Monday, October 30, 2006

Difference between Fate & God's Providence

What is fate? Fate is this – Whatever is, must be. But there is a difference between that and Providence. Providence says, Whatever God ordains, must be; but the wisdom of God never ordains anything without a purpose. Everything in this world is working for some great end. Fate does not say that. . . . There is all the difference between fate and Providence that there is between a man with good eyes and a blind man.

Source : A Sermon(No. 3114)Published on Thursday, October 15th, 1908.Delivered by C. H. SPURGEON,At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Practice that Makes Perfect

1. Approach each critical task with an explicit goal of getting much better at it.

2. As you do the task, focus on what's happening and why you're doing it the way you are.

3. After the task, get feedback on your performance from multiple sources. Make changes in your behaviour as necessary.

4. Continually build mental models of your situation -- your industry, your company, your career. Enlarge the models to encompass more factors.

5. Do these steps regularly, not sporadically. Occasional practice does not work.

Source : Fortune magazine, October 30,2006 page 36

Sunday, October 22, 2006

" Celal is a nice person who . . . "

I was surfing the net aimlessly last night and happened to read bios of CNN correspondents. You know the kind where one speaks of oneself in the 3rd person.

I had never done that before and since I'm in the CV mode I thought I would try my hand at it. Here is the end product. Have a read and let me know what your think:

Celal began his high school career at Robert College in Istanbul and completed it as a PSAT NMSQT National Merit Finalist at Evansville Day School.

He enrolled at Cornell University as a pre-med student but transferred to the engineering department at Northwestern University the following year.

While at Northwestern, becoming a Christian caused a major upheaval in Celal’s family relationships as well as a major upheaval in his education from which he has never and probably never will fully recover.

He received a B.Sc. degree in Accountancy from Ball State University and remained to complete an MBA in 1982.

After a brief role as accountant in Houston Texas he returned to Turkey and worked as a cost accountant at Ford of Turkey and then in the planning and budgeting department at Interbank.

Desiring a finance managership at an American multinational company, he joined United Parcel Service to assume the role of finance and accounting manager at the planned operations in Istanbul. His career with UPS ended in London England by way of redundancy in 1999.

Not possessing UK qualifications in accountancy, Celal was able to secure a position as finance officer at Oak Hill College, an evangelical Anglican theological college.

He again faces redundancy and is now seeking another post in accountancy or perhaps one that combines his wide spiritual, philosophical, cultural, international business interests and experience.

Monday, October 09, 2006

"The Mystery of Providence" by John Flavel

(p.27) [Christ is] a head to the Church by way of union and special influence (John17:2). He is "the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe"(1 Thim 4:10). The Church is His special care and charge. He rules the world for it's good, as a head consulting the welfare of the body.

(p.32) If the concerns of God's people are not governed by a special Providence, how is it that the most apt and powerful means employed to destroy them are rendered ineffectual, while weak, contemptible means employed for their defence and comfort are crowned with success?

(p.33) "Though I make a full end of all nations, yet will I not make a full end of thee (Jeremiah 30:11) and "No weapon formed against thee shall prosper" (Isaiah 54:17)

(p.185) How may a Christian discover the will of God and his own duty under dark and doubtful providences?

(p.187) ... the most signal demonstrations of Providence are not to be accepted against a Scripture rule. No smiles or successes of Providence may in this encourage us to proceed ; and on the other side, no forwns or discouragements of Providence should discourage us in the way of our duty , howerver many we should encounter therein.

(p.188) "Paul by the direction of the Spirit was engaged to go to Jerusalem (Acts 20:22). After a clear revelation of the mind of God to him in that matter, how many difficult and discouraging providences befell his way ! The disciples at Tyre said to him 'through the Spirit' though in that they followed their own spirits, 'that he should not go to Jerusalem' (Acts 21:4). Then at Caesarea he met Agabus, a prophet, who told him what should befall him when he came there (Acts 21:10,11) but all this will not dissuade him. And after all this, how passionately do the brethren beseech him to decline that journey (verses 12,13) ! Yet knowing his rule and resolving to be faithful to it, he puts by all proceeds in his journey.

(p.189) "Providences, as they follow promises and prayer are evidences of God's faithfulness in their accomplishment.

(p.189) " Also providences give us loud calls to those duties which the command lays upon us and tell us when we are actually and presently under the obligation of the commands as to the performance of them" (...) "The Lord's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name. Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it"(Micah 6:9)

(p.190) "How may a Christian be supported in waiting upon God, while Providence delays the performance of the mercies to him for which he has long prayed and waited ?" (...) "For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie : though it tarry, wait for it: because it will surely come, it will not tarry"(Habakkuk 2:3) God appoints the time; when that appointed time has come the expected mercies will not fail. But in the meantime, "though it tarry", says the prophet, "wait for it, for it will not tarry". Tarry and not tarry, how shall this be reconciled ? The meaning is it may tarry much beyond your expectation, but not a moment beyond God's appointment.

(p.196) "Are not those mercies you expect from God worth waiting for ? If not, it is your folly to be troubled for the lack of them. If they are, why do not continue waiting ? Is it not all that God expects from you for the mercies He bestows upon you, that you wait upon Him for them ? You know you have not deserved the least of them at His hands. You expect them, not as a recompense, but as a free favour; and if so, then the least you can do is to wait upon His pleasure for them. Consider how many promises are made in the Word to waiting souls.

(p.197) One Scripture declares "Blessed are all they that wait for him" (Psalm 30:18). Another tells us that none that wait for him shall be ashamed (Psalm 25:3), that is, they shall not be finally disappointed, but at last be made partakers of their hopes. A third Scripture tells us "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength"(Isaiah 40:31), a promise you had need make much use of in such a fainting time...This impatience and infidelity of yours, expressed in your weariness to wait any longer, is a great evil in itself. Very probably it is that evil which obstructs the way of your expected mercies. You might have your mercies sooner if your spirits were quieter and more submissive. And so much for the second case.

(p.209) How may our hearts be established and kept steady under calamitous and adverse providences ? (...) There was a time when Job could call nothing in this world his own but trouble. He could not say, My estate, my honour, my health, my children, for all these were gone; yet then he could say "My Redeemer"(19:25). Well then there is no cause to sink while interest in Christ remains sure to us.

Psalm 25 - Knowing God's Ways

1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;

2 in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.

3 No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.

4 Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;

5 guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.

7 Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O LORD.

8 Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

9 He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.

10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant.

11 For the sake of your name, O LORD,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD ?
He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.

13 He will spend his days in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.

14 The LORD confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.

15 My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.

17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.

18 Look upon my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.

19 See how my enemies have increased
and how fiercely they hate me!

20 Guard my life and rescue me;
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.

21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope is in you.

22 Redeem Israel, O God,
from all their troubles!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"Jackie Mason, a Jew for Jesus!?"

Apparently, Jews for Jesus have published a tract by this name which has attracted a $2 million lawsuit from Mr.Mason himself.

When you get past the slightly misleading title, the tract nowhere makes the claim that Jackie Mason is a follower of Jesus.

I don't know how effective it ultimately is and if God does use this method, but I confess that I am partial (and so is Jews for Jesus) to "shake'em up, in yer face" evangelism.

Yet I do wonder about the ethics of this particular project.