Unity or Conformity

Ephesians 4:3

“eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

When leaders speak of unity, I cringe. The first question that comes to mind is how do you define unity? For most control freak managers and organizational leaders, their definition is really you being conform to their way of thinking.

For real unity is built upon the values and teachings of the Holy Spirit. Conformity is built upon the exterior facade of dress and behavior.

Anyone can look like they are in step with you by their appearance, words, or just high-stepping like the armies on parade. But are they in agreement with the values and principles which lay the foundation of unity?

As a Christ-follower, I am not impressed with empty rhetoric, but with actions built on spiritual truth. When a person has surrendered their Will and Heart and Mind to Lord Jesus, the Spirit becomes more and more noticeable through the mannerism and attitude of the Believer.

Instead of pride, humility becomes more and more noticeable. One doesn’t need to ridicule or disrespect the other so the self may feel justified. But God is allowed to become the center of the relationship. Humility is simply trusting God will deal with the situation better than you can.

Instead of lies to cover up, honesty with transparency is the norm. If people cannot handle the truth, then surround yourself with those who can. Healthy leadership admits one’s weakness and is not afraid of the consequences of revealing themselves.

Instead of uncontrollable behavior, self-control is practiced. For example, to live within one’s means rather than spend more than one earns, is stealing from others. When a country spends more than it receives from their taxpayers, they are simply stealing from future constituents. The same can be said with food. A glutton takes food away from others and only shows their lack of self-control. Without self-control, a person will eventually harm themselves and others along the way.

It is easy to nod your head in agreement, be politically correct, and drive the culturally impressive car. But is your heart ONE with God?

When two people are one with God, they may disagree on many issues. But they have deepened respect for the other person and seek to maintain peace with them. What unifies them is their God and the values HE represents. Rather than seek exterior conformity, they search for common ground being unified in Spirit. They realize the relationship is just as important than the facts. The challenge is to maintain the unity of the Spirit while seeking out the best solution.

When two people are not in agreement with the Spirit, the discussion first becomes a battle between values. If the values cannot be agreed upon, then force is required. Whenever power is exercised without agreement, war eventually ensues.

Conformity ignores the values and instead exercises force and power to get their way. In the short term, they will get their way. In the long term, it will lead to a revolution.

Bottom-line: Unity is built on values and the result is long lasting; conformity is built by force and is short lived and destructive in the long term.  As I have repeated witnessed and learned the hard way, everything worthwhile begins when the Triune God is the center of your foundation.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Religion of Politics

2 Timothy 3-5

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 

Politics is a religion of the ungodly. Many of those without a with-God life seek fulfillment through the addiction of power. The basis of politics is power. The side with power gets to fulfill their desires at the expense of everyone else. It’s a game where rules are broken and the end justifies the means.

What is right or wrong, morally correct, or gracefully understood becomes immaterial. Because one-side has the power to get their way, they will use and abuse every means to win.

We have witness political leaders make decisions which harms the majority of people they serve for the purpose of destroying one person or one idea just so they may maintain their power over others. They practice Machiavellian techniques of leadership; the same theory dictators and organize crime syndication’s exercise to manage their domain.    

It is also becoming the norm for today’s universities to educate students to become social activist. The philosophy behind their approach is to create conflict and chaos through the exercise of power. One is taught to exercise all means of placing oneself in the position of power. Lies, intimidation, character assassination, violence, and destruction of property and livelihood are acceptable means to win the power game.

The result of creating such conflict leads to a society at war with itself. In the short term, those in power win. But in the long term, everyone loses.

Thirty years ago, when I would read today’s Scripture, I would wonder how a society built on Judaeo-Christian values could change to become an ungodly culture. Now I see.

When you remove God from institutions, fathers from their home, and educate the young to hate what is good, the fruit is an increase of ungodly acts of human behavior.

America was built on the principles and values of the Triune God. Maybe not perfectly practiced, but the ideals and teachings were the norm in the home, workplace, community, and government. As the Triune God is rejected from these areas, human nature’s bent toward evil becomes more robust and impactful. When the proper fear of God is destroyed, so is the culture and the people within their walls.

