|If God Can Use A Donkey
by Lawrence Powell
God wants to use you! You might have difficulty receiving it because, “You don’t know where I’ve been, Pastor; you don’t know what I’ve done.” God does. He knows everything about you. God, Who is omniscient, already knowing everything you’d ever do, was never taken by surprise that when He told you to go right, you still went left. He knows when you’ve been abused, when others have taken from you what they could get and then cast you to the curb. That’s not how He will use you. God is waiting for you to make yourself available to Him, allowing Him to be glorified in and through you–through your talents, skills, abilities and more. It doesn’t matter if you feel like you have anything to offer!
In Matthew 21, we read of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry before the crucifixion. At the beginning of this passage, Jesus sends His two disciples into the village to retrieve for him a donkey, tied to a fence, and her colt with her. Their instruction was to tell anyone who says anything to them, “The Lord has need of them.” Please notice that when Jesus was arranging transportation for this most important moment, He did not choose a white stallion or a black stallion, a gray mare or even a brown camel; He chose a donkey! Jesus chose a donkey to use on His very public, triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
It is interesting that this wasn’t the first time He used a donkey. In Numbers 22, we read that God opened a donkey’s mouth to speak to a wayward prophet named Balaam. Balaam was entertaining the idea that he could, for a price, curse the people of God even though they had been blessed by God! This aroused God’s anger against him. God sent an angel to block Balaam’s path. Three times the donkey saw the angel blocking the path and halted, and three times Balaam whipped the donkey. The third time, the beast opened its mouth and said, “Why do you keep on striking me? For years I have served you faithfully and have not caused you any anger. Why are you now striking me? Can you not clearly see the angel blocking our path?” The Lord then opened Balaam’s eyes, and it says in verse 31 that “he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His sword drawn in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell on his face.” God used a donkey to get a prophet’s attention.
Move forward to Judges 15, and you’ll find another account of God using a donkey – or what was left behind of one! Here, the Philistines were coming with shouts toward Samson. Verse 14 tells us, “The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon Samson… And he found a still moist jawbone of a donkey and reached out and took it and slew 1,000 men with it.” We often think of Samson as being buff, someone naturally intimidating. But he wasn’t really. He was an average Joe, a natural guy with a supernatural anointing. Just about anybody can sing, anybody can talk, anybody can preach, but it’s another thing to have the anointing of God upon you. The anointing brings distinction. It causes burdens to be removed and yokes to be destroyed, and whenever you have an anointing, God will allow you to get your hand on some things – even some things you think are useless. They’ll be useful in the hands of the right person! God used the fresh jawbone of a donkey in the hands of an anointed judge, Samson, to bring deliverance to His people. If God can use a donkey, certainly He can use you!
When I think back to Jesus’ triumphal entry, I discover these three things are essential:
The donkey was SELECTED. It was chosen. In John 15:16, Jesus said, “You didn’t choose Me; I chose you and have appointed you to go bear fruit.” He prearranged your selection before your grandmother ever met your grandfather. “Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. What pleasure He took in planning this! (Ephesians 1:3-6, MSG).” You are not His second choice; you are His first choice! Don’t allow the enemy to convince you otherwise. Despite flaws, imperfections and issues, you’re chosen. Isn’t that wonderful?! You’re here today, not because of your goodness or what you’ve done, but because of what He’s done. He sees something in you and says, “That individual, that one, has something I can use.” God says, “I choose you.” Accept your calling today!
The donkey was SANCTIFIED. Mark 11:2 tells us that no one had sat upon the colt. It was sanctified. Sanctification is not just about being set apart from sin. It is also means to be set apart to God. When God calls you out of this world’s sin and bondage, He also calls you into His light. Sanctification is more than the way you dress. I remember how that was such a focal point in times past when women had to wear peanut butter colored stockings that were so thick Superman couldn’t see through them just to be considered sanctified. Now our culture has swung the other way, acting as if sanctification and your dress code have no connection. Our eyes are supposed to be on Jesus, not on you! Be truly sanctified, observing the Lord’s instructions, and be careful that you don’t allow the world’s system to have such an influence on you.
