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Man Lifting Arms to SunsetToday begins a very important year in the life of the Jewish people. From www.chabad.org:

Like the seventh day of the week, every seventh year is holy. The Shemittah (Sabbatical) year is a year devoted to strengthening our bond with God — specifically, honing our faith in His omnipotence and our trust in His kindness. This year, 5775 since creation (Sept. 25, 2014–Sept. 13, 2015), is a Shemittah year.

Keep this in mind as we search out the matter of the Shemittah and its importance for the church today – particularly the church in America. Read the rest of this entry »

The HarbingerDear Jonathan,

Like so many in the church, I am grateful that God has shown us mercy in the Harbinger events, and in the presentation of those events in your book. I think we all agree that your perspective – that the harbingers are for America – is right on target. America has become rebellious towards God, and will suffer the consequences.

I personally believe this is inevitable. The warnings will not be heeded. But all is not lost; for there is more to the warnings. I want to suggest to you (and all my brothers and sisters) that there is another, more important, perspective on the harbingers and the shemitah.

This additional perspective is actually very simple: God has used the events recorded in The Harbinger to warn the church in America. You see, He is more interested in the future Bride of His Son than this nation we are sojourning in. He is being merciful to warn us that the time has arrived for judgment to come to the people of God. If only we would see this before it is too late.

How did I come to this understanding? The Holy Spirit showed me that America is the wall. That’s right. When God formed this nation, He did so to protect the church that He was planting here. He had great plans for those that would trust and obey Him; and He accomplished many great things through the church in America.

Regrettably, the church has become deceived. The wall God provided has become the idol of God’s people. Think about it. How many in the church look to America for security, governance and prosperity? Is it not clear to you? I know it is; and I suspect that from this perspective, you see more than I.

Is it possible that God would have you speak to this through the channels He has established via the success of The Harbinger? The church desperately needs to hear that we are citizens of a greater nation; ambassadors of the kingdom of God. And we must quit pointing our fingers in the direction of Washington, DC to complain about what “they” are doing. We, the church, are in a more desperate place than this nation in which we live.

I could say more, but this seems to be enough for now. I would be blessed to speak with you further on this matter. You can contact me at rob@inlightconsulting.com.

I pray God’s blessing of courage and strength on you.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob Streetman

President; inLight Consulting, Inc.

P.S.  To my brothers and sisters in Christ:  If this has encouraged you, and you have a communication channel to Jonathan, please forward this to him.

Reach OutWe live in a conditional world. Our lives are filled with a continual rush of “if this, then that”. Conditions are so much a part of our lives that we don’t notice most of them. Others require more of our attention:  If we pay our bills, then our utilities will stay on. If we treat customers with respect and give them a fair deal, they will return and recommend us to others. If we hire good people, good work will get done.

God made the world this way; including our relationship with Him. From the Old Covenant to the New, God’s favor is conditional (e.g., if we love Him, we will obey Him; and He will come and dwell with us). This is the way God relates to His children – even those in the Marketplace. The wise business man or woman recognizes this fact, responds accordingly, and prospers in the kingdom of God.

So, do you need a breakthrough in your business? Are you looking for God to show up and “do something”? Have you ever asked yourself, “What do I have to do to make this thing work?” Are you still waiting on God to give you the desire He put in your heart?

I believe I have the answer for you – at least a big part of it – in these three simple steps (notice I didn’t say easy):

  1. Surrender: Psalm 37:4 encourages us to delight ourselves in the LORD, and He will give us the desires of your heart”. The Hebrew word translated here as “delight” means “to be soft” (like clay in the Potter’s hand). Our being soft (i.e., surrendered) is a condition for the desires of our heart becoming a reality.
  2. Consecrate: Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they had to consecrate themselves. Before God would enter the Temple, He required that it be consecrated (set apart for His use). The same is true for those that served Him there. The promises of God, and God using us in business, are conditional on our being set apart for His use.
  3. Submit to His Ways: God is working in us to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13); to give us His kingdom, beginning in this life (Luke 12:32). He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20).

