Why Doesn’t God Tell Me Everything!?

Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t give the whole plan for our lives in one packaged step by step manual? In my human mind, I would think this would be easier and give me opportunity to position myself prior to certain situations, or equip my mind for the decisions required in taking the next step. However, the goal is knowing Him and not every intricate detail of the plan. In other words, knowing and building relationship with God is more important than knowledge of the plan. The longer I live, the more I think that spiritual maturity is less about figuring out the future and more about a moment-by-moment sensitivity to the Spirit of God.

Not knowing the end from the beginning requires my dependency to be exclusive on the architect.  Each step I take in its fulfillment builds trust within me towards this person who is bent on having relationship with me. The deeper you fall in love with God the more passion grows. Our passion is the degree of difficulty we are willing to endure to accomplish the plan and goals. It is driven by the intensifying desire, affection, and enthusiasm that grows from the close proximity of God’s presence that one lives.

We do things either out of mechanics or passion.

We can do things because we have to, it’s expected of us, but without passion or a want to. It gets done but the motivation is forced and purely mechanical. Routine without desire creates a ceiling of growth, purpose, and progress. As a result I will do only what needs to be done and will invest nothing in enlarging my education to further my ability. BUT when I do things out of passion… ceilings are removed and growth is constant. I will do more than expected, exceed expectations, and increase my responsibility. 

As we grow in God we lose fear of complications. Serving God will complicate your life in ways that will challenge your resolve and commitment. Someone may say “how dare you say serving God complicates a person’s life.” Lets be honest and look at this in a practical way. Honestly, marriage will complicate your life, having children complicates our lives, being successful will complicate your schedule, wealth ultimately complicates your taxes. Complications are a part of life and are good and necessary with increased responsibility. In the parable of the talents, Jesus rewarded good work with more work instead of giving an early retirement or a long vacation. Remember, complications are often a byproduct of blessing.

Stay focused on Jesus and when you don’t know what awaits you tomorrow, remember to trust the one who already waits in your tomorrow.

Reuben Egolf

influenceyoucanmakeadifference

 

Passion has a Purpose

It can be easy to confuse interest with commitment. Interest possesses something in its arsenal known as an option. It will pursue something till confronted with inconvenience and then exits on the ramp to an option. Convenience driven decisions have no strength to stand when pressure arrives. However, when you are committed to something, you see every obstacle as an opportunity for promotion, and excuses are never tolerated. The object of one’s commitment becomes worth every sacrifice, hardship, and resistance faced.

Commitment doesn’t mean a dry and dull lumbering methodical walking towards a goal, but to the contrary, it carries a fire that burns motivation to a fever pitch. Unfortunately, there are too few burning and fewer committed to a cause worth fighting for. The cause of saving humanity from the perils of sin and eternal damnation is becoming a lost zeal in many hearts. Interest yes, but commitment no.

We must become highly flammable! Let the Spirit of God turn every smoldering ember in your soul to a towering inferno that ignites everyone around you.

Don’t let others make the first step in changing the world. YOU be the standard… be the cutting edge… be out in front… be responsible… be a leader! 

Let your passion fascinate and capture the hearts of the lukewarm and cold. Let it turn the icy cold stares of unbelief into hearts on fire filled with faith. Let it turn cowards into warriors… the dead back to life… the discouraged into beacons of hope… sinners into saints… lost into found… hopelessness into a reason to live!

Reuben Egolf

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Leadership Encouragement and Wisdom

Don’t waste time being drawn into tabloid triviality disguised as pertinent issues. Focus on the issues, goals, and strategy laid out to get there. Speak about what matters. What you address, your words give power to. There are a lot of dead things now alive because someone chose to waste their time and give power to it.

Every challenge doesn’t need debated. A lion doesn’t run around every time a dog barks. Choose your battles wisely and chart your own course not letting the media set your agenda.

Always be humble but don’t mistake that for weakness. Humility is your greatest asset as a leader. The greater the pressure, the greater God’s strength will be demonstrated. God’s power flourishes in the garden of humility producing a fruit of lasting stability.

