Una Semana Deficil Para La Reforma Migratoria


Esta fue una semana dificil para el tema de la reforma migratoria pues esta se perdio entre temas politicos que si bien no estaban dirigidos a la inmigracion, tenian relacion con ella. Para empezar el partido republicano decidio decirle de manera política al presidente que no estaba de acuerdo con todas las ordenes ejecutivas que estaba tomando y que sentian que el estaba re escribiendo las leyes en vez de asegurarse que se estuvieran cumpliendo. Para esto, la camara de representantes del congreso aprobo dos proyectos de ley que si bien no tienen futuro y nunca seran ley, sirvieron para asustar a la poblacion inmigrante y crear angustia entre los nuestros.

El primer proyecto de ley que pasaron se llama “ENFORCE ACT” y basicamente busca que el congreso tenga la facultad de enjuiciar al presidente cada vez que el congreso sienta que el presidente se esta sobrepasando en sus atribuciones. Para buscar votos, quien escribio esta ley puso de ejemplo las ultimas decisiones del presidente en cuanto a Obamacare (retrasar penalidades), el IRS (retrasar penalidades) y la inmigracion (DACA y prosecutorial discretion). Sin embargo, la intencion de este proyecto de ley no es la de acabar con estas decisiones sino con el afan de enjuiciar al presidente y promover que deje de tomar decisiones ejecutivas. Al dia siguiente, la misma camara de representantes paso otro proyecto de ley conocido como “FAITHFUL EXECUTION OF THE LAW ACT” O LEY DE EXECUTION FIDEDIGNA DE LAS LEYES” y este proyecto busca limitar el poder del presidente de dictar normas ejecutivas. En ambos casos, la intencion de estas leyes no es meramente anti inmigrante sino mas bien es una movida politica para llamar la atencion de la poblacion hacia posibles errores del presidente para obtener mas votos en las proximas elecciones. En ambos proyectos de ley, el pronostico de convertise en ley es casi nulo porque no cuenta con los votos en el senado y el presidente ha amenazado con vetar el proyecto si pasara las dos camaras osea no firmar estos proyectos de ley y por lo tanto nunca se llevaran a cabo. El ambiente politico esta tan caliente que en respuesta a estos dos proyectos de ley, el presidente al dia siguiente firmo una nueva orden ejecutiva (justo lo que los congresistas no querian) indicandole al departamento de trabajo que cambien las normas de overtime para permitir que mas trabajadores ganen overtime. Esto ha molestado mucho a estos congresistas y nos falta ver como reaccionar.

Como veran, estos proyectos de ley han traido mucho ruido y mucha alarma en nuestra poblacion y sobre todas las cosas nos ha sacado de la ruta mas importante de todas, aquella en que todos luchamos por un fin comun, la REFORMA MIGRATORIA. Estamos en epoca de elecciones y vamos a ver pasar muchas cosas que muchas veces no vamos a entender pero debemos entender lo siguiente: Solo hay una forma de conseguir la reforma migratoria y esta es eligiendo congresistas pro inmigrantes. Asi que si usted conoce un ciudadano americano, pidale que salga a votar y que cuando lo haga, vote por candidatos pro inmigrantes. Si tiene preguntas hagalas a traves de mi pagina de facebook: Inmigracion al dia

Departe de Lic. Kathia Pereira

Latino Townhall’s Top 25 #Leadership Quotes for 2013 – Part II


Latino Townhall’s Top 25 #LatinoQuotes for 2013 – Part II

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Latino Townhall’s founder is busy writing a book on leadership, and from time to time, he receives inspiration through his research and studies. Here are 25 #LatinoQuotes for the second half of 2013. The dates are included to only to authenticate the date of writing… please cut and paste quotes as often as you wish to post on social media… hope you’re inspired!

‘Leadership doesn’t begin with ego, agenda, title nor position… It starts with surrender.” -Joel Garcia (December 15, 2013)

‘The most essential element of creating change is preparing and aligning people with the right attitude for change.” –Joel Garcia (December 1st 2013)

‘Hope can carry you, faith can move you but before you go anywhere take love with you.” –Joel Garcia (November 29th 2013)

‘Don’t learn from your mistakes; rather gain wisdom so you minimize your mistakes.” –Joel Garcia (November 29th 2013)

‘Three things matter most and cannot be take away; our faith, our family and our freedom.” –Joel Garcia (November 28th)

‘Competence goes beyond possessing mere knowledge, it has more to do with executing excellence.” –Joel Garcia (November 21, 2013)

‘Success is determined by the individual – not everyone is looking for the same thing.” –Joel Garcia (November 19, 2013)

‘You give power away by putting love into action.” –Joel Garcia (Oct. 2nd 2013)

‘Trust is the anchor that holds and sustains enduring relationships.” –Joel Garcia (Sept. 28th 2013)

‘Empowering others is the ability to trust them with risk and failure.” –Joel Garcia (Sept. 28th 2013)

‘Accountability is simply an action of leadership that gets results.” –Joel Garcia (Sept. 28th 2013)

‘Envy is hating what someone has earned rightly, and a deep despair for lacking it nightly. –Joel Garcia (September 13, 2013)

‘The type of “civic engagement” our Founders had in mind was for the people to be engaged for the purpose of restraining public officials rather than empowering them.” –Joel Garcia (September 3, 2013)

‘Rejection will test the limits of your calling and character.” –Joel Garcia (September 3rd 2013)

‘When leaders serve within their purpose they find real pleasure.” –Joel Garcia 

‘Galvanizing power is the direct gift of influencing and integrity.” –Joel Garcia

‘If one strives for success, then hunger and passion must translate into discipline at some point.” –Joel Garcia

‘Joy ignites passion.” –Joel Garcia (June 26, 2013)

‘Evil may prick at you, but if you stand honorably it won’t defeat you.” –Joel Garcia (May 26, 2013)

