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Pearl 121: Stewardship

TOPIC: Organization and Responsibility   

"And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property,
who will give you property of your own?" - Luke 16:12.

God is watching how you treat that which belongs to another, which is called stewardship. That stewardship may be at work or in your personal life, for how you treat the things of others will determine how quickly God gives you your own. Do you borrow things and not return them? Is your work space a mess? Do you lose things at work, or have you neglected to organize your work area so you can maximize your efficiency and effectiveness for your employers? Have you given any thought to how you will organize your work team and projects?

Lord, I have been lax with those things that belonged to another while I long for my own. Today I see that You won't give me my own until I am a good steward over those things that are not mine! Forgive me for my attitude concerning the possessions of others. From this point, I will treat them like my own.

Pearl 120: Worldly Wealth

TOPIC: Organization and Money

"So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth,
who will trust you with true riches?" - Luke 16:11.

How you handle money is an indication of how you will handle true riches, which are ministry opportunities to change lives and impact communities. That means you are paying your bills on time, saving some when possible, and being generous with those in need. All that requires discipline to move beyond good intentions to actual performance. How faithful are you with money? Do you see how it is a training ground for true riches? Where can you improve?

Lord, You have entrusted me with some worldly wealth and You are watching how I handle it. That will determine what else you give me to do. Help me to organize my financial world with excellence, not as an end, but as a means to an end - the end being serving You in more significant ways in the future.

WAPIS Update

Pastor Peter is faithful to provide udpates concerning our our library and community development in Kenya. Here is his latest report with a few pictures to go along with it:

1 WAPIS 10Dear Dr. John,

The schools will be opened in a week time and we have to confess that the library has served as a beacon of hope to many.I have to confess I have witnessed a greater interest of reading among the people of Banana and this has been attributed to the availability of the library.

The pastors have also had a reason to smile with the latest books you sent for the commentary are up to date and relevant to many. I trust the interest from the pastors to consult this commentary will translate into better sermon preparation and presentation resulting to empowerment of God's people. We say thanks for the commentaries for they will go along way in helping WAPIS to achieve its dream to equip pastors in our community to offer better service.

The leadership materials and magazine have gained popularity for they have relevant stories which 1 WAPIS 12people can identify with. We know by the time we display all the materials we will continue finding more surprises.

The members from my new parish have appreciated to be among the beneficially of the jeans and the writing materials you sent and I know this will go along way in strengthening our mission work in Kikuyu. We are happy for the favour of God here and we trust we shall achieve the will of God here.

He is the reason for our living.

Pastor Peter

But the needs continue to be great there, plus we have to help maintain what we are already doing. Here is a request from Peter for help:

1 WAPIS 12Dear Dr. John,

Here at WAPIS we are okay and the operation of WAPIS is doing good.The library has been busy at this period when the schools are closed.The governmental burned all the tuition and as a result WAPIS library has became an alternative. We have managed to stock some few cartons of the books you sent but we need more shelves to accomodate all the books.

One of the challenge we are having is that we exhausted our account when we brought the books to Banana and there fore we have not paid last month rent and now we are approaching the end of the month and arrears are 1 Bus Wreckaccumulating. We hope for your support in this for we have promised the house agent we shall pay at the end of the month.

We hope in the future that when we manage to repair the WAPIS van [pictured right], we shall rent it out to earn extra cash to offset the rent. Thanks for all the support you have accorded us in all our times of need.

He is the reason for our living.

Pastor Peter

Can you help me help Peter?  First, we need $700 more to help him repair his bus so he can transport people for his ministry and for the community, thus earning some money for the work there. Then we need money to pay the library rent and expand it with more shelves and tables. You can give through my website or by sending a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-0882.  Let's not let Peter down. He is doing his part, now I need you to do yours. Thank you and God bless you!

Pearl 119: Promotion

TOPIC: Organization and Promotion

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can
also be trusted with much, and whoever is
dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much" - Luke 16:10.

Organization may seem like an insignificant, unimportant thing, but, if it is, that makes it all the more important to master. Today's verse indicates that your faithfulness over little things determines your ability to handle larger, weightier duties and responsibilities. God uses those smaller things to train and discipline you for more. Are you being faithful with the little with which you have been entrusted? Can you accept the reality that the little is your preparation for the more? What changes do you need to make to embrace this concept?

Lord, I have not been faithful with the little, at times thinking it not worthy of my attention while I wait for promotion or more responsibility. I see now I was wrong. I determine today, with Your help, to pay attention to my faithfulness to organize my world, seeing it as my schooling for greater things.

Pearl 118: Write It Down

TOPIC: Organizational System

“Write down the revelation
    and make it plain on tablets
    so that a herald may run with it.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay" - Habakkuk 2:2-3.