Marketplace Ministry Tip: As with most things in the world and in God’s kingdom, these three simple steps take practice. Don’t become discouraged. Keep seeking the LORD, and you will find Him. He is too big to miss. His strength will be sufficient for your needs. Please contact me (rob@inlightconsulting.com) if I can help you better understand and take these necessary steps.

Humbly yours and His forever,

Albert EinsteinInsanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein, Nobel Physicist

Is it beginning to feel like you and your business are in a rut? Is the market passing you by? Well, maybe you are in a rut; and maybe you are being passed. If so, it is high time you checked your paradigm.

What’s a paradigm? Well, it’s a pattern or model of something – like a sales process, or the way you look at the world. In a rapidly changing world, paradigms can be dangerous. They lock us into the way things have always been done. They oppress the creativity that got us here. Eventually, they box us out of the market.

Some paradigms are resilient, and should be; but even the most resilient paradigms should be challenged from time to time. Adjusting your paradigms will challenge your trust in God and your ability to hear Him… and that’s a good thing. Remember, He loves you and He has an adventurous plan for you.

Marketplace Ministry Tip: Take the time this month to attend a conference, read a book, or research a topic on the internet that will challenge your paradigms. Use these as communication tools with God – your CEO. Surrender to His will and allow Him to free you from the paradigms that are oppressing your creativity. Contact me, at rob@inlightconsulting.com, if I can help you in this regard.

Your servant and His forever,

Reach OutI want to encourage you to expand your perspective by considering God’s purpose for enterprise. Let’s begin with these well known passages:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27

And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Enterprise was created by God to provide man with the means for loving Him; and not just with the money he/she invests in the kingdom. To love God fully, we must also love Him (by loving others) with all our strength. Godly enterprise has the power to transform communities through works of mercy and service.

As Marketplace Leaders know, the business/vocation we have been given requires much of our heart, soul, mind and strength. For those that have surrendered all to the LORD, our work is an expression of our love for Him… when it is done for others. This is the sacrificial love He requires of all His children.

Furthermore, when we do our work for others – to meet the needs of employees, customers and those less fortunate – they will see beyond who we are and recognize the One that gives all good gifts to men. They will glorify our Father in heaven. In beholding His glory, they will be transformed (2Corinthians 3:18).

Marketplace Ministry Tip: As you make plans for the remainder of this year, be sure to include at least one strategy and project for the One that you serve. Include others in the work. Plan to sacrifice. Contact me, at rob@inlightconsulting.com, if I can be of assistance.

Your servant and His forever,

A Storm is ComingWhat would you do if you knew a storm was coming? Would you stick your head in the sand? Would you run? Would you figure out a way to work around it? Be honest with yourself: What is your tendency when trial and tribulation are clear to see on the horizon?

Now, let me ask you: What would you prefer your response to be? Again, be honest with yourself; and write down your answer. Seriously, write it down. If you are a righteous man or woman, it is likely God’s desire for you; and there are things He will empower you to do that will help you prepare.

In this – the third and final part of this series – we will continue to consider the preemptive responses that prepare us for the storm that is coming. As we do, let me remind you that God does not act without first giving His people fair warning. Those willing to respond to God’s warnings are promised eyes to see and ears to hear. Do you see and hear the warnings that are all around us?

For those of you that prefer to think the best about our future, let me suggest that it will not hurt to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. This is, in fact, good and accepted business practice. Billions of dollars are spent annually on contingency planning. So let’s talk about contingency planning God’s way.

As we mentioned in parts one and two, there are a number of preemptive responses we can take, as Christians, to strengthen our relationship with God and make the most of the opportunities that trials and tribulations bring. As Marketplace Leaders, we are looked upon for courage and answers in difficult times. Prepare yourself now, and God will use you to expand His kingdom, for His glory.

Preemptive Response #5: Know and do the sayings of Jesus Christ. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that the man whose home will stand during the storm is the man who “hears these sayings of mine and does them” (Matthew 7:24-25). Therefore, an obvious preemptive response is to understand His sayings and make sure we are doing them.