Yet, the Bible shows when a people repent, and change their worldview to include God as their Center, prophecy can be altered. There are examples throughout Scripture that shows prophecies may fail because of the change of heart of the people. My prayer is the same; that our leaders change their hearts and acknowledge the God who showers us with His grace by speaking HIS words and behaving with HIS moral compass.

But until then, the pompous, power hungry, and carnal politicians are best left to be avoided. Ignore them, don’t listen to them, and maybe they will repent and change their ways for their sake and for the sake of others. What can be worst for a politician than having no one vote or follow them?

Yes, God loves politicians. But politicians without a relationship with the living God are dangerous and need wisdom from above to truly serve HIS children on earth. So, always pray for them that they will allow us to continue worshiping our God in peace and just as important, they may confront the One True God and change their ways. 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Conspiracy Theories

Ephesians 6:12

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Which conspiracy theory do you believe?

I recently saw a list of over 75 conspiracies which are currently being talked about throughout the internet. Whether you are into governmental agendas, global warming, UN refresh plans, immigration invasion, vaccine controls, or Elvis Presley faking his own death, they all have a common plot. What we are being told isn’t really the truth.

As a young teen, I learned that people found lies more believable than the truth. When I spoke the truth, people didn’t believe me. However, when I made up some story, they would easily nod in agreement. It wasn’t until my late teen years, after I accepted Jesus Christ, honesty became my bedrock.

I have witnessed the joy of working with others whose word could be trusted. However, I have also worked with those whose lies and half-truths are the norm. My one mentor whose memory wasn’t great would always remind me when you speak the truth it is easier to recall the facts. When you speak lies, you deceive yourself and others. Eventually, over time no one will believe what you say, whether it is the truth or not, and then they will simply learn to ignore you.

Yet there is a conspiracy that is raging throughout the world. One which seems to make circumstances and events come together for an evil purpose. Besides the above Scripture, the apostle Paul also writes in Ephesians 2:2 there is a spiritual force at work influencing people to follow their natural inclinations toward evil. These people unknowingly have become pawns in this world chess game.

The Book of Revelation points at the end time there will be a united world government in control. This government will not be friendly to Christ-followers. Personal freedom will become history and every person subject to the supreme ruler of the state. As we now witness different plots and conspiracy movements throughout the globe, I have to admit the spirit of Satan is very active. You can call it a Biblical conspiracy theory – Satan and his demons are globally moving people toward his goal of global control without God and truth as the foundation.

The good news is Jesus Christ will return and remove the Beast from his throne and restore HIS government on earth. The bad news though is the process from today till then will be a bumpy one with pain and suffering for many. This is what has happened throughout history when God is ignored and people place themselves in the seat of authority without the wisdom nor knowledge of lasting values which leads to a life for all to flourish.

Meanwhile, the only common link between all the conspiracy theories is the lies and unknowns generated by an evil spiritual force moving people away from the Triune God. Eventually, this leads to the inability of trusting one another because of the constant lies being told to hide people from the truth. Then without trust, the system stops functioning, which results in more chaos and untruths, and then brute force is required to make society function again. The end result is violence and destruction; even the downfall of a nation.

But remember, we may lose a few battles between now and then, the overall main stream untrusting culture may also become more and more pervasive, but the Good Book reveals God wins in the end. And we with HIM.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Competency

Proverbs 22:29

Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.

So, you want to change the world?

How best could you make that happen?

The Book of Proverbs has many tidbits of common sense and wisdom which when exercised leads to an impactful life. So, if you want to influence the culture around you, improve the lives of those near you, or simply have a larger platform to share your thoughts and ideas, just become good at what you do.

The concept is easy to understand, but takes the high road of character development to build the discipline and skill set to master. But when you develop the competency in your work where you become the teacher and authority of your subject, the world will eventually take notice.

For example, I dropped off my bicycle to be repaired this week. I have used the same shop for the last 5 or 6 years. There are other shops closer and less expensive, but I choose this shop owner because of his knowledge and skill-set of repairing bicycles. The person worked for one of the largest bike shops in the country for over 15 years and then decided to open his own business. He loves bikes and his work shows his love. He treats each bike as his own and answers my questions in a way that I can easily understand. He is very competent in his work.    

Back in Jesus time, a world without today’s social media, HE became known through his work. He was a super Rabbi. He spoke the Scriptures with authority and in ways that amazed the people. He walked the talk. He healed the sick. He judged with mercy and discretion where people from the far right and far left felt accepted by Him. He was known throughout the land by the common person and the leaders of religion and government. In other words, he was very good at what he did.

