Editorial The promise and the risk of capitalism.
Fair Trade Global Markets Have we forgotten how markets work in our rush towards the global market?
Teaching Our Children Teachers need to have courage to discipline their students.
The Killing Fields Why are people drawn to watch entertainment filled with violence?
Steps to Starting a Business: Step 7: Transition to Established Business Maintaining and developing your newly opened business.
The Signs Within--Tenderness in the Office Two different telemarketing companies are compared.
Daily Discipline: The Story of Job: Part 2 The second part of the study of the book of Job, where suffering is looked at, in how it relates to sin.
The Father Heart of God Why is it that fathers so often love their children?
Personal Experiences of God A doctor and University professor, Dougan Clarke, writes about his spiritual journey with God.
Superhuman Life No. 91: What Are You? What are each one of us really, and what is the purpose of each of our lives?
Management Matters: Improving Office Productivity Working harder isn't the answer in getting more done at work.
CCI BOOKSHOP: The Spiritual Man, Book 1 In this book Watchman Nee looks at how our minds, bodies and spirits function to make up our whole beings.
Visit The CCI Library The CCI Bookshop is a review of different books and audio cassettes from the CCI libraries in South Mimms, England and Raleigh NC, USA.
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by Ernest O'Neill
Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, characterised by the freedom of capitalists to operate or manage their property for profit in competitive conditions. It's also called free enterprise as this is its leading characteristic.
However, it's obvious that we are now facing the harsh fact that freedom to build businesses wisely to meet the needs of mankind through profitable enterprises also permits the freedom to build businesses to satisfy unrestrained greed. Although this is not a necessary or inherent characteristic of capitalism, it is being presented as the heart of capitalism.
The reasons are just as obvious. There is a growing hardness in society as more people become prosperous; there is a growing callousness to unnecessary workers and to the preservation of the world's unrenewable resources. Our society is not becoming a gentler, kinder one, but a harsher, more abrasive one.
Nevertheless, it is vital to see that any system is only as good as the people who run it and can use it for good or ill. The public ownership and control of the means of production was used by communists for selfish ends that resulted in harshness just as private owners today can use it to destroy all competition. So just as communism could not enforce unselfishness, so private enterprise cannot enforce selfishness - ultimately the choice is ours!
So at every stage in every business, each one of us is faced with the question - do I run this business to meet the needs of my neighbors and make enough profit to maintain and expand, or do I run it purely for my own profit whatever the cost to others?
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Perhaps you have had a similar experience to mine. There is a particular subject I have been interested in for quite a long time. I have read about it, studied it, and thought about it from what I felt were several different angles. Then one day I began reading a new book on the subject. Suddenly I found my eyes opening a bit wider as I read. My interest was completely captured and I read eagerly. This was no longer an "academic " exercise. It is as if my entire "self" had become involved in some new discovery.
To use that expression, it is as though the light has suddenly switched on and exposed a whole new horizon of meaning. Does any of this sound familiar? You begin to realize you have only been skimming the surface of understanding. Now you begin to see layer upon layer of new discoveries to be made, new meaning to grasped.
Such has been my own experience in reading this first of a three book series by Watchman Nee entitled The Spiritual Man. While recognizing that man is of course made up of the physical outward body, he delves more deeply into an area few of us take the time to consider, much less discover. We can often view ourselves as one dimensional and can either miss completely, or at least gravely underestimate the impact of having not only a physical presence but also a spiritual presence.
Our physical presence is very outward, observable and obvious. The other we most often know little about. The farthest we go in understanding that deeper part of ourselves is by labeling it our conscience and go no further in attempting to define what conscience means. That leaves that whole deeper part of who we are, the part we know as our individual self largely unexplored.
Nee does not stop there, however. He would propose that we are not even two dimensional, but that we are three dimensional. He would show there are three distinct sections or spheres which make up the whole person. That the Bible points out very clearly that those spheres are vital in the makeup of the whole person and that there is an appropriate balance for the functioning of each one. Is he talking about split personality here? Not at all. Nee is talking about what the Bible explains as making up a whole, complete, integrated person.
What a great treasure we may be missing by not taking the time to explore what this might be.
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by Colleen Donahue
Our study continues this month with the life of Joba righteous man whom Satan tried to destroy with intense sorrow and suffering. His three friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar are sitting with Job outside the city at what was probably the garbage dump and they are offering their advice and "comfort".
In the style of the East these discussions occur in order with Job answering each man. So far they have had one complete "round" with little comfort to Job or help in answering his main question"What have I done to deserve all this?" They have been both subtle and blatant in accusing Job of sin he hasn't committed. This has aroused Job so much that in desperation he has accused God and declared he will defend himself before the Almighty! We continue now with......
Day 1 Eliphaz uses the weapon of sarcasm now and presents what seems to be true- i.e. He did not think a man could be righteous before God. Job 15: 1-35
Day 2 The Devil often uses half truths to keep us blind. While it is true that sinful man cannot stand before God on their own merit, God in His love had made a way. In the days of Job this was through sacrifice. You'll remember that Job had offered sacrifice and thus knew in his heart that he had access to God and walked before Him in integrity and truth. Job 1:5
Day 3 In our day a man or woman can come before God when we take our place with Christ on the Cross. His death in our place makes us a "new creation" that is able to come before God. II Corinthians 5:17
Therefore Eliphaz's argument is not right.
