Intangibles

Intangibles are not qualities that can be timed, measured, or weighed. In pro football it’s the intangibles that mark the difference between players. Two quarterbacks can have equally strong stats, but a player’s character, things like his work ethic, his leadership capabilities, his mental capital, confidence, responsibility, and his personal faith all play an amazingly important role in his recruitment and development as a person. The following are important concepts of good character – listen and learn.

Are you willing to take constructive criticism? Criticism helps you improve; it can actually help you improve your chances of long term success. If a player or person is not willing to take criticism, and learn from it, his chances of growing up become self-dependent and opportunities will diminish.

When you hear a commentator say, “He’s mentally tough,” what goes through my mind is that he’s able to withstand diversity. When something goes wrong he’s able to get up off the ground and go on. He doesn’t sulk and feel sorry for himself, he remains focused on the task at hand; his faith and hope does not disappoint.

Can a man be trusted? Trust is earned, which means he must be consistent; he must make the right choices again and again, over and over. It takes time to develop this character trait, but without it would want him on your team or trust him as a friend?

Kindness is a character trait often overlooked. Not the kind of kindness seen, but the kind unseen. The story about the boy who helped the old lady across the street is timeless. He did it not to be recognized, but because it was the right thing to do.

Having God given talent helps. We all have it in one capacity or another. We need to pay careful attention to finding out what our strengths are and developing them for the glory of the Giver.

Although somewhat measurable, to obeying the rules, leading by example, and being cool under pressure, are also very important character traits we must live by if we want success in life.

Remember, no man wakes up in the morning and becomes a great football player, a master musician, nuclear engineer, a pro skateboarder, or a godly man. It takes hard work, lots of prayer, and a willingness to be shaped, prodded, bent, and sometimes broken to be great. The apostle Paul said, “I have fought the fight, finished the course, I have kept the faith.” The crown of righteousness, and eternal life was his reward, not a bad deal but it cost him hard work, suffering, persecution, even death!

Intangibles are hard to put on your resume without looking arrogant, but if you have them you can be sure the right people will appreciate them and having good intangibles will change your life for the better.

God Bless,

Bob Graham

A Life Worth Living

It is the grace of God given to us in Christ Jesus that we stand. In the end, in the day of our lord Jesus Christ, it will be the testimony concerning Christ that shall confirm us blameless, not our good deeds, not our status in this world.

A friend of mine’s mother went to heaven today, she was 95. I did not know her, I may have met her a time or two at church, but I don’t remember. I cannot tell you much about what she looked like, or how she lived. I don’t know if she was famous, rich, or poor. Did she have a liberated career, who knows? I suppose I could find out. Maybe she was the daughter of politician? Maybe she had ancestral ties to royalty? What I do know about her is that her son loved her very much, that he was a believer and that she loved Jesus. What joy there is in knowing Jesus! I can rejoice with my friend, not in his sorrow but in his joy, knowing the grace of God was with his mom. That she now resides in heaven with the Father. She loved and lived faithful to her calling in Christ. She was blessed by God, called to do His will, and nonetheless she knew she humbly breathed, and now lives by the mercies of Christ.

If this is all that could be said about her, is it not enough? Some of us aspire for a calling not of God. We think we should be a great singer, a famous writer, a popular preacher or a rich man like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates. Maybe God has a simpler plan for you and me. Maybe He wants us to be a great fathers or a loving mother like my friend’s mom. To be known in the end not for some worldly achievement, but for the righteousness given to us by the mercies of God through Christ Jesus – a good and faithful servant of Christ.

Social Conventions and The Gospel

Is it true that much of the Christian Church’s success was derived from social convention rather than inherent human need for Christ, a savior? Many believe so. That a small town doctor might attend church to appear socially straight is not uncommon. That a student might attend youth group to meet, even prospect for dates is true. That the churches of America were once better attended, yes. But why?  It is true that social conventions can and do both encourage and discourage church participation. A lively “spirit led” service with optional arm waving will encourage some and discourage others from attending. Form and liturgy matters. So does doctrine. Many denominations include social norms not found in scripture, including democratically legislated conventions that besmirch, muddy, and even blacken the true light of scripture. The ramifications of socially acceptable laws go way beyond justified feelings. Feelings, less restricted, in truth, limits social freedoms and godly joy.  So if people are fleeing the churches, what should the true believers response be? Preach the gospel and teach what the scriptures say, nothing more, for it is the gospel that populates the houses of faith not social conventions.

Someday, you kn…

Someday, you know who you are, I pray the mountains will move and you will humbly receive His salvation. Then righteousness will be your way, and grace your footstool. Upon His word you will thrive, and you will give even more than you receive. For you will know Him as I know Him; the love in our faith, and the power in our prayers. – Bob Graham 2013

Regrets

Even on our best day we are far short of who we ought to be; regrets are humbling, and profitable if we do them not again and again. So when the door to heaven seems shut, and I seem to be living on Jobs dunghill, I will remember what Christ has done for me.  But there are some here who will say, “I have no regrets. I have no need of religion.” Of them Spurgeon has said, “The day shall come when you will envy the least and most trembling believer. To you careless, Christless sinners, the day shall come when you will cry to the rocks for mercy, and beg them to conceal you from the eyes of him whom now you dare despise. I beseech you be not high minded, lift not up your horn on high, speak not so exceeding proudly, bow before the Christ of God, and ask him to give you the new life; for even if that new life have declined and become sickly, it is better than the death in which you dwell. Go and seek grace of him who alone can give it, and he will grant it to you this day, for his infinite mercy’s sake. Amen.”

Are Guns Going To Hell?

Are Guns going to Hell? Oh Lord, act for thy name’s sake. Truly, have our creations sinned against Thee? Surely you will call their sins to account. Those rebellious Guns, with smoke in their barrels, deceived by the evil one, they have disobeyed you! And now they are following their own thoughts, their own ways. And those wicked assault weapons and their leader the AK-47, deceived by the devil, should they not be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and should not they be tormented day and night forever and ever?

Or is it not man who murders and repays evil for good? Every day I come across somebody who believes his view is the right one. Of course your view is right to you, or else it would not be yours at all. Therefore, in the immortal words of G.K. Chesterton, “Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic?”

I trust that you will see the good logic here. The deeds of evil men are what we should fear, not guns. Immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, jealousy, outbursts of anger, envy, disputes, drunkenness, and strife, dissentions, factions, things like these, they separate us from good; things like these cause innocent children to be killed. There are not laws against love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, but we cannot teach such things in the classroom. And we are failing to teach such things in our culture, in this generation, because we are legislating God’s laws out of our nation. “What we sow, that we shall also reap.” Those who try make a good showing in progressive politics also try to compel you to believe that can they change evil hearts, but only the cross of Christ can do that. We have become arrogant because of our trust in our own achievements and treasures.

But like a lion we should come from the thickets against evil and like Christ we should love our neighbor. If you lived next to that “creepy looking loner kid” Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, would you have befriended him? Would you have invited him to dinner? Helped him meet your friends? Maybe you have the next Adam Lanza living right next door, do you know someone like him? For God’s sake let him know you care about him. These are things we can all do that can be far more helpful than banning inanimate objects to hell.