And you can do the same.

When you align your natural abilities with the accumulation of your specific field of knowledge, and reach a point of understanding all the finer details where you can quickly apply the wisdom to better serve others, you will be noticed. Why?

Because most people are lazy and don’t apply themselves. Or they take shortcuts to master the material. For example, many students learn the one concept taught by their professors and repeat the same words. There is no depth or constructive value in their work. They are parrots repeating the same jargon without fully understanding all the implications.

We see this within the religious community where every question is answered the same way. You can have twenty people answer the same question with the same verbiage. But the competent one, who has taken the time to fully learn and apply the Scripture, will answer the question in their own words and present the material in a way that allows the recipient to understand in their world of experience. This separates the student from the teacher.

If someone needs their bike repaired, I will easily recommend my person. You probably can say the same for those few certain people whose services you repeatedly use even though they may cost a few dollars more. What do they most likely all have in common?

I bet they are very competent in what they do. And you can do the same.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Values of Substance & Worth

Luke 6:48

…he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

How strong is the foundation of your life?

Jesus asked the same question to his audience back some 2,000 years ago. The conclusion of his spoken words is summarized in the above Scripture. When you study His remarks, statements, and stories, you obtain a short list of the important values of living which lead to a more productive, blessed, and fulfilling life.

Yet many people who poo-poo the Bible without ever reading the Book classify the sayings as old fashion, religious jumbo. Yet those who have digested its contents, and built their foundation of living upon the teachings and wisdom from the Book, can only smile.

You don’t need a college degree, nor even a high school education to gleam the values which a solid, successful life is built upon. The Book contains all the important lessons and tidbits of wisdom when put into practice leads to a life worth living even after all the worldly storms and ugly events dump on you each and every day.

Today’s media and advertisers influence people by emphasizing the outer form rather than the internal character of a person. Human nature wants to look good in the eyes of others. Therefore, we put on a show based on values of form rather than substance.

We put pictures on social media showing us having a great time as if our entire life was one big party. We drive a car which we cannot afford but it gives us the image we want to portray before others. We marry a trophy spouse rather than the one who brings joy into our heart because we are willing to sacrifice everything for them. We borrow funds to live beyond our means and then find ourselves in deep debt without the means to repay. We chase the good life without realizing what the good life truly looks like.

Jesus outlined throughout the Bible the good life. A life built upon the design of its Maker. When one aligns themselves with the Creator of the universe and builds their foundation on the same characteristics which Life originates from, one begins to truly experience and understand why substance is more important than form. However, God’s creation also reveals that form and substance go hand in hand. Without substance, form dissipates into oblivion.

Real lasting values which lead to the good life is patterned after the Creator of the universe. Study His creation and you learn how life successfully works.

Overly educated people have the tenancy to complicate matters by creating life models which seem doable until put into practice. When the abstract hits reality, and the formulas and assumptions fail, they cannot accept their error. But instead accuse others of improperly implementing their methods. However, when you ask the farmer or carpenter who works with their product each day, they can quickly tell you what is most productive and best for the long term. Their education is based on the practical, everyday reality of life.

When your life is built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, reality comes to the foreground. The values He instructed and taught His disciples are the ones which are built upon the characteristics of the Triune God. When implemented, one begins to experience life without the fear of having the ground below their feet taken away. The values HE emphasizes are the ones which are true in every generation. They have been tried and proven over and over again. Others may poo-poo them as outdated. But hindsight teaches us why history repeats itself; us humans quickly forget the past and keep repeating the same stupid errors because the superficial values we accept today may look good on the outside, but under a microscope the internal substance lacks long lasting strength and sureness.

Bottom-line: seek and build your life upon values which have been proven over time to bring about the good life – everything else is shifting sand.    

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Three Success Factors: Character. Morality. Values.

Ephesians 4:20-24

But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. (MSG)

Character is built upon the foundation of your soul. Your personality and innate traits and abilities make you unique. When you allow God’s Spirit full access into your inner chambers, you then begin to experience a fundamental shift in your thinking and worldview. You begin to view life from God’s perspective. Let your character be shaped by the Triune God and experience life’s most precious commodity: real, authentic living the way you were designed to be.

