Paul David Tripp on Rain and Drought

Hey gang, here is a great post from Paul David Tripp.  Everyone faces challenges.  For some believers, those challenges may cause them to question how the Lord is working in their lives.  If you are facing a time of rain and drought, consider the following message and see how even the most difficult time can be the doorway to greater blessing in your life.

God Bless, Tim Marks

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Do you like the rain?

On a sticky summer day, rain can be a welcomed break from the heat. Rain will water your backyard garden while it gives life to vital crops after a long drought. Rain will give your car a free wash, and it may even cancel your child’s sporting event that you didn’t want to go to!

But let’s be honest: for most normal people, we like to be inside when it rains.

Rain gets in the way of our comfort. It soaks our clothes and messes up our hair and gives us chills. I live in the heart of Philadelphia and walk most places – I’ve been surprised by rain too many times, and I rarely celebrate God’s goodness when I feel the puddle forming around my toes!

Today I want you to consider the spiritual metaphor of rain. There are many references in Scripture, and most often, they represent God’s blessing. For example: “I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit” (Leviticus 26:4).

On the other hand, when there is no rain, blessings seem few and far between: “The anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain, and the land will yield no fruit” (Deuteronomy 11:17).

God’s rain will always yield fruit, but sometimes, he’ll send a cold and uncomfortable rain that you won’t want to dance in. He may send the rain of physical pain, to help you mature under trial. He may send the rain of an honest friend, to confront your sin. He may send the rain of situational difficulty, so you learn to rely on him alone for comfort.

God may also bless us with drought – yes, I said bless. He may withhold success from us, so that we find identity in him alone. He may allow our dream to die, to help us discover a vision for his kingdom instead. He may allow us to experience spiritual dehydration, only to produce a deeper thirst for relationship with him.

So the next time God showers you with a cold and uncomfortable rain, don’t run in anger for your umbrella. Consider the blessings that he has in store.

And the next time God allows you to experience drought, don’t question his love and faithfulness. His purpose is always to restore, and yield a harvest more bountiful than before.

God bless

Paul David Tripp

Faith-Based War Room Movie is #1 at the Box Office!

Hey gang!  This movie, by the creators of Fireproof, Courageous and Facing the Giants, has dominated the weekend box office, beating the rap mogul autobiography Straight Outta Compton.  Deadline.com reported:

3RD UPDATE, Sunday 8:10AM Final update: N.W.A.’s reign at the top of the box office charts has been thwarted by the Lord with Sony/Affirm’s faith-based title War Room taking No. 1 on both a 3-day and 4-day basis, with respective estimates of $9.24M and $12.1M. Through 10 days, the Kendrick Brothers film has made$27.5M.  Sony sees $9.35M for FSS and $12.3M for FSSM.

It shows that people are thirsting for quality faith-based entertainment in a fallen world.  I have watched the movie and thought it was fantastic.

Stonewall Jackson

Many great heroes of mine come from this incredible country we live in.  I would have to say one of the leaders I hold in the highest regard is General Stonewall Jackson.  Many folks don’t understand where he got his nickname; this video does a pretty good job of explaining it. I know in my life I have found when I feel God has called me to do something, He gives me the strength to do it – even when it may seem crazy to others.

A great movie that depicts Stonewall Jackson is Gods and Generals.  My favorite quote from the movie occurs when Stonewall Jackson and one of his captains are talking after the first battle.  The captain had noticed the strength of Stonewall Jackson during the battle and said to him,
“General , how is it you can keep so serene, stay so utterly insensible with a storm of shells and bullets raining about your head?”  To which Jackson replies (and this gives me chills,)
“Captain Smith, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed.  God has fixed the time for my death.  I do not concern myself with that.  But to be always ready, whenever it may overtake me – that is the way all men should live. Then all men would be equally brave.”

Enjoy the video!

God bless, Tim Marks

RC Sproul: Is it a Sin to be Wealthy?

Hey gang!  Here is a blog entry from RC Sproul, a remarkable theologian, author and pastor.  In it, he tackles an important subject: whether it’s a sin to be wealthy, or not.  This is a very important question to have answered, particularly if your goal is to achieve financial freedom through building a business.  RC does a remarkable job breaking this issue down and helping us understand what God intends for us in regards to wealth.

God Bless,

Tim Marks

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TUESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2015

Ask R.C.: Is It a Sin To Be Wealthy?

No. One can certainly get wealthy by sinning. One can certainly sin while being wealthy. But it is surely not a sin to be wealthy. Though few would be so crass as to express such a sentiment, it nevertheless often reveals itself, ironically among the wealthy. Wealth, remember, is a relative term. Most of us like to think of ourselves as somewhere safely in the middle. But I suspect 99% of you reading this are, in terms of wealth, in the 1% of the wealthiest humans to ever walk on this planet.

Wealth, like wine, is a blessing from God that can be misused, that can bring with it a bevy of temptations peculiar to it. One temptation common to many of God’s blessings is that we forget they are God’s blessings. That is, we lose sight of the giver of the gift in loving the gift. Every good gift, however, should be seen as a window through which we behold the grace and the beauty of the Giver. Wealth has this added danger- it can encourage us to lose sight of our dependence of God.

Which brings us to how to rightly respond to the gift of wealth. First, give thanks, knowing that it comes from the hand of God. Were we better able to recognize that we are all in the 1% we would begin to push back against the envy that crushes gratitude. We see wealth as wicked because we think it’s something other people have that we don’t. But to 99% of those who ever lived, we are the other people.

Second, recognize that we are but stewards of what God has given us. Better yet, recognize that you are the steward of what God has given you, and I am the steward of what God has given me. Sometimes we use the truth that we are stewards of what is God’s as a pretext to judge how others handle what God has given them. We think this one shouldn’t have such a big house but should be financing missions, and that one shouldn’t have such fine clothes but should be supporting the local soup kitchen. We pride ourselves into thinking we could steward the money God gave the other guy to care for than he does.

We can debate on the requirements God makes of His stewards, whether the tithe is still binding, to whom it should go, gross or net. What we must not do is add to God’s requirements. Nor subtract from them. That is, not only is it not a sin to enjoy the wealth God has given you, it is likely a sin to not enjoy it. God commands His people in Deuteronomy 14:26- “And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.”

Which means the key is gratitude, not how much or how little we have been given to steward. We need not repent of our wealth. We likely need to repent for our failure to recognize it, and give thanks to the Giver. Wealth is no more proof of greed than poverty is proof of laziness. Work hard. Remember your dependence. Give thanks. And enjoy.

Obamacare Sunk My Personal Doctor

Gang, this letter says it all.  It’s moments where you hear how wrong thinking has hurt people.  Here is an excerpt from the letter, for those of you who don’t want to squint:

“Dear Tim and Amy,

It is with deepest regret that I must inform you of the closure of my private family practice located at ********, Cape Coral, FL.

As many of you know, the Affordable Care Act (OBAMACARE) has enacted unprecedented rules and regulations that are deleteriously affecting your access to quality healthcare.  Most are aimed at forcing doctors to collect your personal health information and report it to the federal government or pay a substantial penalty.  Unfortunately, these new policies and regulations make the future operation of small medical practices financially unsustainable.”

 

tim doctor obamacare

 

God Bless, Tim Marks

 

Ben Carson Offers Outspoken Views

Hey gang!  From time to time, I know I post things on  my blog that are likely hot-button political issues.  In sharing videos clips like the one below, I know that I do so at the risk of offending some people.  That is never my intent.  My goal is just to get people thinking about their own life, the lives of others, how they can help them and, in this case, help the future of our country.

I really wish that a guy like Ben Carson, a bestselling author and wildly successful surgeon by trade, could get into the Oval Office.  Out of all the Presidential candidates he is by far the most well read and educated on things that matter.  He understands business, politics, religion, and art.  Most importantly for the presidential office, he understands the true meaning of leadership, and that it is to serve others.  I really hope somehow he finds a way to battle the establishment politicians and make his way to the Oval Office.  I would encourage you to study him and make your own decisions politically, but if he ends up on the ballot he’s got my vote!  God Bless, Tim Marks

Check out this video on YouTube:

The Unjust Treatment of Kent Hovind

I don’t know how many of you have heard of Kent Hovind  or have followed his story, but I wanted to give you all an update and make you aware of the current injustice that he is experiencing.
From Forbes:
Kent E. Hovind (born January 15, 1953), an American young earth creationist, is considered by many to be one of the foremost authorities on science and the Bible. The amazing ability of Kent Hovind to communicate complicated scientific concepts in an easy-to-understand format makes this essential information accessible for youth and laypersons, as well as science professors. The goal of his creation seminars is to convince listeners to reject theories of evolution, geophysics, and cosmology in favor of the Genesis creation narrative from the Bible. As of 2012, this Creation Seminar has parts translated via subtitling in 37 languages.
While I do not agree with Kent on some doctrinal issues, we do agree on the majors.  As you will see in the video below, Kent has been the victim of unjust treatment in our legal system.  Let me be clear: he is most likely not without some amount of issue  (for example, not paying taxes, etc.)  While some people may say income tax is a farce, the courts will still put you in jail for not paying them, so I wisely choose to pay.
However, nothing warrants what this judge has done to Kent and continues to try to do to him.  If in fact the court documents have been altered, as argued in this video, that is a serious serious issue.
Please pray about how God may use you to help Kent Hovind through this situation.
God Bless, Tim Marks
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Below is an excerpt from a Forbes article on the Kent Hovind situation and what “structuring” is:

You will see reports that Kent Hovind is in prison for tax evasion. This is understandable. According to this recent Tax Court decision concerning Mrs. Hovind, neither he nor she were filing 1040s. That is not what he is in prison for. In 2006, a jury found Kent Hovind guilty on all counts of a fifty-eight count indictment. Twelve counts concerned failure to file quarterly payroll tax returns for Creation Science Evangelism (Mr. Hovind’s ministry which operated the Dinosaur Adventure Land theme park). Forty-five counts were for “structuring”. He or his wife made cash withdrawals from the bank in the amounts of $9,500 or $9,600 on forty-five separate occasions between the summer of 2001 and the summer of 2002. The 58th count said he had corruptly endeavored “to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws” . That particular offense reminds me of a crime that the city cops I hung around with in the seventies used to talk about. They called it “ B and A”, which stood for “being an _______”. In Hovind’s case it included filing complaints, making threats and paying his employees in cash and calling them missionaries.The Creation Hall of Fame has replaced its statement that Mr. Hovind was testing the constitutionality of the tax laws and was unable to find a righteous judge with a lengthy statement by Hovind that explains that he was not doing that. Here are some excerpts:“I have NEVER been a tax protester. America was founded by those type guys and we NEED them today, but I am NOT one.  The government, however, broke over 20 laws to put me in prison. This has been the history of man. See the story of Joseph, Job, Jesus, 6 million Jews in Hitler’s camps etc.  I DO NOT say the tax laws are unconstitutional nor did I break one to “prove a point” or “test the law.”Hovind appealed his conviction and sentence to the Eleventh Circuit, which upheld both, but he has not given up.

He has a letter from an anonymous sympathetic banker on his site that gives this analysis of the structuring charge:

By this twisted logic, if you deposit or withdrew $500 from your own bank account every week for 21 weeks, you could be arrested and charged with 21 counts of structuring because the amount went over $10,000.‘ You could be fined $5,250,000 and sentenced to 105 years in prison (even though you never had the $10,000 in your account at any one time and the money was not earned or spent illegally)!

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UPDATE:  Charges against Kent Hovind DROPPED!

He is out! Here is the link to the Kent Hovind official blog with all official updates:

KentHovindBlog.com

As well, check out this YouTube video!

Why Do We Celebrate Memorial Day?

Hey Gang!  Here is video and a re-post of a blog article from Time Magazine that perfectly sums of the meaning of today.  As you enjoy time with your family, please take time to honor the ultimate sacrifice our fighting men and women have given so that we may enjoy our freedom.

God Bless, Tim Marks

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Why Do We Celebrate Memorial Day?

by Tessa Berenson

This is the real meaning of the holiday.

It’s easy to forget what Memorial Day actually means while you’re sitting by the pool and looking ahead at summer vacation—but the day signifies much more than just a three-day weekend.

Memorial Day is a solemn day of remembrance for everyone who has died serving in the American armed forces. The holiday, originally known as Decoration Day, started after the Civil War to honor the Union and Confederate dead.

It’s unclear exactly where the holiday originated—Charleston, S.C., Waterloo, N.Y., Columbus, Ga. and other towns all claim to be the birthplace of the holiday. The event in Charleston that may have precipitated the holiday offers poignant evidence of a country struggling to rebuild itself after a bloody war: 257 Union soldiers died in prison in Charleston during the Civil War and were buried in unmarked graves, and the town’s black residents organized a May Day ceremony in which they landscaped a burial ground to properly honor the soldiers.

In the years following the Civil War, Memorial Day celebrations were scattered and, perhaps unsurprisingly, took root differently in the North and South. It wasn’t until after World War II that the holiday gained a strong following and national identity, and it wasn’t officially named Memorial Day until 1967.

The final event that cemented the modern culture of Memorial Day in America was in 1968 when Congress passed the Uniform Holiday Act, designating Memorial Day as the last Monday in May rather than May 30, as it had previously been observed. This ensured a three-day weekend and gave the day its current status as the unofficial beginning of summer, mixing serious reflection with more lighthearted fun.

21 Ways to Achieve Wealth and Success

Hey gang!  One of the key ingredients for success is forming the right success habits.  In fact, ever since Maxwell Maltz shared his observations in his bestseller PsychoCybernetics on how he saw his patients adjust to a change in an average of 21 days, the top success speakers and coaches have locked onto a 21-day paradigm for personal transformation.

Why are habits so powerful?  Because we are operating on autopilot for most of our actions, most of the day.  We brush our teeth a certain way, and put on our pants a certain way.  We say grace before meals as a habit, read daily from a good book as a habit, or watch television and veg out as a habit.  Many habits are so automatic we aren’t even conscious we are doing them.   In fact, sometimes we are on such autopilot in the morning that we might find ourselves in our car halfway to work before we realize it!  If we can train ourselves to do the right thing automatically we tilt the scales of success in our favor.  If we don’t, human nature tends to do the easiest, most pleasurable thing… and those habits tend to lead toward ruin.  As Samuel Johnson said, “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”  

Here is a great article on forming the habits to success from Entrepreneur magazine.   I challenge you to ask yourself, “Which of these am I doing, and doing every day?”  The answer will likely astound you!

God Bless, Tim Marks

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21 Ways to Achieve Wealth and Success

by Meiko Patton

In his book, Rich Habits — The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, Tom Corley outlines several habits that distinguish the wealthy from the nonwealthy.

It got me to think, How many people operate on autopilot and don’t stop to monitor their everyday patterns? Below I’ve summarized 19 of his habits for success (nine culled from his book and the next 10 from his recent article in Success) plus two of my own. If you’re not actively engaged in these 21 things, you are, in effect, leaving money on the table.

  1. Setting good daily habits.

Good habits are the foundation of wealth building. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people lies in their daily habits. Simply put, successful people have many good habits and few bad ones. If you understand that your bad habits may be preventing you from becoming wealthy, that realization will be the first step in your improving your circumstances.

In his book, Corley invites you to take out a sheet of paper and list your bad habits in one column and then invert each one to place under a new column for good habits. It should look like this:

Bad Habit/Good Habit

I watch too much TV.             I limit myself to one hour of TV per day.

I don’t remember names.     I write down names and remember them.

Then for 30 days, follow the guidance of your new good habits list. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.

  1. Regularly creating goals.

Successful people are goal driven. They create goals all the time. They plan their day the night before with to-do lists.

People who are headed for success think for the long term. They have daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. But what’s a goal without a plan to reach them? So not only do successful people have goals, they also come up with ways to achieve them and hold themselves accountable.

  1. Engaging in self-improvement daily.

Successful people are always looking for ways to improve themselves. They read every day and are students of their profession. They don’t spend their time on activities that don’t bring them closer to their goals.

I recently attended an event hosted by author Brendon Burchard, who said he consistently blocks out time to create. Successful people like Burchard know that time is too valuable a commodity to waste. They spend their time on the things that will move the needle for them in their business: Being committed to self-improvement means you engage in activities every day that will stretch you.

Seek ways to expand your knowledge. This won’t always be easy, but people grow from things that pose a challenge. Once your knowledge grows, opportunities appear.

  1. Regularly taking care of personal health.

Each and every day successful people make an effort to eat right and exercise. Eating right is of utmost importance. Exercising daily can become a regular habit, just like taking a bath. People who exercise routinely have more energy to get things done. How are you doing in this area?

  1. Often making time for relationship building.

People who are successful are other-people focused. They take time out of their day to strengthen the bonds of friendship and form long-lasting relationships with others. Networking is something they do all the time. They reach out to their contacts and look for ways to help them with no expectation of in return.

The most beautiful sound on Earth, I once heard someone say, is your name. So make it a goal to learn the names of every contact you meet. Aren’t you impressed when someone remembers your name? I know I am. So stand out as different and start remembering names.