Be diligent and vigilant. Power-hungry wolves circle the seats of power in a never ending parade. Some people come into your life as a Blessing and others come into your life as a Lesson. Learn to discern the difference.

Give– but don’t allow yourself to be used.
Love– but don’t let your heart be abused.
Trust– but don’t be naïve.
Listen to others– But don’t lose your own voice

Reuben Egolf

Chairman

United States Global Leadership Council

You Can Trust Again

Dr. Rovert H. Schuller told the following story. 

I remember a time when our son Bob broke our trust and lied to his mother and me. He was still young, dating Linda, his wife-to-be, and was only allowed to see her on certain nights. Well, one night he wanted to see her without permission and told us he was at his friend’s house. When we found out the truth, there was a real scene between us. He had violated our trust; it was like a crack in a fine cup that marred its appearance. 
In the confrontation, I smashed a fine English tea cup on the floor and told Bob that to restore our trust would be like gluing that cup back together again. He said, “I don’t know if I can do that.” And I said, “Well, that’s how hard it is to build confidence and trust again.” The outcome was that Bob spent literally weeks carefully gluing the pieces together until he finished. He learned a very important lesson.  

How do you rebuild trust after it has been broken?

An age old question that has left many destroyed in its wake. The usual end result is frustration and coming to the conclusion it is an impossible feat to reconstruct relationships, after they have been decimated by the hurricane of broken trust.

However, there is hope and it is not an impossibility. Here are a few pointers to help the reconciliation process and rebuild the relationship to be even stronger than before.

  • In order to restore trust you have to stop arguing about the details of the past and start talking about the design/blueprint for the future.

Arguing about what happened yesterday and focusing on who is at fault becomes an endless and futile venture. It yields nothing positive for the future. Concentrating on the past removes all ability to build a future.

  • You will never rebuild trust on the ashes of the past.

You have to replace your view of the past with a vision for the future and realize it’s going to take time to rebuild that trust! Speak more about where you are going instead of where you have been. In other words, fix NOW so you have a FUTURE.

  • Don’t make a monument to your failures and give your past permission to ruin your future. 

Stop making it as reference points in the life whether in your own life or the other person’s. Throw away the black book! A fatal mistake is revisiting the monuments of the past as if they occurred yesterday when in reality it could have been 20 years ago. Let it go and never go back!

  • Don’t allow the Devil to trap you in a world of misery that you cannot change.

Satan’s favorite place to visit is a person’s past. If he can lead you there and get you to build a house and dwell there – it will be a world of total misery. Nothing changes in that world. The best policy is to leave it and close the door and throw away the key!

  • Go through the Cross and forget the past’s existence, because the future is waiting.

One of the most powerful phrases a person can utter is “I’m sorry.” Contained in those heartfelt words is someone expressing personal responsibility, remorse, and a desire to correct. If backed up with corresponding actions, you will witness and experience the transition from a mess produced by self, to becoming a message produced by grace.

Remember, Jesus gave us all a second chance and probably a lot more if we were honest. Why not invest the effort today to restore that broken relationship and rebuild something that will testify of God’s greatness. I promise it will be worth it!

Nehemiah 9:17
And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.

Let’s follow his example.

Reuben Egolf

influenceyoucanmakeadifference

Don’t Shortcut the Process

In our microwave world that wants instant results, we must know its OK, perhaps even preferable to grow slowly. Let me encourage you today that if you feel you are moving at a snails pace, at least you eventually do laps around the person refusing to move off the couch. I know the temptation to believe EVERYTHING should have the capacity to be microwaved into completion circumventing the baking process, which is the result of our technological age. However, there are some things in life that technology will never be able to accelerate to fruition and get the sustainable results necessary for its function. One of them being – the maturation of the spirit, soul, and heart of a person. 