Romans 8:5-8

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. (MSG)

Morality is the bumper rail to keep you from destroying yourself and others. Like the bowling alley with rails to prevent the ball from leaving the lane, godly morals keep one from harming themselves or others in the long run. Morality keeps you in the game for the long term. Real freedom and a joyous life reside within morality.

Proverbs 3:13-18

You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom, when you make friends with Madame Insight. She’s worth far more than money in the bank; her friendship is better than a big salary. Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth; nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her. With one hand she gives long life, with the other she confers recognition. Her manner is beautiful, her life wonderfully complete. She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her. Hold her tight—and be blessed! (MSG)

Matthew 13:44

“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find! —and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field. (MSG)

Matthew 6:19-21

“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse! —stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. (MSG)

Values are the treasurers worthy to attain for an abundant life. What to pursue and knowing what is important, and which value leads to a more productive, fulfilling, and enjoyable life depends on your chosen selection. Everything has a price and return on investment. Everyone has an opinion, but God who created value sets the standard of rank. Certain values will look pleasant in the short term, but lead to a great fall and other values will initially look old-fashion but take you along the better route toward a life worth living.

Character. Morality. Values. Three friends you and I want to hang around with and get to better know each and every day. Choose wisely and these three will lay your foundation for a real, sustaining, fulfilling life.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Well Lived Life

Luke 2:52

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”

What does a well lived life look like?

Is there someone in your life who you have as a role model? Someone who has lived a long life with successes and failures; someone who if you could only emulate 50% of their attitude and behavior, you would consider your life worth living?  Someone who could share their wisdom and life experiences to assist you on the road toward your promise land?

I was fortunate to have certain elders take an interest in me while growing up. But they came into my life in stages. In hindsight, God brought people into my world when I needed them most. For my early life wasn’t conducive for any type of success. Both my parents only had 8th grade educations; immigrated into this country after World War 2; didn’t speak the language; and came into this country without family nor friends.

In my rebellious teen years, I was ashamed of my parents because they were “old-fashion” and didn’t agree with the current fads of the day. Yet, today as an adult and parent, I marvel at their accomplishments and also salute them for instilling within their children healthy values, life examples, and acts of sacrifice for others.

When I turned eleven, I wanted to purchase a paper route. Mom objected because she said I was too young. Dad on the other hand blessed the opportunity. When he was eleven, his father died and being the only boy in the family, he took over the town blacksmith shop and farmed the fifty acres of land to support the family. If he wasn’t too young at eleven, neither was his son.

When I turned sixteen, I took a job working late nights at a drive-in theater. Though the people I would associate with weren’t the best role models, I was given responsibilities by the general manager to manage one of the two food concessions. In less than one year, I was managing the entire operation supervising college students. He gave me responsibility and the opportunity to learn and grow – skills that have shaped me for future business leadership roles.

My first accounting job at twenty with a manufacturing firm brought the HR manager into my life. He was in his mid-sixties, and previously an executive VP for the entire holding company. Rather than terminate him, the Company transferred him to this small shop out of respect to finish his career. He took a liking to me and showed me the important social and corporate skills needed to succeed in today’s marketplace.

I could go on and on and speak about the mentors from Church who gave me opportunities in my twenties to grow in public speaking, leading youth groups, organizing national single events, and showing me lives well lived. These were men who had successful work careers yet placed fatherhood as their most important role. Men who were authentic, diligently involved with family affairs, yet led successful businesses. And most importantly, men who acknowledged and praised God in their everyday routine. Whether at work, at home, or in the community, their faith was displayed. They were not perfect, made mistakes, but own them and worked hard to change into the image of Jesus Christ.

All we know about Jesus Christ between the age of 12 till 30 is summarized in the above Scripture. He increased in wisdom, stature, and favor before God and man. We are not told the details. We don’t know what or who came into his life while a teenager and young adult. But we witness the fruit of his investment of time and relationships. His intentional focus on gaining wisdom, being involved in the community, and having a positive influence with his friends and neighbors, all led to the writer summarizing this period of time in Jesus’ life with the words “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”

So, if you are in your teens or twenties, and want to know where to start investing your time for a life that is well lived, Jesus is always a good role model to follow.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved