Realizing Your Value

In life we each purchase items for our homes and our personal pleasure. Some items are small and inexpensive. Others can be large and costly.

You can judge the value of each item by the price you pay for it. Likewise, we can judge our value by the price God, through Jesus, paid for us. Think of the depths into which Jesus had to reach in order to redeem you and me.

Imagine being taken from your nice comfortable home, with all your conveniences and pleasures, to a tin make-shift shelter with a dirt (mud) floor, to live for 33 years. This is similar (a rough comparison) to what Jesus did. He left a place of perfection to come to a messed up world. And He did it to redeem you and me. We can judge our value by the price God, through Jesus, paid for us.

You and I were born into a fleshly body. The flesh is sinful. Therefore, we live a life riddled with sin. Have you ever been around someone who sprayed themselves down with extra cologne or perfume, trying to mask body odor, because he/she did not take time to bathe properly? (Not a pleasant thought, is it?) The body odor comes through and the perfume only makes the stench worse. You cannot mask that body odor or hide it.

The same is true with our sin. We cannot hide or mask our sin with church attendance or good deeds. Sin is sin and it will not wash off with man’s solutions.

As the hymn says, Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin has left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” Only through the shed blood of Jesus, will God redeem.

We have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season. God is a gracious God and is truly greatly to be praised. You are valuable to God. Read the Gospel of John in your copy of God’s Word, The Holy Bible, to learn more about what He paid for your redemption.

No matter your status in life, you can judge your value by the price God, through Jesus, paid for your redemption.

Iceberg Characters

The Titanic received 6 iceberg warnings on its maiden voyage before it went down. When the sixth message came in the early morning hours, “Look out for icebergs” the operator wired back, “Shut up, I’m busy.” Thirty minutes later the great vessel, whose Captain said, “Even God couldn’t sink this ship.” was sinking fast. What happened? They forgot the truth about icebergs. What they saw above the water could not have sunk the great ship. But, they forgot that 90% of an iceberg is below the waters surface.

Your life is much like an iceberg. The 10% above the water represents your reputation. The 90% below the surface represents your character. And it is what is below the surface that will sink your ship.

The 10% above water is only what people see when you are putting on your best behavior. Anyone can get dressed up and attend church services on Sunday morning. Anyone can put on a smile and pretend to like her surroundings. But our actions when we are tested exposes much more of who we are. It is then that our true character is revealed.

Whatever is happening on the outside of your life today comes from what is happening on the inside. God places “being” before “doing.” He prioritizes taking care of the inside (your heart) because that will determine what takes place on the outside (your behavior). Your behavior is the outward manifestation of your character.

How is your character as perceived by others – by the strangers you meet each day?

Is your character like an iceberg that cripples and sinks ships?

What do people see as your character? Is it God-like? What does God see? Nothing is hidden from Him.

The founder of SonC.A.R.E. Ministries, George Yates is a coach and organizational health strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

 

A True 2017 Prodigal

A young man entered the worship service one Sunday morning. Even before I turned to see him, my peripheral vision told me he was someone I had not seen before. Yet he came in and sat down near the front on the opposite side from where I was sitting. His actions that morning were a little – different, but he was attentive and not intimidated. After the offering plate was passed and the plates placed on the communion table at the front, this young man stood up walked to the front and dropped something in.

I later would learn this young man’s grandparents had been stalwart members of this congregation for many years. This young man had spent many days with his Godly grandparents and many Sundays with them at this church. But in his late teens and early adult years, he had slipped away. His grandparents had passed on to the afterlife, and this young man had slipped further into the depth of this dark world and its temptations and pitfalls.

Yet, here he was on this particular Sunday morning, in church. The very church that meant so much to his grandparents. The church where they labored and served for more than fifty years. Several of those years bringing this young man along to learn of the goodness of God. As people in the congregation introduced themselves to him, they recognized who he was and joyously welcomed him with hugs and handshakes and stories of his grandparents.

This young man had just started a new job the same week and did not have any money to give yet. So, what did he place in the offering plates this morning? A man on the finance team at the church shared with me what the young man had placed in the offering plate. He had pulled two mission offering envelopes from the pew rack in front of him and wrote on them before standing and walking in front of everyone and dropping them in the offering plate. He was not trying to draw attention to himself, only giving what he had that morning, in the most sincere way he knew.

On each envelope were three lines: Amount $, Name, Church.

On each envelope he wrote the name of this church; on the Name line he wrote his grandmother’s name on one envelope and his grandfather’s name on the other. For the amount on each envelope he wrote “Everything”.

I don’t know about you, but to me this was priceless. Having returned from the darkside, this young man realizes where the good in life comes from. And he realizes to whom he owes a great debt for teaching him. He could not have waxed eloquent with speech and made a statement so clear.

His grandparents taught him by living in front of him a Godly life; teaching him, training him, and taking him to church to learn from others and to be around people who would welcome him with love and open arms when he returned years later.

Will anyone ever honor your life this way? Will even one person remember you in such a manner? Let me encourage you to live your life to influence not one, but many in a way that leads them to the Lord, Savior, and Creator of the universe.

What A Passing Gift Can Do

Two years ago, I was passing through a city slum when I saw a 7-year-old boy picking some fruit from the wet-market stand. He was a skinny, pale boy, with big grey eyes and shaggy black hair that looked like it hadn’t been cut in months. His clothes were strangely clean and he wore a backpack on one shoulder.

“Don’t steal the food,” I told him, pulling him aside. “Earn it instead.”

“Can’t,” he told me sullenly. “None of the people want to hire me.”

“Well then, set up your own business. What are you good at?”

“Crafts and music, mostly.”

“What kind of crafts?” He shrugged and said, “Whittling, carving, painting, a little clay modeling. Not really much.”

“Here.” I gave him a twenty-dollar bill. “Buy what you need, and sell what you make. You can probably get your supplies from a dollar store I know just a few blocks from here.” I pointed it out to him and he went it.

Yesterday I went again through that slum, visiting a friend who lived on the other side of it. Near the same spot I found him, I saw a charming 9-year-old playing ‘Fur Elise’ on a worn-out keyboard with a stand behind him, filled with beautiful carvings, wood models, and clay knickknacks. He had an audience that was tossing him a few pennies, and I recognized the friend I was visiting. “Hey!” I said. She looked at me and smiled, pointing at the boy. “The music he plays is wonderful. He says the keyboard was salvaged from his house, and a stranger gave him a twenty once.”

The boy noticed me, and called everyone’s attention. “That’s the guy who gave me twenty dollars and priceless advice two years ago. Without him, I’d be sticking to picking pockets and hating myself for it.” He shook my hand and said to me, “By the way, my name’s Zachary. Thank you.”

I almost cried right then and there.

You never know whom you can touch and what a passing kindness can do in someone’s life. As you walk through life, be watchful for God’s opportunities to touch the life of another. Then show a little kindness. Perhaps, the result of your kindness will one day bring a tear to your own eyes.

The story sited above is from an anonymous source.

 

Planning that Brings Effective Results

Fall is here. I love being outside. Each season has a special quality and distinguishing characteristics. I love to hunt, so fall is a special time. But, I love to be out in the woods and pastures even on a rainy day, not only for the hunt. I love being outdoors with the creator, enjoying the beauty of his creation.

Fall is also a time when churches and other organizations are looking ahead to the future, making plans for the next year. Unfortunately, it is this planning that often falls short and causes organizations to not reach its effectiveness. Churches (and organizations) plan, but few know how to strategically plan for greater effectiveness. Greater than previous years.

The belief in many churches and organizations is if we plan and carry out those plans we have accomplished some “great thing.” However, accomplishing what you set out to may not be the best course of action. Many organizations (churches) flounder year after year seeing less results than previously. Yet, we accept these results and pass the blame on the economy, or other factors of which we have no control over.

Our planning should include accepting responsibility for what we can control and strategically plan to be the absolute best using every God-given gift at our disposal. Too often we stay in our own little box, even during extreme planning retreats.

Working with church leaders in one such retreat last fall, the team had listed four areas that could be their “one focus” for 2017. Out of the four they settled on one. Following this decision they had a healthy 20 minute discussion and were seemingly pleased with the direction they were headed. As a coach, I had heard something in their conversation and posed one question to the group. Each face around the table showed concern and quizzical attraction to the question.

This led to another 20 minute discussion – in a different direction. The team’s discussion led them to an entirely different focal topic for the year. At the end of that discussion and ensuing sessions, team members realized and announced, “If you (George) had not asked that one question, we would have been on the wrong track in every session. We would have left here and gone back and led our church in an irrelevant course all year.”

I am called upon each year to assist leadership teams in a vision planning retreat. These retreats are designed to guide the leadership team of an organization (church) to dig deeper than they might on their own. Digging deeper to find the one best focus for their particular organization for one year.

Not only do we find the focus, we lay out a road map for the journey, building in check points and driving gauges that can be reviewed anytime along the journey to see progress and make needed adjustments. The team identifies destination indicators and possible distractions to assist the organization in achieving its goals and effective performance.

The church mentioned above laid out their plan, implemented it and by the third week of January, they were seeing results and “It has become the talk of the church!”

To find out more about this type of vision planning and retreat contact George Yates and visit SonC.A.R.E. Ministries.

The steps to this type of vision planning are laid out in the book Turnaround Journey.

A Leader Willing to Get His Hands Dirty

In the early years of our nation, a man in civilian clothes rode past a small group of tired and battled weary soldiers. They were digging what appeared to be an important defensive position. The leader of the group wasn’t making any effort to help. He just shouted orders and threatened to punish the group if the work wasn’t completed within the hour.

“Why aren’t you helping?} the stranger asked on horseback.

I’m in charge! The men do as I tell them,” said the leader. He added “Help them yourself if you feel so strongly about it.”

To the unkind leader’s surprise the stranger got off his horse and helped the men until the job was finished.

Before he left the stranger congratulated the men for their work, and approached the confused leader. “You should notify top command next time your rank prevents you from supporting your men and I will provide a more permanent solution,” the stranger said.

It was at this moment that the, now humbled leader recognized the stranger as General George Washington. This so-called leader learned a lesson he would never forget!

Truly effective leaders dig with the troops. Those who only desire to bark orders without getting his hands dirty, is not a leader, but a phony wanna be. People working for such a leader know and never forget. Likewise, those who have had the experience of working for a leader like George Washington, never forget their experience either.

Jesus Christ lived the greatest leadership example nearly 2,000. God in the flesh, yet He chose to get his hands dirty. He met daily with the unclean, the run of the mill citizen, the blind, lame, and outcasts of society. His pupils were fisherman, tax collectors, and common men of Galilee. These were not Harvard and Oxford grads.  His leadership caught the attention of government officials and religious leaders as well as people from many nations. His leadership also turned the world upside down and continues to influence many today.

Have you had a leader who was not afraid to get his/her hands dirty. Always jumping in to help move the organization forward? What do you remember about him/her? What’s your leadership story?

It’s not about what you think of yourself, it is, What type of leader do others say you are?

 

Camel Conversation

A mother and a baby camel were lying around under a tree.

Then the baby camel asked, “Mom, Why do camels have humps?”

The mother camel considered this and said, “We are desert animals so we have the humps to store water so we can survive with very little water.”

The baby camel thought for a moment then said, “Okay, why are our legs long and our feet rounded?”

The mama replied, “They are meant for walking in the desert.”

The baby paused, then asked, “Why are our eyelashes long? Sometimes they get in my way.”

The mama responded, “Those long thick eyelashes protect your eyes from the desert sand when it blows in the wind.”

The baby thought and thought. Then he said, “I see. So the hump is to store water when we are in the desert, the legs are for walking through the desert and these eye lashes protect my eyes from the desert sand. “Then why are we in the Zoo?”

God has given us all special skills and abilities. These special gifts that God has given us is to bring about the satisfaction we all desire. That satisfaction comes in helping others.

When we use our skills and abilities for selfish reasons, it is like not using them at all. It is as a camel in a zoo. What are you doing to develop and use your skills and abilities?

Skills and abilities are only useful if you are using them for your God-given purpose. Otherwise they go to waste. Don’t sit around in a zoo. Put your gifts and talents to use helping others. You’ll be glad you did.

What Developing My EIQ Will Do

Leaders of the BBC decided a particular division needed to be shut down. They sent in an executive to give the news to the more than 200 employees who had all worked diligently, giving their best.  The executive sent to deliver the decision started off with a glowing account of how well rival operations were doing, and that he had just returned from a wonderful trip to Cannes. This was not a well-planned delivery just before telling these same people they are soon to be jobless. Would you like to hear of your boss’ great luxurious lifestyle, just before he tells you he is taking away your source of income? This executive did not have EI (Emotional Intelligence), much less an EIQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient).

As David Goleman tells this story in his book, Primal Leadership, he says people became enraged, not only at the decision, but as much with the deliverer of the decision. Fortunately, BBC sent in a second executive who shared of the decision in a different manner. He spoke from the heart about the importance of the calling into journalism, about the dedication and commitment of journalists such as the people seated around him. When he finished, the group cheered.

The same people, about to lose their jobs. But this time they cheered. What made the difference? The temperament. The second executive had a high EIQ. He understood the heart of the matter and the impact of the decision to shut down this division. Therefore, he spoke from his heart.  The temperament of a leader and the temperament of his/her communication delivery sends a loud and clear view of his/her EIQ. The first executive drove the group toward antagonism and hostility, the second toward optimism, even inspiration, in the face of difficulty.

As leaders, we impact people’s lives every day in many ways. Our temperament and how we influence the temperament of others has a significant impact in the effectiveness of our organization. Temperament is outwardly displayed in one’s attitude. When a leader comes across with a rough and impersonal charge, it will negatively affect the attitude of all in attendance and will flow down through the organization. On the other side, as a leader delivers a charge to the organization with enthusiasm and encouragement, the organization will respond more positively.

However, for some reason, emotions (which drive temperament and attitudes) are oftentimes considered irrelevant in the workplace and have no bearing on leadership. Any time a leader can gain insight into better understanding and developing his/her own Emotional Intelligence (EI) will only increase positive leadership ability. Understanding and developing your own EI will also give insights into positively influencing the productivity of others.

Like it or not, our emotions affect all areas of our lives, including the workplace. The more a leader can grasp the influential role of emotions in the organization, the greater effectiveness and production will be realized.

Understanding and developing a high EIQ separates the few great leaders from all the others. These leaders see not only improved production and effectiveness of staff, his organization also realizes less turnover, greater compatibility through team work, as well as commitment and retention of talented employees/volunteers. Are you ready to develop your EIQ?

To learn more about EIQ contact George Yates.

George Yates is a coach and organizational health strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Great Leaders Develop their EIQ

Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Jack Welch, Great leaders motivate us. They inspire us and ignite our passion. Have you ever wondered how? How do great leaders always get the job done and their employees/volunteers love or respect the leader for getting them to accomplish the work? Not only their employees, others aspire to know them and even to meet them personally. Perhaps thinking some of the leader’s charisma and wisdom will rub off. I am a strategic planner, and help leaders and organizations plan strategically. Yet, I know there is much more involved here than strategy. There is an element residing within all great leaders that is often overlooked by the majority.

This element involves passion. But it is not passion alone. I can be passionate about getting the job done. I can be passionate about making the organization money, or climbing the corporate ladder. I can be passionate about a lot of things, but this will not make me a great leader. In order to be a truly great leader I must possess what Daniel Goleman contends is, Emotional Intelligence (Primal Leadership, Harvard business School Press, © 2002).

We all know of I.Q., Intelligence Quotient. I want to introduce you to what I consider Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ). The higher the level EIQ, the greater success a leader will experience. EIQ is not only about the level of your emotions. more importantly, it is the level at which you understand and can motivate the emotions of others. It is not manipulation. People resent manipulation and will not work for you as you desire when you try to manipulate them.

EIQ is understanding that every person is different and must be approached, managed, and led differently. To be productive each one of us must have our correct emotions engaged and caressed. Now, this does not mean you are to coddle and coo over employees or volunteers. It does involve getting to know your employees and learning about them, what brings them satisfaction; what motivates him to action? What causes her to strive for her best?

Everyone will serve out of his/her passion. We enjoy doing what we are passionate about. Leaders with high EIQ use observation and casual conversation to learn the passion and the emotional base driving the passion of each employee or volunteer. Yes, this requires spending time with people, which is level two leadership. Spending time with people, getting to know their passions and the emotions that drives their passion, will help move you to higher level leadership with your charges.

Many leaders are ignorant of or refuse to acknowledge the importance of practicing a high EIQ. Yet, for successful leaders it is a practice that becomes second nature. People serving high EIQ leaders will out-perform others three to one, every day of the week. Why would any leader ignore learning about and developing their own EIQ? Why have you?

To learn more about EIQ and how to develop yours, contact George Yates.

George Yates is a coach and church Health Strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

 

What’s Most Important in Life

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.” Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days. “Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important…Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said. Busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown.

Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away. The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time.

The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture…Jack stopped suddenly. “What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said.

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,'” Jack said. It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it. “Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day, Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read. Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser” it read.

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside. “Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.”

A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: “Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most was…my time.” Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked. “I need some time to spend with my son,” he said. “Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!”

Do not take for granted the time you have here on earth.

To all my family & friends I want to THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

 The story in this post is from an unknown source.

George Yates is a Life Purpose Coach and Church Health Strategist assisting individuals, churches, and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose in life.