Preemptive Response #6: Keep your eyes focused on the glory of the Lord – the primary condition for transformation (2Corinthians 3:18). Your focus will cause others to look to Him, as well. Be aware that your enemies will attempt to distract you. Establish safeguards to protect yourself and others. Practice turning to Him in the morning; and regularly, throughout the day.

Preemptive Response #7: Make the most of your chaos moments (don’t waste the pain). When moments and seasons of chaos come, ask God what He is up to and join Him in the work. It will also be important for you to help others through their chaos moments and seasons. This is the mark of a true disciple maker (2Timothy 2:1-5).

Contact us at Rob@inLightConsulting.com if you would like to receive a list of Jesus’ sayings from the Sermon on the Mount. We also have more information regarding the transformation process and how to handle its inherent chaos. It would be a blessing to supply you with the resources God has so graciously provided our ministry.

In closing, we strongly admonish you to stand against the enemy’s discouragement in your adventure. Remember, your journey and your assignment are born out of the very purposes of God; and no purpose will be denied Him.

 

Humbly yours and His forever,

 

Rob Streetman; President, inLight Consulting, Inc.

I live in the Dog River Basin. That means hills, lots of hills; hills that are relatively difficult (at least for me). I cannot ride five miles from my house without encountering at least four challenging climbs. God has used the hills around my house to teach me some interesting things about His kingdom, and my walk in it.

God first showed me that hills can be a distraction. This happened while riding on a relatively flat, and very pleasant, section of my route; think smooth road, few cars, lot of trees and sunshine. I should have been enjoying myself. Instead, I was troubled. There was a hill coming up; and two or three more after that. I caught myself dreading the ride, and wondering what I was doing out there. Silly, I know; but that’s what hills can do to you, if you let them.

God’s lesson that day: Don’t think too far ahead – particularly about hills. I am sure you see the connection this has with real life; even life in the real world – the place where we spend most of our waking hours; the place we call the Marketplace. Whether it’s running a business, defending a client, teaching a classroom of students, or trying to be your best in your favorite sport, it’s just not a good idea to let the future distract you from the pleasures of the moment. Jesus said it like this:

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34

Not only was the hill taking my joy away, it was distracting me from one of the primary reasons I ride my bike – to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. As I told you in my last lesson while riding, God speaks to me when I ride with Him. It is an amazing expression of His grace to join me on these rides. But that doesn’t happen when I take my mind’s eye off of Him in consideration of the future hill.

There is another pitfall that comes with thinking about the upcoming hills: The temptation to avoid them. Who would do that, right? That’s where you get the most exercise. Well, I can tell you from experience that it is human nature to avoid pain – to find a route around the challenges of our lives. The result: No growth, and the development of a timid spirit. Enjoy His presence, and you will avoid this debilitating temptation.

In conclusion, be encouraged that the time to think about the hills in our lives will come soon enough for each one of us. If you are on a hill now, then certainly think about it. Your Riding Partner will meet you in that moment; and He will teach you something in the challenge. In fact, there is much that we can learn from Him on the hills.

I will share some more in my next post. In the meantime, stay in the moment. Don’t let the future rob you of His pleasure.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob Streetman; President, inLight Consulting, Inc.

Multi-ethnic pile of handsI hope by now that you have discovered the desire of your heart – that passion or burden that God placed in you for this season of your life.  It may be funding missions, returning prayer to a local school, or developing a new product that will better serve your customers and create jobs for those that need them.  It can be just about anything.  God is that creative and dynamic.

Remember, that desire becomes His purpose when you surrender to it.  And whatever that desire becomes, you can be sure it will require more of you than you’ve got to give.  Such an assignment from God will require your transformation, and the transformation of your business.

The Greek word for transformation is metamorphoo (one of my favorites).  It reminds me of caterpillars and butterflies.  Have you ever cut open a cocoon?  I haven’t, but I hear it’s pretty messy in there.  The transformation of a person (or a business) is no different.  And it is no less a work of God.

