Saturday, November 27, 2010
Prepared for the Times, Part 21
Week 21, 2010
Presidents from both parties, congressmen, government workers, and the media seem oblivious to the fact that small business is the economic engine of America and where true prosperity and economic growth is in the world. In Marc Nuttle’s remarkable book, Moment of Truth, he writes about one of the most important insights possibly ever stated by a leader of China. Former Time correspondent, David Aikman, interviewed the retiring head of state in Communist China in 2002, Jiang Zemin, and asked what he wished for in regard to China’s future. His response shocked Aikman and much of the world when he replied:
I would like for my country to become a Christian nation.
When asked “Why,” Zemin’s response was an amazing revelation. He explained how a panel of Chinese scholars had spent twenty years studying why China continually lagged behind the West in science, industry, and culture. After considering every possible explanation, they concluded that it was the religious heritage of the West that had allowed it to reach such heights. The statement of these Chinese scholars was:
One of the things we were asked to do was look into what accounted for the success; in fact, the pre-eminence of the West all over the world. We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because of a more powerful military. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic systems. But in the past twenty years we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. This is why the West is powerful. The Christian moral foundation of the social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this. (Quoted from, Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Changing the Global Balance of Power, by David Aikman.)
By allowing more and more economic freedom, China has begun to mightily use this powerful economic force that simple freedom is. However, as Jiang Zemin understood, it is not just economic freedom that enabled America and the West to rise to such heights—it was its biblical worldview. There was purpose behind the prosperity. However, in the greatest economy ever developed, this most basic connect is being lost now in the United States. To the expressed shock of the leaders of the two most powerful former communist states, Russia and China, America, the forerunner and premier founder of the most powerful economic force in history, is now abandoning its biblical worldview as the former communist countries are embracing it. I prophesied that this would happen in a book I wrote in 1988, The Harvest, but I confess that watching it happen is still shocking to me.
As we have covered, studies have shown that small businesses create more than 70 percent of all new jobs in America, and most of these are family run businesses. The most powerful drive of this incentive is family, and family is held together by faith. As all of this has eroded in America, so has the basic infrastructure that could sustain America’s continued prosperity and strength.
At times, Scripture makes a distinction between riches and wealth. Riches tend to come easily and quickly and leave just as easily and quickly. However, wealth is the result of sound planning, faithfulness, patience, and endurance. Wealth comes much more slowly and with more difficulty, but will last for generations and usually multiplies if the same principles that created it are continued. Wealth is more than a balance sheet or money in accounts—it is resources gathered for a purpose. These resources are usually pursued by a family or families together.
Likewise, America built wealth because it was driven by purpose. This was never true of all, but it was true of the core of America. This purpose stayed on course because of the morals and values that guided the majority. However, the most dangerous elements were released into the culture of America when this majority became “the silent majority.” As Karl Marx taught, the tiny minority of the passionate will control the majority who are passive. This is how America is being taken over today by forces which are contrary to everything that built America into such a great and powerful nation.
The tipping points of history have usually come through the small but passionate minorities. Now, for more than half a century, small but loud minorities have dictated more and more of the direction of America. The vast majority, who has by far the great numbers required to turn this around, have become more and more passive. Without a wake-up, soon the downward spiral into centralized control will be hard to reverse, but it is not there yet, and there does seem to be an amazing awakening to this threat. This is kind of like the Gulf Coast oil spill in which we keep discovering that the situation is actually much worse than we thought. There may have never been a time when more citizens are actually reading the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, studying our national history, and even reading bills being passed by Congress, when it seems few congressmen are doing this. This is a foundation for hope.
