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Saturday, March 24, 2012

warning objects in mirror are closer than they appear.
   They say hindsight is 20/20. I was writing a check for $395.00. I am getting ahead of myself. Where were we? Oh yes, hindsight, before we get to that, you must first decide if God, reacts to situations or if He is in control and has a plan. Brace yourself,  you are embarking on a dangerous adventure. Once you truly head down this road, there is no turning back. No one can answer this for you but God. Salvation is not at stake here. What is at stake, is the finished product you will create, with the ingredients God has given you. Will you report to the all powerful creator of the universe, who has died in your place, put His spirit inside you with excuses?  With mediocrity? Have you thought, the same spirit inside you also created everything?   Here is what I believe, God never reacts to us, we react to Him. He knows what we are going to say and do right on into eternity. So let's get over ourselves, this has never been about us. This has always been about how we can glorify Christ by helping others. God holds us responsible for what we don't do ,that we should do, just as much as He holds us responsible for the things we should not do. Again I digress.
   I was in the shower, crying out to God. Not for salvation, but against desperation. Desperate to live a different kind of  life. A more successful one. Looking back now, it was more like my own personal pity party. Also I wanted to find some sort of purpose for the life He had given me. It is hard to believe your life counts for much running a hardware store. It may be Hank Hill's dream to sale propane and propane accessories but it isn't Clint's idea of shaping the world. I was reciting God's promise in Jeremiah "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."Jeremiah 29:11 ( When you can't hear God, remind Him and yourself what He has already said) I even wondered if God was listening. Like always, He was and just in time he answered me,  from an unexpected place.  What happened next, will forever mark a milestone event for my life. A man ,who I barely knew, called to reschedule an appointment to look at a network marketing program . Truthfully, I just wanted to get it over with,  I just wasn't interested , but I agreed to meet with him. He came. I saw. He was almost out the door when he lead us in prayer, reciting Jeremiah 29:11. Immediately, I heard God tell me " this is the answer to the prayer you prayed."
 That man was my friend Cliff Gilmer. Soon I  met Cliff's wife, Faye. She explained the program to me. I was writing a check for $395.00. I did not know why. I had to. God told me to. It took me a month to come up with the money. I just knew we would be millionaires by now. If you will pardon the expression, we ain't. But I would write that check again. There is not enough time and space to tell you why. Mainly, because I don't know how this story ends. I will tell you some of my top reasons now and let you know if any better ones show up later.
5. I made a little money. I thought it was about the money, everyone said it wasn't I just didn't believe that at first. Even though it was not about the money, there is a sense of satisfaction in some monetary success.
4. I got to meet a lot of people: Both good and bad. The truth, this business brings the best and worst out in people. That's true in life. Seeing others gives you insight on personal areas you need to change.I am able to see some of myself in all those people, it helps me to grow good habits and kill bad ones.
3. I learned more in a year than in ten years. $395  is mighty cheap for an education. Some things they just don't teach you in college. Like go for no. If you don't get that, don't worry that is a whole other blog The most important thing I learned, make an effort to never stop learning. Secondly, always take time to look, you never know what blessing you maybe overlooking if you don't. Third, If you can't fight learn to die well. In short, be willing to change or prepare to die. Trust me, knowledge can change your life unless you already know everything.
2. Results. Two  years later, I am measuring my success much differently. My goals have changed. My number one goal is to help people anyway I can. Because of this the hardware store is growing . We just had our best February in the middle of a recession applying success principles I learned networking. We kept two people from losing their job in the middle of the worse economic crisis in my lifetime. More importantly, I'm making a difference. I pray like it depends on God but I work like it depends on me. I'm blogging about being richly blessed, highly favored , and deeply loved. Something Charlie Burgamy, taught me to say that is still changing my life everyday.  I volunteer every Sunday, and financially support a church that is making a difference by loving God, loving people, and doing something about it.  I never thought I could change the world working from a hardware store but I could write you a list two years later. I helped change this life :  click here for Bob's story. I helped to kick this off. It was a big deal. I tell you this not glorify myself but to show you one person can make a difference.
1. I made a lot of friends.  Friends are the most precious ( that's for you Mary Ann) commodity ever known to any Christan.  They help mold you into what you will become. Wayne and Marsha Beggs,  Charlie Burgamy, Mary Ann and Chris Haggerty.  These are incredible people who I now call friends.  During the process, I got close to Andy Howell , who I sponsored, who I admire and trust.  Of course, Faye and Cliff Gilmer, who started it all.  Why I can count this as a spiritual lesson is because of this business adventure, I made friends, who brought me closer to God. You can't put a price tag on that.
 As for hindsight, it is 20/20 for you but God sees eternity in an instant.  Psalm 37 teaches us :
23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
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It is not about the money, it's about the journey.
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