Job calls them all "miserable comforters". We become the same when we assume someone is being punished by God when they suffer. It is perhaps more accurate to see suffering as God's gift to bring us into deeper fellowship with Himself.
Day 4 After complaining of the hard dealings of his friends Job knows he is in the hand of God. Job 16:1-18
Day 5 Although Job was completely humiliated, he persistently clung to the fact that God knew his life, and would vouch that he walked with integrity. Job 16:19-22
Day 6 Job seems to now turn from his friends and reminds himself that it doesn't matter much what they say or think - his "spirit" is broken (Job 17:1). Slowly we see Job cease from struggling and come to a place of rest. As long as we writhe in our afflictions we prolong them. Job 17:1-16
Day 7 Bildad describes again for Job the fate of the ungodly. His total idea of blessing from God is prosperity in his home, for his family and his own personal circle! Job 18:1-21
Day 8 Job sees that all of Bildad's descriptions are directed towards himself and asks how long they will continue to torment him. Job 19:1-6
Day 9 Job had been advised to set his heart right and cry to God. He had done this and was not heard. Job was acutely aware that it was God who was dealing with him and leaving him in a straightened place. Job 19:7-13
Day 10 Not only did God seem far away, but Job felt he had put others against him so that he had no one. Job 19:14-19
Day 11 Job does not understand why God should have allowed all this but he knew his conscience was clear and that his friends should give pity and sympathy. Job 19:20-22
Day 12 It is often when we are in our darkest hour that some little seed of faith is able to burst forth from within us. It is like a glimmer of hope given by the Holy Spirit. So it happened with Job as he answers his own question"If a man die, shall he live again?" Job 14:14; Job 19:23-27
Day 13 Job ends with a warning to his friends that there will be judgement for all their harsh words. Job 19:28-29 / James 4:11-12
Day 14 Zophar feels indignant toward Job. If Job were suffering because of a hidden sin it was folly to talk of seeing God at a future time. He keeps emphasizing the fact that the wicked will have their portion in this present world. Job 20:1-29
Day 15 In reply to Zophar Job presents an entirely contrary picture of the wicked in this world. We cannot assert that the righteous will always prosper and the wicked will always suffer. Job 21:1-26
Day 16 Job then calmly accuses his friends. They have not comforted him and their answers have all been false. Job 21:27-34
This ends the second round of talks by Job and his friends.
Day 17 Eliphaz felt he must deal in a more direct way with Job since Job refuses to acknowledge his sin. He puts before Job some possible ways that he has grieved the Lord. His favorite weapon is sarcasm. Job 22:1-11
Day 18 Then he accuses Job of saying in his heart that God did not know all of this and categorizes Job with wicked men. Job 22:12-20
Day 19 Finally he pleads with Job. If....if.....if...Then......then.....then.....then...... Job 22:21-30
Day 20 Job doesn't reply directly to Eliphaz at once. The accusations of wrong doing and exhortations to put away sin are more than he can handle. He groans and talks aloud. He holds to his position that he is an upright man but also faces the fact that God has broken him down on every side. God has hidden Himself and Job doesn't know why. Job 23:1-9
Day 21 At this moment of deep despair Job is suddenly anchored afresh on the rock and speaks a remarkable word of faith. If he can't see God, God can see him and that is enough. From the moment that Job has seen his Redeemer he realizes that God is testing him and not punishing him as his friends have said. He begins to be at peace with his situation and sees that gold must always be purified by fire. Job 23:10
Day 22 Seeing all this, Job has a new boldness of faith. Job 23:11-14 If our hearts do not condemn us we can have a boldness towards God. I John 3:21
Day 23 Although Job knows now that God is refining him he is afraid of what it will mean in further suffering. Job 23:15-17
Day 24 Job further ponders all the evil happening around him with God seemingly silent toward the praying victims. At the same time these evil men seem to have prolonged lives! This observation is in direct contrast to what his friends have been saying- i.e. that the righteous are blessed and the wicked cut off. Job 24:1-15
Day 25 Bildad speaks only a few inappropriate words. He's still considering the question that Eliphaz asked earlier, "How can a man be just before God!?" If God is almighty how can a mere man ever hope to be clean in his sight? Job 25:1-6
Day 26 Job reproaches Bildad. If he didn't know how a man could be right with God what right did he have to make negative allegations to a man in affliction? Bildad's "How" is answered by the power of God. If God can work all these things in nature, isn't it possible that He has control over man his noblest of creatures? Surely God is able to devise means by which man can be restored to Himself? Job 26:1-14
Day 27 Job then returns to what he has been saying before Bildad began speaking. He affirms that he will hold fast to his integrity till the very end. Job 27:1-6
It is Zophar's turn to speak but he remains silent so Job continues and says HE will teach them concerning God! Job 27:11
Day 28 It is not true that suffering is always the fruit of sin, but it is true that God will eventually punish the wicked. Job 27:7-23
Day 29 Job describes the great trouble that men go through to find the things on earth that make them rich, but do they know the greater value of wisdom and knowledge and where to find it? Job 28:1-13
Day 30 Wisdoms value is above all the precious things in the earth and cant be bought with gold. Only God knows the way to it. What does Job conclude? (vs.28) Job 28:14-28
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by Ernest O'Neill
What are you ? Not just a little human creature born of two other little human creatures so that you plus another little human creature could bear other little human creatures ! But you were created by the Maker of the universe inside his Son; you are part of the Son of the Creator of the world !
You may protest that you don't want to be anyone but yourself BUT somehow you need to see that you are yourself when you accept that you're part of this unique person who lived as Jesus of Nazareth. That's who you were made to be - the idea that you're not this is the deception that introduces trauma to your life. This is not only reality but it is the very best that your Creator could do for you - it's the only way to allow you to use your free will yet save you from the permanent, disastrous consequences of your choices. That's what this dear Person has done for you - in the timeless, spaceless real world He has borne inside Himself all that you have done and said and been in your life, has neutralized all of it by taking the consequences upon Himself, and has brought you into new existence inside Himself.
So that you don't slip into playing mental games with these facts as if they're simply bizarre ideas that may help you deal with life, clarify for yourself that this Jesus really lived in the first century in Palestine, that the facts of his life and resurrection are backed by 4,000 Greek manuscripts aged from 150 to 1000 a.d. (compared with 20 for Plato's Republic or Caesar's Gallic Wars) and that non-Biblical historians like Tacitus and Tertullian corroborate his existence. In other words, examine the evidence so that you are beginning to relate your existence to the basic facts of the whole creation. Only then will you be able to develop an understanding of your own place in the scheme of things. Only then will you be able to develop a way of thinking and a way of living that is realistic.
Jesus himself talked about his existence with his Father, the Creator, before the world was, and his power to rise above his own death clearly shows that his existence far transcended this physical world. But the most explicit statements about our own origins come from those that He chose and guided as disciples and apostles. John, for instance, states that "all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made", while Paul avers that "you are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that he has prepared beforehand that you should walk in them". So, it's vital that you are clear about this person, Jesus, and avoid the thoughtless myths of some mystical, moral teacher who shows the world how to live. He is far beyond that - He is the one of whom you are a part - in Him your protons and neutrons hold together - without Him you wouldn't exist !!
But why did God make you inside his Son ? Not only so that the consequences of your free will could be faced and dealt with in his Son's necessary death, but so that Christ could develop his world through you by the power of his Father's life. This is the meaning of God's commission to us to "be fruitful and fill the earth and subdue it". Such a task could be accomplished only by the person who originated the earth and could control it: He alone by his own power could develop the resources of the world in a way that would harmonize everything as God planned. If we tried to do it (as we have) by ourselves, we would destroy each other through our greed and selfishness. Only He knew how the metals and chemicals of the world could be developed to bring joy and beauty.
Moreover, you were made inside Jesus Christ because through you He could fully express His infinitely profound nature. So your natural personality is a carefully designed frame within which He wishes to express his own beauty and life. However, in this case the frame is so aptly and uniquely fitted for this painting that it itself is part of the original art. This is why Jesus Christ refers to you as part of his own body like one of his fingers or arms or eyes. You can see that this completely transforms your place in history and the world. The idea that you are a little separate human creature placed here to find your own way and make your own mark on the world is a cruel lie. You are part of God's own family - an integral part of his own Son. Your purpose is tied up with His and the work you have to do is part of his work.
What do you want to be when you grow up is not up to you - its up to Him who brought you here. Its not something that can be decided by your performance in some test or examination or interview. Its something that you alone can find out because its something that you alone are fitted for. Your life is unique - Jesus Christ has not provided for someone else to express Him exactly the same as you - youre the only one can do it. And Hes the only one can show you what and how.
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by Martha Nelson
One summer day when I was 17, I was playing with my cousin in rural Wisconsin when a glass lantern crashed onto my face, carving a deep gash close to my eye. My aunt in her wisdom knew I would not get a good suture job by the local country doctor, so phoned my parents in Minneapolis (2 hours away)and soon my dad was driving up to get me.
I lay on my cousin's bed with an icepack on my face for two hours. Then when Dad arrived I lay another two hours in the back seat of our Buick while he drove me down to the Minneapolis hospitalwhere all ended well.
Remembering this incident recalled numerous other mishaps throughout my childhoodand it was always Dad that Mom phoned to take me to the clinic after I'd broken my arm falling off the swingset or done something clever with a kitchen knife. Mom says I was accident pronebut what I remember now is Dad's patience at these times. And I never doubted he'd come to get me.
As a child I took these things for granted, and because my dad always DID come for me, I never thought about WHY he did. But as I reflect now I see his love expressed in those practical, faithful ways. Did he ever complain? Did he ever resent being pulled away unexpectedly from his work or rest? Did he ever chide me for my foolishness? Did he ever send anyone else in his place to get me? No. Never.
