Category Archives: Footsteps

Walking Daily in Christ

Bible Study Fellowship

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This is my 2nd year of attending Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). In Singapore, BSF men’s fellowship is available in 6 locations at host churches. What I like about it is that BSF is non-denominational, hence there are no factions here and everyone is part of the body of Christ. So we have Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Charismatics, Pentecostals etc all sharing the Word of God and our life experiences through class participation sharing our views towards questions about each chapter (each class about 15 pax – men’s fellowship are separately conducted from women’s fellowship).

Last year we studied the book of Genesis. We met every monday for the whole year except for the school vacation periods. My cohort this year seemed to grow even bigger and our hall where we gather for the Teaching Leader’s message is filled up with about 500 men. The notes that accompany each week’s bible study are fantastic and they point and cross reference us to other relevant parts of the bible. My BSF journey has opened my eyes to reveal God’s Word even more richly and it comes alive to me. I liken myself to a child hungering to learn more words to speak.

This evening, as I am relaxing at home, I was thankful that God gave me a deeper revelation to my questions regarding Repentance and Sin.

The word “repentance” (Hebrew teshubah) comes from the verb shub, which means to turn. However, repentance means more than simply to turn away from evil and from disregard of God.
Many people recognize the problems that sin brings into their lives and are sorry. Some, through sheer self-effort, “turn over a new leaf.” I myself realize that this is not sustainable. However, true repentance is much more than a moral life. Repentance does not mean “try harder”. It is a turn in the opposite direction, so your whole life turns toward God as its central goal. This was the call of all the prophets. “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.” The prophet Hosea said, “Take words with you and return to the Lord.”
Again I was prompted to look at the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 7 about struggling with sin.

Romans 7:14-25 (NLT)

14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

After reading through verse 7, it reveals that the answer to our struggle lies in Christ.

Without Christ, no changes that we seek to make will be effective. With Christ, His Spirit will enable us to begin to live for Him and with Him. Will we choose to depend upon the Holy Spirit (living in all who believe Him) in all areas of our life? As the Holy Spirit did for the Lord Jesus Christ during His life on earth, He will also enable us to live a new life of love and obedience.

Life in the Spirit

Romans 8: 1-17 (NLT)

8 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

All or nothing

I’ve lost many things in this season of my life.

I lost my health – I was hospitalized recently for the first time in my life due to a bout of kidney stones.

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As a result of that I’ve lost my pursuit of the love of food – I have a new list of dietary restrictions and may only permit the occasional “once in a blue moon” whiff of sparing indulgence, if there was ever such a phrase.

I lost my fitness, due to an injury sustained on my foot while I was training during the IPT session in maju camp earlier this year. That cut down the high impact cardio workouts that I could do while I rested my foot.

I sort of lost my momentum in closing sales during the 3 month dry spell earlier this year. That really knocked me off my ride as I was building more and more speed. In fact, it took me a while to jump start my engine.

I’ve lost a relationship very dear to me, second only to my relationship with Abba Father.

But this morning, I gained an understanding, a revelation and a peak into the window of God’s plan and purpose for my life.

The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:17 that “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect,” but “we preach Christ crucified” and I believe that God orchestrated all these series of events in my life to wrestle me away from every other thing so that I could be fully transformed in Christ.

This year’s bible study fellowship was also focused on the book of Genesis and somehow I can identify closely with the life of Joseph, from his betrayal by his brothers, to his fall in status from being the favoured son to a slave in Egypt and then worse still, condemned as a prisoner for years. Joseph was forgotten by men for a period but all the while he had God’s presence with him in all that he did and God blessed Joseph with the favour of people around him so that all the work of his hands was blessed greatly, in spite of his dreary circumstances. God did not change Joseph’s circumstances, but I believe that God was transforming Joseph and preparing his heart for the bigger stage to save lives.

I can only continue to pray and ask God for strength in my trials so that I can look away from the pain of the present and find joy in the future glorious purposes of God.

As one of my current favourite authors John Eldredge points out succinctly, man was designed by God to passionately pursue His adventure set out for him in this life.

Like what my pastor Ps Yang said in the first sermon I ever heard him preach – black is black, white is white. There is no middle ground. There is no sitting on the fence. We were born into a world already at war. There are two sides and God has spared nothing, not even His only Begotten Son.

I lost everything, but gained everything.

It’s all or nothing for me.

Kari Jobe’s Beautiful Songs

This morning during sunday service, I was compelled to find out the music video that was played during the offering. After service I almost forgot, then I remembered and went to ask the media guys. So here’s Kari Jobe with her beautiful vocals and lyrics:

We Are

You Are For Me

Book Review: Falling to Heaven (4/5 stars)

This is the first book that I’ve bought and finished reading within the same day.

