Ezekiel, Chapter 11, Verse 8
You fear the sword—that sword I will bring upon you—oracle of the Lord GOD.
Christ said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Mt. 26:52)
Violence begets violence and takes us away from the will of God. For violent men death and damnation is the usual final outcome. John Pridmore is the exception by the grace of God. John says of himself:
I had what I thought was everything. Money, power, girls, drugs the lot. But yet there was something missing... This struck me more than ever, when I thought I had killed someone. I knew I had to change my life... I now work full time for God. No one pays me. I live completely off his providence, telling my story all over the Earth.
Sampson himself was also a violent man, who was born endowed with great physical strength started out following God but failed to continue walking in the spirit of He that Is. John Maxwell points out that like many men they failed toward the end of their life because they dilute the vision God had given them, and have become too comfortable with their success and lack the self-control to overcome their weaknesses. John’s advice to leaders is to be self-disciplined using a quote from Plato, “The first and best victory is to conquer self.” John points out a five step plan to develop self-discipline in your life.
1. Develop and follow your priorities. Time is a precious commodity, do what’s really important first and release yourself from the rest.
2. Make a disciplined lifestyle your goal. Set up systems and routines to ensure you feed the mind, body, spirit and love of neighbor daily.
3. Challenge your excuses. We all make them; push the envelope.
4. Remove rewards until you finish the job. Eat your vegetables first.
5. Stay focused on results. Focus on the outcomes and not the difficulties in accomplishing it; envision the change.
Our model for transformation: Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. (Luke 6:12)
Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated
In fact, he was a much greater man than he is usually given credit for. He is usually thought of as having been a great benefactor of American blacks. He was that, to be sure. But he was much more than that. He was a benefactor of American whites as well. For it was he who, more than anybody else, black or white, persuaded American whites that racism is wrong and that America’s long history of racism was something to be deeply ashamed of. If Plato was right in saying that doing injustice is worse than suffering injustice, King was a greater benefactor of whites than of blacks who had suffered injustice, but whites had done the worse thing, inflicting injustice. In teaching whites to give up their wrongdoing, he was conferring a greater benefit on them than he had on blacks by freeing them from their status as victims. Just read his Letter from Birmingham Jail. MLK’s greatness was also shown in his leadership abilities. He was probably the only non-President who was in the same leadership league with Washington, Lincoln, and FDR. And he was a man of tremendous courage. He knew that he could be murdered at any moment, and it seems he expected to have his life cut short by assassination. The talk he gave in Memphis on the eve of his murder is full of this anticipation. It was as if he knew it was coming, and coming soon. And yet he kept moving forward. He was only 39 years old when he was assassinated. Lincoln and Julius Caesar were in their fifties. Gandhi was an old man. What a tragedy for Americans, and especially African-Americans, that his life ended when he was barely halfway through it. One wonders (at least I wonder) what his response would have been to the collapse among African-Americans of the married, two-parent family, a collapse that has prevented millions and millions of blacks from gathering the fruits of the civil-rights revolution that King led.
For Whom, the Bells Toll
WASHINGTON—On April 4th at 7:05 pm (EDT), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will join in solidarity with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by tolling the Shrine's bells 39 times to honor the number of years Dr. King lived on earth. At that time, the USCCB and the Shrine will join with numerous other churches and schools across the nation tolling bells in homage to Dr. King's legacy and his many contributions including the principle of non-violent resistance. The moment is also an opportunity for us to pause and reflect individually on what we are doing to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us and to also ask ourselves how we seek to help our brothers and sisters still suffering under the weight of racism. April 4th also marks 50 years since the Rev. Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. The bells in honor of his life will initially ring first at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and The King Center, located in Atlanta, at 6:01pm (CDT). Bells will then chime in the City of Memphis at 6:03 p.m. (CDT), and then nationally at 6:05 p.m. (CDT), and internationally at 6:07 p.m. (CDT). The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will also broadcast the tolling of the bells live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/usccb.
Easter Picnic Breakfast
"Come and breakfast!" That is the invitation Christ gave to Peter and John when they landed their great catch of fish, so mysteriously bestowed. They were elated and humbled and weary. It must have been a comfort to find a fire waiting on shore, a fish on it, and bread ready. To commemorate this Gospel of Easter Wednesday, why not a picnic breakfast in our home, or, better, out of it? A party at this hour can be more fun than the usual afternoon-evening spreads, so hard on tired babies and so short on mothers' nerves. By now you can smell and feel spring throughout the land, even under the crusty layer of leftover snow. The voice of the turtle may not be heard, but all the mittens are lost, and nobody cares. In those sections of our country where spring has really arrived and the violets are lying in wait to be discovered, this can be a picnic of sudden beautiful surprises for everyone. Children who might never have noticed will be amazed that mother isn't as old as they thought. She even knows how to turn a jumprope. If you live where winter hasn't yet given up the ghost, or if the little ones are really too little to do more than curdle the atmosphere, a picnic on the back porch (or basement, if you have that kind of basement) will be just as exciting to the children. Scrambled eggs with hot ham or bacon in buns wrapped in aluminum foil, individual boxes of dry cereal with companion boxes of raisins, thermoses of cocoa or orange juice — whatever it is in your house that makes a special breakfast should be on the menu. If we mothers are to be catchers of (little) men, we must look to our lures! City families might breakfast in a nearby park, even if it does shock the squirrels and pigeons. They just have to learn we humans can be carefree too. And our explanations to passers-by, openly curious at our cavorting, may be, for all we know, a chance for spiritual seed-sowing. For apartment-dwellers, patio-less and too far from a park, breakfast on the rooftop can be just as exhilarating as a penthouse cocktail party. More so, since Christ is the Host and the small talk is never boring.
· Manhood of the Master-Day 4 week 10
· Please pray for me and this ministry
 John Maxwell, The Leadership Bible, 1982.
Post a Comment