How To Obey God Honorably in a world full of corruption and dishonesty

By Dennis Petersen

compass over mapToday’s world is filled with all sorts of deception.  Sharp discernment is required for those who really want to discover the things that are true.  If we don’t want truth we won’t search for it.  That’s why we need to be discerning. That takes a special level of heart and acuity to be able to do that in an honest way.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires…”

How far does that spread?  It’s in every sector of society, isn’t it?  It’s in education.  It’s in religion.  It’s in the business world.  It’s in politics.  They will find teachers according to their own desires.  It’s natural to the human condition, isn’t it?  We want to hear what we want to hear and we don’t want to hear anything that we don’t want to hear.  So Paul goes on to forecast in the letter to Timothy what to expect: “…and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

You may wonder: “Why would people believe in a myth?”  Yet, it is so common today that many people will treat you as sort of an outcast if you don’t believe in their popular myths.

What are some myths that dominate the landscape of our world today?

Evolution, Universalism, Socialism…

What could be more of a myth than the idea of evolutionism – that everything ultimately came from nothing with no designer?  Yet people believe it.  It’s a commonly held myth.  And, of course, very intellectual scientists get behind it, those whose hearts are darkened.  They do not desire to have discernment to know what is true.

I make no apology about this.  Think. It goes for other areas of human thinking and understanding.

Think about universalism.  That’s the idea that everyone will eventually get to heaven no matter how evil and hateful to God they are. They wrongly think that God certainly can’t be unforgiving to everyone so all must be acceptable to God.  Think.  God is forgiving to those who humbly acknowledge their utter lost condition and their need for His mercy.  God does forgive them.  He’s just not going to force them to turn to Him in their need.

Socialism – there’s another myth – the idea that we can all have everything, even if none of us do anything.  Let’s face it.  That doesn’t work, does it?

So here we have these dominant myths in our society today. 

First is Mother Nature – that’s the primary icon for evolution.  It just happened by itself.

Next is Universalism – God is too loving to send good people to hell.

And the inevitable outcome of the first two is the promotion of socialism.  The socialistic state will take care of you.

They are all frauds.

The basic Biblical Principle Needing our attention?

God created man to thrive in the world that God made by working to make it into something – using his God-given creativity, ingenuity and initiative to make it more than it started out.

God is the one who orchestrates the entire universe from the very beginning.  He is the one who created it all.  He is the one who created man.  He is the One who gave man initiative, creativity, abilities and skills.  God is the awesome genius Who gives us all that is needed to achieve the purpose He has designed.  And we do it by work.

Work isn’t a curse. God gave man work to do in the garden before the curse.

When people come into our Bible-believing churches with compromised views, how should we encourage them to evaluate the truths of the Bible?

Do you really believe that we should prove all things?  That’s a good way to start a conversation with anyone.  It’s a simple way to get them thinking about God and His purposes for all of us.  And use the basic qualifying question if you find they are open. (more…)

Keys to True Success in Challenging Times of Change

By Dennis Petersen, Adapted from: True Success in Times of Change By Tom Morris Nightingale-Conant Corporation

The Bible teaches followers of Jesus Christ to ask God for wisdom when you realize that you lack it, and trust that He will give it to you. How do you think that wisdom is found?   Can we really believe that there is practical wisdom available for the way forward from where we are right now?  When the seemingly overwhelming crises of the world are swirling around us, how can we find a well-lighted path into some sort of sustainable future that we all want?

Joshua chapter one sets the stage after 40 years in the wilderness, facing one of the most challenging times of change that any people has ever faced.  They were facing constant conflict and stress.  In Joshua 24 Joshua summarizes that “we will serve the Lord.”

At the start of the years-long project to conquer the Promised Land God says in Joshua 1:8:

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”

If we are honest, we all want success.  When discouragement is all around us, God promised Joshua success when he kept his eyes on God and His Word.  Could it be that God’s wisdom for those who are asking for it can come from a message like this that is delivered in a timely season?

Tom Morris put together a list of seven conditions for success that are strikingly universal and basic to practically any situation.   These keys serve to lay a foundation for the most deeply satisfying and sustainable successes in life.  We should apply them to every challenge, opportunity, endeavor, or relationship.

The 7 Cs of Success

 (1) A clear CONCEPTION of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined.

(2) A strong CONFIDENCE that we can attain that goal.

(3) A focused CONCENTRATION on what it takes to reach the goal.