Recalling these experiences caused me to think about God's love for me as a Father. I have been reading an excellent book by Floyd McClung called The Father Heart of God. In it he quotes II Corinthians 6:18: "And I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters says the Lord Almighty." No earthly father is perfect, but one of the ways our Heavenly Father wants to love us is as a father does.
As I asked myself why my dad always came and allowed God to express a father's love to me in this wayI saw that it was because of our relationship. I wasn't just someone who was hurt and needed helpI was his. I belonged to him in a way no one else did. And that made all the difference. As a child experiencing those accidents, my thoughts were mostly on my pain or fearbut now I imagine what emotions must have been going through my dad's heart as he came to rescue me from yet another scrape. Perhaps fear also, and pain for my misfortune, but certainly love. A deep love and care for his own daughtersomeone part of himself as no one else is.
As I've read The Father Heart of God I've begun to see all the ways that God wants to reveal his father love for me in a deeper way. I am thankful to have had loving parents who helped form my understanding of God's loveand who allowed God to love me through their hands and hearts. Yet even if we have never known the love of a faithful, earthly father, it doesn't mean we can't know that love from God. He wants to show it to us and heal us of anything hurtful from our past. And if we open our hearts to God and ask to know that Father's love from Him, He will draw us near to Himself.
Perhaps you feel, "I've never heard God's voice. I've never known the love of even an earthly father. How can I know God loves me?"
This is what God says: "Call to me and I will answer you..." (Jeremiah 33:3). "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands." (Isaiah 49:15-16a)
See what love the Father has for us! And why? Because we are not just creatures, we are sons and daughters. He comes when we call because we are His.
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by Martin Poehler
Many people believe that for children to reach their full potential they must be allowed to develop with a minimum of guidance or discipline. It is thought to be wrong to force children to do things they don't want to do. If adults answer their questions and let them do what they want, children will learn what they need to learn. This viewpoint assumes that children's minds are the same as adults' minds except younger, and they simply need proper information and the freedom to make right choices to gain benefit in learning.
If this is true, teachers who know this truth will give students room to develop and won't make demands of them. Harmonious relationships in schools among students and teachers will resulta truly positive environment where children blossom and reach their potential.
What reports do we read in the newspapers about schools? We probably first think about the high illegal drug use among students. Next we may think about how many students at schools carry knives and guns. Drug use and weapons combine in another characteristic of schools today: increasing violence by students against teachers and other students.
Less sensational but still quite concerning are the disruption of classes by unruly students. This can be caused by fighting between students, or children refusing to obey their teachers. Disrupted classes pose difficult choices for teachers. If they exercise authority and hold their ground against the troublemakers, teachers risk being violently attacked by them. Another result could be that the student complains to his parents who then complain to the school board, with the teacher possibly being dismissed. Besides posing risks to the teachers' safety and careers, disruptions in classrooms force teachers to act as policemen instead of giving proper time to teachingso kids who want to learn lose out.
If the supposition given earlier is truethat children can themselves choose how and what to learn with minimal help from adultswhy are so many classrooms becoming places of confrontation between students and teachers?
Perhaps it's because for the most part children can't make the right decision about what and how to learnbecause many of their ideas are wrong. Their ideas are a mix of what they've been taught at home and school, observed others doing in the world around them, and seen on television and at the movies. But it seems kids can't distinguish between right ideas and wrong ideas. Have you ever seen a child trying to be funny or sophisticated, but acting in a way you knew was inappropriate? When he was corrected by an adult, the child probably stopped acting the wrong way. Children are constantly trying new things and are looking for reinforcement or correction from adults to show them whether they are acting rightly or wrongly. Children actually welcome this feedback and are confused when they don't get it. They need reinforcement and correction from their parents and teachers who serve as their role models.
One sentence sums it up well: "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him."1 Children on their own can't learn the basics of math and reading, or become punctual, polite, and honest. For a child to know these things requires nurturing through reinforcement and correctionor discipline when he refuses to follow the instruction given. Discipline acts as a backup to the rest of the teaching processa process which guides the child to learn the right things.
In our western society a good share of this job has fallen to teachers. They are in a difficult position with pressures coming from parents, students, and the school hierarchy. Part of the problem teachers, and thus society, face is that teachers are not using the "rod of discipline." This doesn't necessarily refer to physically punishing children, but means teachers holding their ground when children refuse to co-operate or obey in school.
It is exactly hereholding their ground that teachers often fail. Faced with a tough situationconfrontation and possible attack from studentsteachers too often are choosing the easy way out and not meeting the situation head on by standing up to the problem kids. If teachers take this way out and don't put themselves fully "on the line" they fail as role models, and order in the classroom disintegrates. A more noble road needs to be travelled by teachersone filled with courage, heedless of personal safety, looking out only for the benefit of the kids. They need to rekindle their desire to teach and help children which originally motivated many of them to become teachers. Children know this integrity when they see itand are built up by it.
Young people today suffer from a lack of standards, direction, and discipline. Teacherswho are too often letting students set the rules of play and as a result can't teach as they shouldbear part of the blame. Teachers are partly responsible to society for fashioning well-rounded individuals who get a solid education and can get along with others. They must exercise the authority they have been given by society. This demands courage. If they do this, they will be held in higher esteem by their students, and provide a setting where students can effectively learn and develop into adults. The society of tomorrow is in the hands of teachers today.
