What’s your GQ–your Growth Quotient?

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What’s your QQ –your Quit Quotient?

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What is your TQ-Team IQ?

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Capital of dreams

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How do you look at things?

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Let’s get it right

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Having The Good Life

By Dr. John Ed Mathison
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

Do you want more of God’s kindness and peace? Do you want to john edknow God better? Do you want to be open to His power which gives many rich and wonderful blessings that He has promised? These are all questions that Peter asks in 2 Peter 1:2-7.

It all begins with faith. Faith is when we receive the gift of God’s grace and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord. Years ago someone shared with me an acronym of faith as Forsaking All I Take Him. That’s faith.

Peter reminds us that faith is the beginning, but not the end. Some people view faith as an insurance policy or ticket to heaven, but hope that it doesn’t interfere with their present lives. Faith is the beginning that leads to the life of peace and blessings and the gifts of God. Peter then lists four steps to what he calls “the good life.”

Step 1. “To obtain the gifts of God, you need more than faith – you must work hard to be good” (2 Pet. 1:5). I’ve been around people who say they are Christians but are not very good people. Their faith hasn’t filtered down to their language, or attitudes, or pocketbook, or motives. I don’t think that’s real faith, because faith expresses itself in being a good person.

Step 2. “We should learn to know God better and discover what He wants us to do” (2 Pet. 1:5). James reminds us that faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Faith puts us in such a position that God’s gifts become evident as we use them to serve Him. The big struggle in life is determining whether we are doing what we want to do or doing what He wants us to do.

God has given each of us a gift. Many people are too often recruited to serve at church just to fill a slot. They feel guilty if they say no, so they try to serve in an area in which they are not gifted. That can end in frustration and burn out. People who know their spiritual gifts, and then deploy them in His service, discover the greatest joy there is in life. Jesus said, “When you lose your life in My service, you find Life” (Mat. 10:25).

Step 3. “Become patient and Godly, gladly letting God have His way with you” (2 Pet. 1:6). Being patient means we are on God’s timetable and not ours. It means we don’t put a period where God puts a comma. Patience is not a weak term, but a strong term, because it requires us to allow God to be in charge of our motives and actions (Tweet this). The word patient is followed by the word Godly which means that we do things the way God would do them.

Peter says “gladly.” I’m afraid a lot of times in life we only reluctantly let God have His way with us. We even complain about it at times. When we submit to Him gladly, we open up the possibilities of what God can do through us. Step 4. “Enjoy other people and like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply” (2 Pet. 1:7).

This means that we have to learn to relate to people. We have to communicate. We can’t harbor prejudice. We first begin to like people, then we can grow to love them. Read Matthew 22:37.

Peter then gives a warning –“Whoever fails to go after these additions to faith is blind indeed – or at least very short-sighted.” God has given us faith so that we “can live a strong, good life for the Lord” (2 Pet. 1:9).

The Good Life is a gift provided for us through faith and our works that are a result of that faith!

John Ed’s blog posts appear on For His Glory each week.
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:info@johnedmathison.org

Remember Remember

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A “Yet” Mindset

By Dr. John Ed Mathison
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

In life we have two choices – we can focus on the bad things that happen or we can focusjohn Ed on how good God is.

Our tendency is to focus on the negative, but that can play tricks with our minds. The Bible reminds us that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Ps. 23:7). Our mindsets govern our actions and attitude.

There is a book in the Old Testament called Lamentations which addresses a negative mindset. In the first three chapters, Jeremiah gives a long litany lamenting how bad things are. His beloved city, Jerusalem, which “once thronged with people, was silent now. She sits like a widow broken with grief alone in her mourning. She was once a queen of nations, is now a slave” (Lam. 1:1).

Jeremiah describes his initial reaction. “I begged my allies for help. False hope, they could not help at all. Nor could my priests and elders. They are starving in the streets while searching through the garbage for an ounce of bread” (Lam. 1:19). “There is no one anywhere to help” (Lam. 1:21).

He continues, “I cried until tears no longer came. My heart is broken as I see what has happened to my people:little children and tiny babies are fainting and dying in the streets. They cry out, ‘Mama, Mama, we want food’ and then collapse on their mothers’ shrunken breasts. Their lives ebb away like those wounded in battle” (Lam.2:11). Jeremiah describes himself like one who “cannot escape. I am fastened with heav chains. My path has been filled with detours” (Lam. 3:7).