(4) A stubborn CONSISTENCY in pursuing our vision.

(5) An emotional COMMITMENT to the importance of what we’re doing.

(6) A good CHARACTER to guide us and keep us on a proper course.

(7) A CAPACITY TO ENJOY the process along the way.

There are, no doubt, other key concepts associated with success, but they can almost all be listed as components of one or more of these 7.   These 7 Cs give us a logical and comprehensive framework for success.

Let’s take a moment to look at each concept. Start with our basic need to identify a goal or set of goals. What are the applications for each of the seven keys?

1 – A clear CONCEPTION of what we want, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined

No matter where we live or what we do or who we are… every facet of our lives that anticipates successful achievement of something needs us to think as clearly as possible what we want to accomplish and what we’d like to see happen.

It’s not enough to say “I want a job.”  We must target what kind of job and where we want to work.

I’m reminded of the advice given to Alice in Wonderland (by the Cheshire cat – wasn’t it?).  If you don’t know where you’re going it doesn’t matter which way you go.  You’ll surely get there.  But it may not be where you’d like to get.

True success starts with an inner vision.  Sure, it’s incomplete at first.  But the vision for your goal will grow once you define it.  Just as Adam was given a defined goal to care for and develop the Garden of Eden, our world (as we find it) is just the raw material for what we can make of it.  God created us to use our creative energies to bring unique expression to the world He made.  It’s part of the condition of man to be made in the “image” of God – to be creative.  It’s part of His nature and our nature to be creative, artistic and expressive.  When we have clear goals in our minds and express them with our words and actions (like writing them down) then we start to develop structure for our actions.

So what do you want?  Get creative and think about where you want to go and what you want to be.

Did you know that if you choose to delight yourself in your Creator, He expressly promises to actually GIVE you the desires of your heart?  That’s in Psalm 37.

“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Is it possible that if we make a habit of pleasing and worshipping Him, He actually arranges things for us to think about goals and desires that originate from the heart of God Himself?  Isn’t it interesting to know the origin of the word “desire”?  Think of it.  “Sire” means “to father.”  “De” means “of”… so “Desire” means “of the Father.”  Could it be that our ability for creative expression — in dreaming about and planning goals — is a direct reflection of being created in the image of God?  If you are delighting yourself in the Lord He is promising to impart those heart desires and help you see them fulfilled.

[If you are interested in participating in our Legacy for Life Business/Ministry Team to help important ministry causes like this program to broaden their impact… and be well rewarded for your effort… I’m looking for a motivated self-starter who likes to empower people and lead others to discover solutions to many of life’s challenges in today’s world.  Call me to arrange a brief phone conversation at (866) 867-9943.  Let’s see if you might find a place on our leadership team.  This will open up new horizons for you as you see some things I’ll show you online.]

2 – A strong CONFIDENCE that we can attain the goal

Jesus tells us in Luke 12:6-7 that “you are of more value than many sparrows.”

If confidence is in any way related to faith, then how do we develop stronger confidence… stronger faith?  The Bible says that faith comes by hearing the word.  Let’s face it, the more we listen to and think about whatever we choose, the more knowledge about it we gain and the more confidence or faith we have in those words and concepts.  What’s our inside attitude?  It is absolutely the foundational key to outside results.

Are you launching a new enterprise?  Do you desire to seek a new direction?  You need upfront faith in what you’re doing.  Do whatever it takes to learn about your goal to have the faith, the confidence and the reassurance that you will arrive at your desired destination.   If we lack experience we may have to work hard to generate a confident attitude.   Is it worth it?  You bet it is.  Get the coaching and the education with someone who has been there before you.  In the process, you will raise your prospects for success. If you want confidence … then develop competence.  Let your natural curiosity urge you to dig deep in your study of the things that will help you achieve success in reaching your goal.  Will this guarantee success?  No… but your faith will compel you to take the risk anyway. And what if you fail?  You’re just one step closer to success.  You must fail.  It’s part of the pathway to success.  You will learn much and become stronger in the process.

3 – A focused CONCENTRATION on what it takes to reach the goal

The Bible tells us to do whatever we do with all our heart as a direct service to God and not just ourselves or other people.  Aim to please God no matter what you do… it’s the best thing you can do to assure success in reaching your goal.   Concentrate on your goal with focus.   When children are raised to succeed at little goals and then expand to bigger goals, they will be prepared to dream about even bigger goals as they grow up.  It’s important to understand that big dreams can lead to big disappointments if we don’t learn how to chart our way forward.

