Category Archives: SUCCESS: NOTES, QUOTES, & FOLKS

Stories, quotes, writing, and inspiration from a variety of sources, meant to encourage, bless, and inspire.

Guest Post: Gregory Dickow: “I Could Succeed if I Had the Right Surroundings”

Pastor Gregory Dickow shares from his series, “Fast From Wrong Thinking.”

This goes perfectly with our “Wealth Stored for the Righteous” series, and incorporates so many of the points we have made over the past few months, including the great statement that “It’s not what surrounds you, but it’s what’s inside you that causes success.”
Amen!

I have featured lessons from Pastor Dickow in the past, and I strongly encourage you to subscribe to his “Fast From Wrong Thinking” series, as a great way to begin your day as a Bible study. I’ll include a direct link at the end:

Today we are fasting from the thought that says, “I could succeed if I had the right surroundings, the right people, or the right breaks.”

“If I just moved to a different city or had a better boss, or if someone gave me a chance, I would prosper,” they think. This way of thinking leads to blaming circumstances and other people for why things don’t get better.

LET’S CHANGE IT TODAY 

1. It’s not what surrounds you, but it’s what’s inside you that causes success. 2 Corinthians 4:16 says, “Therefore, we do not lose heart. For though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” Notice, Paul is saying that even when things go the opposite direction on the outside, something good can be happening on the inside. And what does God say we should do on the inside? Be renewed day by day. Be filled with the Word day by day—AND THE INSIDE WILL OVERTAKE THE OUTSIDE!

2. Success or failure is created by how you think. Never forget our foundational verse, which is in Proverbs 23:7. “As a man thinks, so is he.” And Joshua 1:8 says, “. . . but you shall meditate on the Word of God day and night . . . and then you shall have good success.”

3. Understand the source of blessing. Psalm 1:1–3 says, “Blessed is the man that . . . meditates on the Word day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, whose leaf does not wither, who bears fruit in his season, and whatever he does, prospers!”

4. The root to true success is a prosperous soul. 3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, EVEN AS your soul prospers.”

5. Remember Joseph, who was thrown into a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery. Genesis 39:2 says, “But the Lord was with Joseph, and so he became a successful man.” Notice: Even though his surroundings were terrible, JOSEPH STILL BECAME A SUCCESSFUL MAN. He had a bad home environment and bad breaks, and he was surrounded by bad people, and yet still succeeded, BECAUSE GOD WAS WITH HIM.

6. We affect our surroundings and create our breaks by the thoughts we think and the choices we make. Deuteronomy 30:15, 19 says, “I have set before you life and prosperity, or death and adversity . . . Choose life!”

THINK IT AND SAY IT 

It’s not what surrounds me that determines my success; it’s what’s inside me.

My success is created by how I think. I agree with God’s thoughts and meditate on God’s Word, day and night. Success follows me. I prosper in my soul. I fill my mind with the richness of God’s Word, and therefore it spills over into every area of my life.

I AM A SUCCESSFUL AND PROSPEROUS MAN OR WOMAN, because God is with me, in Jesus’ Name!

In God’s great love,
Gregory Dickow Click here to receive the “Fast From Wrong Thinking” Series http://www.fastfromwrongthinking.com/

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E-Mail Classic: “Perspectives”

First read this from the top down and then read it from the bottom  up! This is really neat!

PERSPECTIVES

Today was the absolute worst day ever.

And don’t try to convince me that

There is something good in every day.

Because, when you take a closer look

This world can be a pretty evil place.

Even if

Some goodness does shine through once in a while

Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.

And it’s not true that

It’s all in the mind and heart.

Because

True happiness can be obtained

Only if one’s surroundings are good.

It’s not true that good exists

I’m sure you can agree that

The Reality

Creates

My Attitude

It’s all beyond my control.

And you will never in a million years hear me say that

Today was a good day.


Now read it from the bottom up.

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Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 13

At some point, and now seems to be the time appointed, it’s time to think about “today’s economy” in light of this series. Or, maybe, in light of this series, to think about today’s economy.
The first thing we have to realize is that our employer, or our business, or “the State,” isn’t our provider.
God is our provider. Period. This won’t change.

We must face the facts. God is capable of supplying our every need. Period. I didn’t say our “wants.” I look at this statement, and, I’ll be honest … I know what I mean … I don’t mean that God is not capable of supplying our “wants” … but, how often have I written that if God gave us everything we thought we “wanted,” it would ruin us … And, worst of all, if God gave us everything we thought we wanted … it would ruin our relationship with Him. And, frankly, if we got everything “handed to us” that we wanted … it would ruin our relationship with a lot of people … and, not just friends and family. There! I had to include that!
Often, and I must say this, our “wants” seem to grow as God meeting our needs grows. The danger is this: Sometimes, the more our needs are met … the more “we get” … the less we may feel that we need God. Let’s let that one sink in. Is it true that the more we have, the more we want? Maybe another topic for another time, but necessary to at least mention here.