In the midst of this sad litany, Jeremiah changes his way of thinking. The key word is in Chapter 3, verse 21, when he says, “Yet.” I love that word “yet.” It means that change is fixing to take place. He says, “Yet there is one ray of hope. God’s compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. God in His faithfulness, His loving kindness begins afresh each day” (Lam. 3:21-22).

The quality of life we enjoy sometimes hangs on the ability to use that word Yet. Read my blog from July 15, 2015, about the prophet Habakkuk regarding the Yet mindset. Habakkuk knew how to let the Yet mindset govern his thinking and actions. When you get down, get up to the Yet mindset that focuses on His compassions and His mercies and His faithfulness. (Tweet this)

One of my favorite hymns, based on Lamentations, says – Great is Thy faithfulness /Great is Thy faithfulness / Morning by morning new mercies I see / All I have needed Thy hand hath provided / Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me.

This hymn is a great witness of how faithful God is. We discover it every day. The last verse says – Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth / Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide / Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow / Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.

That’s a Yet mindset! It doesn’t deny the fact that things can be tough, but it affirms the fact that God’s faithfulness is stronger than our toughest situation, and His blessings are in the thousands!

We have a choice. A choice determines a consequence. You can choose to live on the negative side – and focus on how bad things are – and you can be completely overcome. Or you can say “Yet” and let God help you change your thinking to the positive side – to focus on how faithful and merciful He is. The Yet mindset makes possible unbelievable results!

Let God help you get a Yet mindset!!

Shouting time

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Help With Obeying

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Choices Determine Consequences

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Go Forward

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Step In The Water

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Wise Words

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Football Has Changed

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The Times They Are A Changin’

By John Ed Mathisonjohn Ed
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

Bob Dylan’s classic song “The Times They Are A-Changing” was written years ago, but it is so appropriate for today. He sang, “Come gather round people wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown – and accept it that soon you will be drenched to the bone. If your time to you is worth saving, then you better start swimming or you will sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changing.”

The times are a-changing. The water is growing. The people that are not able to figure out how to swim are sinking like a stone. Businesses, churches, and organizations that are successful know how to figure new ways to swim to navigate the change.

One example of change is the cell phone. How many of you used a cell phone 15 years ago. Some of us still have trouble with them today. The International Telecommunication Union estimates that there will be 7.1 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2015. This is up from 2.2 billion in 2005. Remember that the current global population is about 7.2 billion.

Six years ago one of the most popular cell phones was the Blackberry. I remember debating as to whether I should get a Blackberry or an iPhone. I picked the iPhone because I was told it was easier to use. Seven years ago Blackberry accounted for roughly half of the smartphones in the North American market. Blackberry didn’t change with the times – today it accounts for just 0.6%. Using new tools like the cell phone to live in today’s market does present challenges. The overwhelming use of the cell phone has prompted “cell phone loss anxiety” which is referred to as “nomophobia.”

According to a report, 73 percent of people said they panicked when their cell phone was misplaced; 14 percent responded that they become desperate; and 7 percent said they become physically sick. Change can be helpful, but it can also be challenging.

Cell phones have changed the way I do things. I travel most every week and stay in a lot of hotels. The way I pack my suitcase has changed. Because of noise in hotels, I always packed a noise maker, an alarm clock, a legal pad for making notes, a Dictaphone, a flashlight, and a camera. Now I don’t have to pack any of those things because they are all on my iPhone. It has changed the way I travel.

The cell phone has enhanced the use of social media. It has changed the way we do a lot of things. A few years ago people dressed up if they were going for a special picture at graduation, a wedding, an awards banquet, etc. Today you better be ready to have your picture taken anytime, anywhere, by anybody.

Businesses and organizations are relying heavily on social media to get their message out. So much of business today is done online. How well are we willing to use social media in the church? How willing is the church to change to current opportunities to expand the gospel?

The change in today’s culture among young people is very noticeable in the use of video games. It was recently reported that this year video games will bring in more money ($92 billion) than films ($62 billion) and recorded music ($18 billion) together. Is there some way that the church could utilize the immense popularity of video games to communicate the Good News?

Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changing” points to the situation today. There is an answer! It is in another song we sing in church which says “Change and decay is all around I see, Oh Thou who changest not, abide with me.”

John Ed’s blog posts appear each week in For His Glory.
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:info@johnedmathison.org

Are You Having A Good Day?

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Proactive Or Reactive

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Imposters

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Time Management

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Things That Never Happened Before

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Dead Or Alive?

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Grave Visiting

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Dance Lessons

By Dr. John Ed Mathisonjohn ed
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

Many interesting life lessons were learned from this past basketball season.  Many coaches and teams can testify that you can get overconfident and be upset.  Many learned that there is no such thing a sure win in the “big dance.”  Coach Ron Hunter from Georgia State learned that you can get injured on the bench if you celebrate too much!