It’s really an easy and captivating read because of the author’s conversational style- it’s as if he is right there telling you his story, and believe me he is one great storyteller in person, I heard him speak live.

What’s written on the back of the book:

On August 15, 1968 a strong and handsome young skydiver flew upwards for a few moments of pleasure. But within seconds, a fiery plane crash melted his face, multilated his body and forever changed the life of Mickey Robinson.

This book isn’t just an ordinary story of tragedy and recovery. This book is about resurrection. Falling to Heaven is not about a burned man getting better. It’s about a dead man coming to life!

Since his transformation and his second chance at life, Mickey Robinson has been a public speaker nationally and internationally. His message of hope and encouragement inspires people in every walk of life. Mickey is a gifted communicator and teacher. His passion is to help people get activated and engaged in their gifts and purpose in life. He and his wife Barbara have four grown children. They reside in Franklin, Tennessee.

For more information, check out www.mickeyrobinson.com

Enjoy your Coffee!

I’m enjoying every single page of this book I’m reading, “The 5 Minute Miracle”, by Dr Ed Delph, and so I’d like to share this chapter with you:

I am a coffee lover. The stronger  the better, especially in the morning. Recently, I was in downtown Seattle, standing in front of the original Starbucks at Pike Place Farmer’s Market. Now that’s good duty! Being a coffee lover I couldn’t help but notice this story that came through the Internet.

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit one of their university professors. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. After offering his guests refreshments, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups. Some were porcelain, others were plastic, glass and crystal. Some were plain, others were expensive and quite exquisite. He told his guests to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, he said, “If you noticed, all the nice-looking, expensive cups were chosen first, leaving the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, the name-brand and exquisite cups just makes things more expensive and in some cases, even hide what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup. Yet, you all consciously went for the best cups. Then you even began eyeing each other’s cups.

“Now consider this. Life is the coffee – jobs, money, position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The type of cup we have does not define or change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided for us.”

That’s a good lesson for us all. We have all played the comparison game. We have to have a better cup than someone else. We try to outdo others and become undone in the process. Sometimes when you try to possess the best cups, the best cups end up possessing you. Why not just enjoy who we are, who they are, and enjoy the coffee of life.

Sometimes people are like cups, they don’t look or act like the fancy cups you prefer, but if you enjoy the coffee in the cup, life gets better!

It’s what is inside the cup that counts to God.

God brews the coffee, not the cups. So, enjoy your coffe – you’re a special blend!

Peace starts with a smile – and good cup of coffee. Make mine strong and dark. I’ll be glad to take it in a paper cup!

A Pheonix Rises from the Ashes

Just last Wednesday, I heard my CEO’s personal story for the first time. He shared about our company’s battle-scarred history and how it rose like a pheonix from the ashes (go to link for story)

http://www.hsr.com.sg/about/index.aspx

I was extremely inspired, and found great encouragement from his experience and attitude towards dealing with adversity.

“What’s his secret formula?”, you might ask. It was just one very simple four-letter word.

L-O-V-E.

God’s answer and solution to his problems. So he obeyed and started telling everyone, as well as genuinely doing acts of love to his staff, without ever asking for anything in return.

Miraculously, in the depths of a downturn, with many ex-staff and associates leaving a mess as well as a bad name and huge debts for the company, it found favour and grace to turnaround and prosper.

And now the whole company’s ethos is centred around love, our core values being to Build a Warm, Dynamic and Caring family. It even sends an E-Love letter every 1st of the month to all staff and associates.

And love muliplies and spreads from the staff and associates to customers, suppliers, friends and family and even the larger community.

So I’d just like to share with you this thought, and I believe whatever unsurmountable circumstances you face, practise love and walls will break down.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . .And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – excerpts from 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

Interview with Rick Warren

This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, ‘Purpose Driven Life ‘ author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California                                                                
                                                                           
 In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:            
                                                                           
 People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, 
 life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and   
 God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.                                    
                                                                           
 One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body–  
 but not the end of me.                                                    
                                                                           
 I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of 
 years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God     
 wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.        
                                                                           
 We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t
 going to make sense.                                                      
                                                                           
 Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just      
 coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.        
                                                                           
 The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than 
 your comfort.                                                             
                                                                           
 God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your 
 life happy.                                                               
                                                                           
 We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life.
 The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.                     
                                                                           
 This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the         
 toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.                              
                                                                           
