How to Sustain Anything (Part 3)

How to Sustain Anything (Part 3)

This is the final part of our initial meditation on how-to sustain anything.

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power…
Hebrews 1:3

I thought within myself, “So with all the billions of people on earth, plus the heavy-duty machines and mega structures all around, the earth still hangs IN SPACE with nothing holding it up or supporting it below, and it does not totter downward or out of its orbit!

Goodness! So the earth hangs on empty space without any visible support!

That was the last straw for me. I was completely broken and my defences were shattered. I knelt down right there and begged God to forgive me for doubting His Son.

I realised how foolish I had been to dispute the word of God in the Bible and subject Jesus’ sonship and other such divine mysteries in the Bible to logical reasoning when God Himself had said some things are hidden from our limited human understanding (Deut 29:29).

I know scientists have christened the force that holds the universe the force of gravity. But, it never ceases to amaze me till date, and whenever I consider the passage above, I realize that what the scientists call the force of gravity is no other than the word of God. The Bible says God upholds all things by the word of his power. That means God does not just use the word to create all things, He also uses the word to sustain all things!

All things are first created and then held in place by the force of the word of God. The word of God is the best and the most efficient tool to maintain, keep, preserve sustain anything and all things. If it can hold such massive entities as the earth and other planets firmly in place, then it is well able to sustain your affairs as well.

In a world full of uncertainties, where change is the only constant thing, perhaps we can find solace in this knowledge. The word of God is all you need to create a desired condition as well as stabilize things in your life.

If the Almighty God needed the Word to create and firmly hold all things, what makes you think you can do yours some other ways?

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How to Sustain Anything (Part 2)

How to Sustain Anything (Part 2)

Today’s is the second part of the how-to sustain anything and later success that we started yesterday.

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power… Hebrews 1:3

My unbelieving friends and I would talk for hours picking holes in some of the passages in the Bible, some Christian doctrines and the lifestyle of some Christians. I carried on like this for a while. But, sometime down the line, the gathering and the subject of our discussion started losing their lustre to me. I was getting disillusioned with it all, but I could not let go. I had to save face with my fellow iconoclasts and audience. I wasn’t ready to reconsider my stand on Jesus, but I was tired of criticising Him.

A part of me wanted to reach out to the Higher Being, but because I didn’t want to accept Jesus, I could not access God. So I found myself in a fix. My peace was gone, but I continued to talk. Needless to say that I had my worst academic result that year.

One evening in my hostel, during one of my readings, I saw a pictorial representation of the solar system in a pamphlet, and I was intrigued. In my secondary school, it’s either you choose Literature or Geography. I chose Literature over Geography, so I didn’t know much about the solar system beyond a passing mention. But, that night in my hostel, I didn’t just get to read about it, I also saw what the universe looks like, and I was awed!

I thought within myself, “So with all the billions of people on earth, plus the heavy-duty machines and mega structures all around, the earth still hangs IN SPACE with nothing holding it up or supporting it below, and it does not totter downward or out of its orbit!

Goodness! So the earth hangs on empty space without any visible support!

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How to Sustain Anything (Part 1)

How to Sustain Anything (Part 1)

For the next five days, our meditation shall be on a biblical principle as to how to sustain anything and later success.

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power… Hebrews 1:3

Toward the end of my first year in the university, I backslid from the Way and became iconoclastic, challenging the authenticity of Jesus Christ as the son of God and some seemingly controversial claims in the Bible.

Because I had read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation for about three times as at then, I easily floored my born-again friends who tried to reason with me with the aim of getting me to reconsider my ways. And the more people I overcame in logic, the more popular I became as an atheist.

So, I carried on with my life, with no Christ, no God, but seeking more knowledge everywhere I could to further justify my stand on Jesus Christ as a fake. Not that I denied the existence or sovereignty of God, it was Jesus I had issues with. But, I realised that, with my denial of Jesus, I could not maintain a relationship with God as I used to, even though I didn’t deny Him. I could not pray to Him, I could not worship Him, I could not relate with Him.

Therefore, I geared my passion at seeking more knowledge. I wanted to know more so I could have a better say over my Christian friends. But then, I lost my peace. I discovered that I wasn’t as happy as I used to be. On the surface, I cut a picture of a driven, self-assured, and informed young man. But, within me, I knew things weren’t alright.

I was a bit popular because of my extra-curricular activities on campus and, now, adding an anti-Jesus flavour to it, I became the companion and sounding board of Muslims and students of other/no religious affiliations who wanted to hear what I had to say about Jesus or some of my new findings.

To be continued…

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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All Just Part of My Job!

All Just Part of My Job!

Where does your job start or end?

Recently, a business associate and I went to call on a retail customer, and we experienced one of the real challenges in visiting a very large regional shopping centre that is over 2km long, with in excess of 300 shops spread over three shopping levels. How do you find a store when you haven’t been to this shopping centre for some considerable period of time?

