Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

Speaking at his son’s commencement exercise at the Cardigan Mountain School, Chief Justice John Roberts said hardships in life were both inevitable and important for building character, so he would abstain from wishing them good luck in the future.

He said, “From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal, because that will teach you the importance of loyalty.

“Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time, so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again from time to time, so you will be conscious of the role of chance in life, and understand that your success is not completely deserved, and that the failure of others is not completely, deserved, either.

“And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you will be ignored, so you know the importance of listening to others. And I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion.

“Whether I wish these things or not, they are going to happen, and whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes,” he said. [1]

When God Wants To Make A Man

When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!

How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!

How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendor out—
God knows what He’s about.

—Author Unknown [2]

Do you feel like God couldn’t possibly use you? Remember:

~ Noah was a drunk

~ Abraham was too old

~ Isaac was a daydreamer

~ Jacob was a liar

~ Leah was ugly

~ Joseph was abused

~ Moses had a stuttering problem 

~ Gideon was afraid

~ Samson had long hair and was a womanizer

~ Rahab was a prostitute

~ Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

~ David was an adulterer and a murderer

~ Elijah was suicidal

~ Isaiah preached naked

~ Jonah ran from God

~ Naomi was a widow

~ Job went bankrupt

~ John the Baptist ate bugs

~ Peter denied Christ

~ The disciples fell asleep while praying

~ Martha worried about everything

~ The Samaritan woman was divorced (more than once)

~ Zacchaeus was too small

~ Paul was too religious

~ Timothy had an ulcer

~ Lazarus was dead! [3]

F.A.T.F.R.E.E. Christians: Faithful, Available, Teachable, Flexible, Resilient, Evangelistic, and Enthusiastic. Take the test yourself. [4]


If you aren’t absolutely sure of your personal relationship with God, and that you will go to heaven the moment you die, please let us help you make sure of this matter. [5] We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2,15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached here or through our website:




[4] F.A.T.F.R.E.E. Test.

[5] Gospel Presentations:

“[Our] expectations can be high or low, reasonable or unreasonable, good or bad. The Bible speaks of expectations of redemption (Romans 8:19), expectations of judgment (Hebrews 10:27), delayed expectations (Proverbs 13:12a), realized expectations (Proverbs 13:12b), and unrealized expectations (Proverbs 11:7). Jesus told us to expect His return—although the timing of His return is beyond our knowing: “Be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him” (Luke 12:40). [1]

Dreams. Most, if not all of us, have or have had dreams and expectations in life. We want to be “successful.” But how is “success” measured and by whose standard? [2] We also have expectations of our spouses. We want them to conduct themselves in certain ways; we also set rules that we expect our children to keep. When these expectations are not met, we get disappointed in them and take measures to correct their behavior. Nagging [3] and yelling are often used to manipulate others.

Legalists. Do you have high expectations of other people? Are you tying to get them to live by your legalistic, unbiblical rules that are often unrealistic? This is what the Pharisees of Christ’s day did (Matthew 23:4). Consider Christ’s invitation to the oppressed (Matthew 11:28-30). When others don’t meet our expectations we sometimes turn on them and/or seek to harm them. Where in Scripture does the Christian find his/her rules for living today? (See our Dispensations Chart on our website.) Upon whose strength do we need to depend to carry them out – our own or God’s (Philippians 4:13)?

Messiah. The Old Testament Jews had high expectations of their promised Messiah. They were looking for a conquering King, not a suffering servant (Isaiah 9:6, 7; 53:1 ff). They wanted Him to deliver them from Roman oppression. They didn’t think that they needed Someone to deliver them from their sins and the consequences of them (Romans 6:23; 10:3). When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a little donkey, many cried out “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9). But when He didn’t overthrow Rome, who was their enemy, and allowed Himself to be arrested by His enemies (John 18:12 ff), they turned on Him and cried out for Him to be crucified (John 19:6).

Goals. While most of us can do far more than we think we can, sometimes we set unrealistic goals and/or expectations in life and depend on ourselves rather than on God to fulfill those desires (Proverbs 3:5, 6; James 4:13-17). Self reliance and acting independently of God leads to failure in His sight. It led to Lucifer’s (Satan’s) fall (Isaiah 14:12-15). He tempts us to act this way today (Luke 22:31-34).

