Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Become a better you... others become better too

by Dale Shumaker

Become a Better You by Joel Osteen inspires you to build a better you regardless of what's going on around you. Use what is around you to plant the seeds that will lead you to greatness. His theme is that your life may not seem to be the best it can be, but you can become better through it. When you become better, then you will see life become better for you.

God wants you to be what he created you to be. What God created you to be you can be confident He will do His part, so do your part.

Seven Keys open the doors to a better you:
1. Keep pressing forward.
2. Be positive toward yourself.
3. Develop better relationships.
4. Form better habits.
5. Embrace the place where you are.
6. Develop your inner life.
7. Stay passionate about life.
You could easily make these your daily affirmations and prayers. And in prayer ask God to help you in these areas and then affirm these to yourself all day long... trusting God is with you and helping you.

Joel has 31 chapters in Become a Better You. A life changing read would be to read one chapter a day for a month, while committing to make one change a day during this time. Do this again for another month and I see this process with Joel's book to be life transforming. He deals with some critical issues which generally plague our society today. Here's just a brief glimpse of what he highlights in the seven keys.

Keep pressing on.
Move from yesterday. Defeat rejections of the past with new directions for today. Your dreams deserve new beginnings. God promises "New Things" for your life constantly. Avoid people who hold you back, and connect with people who want to move forward with you. Your family history, if dysfunctional, doesn't have to be yours. Tap into God's power. Break the curse of the past and learn to function beyond the dysfunctional. Believe in your generational blessings as a Child of God and discover the destiny God has for you. God had great things for you at birth, your destiny, and in your dreams, your heart's desires, know that God put them be fulfilled.

Be positive toward yourself.
Stop accusing yourself and using your own voice in your head, from your mouth, to put you down. Nothing you have done is too much for God's mercy. Like yourself, God does. Get in line with God's likeness of you. What you send out comes back. So send out good. Use words that bless and build up others. Make your mouth a source of positive declaration.

Be a continuous positive self-talk person and proclaim positive ideas to others. What you say to yourself you become. What you say to others, they become.

Develop Better Relationships.
Be a giver. Give to those who can't give back to you. Give compliments to others. This makes someone's day... God will make yours. Be a peacemaker. Blessed are the peacemakers. Invest in people's emotional bank account... it eventually pays back dividends of greatness. When you meet others needs, God meets yours. Take notice of needs and give to someone you know can't pay you back and do it not desiring for them to pay you back.

Form Better Habits.
Those who get ahead, get there on time... be punctual. It is not so much about breaking habits, but replacing bad habits with good habits. What bad habits are holding you back? What good habits could you put in their place that will move you forward? Choose the habit of happiness. Do not magnify problems, magnify the the Bigness of God over your problems. Overcome criticism by not allowing yourself to take revenge or harbor a bitter revengeful attitude. Don't spend too much time trying to win over you critics. Run your own race. You determine your destiny, your happiness; don't allow your critics to determine it for you.

Train your mind to see good, and to dwell in that Good. Be happy, share happiness, lure others into happiness.

Embrace where you are.
Faith may not deliver you, but it will carry you through problems. When things go wrong, believe in God that it is well with your soul. God is Supernatural, he will help you rise above the natural... Supernaturally.

Stay in peace. A storm may rage around you, but you can choose not to be in the storm. God's sunshine is always above the clouds. Remember the Good. God is always guiding your life. Make lists of the good you have when all seems bad. Then focus on the good you do have. Even when things appear out of control, God continually guides circumstances, while protecting you. So you can be a good influence by how you handle challenging situations.

Develop Your Inner Life.
When you obey, you sow a seed that will grow and rise higher. It doesn't always grow and mature over night. God deals with us individually. To whom much is given, much is required. Think higher, God is preparing you for greater things. When your conscience is clear, we can expect good things. Our self image accepts good things. Deal with root issues. A better you won't stick without cleaning out the roots of our problem. Take responsibility and rise up, do something about it. Pay attention to your conscience. Listen to it and obey its quiet commands... the promptings of the quiet voice in you always coaxing you along.

Stay passionate about life.
Begin now planning for your blessings. Don't quit dreaming; keep the vision in front of you. Believe right now that all things are working out in your favor. Use your faith. Exercise your faith. Make provision for new success of abundance to come into your life. Keep singing your song. Keep smiling from your heart. There's a power in giving a pleasant smile to everyone you see. Give to people the best gift of all, a gift of a cheerful heart.

Have a song (create your own Psalms) in your heart. Get up every morning and expect God to turn your problems around for good. He'll give you Supernatural strength to fly with wings like eagles. Start, prepare to live a blessed life. Always keep the vision in front of you, and don't believe the "never" lies. Speak to yourself and others with the confidence of God's belief in you that it's going to happen, act like its going to happen.

