Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Truth About You... Heavenly gifts on earth and Heaven

by Dale Shumaker

The Truth About You by Marcus Buckingham is an intriguing, inspiring, action-propelling package. Buckingham's new book about discovering your true strengths is a transformational package with a book, a DVD of Marcus Buckingham personally presenting his novel insights, and then a small, pocket ReMemo pad (probably the most important part of the book). All this is packaged as a personal, self-coaching system. This is a precocious concept. As an educational technology training specialist, I give this a high A as a multi-sensory, activating experience that will drive exciting change into your life.

The DVD includes a passionate, heart-reflecting presentation by Buckingham himself. Then within his presentation, a dramatic video story is inter-cut throughout about a young boy finding his strength. Ingeniously done. The little ReMemo pad is used to record where you feel strong, and where you feel weak. And how to champion your own discovery of what you are really good at, naturally excel at in life while feeling the fun of it along the way. The DVD makes you want to read and do the exercises Buckingham suggests in the book. I even tested it on an entrepreneur- minded couple, and after seeing the DVD they stayed up late that night and read the book. Buckingham has as life-transforming power system here.

Digging up our strengths reinvigorate us and make life fun again. When we are in our natural gifts, we feel happiness, we feel strong after we do them, we demonstrate a performance excellence instinctively, and then the rewards start falling in place. We feel comfortable in our strengths as we live an energizing concept of life...true to us.

Here's a snapshot of the content flow in The Truth About You. Who you are when young will be more of you as you get older. Your strength just grows through your life. Only about two out of ten of us get to play to our strengths in what we do.

Three truths to consider:
--As you grow, you become more and more of who you really are.
--You grow most in your areas of greatest strength.
--A great team player volunteers his strengths to the team most of the time and deliberately partners with people who have different strengths.

Take your interests seriously and don't let people take you out of your strengths. Strengths aren't what you are good at, and weaknesses aren't what you are bad at. Some things you are good at you don't really like and they don't make you feel strong. Feeling strong is the indicator.

To spot a strength, use the "sign"s.
S... Success. Where does success come naturally for you?
I... Instinct. What do you instinctively look toward?
G... Growth. Where do you concentrate easily, your brain fires up?
N... Needs. What fills a need?
When these occur, it may be a strength.

Use the ReMemo pad and note on the blue pages every day for a week what makes you feel strong as you do it. You have a feeling of anticipation before you do it, and when done, you feel fulfilled by doing it. Just say what you feel when you do it and don't try to figure it out too much. Then at the end of the week, note the "verbs" and see the actions that created these feelings.

In what you do, the "what" always trumps the why and who. Always ask "What am I paid to do." This is your defining answer. You never turn your weaknesses into strengths. You will never find the perfect job, so neutralize weaknesses and expand strengths.

Now use the ReMemo pad to list on the black pages what makes you feel weak, bored. After a week read them back to yourself and they will make you feel weak just thinking about them. So what do you do with these? Stop doing it. Partner up with someone strong in that. Sharpen your strengths. Look at your weakness through a strength. Do what makes you weak by using your strength in it. Try to play to your strengths as much as you can, but there are times you must just do it.

Your organization will never know you like you do; and you'll never turn your weaknesses to strengths. Find your strengths and keep in them as much as you can.

Buckingham has a amazing method to turn your life around in The Truth About You. This is a personal bookshelf book/DVD for constant review... to build the Strongest You.

Buckingham has extra background resources on the DVD, plus a blog and more resources on his website:

The Truth about You is that in addition to having natural Strengths you can have Spiritual Strengths. The Apostle Paul says we are also given Spiritual Gifts and strengths that function Supernaturally.

They are given to us by the Spirit and function along side our natural gifts. So where we are weak, we may be strong. In fact many of these replace a weakness we have with a Spiritual Strength that is solely from God. A Spiritual Strength not given at birth or earned, but literally provided by God's Spirit to us.

Paul explains Spiritual gifts, and these are given, regardless of how our natural gifts may function. They may enhance a natural gift or replace a weakness with a strength.