Friday, May 14, 2010
On a shelf in a potter’s shop
She passed by and didn’t bother to stop
But something caught her eye as she passed again
And she took the bowl into her hand
The weight was good, the size was right
But the feel of it was grand
As she stood there, holding this common bowl
Old memories began to stir
It felt like the bowls she’d known as a child
When she left, the bowl was still with her
To serve up her sumptuous fare
Whether dinner for two or a Thanksgiving feast
That bowl would always be there
The bowl was her favorite, as everyone knew
For she used it and washed it with care
A generous soul, she loaned many things
But this bowl she never would share
Life is uncertain and fragile at times
They say it’s all in the cards
One day came a slip, a scream and a crash
And her treasured bowl became pottery shards
As she stood there, holding the broken bits
Tears of sorrow slid down her face
For in the cupboard where had stood her precious bowl
There would now be an empty place
Sometimes, in ourselves, things get broken
And they leave us in an empty place
And when we’re not whole, there’s a weakness
That makes it hard to keep up with life’s pace
Broken pottery cannot be mended
When you break it, you throw it away
But pottery, like people, can be born again
And why not? We’re both made of clay
Just as a bowl can be shaped and formed
And rise again from the potter’s hand
So also can people, when they’ve fallen apart
Be lifted and shown again how to stand
He’ll provide for us that lift and help
For we’re all a son or a daughter
Formed with hope and care and love
By the hand of the MASTER potter
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010, 9 – 5 pm
713 West Sioux Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Free continental breakfast with malted waffles, biscuits and gravy
King’s Inn Hotel and Conference Center
110 East Sioux Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Holiday Inn Express
110 E. Stanley Road
Fort Pierre, SD 57532
Reservations: 1 877 863 4780
312 Island Drive
Fort Pierre, SD
Toll Free Reservations: 800-396-5007
Front Desk: 605-223-2358
Sioux Uprising/Oyate Prayer Ministry
Ft. Thompson Aglow of Lower Brule and Crow Creek
Golden Eagle Photo courtesy of First People at http://www.firstpeople.us/
First People is a child friendly site about Native Americans and members of the First Nations. 1400+ legends, 400+ agreements and treaties, 10,000+ pictures, free clipart, Pueblo pottery, --American Indian jewelry, Native American Flutes and more.
April 16-18, Great Plains Rocky Mountains Aglow Regional Rally, Billings, MT
June 4-6, Fire Conference with Chad Taylor at Destiny Foursquare, Rapid City, SD
July 16-18, Hills Alive, Rapid City, SD
July 24, Rainsong concert in Rapid City
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
South Dakota Women's Lifestyle Conference: Pierre Aglow Prison Ministry to offer Spiritual Encouragement
Our team will offer Spiritual Encouragement to each attendee for the duration of the conference ( 4 - 10 pm on Friday, January 22, 7 am - 4:30 pm on Saturday, January 23). Please join us in encouraging prayer for the Conference planners and attendees, and for the weather and travel conditions for out-of-town guests.
We will have for sale copies of Carla Reed's first CD, 'Mysteries of the Deep,' which was recorded in Pierre, and possibly other selections.
Also at our booth will be the Jack Frost book, "Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship". A description of the book stated: 'What would life be like with no fear? If you could feel completely at home and at rest in the intimate love of God? We all face two choices in life: to live life as if we have a home or to live life as if we do not have a home. Many Christians live like orphans because they have never made it past their fears and into a place of rest and safety. Are you one of them? Lay aside your orphan mindset. Come in from the storm and find rest! Discover your true identity-and your true home-as a beloved son/daughter of the Father.'
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Pierre Aglow will minister at the SDWP on these dates. Please pray for the inmates and for the ministry team:
H Unit – Saturday, January 23, 1:00 - 3:30 pm
Main Prison - Sunday, January 24, 1:00 - 1:30 pm
Speaker: Sande Lofberg
Sande Lofberg is the US Director for Aglow International in the Great Plains / Rocky Mountain Region. She will address two of our foundational issues as human beings: insecurity and inferiority.
The River Center Worship Group will lead us into worship at this month’s Aglow services.
Aglow International (www.aglow.org) is a trans-denominational Christian women’s organization that emphasizes prayer and outreach with the Gospel.
Friday, January 8, 2010
"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Monday Motivating Moment
January 12, 2004
Weakness or Greatest Strength?
Sometimes your biggest weakness can become your greatest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.
The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn't understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.
"Sensei," the boy finally said, "Shouldn't I be learning more moves?"
"This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you'll ever need to know," the sensei replied. Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.
Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match.
Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. "No," the sensei insisted, "Let him continue."
Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.
On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind. "Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?"
"You won for two reasons," the sensei answered. "First, you've almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grasp your left arm." The boy's biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.
Affirmation for the Week: “I will look for and see my weaknesses, but as I hold them in my mind's eye, I will see them for what they truly are - my greatest strengths.” Have a transforming week!
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Mary Rau-Foster www.workplaceissues.comFostering great communication and cooperation in the workplace.Consulting, management training, and other educational resources.Resolving workplace conflict, management tips, employee motivation.