 I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark   
 time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that
 anymore.                                                                  
                                                                           
 Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like
 two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good   
 and something bad in your life.                                           
                                                                           
 No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad 
 that needs to be worked on.                                               
                                                                           
 And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something  
 good you can thank God for.                                               
                                                                           
 You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.        
                                                                           
 If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness,’which  is my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid
 of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.        
                                                                           
 We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of         
 thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for    
 her.                                                                      
                                                                           
 It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her      
 character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a      
 testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.                         
                                                                           
 You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.         
                                                                           
 Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For         
 instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million  
 copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.                                
                                                                           
 It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with      
 before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or
 for you to live a life of ease.                                           
                                                                           
 So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety  
 and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide    
 what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72                                 
                                                                           
 First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our       
 lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.                            
 Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the
 church.                                                                   
                                                                           
 Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan  to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and 
 educate the next generation.                                              
                                                                           
 Fourth, I added up all that the chu rch had paid me in the 24 years since  I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able
 to serve God for free.                                                    
                                                                           
 We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? 
                                                                           
 Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or  
 am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?                  
                                                                           
 When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if  I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You  better. God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more
 interested in what I am than what I do.                                   
 That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.                   
                                                                           
 Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.                                                
 Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.                                              
 Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.                                               
 Painful moments, TRUST GOD.                                               
 Every moment, THANK GOD.                                                  
 God’s Blessings on you today.

How to Order Your Priorities

Concise and really helpful, I simply had to reproduce this article I read from the book, Profiles of Success.

How to Order Your Priorities

by Patrick Morley

Priorities, like promises, need to be kept

Once we invited Bill Walton, co-founder of Holiday Inn who experienced a late-in-life conversion, to speak at an outreach dinner. As it happened, our Bible study was meeting at the next meeting so I invited Mr Walton.

The next morning after our Bible study, a group of about eight men, ages 30-45 spent two or three minutes describing where they were on their spiritual pilgrimages.

As each successful man shared, I noticed Mr Walton, a father of four, becoming more and more fidgety.

Finally, it was his turn to speak.

He said, “It is true that I helped to build a great corporation. But to do so I arrived at the office every morning by seven and rarely got home before ten o’clock at night.”

His brow furrowed, his shoulders drooped, and his lip quivered as he added, “I never saw a single little league baseball game.”

What are Priorities?

Mr Walton would have us know that men who fail usually fail because they didn’t manage their priorities.

The dictionary says that a “priority” is something to which we give precedence because of its urgency or importance. To “prioritize” means to arrange in order of importance.

Priorities, then are “pre-decisions” we make to decide in advance what we will give ourselves to. When we set priorities, we are literally writing history in advance.

Priorities become a grid to help us distinguish opportunity from distraction. They are filters throughout which we can sift daily decisions to make sure we keep on track. When we set priorities in advance, it reduces the pressure we feel when we must make decisions under fire.

The Example of Jesus

Jesus made decisions based on his priorities. One morning after a tiring night, Jesus went to have some time to himself. It was not to be…

At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place.

The people came to where he was and tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that it why I was sent.” (Luke 4:42-44)

Notice three things.

First, people tried to keep Jesus from leaving.

Perhaps they appealed to his compassion. The better job you do, the more people will ask you to do. Without intending to, people will ask you to do things that meet their needs, but don’t necessarily match your priorities.

Second, Jesus knew his purpose.

He said, “I must preach the Good News, because that it why I was sent.”

His purpose determined his priorities. He did not let the emotion of the moment affect his judgement. Since he decided in advance what he should do, he was not distracted.

Third, Jesus did what he was called to do.

The pressure to do that which is good but not best has put many wagons in the ditch.

There is one great rule for priority living we glean from the example of Jesus: make decisions on the basis of your priorities, not your pressures.

How to Prioritize

No man can do everything.

Choices must be made.

How can priorities help us make choices about how we invest our limited time and money?

Triage is the military technique of deciding how to prioritize treatment of wounded soldiers when a wave of new casualties swamps the capacity of the medic unit.

The helicopters bring back three groups of wounded soldiers:

  1. Those who will die no matter what is done.
  2. Those who will live even if treatment is delayed.
  3. Those who will live only if given immediate treatment

Can you guess the order of treatment?

For our personal decision-making we should conduct a little civilian triage:

  • Who can’t live without you, or you without them?
  • Who would you help if you didn’t have to neglect group 3 (those who would be ok with or without you)

Why is it that we often give the most of our time to those who care about us the least, and the least of our time to those who care about us the most?

