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God and Business
By Gary Selman
What do you believe about the relationship between God, His Word, faith and work? Have you ever given it any thought? If you’re like most people, even Christians, the answer is probably no. Yet your deepest beliefs, understanding, core values and practices about faith and work have a profound influence on your daily work life. Your foundational beliefs and views on faith and work will determine if you pursue the divine calling God has placed in your heart (spirit). It will also determine the level of trust and reliance you have in God’s Word and your willingness to submit to and obey the Holy Spirit as He leads and guides you throughout the day, helping you to face challenges, make decisions, respond to problems, and interact with others.
Virus on the Page
By Douglas Gehrman
It was 1987, I was forty-seven years old, and I had just left my job at a struggling offshore drilling company. The slogan around the office was, “Fix it in 86 or Chapter 11 in 87.” 1986 had come and gone, and the future for the drilling industry still looked bleak. I began a new job as vice president of human resources with a mortgage company—the largest, privately-held mortgage company in Texas—which had recently been bought by a New York financial institution. The vision for the firm was national expansion, using the deep pockets in New York through its new ownership. I felt good about the opportunity and was optimistic about my future.
Do You Lead with Joy?
By Mike Bonem
“If ‘the joy of the Lord is your presence,’ then please inform your face!” Ellie Lofaro’s words resonated deeply with me as I listened to her keynote speech at the 2013 Christian Leadership Alliance conference. It raises a question for me and for you: Do we lead with joy? Leadership is hard work. Long hours, disappointing results, difficult decisions, and unseen obstacles are simply part of the journey for a leader. Leadership is also important work. In our churches and ministries, we have an opportunity to partner with God to make a profound difference in the lives of others. It’s a calling that we should take seriously. But does the seriousness of your calling keep you from smiling?
Till Debt Do We Part?
By Ernest Liang
Graduating from college is meant to be an occasion to celebrate. Unfortunately for many graduates, it is also a somber reminder that it is time to pay back what they owe. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Class of 2014 is the most indebted class ever (“Congratulations to Class 2014, Most Indebted Ever” WSJ 5/16/2104). Over 70% of these graduates left school with student loans averaging a crushing $33,000. Student loans remain the fastest growing category (up over 360% since 2003) of U.S. household debt. Total U.S. household debt, on the other hand, grew 61% between 2003 and 2013 (“U.S. Household Debt Increases” WSJ 5/13/2014). According to one report (www.gobankingrates.com, 9/10/2013), the average American is more than $225,000 in debt with many having less than $500 in savings.
Integrity Squandered
By Douglas Gehrman
Integrity is almost a cliché among today’s leadership bromides. All leaders must possess this trait to be considered legitimate and credible, otherwise they won’t be trusted. Given the fact that integrity is such an import leadership requirement, why do so many company leaders, religious figures, politicians and military leaders fail to gain it? The truth is that given an irresistible temptation or a thirst for power, people are capable of almost anything. Human history is rife with examples, concentration camps in Auschwitz, gassing children in Syria, and to a lesser extent, the infamous fraud at Enron. A great number of personal failings never even make the headlines.
Who Are YOU Going to Listen To?
By Lane Kramer
Recently, I picked up a new car at an out of town dealership. The car came equipped with a GPS system. When it came time to drive back to Dallas, I punched in my home address and listened for the instructions on how to proceed. I did not have a physical map so I was completely dependent on an outside source of navigation to get home safely. Very soon a very nice, warm, and professional female voice came on line saying, “turn left on Jarus Street and proceed .5 mile and turn left on Highway 67”. I started to follow her instructions because she came from a very credible source- the manufacture’s GPS System. However, as I pulled on to Highway 67 I felt a check in my spirit. I remembered that two different CEO Institute Members said that the best way to get back to Dallas was to take Interstate 35.
Praying with the Pastafarians And Other Adventures in Corporate Religion
By Wallace Henley
“Are you allowed to mention the name of Jesus in your company?” a friend of mine asked an entrepreneur from China awhile back, as I sat listening. “Yes, we have a church that meets in our company,” he replied. The irony was striking: A group of American business leaders in the “land of the free” who nevertheless had to walk carefully through the minefield of corporate religion had just discovered that a business owner from a nation governed by a regime professing official state atheism perhaps had more freedom than they regarding spiritual expression in the workplace. In May 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court, in the eyes of many, brought judicial balance in the debate about corporate and institutional religion. In the words of a Wall Street Journal report, “it rejected arguments that the overwhelmingly Christian prayers” offered before town council meetings in Greece, New York, “gave preference to one faith and violated the First Amendment.
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