Trust. Now that I have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, I (my new nature) want to trust in the Lord with all my heart (mind, will, and emotions), and not lean on my own understanding. I want to acknowledge Him and depend on Him to make wise decisions that will affect not only me but others (Proverbs 3:5, 6). [4] As a child of God I can expect Him to give me wisdom when I humbly ask Him for it and when I’m not double minded (James 1:5-8; See 1 John 2:15-17).

Formula. I want to pursue a simple formula that I have often shared with my children. It is expressed in these words from the Scriptures. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require [expect] of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8). These are things that don’t come naturally to us.

Goodness (happiness) will be the result of my doing what is just (right). It is not doing what is right in my own eyes, but what is right in God’s eyes (Judges 21:25). [5] He makes the rules; I need to obey them if I want to show my love and appreciation for Him (John 14:15), and if I want to be well pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:9). I don’t want to grieve God (Ephesians 4:30).

Mercy. God has been very merciful to me when I’ve suffered as a result of my own sins or the sins of others. So I want to be merciful and compassionate to those who are suffering (Ephesians 4:32; 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). Where would you and I be without God’s mercies that are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22, 23). Great is His faithfulness to us. Let us be faithful to Him and to others (1 Corinthians 4:2; 15:58).

Humility. I also want to walk humbly before God (James 4:10). He hates it when we walk in pride (Proverbs 6:16, 17; 16:18). Everything you and I have has come from His gracious hand (1 Corinthians 4:7). I want to be like Christ by displaying the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23; Philippians 2:5-11). I want others to see Christ living His life through my life (Galatians 2:20; 4:19).

Forgiveness. When we place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, God judicially forgives us (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Ephesians 1:7; Romans 8:1). We become children of God when we believe on Christ as our personal Savior through the message of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:16 17). We all start out life as children of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). If we don’t ever get out of his family and enter into God’s family by simple faith, and not by our works (Ephesians 2:8 9; Titus 3:5), we will spend eternity with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46; Colossians 1:13, 14). Contrary to what some cults and religions teach, the wicked dead are not annihilated or reincarnated.

Poem/Song. It’s “Not what I wish to be nor where I wish to go / For who am I that I should choose my way / The Lord shall choose for me tis better far I know / So let Him bid me go or stay.” – C. Austin Miles. Is the Lord Jesus Christ your Shepherd and Savior? If not, why not place your faith and trust in Him alone today?

Help. If you aren’t sure of your eternal destiny, or if you need spiritual help, you may contact us through our website: We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16. 17). If this has helped you, please SHARE it with others.

[1] Expectations,

[2] Charles Stanley, Success God’s Way,

[3] How To Stop Nagging And Start Teaching


[4] For the struggle between the Christian’s new nature and the old nature read Romans 7:15-25.

[5] Other Helpful Articles:

When Doing Right Is Wrong.

Wrong? It Feels So Right,

Expectations In Life

“A successful businessman had what he considered to be his greatest stroke of luck: an angel visited him and promised to grant him one wish. The man asked for a copy of the business news one year in the future. As he received it and began to pore over the stock market pages, he drooled as he thought of the killing he would make with his insider knowledge of the future. Then his eyes happened to glance across the page to see his own name–in the obituary column! His perspective and goals for the coming year were suddenly changed as he realized his own mortality.” – Steven Cole, “Epitaph Of A Truly Successful Man”

      Certainty. Someday we who are fathers will exit the stage of life and leave behind a legacy for our children. A few children will be left with great fortunes while others will be left with debts that need to be paid. Some of us will die in disgrace and full of regrets while others will pass away with dignity and happy memories. Everyday that we live, we or others are writing a page that will become a part of our autobiography or biography. God is also keeping a record of everything we think, say, and do (Revelation 20:12; Romans 14:12). He’s omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24). Would you want Him to include your story in the pages of the Scriptures – warts and all?

      Purpose. One of the purposes of the Old Testament was to give us hope (Romans 15:4). Since God kept His promises to the Jews, we can count on Him to fulfill all the promises that He has made to us too. Do you know and claim them and are you enjoying the Faith/Rest life right now (Hebrews 3, 4)? Do you have the peace of God (Philippians 4:6, 7)? Are you trying to claim the ones that were given exclusively to the Old Testament believers? If you are, you’ll be disappointed.