Stay passionate about life, don't dwell on what's wrong, but press on to what's better. Every day's a gift from God. There's no limit to what God can and will someday do in your life. Remember, you eventually attract what you think about all the time. Make your thoughts prayers of faith, of expectancy. Pray the belief and confidence you have in God's power on behalf of your life continually. God's miracle potential and power will respond to your persistent faith in Him. Allow miracles to be the common part of you all the time, then the miracles will be common to our lives everyday.

Become a Better You... as you do, life will become increasing better for you.
Joel Osteen sees his role to give us hope. You can find more hope at:

In With Christ in the School of Prayer, Andrew Murray encourages the value of persistent prayer. "When the answer to our prayer does not come at once we should combine quiet patience and being joyful as confidence in our persevering prayer. To enable us to do this, we must try to understand the character and conduct of our God and Father towards those who cry day and night to Him: He is long-suffering over them. He will avenge them speedily."The Master uses the word speedily. The blessing is all prepared. The Father is not only willing, but most anxious to give what we ask. His everlasting love burns with His longing desire to reveal itself fully to His beloved and to satisfy their need. God will not delay one moment longer than is absolutely necessary. He will do everything in His power to hasten the answer."

Be expectant...
God's idea is to answer your prayers speedily

But stay steadfast, enduring, constant in asking...
and expecting.

Andrew Murray.... persevering prayer... the complete chapter:

And we live in the confidence that His Spirit has the Power to do it, what He Promises to give, "without limit" ..."The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit."
(John 3:31-34, NLT)

What we say, people become and even more so when coming from a boss, a leader... someone of a position of power or respect. Then when we touch a heart, Spiritual Power is transferred through us.

If we do a Jesus Thing and take an active positive approach in our business and with all we work with, we can drastically decrease the need for reprimands.

People will live out the blessings we give, become what we tell them. Sometimes called a "pat on the back" or a "that-a-boy," when done strategically and meaningfully will turn the people and culture mindset around.

Speaking blessing (positive I-believe-in-you tone/comment) with value to that person recognized, and efforts appreciated, is what Jesus recommended.This spiritual power went through His followers to do this.

He spoke, touched them… they excelled. In His Love, Jesus transferred the Power of God's Spirit in to them. Do the same…in faith, in love …you bless your people. Begin creating a new atmosphere in your business culture, with your customers, suppliers. The Power of Spirit goes into that person when you do it in love, so they continually know that you appreciate them for who they are. This actualizes their gifts, and enhances ability to perform at higher levels.

As God created, you create. It's in your hands. Give a blessing to all you meet and begin changing the world today one person at a time. What you sow, you will reap and the blessings will boomerang back to you. What you want, give to others.
(Luke 6:38)

Jesus "Proclaimed" people to do great things.
"I tell you the truth… you will do Greater things than these."
(John 14:12)

"I will give you whatever you ask, using my name."
(John 16:17)

Proclaim freedom to the captive minds and hearts around you…
and you will set them free.

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors,
and that the time of the Lord's favor has come."
(Luke 4:18-19)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Speak to Win... Amazingly

by Dale Shumaker

In Speak to Win, Brian Tracy enlarges the best principles on how to present with power in any situation. It's the greatest power there is. When you can communicate very well, so others get it too, and can get across what's on your mind, what you've learned or experienced, you will rise to the top wherever you are. All great leaders are exceptional speaking communicators.

Tracy reassures us that this is a skill you can learn and become very good at. This is one of Tracy's best skills and he has now written a book about what it takes to be one of best at speaking.
Speak to Win covers small groups, meeting, large and small group presentations.

The art of speaking and rhetoric.The three elements of persuasion.
Logos--words and reasoning in your argument.
Ethos--character, ethics, believability when you speak.
Pathos--emotional content of your messages, which is perhaps the most important.

Planning and preparation made simple. Know your audience. Age and age range, gender, income, education, occupation, family status, their knowledge on your subject, how they think, personal desires. Go deeper into their lifestyle such as what is going on in their business, their environment, who they listen to, specific concerns.

For each point use the PREP Formula.
Your Point of view,
Reasons why,
re-affirming your Point of view.

Practice (Tracy lists several methods on how).
Use memory techniques. The more you practice, starting small, the better you become. The key to speaking well is speaking a lot. (Toastmasters is a great place to practice, learn and improve.) Develop self-confidence and mental mastery. Overcoming fear is the biggest speaking roadblock. To increase self confidence, talk about what you strongly believe in, talk from your heart, think of the audience as being on your side, use positive self-talk. ("These guys like me.")

Visualize like a kid imagining great speaking success, go to sleep dreaming of your speech. Emotionalize seeing a pleased group when finished. Do this over and over again and you will actualize what you fantasize?

Also come early, room management is important. Prepare the room ahead of time, so you have time to meet a few people before you begin. Start strong, take charge, be authentic and humble, use humor, tell stories.