‘Sometimes you may feel alone and distant but you’re not. Just know God is with you, your friends are behind you, and your destiny lies before you.” –Joel Garcia (May 26, 2013)

‘Pride is an unwillingness to change; humility is always in learning mode.” –Joel Garcia (May 14th 2013)

‘A leader embraces scripted priorities as well as a fluid approach to balancing them in the moment.” –Joel Garcia (March 20, 2013)

‘You cannot have influence without trust, and trust is built through love.” –Joel Garcia (March 23, 2013)

‘Humility is not denying strength nor success but keeping in mind these things can ruin your life.” –Joel Garcia

‘Performance and results are driven and determined by the intelligence behind your labor.” –Joel Garcia

Calling – Capturing the Elusive Voice in the Wind


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I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up.”
-– Moses -–

As a young man, the nagging question I asked myself many times walking a few blocks to High School each morning was – What am I supposed to do with my life? As I pondered this question, at times I felt an inner voice affirming I was created for a purpose. At the time, I did not know what my purpose would be. I only knew this life had more to offer me than the current offerings that were coming my way. A few years after High School, at the age of twenty, my soul-searching phase came to a sudden end, as I devoted my life to Christ. Within a few months I felt a strong urge compelling me to serve a higher cause. I soon discovered my calling and the spiritual dimension were inseparable. Before Christ I had chosen a career in Law Enforcement, an area of my personal interest at the time. In Christ, however, my calling was made clear to me by divine revelation; delivered through a penetrating voice, which resounded within, filling me with dynamic life purpose. A voice spoke to my inner being leaving no doubt in my mind of what I was supposed to do with my life. A “call or calling” is simply a Divine invitation for you to participate in the greatest adventure of your life.

One’s call or calling has its origin in eternity before God created time and space. Lucifer’s rebellion established the need to confront and expunge evil from God’s presence forever. To establish and advance truth and righteousness God created a plan to overcome and destroy the works of evil. God made this redemptive provision possible through His son before time began, which also had you and I in mind – we would receive declarative powers to become His Ambassadors of light in the natural realm penetrating and pushing back the Kingdom of darkness. Calling exists because evil exists. Calling exists because we live in a chaotic, broken and unstable world, which God loves and has a redemptive plan and purpose through his chosen ones.

A call or calling can be defined as God’s eternal design or pre-existing purpose for your life; spoken before time began with the aim of displaying His magnificent glory through you. Once you find your life’s calling, you will have found something of value to focus upon, where you can channel your time, energy and talents in a seemingly effortless way. If you are reading this sentence, then you have a purpose beyond your wildest dreams, which was designed in eternity. If you are alive then you are destined to hear, engage, and manifest God’s ordained plan for your life. You see God can manifest His calling for your life in many ways, for God’s forms of speaking are as varied as the languages of the earth. God is not limited on how He reveals His purpose for our lives. Here are some ways God calls people to manifest destiny:

  1. God’s Voice – Abraham heard God’s voice to leave his father, family and country and traverse upon a journey with God in a foreign land.
  2. Unusual Encounters – Jacob was given a new name and identity after he wrestled with God’s angel through the night (Genesis 32:24-30).
  3. Curiosity – Moses was summoned by a burning bush, which was not consumed by a fire. This strange thing caused him to wonder about it and seek it out for himself.
  4. Angelic Visitation – Gideon was called to a great work by God’s warrior angel (Judges 6:11).
  5. By Revelation – The prophet Isaiah was called from his mother’s womb, where God made mention of his name (Isaiah 49:1). He discovered this truth by a radical heavenly vision, which was first spoken in eternity.
  6. Early Life Signs – Jesus, at the age of twelve, spoke to the teachers’ in the Temple, who were amazed and astonished by his level of subject mastery and communication of truth (Luke 2:46,47).
  7. A Blinding Vision by Day – Saul, who later became the apostle Paul, encountered a bright light and heard a voice from heaven (Acts 9), drawing him out of sterile religion, into his new life in Christ.
  8. Prophetic Interruptions – In the first chapter of Luke, we see a combination of angelic visitations visiting Zacharias and Mary announcing heaven’s will concerning the miracle of birth for both parties. These children were given their specific role in world before their birth. We also see a prophetic utterance by Zacharias, and a prophetic song by Mary over the futures of their children.

Some people sense a calling early in life and have their entire lives to manifest it, while others manifest their calling towards the end of their life’s journey. For example, Mozart, the child prodigy displayed early life signs of calling. When most parents in our day are registering their five year olds for Kindergarten, Mozart was already composing music. President Ronald Reagan, the fortieth president of the United States, was inaugurated President at the age of sixty-nine, within a few weeks of turning seventy. President Reagan spent his septennial years inspiring millions of Americans by leading the greatest nation on the face of the earth to economic freedom and world prominence. President Ronald Reagan manifested his calling all his life but entered his peak-influencing phase of his calling late in life when most people are relishing their retirement. God’s call to duty can come at any time, and can be expressed in various forms because God’s ways of getting your attention are so diverse. Will you be ready to capture the voice in the wind when it brushes upon your heart and soul?

Calling is like the wind; depending on its velocity and volume one can be overpowered by its strength or seduced by its subtle breeze. Some people need to hear it vociferously while others are drawn by its breezy calm. Biblical scholar Steve Thompson, in his book You May All Prophesy, clearly distinguishes the three voices of God. God’s voice can be defined as:[i]

  1. A still small voice of God – This is the soft and gentle voice of God, which comes as we wait upon the Lord in prayer or meditation. It comes internally and quietly.
  2. An internal audible voice of God – This is often a loud booming voice, not coming through our thoughts, but instead cutting through and interpreting them.
  3. The audible Voice of God – Difficult to describe, except to say if you only think you have heard God speak audibly, you have not. When he speaks in this fashion, all thought and doubt is removed.