There have always been “bad times,” and there always will be. There have always been “good times,” and there always will be. Please keep these statements in proper context. There will always be people “with money.” There will always be people “in need.” This won’t change. I have learned that, no matter how bad the economy is … there are always people who have money, and lots of it. Am I equating success with money? For the point of the “present economy” and “need” I am using the term “money” in context. Let’s think about “success.” Throughout history, regardless of the “present economy,” there have always been people who were successful, and, yes, regardless of the “economy,” very successful.

What do you mean, “What am I talking about?” I answer that question with this question from recent history: During the Great Depression, and every “bad time” since, weren’t there people who were able to obtain incredible wealth? No, please understand I am not trying to downplay the severity of the times, only that, regardless of the times, or “present economy,” there were people getting extremely wealthy.

“Hey! Wait! Stop!”
“During those times, there were so many people who made money by immoral activities … even by breaking the law! What are you doing? Honoring them?!!!???”
Well … I hate to be the first one, if necessary, to break this news, but I must:
People making money by immoral means, or by breaking the law … didn’t start in recent history. As long as there have been people … which means humans … which means sinful man … which means …
“We ain’t grown.”

There will always be, and again this in context to the time we are living now, and history past, there will always be people who “do wrong.” Make money wrong. And, this “wrong” thinking/action directs their every move. Guess what? Their reward is only temporary … and, only for this world … ours is eternal, and for the World yet to come. While this is true, the point we’re trying to make is that regardless of the condition the world is in, God will still provide for His people. Period. That is, really, the only point I am trying to make. God will provide. Because: His provision depends upon Him, and not the world.
Does your provision depend upon Him … or the world?

We need to spend more time thinking about the Good News instead of the 6: 00 O’clock News.
(I think I just wrote that.)
I haven’t read the local newspaper in months. Not that it’s not a “good newspaper” (Did that phrase begin with good news …?”) … In fact, it’s a great newspaper. They have certainly been kind and gracious to me. And, I am most grateful for that. But, to the point, in relation to this writing: I decided, many, many, months ago, that I wouldn’t read the paper anymore … I couldn’t read the paper anymore … because (and this was the part of the paper I would always first gravitate to) they print a “police log,” and there were so many former students I knew, appearing in this part of the paper, that I finally just said, “I can’t read this anymore.” While this may have been even more of a reason for many to cherish this part of the paper … I just didn’t want to bring myself to the place of disappointment on so regular a basis, so I decided to just not read the paper at all …

Anyway, a few months ago, this was during “Summer Break,” I made a point to get the paper every day. After all, it was free, and available. (I think, “Man … Oh man … how often has that phrase, ‘free and available’ gotten us in trouble in the past …”) Anyway … this was a few months ago, when our country was in the throes of another “really bad economic time” cycle … I mean, it seemed like it was a really, really, bad time in this country … at least, that’s what I kept reading about … One day, I was reading the paper, and it seemed that every ad … at least every other ad in the paper carried a phrase like “during these hard times” or “during this bad economy,” and I’m serious, it seemed like every ad had something about our “bad economic times,” and due to this, there was a “price break” they were extending to their customers … I’m not making this up … it seemed like every ad had a negative about the economy …

That’s when I folded up the paper, and threw it on the table, exclaiming, “Man, if I keep reading this, I’ll start believing it!!!” I was serious, because I knew it is true: “If I keep reading this (after all it’s the newspaper), I’ll start believing it …”

“Hey! What are you saying? We shouldn’t stay informed? We shouldn’t read the news?”
“Hey! What are you saying?”
(Maybe they are saying that if we don’t read the paper, we won’t have anything to do as we sit at lunch, or at home … we’d be forced to actually speak or interact with someone???)

Maybe this is what I am saying: The newspaper has its place. No doubt. Television news? As an old time radio guy (with television experience-and, I starting writing published articles in the local paper in the 6th grade), I’ll pass on that. Because that’s not the point. I still pick up the paper (it’s free), and I have an obligation to do so in my job capacity. I do scan the paper for pictures of students, being portrayed in a positive way.

This is the point: God is our provider. Period.
He won’t let us down. He can’t.
And, won’t.
He wants you to depend on Him.
And, if I can take a phrase (boy, that word “phrase” has come up a lot) from our present-day teens (or maybe teens from years ago?):
“Totally.”

