’t be shy. Chime in.

My first book, to be published by Thomas Nelson, is slated for release in March 13, 2018. If you want to learn more about me, just click here. If you’d like to request an interview, or click here to explore the potential of having me speak to your group.

If you like solid Bible teaching, and want to enjoy God fully, you’ll appreciate Godfactor.com, where you can download my Bible teaching and more. If you’re near York, Pa, come visit us on a Sunday at GraceYork.com — and be sure to introduce yourself.

 

 

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