Reflections – November 1, 2009

Today’s Readings: Psalm 92, 2nd Kings 1; Zechariah 5; James 4:11-5:12

Today’s first reading is a hymn of thanks and praise to God and celebrates His greatness in presiding over His creation and His goodness toward His faithful. The psalm reminds me to give thanks and to sing praise to Him in the morning and in the evening. As I begin my day, let me look to the Lord for strength, perspective, and a servant’s heart to accomplish His will in my life. As I end my day, let me look to the Lord to celebrate the successes and for wisdom to identify areas where I could have done better.

The second reading tells of God’s message to and judgment upon Ahaziah (sixth king of Judah), who worshipped Baal. Ahaziah seeks consolement, during time of sickness, from a false deity identified in the text as, “Baal-zebub, god of Ekron.” God delivered this message and judgement by the hand of His prophet Elijah. How important it is to recognize the true source of life and death.

The third reading recounts two of Zechariah’s visions; one of a flying scroll and the other of a woman in a basket carried away by two other women. The scroll is said to represent the “curse that goes out over the face of the whole land.” The woman is said to represent wickedness and the two women are said to represent the carrying away of the wickedness to the land of Shinar where a house is built for it. The idea is that, it is removed a safe distance, never to trouble God’s people by their wickedness again.

Zechariah is one of the most obscure of the minor prophets, and it may not always be readily apparent how his message can apply to my life. One thing is certain; he served a purpose and was given a work to accomplish. Zachariah lived in a time when God’s people needed a motivator and he fulfilled that role. I live in a time and in a culture that require boldness yet meekness to speak forth the word of truth. May I ever be ready to do that without faltering!

Today’s final reading encourages me to be a good steward of what God has entrusted to me. Warning is sounded, lest I be accused as were the rich of James’ day, “Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten” and are “evidence against you” and the voice of those whom you have defrauded are “crying out against you.” What a terrible picture is painted by the words of James. May they never describe me. I am also encouraged to be patient, to establish my heart and to be known as one who can be trusted when he says something.

Have a blessed day dear friend.–Randy Sexton

A Christian’s Voice From Raymore, Volume 1, Number 2, April 18, 2009

Success To Significance

I am a member of a local church in Kansas City, MO. I have been attempting to organize the men of our congregation to meet regularly for an early morning devotional. I love getting my days started with prayer and reflection upon God’s plan for my life.
Several men from the local church will begin meeting for study and discussion of the to topic “Success To Significance” based upon the book of the same name written by Lloyd Reeb. The series will begin April 24th and run through July 10th. This study will deal with topics of particular interest to those in their “halftime years” and beyond.
The location of these meeting is 217 South Washington, Raymore, MO. The time is 7:00-8:30 AM. The dates and the titles of the lessons in this series include:
April 24th – Session #1-Redefining Success
May 15th – Session #2-Overcoming Obstacles
May 29th – Session #3-Preparing for the Journey
June 12th – Session #4-Finding Your Direction
June 26th – Session #5-Creating Margin
July 10th – Session #6-Finding Your Place to Serve
If you live in the Raymore area and are interested in joining us for this study, please RSVP to me via e-mail (run2randy@yahoo.com) by Tuesday, April 21st, and I will send you the study/discussion material for the first session.
We look forward to sharing ideas with you as we meet to pray and to reflect upon God’s plan for our lives. May God bless you today and each day as you strive to live a life of significance for him!
As Mr. Reeb says in the introduction of this material, “Success to Significance will challenge you to engage your world with passion and purpose. You will learn how your experiences and skills can benefi t your local church, your community, and your world. Through this study you will discover a process that can help you implement your own personal talents and resources to help others and make a signifi cant difference in the world today. This book is written for you and other people at midlife who want their life to count in signifi cant ways.”
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’ And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me” (Matt. 25:37-40).
–Randy Sexton

A Christian’s Voice from Raymore, Volume 1, Number 1, March 21, 2009

Finishing Well

After my father’s passing in 2006, I entertained the idea of trying to keep his e-Bulletin alive. I came to the decision that it was not a realistic objective, considering the other things going on in my life. But more recently, my thoughts have been dominated by desire to spend my latter days of this earthly life doing things that have significance.

I am currently reading Bob Buford’s book, Finishing Well, in which he describes sixty individuals whom he calls “pathfinders.” Peter Drucker, Roger Staubach, Ken Blanchard, Dallas Willard and others recount the circumstances that led them to move from feeling they had to prove themselves to a time when they can give back and make a difference.

This is the third Buford book that I have read in the last couple of months and his message resonates with me. I would highly recommend for your reading this and his other books including Halftime, and Beyond Halftime.

I hope in my journey in Life II, as Bob describes it in his book, to make contributions that will have lasting impact on others. In my passion to make a difference, I have taken on projects that I pray will have positive impact on the lives of young people. I volunteer in the YouthFriends school-based mentoring program by mentoring two elementary school children in two different school districts and in their Classroom Speakers Program. This is just one of many worthwhile programs that exist to help young people address challenges they face and to help them reach their potential in life. I am happy to be a part of a program like YouthFriends and would encourage you to get involved as well. There are many more children who need mentoring than there are caring adults willing to help.

I will leave you today with the Ten Principles for Life II that Mr. Buford includes in Appendix 3 of Finishing Well. This list was compiled by the infamous management guru, Peter Drucker:

#1 Find out who you are.

#2 Reposition yourself for full effectiveness and fulfillment in life’s second half.

#3 Find your existential core.

#4 Make your life your endgame.

#5 Planning doesn’t work. (Ultimately “opportunity comes in over the transom and that means you have to be flexible, ready to seize the right opportunities when they come.”)

#6 You have to know your values.

#7 You have to define what finishing well means to you.

#8 You have to know the difference between harvesting and planting.

#9 Good intentions aren’t enough. You have to define the results you’re after.

#10 There’s a downside to “no longer learning, no longer growing.”

Thanks for reading with me. I hope you have a rewarding life devoted to helping others because, “We are made to work; and to maintain meaning in our lives, we need to be engaged in work that has meaning and purpose.”

“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2nd Timothy 4:7-8).