2nd Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

2nd Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice they are to be increasing and growing and not a onetime experience. People try a lot of shortcuts. Some look for an emotional experience — “If I just get this `certain experience’, then all my problems will be solved and I will be a mature Christian.” Other people say, “If I just go to this seminar…. If I just read this book… If I just listen to this tape…” A doctor cannot prescribe to me an instant pill to take for seven days and I’m going to be spiritually mature. It takes time. It takes an intentional pursuit. It won’t come automatically, instantaneously, or quickly.

Pointers to help in this process

Read the Word every day and meditate allowing the Holy Spirit to excavate the strata’s of God’s revelation for your life. 

Remain patient in all things by permitting God’s Word to rule instead of emotions. 
Understand the importance of digging deep and building a strong foundation for the future. The perceived drudgery in the now will turn into a sustainable and viable future. The hard work put into the foundation gives opportunity for something beautiful to be built upon it. 

Stop comparing your progress with those around you. You were not created to be a clone of someone else. You have been uniquely crafted for a specific purpose. If all you do is try to be like someone else, you will risk never being you and no one will ever know you existed.

When you stop trying to impress everyone, the more impressive you will become!

Don’t compromise your character or values in a quest for a quick fix. Good things are worth the wait… don’t settle for less when a little waiting gets the real prize. 

Be grateful for the progress you have made so far. Be thankful and enjoy the journey. Don’t be so fixated on a place in the future that you never take notice to the beauty around you in the present. 

Reach out and encourage others on their journey. Realize that the world is much bigger than you. When my world becomes bigger than me – my horizons broaden. 

Remember that what seems like a long time now, will seem like a fleeting moment in the context of eternity. 

Reuben Egolf

influenceyoucanmakeadifference

Why There is Populism

In my teens I experienced the decade of the 80s. It was a time of economic revival and there still seemed to be some sort of moral code still woven into the fabric of America’s soul. I remember the mood in general was optimistic and we who were in high school were not concerned about not getting a job due to the economic boom. Once graduation was over we knew the next step was either employment or college, but either one we were on on our way to earn our way through life. As I look back through the reels of the past years since then in the theater of my mind; I am realizing something has changed. The mood of the country shifted, optimism waned, and morality and work ethics have moved into another sphere unbeknownst to the culture I once knew. The following was written many months ago while the 2016 election was still fresh in all of our minds. I made some observations of this change but also of the rising of a sleeping giant who did more than whimper at election time.

”A guy looked at the Corvette the other day and said I wonder how many people could have been fed for the cost of that car. I replied I am not sure, it fed a lot of families in Kentucky who built it, it fed the people who make the tires, it fed the people who made the components, it fed the people in the copper mine who mined the copper for the wires, it fed people who make the trucks that haul the copper ore. That’s the difference between capitalism and welfare mentality. When you buy something, you put money in people’s pockets and give them dignity for their skills”

It reminds me of my favorite saying 

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” 

There is a mindset that ignores the blessing of reward. The satisfaction of receiving something in return for your investment of time and labor. Rewarding an individual who is idle is not helping but perpetuating the problem of no self-dignity and self-worth. It literally is below a man’s dignity to receive something for nothing as seen in the following.

2 Samuel 24:21-24
21  And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people.
22  And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood.
23  All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee.
24  And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

Free tuition, free phones, etc.… feeds something dangerous called an entitlement mindset. Once something is given without being earned, it is taken for granted and expected as something owed. The valuing of the thing received evaporates and the person’s respect for those who provided it dwindles as well. This kind of system plays on the surface sympathies of the people while plundering the coffers of the wage earners, thus draining the well dry to maintain the swamp. 

The populist movement erupted like a volcano within the hearts of the American workers in recent elections. They said they were tired of having to pay for other people’s irresponsibility. They were tired of being penalized for being hard-working while others were provided incentives to remain on perpetual assistance. They were tired of the Hollywood elites and political ruling classes ramming values down their throats they don’t believe in. 