The donkey was SATISFIED. Please notice that this donkey said nothing. It was content to be used of the Lord and had no issue with all the praise and glory going to Jesus. If you’re going to truly be used of the Lord, then settle it in your mind today. May it be your resolve that when He uses you to bless someone in song, you’re satisfied that He gets the glory and not you. When He uses you to pray for the sick and the sick recover, be clear on this: to God be the glory. When He uses you to sow and water a seed, and yet someone else brings in the harvest, be sure to give Him the glory, praise and honor. It’s not about fame or fortune. It’s not about you; it’s about Jesus. Let your prayer be, “Lord if you can use a donkey, you can use me today. I will be faithful to give you the praise and the honor.”
Remember that there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor in the Master’s house. If you cleanse yourself, you will be “a vessel of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work (2 Timothy 2:20-21).” Do you want to be used of the Lord today? Tell Him you’re available!
By Gui Alinat
You may have heard the phrase: “French women don’t get fat.” Frankly, I find it abrupt and provocative, but the truth is, it’s true.
In fact, most Europeans enjoy a nice silhouette, so they must be doing something right (Read on to find out what).
Don’t worry; I know their tricks. I spent about half of my life in Europe before coming to this great country and eventually becoming a proud American.
Today, it just so happens that I received the following email from a reader, so this is my chance to unveil the secrets.
I purchased your Eat More Burn More cookbook and have made several delicious meals from it! I still don’t understand how European women can stay thin when they eat croissants, pasta, bread, etc… all the time! Unless, they make these things with the adjustments you suggest. And what about eating out?? Our family will be spending 2.5 weeks in Italy this month — eating in restaurants often!! Any advice at how we can successfully do this? How do I get around the croissant breakfasts and pasta??? Thank you!” — Lorine
Great questions, Lorine.
You see, the more I spend time in the US, the more I understand the cultural differences between the US and Europe, as they relate to nutrition, exercise, and healthy eating.
How do European women keep their figure? Well, first, things are changing and the adoption of an American lifestyle by Europeans makes things a little harder for them. Nonetheless, there are details in their lifestyle that make a big difference I think.
Here they are:
- Soft exercise is one of them (you walk everywhere in Europe).
- Having longer meals and taking the time to enjoy, and have conversations at the dinner table.
That also makes a difference (digestion takes more time, which helps).
- The portions are smaller.
- The food is more authentic and healthier as a general rule (less processed foods).
- Europeans eat more fiber (more veggies, more nuts, seeds, less empty calories).
- Pastries and sweets are usually enjoyed at the end of the meal.
- Less fast food.
All this makes a huge difference. It makes the difference.
Lorine, I’ll be surprised if your family gains weight during your trip to Italy. Please let me know when you get back. I bet you’ll be all fine. Enjoy your trip, live like an Italian (enjoy the small portion of pasta as an “appetizer,” walk everywhere, eat what the locals put in front of you, have a glass of red wine daily, chit chat with your hosts…), and don’t worry so much about gaining weight.
In my experience, when my US relatives visit my family in France, they actually lose weight! The food there is actually much more fiber oriented, with less empty calories and less sugar. And that is exactly what I promote in my book Eat More, Burn More.
Have a good trip and let me know if I’m right. 🙂
This year, more than 1.5 million people are estimated to be diagnosed with cancer. Even more grim is the fact that half of cancer deaths stem from preventable causes. In recognition of World Cancer Day, which pushes positive and proactive approaches to fighting cancer, HuffPost Live took a look at the things that you can do to lower your risk.
While putting down the cigarettes is one aspect of cancer prevention, Dr. Margaret Cuomo told HuffPost Live on Tuesday that regulating one’s diet and exercise habits should be part of the equation. For starters, she recommended a plant-based diet.