That’s why we should decide in advance what our priorities ought to be, prioritizing everything on the basis of who will cry at our funeral.

Never Do Anything Someone Else Can Do

Many years ago I decided I would only do things I do well. That served a good purpose, because it kept me in my areas of competence.

However, I have also realized that simply because I do something well doesn’t mean it’s the best use of my time.

Since then I’ve added a “part two”.

I also don’t do anything if someone else can also do it.

Since I write and prepare messages at my home office, this means that I make a photocopy if I need one. But when I am at the ministry office I have someone else make it.

This principle frees for us an unusually large amount of time.

Try it. But don’t tell your wife to take out the trash instead of you – it really is something only you can do for reasons that should be obvious!

Distinguish opportunity from distraction. Many times distractions come disguised as opportunities.

Unless we have thought through who we are, what our lives are all about, and what’s important to us, we will not have the focus to choose the best.

Al Ries says that focus is the art of exclusion.

A great secret of priority living is to have so thought through your life that deciding what to include and exclude becomes second nature.

Recognize the Difference Between a Good Idea and a God Idea

We are naturally inclined to act on the impulse of a good idea.

But sometimes good ideas get in the way of God ideas.

Peter wanted to build three shelters for Moses, Elijah and Jesus at the Transfiguration. The Bible says, “that while he (Peter) was still speaking, God spoke.” (Matthew 17:5) In other words, Peter’s good idea was so impetuous that God literally interrupted Peter “while he was still speaking.”

Prayer removes the impulse of the good idea born of human ingenuity but not of God.

Pray, then plan.

It is the habit of a man who would distinguish between good ideas and God ideas.

Areas to Prioritize

Every one must take personal responsibility for his private life and set priorities in five areas:

  • his relationship with God,
  • his relationship with his wife,
  • his relationship with his children,
  • his finances, and
  • his health (including leisure and rest

No one else will, or can, do this for you.

Also a man must set priorities for his work and his personal ministry.

Patrick Moley is a business leader, men’s author, and speaker. He is Chairman and CEO of Man in the Mirror, a ministry which conducts church-sponsored men’s events. Patrick has been used to help men think more deeply about their lives, to be reconciled with Christ, and to be equipped to have a larger impact on the world. To contact Man in the Mirror, write 154 Wilshire Blvd., Casselberry, FL 32707, or call: 407-331-0095

Passing On…

My neighbour just passed away yesterday.

I saw a funeral tent and tables being set up at my void deck yesterday evening. But no photo or coffin yet. Then I saw the bereaved in mourning clothes.

Thought it was her adult children. My mum confirmed it later in the night.

It struck me as pretty sudden.

Auntie was not that old, perhaps 60+ and I regularly chatted with her in bits of Cantonese( still learning normal everyday phrases) , and mainly Chinese.

Lately she was very weak due to an operation (cervical i think) and needed her maid’s help to move around.

And now she’s gone.

Makes me think hard on the fragility of life, how one can suddenly lose a loved one just like that.

And many people I know are facing health challenges – diabetes, dengue fever, hand foot and mouth disease.

“Dear God, I pray that You’ll heal your children who are sick, bring comfort to those in mourning, and provide strength to everyone for recovery.

Let all who call upon Your Name find peace within, so that whatever circumstances, burdens and worries will be lifted up to You.

Sometimes we do not understand why things happen. But our thoughts are not Your thoughts, our ways are not Your Ways. We are in no position to question Your decisions, for we cannot begin to even comprehend the entire canvas that You have painted.

We confess our shortcomings, for by our own we cannot do much, but by Your might, by Your power, we can do everything through our submission.

We know that You are good, and above all, You know what is our threshold. All creation big and small are under Your command. We glorify the name that is above all names, Jesus Christ, our saviour, our healer, our friend.

Thank you for Your Son, and we pray all these in the wonderful name of our most blessed High King, Jesus Christ. Amen”.

The Seed

I will also be sharing stories with biblical principles.

Here is one forwarded from my cell shepherd:

The Seed

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different.

He called all the young executives in his company together. ‘It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO,’ he said. ‘I have decided to choose one of you.’ The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. ‘I am going to give each one of you a seed today – a very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.’

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.

After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by – still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – he so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick at his stomach. It was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right.

He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful…….in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed. A few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. ‘My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,’ said the CEO. ‘Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!’

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, ‘The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!’ When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, ‘Here is your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!’

Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO the others said? Then the CEO said, ‘One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.’ When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you.

Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!’

Moral:

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.

If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.

If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.

If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.

If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success.

If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.