On February 18, 2015, I wrote about Coach Dean Smith and things he taught as a coach.  On October 29, 2014, I wrote about a new hero of mine, Lauren Hill.  She scored the first basket of the college basketball season.  She is on hospice, but still alive and doing God’s will.  Both of these blogs are archived on my website.

Here are two more powerful lessons I learned from this past year:

When Austin Hatch was 11-years-old he survived a plane crash that killed his mother and two siblings.  Would you believe that eight years later another plane crashed and killed his father and stepmother and left Hatch in a coma?

Austin wanted to play college basketball.  As a 20-year-old he finally realized his dream when he walked on at the University of Michigan.  He scored his first points when he sank a couple of free throws.  He said, “My past won’t define my future.  What happened to me is kind of unique, but that’s what happened.  That’s not who I am.”

Our past should not define our future.  If our past is tragic and bad and disappointing, God’s gives us a new chance and a new hope for the future.  If our past was extremely successful, we can’t rest on the laurels of the past but have to move on to what God is calling us to do today.  Our past should never define our future.  The Apostle Paul said, “Forgetting the things that lie behind, and reaching for the things that are before, I press on toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Coach Kevin Willard is the coach at Seton Hall.  He did not have a really good season as he was 16-14 and 6-12 in the Big East when he played Georgetown.  He desperately needed a win.  There was some talk that his job was in jeopardy.

Georgetown had a player by the name of Tyler Adams.  Tyler came to Georgetown on a scholarship, but developed a heart ailment and couldn’t play.  Georgetown’s final game was with Seton Hall and the NCAA granted a waiver for Tyler Adams to play.

At the opening tip Seton Hall fell back and allowed Adams to dunk his first goal in college basketball.  He then was taken out of the game and left with an emotional exit.  Georgetown did not know that Seton Hall would purposely let Adams score the first goal.

It was a class act on the part of Coach Willard!  Seton Hall went on to lose the game by only 4 points.  He received some criticism for allowing Georgetown to get 2 easy points.  He said that it was more important for Tyler Adams to have a memory of his only game in college basketball than it was for him to get a win.  That is class!  The Bible says that we should esteem others better than ourselves.

In life winners are not those who score the most points, but those who score the most with their lives.  If you want to advance through the brackets of life, learn and practice these lessons taught by Austin Hatch, Kevin Willard, Dean Smith, and Lauren Hill.

The “big dance” takes on a new meaning.  David relates how in Psalm 30:11God “turned our morning into dancing.”  The wisdom of Solomon is expressed in Ecclesiastes 3:4 when he tells us that it is a time to dance.  Austin, Kevin, Dean, and Lauren are pretty good dance teachers!

John Ed’s blog posts appear each week in For His Glory.
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:info@johnedmathison.org

Two Completely Different Days

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How To Deal With Sin

By Dr. John Ed Mathisonjohn ed
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

We all sin. The Bible teaches that very clearly and we know it. What do we do with sin? One of the most crippling diseases is to harbor that sin and let it grow bigger and bigger. We feel guilty. We become tied up with emotions that are unhealthy. We try to rationalize why we did it. We try to avoid thinking about it. We make excuses. None of that works. The only answer is to confess sin. It is the only healthy way to deal with our sin.

Elwin Wilson was raised in the South. He joined the Ku Klux Klan years ago to stop racial integration. John Lewis was a black Freedom Rider who tried to enter a “whites only” waiting room at the bus station in Rock Hill, SC in1961. Wilson and several of his racist friends beat him unmercifully. That memory haunted Wilson. It ruined his life. He harbored that sin. Lewis became a prominent member of the U.S. Congress. One day Wilson got an appointment and went to his office to personally apologize. He said, “My daddy always told me that a fool never changes his mind and a smart man changes his mind. Will you forgive me?”

Wilson became a national symbol for reconciliation and redemption. He made a lot of public appearances with Lewis. He tells of this change of heart. He has publically said, “All I can say is that it has bothered me for years, all the bad stuff I have done.” He said that his ultimate decision to renounce racial hatred and confess to John Lewis was because of the faith that he had come to experience. He said he knew “there is no way I could be saved and get to heaven and still not like blacks.”

Alabama Governor George Wallace became an icon of segregation when he stoodwallace in the schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He ran for public office. He was elected Governor of the State of Alabama on a platform of racial segregation. His famous statement, “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” echoed throughout the nation for a lot of years.