"A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have."

(1 Corinthians 12: 7-11, NLT)

So a yearning may be an indicator that God wants to give you a Spiritual gift there, even in areas where we have a history of weakness in that area. God may very well want you to be strong where you see yourself weak, although His Spirit will do it through you. The Scriptures say that He will reward those who diligently seek Him.

The disciples were seeking God diligently and then all kinds of Spiritual gifts come on them. The people where amazed as they had knowledge of things when not educated, and speaking skills when they were common fishermen. The transformations amazed the crowds. When Spiritual gifts come on us our families, friends and acquaintances will be amazed at the dramatic change in us.

Paul said He would rather boast about His weaknesses. Why? Where Paul had shortcomings, The Spirit of God put in Him strengths and abilities to function in Spiritual strength where he was humanly weak.

King David said many times in the Psalms that his strength was through God's power. The Lord, the great one, was his strength.
"God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect." (Psalm 18:32, NLT)
"God is awesome in his sanctuary.
The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people." (Psalm 68:35, NLT)

The Prophet Isaiah said that God rescues us from all our troubles and gives us new strength:

"Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.
O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength." (Isaiah 40:26-31, NLT)

Our natural bodies have many weaknesses. But even in our weaknesses here on earth we are promised Heavenly strengths. We will inherit Heavenly bodies to replace these earthly bodies. So where we are weak here on earth we will be made strong in Heaven. Regardless of how effective we are on earth with what we have to work with here, as far as our natural strengths go, we will be made perfect when we have Heavenly bodies after we die.

"There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory. It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies." (1 Corinthians 15:40-44, NLT)

Our natural bodies of earth are weak, but our Spiritual bodies of Heaven are strong. So, what we do on earth will be rewarded but according to how we live here on earth. It is important to realize we have two existences in our lives. One on earth and the other in Heaven promised to us when we live our earthly lives one in Jesus.The Heavenly lifestyle is unexplainable, more appealing than the earthly lifestyle of today. It supersedes anything we see and experience on earth now. It is so beyond earth in its magnitude and its euphoric delights. It is the best investment we can make in life to guarantee we live this after we live this life. Jesus said this life has it sorrows, but the next life is eternal happiness. How do we guarantee our Heavenly rewards? In Catching a Glimpse of Heaven, E. M. Bounds talks about what Heaven is like and the character of the person who gets there.

Heaven will be the pursuit, enjoyment, and increase of life. It will be eternal Life in Heaven, will be a rapture. Mind, soul, and spirit will be widened, elevated, deepened, refined, and beautified by it. Everything will conspire to make the life supremely blessed and glorious. Christ will feed that life on the richest pastures and lead the way to fountains of living water. 'God will wipe away all tears' from the eyes of that Life."
"The power of the Holy Spirit puts in us a thirst for Heaven, until all other tastes grow pale in us. The power of the Spirit binds us to heaven because Jesus is its center and glory."
"The Holy Spirit implants Heaven in us."

"The law for Heavenly contestants is severe self control.... to
restrain appetites of pride and self seeking. Purity of character reigns in Heaven but money does not."

The building blocks of character are faith, a faith built on Jesus Christ. Virtue with courage as the chief and distinguishing idea in virtue. Knowledge including Spirit revelation through reading the Bible which yields a power, strength and light. Temperance with self control of passions, temper, appetites and desires. Patience to contend with earthly hindrances, persecutions, temptations that create conflict with our inner life in Spirit to the world. And become God-like in knowing God. Until we of the brotherhood of earth are like the brotherhood of Heaven. To prefer others before ourselves. To follow Jesus command to put others before ourselves."

"Death has no fascination for the true Christian, but he does not fear to die or fear to live.
We find ourselves out of tune with earth, a world chilling to us, its companionship dull and insipid, Heaven is our natural home."