Well, when we first arrived at the centre and had parked our car, the first thing we did was look for a centre directory or the customer service desk, but without any success. As we weaved our way past a host of customers and shoppers who all seemed to be well aware of where they were going, out of the crowd appeared one of the shopping centre security officers. He was, as you may well expect, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and dark tie, with the shopping centre logo emblazoned on his jacket. He was holding a two-way radio handset with an earpiece and remote microphone in his ear, which obviously allowed him to speak to other security officers working in the centre at that time.

Seizing the opportunity to seek some assistance from someone who would no doubt know where the store was located, I approached him and asked for directions. He smiled at us both and indicated that the store was on the next level, only some 75 metres from where we were standing.

Before we could thank him, he added.

‘However, please allow me to show where it is.’

We thanked him but said that there was no need, as we would now be able to find it with the help of his directions. His immediate reply came as a real surprise to us both.

‘No not at all, please follow me, it is not very far and it is all just part of my job.’

Almost without realising it, we were walking with him and moved onto the travelator that took us to the next level of the shopping centre and the short walk to store. As we walked, he asked how our day had been and then added that it was a very busy day in the centre, mainly because it was school holidays. When we reached the store, we both thanked him for his courtesy and asked for his name.

He replied with a grin on his face, ‘my name is Rob and I suppose you could say that it is not such a great name, given the work that I do here as a security officer.’

We both laughed at his zany sense of humour and once again thanked him for his courtesy and great customer service. As he moved away, he replied for the second time, ‘it is a pleasure, all just part of my job.’

The visit to our retail customer lasted about 20 minutes and then we head back towards the car park, only this time we were more certain which way we had to go.

As we walked along the shopping mall level we came across the customer service desk which we could not find on our arrival at the shopping centre, so we stopped to speak to the customer service attendant at the counter. We asked if we could speak to the centre manager and was quizzed in a friendly manner about why we wanted to see him – our answer was that we wanted to give some feedback about a positive customer service experience we had just had. Sadly, the centre manager was not available; however, the customer service attendant suggested we could speak to the duty manager in charge of centre security. So we decided that we would go down to the security office located on the loading dock on the first level of the centre.

On arriving at the security office we were greeted by the duty manager who had a very apprehensive look on his face, which we concluded was due to the fact that when similar contact was made with him by members of the public, it was to lodge a complaint of some sort. When we told him we wanted to give some feedback about a great service experience offered by of one of his team members, his face changed to a positive expression as we went on to praise Rob for making our visit to the centre an enjoyable one. We asked him to pass on our thanks to Rob and make sure that the centre manager was made aware of what he had done for us.

As we left the office and walked back to our car, we both discussed the likelihood that our expression of appreciation would make its way back to Rob and to the centre manager. We agreed that whilst it would have been great if the praise was passed on to Rob we realised that he would have no doubt been the recipient of many other expressions of appreciation from other customers just like us, who had experienced Rob’s all part of my job attitude to his work. Whether other people would have taken the time express their appreciation to his boss as we did – is a matter of speculation, the fact that we did express it to Rob and then to his manager was all that mattered to us at the time.

There is little doubt in my mind that people like Rob don’t walk their talk selectively, it just isn’t in their nature to be obligingly beyond expectations to one or two people as he did with us and then not do the same with others. I am sure Rob’s job as a security officer is full of daily challenges with lot’s of not so good things to deal with, so no doubt doing what he did for us and I am certain many others, is more than likely the part of his job that makes his day just that more enjoyable and rewarding.

There can be nothing better in life than to offer caring and genuine service to others and not expect anything in return, however, I am sure that the praise you receive for a job very well done will never go astray – will it!

by Keith Ready

Meditation: Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

Also read:

Leadership Lessons From a Janitor (Part 2)

Leadership Lessons From a Janitor (Part 2)

Here is the concluding part of Leadership Lessons From a Janitor

As often happens in life, events sweep us away from those in our past. The last time I saw Bill was on graduation day in June 1977. As I walked out of the squadron for the last time, he shook my hand and simply said, “Good luck, young man.” With that, I embarked on a career that has been truly lucky and blessed.

Mr Crawford continued to work at the Academy and eventually retired in his native Colorado where he resides today, one of four Medal of Honor winners living in a small town.

A wise person once said, “It’s not life that is important, but those you meet along the way that make the difference.” Bill was one who made a difference for me. While I haven’t seen Mr Crawford in over 20 years, he’d probably be surprised to know I think of him often. Bill Crawford, our janitor, taught me many valuable, unforgettable leadership lessons. Here are 10 I’d like to share with you.