“Look at your plate as a round circle … and divide it into two-thirds whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and a third lean protein. That could be poultry, it could be fish,” she said.
So what types of foods should you avoid?
“We discourage red meat because red meat is a risk factor for cancer — especially processed meat, but all red meat — so we want to minimize that,” Cuomo told host Nancy Redd. “The fewer processed foods you bring into your home and onto your plate, the better.”
Physical activity is also a healthy habit that may ward off cancer, Cuomo added, and it doesn’t have to be done at the gym.
“You can build exercise into your work day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator,” she said. “Walk a few more blocks if you take the bus or subway. If you drive, park a little farther away from your destination and walk.”
Q: There is so much to do and no one to be accountable to when trying to start an online business. How do you stay on top of everything when it seems so overwhelming. Also, I follow everything from you and Mark Ford. But how do you get a mentor when starting out and you don’t have the money to pay for them? – Nate
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” – Thomas A. Edison
|How to Get Ahead at Work
By Cooper, The CEO
Do you want to get ahead in your organization?
In today’s essay, I’ll tell you how to become a superstar employee. I’ll start by sharing two stories with you about employees who recently displayed excellence in my business.
Last month we held a massive customer appreciation event. On the day of, a customer service agent working the event introduced himself to me. Within our company, he helps customers get started when they sign up to one of our premium products. For example, after someone subscribes to the product, he calls them to explain the product and to make sure they have everything they need to get started.
During our conversation at the event, he told me he had lots of ideas to improve the onboarding process for all of our customers.
He was dedicated to adding value above and beyond his job description. He was always thinking about how he could improve the part of our business he’s responsible for. That is a huge secret to getting ahead.
Here’s a guy who is thinking about how things should be done. He’s coming up with specific plans for improvement and working to execute on those plans, and that’s a big secret. Almost everyone has ideas, and some folks even have great ideas, but it’s the execution on your ideas that matters, whether you are an employee or a business owner.
His story gets better. At one time this employee used to commute 90 minutes each way for his customer service job. That alone shows incredible dedication and drive. It’s not surprising that this same guy is proactively thinking of ways to make our business better.
Here’s your first lesson on how to get ahead at work
You must always be thinking of, and executing on, ideas that can improve whatever it is you’re responsible for. Identify problems and outline how you would fix them. Pitch your ideas to supervisors (both what you want to do and any big ideas you have to improve the company). Always think of how you can create value and always show that you are willing to take action. That’s one way to get ahead…
The second way to get ahead is to do what is asked of you and do it well, especially when it comes to problem solving.
I believe the ability to do this (as simple as it sounds) is the single-best predictor of professional success.
If you solve one problem for your supervisor, they will give you another important issue to work on. If you’re successful with the second problem, you’ll get another. It’s a natural way to gain more responsibility in any organization. But it’s rare…
We recently had an issue with the display dates for certain publications in the member area of our website. We knew about this problem for weeks and I felt it was taking too long to resolve. I was frustrated. I asked someone in IT to troubleshoot the issue. One employee took it upon themselves to evaluate the problem, identify the cause, and organized a team to fix it. And he did all of this within just a few hours.
Again, it sounds simple, do your job and do it well. But while the concept sounds simple, it clearly isn’t. Otherwise everybody would always be doing it well and incidents like this would go unrecognized, rather than being an exception that I had to tell you about it.
It takes a special kind of person to grab hold of problems, quickly get to the crux of the issue, and stick with the problem until it reaches a clear resolution. That last part is the most difficult. Too many people give up too soon when it comes to problem-solving. If you’re willing to show even a modicum of persistence in your work tasks, I’ll bet you will get ahead at work.
And if you’re an especially great problem solver, you’ll find yourself moving up the ranks with unimaginable speed. Your supervisors will rely on you more and more, you’ll become integral to the organization and your authority will grow. So will your compensation.