You saw this passage last month when we studied time management but it warrants repeating for organization. When you have a thought, a creative idea, a project to do, or anything else, you need a place to write it down. That place needs to have some system to it so you can retrieve it and add or take away items as the need arises - and it can be paper or electronic. Where do you record your thoughts, or keep your goals and daily to do list? Do you carry it with you everywhere? Is it organized in such a way that you can recall things easily?

Lord, I rely far too much on my memory. I need discipline to write things down and some type of organization to be able to find those things when I need them.  Help me to find and build a time management system that works for me and then teach me how to use it to the max.

Pearl 117: Hired Help

TOPIC: Organization and Delegation

"The reason I left you in Crete was that you might
put in order what was left unfinished and appoint
elders in every town, as I directed you" - Titus 1:5.

Sometimes you need other people to help you organize. Perhaps you need to hire a housekeeper, drive, gardener, or personal assistant to do some things for you to relieve some of the pressure on your time and your gifting, which may not include organization. What is stopping you expanding the people in your world who work for you? Is it only money? Or is there fear of what others will say?

Lord, I need help to stay on top of my world, but I am hesitant to do that for a number of reasons. I can't really afford it, but I also can't afford not to expand the people in my world to organize my day and life. Help me to confront my fears and then show me who I can get to help me, even if I must pay them.

Pearl 116: Lighten the Load

TOPIC: Organization and Clutter    

"So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned
their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left
the camp as it was and ran for their lives" - 2 Kings 7:7.

The enemies of Israel thought they were in danger, so they fled, leaving behind all their stuff because it weighed them down. Is your stuff weighing you down? Earlier in the month, we used a phrase to help guide how you treat your stuff: When in doubt, throw it out. One study showed that 87% of what you save (articles, paper, reports, files, old clothes, etc.) is never used or referred to again! Has it been a while since you cleaned up your world by discarding what you have not worn, looked at or used in a long time? How soon can you set aside some time to streamline the world of your computer, desk, office, attic, work space or purse?

Lord, I know I have too much stuff and it is weighing me down, not allowing me to be nimble and free. I commit to go through my world room by room, desk by desk, closet by closet, and computer by computer to lighten my load as I go forward and progress in Your will for my life.

Pearl 115: A Clean Manger

TOPIC: Organization and Technology

"Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
    but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests" - Proverbs 14:4.

Your life may be simpler without technology, but it isn't easier to organize in its absence. While technology brings its own set of problems, like a messy ox, it also enables you to do much more and organize what you do. Plus, technology can do some of the organizing for you, just like an ox does thing for the plower that he cannot do for himself. Keep in mind: You don't have to understand how the technology works, you only have to understand how to use it. What is your level of skill where technology is concerned? Are you intimidated and fearful of it? If you are comfortable with it, are you learning new things on new hardware to better organize your day and work?

Lord, You created this technology. I admit that I am fearful of it, and have tried to keep a clean manger, so to speak, to avoid any mess or problems. Now I am willing to learn and grow. First, help me find people who will tutor me in its use, then help me identify what I need for the work I am doing, and finally, help me use it all effectively.

Pearl 114: Time and Events

TOPIC: Organization and Time

"Then he [Paul] went upstairs again and broke bread and ate.
After talking until daylight, he left" - Acts 20:11.

Paul organized his time to maximize his impact on the churches he planted and visited. Last month, you studied time management and found out it is a misnomer; you cannot manage time, but the events that fill your time. Obviously, organization and time management go hand in hand, so perhaps a review of last month's Pearls will contribute toward your organizational emphasis this month. Are you happy with your time or event management? Are you doing the most important things or just staying busy? What changes do you need to make to use your time effectively?

Lord, I have 24 hours every day, and I must pay attention to how I am using those hours as part of my organizational philosophy. Give me new skills and awareness where time is concerned so that I can structure my day to achieve my highest priority events according to Your will for me.

Pearl 113: Proverbs

TOPIC: Organizational Wisdom

" . . . when he gave the sea its boundary
    so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
    Then I [wisdom] was constantlyat his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
    rejoicing always in his presence,
rejoicing in his whole world
    and delighting in mankind" - Proverbs 8:29-31.

God used divine wisdom to structure and organize the world as you can see from today's passage. This wisdom is personal and loves God's creation. Thus you can draw on wisdom to help you organize your world. Where do you get this wisdom? One place is the book of Proverbs. Therefore you should study the book of Proverbs every day to find nuggets of organizational wisdom for your life.  Did you realize that, if you read a chapter from Proverbs every day, you will finish the book once a month and twelve times a year? Why not start reading a chapter today with the specific intent of searching for tips on how to plan and structure your life?

Lord, all Your word is important and Proverbs is especially important for my daily life. Give me the discipline to read it every day and then give me the insight to sort through its many topics to see material that will help me organize my world, just as wisdom helped You organize Your world.