"It is to unfasten our hearts from earth and fasten them to Heaven.
God must destroy our infatuation with our earthly homes so that we seek a home in Heaven."

truth about you is that you will have two bodies.... an earthly body with natural birth gifts and this natural body has potential of Spiritual gifts planted in it Supernaturally... that you can use along with your natural gifts.

you will be transformed into a Heavenly body after this earthly body dies. It will have the Heavenly qualities... of constant love, joy, absent of pain, and eternal sense of wonder, as we live a life not even comprehensible with our human minds.

A glimpse of Heaven for just one second while on earth would change our perspectives forever
. We would choose Heavenly priorities on earth as our chief aim. We would live looking forward to the wonderful moment of being in a marvelous ecstasy in presence of God forever.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tribes... Covenant Connections

by Dale Shumaker

Tribes by Seth Godin is about all of us being a leader of a tribe.
The factory concept of life is over and the tribe is the way of the community. To be a tribe a group needs two things: a shared interest and a way to communicate. "You can't have a tribe without a leader, and you can't be a leader without a tribe." There are many tribes and we have the tools. The market needs you as their leader and all that's missing is you, and your vision and your passion. All that's missing is leadership.

Tribes are about faith, belief in an idea, belief in a community.
Three things have happened.
1. People are realizing that to work for something you believe in
is much more satisfying than just getting a paycheck.
2. The factory-centric model of producing goods and services is not
as profitable as it used to be.
3. Many consumers no longer buy from the factory-produced commodities.

We spend our time and money on fashion, on stories, on things
that matter, and things they believe in. Godin's thesis: For the first time, everyone in an organization is expected to lead. The new structure in today's workplace makes it easier to change things and individuals have more leverage than ever.The marketplace is rewarding organizations and individuals who change things and create remarkable products and services. It's engaging type things, thrilling, profitable, and fun.

Most of all there's a tribe of fellow employees, customers,
investors, believers, hobbyists, readers just waiting for you to connect them to one another and lead them where to go. Management manipulates. Leaders create things you believe in. The new rule is if you want to grow, you need to find customers, who are willing to believe in you, join you, donate to you or support you. Leaders make a ruckus.

It takes just two things to turn a group into a tribe:

A shared interest.
A way to communicate.

Communicate four ways:

Leader to tribe,
tribe to leader,
tribe member to tribe member,
tribe member to outsider.

The leader increases the effectiveness of the tribe and its members by
transforming shared interest into a passionate goal and desire for change; providing tools to allow members to tighten their communication; leveraging the tribe to allow it to grow and gain new members.

A million people who join a tribe may not have change in mind,
but a few thousand may. The million may only watch the thousand and wonder what they are doing. Extraordinary tribes are connected, communicating up, down, sideways because of a passionate mission and not just a shared idea.

Tribes grow by leading connections to more connections. Then you have
a movement. A movement has three elements:
1. A narrative that tells a story of who we are and the future we are trying
to build.
2. A connection between and among the leader and the tribe.

3. Something to do... the fewer the limits the better.

A crowd is a tribe without a leader, a tribe without communication.
Many organizations market to crowds. Smart organizations assemble the tribe. Organizations that destroy the status quo win. Changing the status quo gives you a chance to be remarkable. Creating new products and services that are remarkable requires initiative. Initiative equals happiness.

Watch out for the F word. Why don't we initiate if it equals happiness. Fear. There must be a will to make things happen. Hone your skills and don't hide from the fear of leading. When you lead a tribe benefits increase, work gets easier, results are more obvious. This is good reason to overcome fear. Innovation is criticized. So create something that critics will criticize. This makes you a heretic. Great leaders of tribes are heretics. So heretics must believe.

Tighten your tribe. Attract eager followers, not just followers.

You need to know two things:

Individuals have far more power than ever before.

The only thing that holds you back from being a great leader is faith.

We turn existing systems on their head. We call heretics leaders. The heretics are winning. We must join them. Faith leads to hope, and it overcomes fear. Without faith its suicidal to be a leader, to act like a heretic. Don't fall in love with a system and you lose the ability to grow. Faith is demonstrated by the action you take. Initiating is truly difficult, and that's what leaders do. They make change.