When God speaks to you directly, He awakens the seeds of destiny embedded deep within our spirit. You and I are responsible to sense the rumbling of this seed awakening from within, to stir and nurture its flow by faith and action. The voice in the wind may not always come directly from God’s mouth as an audible voice but indirectly through a compelling need, the sight of an injustice or when freedom is being threatened. Let’s take a look at a young shepherd boy’s calling.

A Simple Errand Revealed Calling

The shepherd boy David discovered his calling on assignment when his father, Jesse, sent him on a reconnaissance mission to find out the status of three of his enlisted sons. David was sent to the valley of Elah, where the battle lines were drawn between the children of Israel and their archrival, a people group known as the Philistines. It was during this assignment when David’s true calling manifested. As David stood among the soldiers he captured the voice in the wind via a menacing voice defying the armies of the living God. This voice in the wind immediately captured David’s attention, triggering an embedded code within him known as calling. All the sudden, David discerned a distinct nuance connecting his previous experiences with the Lion and the Bear, and this one with the menacing giant with his capacity and confidence to overcome the threat. Goliath’s reckless challenge elicited a response and strategy from David, which would launch him into the hearts of the people and his destiny. It was the behemoth’s challenge, which caused him to inquire throughout the camp on how to go about fighting the beast. This passionate inquiry brought David before King Saul who would, through a brief dialogue with David, grant the young lad permission to face the annoying menace. What started in the morning to be a menial task became an opportunity for David’s true calling to manifest. David teaches us that one must be attentive and pause to discern the opportunity before us. So don’t despise the small things handed down to you, it just maybe a test for your next promotion.

It’s one thing to hear your calling and it is another thing to manifest it. Although the multitudes championed David when he defeated Goliath, he spent the next fifteen years fighting for the manifestation of his destiny. If you think manifesting your calling is going to be easy, think again. When your calling is revealed, it is also revealed to the enemy, the savage destroyer, who will wage strategic warfare over your destiny to see it delayed, frayed or crushed entirely.

Be Open to the Call

Henry Blackaby, pastor and the author of the book Spiritual Leadership, was asked, “Well, what does it mean to be called?” Blackaby replied, “It means to be humbled and be open to learn.”[ii] This truth unveils the struggle between calling and walking in one’s call. Have you ever noticed how some great men of faith struggled at the time of their calling? Here’s the short list:

  1. Moses asked God, “Why me?” (Exodus 3:11); he was doubtful (Exodus 4:1); and alleged his speech was not eloquent enough for the job (Exodus 4:10).
  2. Gideon immediately pointed out that his clan was the weakest among his tribe, and that he was the runt of the family (Judges 6:15).
  3. And, at the initiation of Saul’s inaugural service to anoint him King of Israel, he was discovered hiding behind the baggage (1 Samuel 10:22).

A call is a humbling experience, propelling us into a place of deep introspection, where one evaluates his or her ability to take on such a challenge. A call from God places our lives into a microscope, and all we see is our ineptitude and frail humanity. We then conclude we don’t have the goods to accomplish what God is trying to get us to do. Actually, this is an accurate assessment. We cannot do it without God’s assistance and anointing. Therefore, a call from God requires us to adopt a humble and learning posture, realizing we need his grace and empowerment in our lives to achieve the impossible.

Although God still uses certain things from our lives to accomplish his will. For instance, God asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?” Moses replied, “A shepherd’s staff.” God said, “I can use that shepherd’s staff.” When God called Gideon he said, “Go in the strength that you have.” Gideon had strength, but just enough to get started, then he increased his strength and passion as he journeyed on his mission in obedient fashion. God can use the small and insignificant things you possess on you or within you for his glory. The struggle is not the call itself per se, but the size of the struggle within you to initiate the demand being placed upon our life. Self-revelation of your ineptitude to heed such a grandiose call will require humility, and adopting a posture of learning as we move forward fulfilling our God-given call for our lives.

A Prophetic Voice in Literature

Have you ever watched the Lord of the Rings movie series? In the initial stage of J.R.R. Tolkien’s story The Hobbit one of his illustrious characters, a wizard named Gandalf, arrives at Bilbo Baggins’ home seeking out a lowly Hobbit to call out for an important assignment. At first Bilbo struggles with this compelling call upon his life, perhaps thinking it was too big a task for a small Hobbit like him. After Gandalf’s departure Bilbo finds himself piddling around the house, contemplating on his recent visitor’s request. Will he heed the call or continue his daily routine around his home pinning his life away doing nothing? Most of us are like Bilbo Baggins, piddling around the house without any purpose in life. After a brief time considering the stranger’s invitation, conviction and courage emerged within the lowly Hobbit. Finally, Bilbo Baggins decides to take on Gandalf’s invitation to engage in the greatest adventure of his life. As Bilbo urgently jetisons from his home along the path to meet up with Gandalf, one of his neighbors inquires out loud, “Bilbo, where are you going?” Bilbo responds with an exuberant cry of the heart, “I’m going on an adventure!” And this is exactly what God’s call is.

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Raphael Santi – European Master Painter: Study for Moses in Front of the Burning Bush.

[i] Thompson, Steve (2000) You May All Prophesy. MorningStar Fellowship Church, Charlotte, NC; pg. 43, 44.

[ii] Barna, George (2009) Master Leaders; Revealing Conversations with 30 Leadership Greats, Tyndale Publishers, Inc.; pg. 56.

Trials and Sufferings – A Fast Track Process for Developing Leaders


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It is inevitable, all Christians will experience trials and sufferings because to extend God’s kingdom requires an immersion in the art of spiritual warfare. After Paul and Barnabas’ first missionary journey, they decided to retrace their missionary steps to visit the churches they had planted. What was their recurring message to all the churches they planted? They encouraged the young churches to remain true to the faith once delivered to them, exhorting them, “We must go through many tribulations to enter the kingdom of God.”[i] The apostle Paul, a person familiar with trials and tribulation, alludes again in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NKJV) to a litany of personal experiences:

‘We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed – always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”

Paul, in 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 (NKJV), continues his transparency by listing his struggles:

‘From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; [in] journeys often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils of [my own] countrymen, [in] perils of the Gentiles, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness – besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.”