      Change? Most of us fathers probably believe that if we had to do it all over again, we’d do some things differently. But that isn’t possible. We can’t change the past but we can do something about today and tomorrow if God allows us to live another day on this earth. If we’re saved, perhaps we need to begin by confessing our known sins to God and then claiming His forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and, if necessary, confess our sins and shortcomings to our children too (James 5:16). If you’re not saved, begin by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). He’ll forgive you and make you a part of God’s family (Ephesians 1:7).

      Examples. Within the pages of the Scriptures we have many examples of fathers who did well and others who failed miserably. Even if we feel like we’ve done poorly in the past, we can/should do our best to make whatever time we have left here on earth good days, months, or years that will bring glory to God and joy and blessings to others (1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4).

      Success. “Success is the continuing achievement of becoming the person God wants you to be and accomplishing the goals God has helped you set.” – Charles Stanley. Let’s consider the life of Joseph whom most of us would say was successful in what he did in life (Genesis 30-50).

      God’s Will. He grew up in a dysfunctional family and was hated by his brothers, who sold him as a slave. Then he was imprisoned unjustly for crimes he didn’t commit, and forgotten by one to whom he had shown a favor. But he maintained his faith in God and served Him and others well (Genesis 39:20-41:14; Acts 7:9-14).

      Used. God used him to preserve the lives of the Hebrew people (Romans 9:27). He gave special promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The Jews needed to be kept separated from their pagan neighbors in Canaan and Egypt (Genesis 45:10; 47:1). Keep in mind that God also gave some promises to the sons of Ishmael and his descendants (Genesis 16:7-12; 17:20; 25:12-18). The Arabs are very wealthy today and possess much territory because of God’s promises.

     Marriage. Even though Pharaoh gave to Joseph a wife who was the daughter of the priest of On (Genesis 41:45), Joseph, no doubt, taught her and their sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, about the true and living God and the promises that He had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Joseph enjoyed his sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and lived to be 110 years old.

      Forgiveness. Realizing that God had a greater plan, Joseph was willing to forgive his brothers for the evil that they had done to him (Genesis 45:5-7; 50:20). Since God has forgiven us the huge debt we owe to Him, believers should be ready and willing to forgive others when they ask for forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32). Even if others never admit their guilt, don’t take vengeance into your own hands. Leave that to God. Jesus, as the God-man, is the righteous Judge (John 5:22; Romans 12:19; 2 Timothy 4:8).

      Hope. Joseph made it clear that the Jews were not to leave his body in Egypt, but were to take it with them back to the land that God had promised to them (Genesis 50:24, 25; Hebrews 11:22). When the Jews finally left Egypt, they took Joseph’s coffin with them to demonstrate their faith in God’s promise (Exodus 13:19). Even though the Jews are temporarily set aside by God and this time (Romans 9-11), God is not done with them as a nation. The Church has not replaced Israel. He will give to the believing Jews (Zechariah 12:10; 14:1-21; Matthew 23:39) all the land that was promised to them (Genesis 15:18-21; Matthew 5:5).

      Vapor. Since we don’t know how much time we have left on earth, let’s treat each day as though it were our last day. Our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away (James 4:14). If God keeps us alive on earth (Acts 17:28), there are things that He wants us to do to touch and influence the lives of others. Don’t forsake the church’s assembly meetings (Hebrews 19:24, 25). Attend them to be blessed and to bless others.

      Inheritance. What will you pass on to your children? Are you more concerned about their physical or spiritual well being (1 John 2:15-17)? How much time do you spend with God in His Word, in prayer, and with other believers (Psalm 1:2; 1 Timothy 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:17)? How are you spending the resources that God gave to you (1 Corinthians 4:2, 7)? What kind of words come out of your mouth (Psalm 19:14; Ephesians 4:29)? How do you treat your wife and your children’s mother (1 Peter 3:7; Ephesians 5:25)? How do you handle the trials of life – with faith or fear (Hebrews 11:6; James 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:7)? Would you be happy if your children mirrored your life (1 Corinthians 11:1)? Do your actions match your words (Matthew 24:51)?