Mastering meetings with small groups.
Use meetings for problem solving, information sharing, new product announcements, team building. Be prepared and start with the most important items first... so if you run out of time you have the most important covered.

As a participant, be the first to share, volunteer for responsibilities, prepare before meetings.To be persuasive in a meeting: accept others, express appreciation of other's ideas, compliment others and reveal what you admire about them, share approval by praising others, pay attention to others, be agreeable with others. (Point out what you like about someone else's ideas before suggesting your own.)

Mastering small-group presentations and negotiations.
Negotiations: Start with the end in mind. Remember everything is negotiable. Think like a lawyer by thinking through the other person's case before giving yours. Know the differences between desire and fear. People buy more out of fear of loss, than a desire for a gain.

Law of four: most negotiations require four main issues to be resolved. Find your four and sculpture your presentation around them.

Get them involved. Group solidarity. When your are nice to one person they all feel you are being nice to them. Know the pecking order and make sure you peck in the right order. Invite questions, take a power position. Stand at the head of the table. Determine the next best action. Use visuals: show, tell and ask questions.

In the rest of Speak to Win, Tracy covers how to impress large audiences, learning the tricks of the trade techniques used by master speakers, controlling your space using sound, lighting, temperature, and how to end with a bang. Plus, he adds a bonus chapter on making persuasive sales presentations.

This is vintage Tracy. He packs a lot of quality information into Speaking to Win, dealing with the essential speaking skills and techniques. Tracy has more, including free newsletters and ebooks at:

When Stephen faced the crowd it was said he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Here, a young man, soon to be a martyr, spoke with a boldness which amazed everyone. Peter was given credit after being filled with the Holy Spirit to have great speaking influence. The Apostle Paul was known for his ability to persuade the Jewish leaders to persecute the Christians. But after His conversion experience He spoke with great power, but not of human persuasive abilities. His abilities were of the Supernatural, of Great Power, and that which changed the behavior of those around him.

The Apostle Paul says himself, learning to talk with a new oratory skill... the skill of Spirit...."When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn't use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God's secret plan. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God."
(I Corinthians 2: 1-5, NLT)

We have a power beyond our abilities to speak well. Paul, an educated man, was quite good at expressing a point, and change people's mind. But, in Spirit he found something even Greater.

Andrew Murray enlarges on this theme in the Spirit of Christ.

"Every person must continually be taught by the Spirit how to speak it. And every hearer needs the inward illumination: it is only as he is a Spiritual man, with his life under the rule of the Spirit, that his mind can take in spiritual truth."
"Our preaching was not in man's wisdom, but in the Spirit; that your faith might not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
"We must learn to fear our own wisdom. 'Trust in the Lord with the whole heart, and lean not to your own understanding.' Paul says, to believers: 'If any man thinks that he is wise, let him become a fool, that he may be wise ' (I Cor.3:18)"

"Reject the spirit of the world which is still in you, with its wisdom and self - confidence; come, in poverty of spirit, to be led by the Spirit that is of God. 'Be not fashioned according to the world,' with its confidence in the flesh, and self, and its wisdom; 'but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, ' It is a transformed, renewed life, that, only wants to know God's perfect will, that will be taught by the Spirit. Cease from your own wisdom; 'God hath revealed them to us by His Spirit.'"
"The crucifixion of self and all its wisdom, the coming in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling, as Paul did, will most assuredly be met from above with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power."

This all comes from time committed in Prayer, entering in Spirit, and listening to Spirit. When the Spirit fills our souls, then the words Spirit gives us are loaded with Power that transforms, revolutionizes, persuades beyond our best human skills.

Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft pointed out in the Body of Christ that Peter prayed for ten days with the disciples, gave a 3-minute speech and 3000 people were converted that day.

Power in Spirit is always preceded by much prayer. Put more work into prayer and your work will produce more. You will see demonstrations of power in what you do, and others will be impressed by it and drawn to the source of the Power, Jesus Himself. God then is Glorified which builds His Kingdom.

People need to walk away being impressed of Spirit, not impressed of you. If they do, the human exceeded the Spiritual, and God's Power was left to be desired. When in Spirit, people are drawn to Spirit, not us. Then they will have His Power too.

Heavenly wisdom and power is so beyond human wisdom and power. With the Holy Spirit, Peter went from being the most ineffective disciple to being one of the model apostles. Jesus knew what the Holy Spirit will do when we take time in prayer, in Spirit, and allow the Holy Spirit to saturate the Situation.

Add to your speaking skills the skill of Spirit and let there then be a demonstration of power in and through whatever you speak.

"For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God's power."
(1 Cor. 4:20, NLT)

This is the new speech... it may not be verbalized but only in prayer, but in prayer our battles are won. We walk by power, not articulation skills. We have confidence to enter any communication, knowing when we have prepared in Spirit we have a power beyond us, that works beyond anything we can do... that's amazing.