1 The Bible, Proverbs 22:15
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Dougan Clarke, M.D.
Professor of Latin and Greek, Earlham College (Friend)
I was born in Randolph County, North Carolina, on the 17th of 5th month (May), 1828. I was educated at Haverford College, Pennsylvania, at which institution I graduated in 1852. I took the degree of Doctor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1861, and practiced my profession for about fifteen years. Since 1866 my residence has been at Richmond, Indiana.
My parents were both ministers in the Society of Friends. I had accordingly a birthright membership in that Church. I was carefully and tenderly brought up, and taught that I must fear the Lord and keep His commandments. The Scriptures were daily read in our family, and I soon learned to read and enjoy them for myself. The parental discipline which I received was strict, but kind and loving. I was to a great extent shielded from the temptations to gross sins to which many young people are exposed. I was from my very infancy a regular attender upon public worship, and in my earliest years I enjoyed hearing good preaching.
The chief things inculcated in the teaching and preaching of those daysI mean half a century ago, so far as the Friend's Church was concerned -- were to mind and obey the light of God's Holy Spirit shining into the heart; to be moral and upright and honest and truthful and good; to do what duty required, and to obey God; and thus to work out salvation with fear and trembling.
It is true that Christ crucified was often spoken of as the sinner's hope of acceptance with God; but the fact that the Spirit always testifies of Christ and draws men to Him was too much lost sight of, and the necessity of an immediate and definite conversion was not clearly insisted upon.
I cannot point to the time when converting grace first reached my soul. I am quite sure that it was in very early life. I am certain that there were occasions every now and then, during my boyhood and youth and early manhood, when my soul was filled with the love of God; when I was contrite before Him; when my peace flowed as a river, and when I enjoyed what I now believe to have been the witness of the Spirit to my adoption and sonship.
A man can be alive even if he does not know when his birthday was, and so we may have the unmistakable signs of spiritual life without, in all cases, being able to point to the moment or the day when such life began. It is not so important to know the time as the fact of our conversion. But notwithstanding these things are so, yet I want to add right here that I do consider a definite, conscious conversionto which the individual can point in all his subsequent life as the day of his birth into God's kingdomto be an inestimable blessing and a glorious privilege. And where people are rightly instructed such conversions will be the rule, and any other kind the rare exception.
Until I had reached middle life my Christian experience was very unsteady and unsatisfactory. God was wonderfully good to me; but the carnal mind was very strong and ever struggling against the movings of the Spirit. So I was up and down, one day on the house-top, the next in the cellar; sinning and repenting, backsliding and returning; at times growing in grace and at times almost losing my faith and my hope. I was a Christian, but not a healthy one. Still, upon the whole, I can say, to the glory of Jesus my Saviour, that during those years, by His grace, I did make considerable progress in the divine life. The old manthe strong manwas mostly kept in bonds. The struggle was often severe and protracted; but when I trusted in Jesus He gave me the victory.
When I was about thirty years of age my attention was first called, distinctively and intelligibly, to the subject of holiness as an actual, obtainable experience. This was from a perusal of The Interior Life, by the late Professor Upham.
But it required many years for me to grasp the subject experimentally and practically. I made consecrations again and againwritten and verbalbut somehow they did not stand the test. I struggled and prayed, and often got the victory; but I was not delivered.
When nearly forty years of age I began to speak, not infrequently, in Friends' meetings as a minister. I only felt just call enough to justify me in opening my mouth; and, without deciding whether the Lord really intended to make a minister of me or not, I thought it safest to attend to present openings and opportunities to speak for Him as they occurred. It was comparatively only a short time before my monthly meeting gave its official sanction to my ministry by "recording" me as a minister of the Gospel. And still I was interested in the subject of holiness, and still I was desiring it, and still I was not enjoying it.
At length, in the 12th month (December), 1871, while attending a series of meetings at a Friends' Church in Ohio, in which Brother David B. Updegraff was taking part, and acting under his advice, I arose in a large assembly and stated my sense of my own unworthiness and weakness; but that relying wholly upon Christ I did there and then reckon myself dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God through Jesus Christ my Lord.
I had now committed myself publicly. While I knew that I could not make myself dead to sin I felt as if the responsibility was now laid upon Jesus. What I reckoned in faith He could make real and true. There was no very marked feeling for several hours. I held on by faith to my confession. Then came peacefull, quiet, calm; not rapture, nor ecstasy but "All the silent heaven of love"; and this continued almost without intermission during my waking hours for several weeks.
Now, what did I get?
1. A clean heart; I was baptized with the Holy Ghost, and my heart was purified by faith.
2. Perfect love.
3. The endowment of power; for whatever spiritual power I have been possessed of since, either for winning sinners to Christ or bringing believers to entire sanctification by consecration and faith in Jesus, I date it from that blessed day and hour.
How has it been with me since?