      Change. It is possible with God’s help (Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 3:20; 1 John 4:4). Will you trust in the Lord with all your heart? Will you learn on yourself or on God to direct your path (Proverbs 3:5, 6)? “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

      Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). You may contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at

Are you interested in making a change in your life? Are you tired of living in misery and sorrow without hope for the future? Is your life boring and uneventful or filled with  what you call “bad luck”? Would you like to add some happiness and zest to your life? Perhaps you’ve tried many things without success. “Success is the continuing achievement of becoming the person God wants you to be and accomplishing the goals God has helped you set.” – Dr. Charles Stanley

Transformed lives glorify God and demonstrate His power (Romans 1:16, 17; Ephesians 3:20). The creation of the heavens and earth involved His finger works (Psalm 8:3). But God’s greatest demonstration of power was displayed when God the Father raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. This proved to us that He (the Father) had accepted Christ’s payment for our sins (Romans 4:25; 6:23). Now all we have to do to be saved is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ through the Gospel message. My friend, you’ve sinned like all the rest of us have (Romans 3:1-23). We all deserve to be separated forever from God in hell (Romans 6:23).  But Christ died for sinners and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Throughout the pages of the Scriptures we find examples of people whose lives where dramatically changed for the better once they were saved. Consider the following examples:

Peter. He was very self confident and claimed that he would never deny the Lord, but he did three times (Matthew 26:31-35). Satan demanded that he be allowed to tempt all of Christ’s disciples.  But Jesus only permitted him to tempt Peter as he did (Luke 22:31). This same man later became one of the Lord’s chief spokesmen on the Day of Pentecost (Luke 22:32; John 21:15; Acts 2:14ff; 3:12ff). He even wrote two letters to the early church.

James, The Lord’s Half Brother. Here was a man who grew up with the Lord and observed everything He did and said. In spite of this, He and his other siblings didn’t believe that He was the promised Messiah until Jesus appeared to him after His resurrection (Mark 3:21; John 7:5; 1 Corinthians 15:7). But later he played a significant role in the early church (Acts 15:13) and wrote a letter to some Hebrew Christians (James 1-5).

Thomas, The Doubter. He has had this title attached to his name ever since he doubted the word of the other disciples who claimed to have seen Jesus while he (Thomas) was absent the first Sunday evening when the Lord appeared to the other 10 disciples (John 20:24-29). But when the Lord appeared again to them a week later, when Thomas was present, He believed and declared Jesus to be God (John 20:28).

Saul (Paul). He was a religious Pharisee and a persecutor of Christians (Acts 7:58; 8:1ff; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13). He referred to himself as the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). But when the Lord encountered him on the road to Damascus his life was forever changed. He was selected by God to be the steward (household manager) of this dispensation of grace in which we now live (Ephesians 3:2). As such he penned most of the instructions that we have to govern our daily lives. In the early days of his Christian life he struggled greatly with his sin nature as we do.  He ended up doing many things that he (his new nature) didn’t want to do (Romans 7:15-25). But he learned the secret to victory (Galatians 5:16, 25; Ephesians 5:18) and that no temptation is too great for Christians (1 Corinthians 10:13).

The Eleven Disciples. After declaring to His enemies that He was the eternal “I AM” (Jehovah God) and causing them to fall down to the ground (John 18:6), Jesus demanded that they let His disciples go their way (John 18:4-9). When they did this His disciples fled and left Him all alone (Matthew 26:56). But after witnessing His resurrection from the dead they became faithful witnesses of this fact and went to the far corners of the earth spreading the Gospel. From church history we learn that most of them died as martyrs. (See “Fox’s Book of Martyrs.”) But they believed that the sufferings of this life weren’t worthy to be compared to the glory that would follow when they too would be resurrected from the dead (Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 15:51,52).

The Five Hundred Brethren. They also witnessed his bodily resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6). Did you know that the first Christians were all Jewish (Acts 2:5, 41)? The Lord instructed them to  evangelize the Samaritans, who were half Jewish (Acts 8:5ff), and the non-Jews (Acts 1:8; 10:1ff). When they were reluctant to do this, God allowed them to face intense persecution.  When they were scattered from their homeland they introduced Christ to the “heathen” and shared the Gospel with them (Romans 1:16, 17). Surprisingly they even rejoiced when they suffered for the cause of Christ (Acts 5:41; 16:25). Would you do that or whine and complain (1 Corinthians 10:10)? Godly Christians should expect to be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12).

You And Me. We are hopeless (Ephesians 2:10), and helpless (John 15:5; Romans 5:6) until we place our faith in Him alone for our salvation. But once we’re saved, He begins the work of transformation so make us like Christ (Romans 8:29; 12:1,2; Galatians 4:19).  He never gives up on His own (Philippians 1:6). If you’re not a true Christian yet, why not become one today?

