Tag: Commitment (home)

We in the Western church don't come close to matching the level of commitment, determination, and strength of many Muslim groups. Until we do, Islam will continue to be the world's fastest growing religion- not because of its strength, but because of our weakness.

permalink source: Brother Andrew, The Calling
tags: Church, Commitment, Islam

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.

permalink source: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
tags: Commitment, Destiny, Discipline, Excellence, Persistence, Time Management

Do not pray for easy lives; pray to be stronger people. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.

permalink source: Philips Brooks
tags: Character, Commitment, Prayer, Grace

Strong reasons make strong actions.

permalink source: Shakespeare
tags: Commitment, Vision

It is estimated that 85% of arranged marriages work out.

permalink source: The Love Chronicles: Arranged Marriages 5/27/2000
tags: Commitment, Love, Marriage

At the Olympic Games in Paris in 1924 the sport of canoe racing was added to the list of international competitions. The favorite team in the four-man canoe race was the United States team. One member of that team was a young man by the name of Bill Havens. As the time for the Olympics neared, it became clear that Bill's wife would give birth to her first child about the time that Bill would be competing in the Paris Games. In 1924 there were no jet airliners from Paris to the United States, only slow-moving ocean-going ships. And so Bill found himself in a dilemma. Should he go to Paris and risk not being at his wife's side when their first child was born? Or should he withdraw from the team and remain behind. Bill's wife insisted that he go to Paris. After all, he had been working towards this for all these years. It was the culmination of a life-long dream. Clearly the decision was not easy for Bill to make. Finally, after much soul searching, Bill decided to withdraw from the competition and remain behind with his wife so that he could be with her when their first child arrived. Bill considered being at her side a higher priority than going to Paris to fulfill a life-long dream. To make a long story short, the United States four-man canoe team won the gold medal at the Paris Olympics. And Bill's wife was late in giving birth to her first child. She was so late that Bill could have competed in the event and returned home in time to be with her when she gave birth. People said, "What a shame." But Bill said he had no regrets. After all, his commitment to his wife was more important then, and it still was now. The story of Bill Havens is a story of how one man paid a high price to fulfill a commitment to someone he loved. _________________ If the above illustration is used offer this sequel near the end of your sermon: There is a sequel to the story of Bill Havens. The child eventually born to Bill and his wife was a boy, whom they named Frank. Twenty-eight years later, in 1952, Bill received a cablegram from Frank. It was sent from Helsinki, Finland, where the 1952 Olympics were being held. The cablegram read, and I quote it exactly: "Dad, I won. I'm bringing home the gold medal you lost while waiting for me to be born." Frank Havens had just won the gold medal for the United States in the canoe-racing event, a medal his father had dreamed of winning but never did. There is a sequel to our acts of commitment as well, our commitments to one another, and our commitment to God. We reap the abundant harvest of righteousness. We reap a harvest of joy and peace that endures forever

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Commitment, Family, Marriage, Success, Sacrifice

One day George grew very sick. As his wife approached him he looked up and smiled. She began to cry but she tried to hold back her tears. When she built up her courage she said "George, During the 47 years that we were married, I was always with you. During the flood that destroyed the house, I was with you. When you had heart surgery, I was with you. When our financial problems were depressing you, I was with you. When the fire burnt down our house, I was with you. And now that you are about to die, I am with you." Then man nodded his head and replied in a soft weak voice "you were with me all those times Mildred. Maybe you are just bad luck."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Commitment, Humor, Marriage, Pessimism