In his later life Governor Wallace began to see that he was wrong. Some people accused him of changing his mind for political reasons. He publically began to confess to African-American people and ask them to forgive him.

He watched our Frazer worship services on television. He stayed home and turned the TV up really loud because following the attempted assassination on his life, his hearing had become greatly impaired. He asked me to come see him several times. He always wanted to know if God would forgive him. He knew that people had forgiven him, but he wanted to be sure that God had forgiven him.

I, along with some others, repeatedly assured him that God’s promise is true that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins.” (I John 1:9) I remember well visiting with him not long before he died. He would use a blackboard and chalk to write. Some of the best words I have ever seen written were when Governor Wallace wrote “I know I am forgiven.”

The only way to deal with sin is to confess it, and God’s promise is that He will forgive. The Good News is that God’s confession booth is always open!

John Ed’s blog posts appear each week in For His Glory.

Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:info@johnedmathison.org

“Fatal Failure” Should Be An Oxymoron

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What’s On The Tip Of Your Tongue?

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The Coaching Continues

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What Is Your Name?

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Distinguished Or Extinguished?

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T he Selective Deafness Team

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Seeing And Hearing

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Shooting At The Wrong Goal

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

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Don’t Pretend

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What’s The Score?

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Ready To Roar?

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A Dangerous Prayer

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Smart Shoes

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Do We Have To Consider Changing?

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A God-Sized Vision

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India Ministry Part II

By Dr. John Ed Mathison
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

40 years ago David Mohan started a church in Chennai, India. That church has john edcontinued to grow until today it is one of the leading churches in the world. Each Sunday he has 14 worship services beginning at 5:00 am. In September, I preached at the 10:30 to 12:00 worship service and the 4:30 to 6:30 afternoon worship. They average between 4,000 to 7,000 people at each worship service!

The best way to describe worship is WOW! The sanctuary seats 5,200 people. Every seat was taken with people sitting on the floor and many standing around the walls. A fire marshal in the U.S. would have been extremely busy at New Life in Chennai.

The first overflow auditorium that seats 1,200 people was full. The second overflow room seats about 900, and it was full. They have screens set up outside for people who can’t get into any of those three venues. They had over 42,000 people attend worship that day!

Worship isn’t convenient for the people. The church has only one and a half acres. There are no parking places. People come by public transportation. As I left the 10:30 worship service, outside the building it looked like a college football game. There were buses lined up to give transportation for people who had been attending church. There was another huge set of buses that were bringing people to the next worship service.

In traveling from the hotel to the church at 10:15 on Sunday morning, we suddenly encountered a traffic jam. I asked the driver if there was a wreck up ahead. He comment was, “No, the church is about a quarter of a mile away and the traffic jam occurs at the ending of each worship service and the beginning of the next worship service.” They have a lot of policemen directing the traffic and allowing the people to get to public transportation.

I also preached at the 4:30 worship service. It started raining pretty hard about 4:00. Since many of the people travel on motor scooters, I figured that the rain would deter a lot of people from coming to worship. I was wrong again. Rain didn’t seem to affect the attendance.

New Life has sent out 150 missionaries from the local church in recent years. They came back for a missions’ conference in September. I had the opportunity to speak to the missionaries on Saturday, then speak at their missions’ rally on Saturday night. The New Life Church took pledges to support their missions.

The witness of the missionaries were so compelling I felt it a privilege to make a financial pledge for their mission work! The missionaries taught me something about prayer. It wasn’t just something that they casually do. The first prayer request was from a missionary who said his two nieces had been kidnapped by terrorists.

They had been given three days to pay a ransom or the girls would be killed. The missionary asked for prayer. Wow! There was intense prayer. The other requests centered around fellow missionaries who were in prison, some who had been beaten, etc. They actually had a special time to pray for all of the churches around the world that are being persecuted.

On Monday we began the Pastors’ Conference. There were 1,140 pastors who came for training. Like the pastors in northern India, they listened intently, took copious notes, and were eager to learn. I’m scheduled to go back to teach 3 more times in the next 2 years.

It took me about 33 hours to go from Montgomery to Chennai. You lose a lot of sleep and don’t eat much, but my life was refreshed by Christians who really know what it means to live out Christian commitment and to be faithful to carry out the Great Commission.

WOW!!

John Ed’s blog posts appear each Thursday in For His Glory.

Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:info@johnedmathison.org

Ministry In India

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Football Fan — Faith Fan

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I Promise

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Wake Up!

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Who Is John Ed Mathison?

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Teams Win

By Dr. John Ed Mathison
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries Continue reading