There have been failures on my part, but God has kept me wonderfully. There have been great and exceedingly subtle temptationsangel-of-light temptationsbut Jesus has carried me through. There have been great trials and fearful sorrows, greater, I believe, than the average Christian, or even the average holiness man, is called upon to endure; but Jesus sustains and keeps and consoles. There has been a good deal of blessed service for Him, both in preaching and writing, and a good many souls testify to having been blessed and brought into the light and experience of holiness through my instrumentality--with pen or tongue. I wish the number were manifold greater, as it might have been if I had been wholly the Lord's from my youth; but I can rejoice now when others preach and write better than I, and are the means of gathering in hundreds when I bring units.
And on this 19th of February, 1887, I do still testify that by the grace of God I am reckoning myself dead to sin; and I have a sure confidence that now the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth me from all sin, and that I have received and now have, the gift of the Holy Ghost. Praise the Lord!
D. CLARK, RICHMOND, INDIANA, Second Month, Nineteenth Day, 1887.
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by Greg Leitschuh
"Guns don't kill people, people kill people" is the oft used slogan of the powerful anti-gun control lobby in America. This familiar phrase has been regularly used by pro-gun activists whenever pressure has mounted for more gun control in the US as seen in the terrible shootings in the last few years, notably the one in Columbine, Colorado where fifteen students died. Once again, the questions are asked as to why our society is so violent and what can be done about it.
Many believe that greater control of guns will mostly solve the problem and reduce the rate of death and injury by firearms. Others say that what is needed is education. Many are now putting the blame on parents in regard to failure in the proper upbringing of their children. A recent newspaper article has attacked the moviemakers as well as the producers and advertisers of violent video games. President Clinton has recently put much of the blame on Hollywood. Questions still loom in many minds as to whether TV and movie violence actually influences behaviour in young people, and many believe that society is gradually becoming hardened and de-sensitised.
Surveys have shown that there are not significantly more guns today than twenty or thirty years ago but that shooting incidents have increased dramatically. Statistics mentioned by Clinton in his attack on the media industries show that the average teenager will see 40,000 murders acted out on TV or film by the age of 18. TV and film producers need to ask themselves why they continue to produce programs with unnecessary violence, but more importantly, we need to ask ourselves as a society why we are drawn to this type of entertainment. What is it inside the human psyche that prefers violence to mildness and forbearance, coarseness to softness, tolerance of evil to promoting decency?
Most will agree that people intuitively know the right way to live and act but often find it difficult in practice. At times we secretly prefer the `forbidden fruit' of some doubtful pleasure or activity but deep down know that it's wrong, yet we still go after it knowing that it may harm others and that we may eventually suffer for it. The solution to this problem is not better education, more technology or even better upbringing. With all the great advances in education, technology and communications in the last 80 years, society has lived through the worst wars in history and experienced `man's inhumanity to man' on a scale never seen before. Whatever happened to the `golden era' and the `new millennium' that some have predicted mankind would be entering into?
We need to ask ourselves what prevents us from doing what we know is right as we find ourselves living a dual nature type of `Jekyll-Hyde' experience. This dilemma is not new and there was an answer given millenniums ago. In A.D.64 a writer in the New Testament of the Bible named Paul said `the good that I would I cannot do but the evil I hate is what I do'. (Romans 7:19) His answer to this problem can be seen at the end of that chapter. That answer lies not in what we can do with our self-help methods and determination but in an outside Power that is able to change one's life. What is needed in our lives is not more conditioning or a better environment or education but a new nature -- a God-given power within us that can enable us to live the way we know we should.
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by Joanne Leitschuh
Work harder!! Is that the answer to getting more done? After 15 years of working in our wholesale jewellery office, I definitely KNOW that that is not the answer. Working harder and spending longer hours at my desk hasn't always meant I accomplished more. Therefore, what is the best way to encourage those I work with to get their jobs completely done in an efficient, timely manner?
First, I need to find out if they are excited about their jobs and the contributions they make to the business. As Marilyn Manning states in her book, Office Management, each person has the same basic needs and spends each day satisfying one or more of them:
1. The need to survive
2. The need for security
3. The need to belong
4. The need for prestige
5. The need for self-fulfillment
(Maslow's hierarchy of needs)
This sounds like people are basically needy individuals! What struck me immediately when I read this was, how does one fulfill all of these needs? Where does one look? Is it my job as office manager to make my colleagues feel secure, that they belong, that they are important, that they are fulfilling themselves to the utmost? Yes and no. It is a huge responsibility. Help! I don't think I can handle it!
The freeing aspect is that I'm not supposed to be everyone's motivator or spend all my energy making sure everyone's needs are met. Jesus, in new ways every day, can show us that He is all we need. With a growing knowledge and a real, personal relationship with Him, He can give each one of us perspective on our belonging and on how we are being appraised. We know we are already accepted by Him. We love Him and we want to do a good job for Him because He asks us. Even the most routine job can bring us satisfaction if we allow Him to live through us. We can get much more done if we give Him space to maneuver in our emotions, minds and bodies.
This sounds mysterious in some ways. It is. Because we look to Jesus to fulfill all of our needs, does that mean I don't have a role to play as an office manager? Of course I do! I will try my best to be an efficient manager, always looking for ways to work smarter not harder.