Make no mistake about it, the blue collar worker is rising up and saying we are tired of the government making us work harder and longer to pay for their agendas that do not benefit us at all. Our politicians had started down a path of economic enslavement, and the working class of America are saying we are not taking it anymore. Benefits without work… enjoying benefits without being a legal taxpayer… unethical medical burdening… political correctness running amok… separate laws for the privileged… loss of freedoms… government expansion… and this list is endless as the causes of the middle class symptoms of political sickness. 

Politicians who never had a job or ran a business have little to no appreciation for the hard earned money of another. Their wasteful spending on the frivolous, rewarding of the indolent, and doing the bidding of the special interests have become too much for the blue collar worker. This unfair treatment has created an angst which is motivating the silent majority to the polls to repeal the damaging onslaught and declare a mandate for a better future.

It’s time for respect and dignity to find its way back into the American fabric of ideals and exceptionalism. Congress must understand that they work for the American people, not the other way around.

Reuben Egolf

Perfect – A No Nonsense Study

The word “perfect” according to Webster means:

Jesus Christ was the only human being to satisfy everyone of these definitions. He was without fault, satisfied all of the righteous requirements of the law, he was the perfect man, as a son he reflected his father perfectly, and he was the only legal and valid person to redeem us from our sins. The Lord provided a perfect salvation for us to experience. In other words, when we are saved, we are perfectly saved. There is no such thing as an imperfect salvation.

The word sin in the Bible simply means missing the mark. The mark, describes the bull’s-eye at the center of the target. The mark is the righteous standard given by God for humanity to live up to. The Law, exposed our inability and inaccuracy to hit this bull’s-eye of God standard. However, when I put my faith in this perfect Jesus, he puts me in right standing with the Father. His meritorious work is what has achieved this perfect standing with God and not the result of my own feeble deeds. Then, the Lord will provide his ability for me to use in living up to the standard of God and hitting the moral bull’s-eye throughout my life, so that others can see me as an example of Christ living through me.

Image result for photograph of practice makes perfect

Every time that I obey the word of God when confronted by a situation in life, it will produce a perfect response. If I do not obey God’s word, then I will miss the bull’s-eye and then the response to the situation will not be perfect. The sermon on the mount is filled with the standard of conduct expected of a Kingdom citizen of Heaven. As you read through Matthew 5-7, you will notice the multiple situations Jesus refers to, and then the God standard response to them.

Matthew 5:43-48
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Decisions Decisions 

If someone insults, persecutes, or curses me, I am now faced with a decision. I can choose to retaliate and do to them as they have done unto me. In doing so, I will miss the mark and therefore an imperfect response will be made. However, if I choose to obey God standard and pray for them, speak kindly to them, and do good deeds in return for the evil, then I have hit the bull’s-eye and given a perfect response. We have been given the ability by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation to respond in a godly way to all situations. There really is no excuses because no one forces us to choose one way or the other. Satan does not have the ability to force you to make a decision that you don’t want to make. On the other hand, God will not violate your freedom of choice.

2 Corinthians 7:1
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Perfection in the Bible also has much to do with growth and maturity. As we consistently obey the word of God in the situations that we face in life, we become practiced. You have often heard it said “practice makes perfect.” The more I practice the word, the more developed I become. What am I doing? By continually obeying God’s word, he in turn is perfecting my life. The Lord is maturing and growing me more and more in His image.
 
When you make a mistake or human error – right away – someone may say “I thought you were so perfect!” Human perfection without mistakes and human errors is an impossible achievement in this lifetime. As time goes on though, we should make fewer of them as we grow in knowledge and spiritual development. Even in the natural, I shouldn’t be making the same blunders I did when I was 10 years old. The sin functionality in my life should have died at the cross, and the new nature should be growing every day inside of me through purposeful application of the word in every situation I face.

What are you going to do?

Today when someone lies on you – cuts you off in traffic – treats you badly – what are you going to do in return? What will your response be? The perfect Word or the imperfect flesh in the response? It’s all up to us isn’t it?

Reuben Egolf