Leaders, who expect to extend their sphere of influence, should expect trials and tribulations to follow them as they pursue their God-given vision for their lives. As a matter of fact, upon Saul’s conversion, the Lord told Ananias in Acts 15:16, “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” As a leader, are you ready to make a difference for Christ? Of course you are! On the flip side, are you willing to suffer for his namesake? This question, which eludes many, can only be answered by your commitment to the one you love. It is for this reason, when people come to the altar to pray about their problems, I pray not for God to intervene and save them from their personal tribulation. I pray for a bold and steadfast spirit that by standing firm they may overcome, and in the process of overcoming, they become stronger, bigger and more daring as a person.

A metron is not only limited to geography and populations of people reached therein, it is also applicable for enlarging one’s spiritual endowments, talents, skills, anointing and character. For instance, many Christian leaders do not operate with the endowment of healing while others do, yet the bible emphatically notes you can access Kingdom endowments if you eagerly desire and pursue them. Allow me a personal testimony.

A Sphere Enlarged Through Personal Trial

On an autumn morning mid-September 1983 as I was preparing for my morning commute to Sacramento, a forty-five minute drive, to attend a full day of college classes. Then my mother called me over to her side and said, “I don’t understand what he is saying”, and handed me the phone. On the phone was one of my father’s co-workers who said, “Your father has been taken to Rideout Hospital and you need to meet me there as soon as possible.” His voice possessed a sound of urgency and severity. I did not know what to make of the call, so I left immediately.

Upon arriving I saw one of the most hideous scenes I had ever seen in my life. My father was laying on a gurney surrounded by six doctors. He had been in a serious, life threatening accident at work. That cool autumn morning my father had been teaching a new field laborer how to operate a tractor. My father had the man sit up on the seat to show him the gear system, while the tractor engine warmed itself. My father then stepped down from the tractor and stood next to the rear tire continuing the short lesson, not knowing the man had his foot on the clutch while the tractor was still in gear. All of the sudden the laborer unknowingly released the clutch. Can you guess what happened? The tractor engaged and leaped forward forcefully pinning my father upon the ground. Once on the ground, the tire spun relentlessly upon his middle torso. My father yelled and screamed but the man did not know what to do. The man finally had enough sense to turn the tractor off, which now settle on top of my father. The man ran to get help. Within a few moments help arrived, and soon after my father was rushed to the hospital in grave condition.

When I finally arrived to the hospital’s emergency area, my father lay coherently upon the gurney, and his appearance was shocking to say the least. His stomach was swollen like a woman’s stomach at her ninth month of pregnancy – the exterior of his stomach was littered with mixed colors of red, blue and purple due to his internal and external contusions. His veins visible and inflamed, vividly penetrating through his skin. The tractor had crushed his pelvis to pieces, broken both of his femurs, and many ribs. We exchanged a few intimate words. I told him how much I loved him before the six doctors rushed him into the surgery room.

I was a new Christian at the time, just a year into my walk with Christ. My new faith was tested early on, and all I could do at the time was lean upon the Lord, and call out for His mercy.

After six hours in surgery my father was immediately placed on critical life support with a slim chance of recovery. When I heard the news I was shaken but was determined to see him through this mess. At the time I felt something within me rise up, a firm belief God would heal my father and restore him fully. I confessed the little I knew of random scriptures. I cried out to God and I prayed regularly and earnestly for him, and when prompted by the Holy Spirit. Many times, during a Sunday morning altar call, I would go up sobbing, telling the lead pastor my story. Looking back I felt I had embarrassed him by my constant pleas for prayer and loud cries at the altar. I was broken for my dad. I would later come to understand my actions of “standing in the gap” for my dad were actually acts of “intercessory prayer” for someone who could not act for himself. I did not know this terminology yet. My infant faith grew during this time, as I stood on the word of God, and the limited knowledge I possessed.

In retrospect, my faith capacity was enlarged and fortified throughout this entire ordeal. After three months of being on life support, my father came out of his coma but was in traction for several more months. Several months later my father was finally released from the hospital, and was given a second chance at life. Today, my father has the full use of both legs, and most notably, he is enjoying his retirement on his ranch in Jalisco, Mexico, planting and reaping his crops. At the writing of this book my father is seventy-seven years of age.

Throughout this tormenting time I acquired the gift of healing but did not know it until I came across two random incidents. The first incident occurred when a good friend of mine and I were playing catch with a football. My friend being a good size and possessing formidable strength threw the ball so hard that I heard and felt my thumb pop on my left hand. I cringed at the sharp pain, which ran through my thumb and up my arm. Immediately, I verbalized these words, “In the name of Jesus, be healed!” Instantly, I felt something like a power surge come out from my arm, exiting outwardly through my thumb. In a “wink of an eye” I was healed. In the moment I yelled, exclaiming out loud, “I’ve been healed! I’ve been healed!” My friend, who was a Christian came over and heard my testimony. We both praised God together.

My second incident occurred as a college student, while I was working part-time as a Loss Prevention Agent for a large retail chain. It was my first day at this new location, and I was scheduled to work for an eight-hour shift. The store was large in size with three levels; a basement, the main floor and a second level. There were many stairs to climb up and down, unlike today, when cameras are used to detect and record shoplifters. As a Loss Prevention Agent, my duty was to walk around the store looking for shoplifters. At the end of an eight-hour shift I was so exhausted and my legs were extremely sore. When I got home that evening I immediately laid down on my bed. All the sudden I placed my hands below my belt line and said, “In the name of Jesus, heal my legs!” Again, a power surged through my arms and down my legs and the pain was gone. Once again, I raised my voice, “I’ve been healed!” My roommate ran into my room and said, “Is everything okay?” I said, “I’ve been healed!” My roommate was not a believer and thought my actions were a little strange but I knew something was different about me.