Now you know why I write so much about how important it is to spend time reading God’s Word.
As I read those newspaper ads to the point of memorizing them … I exclaimed, as I threw the paper across the room, “Man, if I keep reading this, I’ll start believing it!!!”
Here it is:
As you read the Bible, especially read God’s Word every day, my prayer is that you will make
the same declaration, with the same shout:
“Man, if I keep reading this, I’ll start believing it!!!”

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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Quote

Today’s Quote: “Winners”

“Everybody loves a winner … Until they start winning.”
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 11

Hi Friends:

I sure loved that “God’s Love for Us” video! As we continue to think about how blessed we are right now, we have to start with the fact that God really, really does love us. So much, in fact, that He gave Himself for us. And, all He seeks for us is what is best for us. He really, really does want to bless us … right now!

And then … we can bless others!

Ephesians 1:3 tells us that God has already “blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” While, yes, this does point to our Heavenly reward … let’s also keep in mind that these blessings are, over time, given to us according to our need … and, our Christian growth. The key is always to be “in Christ,” having Him dwelling within us … and, allowing Him to manifest Himself in our daily lives. For others to see Him through, and in, us.
Remember, as the next verse says, “he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4).

So … you didn’t choose Him … He chose you … And, He did it before He even created the world! How great and encouraging is that!

I think about how important “benefits” are in a job situation. How often have the “benefits” offered through a job made the difference in whether we took the job, or stayed on the job. I would venture to say that the “benefits package” offered through a job is one of the deciding factors in where we work. Or, don’t work. We all know that there are certain careers where these “benefits” offered make that particular career so highly sought after. On the other side of the coin, we also know there are companies which purposely limit their employees’ hours because if they gave more hours … they would have to pay or offer that employee “benefits.”

I think we don’t meditate on, or even consider all the benefits we have as a child of God, often enough. Yet, there are so many! Yes, salvation is enough! How about God’s very Spirit … Jesus Himself … living inside of us? However, a loving Father loves to lavish gifts on His children, right? A loving Father doesn’t need a “reason” to give a gift to his loved one. He doesn’t have to wait until a certain time of year. God owns everything! He doesn’t have to wait until “a month next week” to give us a gift. How much pleasure do we get from just being able to give a loved one a gift, something special … “just because …” God loves that!

God knows everything … especially our wants and our needs. Yet, it gives Him so much pleasure when we ask Him … when we go to Him personally … just us, alone … to let Him know what we need, and to hear us ask. He loves that!

Here’s something to think about: What is the one thing most children want (and need!) from their parents … and, for this writing, allow me to say, “from their Father.” It’s not the “newest this” or the “newest that” … the one thing, I understand, which most children desire the most from their father … is for their father to spend time with them … and, especially, for the father to want to spend time with them … A father who is always there, and willing to “drop everything” to come running to them …

I didn’t know this is the way this would go …

When I think about a Father like that, Who only wants to spend time with me, to do everything with me, and for me … How can I not think about our Heavenly Father? He loves us so much, and is willing to do anything, give anything, to have us to … just want to spend time with Him. I think of how God is so often the reverse of everything we have known … which makes sense, if you think about it. Anyway … we speak of children just wanting their father to want to spend time with them … And, here God is … just wanting us to spend time with Him … that’s it …

I think … if more children spent real quality time with their father … if more fathers just wanted to spend more quality time with their children … How different these children’s lives would be …

If we only spent more time with our Heavenly Father … how much different our lives would be … and, yes, I’ll say it … how much different the lives of those around us, and especially those whom we have influence over … would be.

I just don’t see how I can add to this.
I pray I can be as obedient in my life as I am in my writing …

I guess the writing about “benefits” will be for next time … I had it all planned out …

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 10

If there has been a common thread which continues to run throughout this series, it would be this statement from Hebrews 13:5: “Be content with what you have.”
God gives us a little to see how we handle it. How we handle it will determine if He gives us more. In other words, He gives us a little, so see what we would do if He gave us a lot.

Another common thread is the discussion of how important it is, how we “handle things.” Perhaps the most important characteristic we show to the world is “how we handle things.” Good things. Bad things. Honestly, I don’t know which circumstance reveals our character more: When we have less than we need … Or, when we have more than we need. When all is said and done … how people will remember us … will be largely based upon two things: How we “handled things,” and how we treated others. This is because both of these characteristics will be based upon how we mirror, or not-the image of Christ. How His influence … influenced us …. or, whether we allowed “others” (this can be both people and things) to influence us.