Create your micromovement.
You can ignite your micromovement
and then be propelled by the people joining it. The key elements to creating your micromovement are:
1. Publish a manifesto
. Give it away and make it easy to spread far and wide.
2. Make it easy for your followers to connect with you.
Use the Internet social network tools... Facebook, Ning, etc.
3. Make it easy for your followers to connect with one another.
Great leaders find ways to make these interactions happen.
4. Realize that money is not the point of the movement.
Money exists merely to enable it.
5.Track your progress.

Do it publicly and create pathways for your followers to
contribute to the progress.


1.Transparency really is your only option.
2. Your movement needs to be bigger than you.
3. Movements that grow thrive.

4. Movements are made most clear when compared to the status quo.
5. Exclude outsiders.
6. Tearing others down is never as helpful to a movement as building
your followers up.

Being wrong is not fatal. The secret to being wrong isn't to avoid being wrong.
Leaders change the status quo.

Leaders create a culture around their goal and involve others in that culture.
Leaders have extra-ordinary amount of curiosity about the world they're trying to change, use their charisma to attract followers, communicate their vision of the future, commit to the vision, connect their followers to each other. If you require success before commitment you will never have either.

People believe what they tell themselves. All leaders are different and they
deal differently with everyone. They do not back down on choices, yield to compromise, do not dumb down, or give up. Be the leader of your tribe and learn more at:

From his life work, The Body of Christ, the late Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft, explained what is essential for any group to work. It addresses the "tribe" relationships which make them powerful. In my blog, , August 5, 2005, I created a paraphrase of what is the connection which make groups function at higher levels. Here's the Spiritual spin.

Groups who create
Love Covenant Connections are Supernaturally strong.

The synagogues needed ten men to make it function. Jesus said two or three in unity will make it work. The secret is the quality of its unity, not how many. When the Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians he was correcting the the lack of unity and ones that belongs in the Body of Christ. He was out to show them the importance of Covenant Connection.

A covenant is a binding agreement
between two parties. In Exodus 24:8 there was a blood covenant. The covenant of blood suggests the binding relationship between and among believers who are the Body of Christ. This covenant was understood to be so binding that those who gave a blood covenant to each other protected the interests of the other, even to the point of giving his own life.

So Jesus emphasized this when he said.
"I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him." (John 6:53,56, NLT)

Eating his flesh could very well mean our living in acceptance of Jesus
Miraculous birth, living sinless lives, accepting and living by Jesus' teachings, and knowing we have redemption and healing in our lives. Drinking His blood takes us even deeper in our relationship commitments. We intercede for others in prayer to the point of sweating in agony, as Jesus sweat drops of blood for the Kingdom to come to us. The blood He shed at the cross we are to drink. We do this when we serve at the expense of our selves. We bless until we bleed.

The commandments to serve one another by Jesus had a very critical meaning.
We committed to serve one another in time of need. When we don't have a serving attitude to those in need, we suffer the loss of the manifestation of His Presence. The example Jesus set and the washing of the disciples week was Jesus making this point. ( Jesus said if you don't let me wash your feet, "you have no part of me.")

Dr. Ashcroft pointed out that the last supper meal of Jesus had a much more significant meaning than practiced today. When sharing the wine with each other, He was sharing His blood (from His brutal death) with everyone.

He was creating a blood covenant… which creates a close love covenant with us and God Himself, through the Holy Spirit
Jesus promised. We as One is a binding relationship in that all things are shared as common. This is the ideal of marriage... all belongs to both. In any Spiritual union, it transfigures life around us.

When groups live in covenant relationships, a love covenant relationship intertwined by Spirit among each other, All The Power of Jesus, of His Spirit, is then manifested. It's part of us.

This Power of Spirit will then surpass what Jesus Himself accomplished while on earth.
Paul wants us to see the value and need for unity.

Satan creates divisions, and
when there are divisions and dissensions all around, the Holy Spirit cannot work. When there is unity and servant attitudes, the Holy Spirit works among them. By being in unity and having blood covenants in our attitudes of relationships the windows of Heaven will open and His blessings will pour over us. Paul was very harsh on those who cause divisions and he pronounced God's judgment on those causing these offenses. We cannot overemphasize the importance of 2 or 3 together in His Name and the value of unity.