I need to encourage and teach others to think for themselves. This gives them confidence as well as saves time. It is also important to have people see the end result of all of their hard work to step back and say, "All that effort was worth it!"
It is my job to make work interesting for people and to listen to ideas on how to do things better. I also know it's important to inform those involved as to what is going on with each project. I need to treat others as professionals at all times. I should look out for opportunities to recognize individuals for good work. I need to offer challenges whenever possible and work with them to develop their skills.
The above responsibilities are quite the task! Step one, though, is to ask Jesus to help me help them. Just last week, we were faced with a time-consuming internet project. I needed to organize all that needed to be done. I taught people certain computer skills that they required. I saw that I needed to guide them along or give an encouraging word. Sometimes there were advances then there came a few setbacks. How do you keep everyone moving ahead at a steady pace when the end-goal seems so far away? By practicing all of the steps outlined above. By helping people stay focused. By helping each one realize that every little bit accomplished is progress.
God, thankfully, didn't make us robots or machines. He has made us beautifully into His image. We know that every day we go on, we become more and more like Him. Now that's productivity!
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by Lucy Blomfield
In our town, there are two telemarketing companies that are very similar. One is called Eastside Sales and the other is called Westside Sales. Both businesses have a Director, an Office Manager, and a small sales team of phone marketers. Both consistently achieve phone quotas (a predetermined number of calls per day), and sales projections. Eastside and Westside are both considered successful businesses.
In other ways, however, they are very different.
On the walls in the offices of Eastside, there are signs that say things like, "Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated, " or, "Our customers are our most important asset." Other signs read, "Unity is success," and "Gentleness is not weakness."
Perhaps the purpose of these signs is to remind Eastside employees of the possibility of human virtue. Signs aside - the employees of Eastside do not look forward to coming to work each day. Sometimes, some of them are even a little afraid to come to work. They are afraid they will not meet their quotas, afraid of their Director, afraid of how the Office Manager will speak to them if they do something wrong. The atmosphere at Eastside is tense and rather cold. Sometimes, workers do not even greet one another in the morning, or have cheerful words for each other during the day. Workers occasionally talk about other workers behind their backs. At times, an Eastside telemarketer speaks sweetly to a prospect on the phone, puts down the phone, and then speaks harshly to a co-worker. For most of the employees at Eastside, 5:00 p.m. Friday is their favorite time of the week.
There are no motivational/reminder signs on the walls at Westside. Here the workers enjoy coming to work to see their friends. Everyone works hard, quotas are met, and yet somehow there is an atmosphere of peace in the office. Disagreements occur, strong reprimands occur, confrontations occur, but though these are taken to heart, no one is devastated by these uncomfortable times. The workers at Westside seem like they have the Eastside reminder signs within. Something inside them seems to keep them steady for the unanticipated events of each day. Something inside them confirms that their co-workers love them and can be, therefore, trusted.
"...to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men." 1 "That sounds pretty good," you say, "I mean - well that must be some kind of Scripture or Bible verse. But that's in the Scriptures, it can't happen in the workplace. Come on now, we have our business objectives to be met, our bills, my house payment. It's not possible to live - to work - like that. All we can do is put up signs that encourage us to live unselfishly, and then we can try and keep on trying to do what the signs, the Scriptures, the good people of this world...tell us to do. Right?"
That's right, if we are on our own. But we are not on our own. There is Someone who made us and loves us and knows the emptiness and sorrow of human striving.
The workers at Westside have come to know this Person. They have come to see that this Person's death included them and all that was bad and selfish and wrong in them. He alone can make a man right. He alone can change an atmosphere in an office.
This Someone, a person, loves each worker at Westside, each worker at Eastside, every man, women and child in the world. If we look to Him, seek for Him, pray to Him, we will find Him. And perhaps we can also come to know the meaning of His death. And then, like the workers of Westside Sales, we can begin to live as though we have the "signs within."
1 Titus 3:2
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by Trish Overby
"There was a time, a couple of decades ago when no Islington (London) dinner party was complete without a steaming cafetiere of Nicaraguan coffee. The coffee symbolised solidarity with the Sandinistas and the Nicaraguan revolution, a popular beneficiary of radical chic at the time."
The Times, 30 Jan. 1999 Business Life section
Our super markets are jam-packed with goods from other countries. In fact, no longer do they seem to have an `ethnic' section or a `gourmet' section. The international food products all seem to be side by side with the home produced products. Only occasionally are we aware of the Fair Trade or Organically grown items on the shelves when there is a trade disagreement, a disaster or a war (as mentioned above) in the news limelight. Many of us are made aware of the size of bananas, not because we are really interested, but because of the squabbling of the US/EU trade organizations about banana sizes and what is `legal'.