I guess it really is just a simple matter, this “influence,” of what you allow to control you. One of the great quotes I’ve ever heard is from my Pastor in Georgia:
“What you attach yourself to, you become a part of.”
It is, simply put, just a matter of control.
What we allow to influence us has the power … great power … to control us.

We try to write as much about how important it is how we act when things are going well, as when things are not going well. Especially, when true heartache is involved. Again, I can honestly say, from a Christian life standpoint, I’m not sure which is a harder test: Success or poverty. There are many quotes I could use, but the one from Dr. David Jeremiah I still love, how it is circumstances which reveal, not change, character. Or, from Dr. Martin Luther King, about how the true test of a man’s character is not when he is on the mountaintop, but when he is in the deep valley. Both valid. Both powerful. Both true.

I must say this: It is just a matter of control. Of who, or what, we allow to influence us. When we were kids, and boy this made us mad more often than not … our parents would always try to warn us about friends we had, people we were hanging out with … we hated that … and, let’s be honest, often we felt hate toward them (even though we didn’t really understand “hate” at the time) for trying to keep us away from who or what they thought would be a bad influence on us.
I wonder why that was?
Why did our parents, and sometimes our friends, and sometimes our teachers, try to warn us about what would happen if we continued to “hang out” with certain people? Or, try to stop us from doing certain things?
Why was that?

Has the principle behind such a warning changed? Have bad influences suddenly become ok for us to be around? Oh, yeah … I forgot … we are “all grown up now,” so we can’t be influenced by people or things anymore …

I just came in from outside, checking on a flower garden. We have been so busy this summer with work going on around the house, that, especially with equipment all around the house and yard, we haven’t mowed the grass in a month. I examined a new flower garden which I started earlier this summer, before the work began. If I don’t act right away … and yank those weeds out of the garden … get them out of there, away from the flowers … those weeds will take over the whole garden! Just the weeds being there, right now, have already hindered the growth of some really beautiful flowers … if I don’t act fast … and the bad weeds are already starting to influence the young, impressionable flowers … if I don’t act fast … if I don’t remove those weeds … if I don’t get them away from the flowers … if I don’t remove the weeds from the flowers … the weeds will take over … completely … the weeds will take over … will take complete control of the flowers … will take complete control of the garden … the flowers, with all their potential of being so beautiful … so beautiful, so lovely … will be destroyed … And, in so doing, the weeds will destroy the entire garden …

I “hate” to tell you this … but, I must: The weeds won’t mind a bit that the garden is destroyed. In fact … yes … even though God created the weeds, too … In fact … it seems that the entire reason for the existence of the weeds … is to “take over” …

Funny … as with so many things … we see it and warn our children … we see it and “yank out those weeds” in the garden … yet … now that we are “all grown up,” we can’t see it in our adult lives …

As a side note, some of the flowers in the “new garden” were transplanted, full grown, from an area which was overtaken by grass, trees, and weeds. They did well, even there, but I wanted them to have the opportunity to reach their full potential, so I “got them out of there” and put them in a special, newly cultivated area. They were even blooming at the time, and they never lost their blooms … they transplanted so well … what a great spot for them now! However … since I haven’t taken the time, in a while, to “weed” their new surroundings … even though they were strong, beautiful, full-grown flowers … if I don’t get those weeds away from them … as strong … as beautiful … as full-grown as they are … they won’t last much longer … not as long as those weeds are allowed to influence them … and, their environment.

I think there is a lesson in there, somewhere!
Guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow? And … that goes for the older, well established garden, too!
I weeded it early … but, not often … and, even though it is an old, well-established, vibrant, “growing wildly” flower garden … making it through a few cold, snow-filled winters … if I don’t “yank those weeds” out of its environment, we all know what will happen to it, as well.

Please note that both of these gardens, both young and old … are facing this new “enemy,” well capable of their destruction … during the summer … during the days of sunshine, when the sun is at its brightest …

Which further confirms my question of whether it is more difficult during bleak times … or sunny times?

I guess it just depends on what or who (and if I don’t get out there, that will be me) is allowed to influence their environment …

Remember that, sometimes, the greatest action, the action which results in, causes, and influences the most action … is inaction.

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

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Video: The Love of God: Do the Math!

Success:
Hard work.
Knowledge.
Attitude.

Yet, how does this compare to God’s love for us?
We write much about success, and about how much
of it depends upon our realization of what God has already given us, what we already have, which makes us successful.

Now, here’s a great video … sent to me by a High School Principal … which “measures” hard work, knowledge, and attitude …
vs. The Love of God …

He wrote me “this is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time …”

Please stay with it … to see how the numbers stack up …

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