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: You'll Get More When You Ask For Less - Dr. Dan Reiland ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: "What? What do you mean, 'You'll get more when you ask for less'?! That flies in the face of all that we know about the 'big ask' and challenging people to big dreams!" This was the response of a pastor when I offered a different, more intentional and strategic approach to getting commitment from his congregation. His name is Michael (name changed), a pastor in Pennsylvania who is frustrated because of the perceived low commitment level of his congregation. Michael said to me over and over, "It's a struggle to get them to show up, let alone participate." Knowing that Michael is not alone, I'm writing this month on commitment with some observations, thoughts, and experience that I trust will be practical, helpful, and encouraging to you. The primary assumption in this article is that people are willing to make commitments. First, let me say that the idea of getting more when you ask for less has an exception. The exception is in the area of finance. When it comes to money, if you ask for less - that's what you'll get. Commitment is a frustrating area of ministry. And the 21st Century experience of time compression doesn't help. The "internet world" has increased our pace of life. Even your most committed leaders "bag" meetings because they are too busy. The majority of your congregation will give up to three "time blocks" a week to the church, but it's likely you are asking for more. Several problems arise from this scenario: 1. You dilute the significance of the important things by asking for "everything." 2. You unintentionally overwhelm the people, causing them to get frustrated or feel defeated. Their way of coping is to become inconsistent or choose to do nothing. 3. You lessen your own leadership by communicating a lack of focus and clear direction - also known as "program hopping." 4. The people think that "nothing really happens" at many of the things you want them to attend. (Hey, that's what they think so you need to embrace the reality!) This perceived lack of value causes them to rethink participating the next time. It is common for the leadership of the church to ask the congregation to attend a list of activities such as, but not limited to: (1.) Sunday morning church. (2.) Sunday night church. (3.) Wednesday night Bible study, prayer meeting or other church service. (4.) Participation in a ministry - with all that entails. (5.) Small group - sometimes two (a couples "home group" plus a men's or women's small group)! (6.) Sunday school class. (7.) Whatever special or seasonal event that's on the calendar. (8.) A meeting or two. (9.) Dropping their kids off at the youth activities. (10.) A special training class. (11.) And of course, inviting a friend. This condition of asking for too much puts your people in a physical and emotional gridlock. They literally throw up their hands (I've seen them do this in several churches as I conduct "focus groups"), and ask: "What is important here? What do they want?" Some church leaders argue that offering many options provides "more hooks for more people." I don't believe that works. There are always exceptions, such as with multiple worship services. That's a good thing - but you are only asking them to attend once and giving them a clear set of choices. When pushed to identify the "big three," pastors will usually say they want participation in: (1.) Sunday morning worship. (2.) Ministry. (3.) Small group (of any kind). Are there challenges to this? Of course, but we can't give up on this idea because there are challenges. The first, and perhaps largest, challenge is if discipleship is not taking place in your small groups, where does it happen? This is a topic for another issue of "The Pastor's Coach." My encouragement and challenge to you is this: 1. Gather as a leadership team and list all of the things you ask of your people in a given week and month. Talk about which of those things are directly connected to the process of life change and which are merely a "one more thing." 2. Face the reality of "the big three" principle and determine your priorities. Agree together that as a team you will ask your people for these things. 3. Don't get hung up on the number three as much as the principle of limited and intentional "asks." However, I would challenge you to find a few growing congregations that get the majority of their people to attend or participate in four or more things a week. Compare your church to theirs before you raise the number. The key word is "majority." We are not discussing your core leaders and the small percentage of people who will show up every time the doors are open - or when you promise free pie and coffee! 4. Determine which of your ministries and activities are not effective. What can be cut from your program? If they are ineffective but can't be cut, why not? A good way to make this determination is to measure the effectiveness of the ministry by its Great Commission "fruit" - changed lives. If it doesn't change lives, don't do it. The tough decision is based on the fact that there are many good and life-changing ministries that God is not calling you to do. They must be cut as well. 5. Give yourself permission to ask for attendance/participation beyond your selected priorities if the commitment is short-term and involves a select group of the congregation. For example, a Membership Class or a New Christian's Class involves a small percentage of your people and is a short-term commitment. Some churches, accidentally or intentionally, make headway on this issue because many of their people are involved in volunteer ministry, perhaps monthly instead of weekly. Another idea is to have the small groups meet only twice a month instead of every week. There are certainly many creative ways to approach this situation. My desire is to cause you to look at the "big idea" and go from there. Keep your eyes on the real goal. . . life change.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Commitment, Organization, Priorities

A couple was celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. Their domestic tranquility had long been the talk of the town. A local newspaper reporter was inquiring as to the secret of their long and happy marriage. Well, it dates back to our honeymoon," Explained the man. We visited the Grand Canyon and took a trip down the bottom of the canyon by pack mule. We hadn't gone too far when my wife's mule stumbled. My wife quietly said, "That's once." We proceeded a little farther when the mule stumbled again. One more my wife quietly said, "That's twice." We hadn't gone a half mile when the mule stumbled a third time. My wife promptly removed a revolver from her pocket and shot him. I started to protest over her treatment of the mule when she looked at me and quietly said, "That's once."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Commitment, Marriage

Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.

permalink source: Benjamin Franklin
tags: Commitment, Friendship

According to the book No Ordinary Time, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, the first peacetime draft occurred October 29, 1940. President Franklin Roosevelt and Secretary of War Stimson sat on a stage in a crowded auditorium in Washington, D.C. In the preceding weeks all males between 21 and 35 had been given a draft number, and all those numbers were in cobalt capsules in a big fishbowl on the stage. Stinson was blindfolded with some yellow linen cloth cut from a chair used at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He reached into the bowl and pulled out the first capsule he touched. He handed it to the President who read into the many microphones before him, "The first number is 158." Goodwin writes: No sooner had the president spoken than a women's scream was heard. Seated in the middle of the crowded auditorium, Mrs. Mildred Bell gasped. Her 21-year-old son, Harry, who was supposed to be married the following week, held number 158. Now his future was linked to that of his country. Number 158 was held by some six thousand registrants in different precincts throughout the country, including Cleveland welder Michael Thompson, father of three children; Jack Clardy, a one-armed Negro banjo picker from Charlotte, NC; and unemployed James Cody of Long Island City. In New York, the surnames of those bearing number 158 told a story in themselves: Farrugia, Chan, Re, Weisblum, Tsatsarones, Stoller, Clement. Some were pleased and proud to be the first number called, others said they'd make the best of it, still others were upset at their bad fortune. God draws the number of all those he saves. We are called to be salt and light, to be ambassadors and priests, and there are no deferments. We're enlisted to display righteousness in a wicked world, to help the weak and feed the hungry, to represent the Living God, to tell sinners about Jesus. There is no one who is saved who is not drafted by God to be an agent of grace.

