Excellence

Mediocrity is fast becoming the byword of our times. Every imaginable excuse is now used to make it acceptable, hopefully preferred. Budget cuts, time deadlines, majority opinion, and hard-nosed practicality are outshouting and outrunning excellence. Those forces seem to be winning the race.

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Hope

Can you remember a recent “gray slush” day? Of course you can. So can I. The laws of fairness and justice were displaced by a couple of Murphy’s Laws. Your dream dissolved into a nightmare. High hopes took a hike. Good intentions got lost in a comedy of errors, only this time nobody was laughing. You didn’t soar, you slumped. Instead of “pressing on the upward way,” you felt like telling Bunyan to move over

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Leadership

If we hope to demonstrate the level of excellence modeled by Jesus Christ, then we’ll have to come to terms with the kingdom we are going to serve: the eternal kingdom our Lord represented and told us to seek (Matt. 6:23) or the temporal kingdom of today. Let’s pause long enough to understand what I’m referring to when I mention the kingdom. It’s one of those terms we like to use but seldom define.

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Ethics

We need heroes. I mean genuine heroes, authentic men and women who are admired for their achievements, noble qualities, and courage. Such people aren’t afraid to be different. They risk. They stand a cut above. Yet they are real human beings with flaws and failures like anyone else. But they inspire us to do better. We feel warm inside when we think about this rare breed of humanity.

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For Turning Bitterness into Sweetness

Even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence

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Learning Humility

Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. (1 Peter 5:5–6) Father, we all have hopes and aspirations. We all have dreams. And though there is nothing wrong with these, how easy it is to be driven by them.

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For Growing toward Maturity

Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good

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Insight

Are you ready for a surprise? You blink twenty-five times every minute. Each blink takes you about one-fifth of a second. Therefore, if you take a ten-hour automobile trip, averaging forty miles per hour, you will drive twenty miles with your eyes closed. I know a fact far more surprising than that. Some people go through life with their eyes closed.

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The Dark Side of Greatness

“There lies the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen . . . [and] now he belongs to the ages.” Of whom was this said? One of the Caesars? No. Napoleon? No. Alexander the Great? No. Eisenhower? Patton? MacArthur . . . or some earlier military strategist like Grant or Lee or Pershing? No, none of the above. How about Rockne or Lombardi? No. Or Luther? Calvin? Knox? Wesley? Spurgeon? Again, the answer is no.

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Newborn

Two hours away from our own front door we traveled completely around the world. We didn’t miss a continent. From Paraguay to the Congo. From the Serengeti Plains of Tanzania into the tropical rain forests of Malagasy, across the Indian Ocean to mysterious Malaya. Then it was the tundra of the Arctic Circle, Scandinavia to Mesopotamia, Egypt to China, Manchuria to Siberia.

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