Our western society is becoming more and more aware of what goes on in the `underdeveloped' countries because of the 24 hr. news coverage now available. Many of our sympathetic hearts go out to those people affected by catastrophes and wars. Some of us are even moved in our consciences to try to help those people as stated above in the Times newspaper clip. A certain empathy arises and we want to do something to assist those countries in turmoil. What do we have close at hand to help? Shopping! For some of us our favourite pastime! We can shop for our groceries and clothing without guilt because we are there to help these people in far-away countries. In buying my coffee from a certain fair trade company, I am helping the economy of the small coffee producer so he can get a fair price for his coffee and therefore make a living for his family.
In buying my bananas from a certain West Indian island, I am promoting the banana grower one step up the economic ladder. Hey, wait a minute. Isn't this what a free market economy should always be? Shouldn't we always be getting products from the producer, grower or manufacturer at the BEST price? Shouldn't what I am proposing above be the norm and not the exception? Has our global market grown so fast that we forget about the `little people' behind the production scenes? Shouldn't the big international conglomerates as well as the small businesses be concerned that the food producers or clothing manufacturers are giving them a `fair deal' price for their goods? This is what I thought of as good practice as well as good economic sense.
Maybe our world has grown too quickly and we have forgotten our "economic manners" where the customer comes first our suppliers and employees come second, and then our own pockets third. This makes sound economic sense no matter what country you work in. I am reminded of the saying, Do unto others as you would like done unto you. Wouldnt we all like the respect and honour for our achievements and hard labour? Why not honour and respect those who produce and grow the items we buy? Why not make all economic markets fair trade markets? After all, our market is a global market and we cannot make do without one another. We are a part of each other more than we can ever imagine.
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By Joe Selzler
1. Acquiring Motivation.
2. Finding an idea.
3. Proving the idea.
4. Knowing what is needed.
5. Applying the business plan.
6. The opening day and your first product or sale.
7. Transition to established business.
This is the final article in this series and it will give you some ideas to help you take your new business from the opening day to an established business. It may seem as if we have gone through a lot of hard work to get our business going and we probably all breathe a sigh of relief when the end of the first day arrives. We have put so much effort into getting to that opening day that anything after that seems anti-climactic. For the first few months after opening there will be quieter and less hectic moments; we will even begin to settle into a routine. We will encounter situations and problems that will cause us to make some changes or adjustments to our original plans. These will have to be worked out fairly quickly and as smoothly as possible. However, there are some important steps we will need to take during our first three years in order to prepare our business for long term success.
While we went some way in determining what our market would be in our initial research for starting our business, we will have to continually evaluate our sales in order to know just what products to produce or carry. Our initial research only tested a representation of the community our business would serve. Therefore, after we have been open for several months and have served more of our community, we will begin to see trends in a larger portion of that community. These trends will probably not vary from our research greatly, but they will require us to make some adjustments to our product range. Also, because communities are fluid, meaning they are continuing to change in the make up and size of their populations, their buying habits will change as well. It is important that we anticipate and understand these changes.
The best way for us to determine what sells and what doesn't is by the use of statistics. We need to be fairly scientific in our approach to statistics. Otherwise the "general feel" of sales will deceive us. There are several ways to keep statistics. These fall under two main categories: manual methods and electronic methods. Manual methods are those which require us to record sales by hand with pen and paper. We could use a plain note book or we could purchase a book especially made for such information from a stationary shop. Basically it just needs to be something which is ruled and has columns. On each line we record a stock item, and in the columns we record how many we bought in and make a tick mark or put a one for each one sold. After a certain period of time we compare the number sold to the number purchased and that gives us an indication of the popularity of the item. The electronic method does the same basic thing but quickly and accurately. If we have a large inventory this would be the best way to go. The appropriate one for you will depend on the size of your business and the amount and diversity of your products.
This cannot be stressed to much. How many new businesses have you seen open with shiny new premises and a great idea only to see them fizzle after a few months? Two possible things have happened in these situations. Either they got lazy and didn't keep to their standards (assuming they defined any to begin with), or they didn't adjust their standards to be sure they always worked. The first error is simple to overcome, though it can take a lot of work on the part of management. We have to be diligent to make sure that we and all our staff are not cutting corners when it comes to procedures. Something we are learning in our own business is that "People don't run businesses, they set up Systems. Systems run the business." As managers we need to be sure that we get our systems set up correctly.
The second error is simple to correct as well. We need to be constantly checking that our systems are working properly and make the necessary changes where they are not. If you observe someone skipping a step, don't conclude that it is always laziness. Observe the person and question them; perhaps the step just does not work as it is supposed to. It is possible that some steps in a system might be more hassle than they they are worth. Unless we catch those right away and make changes it isnt long before it begins to affect the rest of the system and the whole thing breaks down.
What more can I say. If you have got this far then you have done something which most people have never thought they could do. To start a new business takes a person who shows courage and determination. A successful business person is one who has faith that no matter what problems are encountered they can be overcome. There will be failures -- everyone has them. It is not those who never fail who are successful, it is those who get up and get going again.
One more thing: we are meant to subdue the earth and to bring it into order. Nothing can bring more pleasure to us, and be more fun than when our businesses are successful and orderly. Our success will contribute to the expansion of the economy as a whole and benefit the community around us. By starting our own business and bringing it to success we can provide jobs and services for many other people. The making of money is only a very small part of the satisfaction you will gain in this new adventure.
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