After seeking answers to this “new” power I possessed, I soon realized my faith was activated through my father’s trial, which imparted a greater capacity within me through my steadfast response to his accident. I was able to access a new authority and ability for healing. My spiritual sphere was enlarged within me through an unwelcomed trial. God must know something we do not see or know about ourselves. If God permits us to go through trials, He must see the seed of faith ready to root and sprout within us, and what we will become if stay strong and endure through the storms of life. The most important lesson I learned through this experience was being able to embrace my trial as learning and growing experience, which placed me at higher level of faith operation in Christ. James, in his epistle, notes:

‘My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have [its] perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:1-3 NKJV)

Another word used for “patience” in this passage is the word “endurance”. When one endures trials he or she grows in godly character and spiritual authority. A trial is simply God’s fast track process for developing leaders. If we trust and stand with Him through the trials that come our way, we become “complete, lacking nothing.” This insightful piece of wisdom from C.S. Lewis should encourage you as a leader, “God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.” As painful as my trial seemed at the time, in the midst of it, I was being transformed in His image into a man of steel, which by far, attained for me a far greater glory outweighing my present struggles for my father’s healing.


[i] Acts 14:22 (NKJV)

Sales – Is it a Lost Art Form?


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We all sell. Allow me to correct myself… we are constantly selling something; an idea, a venture, service, a product, etc. Selling is an activity we do everyday. We do it consciously and unconsciously. We live for the thrill of the deal. One day, my supervisor asked me to train a new colleague in sales. So this young lady and I visited a few of her clients in her district. I was just the “ride-along” senior sales person. My job was to observe, take note and provide a few coaching moments. What I discovered was far more revealing. As I sat in the passengers seat, as a disengaged observer, I discovered the following selling principles.

1. Prepare wisely

The most common area of preparation has to be your “elevator pitch”. In other words, what will be the one sentence or two, which will captivate a gatekeeper, a decision maker or even the front desk receptionist? It is not just a “one-pitch” liner but it is also a combination of pitch variables working at the moment depending on the need. One must be able to juggle a client’s current need with a masterful delivery at the right time. Here are three critical areas of preparation:

a. Product Mastery: You must have mastery of your product or service, and how it relates with and benefits your customer. Not all customers’ have the same need at the moment.

b. The Tailored Pitch:  In your brief interaction you must collect enough data so you are able to communicate a Tailored pitch, which appeals to the need at the moment. In your brief conversation you must be able to discern the “inner” dilemma of the decision maker, and the customer’s challenge within the organization to make a Tailored pitch fitting the need.

c.  Problem Solver: You must be able to communicate how your service can be the “problem solver” for their current challenge. Since every business is looking for a deal, you must be able to make them salivate not only at your pricing but also your capacity to perform up to your promises.

2. Cultivate your presence

Many of salespeople are not well prepared when they enter the foyer of a business to make a sales pitch. Often times, we carry the pressures of making our monthly quotas, perhaps of past failures, or personal problems from the home front. We think to ourselves; “Am I adequate enough for this job?” Your negative demeanor cannot be covered up so easily. Any discerning person will be able to read through your layers of insecurity. Your presence is more than your polished dress code, your manicured nails and stylish hair. Cultivating an inner presence has to do with an inner light exuding confidence, which draws people in to you. You presence has three layers:

a. Your Physical Presence: Yes, your dress code and other physical features such as grooming, fresh breath, and odor (cologne or perfume) matter but they only last for a few moments. At some point you will have to communicate your message.

b. A Presence of Soul: This area is critical. Your soul exudes presence in a good or bad way. You can be all smiles but you cannot fool people for too long. Since your eyes are the gateway into the soul, your eyes will tell a story. People can discern sincerity or disguise, passion or passivity, competence or incompetence.

c. A Spiritual Dimension: This presence is not cultivated over night but it’s a constant work of spiritual dimensions.  I tell those who I coach to read through the book of Proverbs over and over. It is the businessperson’s handbook that creates enduring success. The principles contained within can shape your character and integrity, which are the pivot points of creating trust.

3. Persist with Subtlety

During our sales venture, we had just finished visiting with a client. As we left the foyer I began to coach my trainee on a principle I use regularly. I said, “Great job! You got the receptionist to pick up the phone and call Human Resources. However, when the receptionist came back to you and said, “She was in a meeting”, you should have persisted by saying, “Okay, I don’t mind waiting in the lobby fifteen minutes.” The receptionist has tremendous power to allow you in or not; many times covering for Human Resources. At this point you have to persist with subtlety. I call it the Persist Subtlety Principle.

So on our next meeting, the same scenario played out like the previous one. This time the gentleman running Human Resources was on the phone. My trainee said, “Okay, we will come back!” At this point I intervened, “Excuse me, my name is Joel. How are you? We will wait a few minutes, perhaps he will be done with his call soon.” The receptionist relented. A few minutes later, a gentleman from Human Resources comes out to greet us and says, “How can I help you?” At the end of the conversation, we had a meeting scheduled for the following week. It was because we persisted with subtlety.

4.  Make Powerful Connections

The purpose of a visit is to make powerful connections. What I mean is a connection that goes beyond mere generalities and introductions. A connection that lingers, that leaves a residue of your person and purpose. On our previous visit (noted in point #3) I left a gift with the gentleman in Human Resources. It was stress doll in the shape of a mid-sized man, round in shape. The funny part of this stress doll is it resembles my body type and shape. On it is our company’s name and brand. As we departed I handed him a stress doll with my business card. He asked, “What is this for?” I said, “It’s a stress doll. Squeeze it when you get stressed out.” As he was closing the door he gave it a squeeze… I then replied, “Ouch!!” He looked at me (not making the connection with my body shape and the stress doll), and I responded, “It is my business card… it’s shaped like me! So be careful how you treat him!” He then laughed out loud. As he closed the door behind him you could still hear him chucking down the hallway. When you can make people laugh, you know you have made a powerful connection.

