“Tony Dungy Interview on SiriusXM”
by Regina M. Prude

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"The Leadership Zone" Interview with Tony Dungy, Part A (produced by American Baptist College)

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Faith Opens the Door to the Impossible

Are you ready to open the door of faith and unleash unlimited power in your life for 2015?

iStockPhoto by xImagination

iStockPhoto by xImagination

I will not pretend to know what’s in store for you—or even for me—in this sparkling third day of a brand new year. But one thing I know for certain. God has a great purpose for your life and for your accomplishments in the days ahead.

It’s natural to be apprehensive about the unknown. Will we have to cope with illness? Unemployment? A housing crisis? A financial crisis? Some unseen peril? Will there be life’s normal obstacles and barriers or a new set of them? Of course the answer to that question is: yes, there will be both. But what if we won’t know when to expect them? Will there be unfamiliar situations? Unknown enemies?

Your Dream Life Awaits

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.–Ephesians 3:20—NIV

iStock Photo:  pichet_w

The wonderful thing about reminiscing is that I marvel at wonders I’ve seen God perform in the lives of others. Like the remarkable, talented teen invited to the first church my husband served as pastor in Hendersonville, TN. She dramatized James Weldon Johnson’s “God’s Trombones.” Today she is known by just one name—Oprah.

God has a dream for you.

Say My Name

In Your name I rejoice all day long, and in Your righteousness I am exalted. For You are the glory of my strength, and in Your favor my horn is exalted.
–Psalm 89:16-17

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Here’s a parenting or mentoring assignment. For parents or mentors of young people of all ages–but particularly pre-teens, teens and college students, please give your young charges a late summer assignment.

Ways to Save Money Writing: Free Tools that Help Your Writing Without Hurting Your Wallet

 

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(This is a Guest Post by Nikolas Baron)

Writing can turn into one of those clunkers. You pay to publish your book, yet never see enough sales. You hire an agent, but it just doesn’t pan out. You pay for conferences, entry fees for contests, and pay application fees for writing awards or grants, yet never manage to win. However, there is hope for writers out there who have vowed they’ve spent their last penny on any writing-related activities. There are hundreds of free online writing tools to help you save money as a writer. Especially if you’re freelancing or starting out, these tools will help you stay organized, save on typical costs associated with writing, proofreading and organization.

1) Evernote: Ok, let’s get started. We’re going to write a book, cheaply.

GO DEEP, BE STRONG IN 2014

It’s that time. Once again.  (Wait, no, I’m not complaining. I’m really, really glad to be present, alive!)

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The last vestiges of 2013 have washed away.  Each new wave.  Each surge of the tide. Each twist, turn and bend in the road ahead may be somewhat of a mystery, but it is God’s gift to us … to see a fresh path and to receive where it leads us.

Last year was great. So many wonderful things happened. New projects were born. Yet, ahead is a brand new year, full of opportunities. Stretching out before us, like the winding yellow brick road of Oz, is the wonderful miracle of 2014.

This could be your year.  The year that is full of untold potential. The year when all access is cleared and any obstacles that have blocked your progress are moved out of the way.

I was surprised to learn that Sheryl Sandberg is “Leaning In” to the women of China and they are hearing her message.  According to The Wall Street Journal, Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and author of “Lean In:  Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” gave a speech last fall in Beijing. She was there to promote the Chinese translation of her book, which has been selling briskly in China and is particularly appealing to the still minute numbers of Chinese businesswomen.

If we are to heed the voices of those who have been world changers in the past, I feel it is critical to do these things in 2014:

1.  Transform lives. Make your ideas work for others.  Like Sheryl Sandberg, don’t be reticent about sharing what you have discovered.

2.  Disconnect from the grid of being ordinary and of repeating the same old thing. Go deep, be strong, do something different.

3.  Love what you do. In fact, love your life and what  you give way, way  more than you ever have in the past. Start from where you are and build upon what matters most to you—your school, your team, your business, your friends, your family, your church, your community.

4.  Be fearless. Approach this new year, rich with things you have never seen, sprinkled with places you have never visited, and filled with tasks you never dreamed you could accomplish.

No matter what promises this year holds, know that possibilities are a part of it.

Vision is just the shape your dreams take in those moments before your faith kicks in.  Vision is how you describe the future just before you’re ready to move ahead with real conviction. And it’s okay if you approach 2014 one vision at a time

You be the solution to a problem the world has. You be that one with the key.  You be the agent of change.  Inspire trust and hope in others, then help pass it on.  You be the visionary, the achiever.

#Betheinspiration.

 

It’s Harvest Time

“May we never tire of doing what is good and right before the Lord

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because in His season we shall bring in a great harvest

if we can just persist.”

—Galatians 6:9 The Voice

 

This is your season for doing great things for God. Harvest is a time for reaping the results of fertile growth. If we refuse to get weary or discouraged, we are recipients of the promise of a rich harvest. That yield grows up from seeds of persistence and motivation you’ve sown.

Paul wrote these words of encouragement for us today, not just in a letter to the church at Galatia nearly 2,000 years ago.  First, he had a warning. Watch out! Beware of the twin enemies of fatigue and exhaustion. Don’t get tired of doing good. Refuse to let low energy and lethargy to get in your way.

This morning, I woke up texting a loved one who was flying home from a business trip and a travel day that began at dawn. You know what that’s like. The alarm sounds at 4:00 a.m. and the journey to the airport takes place before the sun comes up. Long travel days require a buoyancy that normal workdays do not. We make those sacrifices in our personal or professional lives because we have a goal in mind—like launching a planned family vacation or attending a business conference.