If we concentrate on the “what it takes” part of our vision, then our success at anything challenging will come from planning our path and then putting that plan into action.

It’s a well known Biblical principle that what you concentrate on (what you think about continually) is what you tend to become.  “As a man thinks, so is he.”   If you concentrate your thought and devote a lot of your energy into a new direction, two things will happen.  Your goal will become clearer and your mind will find new pathways of seeing things that you might have missed before.

New ideas and insights will come to your mind.  Providence has a way of guiding you to discover things you never noticed before and that relate to the goal you’ve set.  Focused concentration allows you to develop plans naturally.  Then you can act and adjust along the way.  Even a flawed plan can get you started and lead you to where you can discover a better plan.

4 – A stubborn CONSISTENCY in pursuing our vision

I discovered that the word consistency comes from two Greek roots — a verb meaning “to stand” and a particle meaning “together.” Consistency is all about standing together.

Now just think about it.  Ask yourself: “Do my actions stand together with my words?”

Go deeper.  Ask: “Do my reactions and emotions stand together with my deepest beliefs and values?”  This should cause some determination to rise up within our soul.  If it doesn’t then your heart isn’t in your vision in the first place.

But then the challenge gets a little harder.  Ask, “Do the people I work with stand together?”  You may have to deliberately find new associations who support the vision you’re pursuing.  If you want success, it’s important to hang around people who are supportive to your success.  This is what consistency is all about. It’s a matter of unifying your energy and efforts in a single direction. Inconsistency defuses power. Consistency moves us toward our goals.

5 – An emotional COMMITMENT to the importance of what we’re doing

Ever think about the difference between “interested” and “committed?”  Who would you rather have on your team?  Why should anyone bother pursuing something of value without commitment to the pursuit?  Passion is the core of extraordinary success. It’s a key to overcoming difficulties, seizing opportunities, and getting other people excited about your projects.

6 – A good CHARACTER to guide us and keep us on a proper course

Character inspires trust.  Nothing is more attractive to other people than trustworthiness, especially in a world where there is so much mistrust and suspicion.  And trust is necessary for people to work together well.  Good character is required for great collaboration.  Today’s world shows us that innovative partnerships are key to successful achievements. Collaboration and synergy are the new ‘currency’ of great accomplishments.  Excellence in moral character is foundational for working well together more than ever before.

And good character does a lot more than just promote trust. It truly has an effect on each person’s own inner sense of freedom and insight.  Bad character not only corrupts, it blinds. A person whose perspective has been deeply skewed by selfishness or dishonesty cannot understand what’s true as perceptively as someone whose sensibilities are ethical and full of positive moral character.  Good character makes sustainable success more likely.

7 – A CAPACITY TO ENJOY the process along the way

I’ve found that if we don’t enjoy the journey we probably can’t fully appreciate the destination.  The more you can enjoy the process of what you’re doing, the more likely you’ll have better results in the end.  It’s easier to set creative goals when you truly enjoy the process of your everyday activities toward those goals.  Confidence will come more naturally. Your concentration can seem effortless. Consistency will not be a battle. The emotional commitment will flow. And issues of character will not be as difficult to manage. A capacity to enjoy the process is inseparably part of every other factor of success.

These conditions of success are all intimately connected. They make up a fittingly designed framework that allows us to discover the most fulfilling forms of achievement in everything we do. They will help us to leave a legacy for the next generation that will truly be honored. They will energize and direct us to worthy accomplishments with a satisfaction that can be best characterized by the approval of our Maker when He tells us, “well done faithful servant.”

Why should we ever settle for anything less?

 

 

Are you ready to Make this the day that your life will change for good?

changeAheadAdapted by Dennis Petersen from an article by Chris Widener

 

How many people do you know who wish for a better life but never seem to do much to change it?  It seems to be natural for almost everybody to desire a better life.  But is their desire matched with effort to do anything about it?

 

No matter where we are in life we tend to at least have fleeting dreams of a better place.  I suppose some would think that is a good quality, but is it really?

 

It might seem good to have a dream that we can see far off of a better situation for us, our families and our businesses and communities.  But is this really a good mindset to maintain?

 

  What good is a dream if it is not progressing toward reality?

 

A lot of people give up dreaming for this very reason… There is no progress in reality toward the dream.  A dream can make you feel good, but long term, if you don’t actively pursue it and make it a reality, the dream will cause you more frustration than anything.