1. Be Cautious of Labels. The labels you place on people may define your relationship to them and bound their potential. Sadly, and for a long time, we labelled Bill as just a janitor, but he was so much more. Therefore, be cautious of a leader who callously says, “Hey, he’s just an Airman.” Likewise, don’t tolerate the O-1, who says, “I can’t do that, I’m just a lieutenant.”

2. Everyone Deserves Respect. Because we hung the “janitor” label on Mr Crawford, we often wrongly treated him with less respect than others around us. He deserved much more, and not just because he was a Medal of Honor winner. Bill deserved respect because he was a janitor, walked among us, and was a part of our team.

3. Courtesy Makes a Difference. Be courteous to all around you, regardless of rank or position. Military customs, as well as common courtesies, help bond a team. When our daily words to Mr Crawford turned from perfunctory “hellos” to heartfelt greetings, his demeanour and personality outwardly changed. It made a difference for all of us.

4. Take Time to Know Your People. Life in the military is hectic, but that’s no excuse for not knowing the people you work for and with. For years a hero walked among us at the Academy and we never knew it. Who are the heroes that walk in your midst?

5. Anyone Can Be a Hero. Mr Crawford certainly didn’t fit anyone’s standard definition of a hero. Moreover, he was just a private on the day he won his Medal. Don’t sell your people short, for any one of them may be the hero who rises to the occasion when duty calls. On the other hand, it’s easy to turn to your proven performers when the chips are down but don’t ignore the rest of the team. Today’s rookie could and should be tomorrow’s superstar.

6. Leaders Should Be Humble. Most modern-day heroes and some leaders are anything but humble, especially if you calibrate your “hero meter” on today’s athletic fields. End zone celebrations and self-aggrandizement are what we’ve come to expect from sports greats. Not Mr Crawford-he was too busy working to celebrate his past heroics. Leaders would be well-served to do the same.

7. Life Won’t Always Hand You What You Think You Deserve. We in the military work hard and, dang it, we deserve recognition, right? However, sometimes you just have to persevere, even when accolades don’t come your way. Perhaps, you weren’t nominated for junior officer or airman of the quarter as you thought you should – don’t let that stop you.

8. Don’t pursue glory; pursue excellence. Private Bill Crawford didn’t pursue glory; he did his duty and then swept floors for a living. No job is beneath a Leader. If Bill Crawford, a Medal of Honor winner, could clean latrines and smile, is there a job beneath your dignity? Think about it.

9. Pursue Excellence. No matter what task life hands you, do it well. Dr Martin Luther King said, “If life makes you a street sweeper, be the best street sweeper you can be.” Mr Crawford modelled that philosophy and helped make our dormitory area a home.

10. Life is a Leadership Laboratory. All too often we look to some school or PME class to teach us about leadership when, in fact, life is a leadership laboratory. Those you meet every day will teach you enduring lessons if you just take time to stop, look and listen. I spent four years at the Air Force Academy, took dozens of classes, read hundreds of books, and met thousands of great people. I gleaned leadership skills from all of them, but one of the people I remember most is Mr Bill Crawford and the lessons he unknowingly taught. Don’t miss your opportunity to learn.

Bill Crawford was a janitor. However, he was also a teacher, friend, role model and one great American hero. Thanks, Mr Crawford, for some valuable leadership lessons.

Dale Pyeatt, Executive Director of the National Guard Association of Texas, comments: And now, for the “rest of the story”: Pvt William John Crawford was a platoon scout for 3rd Platoon of Company L 1 42nd Regiment 36th Division (Texas National Guard) and won the Medal Of Honor for his actions on Hill 424, just 4 days after the invasion at Salerno.

On Hill 424, Pvt Crawford took out 3 enemy machine guns before darkness fell, halting the platoon’s advance. Pvt Crawford could not be found and was assumed dead. The request for his MOH was quickly approved. Major General Terry Allen presented the posthumous MOH to Bill Crawford’s father, George, on 11 May 1944 in Camp (now Fort) Carson, near Pueblo. Nearly two months after that, it was learned that Pvt Crawford was alive in a POW camp in Germany.

During his captivity, a German guard clubbed him with his rifle. Bill overpowered him, took the rifle away, and beat the guard unconscious. A German doctor’s testimony saved him from severe punishment, perhaps death. To stay ahead of the advancing Russian army, the prisoners were marched 500 miles in 52 days in the middle of the German winter, subsisting on one potato a day. An allied tank column liberated the camp in the spring of 1945, and Pvt Crawford took his first hot shower in 18 months on VE Day. Pvt Crawford stayed in the army before retiring as an MSG and becoming a janitor.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan officially presented the MOH to Bill Crawford. William Crawford passed away in 2000. He is the only U.S. Army veteran and sole Medal of Honor winner to be buried in the cemetery of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

By Colonel James E. Moschgat

Meditation: By humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches and honor and life. – Proverbs 22:4

You will succeed because Jesus loves You!

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