  1. Doing things in moderation.

You live in a balanced way if you do activities in moderation. This means having a balanced approach to work, eating, exercise, consuming alcohol, watching television, surfing the Internet and so forth. As a result, people will enjoy your company. If people like being around you, then you will be more apt to collaborate or find the new business partner that you need to take your business to the next level.

  1. Getting things done.

Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today: Accomplish things. All people have fears, but successful people push past them. They don’t procrastinate. They get the important things done, no matter the cost.

In Rich Habits, Corley explains that when the thought of putting off something enters the mind, immediately shed notion by saying, “Do it now.” He says repeat these words 100 times if necessary. Just don’t stop till the task is done.

  1. Keeping a positive outlook.

Consider the most successful person you know. Is that person positive or negative? Most likely this individual is positive, enthusiastic, energetic and happy. This person chooses to see the good in others and in himself or herself. To this person, problems are just opportunities waiting to be uncovered.

Every day people are bombarded by news of bad deeds and doings. Successful people minimize their exposure to this type of thing and instead opt to fill their minds with positive ideas from books and magazines.

  1. Regularly saving money. 

According to Corley, successful individuals put away about 10 percent to 20 percent of their gross earnings in a savings, investment or retirement plan. Not everyone can afford to do so, but what percent are you putting away?

  1. Rejecting self-limiting thoughts. 

Successful people command their thoughts and emotions. As soon as bad thoughts intrude, they cast out anything that challenges their ability to succeed at the task at hand. They do not dwell on negative notions. Their self-talk is positive and not overly critical. They replace bad thoughts with good ones.

Because successful people engage in self-improvement daily and are constantly involved in positive things, they don’t allow themselves time to indulge in negative emotions.

  1. Living within means.

Wealthy people avoid overspending. Among many of those struggling financially, some are living above their means. They spend more than they earn, live from paycheck to paycheck and are drowning in credit-card debt. If this is you, resolve today to turn things around for you and your family.

  1. Reading daily. 

Many successful people read 30 minutes or more every day. Reading can increase your knowledge and know-how. When you read, often  you are seeking to improve yourself. This automatically sets you apart from your counterparts. You will stand out from the competition.

  1. Limiting TV watching. 

Did you know that many successful  people limit the amount their TV time to one hour or less a day? How much time do you lose in front of the television that you could be spending doing something more productive?

  1. Doing more than what’s required.

Successful people regularly go above and beyond the call of duty at work. Even if something is not in their job description, they will volunteer to do it. Wealthy people make themselves invaluable. As an entrepreneur, you may not have a boss. But in what ways do you go above and beyond for your clients? How do you wow them?

  1. Talking less and listening more. 

When you listen, you learn. And as the adage goes, that’s why people have two ears and one mouth. When you take the time to really pay attention to what another person is saying, it can truly help not only you but your bottom line as well. When you listen, you are in a better position to help others.

  1. Not giving up.

Don’t give up when the going gets tough. Successful people hang in there. They pivot. They try something new. They persist. They may have to change their direction, but they keep moving forward.

  1. Spending time with like-minded ones. 

There’s a saying that goes, “Show me who your friends are and I’ll show you who you are.” I believe that. People are only as successful as those they choose to surround themselves with. Good associations can help you more quickly achieve your goals.

  1. Finding a mentor.

Many people who have had a mentor have attributed their success to that person. Mentors can help you achieve your goals faster and keep you accountable. They can share valuable experience that can cut your learning time in half.

  1. Knowing your why.

When you know why you’re doing something, you will get what you want quicker than if you don’t. Having a purpose is essential to being successful in business and in life. Why do you want to be successful? Why do you really want to be wealthy?

  1. Not giving fear the upper hand. 

Everyone has fears. Successful people don’t allow their fears to limit or define them. Fear inevitably keeps you in the same position and stunts your growth. Recognize your fears and seek ways to overcome them. Interview someone you admire and ask that person how he or she overcame a fear or pick up an autobiography and take notes.

  1. Upgrading skills. 

If you want to get ahead, there’s only one way to do it: Become better at something than you are today. What’s the one thing you can focus on for the next 30 days that will catapult you to rock-star status in your industry? Focus your attention on that. I heard John Lee Dumas fromEntrepreneur on Fire define “FOCUS” like this: Follow one course until success. Will you?

 

 

Leadership thoughts and perspective