Another Four Minutes
January 10, 2010
I apologize that the link for the four-minute video I posted yesterday did not work. This one does.
I apologize that the link for the four-minute video I posted yesterday did not work. This one does.
A colleague sent me a link to a four-minute video that outlines the dynamics of change in this day and age. I encourage you to invest the time to watch it and then ask what it means for you, your family, your work and purpose.
President Obama gave a speech to schoolchildren the other day to start the school year, which some schools chose not to show. Some of what he had to say was so consistent with my purpose message that I thought, "Hey, he's singing my purpose song! I should develop a purpose curriculum for youth and children to reinforce the truth he spoke." Here are some quotes from the president's speech:
Pretty good stuff, Mr. President. So what do you say? Is it time for a youth purpose curriculum? (Don't say yes too quickly, for then I will ask you to help fund it!) You can read the president's speech in its entirety here.
Don't forget to do your part by donating $9 today to the Born to Fly International 09-09-09 campaign to combat child trafficking and human slavery. You can go to their website to give or send a check to the address on their site. You can check out my post last week that more fully explains the rationale for the organization and the event. Thank you in advance for your help!
It is my privilege to serve on the board of directors for an organization called Born To Fly International (B2F), an organization devoted to seeing the end of child and human trafficking and slavery around the world. When we were planning B2F, we didn't want to have a name that addressed the problem. We desired a name that would address the solution and the end result we were seeking. We just didn't want to see people freed from slavery, we wanted to see them fulfill their God-given purpose and fly to the highest heights possible.
This coming week, B2F has organized a worldwide event to put a dent in the trafficking and slavery problem. This Wednesday is September 9, 2009, so the B2F leaders are planning a 09-09-09 campaign. They are seeking 9,000 people to donate just $9 toward the B2F program. That money will then be used to publish a a wordless book and companion curriculum that can be used anywhere in the world to educate children about the dangers they face from unscrupulous traffickers and smugglers.
My wife and I have already given and there is an amazing move on Twitter and through the blogosphere concerning 09-09-09. People everywhere are talking, blogging and twittering about 09-09-09 and what it represents. People are welcoming a chance to do something, no matter how small, toward eradicating this heinous crime. I urge you to get involved as well. Give up a meal at McDonald's, a movie, or some other luxury for the sake of 09-09-09. I promise you that, when you give and support this worthy initiative, you will feel terrific. You will know that you did your part to help save many children and their families from the horrors of separation and slavery.
There has been so much written about B2F and 09-09-09, so please go to Born to Fly founder Diana Scimone's blog to read it all for yourself. Pass the word to your friends and then be one of 9,000 to give by donating via credit card or PayPal right on the B2F site. You don't have to wait until 09-09-09 and please don't hesitate to give often and generously after 09-09-09 as well.
I got an urgent email from someone in our church who is dismayed over the current debate raging in our land and wanted some advice. I will not mention her name or what side of the debate she felt she was on. Her questions were legitimate and passionate, and I felt I needed to respond right away. I spent so much time in responding that I just had to find another use for what I wrote, thus this post. Let me know what you think, as I hope she will as well. Here goes.
My church, Allegheny Center Alliance Church, yesterday completed the purchase of a neighborhood bar that had been a nuisance for years. I think that is so cool! You can read about the transaction here. If every church bought a bar and turned it into a legitimate business, it would impact every community where the church is located for the good. Now we have to figure out what to do with the place, but God led us this far and He will lead us all the way.
I took some time to add up the numbers today, and I have received $5,594 to date for the Sophia Fund. We have sent $2,500 into Zimbabwe and $3,000 into Kenya so far to feed HIV/AIDS orphans and widows. If you want to see why your gifts to this Fund are so urgently needed, please watch this BBC video report from Zimbabwe.
Then make a contribution of at least $5 toward the fund and hopefully more. You can use the "Chipin" widget on this site to contribute, go directly to my website to contribute there through PayPal, or send a tax-deductible check to PurposeQuest, PO Box 91099, Pittsburgh, PA 15221. Make sure you let me know it is for The Sophia Fund. Don't delay; give today and make a difference in the world.
If you give a gift of $25 or more during the month of June, I will send you a free copy of my book, Strictly Business, while supplies last (I have sent out seven so far). Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you play a part in addressing the issues of HIV/AIDS and world hunger.
I do not want to take our most current health risk lightly. From everything I read, it is a serious problem that is spreading quickly. I urge you take whatever precautions you feel you must take. I just wanted to share what I do when faced with a dilemma such as this. To describe it, I would like to talk about my trip to Afghanistan on a missions trip a few years ago.
When I went to Kabul, the capital city, it was right after the war in Iraq had started and the war in Aghanistan had finished, not the best time for an American to be in Afghanistan. I was there as part of a missions team that was teaching a business seminar at Kabul University and I was there for three weeks. I was one of two Americans on the team. The rest were from the Philippines, Korea and Canada.
We began each morning at 7 AM with two hours of group prayer and devotions for the 30 of us who lived together in two homes. Since residents had thrown hand grenades at the group van just weeks before I arrived, believe me when I tell you that no one missed morning prayer. (On the day before I left Kabul, we found out that our team had been targeted by a bomb squad from the university engineering department.)
During our morning prayer session, we would all stand and recite Psalm 91 and that is the point I want to make in this post. We took those words seriously and stood on them every day as we went about the business at hand. God protected us and He has protected and will protect you. As this pandemic sweeps the world, would this be a good way to start or end your day? In case it is, here is the psalm in its entirety so you won't even have to go look it up.
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the Lord, who is my refuge-
10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."
I got home from the UK on Tuesday and have been catching up and setting up my work for next week. The weather has been cool; we even had some snow on Tuesday and Wednesday. It always seems to get chilly around Easter, so this isn't unusual for Pittsburgh. This is the first Easter since my mother passed away and I have thought of her a lot. She always made a big deal about Easter.
Speaking of Easter, I remember Good Friday in the church we attended as a family when I was growing up. It's name is St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church. I would attend service on Good Friday and it was a morbid event. I won't go into all the details, but suffice it to say I always came home depressed (and rather dusty, since we had to crawl around the floor of the church in adoration of the crucified Christ).
Yet that experience helped shape me, as our childhood always does, and so I still stop and reflect on Good Friday, even if I don't participate in rituals of old. Good Friday for you and me is an important day, for it was on that day that Jesus purchased our access to heaven.
That makes Good Friday truly good, even though Jesus suffered the most agonizing death that man has even devised against his fellow man. With that in mind, are you taking full advantage of what Jesus purchased on your behalf? What;s more, is the truth of resurrection life and power also present in your life, work and walk? If not, then the realities of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday are just historical facts and not a real presence in your daily living.