What’s your AQ — Attitude Quotient?

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What’s your FQ? your faith quotient?

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What is your FQ–focus quotient?

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

One of my good friends in ministry was Dr. Bill Hinson.  We knew each other injohn ed college, and we were in seminary together at Emory. He became the pastor of the largest Methodist Church in America at First Methodist in Houston, Texas.  I had the privilege to work with him on a lot of things for renewal in The United Methodist Church.  He retired early to North Alabama; sadly, he suffered a heart attack and died.

Bill was a great preacher.  I’ll never forget his telling about lion tamers who go into the cage with lions.  They carry a four-legged stool.  They also carry whips, poles, and pistols, but the purpose of the stool is fascinating.

The lion tamer always holds the stool by the back and points the four legs toward the face of the wild animal.  The animal tries to focus on all four legs at once.  When he does this, a kind of paralysis comes over him, and the animal becomes weak and disabled because his attention is fragmented and is unable to focus.

Too often we try to focus on too many things, and we become victims of discouragement and disappointment, and ineffective living.  A lack of focus is destructive.

One of my favorite passages is Hebrews 12:1-2.  The backdrop is an athletic event, the race.  The writer describes that the runner always runs with focus and purpose.  He says, “We must keep our eyes focused on Jesus, who is the Alpha and the Omega of our faith.”

You never see a runner win who is multi-focused while he is running.  You don’t see him waving to people up in the crowd, or “hot-dogging.”  The runner who wins focuses on the finish line and runs straight towards it.  He  doesn’t  look at his competitors!  He doesn’t get distracted.  He is focused!

One of the big differences in success and failure is how well we are able to focus.  Someone has said, “The successful man is the average man – focused.”

When a football team goes out of town for the big game, much of the planning centers on how to keep the team focused.  Play off and championship games carry with them many distractions.  The more focused a team can be, the better it will perform.  Last year a German soccer team immediately changed hotels for its training camp.  They found that a beauty contest was taking place at that resort hotel with 400 Russian models.  Smart coach!

There is a convicting Old Testament story about a guard who was looking after an enemy who had been captured.  His responsibility was to focus on keeping the prisoner secure.

When his leader came to check on him, they discovered the prisoner had escaped.  The leader wondered how that could happen.  Was the guard overpowered by the prisoner, or did some colleagues come and help the man escape?  He asked the guard to explain.  His explanation was, “While I was busy here and there, the prisoner escaped” (1 Kings 20:39-40).  The guard had not stayed focused on his duty!

Stay focused on your purpose.  A huge traffic jam recently occurred in Alabama where a truck driver took his hands off the wheel to pull out a loose tooth.  He crashed his 18-wheeler along Interstate 20.  While he grabbed hold of the troublesome tooth, he lost control, jack-knifed and veered off the road.  He forgot about driving and focused on pulling his tooth.  The highway patrol verified his dilemma when he said, “He had the tooth in his shirt pocket as proof!”  But that did not untangle the traffic jam or fix his truck.

Remember, a lack of focus can paralyze you.  Stay focused!

What is your FQ – Focus Quotient?

John Ed’s blog posts appear in For His Glory each week.1
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:info@johnedmathison.org

1Listen to John Ed Mathison's one-minute daily devotional on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/johned.mathison/ and click “PLAY" on the audio YouTube in order to listen.  Or you can go to his ministry page at  https://www.facebook.com/JohnEdMathisonLeadershipMinistries/

Capital of dreams

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Time to exercise. No excuses.

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A young man with the right answers

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Is that the truth?

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Is it the whole truth?

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Anger is like a bomb

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A New You

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Lifelong Learning

By John Ed Mathison
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministriesjohn ed

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Together

By John Ed Mathison
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries

An organization functions best when each person correctly accesses his/her gifts, thenjohn ed deploys those gifts as a part of a team effort. Organizations get into problems when some people try to assume responsibilities for which they are not gifted. Another deterrent to productivity is having one person think that his/her gifts are more important than another persons’.

A good model to follow is I Corinthians 12. Paul describes the church as the human body. My body has different parts, such as feet, hands, ears, eyes. My body does not function well if my eyes try to hear or my ears try to see. There is also dysfunction when one part of my body starts claiming that it is more important than another part. Each part is extremely important and essential for my body to function as a coordinated unit.

There is a beautiful example of this recently reported in China. A couple of eco-warriors in China are redefining what it means to work together. Jia Haixa is blind and Jia Wenqi is a double amputee who lost both his arms at age 3. They both found it very difficult to find a job.

In 2001, they decided to engage this basic principle. They began working together planting trees along the riverbank in their hometown of Hebei. Despite the fact that neither one of them could do the work by himself, they discovered that together they could accomplish amazing things. They saw their respective situations not as disabilities but as possibilities if they worked together. The 53-year-olds have now managed to plant 10,000 trees over the last 10 years!

Today they are making a modest living which is helpful to their families, but is also helping to protect their village from dangerous floods. Haixa says, “I am his hands. He is my eyes. We are good partners.” It is amazing what can happen when each person contributes his best gift to the work of the entire organization.

Working together is the “together” that makes for success. Sir Thomas Beecham, the eminent conductor of the London Symphony, on one occasion was the guest conductor in another venue and was frustrated with the seemingly undisciplined group of musicians. During the rehearsal the concert master asked Mr. Beecham how he wanted a particular section played. After a long pause, and with great emphasis, he replied, “Together!”

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all!

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

What Do People Remember?

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

How do we want to be remembered? As people think about their relationship with us in the past, what do they remember? What is our legacy? If someone had to place some words on our tombstone, what would those words be? Continue reading

New Author Coming To My Blog

I am thrilled beyond words to announce a new author who will appear this season on “…all for God’s Glory.”

Dr. John Ed Mathison, my former senior pastor at Frazer United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Alabama for 36 years, now directs John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries. The purpose of the non-profit ministry, according to its mission statement is,

“first to bring honor and glory to the Kingdom of God. John Ed will accomplish this by speaking at churches, conferences, and leadership training programs on a local, national and global scale. He will also be participating in leadership activities within the United Methodist Church. One of the major goals of this ministry will be to give training opportunities for young pastors.”

One segment of John Ed’s leadership ministry is his blog. John Ed is one of the most effective, powerful and influential writers I have ever read. I found his website and his blog. I emailed him to ask if he would allow me to reprint some of his blog posts, and he agreed. I was overjoyed. Speechless. Excited to know you would get to share his writing.

John Ed’s style is conversational, compassionate and personal. He often interjects stories (some thought-provoking, some humorous, some sad, all good) of everyday people and their dilemmas, tragedies or victories. Then he relates his stories directly to the Gospel message and the Kingdom of God.

I have decided that each Thursday beginning next week, I will publish a post from John Ed’s blog. Here’s how much I respect John Ed’s writing and his unique ability to impact our lives with his writing: If you never read another blog of mine, read “. . .all for God’s glory” on Thursdays.  I promise you his blog posts will bless you out of your socks. (You do wear socks when you read my blog, don’t you?) Whether you wear socks to be blessed out of or not, don’t miss John Ed’s messages we’ll publish Thursdays.

Click here to visit the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries website.

The Right Road

Are you traveling the right road? Are you headed in the right direction in life? How do you know whether you are or not? It may very well be a matter of your perspective. Continue reading