permalink source: PreachingToday.com
tags: Commitment, Salvation, Community, Fellowship

I was watching a show called "Monster Machines" on The Learning Channel a while back, and I saw a special on coal mining. There's this one kind of machine called "the long wall." It's really pretty amazing: it's got a huge rotating spiked barrel up front that chews up coal and throws it onto a conveyor belt behind it. Alongside the converyor belt is an automated hyraulic support system that holds up the newly formed wall in the wake of the machine. The coal is collected, I guess somewhere towards the back. Here's the wild part: the miners let the roof cave in behind them. They’re like a moving bubble of life in a world of darkness. Longwall mining yields four to five times more coal than the old-fashioned way of carving rooms and support pillars out of the coal bed because every bit of coal winds up being used.

permalink source: TLC special
tags: Church, Commitment

We need to be coronary Christians, not adrenal Christians. Not that adrenaline is bad. It gets me through lots of Sundays. But it lets you down on Mondays. The heart is another kind of friend. It just keeps on serving—through good days and bad days, happy and sad, high and low, appreciated and unappreciated. It never lets me down. It never says, "I don't like your attitude, Piper, I'm taking a day off." It just keeps humbly lubb-dubbing along. Coronary Christians are like the heart in the causes they serve. Adrenal Christians are like adrenaline—a spurt of energy and then fatigue. What we need in the cause of racial justice and justice for the unborn is coronary Christians. Marathoners, not just sprinters. People who find the pace to finish the race.

permalink source: John Piper, "Coronary Christians," World (2-23-02)
tags: Commitment, Persistence

Christianity can be condensed into four words: admit, submit, commit, and transmit.

permalink source: Samuel Wilberforce
tags: Commitment, Discipleship, Evangelism, Confession, Gospel, Submission

A couple of boys were fishing at their special pond off the beaten track. All of a sudden, the Game Warden jumped out of the bushes. Immediately, one of the boys threw his fishing pole down and started running through the woods. The Game Warden was hot on his heels. After about a half mile, the boy stopped to catch his breath, so the Game Warden finally caught up to him. "Let's see yer fishin' license, little man!" the Warden gasped. With that, the boy pulled out his wallet and gave the Game Warden a valid fishing license. "Well, son," said the Game Warden, "you must be about as dumb as a box of rocks! You don't have to run from me if you have a valid license!" "Yes, sir," replied the young man, "but my friend back there — well, he don't have one."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Commitment, Friendship, Sacrifice

It is difficult to be indifferent to a wide-awake Christian, a real live person of God. It is even more difficult to be indifferent to a whole body of Christians like this. You can hat them or you can love them, but one thing is certain. You can’t ignore them. There is something about them that won’t let you. It isn’t so much what they say or what they do. The thing that seems to haunt you is what they do. The thing that seems to haunt you is what they are. You can’t put them out of your mind any more than you can shake off your shadow. They confront you with an entirely different way of life -- a new way of thinking, a changed set of values, a higher standard of living. In short, they face you with the kingdom of God. There is no washing of hands. These people must be crowned or crucified, for they are either mighty right or mighty wrong.

permalink source: Clarence Jordan, Koinonia Farm
tags: Church, Commitment, Discipleship, Community

If I do not practice one day, I know it. If I do not practice the next, the orchestra knows it. If I do not practice the third day, the whole world knows it.

permalink source: Ignac Paderewski
tags: Commitment, Discipline, Practice

He who is slow in promising is always the most faithful in performing.

permalink source: Jean Jacques Rousseau
tags: Commitment, Promises

"veni, vedi, velcro" -- "I came, I saw, I stuck around."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Commitment, Persistence

We will either find a way, or make one. – Hannibal, 247-183 B.C.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Commitment, Persistence

In 370 A. D., Basil of Caesarea, one of the "church fathers," became the archbishop of Caesarea, which brought him into conflict with the Arian emperor Valens. In an attempt to intimidate the stubborn bishop, Valens sent the prefect of the imperial guard, Modestus, to threaten him with punishment. Basil answered that he was ready and eager to die for Christ, and that he had so few possessions that banishment, confiscation, or imprisonment would mean nothing to him. When Modestus complained that no one ever talked to him like that, Basil answered that perhaps he had never met a bishop before: "When the interests of God are at stake, we care for nothing else." Citation: Edwin Woodruff Tait, "Three Wise Men from the East," Christian History, Issue 80

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Commitment, Courage