 

But there is a good reason to have hope!  I’m talking about the day your life really changes…the day that your dream starts to become a reality, and not some pie-in-the-sky wish. Imagine a day that literally turns your life around for you – a day that things begin to get better and you begin to fulfill your purpose, your mission and your destiny!

 

When is this day?

 

It’s the day you make a decision!  It’s the day you say “enough is enough; I’ve had it.”  When will you get serious about changing your future?

 

The simplest key to changing your life is to make a decision, and then to act upon it. Once you start taking action and follow-through consistently until your dream becomes a reality… THAT is the day when your decision is etched on your doorpost to face you every day from now on.  Life will begin to change for you.

 

So the decision is the key? Yes, it is. Every dream begins as a thought. What is yours?  You might have to start with the reality that you were born to be a producer… to be productive… to be more than you are now by applying your desire to your circumstances and look for opportunities to make the money it takes to reach the things you dream about.  Yes, that’s right… it takes money and money is yours to create as you find ways to provide value for others around you.

 

What’s it going to take?

 

But you know right well that to have the financial independence to accomplish the dreams you have is going to take more than ‘making a living.’  So why not work in your part time hours to create the means to allow you to have money working for you rather than you being a slave to money?

 

You may as well face the reality that to do that you have to learn to master your time and your skills so you can OWN your own business.  And that doesn’t mean that you have to be a slave to a business that really ‘owns’ you.  Why not find out how to take control of being a producer that is using the right tools to create wealth?

 

You say: “I would love to have my own business.  I’d love to be free to run my life and earn as much money as I want so I can go where I want and help others as I truly want and experience a full life of being more of what I was created to accomplish.  Sounds like a good dream wouldn’t you say?  It’s probably a dream that a lot of people have and may be afraid to say for fear of being put down. But just because you have a little electrical impulse bouncing around inside your head, does that do you any good?

 

Dreams have value when you convert them to Action

 

The dream only has genuine value to you or others if it is translated into action!  And it only takes on action if we make a decision to form a ‘blueprint’ or ‘map’ of action.

 

Let’s sort out a simple plan.  What are the decisions to be made here?  Well, one might be to quit wasting your off-work hours on activities that are not investing in your future.  I’m not suggesting you quit your job.  Not yet.  But you do need to realize that you are in business for yourself and your job (if you are employed or if you own a small business) is part of your ‘roadmap’ to your future.  Another part of your roadmap is how you decide to invest some time into building systems that will allow you to have financial freedom.

 

Systems Create Leverage So You Can Have Freedom

 

Once you have built up a profitable part time business that truly leverages your time by using proven business systems to expand your prosperity so you are producing more than just ‘a living’ then maybe you will consider quitting your job.  But in the meantime, figure out how to make your expenses match the income from your job.  If you are determined to eliminate the things that waste your private time and invest 10 to 20 hours a week into a proven business system with a trustworthy business team, then it won’t be long before you will create a vision for goals that can accomplish your dreams.  Of course you must be coachable and self controlled with your new and increasing extra income.  You will start thinking like a successful owner of “You, Inc.”

 

New Disciplines or Pipe Dreams – your choice

 

As you learn more about how to grow your business, you will discover new disciplines that produce new rewards.  You will have to decide what you must do to make your dream a reality.  You must make better choices of how you spend your time, who you spend your time with and what you feed your mind.  Then you must act upon those decisions. If you do not act, your dream remains nothing more than a pipe dream – a non-reality.

 

When you have acted, you must follow through. Continue to follow your plan, day by day, moving your dream to fulfillment. Here is a practical exercise to get you moving:

  • What is your dream? It could be in any area of life: Work, family, finances, health etc.
  • What is a decision you have to make to get yourself MOVING in the right direction? This should be action–oriented, not philosophical in nature. For example, it should be “I am going to invest the time and resources needed to start my new business on March 1st,” not “I’ve decided that being in business for myself would be more fulfilling.” That is an idea, not a decision.
  • Next, pick a day you are going to do it. Pick a time. Be specific.
  • Next, do it! Commit to your business mentor that you will do what it takes and stay accountable.
  • Next, begin the process of continually following through.
  • Next, enjoy yourself; you are pursuing your dream! It may be hard, but it will also be the most fulfilling and rewarding time of your life!

 

“The history of free men is not written by chance, but by choice; their choice.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

Decide, act and follow through. The day you do will be the day you change your life for good!