Doing God’s work takes the same verve. I believe that the French call this kind of exuberance joie de vivre.

The “great harvest” God has for us is only visible according to His timetable. Whether that’s now or later doesn’t matter to me. God takes care of the “when.” It’s doing the work that counts.

This is your hour, your moment. God chose you for a special task. Your work is calling you! Someone is waiting for your touch, your action, your reach, your smile, your word. Your hand on their shoulder. Your cup of cold water on their lips.

All Things

Paul’s letter to the church in Rome has an important message about how life works.

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“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

—Romans 8:28

I’m not a good juggler. Are you? At the moment, I have so many possibilities in the air that some threaten to crash down, hitting me squarely on the head.  I’m juggling a maddening whirl of exciting opportunities. Work projects, looming writing deadlines, and a few self-imposed (should I say, self-inflicted?) prospects.

All the while, I’m comforted by Paul’s assertion about “all things.” Vision and reasoning point me to the opposite conclusion, but I see God’s Divine plan in my chaos.

Whenever I ask myself if it takes all this to get to success, I hear a sage voice which once said, no circumstances “are so great that they cannot be built into the very steps of the staircase by which souls mount up to heaven.” Sounds good. Lead me to the  staircase.

All things; that means everything is good. This heavenly math equation assures us that no evil has final power. God’s work in our lives results in only one possible outcome—what’s best for you. The only condition is your affection; as long as you love and trust, you come confidently to “all things.”

And so, if you are having one of those David vs. Goliath moments—facing giants and feeling over-matched by the sheer pressure of all you have to do, or if an unexpected circumstance has just caught you off-guard—remember this. He is moving you into your “all things” position and weaving every element together in your life.

Have you heard about autonomous drive? Nissan announced that, by 2020, they will pioneer the self-driven car. Working with global experts at top universities, the Nissan 360 program will introduce a car that steers, brakes and accelerates without any help from you.

God can do that right now. Get in the back seat; let Him drive. If you love Him, you’re in a splendid position.

What Do You Fear?

How many fears should you have? I believe the number should be zero.

Seaport

According to WebMD, 19 million people in America experience phobias. A phobia is an intense, prevailing, irrational fear that leaves you powerless over your reactions. These extreme, life-altering feelings of anxiety aren’t diminished by telling yourself your fears simply don’t make sense.  If all 19 million have two fears, the total number of fears is close to 40 million. That’s a long way from zero.

“I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.”—Psalm 3:6, NIV

One fear many experience is aerophobia, fear of flying. It can be triggered by real experiences, like severe turbulence, or imagined ones. Earlier this summer I needed to travel from Nashville to Memphis for a conference and hated the thought of a 3-hour drive. Then, I discovered SeaPort Airlines.

I’ve been on jumbo jets but never anything as small as their fleet. Yet, it was a wonderful hassle-free experience that made my journey fantastic. Small plane, yes. Could I have reached out and tapped the pilot on the shoulder, sure. Boarding at the private airport in Memphis, a German traveler got on with a 2-liter Dr. Pepper. That’s how different it was. If there was ever a smidgeon of fear of flying small aircraft, it’s gone now.

There is a natural purpose for fear when it protects us from danger. The problem today is that people exist in perpetual fear; that’s not how God intended us to live.

When we are fearful, where is our confidence in God? Trusting Him involves refusing to let fear impact how we respond to people or situations. God demands complete trust and dependence.

There are 336 references to the word “fear” in the New International Version of the Bible, including stories of Biblical heroes melting in fear in the face of their enemies. Not so with David as he fled from his son, Absalom.  David commences Psalm 3 counting his enemies, but he concludes, in verse 8, by affirming, “Real help comes from God.” (Message Bible)

Cancel Fear with Faith

I want you to know today—I am praying for your healing and health. I proclaim the power of God’s Word and promises over you, even if I don’t know you by name…God does.

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iStockphoto, Tom Fullum

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

—Proverbs 30:5 NIV

I don’t claim to understand why some are healed and some are not; what I know for sure is that God wants us to trust Him for healing. If I’m wrong about that, nothing else in the Word makes sense—but since I know I’m right, everything makes sense. As a believer completely healed of Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, I know that God still does the hard stuff.

He wants us healed and understands our interest in our healing not taking forever.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.—Proverbs 13:12 NIV

The enemy’s words are always the opposite of what God says. And the enemy uses fear to block our healing and our blessings.  Be assured today that things are happening in the spiritual realm that we cannot see or measure. Consider, for example, what happened after Daniel prayed  (Daniel 6). In the lion’s den, lions acted like lambs. An angel of God gave them lockjaw—(look that up; it’s a real pathological ailment.)

I’m confident that everything God promised, everything He has ever said to me will be given to me.  I believe I will accomplish everything the Lord said about me. I believe I possess all that the Lord said that I have. This is the level of faith I claim for you.   Be confident;  your deliverance is on the way!

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…”—Exodus 14:13a, NIV

Reach up your right hand, at this very moment; allow God to take hold of you. This gesture is not about you holding God’s hand…for you might let Him go…but He will never let go of your hand.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand

and says to you, “Do not fear; I will help you.”—Isaiah 41:13 NIV

So don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows, and sparrows, as small as they are, fear absolutely nothing. (Matthew 10:31 NIV)