Changed? If you’re saved, what positive changes have taken place in your life?  What do other people see taking place in your life (Romans 12:1, 2)? Are you growing in the Lord (2 Peter 3:18), and serving Him and others because you love God and His children (Galatians 5:13; 1 John 4:20, 21)? Are you glorifying God by your lifestyle and with your lips (words)?

Help. We’re here to help you if you are sincerely concerned about your spiritual well being. Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at  If this article has helped you, let us and someone else know about it.  Click on “Follow” if you’d like to receive new articles as they come out.

He, the devil, would love for you to have a self pity party and get you feeling sorry for yourself.  After all, when someone hurts you, your ego gets damaged.  But before you get all bent out of shape and do something that you will later regret, read this poem.  Then let us know how you feel after you’ve read it.

“Today, upon a bus, I saw a lovely girl with golden hair, I envied her…she seemed so gay…and wished I were as fair. When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle; She had one leg and wore a crutch; But as she passed…a smile! Oh, God forgive me when I whine, I have two legs. The world is mine!

“I stopped to buy some candy. The lad who sold it had such charm. I talked with him. He seemed so glad. If I were late ‘twould do no harm. And as I left he said to me, ‘I thank you. You have been so kind. It’s nice to talk with folks like you. You see,’ he said, ‘I’m blind.’  Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes. The world is mine.

“Later, while walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue. He stood and watched the others play. He did not know what to do. I stopped a moment, then I said, ‘Why don’t you join the others, dear?’ He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear. Oh, God forgive me when I whine. I have two ears. The world is mine.

“With feet to take me where I’d go, with eyes to see the sunset’s glow, With ears to hear what I would know…Oh, God forgive me when I whine. I’m blessed indeed. The world is mine.” – Author Unknown

Pebble.  Believe it or not, many people all around the world have unbelievable challenges in life that are far more difficult to handle than our “pebble in the shoe” problem.  Sure, it’s not fun to have irritations in life.  But they are designed to develop (in those of us who claim to be Christians) a more Christ like life (James 1:2-4; Galatians 5:22, 23; 2 Corinthians 4:17).

Sandpaper.  Some people and situations are like sandpaper, chisels, hammers, or saws that God can use to shape us into the person He wants us to become.  How are you responding to the adversities in life?  Remember this – You still have the freedom to choose how you will respond to them.

Success.  According to Dr. Charles Stanley, “Success is the continuing achievement of becoming the person God wants you to be and accomplishing the goals God has helped you set.”  God is more concerned about who we are than in what we do.  Unless a person is rightly related to the true and living God, he/she won’t be doing things that are well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9).  In fact, all man’s good deeds, done independently of God, are nothing more than stinking rags to God (Isaiah 64:6).

Good Works.  They cannot be offered up to God as payment for our deliverance from hell to heaven.  Our salvation is by grace alone, through faith in the Christ of the Scriptures alone (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).  It is not of works lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).  Once saved, we can/should do good works to demonstrate our faith to others (Ephesians 2:10; James 1:22; 2:18; 1 Peter 4:10).  Do you know how to discover what it is that He planned beforehand for you to do?

R.I.P.  Perhaps you’ve seen these letters on a tombstone.  They stand for “Rest In Peace.”  When I see them, I often wonder if that person is truly resting in peace.  Where will you go when you die?  The Scriptures give believers assurance of a home in heaven.

Good News.  “Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.”  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”  If you haven’t placed your faith in Him alone for your salvation, why not do so right now?

Help!  If you are not sure of your eternal destiny and need assurance from the Scriptures, contact us here or visit our website at  To receive these articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Pass on to your friends the ones that bless you.

“Winners & Losers”

Posted: September 10, 2013 in Christian Life, Money, Success

It’s been called “the root of all evil” but it’s not. But the love of it is (1 Timothy 6:10). Of course, we’re talking about money. Jesus often talked about it but He wasn’t a fundraiser. He dealt with money matters because money matters. For some of us, though, it matters too much.

Successful. It has been reported that in 1928 a group of the world’s most successful financiers met at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. The following were present: The president of the largest utility company, the greatest wheat speculator, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, a member of the President’s Cabinet, the greatest “bear” on Wall Street, the president of the Bank of International Settlements, the head of the world’s greatest monopoly. Collectively, these tycoons controlled more wealth than there was in the U.S. Treasury, and for years newspapers and magazines had been printing their success stories and urging the youth of the nation to follow their examples.