 

“the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Prov.10:4

 

“make it your ambition to lead a quiet life…(at) your own business…work(ing) with your own hands.” 1 Thes.4:11

 

 

Bonus

 

12 Success Factors to Insist on When Choosing a Home Business

 

In my experience and after researching dozens of different types of home businesses myself, it is clear that everyone wants to avoid a wild goose chase.  There are some key success factors that are critical for long term success. Every one of these factors is just as important as the next.

 

Here’s a good question to ask any serious business person:  “Do you agree that the ideal business is one that keeps customers coming back and that does not require your personal handling of all future transactions?”  That’s what creates ongoing ‘passive’ income, right?

 

Many people are familiar with the “80 – 20 rule.”  You know what that is I’m sure.  20% of the people (or less) create 80% of the success or results in just about anything.  A good question to ask is: “What if you could have a business where even the 80% (of people who are your customers and business partners) are so delighted with their participation with you that they count their success, even as customers using your products, as adequate reason to continue doing business with you?”

When it’s appropriate to talk with a business person (who could be your potential partner) about the search that many people are doing right now to find a reliable business opportunity, they will appreciate having this list of Success Factors.   The logical question to ask next, after a thoughtful review of these 12 points, is my question at the end.

  1. Company track record – How long has the company you’re considering representing been in business? What are the company’s annual sales statistics each year since in business? Does the company print average income statistics for business builders? It should and you should ask for them. Proof of long term sales, success and growth is critical in choosing any business.

  2. Financially sound – Does the company have outstanding debt? Joining a company that is debt free is something I highly recommend to lessen any risk to you.

  3. Strong management team – What are the backgrounds and credentials of the management team? You want to join a company that is run with integrity and strong leadership.

  4. Unique consumable products – Are the products of the company products that people actually need, use, run out of and repurchase month after month? Do the products have any trademarks or patents allowing for exclusive rights (meaning no other company can copy them)? If the products are not consumable, meaning something that a person would only buy once, then that is a business that will not be viable long term. If the products are consumable, however not necessarily a need, that will reduce your chance for long term success. Products needed and consumed monthly make for a solid business model.

  5. Wide market appeal – Are the products something everyone needs and uses? If the products are specific for a certain gender, age group or body size for example, you reduce your market potential.  It is not something for everyone.

  6. Competitive prices – Are the products comparable in price or less expensive than the competition? If they are too expensive this is not a business that will produce great results.

  7. High customer reorder rate – Does the company share it’s reorder rate? Meaning how many customers that purchased from the company last month, reorder again the following month? If the re-order rate is low, the business will not be viable as new customers simply replace your old customers producing no real growth or a secure, residual income.

  8. Low initial investment – If the cost to join or start your business is too high it makes for more risk and difficulty in attracting customers and business partners. If a start up fee is high and a ‘customer acquisition bonus’ is also high, beware of what might be a ponzi scheme.

  9. Low monthly requirement – If there is a high monthly requirement, customers/business builders may end up with an inventory or products they do not need. If there is a low monthly product purchase requirement, then customers are getting what they need for personal use each month, and from a business standpoint you know customers are purchasing each month which creates the freedom of true residual income.

  10. Rewards for leadership development – Does the company reward you for helping others in your business succeed? If there is any way the company could remove business builders from your business because of their success, be very careful about joining. There should never be potential for you to lose great partners.

  11. Risk-free – Is everything 100% guaranteed? If not, could you seriously advise someone to join you?

  12. Anyone can be successful – Is the business plan set up for anyone to be successful at any time? If it’s a company that says “Ground floor” opportunity, or “Get in Now”, be very wary. If only the people who join at the beginning can be successful, then eventually people will get hurt.

 

The only real question after considering this list is this: “which one of these factors would you take off the list if you were going to seriously consider working with the company?”

If anyone seeing this list knows someone they care about is considering working with a company as an independent representative, they might be wise to consider: “how does that company measure up?”  If we are honest with ourselves, nothing can match the conviction of ‘certainty’ that is backed up by verifiable data and experience.  All the above points are relevant particularly to the one who has a long term commitment in mind.  That’s why we should be just as eager to ‘prove all things’ in this part of life as we should be in any other.

If you’re serious about making some changes in your own future, I’ll be glad to direct you to some websites that will help you even more. Start by getting further insights I’ve prepared about the 12 success factors that your home based business must have to succeed and grow.  You will find it at this link.  Click here.