After several visits to clients that morning, I advised her to step away and reflect on each visit. I then coached her to ask herself a few questions; what did you learn at each visit? How can you interact better next time? How can you make powerful connections? Each encounter is a learning experience. We can always do things differently, say something better, and be more or less aggressive in our approach. Simply put, each encounter is a learning encounter.

Metron: The Measure of a Leader’s Influence


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‘Influence is to be measured, not by the extent of surface it covers, but by its kind.” -William E. Channing

It is one thing to be a leader, but what separates any leader from becoming a masterful one? At what scale does one have to influence to separate oneself from a group of good leaders? I believe it starts when a leader receives a transfer of trust from those they desire to lead. You cannot have influence without trust, and trust is built through love. It is crucial for leaders today to build trust or what I call creating “shares of trust” with those they desire to lead. This happens when a leader leads unselfishly, building value and virtue, exuding integrity and confidence in others as they move forward with the common vision. Trust leads to a shift in power. When a leader builds trust they also amass power, and this power is the leader’s impetus to lead others. This power is known as referent power, which is synonymous with influencing. Without influence it will be difficult to lead any type of group, organizational, civic or cultural transformation. A masterful leader, therefore, is one who exerts influence for the purpose of transformation through collaborative effort. This collaborative effort between leaders and followers is the key to moving a vision forward towards concrete results.

This idea of building and transferring “shares of trust” sums up the life and leadership influence of Jesus of Nazareth. A transfer of influence came from the heavenly Father to His son, then from Jesus to his band of twelve disciples, and from Jesus’ twelve followers this heavenly transfer has influenced and transformed pagan and religious cultures in nations for over two millennia.

Just what is influence? According to a Google search, influence is “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something…” Influencerising.com views influence as “the ability to alter or sway an individual’s or a group’s thoughts, beliefs, or actions.”[i] In my view, influence is a personal catalog of transformative virtues emanating from within, which are expressed for the benefit and purpose of attracting others to engage in creating change and leading transformation. These qualities are a mixture of innate and learned abilities, which are cultivated over time, plus spiritual endowments bestowed by our Creator. In sum, influence is the original Law of Attraction for the purpose of wooing others, and persuading them to enter God’s flow or to fulfill a specific agenda.

An etymological search for the root meaning of the word influence revealed “a flow of water” or a “flowing into.”[ii] After reading this definition, my thoughts were immediately drawn to John 4:14, where Jesus provides us with a vivid picture of spiritual influence:

“Whoever drinks the water I give him (a flowing into) will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up (a flow of water) to eternal life.”

This inner release of “welling up” from within is the fountain of life people deeply yearn for. It’s the “well” of divine influence, which bubbles up from within you at the time of conversion and continues to manifest its divine stream of influence throughout your life, only if you stay on course to guard and nurture its precious flow. This divine influence is a person, not a thing or paradigm, who abides within you, releasing a supernatural flow of favor and anointing, while at the same time leveraging your talents, and gifts for influencing. It is one thing to have influence but how do you measure its effectiveness? Allow me to illustrate both natural and supernatural examples of influence.

Cultivating Influence

Influence is a gift and a study; it is acquired through learning and nurtured by growing. And, since you and I reflect both the spiritual dimension, as well as the physical dimension, we must learn to use our innate abilities given to us during the miracle of formation in our mother’s womb, as well as the spiritual endowments bestowed by our Creator upon our conversion. Therefore, for leaders seeking personal mastery, you and I must understand the painstaking effort of hours upon hours of disciplined study, learning and practicing their chosen craft to hone in the critical skills, abilities and talents required to build influence.

When you think of the great motivational speakers of our era, a few individuals come to mind. For me personally, I think of people like the late Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar, or Anthony Robbins, one of our contemporaries. Just how is their success measured? Is it measured by the thousands of people they have transformed by their uncanny ability to communicate life and leadership principles with clarity and flairs of humor? Can it be their charisma mixed with style of delivery? These great communicators of our day were not passive students of leadership by any means, but added value to people each day by being purposeful, engaging and being on the cutting edge of relevancy for their specific audience in time. These speakers, over a span of time, enlarged their capacities as great communicators in their area of expertise, which extended their sphere of influence throughout the business community, eventually becoming some of the pioneers of the personal development movement of the past half-century.

One thing is for certain, you cannot measure potential – only performance, since results carry the day over good intentions. We see this time and time again by people who have stretched themselves to enhance their personal and professional craft, which millions of Americans love and respect. Take into account, actors and actresses from the past and present, people like Jimmy Stewart, Marlon Brando, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, and actresses of the likes of Bettie Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet. All these artists have something in common, they are known for their work ethic, on and off stage and screen, which is evident through many of their memorable and endearing roles. Their success can be calculated by applying various measures; their over-the-top box-office sales, their acting prowess, believability on screen, and by the accolades and honors received year after year at annual award ceremonies.

Divine Influence

As a minister, when I reflect upon contemporary influencers of the faith, I cannot help but think of the likes of Evangelist Billy Graham, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Pastors’ Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and Joel Osteen. From the inner well of the Rev. Billy Graham, we have seen a proven track record for soul winning and ministerial longevity. Bishop T.D. Jakes flavor is unashamedly communicating the truths of the gospel with persuasive and passionate preaching; Pastor Joel Osteen’s stream of influence is preaching a consistent message of positivity and hope, which attracts thousands of churchgoers and television viewers to hear his weekly messages. In addition, several millions of readers are drawn to peruse his books filled with life principles to live by. These modern day preachers’ sphere of influence is unique to each one, and can be measured by their personal integrity and ministerial longevity, and their masterful skills in communicating Biblical truth with simplicity, power and grace; each one is measured with a distinct style and substance.