Failures. Twenty-five years later, this is what had happened to these men. The president of the largest independent steel company, Charles Schwab, lived on borrowed money the last five years of his life and died broke. The greatest wheat speculator, Arthur Cutten, died abroad, insolvent. The president of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard Whitney, served a term in Sing Sing Prison. The member of the President’s Cabinet, Albert Fall, was pardoned from prison so he could die at home. The greatest “bear” on Wall Street, Jesse Livermore, committed suicide. The president of the Bank of International Settlements, Leon Fraser, committed suicide. The head of the world’s greatest monopoly, Ivar Drueger, committed suicide. All of these men had learned how to make money, but not one of them had learned how to live. They were out of balance. “For what will if profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul [in hell]” (Mark 8:36).

Quotes. “I’d trade all the money and things I have for a little tranquility and a secure hope that I know what is going to happen to me after I die.” “I’d trade all the success I’ve achieved for an hour of pure love, an hour without pain, or an hour of knowing that I have done what God created me to do.” “As human beings, imperfect by nature, we place little value on things that we do not pay for. We value homes, automobiles, boats, and television sets, and at the same time, place little or no value on the things in life that are free- our bodies, minds, families, friends, good health, love, and the natural laws of the universe.” – Glen Bland

Two Dimes. “Money often comes between men and God. Someone has said that you can take two small ten-cent pieces, just two dimes, and shut out the view of a panoramic landscape. Go to the mountains and just hold two coins closely in front of your eyes. The mountains are still there, but you cannot see them at all because there is a dime shutting off the vision in each eye. It doesn’t take large quantities of money to come between us and God. Money, in the wrong position, will effectively obscure our view.” Cedric Gowler

So What? Christians can use money, which is part of the present world system, but we must not abuse it or love it (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17). How we handle money reveals much about the depth of our dedication to Christ. You can’t buy your way into heaven. This “ticket” was purchased for you by the Lord Jesus Christ when He died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). All you need to do is reach out and receive His gift of eternal life by faith (John 1:12; 3:16; Ephesians 2:8, 9). If you’ve never done this, why not now?

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We are beginning a new series of studies for 13 weeks starting on Wednesday evening, September 4th, 2013.  (If you’re interested, ask for more details and the times of the meetings.)  We will be using the book entitled “Success God’s Way” by Dr. Charles Stanley.  We will use it as a spring board to think about what God wants us to do to be successful in His eyes, not in our own eyes, or in the eyes of the world (Proverbs 14:12).  We will use our Bibles to validate what we read in this book much like the Berean believers did in Paul’s day (Acts 17:11).  We will provide you with other material to help you grow spiritually in grace (2 Peter 3:18).

We will ask and try to answer these questions Biblically: “Is it right for me to want to be successful?  Can I live a godly life and still be successful?  Is God even interested in my being successful?”

While the world tends to define success in terms of fame and fortune, power and pleasure, Dr. Stanley believes that God sums up success in terms of relationship, character, and obedience.

We will consider these crucial issues:  The apparent conflicts between success and godly living.  The most powerful key to living a successful life.  The relationship between success and money.  The importance of attitude in achieving success.  The role of time management in achieving success.  The way to overcome the most common road blocks to success.

Genuine success-from God’s point of view-is rooted in what God calls us to be…in what God sets as the goals for our lives.  He says, “We must recognize that as believers, we are the sons and daughters of the living God.  Success from God’s viewpoint does not begin and end with what we do in our lives.  It begins and ends with who we are as His children.”

These sessions are designed for and limited to Christians (not the unsaved – 1 Corinthians 2:14) who are teachable (2 Timothy 2:2, 15) and willing to be transformed (Romans 12:1, 2), who will commit themselves to attend each week for 13 weeks (unless providentially hindered), read a chapter in the book each week, and share their insights with others when we assemble together so we can stimulate each other to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24, 25).  We will ask each person to attempt to put into practice (with God’s help – Philippians 4:13) what he/she learns from these studies by being doers of the Word and not hearers only (James 1:22).

If this is of interest to you or someone you know, call Pastor Pietsch at 805-238-3549.  We need to know ASAP if you would like to attend these sessions so we can order the books.