So here’s the good news:  If you are feeling like a caterpillar being turned into a butterfly, take heart.  The experience is normal, and you are not alone.  As they say, misery loves company.  More important, and more true:  Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).  Nothing replaces misery better than a mission (aka, desire).  And we were made to do mission together.

The bad news?  If you haven’t experienced transformation yet, you will.  Or, should you choose to fight it, you will continue being a caterpillar until another cold snap takes you out.  Who wants to be a part of that?  Stubborn or fearful caterpillars, that’s who.

Marketplace Ministry Tip:  Don’t join the company of miserable, frozen caterpillars.  Be strong and of good courage.  Embrace transformation.  And don’t be metamophoo’ed alone.  Find a group of peer professionals that can help you navigate the journey, in the quickest and most profitable way.  If you desire to join such a group, contact me at rob@inlightconsulting.com for more information.

DSC_0109“No man is an island.” English writer John Donne made this assertion in 1624. It is a truth that has stood the test of time. No man (or woman) can survive, separate from the human collective. This has been proven by science, and witnessed day by day in our own lives. We cannot live an abundant life without others. So, why do we try?

First, we try to live in isolation because we are taught that being independent is a sign of maturity. We are taught to stand on our own two feet. It is the strong man and woman that don’t need anyone (e.g., John Wayne). We are encouraged to be the captain of our own ship, failing to realize that everyone else is being taught the same.

Of course, the truth of the matter is we find more abundant life when we live in community. Ironically (and this is a huge point), the true sign of maturity is becoming dependable – while continuing to depend on others. The Jewish community is so successful in business because this is their way of life.

Secondly, relationships are hard work. Ask anyone that has taken on a business partner. It is difficult to have a partnership when ships don’t normally have two captains – unless those captains discover how to work together. As an Enterprise Architect at SunTrust Banks, I was constantly working on teams – and it was incredibly difficult. Why? Because, in that culture, we were motivated by competition, not cooperation. It makes me sad to think back on the loss of productivity in those teams. We could have accomplished so much more in a cooperative culture.

Marketplace Ministry Tip: Identify who God has put in your sphere of influence to share in your marketplace adventure. Consider that He is motivated to assist you in developing strong relationships with others – peers, partners, employees, other businesses (John 17:20-23). The productivity and abundant life you will find is well worth the determination and courage it will take to forge successful relationships.

Doubled chaos by PokornyHello, again! I hope you have taken the time to discover the desire God has given you for this season of your life (last month’s tip). That desire can be found where God has hidden it – in your heart. Surrender to God, and that desire will become a purpose that will not be denied (Job 42:2).

That desire will become your next assignment for His kingdom. Like the addition of a new product line, service or geographic area, your assignment will be an adventure. For me, it was a whole new career!!

Like most new business adventures, there will be training and transition; there will be challenge and… don’t run… CHAOS. Like many of you, I have experienced trial and tribulation and watched many go through it. This economy has given every business owner a taste of chaos.

The Bible calls these times in our lives transformation (1Corinthians 3:18). And it is here that we find the good news: Chaos is normal, and it is intended for our good. It is in chaos that we find faith and are separated from the character flaws that would dishonor God in our new assignment. It is during the transformation that we are trained and transitioned for the next adventure.

Marketplace Ministry Tip: Here are 10 keys to persevering through the chaos:

  1. Intentionally recognize the sovereignty of God; all He allows works to our good (Romans 8:28).
  2. Praise Him for His faithfulness (1 Peter 4:19).
  3. Come to terms with the ending of the old status quo; grieve if necessary (Isaiah 43:18).
  4. Recognize this is as much about your transformation as it is about your impending assignment (2 Corinthians 3:18).
  5. Stay focused on Him; distractions are your enemies (Luke 9:62).
  6. Choose daily to surrender, sacrifice and submit (Luke 9:23).
  7. Exercise your faith (Psalm 34:7-19).
  8. Get more relational with the Lord (Hebrews 4:16).
  9. Go with others (Psalm 133).
  10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10).

Your servant and His forever,

Rob

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