In the book of Hebrews, chapter eleven, we are provided a list of heroes of the faith whose influence was measured by their simple deeds of faith. Faith was and still is God’s way of measuring success in the Kingdom, for without faith it is impossible to please God. These men and women of faith obeyed God’s call to serve their respective generation, which ushered them into a personal and glorious adventure. On many instances, their lives and contributions did not seem too inspiring, but their deeds glorified God, and this is the essence of expressing a divine influence.

You do not have to be an “outlier”, an extraordinary individual, to exert influence at a small or large scale. Influence can be exerted by anyone willing to pay the price for grooming personal, spiritual and professional mastery.

Influence is one thing but just what is a sphere of influence? And, just how does one begin to exert influence to enlarge their sphere? In the next chapter, I will define what a sphere is.

Worldview – Cultivating a Governing Philosophy of Leadership


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The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
- George Orwell -

Western culture, an idea derived from the tenants and teachings of the Christian faith, has been “under direct and unremitting cultural assault form those who want to destroy the bedrock of values of Western civilization.”[i] “We see the effect of this everywhere in the West,”[ii] and “without a basis for moral authority, no moral consensus can be reached, which is why we are in an ongoing and increasingly strident cultural war.”[iii] This cultural war over Western civilization is a struggle over which governing philosophy or ideology will prevail to dictate the cultural values and norms of civilized society. Will it be “the core values of Western civilization [which] are grounded in religion,”[iv], or moral relativism, which rejects the thought of absolute truth itself? For those of you thinking, “Wait a minute, Western Civilization is a Christian idea? Yes it is! Although the Kingdom of God is neither a Democracy nor a Republic, the very idea of a free society is derived mainly from Christian thought, and the primary reason why we should stand and contend for Kingdom principles to prevail and shape our culture.

In a direct way, Christianity finds itself totally immersed in a cultural war over worship. How is this so? The very root word for culture is “cult”, meaning “a particular form of worship.” Since we all worship someone or something, this someone or something determines how you and I create and order our lives, govern self and our family; how we approach the workplace, and even how we see, interpret and impact culture at large. Those in positions of influence tend to influence the values and mindsets of large segments of society. Culture then receives either an upgrade or downgrade depending on “who” leads and “what” worldview, values or philosophy are being translated to the masses to influence and shape culture. You see, every culture offers a unique expression distinct from other cultures. This exclusivity is their particular brand of worship. Why is a certain way of worship more important than others? It’s simple, you become like the object of your worship, for ‘those who make [idols] will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.”[v]

This struggle over worship originated in the pre-material world, when Lucifer attempted to exalt himself over God’s throne (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19) to divert worship from its rightful proprietor. Lucifer’s treasonous act cost him a position and place as God’s “anointed cherub”. As a result of his disloyal conduct, Lucifer was cast out of heaven to the depths of Sheol, which is the abode of the dead. This war over worship manifested itself once again in the Garden of Eden, where Lucifer acting as Serpent tempted Eve, sweeping her and Adam into a forbidden path, which opened the floodgate of evil into God’s material world. Mankind, though created in the image of God, was now tainted by sin with the propensity for evil works. Lucifer’s destructive brand was transferred from a timeless dimension to a limited one, from God’s abode to His material creation. In a brief sentence found in Genesis 6:5, evil’s manifestation within the heart of mankind and its geographical spread throughout the earth realm reached its full measure:

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Since then, this war over who controls culture, and who is to have the supremacy in worship has been fought on various fronts throughout history. This struggle has been the central theme of history’s struggle over good versus evil, which is evident in the visible and invisible worlds; a battle between God’s angelic hosts and Satan’s hordes of demons, God’s chosen remnant and the unredeemed; the righteous who live by faith, and the wicked who live by their own evil creed.

This struggle over which worldview will dominate to dictate the culture norms and trends continues to the present moment; a struggle between the Judeo-Christian worldview and a post-modern, secularized mindset. This cultural crusade is most noticeable in our arts and entertainment, the so-called artistic arena of sitcoms, movies, music, and print media. You just have to visit the magazine racks of your local bookstores to see the evidence; covers glorifying scanty clad women, narcissism, gossip, betrayal, and weekly portraits of break-ups and infidelity among the Hollywood elite. You can also watch daily soaps and nightly sitcoms abounding with immoral scripts, overflowing with sexual innuendo, lust, adultery, and the “new normal” arising in popular culture are same-sex themes. More demonstrative are the movies released in theaters, which are watched by millions of viewers each day spewing a barrage of soft to hard-core pornographic scenes, profanity, the illicit use of drugs and displays of extreme violence. For example, a beloved children’s movie had a scene of a male toy soldier humping another male toy soldier, taking the position for gays to openly serve in the armed forces. The sad part of this embedded piece of propaganda, particularly in a child’s movie, was that it was viewed by millions of young people, and children along with their parents. It was Hollywood’s way of demeaning and rejecting the deeply held values of the traditional family, and the long held views of the nation’s military policies and priorities.

In this section, I have briefly touched only upon the entertainment sector but I can go on with other sectors of culture such as science, education, politics and a variety of media outlets spewing venom and misinformation every day to undermine Christian virtue, and uproot the founding principles, which formed a nation under God.

Therefore, it is critical today, more than times past, for Christian leaders to cultivate a governing philosophy of leadership, which is most commonly known as worldview. A worldview, according to Christian apologist and author Norman L. Geisler is simply a way a person “views or interprets reality.” Geisler adds, the concept of “Worldview is derived from the German world Weltanschauung, meaning a ‘world and life view,’ or ‘a paradigm’… the framework through which or by which one makes sense of the data of life. A worldview makes a world of difference in one’s view of God, origins, evil, human nature, values, and destiny.”[vi] Chuck Colson’s examination of Christianity led him to this insightful summary:

“Christianity is a worldview that speaks to every area of life, and its foundational doctrines define its content. If we don’t know what we believe – even what Christianity is – how can we live it and defend it?”[vii]

Colson concludes his summary on worldview with the obvious reality that “our ignorance is crippling us,” meaning that without framing a cohesive and comprehensive worldview among Christian leaders today, we will keep losing the cultural war over the biblical values, which have shaped our culture and sacred institutions for generations.

