Thursday, February 9, 2012



Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible – Frank Gaines

So what’s the big deal about vision? Some people have it, some don’t. 

The big deal about vision is this:

What do you want your life to look like in ten or twenty years? What about the life of your children in ten years?

The quality of life that your children enjoy ten or twenty years from now will, to a great degree, depend upon the choices you will make in that ten-twenty year period of time.

The wonderful provision that so few men offer their children is the example of a strong finish.
Tragically, many Christian fathers leave their families because they have no vision.  Your kids deserve better than that. Your Lord deserves better than that. You must be a man of vision. Not just for this month or year but for the next forty or fifty years out.

We’re not finishing strong by luck or by taking life as it comes. We must have vision to finish strong. Vision is what is really important, vision for what our kids really need, and the vision to steel ourselves against the strategies of the enemy to destroy everything near and dear to our hearts. It’s that kind of vision that helps us to make choices with our heads and not our sex organs thus enabling us to leave a legacy to our children that most kids only dream about.

To finish strong means that you will come to the end of your life with a strong and close relationship to Christ. it means that, unless God has taken your wife ahead of you, you’ll be married to the same woman that you are today. It means that you are a man who is in the Scriptures and living the Scriptures. It means that you are a man who has fought some battles for the kingdom and has the scars to prove it. To finish strong means that you are leaving your children and grandchildren the priceless heritage of a godly life. Few men, especially those in their twenties of thirties, have the vision at that age to look forty years into the future and think about how they want to finish. It takes vision to see that the majority of men who start strong don’t finish strong. It takes vision early to be the one guy out of ten who does.

No one is without a divinely appointed task and the divine means of getting it done – John Ruskin

You are doing something significant and He sees it. No wonder you are going to finish strong.

Source: Finishing Strong by  Steve Farrar

Monday, February 6, 2012



Another ambush

In football, you suit up, in running, you strip down. The average footballer player wears pounds of equipment. Runners wear ounces.

The great question which in all ages, has disturbed mankind and brought them the greatest part of those mischiefs which have ruined cities, depopulated countries, and disordered the peace of the world, has been, not whether there be power in the world…but who should have it.

Are you worried that you don’t have much of a network? Joseph didn’t either. But he had a Friend in High Places. And if you have surrendered your life to Christ, so do you. It’s all the network you’ll ever need.

John Colter was stripped of his clothes but not his courage, his weapons but not his will, his provisions but not his purpose and his comforts but not his composure. Joseph’s case was similar: he was stripped of his coat but not his character, his family but not his future, his position but not his purity and his accomplishments but not his attitude.

Joseph, like Jesus, was rejected by his bothers, loved by his father, victorious over temptation, taken into custody because of a false witness, suffered for doing right and promoted from the prison (of death) to rule the nation(s).

You don’t have to be God to finish strong. You just have to depend on God.

It’s hard to look up to a leader who keeps his ear to the ground – James Boren

 The stripping down process is in two parts: Things that God strips from us (things God will take away) and things that we strip from ourselves (things which we must put away).

Joseph put away the thought of trading his purity for his position and turning his betrayal into bitterness. Joseph was a unique man and that is why he was so greatly used. He had been tested. And he passed those tests with flying colors because of his willingness to put some things away. In responding to Potiphar’s wife, he said, “How then could I do this great evil, and sin against God?” that’s the difference between finishing strong and finishing so-so. Joseph was not willing to participate with her sexually because it was a great evil. Yet to her, it was great fun. The man who finishes so-so has kept back one or two areas of his life from the Lord. His theme song is “I Surrender Ninety-Five Percent.”  In his heart, he knows what he is doing is a great evil, but he’s not willing to give up his great fun. The man who finishes strong keeps back nothing from the Lord. He is brutal in dealing with sin in his own life because he does not want to dishonor God’s name and holiness. So when it comes to sin, or “great evil,” as Joseph called it, he doesn’t coddle it, he doesn’t favor it, and he doesn’t hold on to it. He gets rid of it. His theme song is “I Surrender All.” That’s it. That’s the secret – I surrender all.

It’s tragic how many Christian men don’t stop to count the cost before the opportunity presents itself. For sin will always cost you more than you wanted to pay. Sin will always cost you, but sometimes purity can cost you, too. But that’s a price that strong finishers are always willing to pay.

Before a man falls sexually, he first falls emotionally. Guys change jobs all the time. Some will change for promotion. Some will change for power. Few have the guts to change for purity. But those are the guys who make it all the way to Bighorn.

So what made Joseph great? Why does God devote more space in Genesis to his story than to any other individual’s? Because of Joseph’s attitude, how he responded to difficult circumstances. That was the most remarkable thing about him.

The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure (contemptuous treatment) without resentment. – Elbert Hubbard

Bitterness, like a burning match only burns the one who holds onto it. – Steve Farrar

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power – Abraham Lincoln

If you are focusing on some person or what he did to you, you will not finish strong. You’ll never make it. You are being conned and you are being set up. You can only finish strong if you fix your eyes on Jesus.