The goal is growing to One in unity in Spirit, in with everyone, where ever we have
functioning associations... home, work, community. Where 2, 3, 4 or more work as a love unit… the power of Jesus had is demonstrated through what we do. Again, division robs Spiritual Power. Sacrificial unity manufactures Power. Division is our biggest enemy it destroys all the Potential Power of Jesus in Us.

"The Corinthians had lost the sense of Covenant Connection. Paul, the Apostle said, 'We being many are one bread, and one body.' He addressed their loss of consciousness of the value of need for unity. Satan, Evil Spirits, business is to divide. The Holy Spirit cannot work where there is division. We only need to remember that it is where two agree on earth, the Father works in Heaven. God, the Holy Spirit (Jesus Spirit) works when God's people are in unity." (Dr. Ashcroft)

Our objective should always be to Merge Diversity.
Different perspectives which merge to function as an orchestration of views and activity creates power. Harmony in Diversity is the fuse to power. Great things come out of this phenomenon. When we spend our time seeking for the right answer, from the right person, we limit impact. We should work toward merging ideas to form a better inspired idea.

When we do this, we then are hearing from Jesus, we transform our thinking as a group into the mind of Christ. . So we add "all" of Spirit (presented in parts from everyone). Then we all share part of Jesus, a true Voice of Spirit. We bring it into one Voice, one shared/combined view, perspective of a Higher Level… that moves us into being the Mind of Christ. When all voices are heard, we hear Jesus' voice... all ideas form One Bigger Idea... of Spirit Power.

Love, relationship binding, humility, respect to each other and an enthusiasm as a group is also inherently manifested out of this.

As I visited with Dr. A. he saw this... Covenant Connection Principle…as the key to seeing the Supernatural as the normal part of our lives. The lack of the Covenant Connection Principle is the reason why so little power in living exists today.

Any group.... a business group, family group, cause/mission group, Spiritual Growth group.... that applies this principle will see "Greater things than what Jesus did on earth" happen through their groups.

This would make businesses, and any group with a special purpose, very noble and powerful if they followed the Jesus Spirit pattern… an organism with a noble cause.
A business leader's role is ideally a servant leader to bring the gifts out of people, create business systems that utilize these gifts to the fullest and maintain the Spiritual unity which fosters greatness.

It is his/her role to create ways to take care of people and the needs in people's lives. Jesus ideal presented to mankind can be fulfilled through the business system in society. If business owners see their role beyond just profits for themselves and shareholders,
but instead see profits for all who work with them as a core of Spirit power fulfilled through a Jesus-centered community.

Business entities can lead the way for the Power of Spirit to be manifested in the community, and nation they serve. This can be the hub of strength for our society. The home is ideal, but realistically people interact as a community with more time at work.

Spiritual cells of power and unity can be cultivated and carried out in the workplace with more precision…. which would impact the people, their home lives, the community and the nation…. and create a Supernaturally profitable business entity.
This becomes a Spirit-powered driven business management model, process and system for exceptional service and product development.

It only takes 2, 3, 4 or more in unison, "Covenant Connection," to accomplish this. It takes "Giving up" all we have for others. And "Giving to" what we can to make it happen.
"Those who Give up… for the Jesus mission… will not go without their reward." It is a reward of ultra-world proportions of the Most High for Us as the Body of Christ.

"When we unite here on earth, it connects us with Heaven."
(Dr. Ashcroft)

A unique view. Uniting on earth creates an interactive connection with Heaven's miraculous creating power. It Sparks Heavenly Activity.
(Angelic forces strategically carry out Spiritual military engagements on our behalf.)

Great Groups living out this Spirit function with humility, forgiving hearts, serving others sacrificially as needed… a loving, reciprocating, caring group of noble, cause-driven, gifted, giving people.

Not all things are possible by a human being;
but human beings as One in Spirit, become a powerful Body in Christ.

ALL Things Are Possible!