Whether we know it or not we all approach and interpret life through a philosophical lens consisting of a set of presuppositions grounded in our existing reality, which forms our belief structures and value systems. Our value system dictates how you and I live, how we commune with our world, and how we apply God’s moral law and ethics to everyday life. Our approach to solving the problems arising in our world, such as poverty, defining biblical sexuality, marriage, human rights, even preserving human dignity in all phases of life from the mother’s womb to a person’s last breath are derived from a person’s worldview.

Significant Research – Worldview Metrics and Optics

To prove my point, let’s take a look at sound research by the Barna Group, a respected Christian research organization. The Barna Group claims a “worldview serves as a person’s decision-making filter, enabling them to make sense of the complex and huge amount of information, experiences, relationships and opportunities they face in life. By helping to clarify what a person believes to be important, true and desirable, a worldview has a dramatic influence on a person’s choices in any given situation.”[viii]

The distressing reality is that many Christians are not on the same page when it comes to viewing reality through a biblical lens. Research seems to indicate Christians do not possess a comprehensive and cohesive biblical worldview.

In 2009 The Barna Group conducted a study called, Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years, which revealed astonishing factoids, such as – “Only 9% of all American adults have a biblical worldview”, and “among born again Christians, less than one out of every five (19%) had such an outlook on life.”[ix] Now, you can begin to grasp the American Christian dilemma. In other words, Christianity in America is floundering to influence and shape culture? Other critical facts of the same survey reveal, “Varying numbers of Americans embrace the different aspects of biblical worldview thinking.” The survey found that:[x]

▪  One-third of all adults (34%) believe that moral truth is absolute and unaffected by the circumstances. Slightly less than half of the born again adults (46%) believe in absolute moral truth.

▪  Half of all adults firmly believe that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches. That proportion includes the four-fifths of born again adults (79%) who concur.

▪  Just one-quarter of adults (27%) are convinced that Satan is a real force. Even a minority of born again adults (40%) adopt that perspective.

▪ A minority of American adults (40%) are persuaded that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life while He was on earth. Slightly less than two-thirds of the born again segment (62%) strongly believes that He was sinless.

Given these measurements, what optics emerge concerning the Christian believer? The truth concerning the state of our culture is found in the lack of belief in “absolute truth” even among Christians. In addition, the skepticism among the same group that Satan is a real entity is incomprehensible. These numbers should not only cause alarm among our church leaders but should also sound the alarm to rally around making Christ-centered disciples. We must go from a “Disneyland faith” to demonstrating a sound biblical faith, which is grounded on reality and truth. As believers, we cannot be ashamed of Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, and the central tenets of the faith once delivered to the all saints for every generation.

Now, let’s take a look at what I call a Transformative Worldview.

The 3 DNA Strands of a Transformative Worldview

Today’s leaders, who desire to have a drastic affect upon culture, must understand and consistently manifest the three DNA strands of a transformative worldview. The American version of our Christian faith is not working to transform culture. Therefore, we must go back to the foundations of our faith, grounded in the reality of the gospels, the historical narrative of the book of Acts, and the epistles written by the apostles. In my understanding, a comprehensive Christian worldview must instill a firm belief, power and the ability to transform culture. These strands of a Judeo-Christian worldview are demonstrated time and time again, commencing with the four Gospels, and continuing with the apostolic movement in the Book of Acts, and throughout key places and seasons in history. Today, the transmitters of this worldview should note these strands are deeply intertwined, much like a chord of three strands; each part producing a powerful synergistic affect translating to extraordinary results among individuals, society and culture at large. Here are a few samples:

‘And truly Jesus did many other signs [power] in the presence of His disciples… these are written that you may believe [instill belief] that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life [personal transformation] in His name.”
–John 20:30-31

This pattern was also a common during the early apostolic age:

“At Iconium Paul and Barnabas… spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed [grounding belief]… So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there [transforming a city], speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders [power].”
–Acts 14:1 & 3

“Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months [grounding belief], arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God… This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard [a transformative message] the word of the Lord. God did extraordinary miracles [power] through Paul.”
–Acts 19:8, 10 & 11 (NIV)

As you can see, the dynamics of a transformative worldview are evident in scripture. Therefore, as Christian leaders, we must reassess our worldview and examine if we, ourselves, and, or our ministry is aligned properly to the biblical pattern. Does your ministry bring people into a personal and practicing faith? Does your ministry manifest power via signs, miracles and wonders where people are in awe of God’s majesty? Is His presence evident in your congregation, compelling a curious community to your doorstep on Sunday mornings and other gatherings? Is your ministry spreading its influence by transforming the local neighborhood, city and region? If you can answer, “yes” to all these questions, then you are operating within the bounds of a transformative biblical worldview. If not, then you must reassess your ministry, humble yourself and seek God’s face for His presence and power to be released upon your life and your ministry.


[i] Philips, Melanie (2010) The World Turned Upside Down – The Global Battle Over God, Truth and Power. Encounter Books, New York, New York.

[ii] Colson, Charles W. (2008) The Faith. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI; pg. 68.

[iii] Ibid, pg. 68.

[iv] Philips, Melanie (2010), pg XII.

[v] Psalm 115:8

[vi] Giesler, Norman L. (2000) Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Book House, pg. 785.

[vii] Colson, Charles W. (2008) The Faith. Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI; pg. 28.

[viii] The Barna Group. Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years: http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/21-transformation/252-barna-survey-examines-changes-in-worldview-among-christians-over-the-past-13-years, accessed 2-3-2013.

[ix] The Barna Group. Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years: http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/21-transformation/252-barna-survey-examines-changes-in-worldview-among-christians-over-the-past-13-years, accessed 1-21-2013.

[x] Ibid: The Barna Group. Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years.