As you grapple with the hurt and humiliation and fight off the desire to become a hardened, bitter person, you are actually building spiritual muscle tone that it takes to finish strong.

Source: Finishing Strong by  Steve Farrar

Wednesday, February 1, 2012



He who has never failed cannot be great. Failure is the true test of greatness - Herman Melville

Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians (Acts 7:22). The first 40 years of his life, he was an unqualified success. The middle 40 years, he was an undisputed failure. The last 40 years, he was finally fit for the Master’s use. Around the age of 40, Moses knew he had been chosen by God to be the deliverer of Israel. He was dead right about the task but dead wrong about the timing. There is a type of self-esteem that is healthy and good. But there is an excessive self-confidence that is very harmful to one’s spiritual health. How do you tell the difference between the two? Easy. A wrong self-confidence is usually characterized by prayerlessness. Jesus said “…apart from me you can do nothing” the person with excessive self-confidence really doesn’t believe that.

Many men experience some type of transition around the age of forty. Midlife is when men are forced to come to grips with the changes that have occurred in their lives. For Moses, it was the following:
A change of address: from the palace of Pharaoh to the pastures of Midian
A change of vocation: from leader of men to leader of sheep. Most men get their feeling of self worth from what they do.
A change of status: he was rejected by Pharaoh. It is always worse when rejection comes from inside our own camp. Depression stems from some type of loss…or chemical imbalance.

The masters of character acquisition
Unemployment 101: this challenging course will cause you to suffer but it’s the suffering that qualifies you for ministry. You may have no desire to be in full-time ministry, but if you know Jesus Christ, then you are in the ministry.

Advanced obscurity: in Exodus 2:16-22, the entire middle forty years of Moses’ life get six verses. Why? Because Moses was obscure. In those forty years of obscurity, solitude and quietness, God was rebuilding His man from the inside out. Some type of obscurity is required if you are going to earn your M.C.A. Obscurity is tough, especially if you are in a hurry to climb the corporate ladder. But climbing the corporate ladder will never fit you to finish strong. God wants you to climb the character ladder. John Luther wrote that “good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece – by thought, choice, courage and determination.” There is no better place to begin making those right choices than in the bleak, gray sands of obscurity.

Remedial waiting: God rarely uses Federal Express to build character into our lives. He doesn’t overnight or fax character to us. It takes time to build character. Lots of time. That’s why He’s taking so much time in your life. God isn’t in a hurry. God has a principle, and the principle is this: character development comes before ministry. You should know that you are right on schedule. Maybe not on your own schedule, but on His schedule. He knows precisely what He is doing in your life.  Every trial has a beginning, middle and an end. You cannot determine where you are in your trial, but He knows exactly where you are. And He is moving you along at just the right pace. Someone once said that everything is in walking distance, if you have enough time. Believe it or not, you’ve got time. You’ve got plenty of time, because you belong to Jesus Christ. And He literally has all the time in the world.

Intermediate loneliness: research has demonstrated that prolonged loneliness can even affect us physically. Most leaders like to be with people. They enjoy the company of their followers. But in the desert, Moses didn’t have any followers. Well, he had a few sheep. But the fact is, Moses wasn’t in the desert to lead; he was in the desert to be led. That’s why he had to be isolated. God had to get him off by himself so that He could have his undivided attention. Moses thought he was a leader, but a leader really isn’t a leader until he has learned to follow. God would not use Moses until he had learned to submit to God and to His timetable. So Moses was alone. Loneliness is never a pleasant experience. But God, in His wisdom, at times will separate us from our normal network of family and friends. Isolation is an opportunity to get to know Him better.

Many believers are simply frantic over the fact of failure in their lives, and they will go to any lengths in trying to hide it, ignore it, or rationalize about it. And all the time they are resisting the main instrument in the Father’s hand for conforming us to the image of His Son! – Miles Stanford

It is defeat that turns bone to flint, and gristle to muscle, and makes people invincible, and forms those heroic natures that are now in ascendancy in the world. Do not, then, be afraid of defeat. You are never so near to victory as when defeated in a good cause. – Henry Ward Beecher

Everyone fails but the true failure is the one who doesn’t learn from his setbacks. That’s why a teachable spirit is so important. When you are in the midst of a desert, the fastest way out of the desert is to ask God to let you learn everything that he has for you in that experience. Stay open, and stay teachable. God is not trying to ruin you. He is rebuilding you so that you can be used strategically. And the people God loves to use most are those who have learned to depend completely upon Him. For many self-sufficient types, that doesn’t come easily.

Abraham Lincoln entertained large thoughts about God and small thoughts about himself. Humility means that someone has a proper self-confidence, a proper self-esteem, and a proper kind of godly courage. That kind of character only comes from being in the furnace of affliction and hardship. No wonder it was said that “the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3)

There are not many undefeated people around – John Gardner

God uses our failure to equip us for future success.

Source: Finishing Strong by  Steve Farrar