Greg Hartnett Jr.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
by Korinne Pina
No matter how amicable your personality, the time will come when you may need to make a special request, voice a concern or share your opinion with someone in authority. This is a healthy and necessary part of life. But there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Wisdom and diplomacy are imperative to professional communication.
God places an expectation of respect being shown to all. But it becomes absolutely essential when speaking to those in authority. May God bless us to all make wisdom and humility our allies of diplomacy!Postedby Gregory Hartnett at 7:42 PM |
Thursday, March 14, 2013
by Scott Smith
There is an ebb and flow to this earthly life. Each day presents new struggles and new opportunities, almost in the form of waves. Of course, not all waves are created equal. A mountain to one is a mound to another, and vice versa.
Recently, I watched a documentary on surfing. Now, I do not surf, never have, but it is undeniably fascinating to watch someone stand on a board and literally ride a wave. Like many, I have great respect for the sea, so I am naturally enthralled by the unique environment surrounding the sport of surfing. My fascination -- and admitted tiny nugget of knowledge concerning surfing -- aside, there was a statement made by a renowned surfer in this documentary that lingered in my thoughts. This individual said the key to catching the wave at the right time is knowing where to be.
In almost anything we do in life, position is crucial. Think about it. If you want to buy a car, you position yourself for the right opportunity by researching certain vehicles and price points. We do the same in buying a house. Have you ever found yourself timing your arrival at a certain place or event? You are positioning yourself for a desired outcome. This is no different in our academic and personal pursuits. We position ourselves for success in our academic endeavors by securing the proper resources in time for certain deadlines, making sure we are capable of performing at the maximum level possible. In all these things, position is the key.
So, what does this have to do with the ebb and flow of life? Life can be difficult, there is no doubt. In fact, Jesus tells us in John 16:33 that trials are going to come our way. The more I thought about the ebb and flow of life, the more I came to realize that my response is directly influenced by my position. I am not referring to a position of status, like a job, relationship, etc. I am referring to the position of perspective. You see, surfers know where to be because they know what to look for. I want to give you two tangible takeaways in this week’s post that will help you find position.
How do we put ourselves in the best position for successfully navigating the waves of life? We practice prayer and offer praise in the process. Yes, I am using alliteration as a teaching tool -- it helps me -- and I hope it helps you. Have you ever read the story of Daniel in the Bible? You know, Daniel the lion tamer. Daniel is a prime example of how to practice prayer and praise in the process.
Daniel and his friends were stripped from their homeland, taken to a new place and made to be servants. He came through in the clutch, offering some dream diagnosis, and he was eventually promoted to a very prominent position.
It was not all good for Daniel. In fact, some people were jealous of him and tricked the king into throwing Daniel in a den full of lions. As we know, God delivered Daniel from the lions’ den, and He used Daniel’s experience to reach people with His truth.
The one thing that we see throughout Daniel’s story is his practice of prayer. The Bible tells us that Daniel prayed multiple times each day. He practiced prayer, so when adversity came his way, he was in proper position to respond. His response, in light of being told he was facing mortal danger, was to go to his home and pray. The Bible tells us he prayed and gave thanks to God at this time. Daniel was facing death, and his response was to pray and give thanks to God! This praise in the process is a product of Daniel’s proper perspective; and as we know, proper perspective comes from the practice of prayer.
This week, I encourage each of you to practice prayer and offer praise in the process. No matter what happens, put yourself in the right position by walking with Christ, surrendering to His sovereignty, and practicing praise. Know where to be, and get there.Postedby Gregory Hartnett at 1:44 PM |
Monday, February 4, 2013
by Korinne Pina
David arrived home a little earlier than usual, eager to share his good news. Lisa was so preoccupied with preparing dinner that she hardly noticed when David came up behind her. In his excitement, he swung her around the island counter, hugging her so tight it nearly knocked the wind out of her! David exclaimed, “I got in!”
“What has gotten into you?!?!,” Lisa asked incredulously as she gasped for air. But something about this night seemed oddly familiar. Having a distinct feeling of dread at what David was about to reveal, she braced herself and asked cautiously, “Got in where?”
“I got into grad school at Liberty University! I’ve been accepted into their online MBA program!”
Instantly, a million questions flooded her mind…How could they possibly manage for the two of them to continue working full time while David went to school? They had already refinanced the house after she lost her sales position at the jewelry store due to downsizing. Who would take Alex to soccer practice when she led Bible study on Tuesday nights? Who would help Steven with his math homework when her boss required her to work extra hours? How would David continue to run his business with the demand of his education interfering? When would they be able to make time for their marriage? David was already away on business at least three times a month as it were. Lisa felt her blood pressure rise and her spirits sink just thinking about it.
But Lisa had never been one to discourage David’s dreams. He had always talked about going back to school when the kids were older, but he had given up on the idea years ago because it never seemed like the right time. When David had taken residential classes, the stressful hour and a half commute both ways to their small town’s university and the six hours a week he sacrificed listening to lectures, proved to be too much of a strain to an already tight schedule. As a result, his GPA suffered and he quit. At the time, Lisa had been disheartened by this, but felt David was doing the responsible thing. After all, the endeavor had infringed on his time investment in growing their family business. Not long after, profits fell and their business nearly went under; they still hadn’t fully recovered.
It wasn’t long before Lisa realized she’d slipped into a daze; engulfed in worry that threatened to take her under like quicksand. She snapped out of it in time to hear David question with a hint of boyish impatience, “Well, what do you think?”
Lisa refused to be the culprit of David’s thwarted ambition. Silently, Lisa lamented in her heart, “How in the world are we going to get through this again? Does he really think doing it online will make this any different than before?”
But seeing a glint of passion in his eyes she hadn’t seen since the first time he shared the news of returning to school, she took a leap of faith. Besides, she couldn’t bear to hurt him. With as much enthusiasm as she could muster, she supportively replied, “That’s wonderful, honey!”
If only he had talked to her first, Lisa would’ve felt prepared for this decision.
This is a fictitious story, but it paints a very familiar picture of some of the struggles we face when trying to incorporate education into an already hectic lifestyle with our families.
Perhaps you identify with David and you are eager to begin your academic pursuits at a later stage in your life and all you want is the support of those you love. Or perhaps you’re like Lisa, feeling torn between wanting to be supportive, but overwhelmed by the struggles ahead. Both positions represent legitimate concerns. God’s word gives us wisdom for how to approach either situation.
He tells us in Proverbs 3 vs. 5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Often times we may eagerly take a chance on something we’re excited about without discussing the decision with those directly affected by our choices. This can invalidate their feelings or cause unnecessary fear. On the other hand, we also can be unnecessarily overcome by fear if we don’t seek God’s will in order to have His divine perspective.
If we are willing to trust God wholeheartedly, no matter how scary it may be, and consult those we love when making plans, He will grant us wisdom and equip us with courage to pursue our dreams!Postedby Gregory Hartnett at 8:28 AM |
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
by Korinne Pina
It’s the end of January. How well have you committed to your New Year’s Resolutions so far?
Allow me to share how it’s going for me…
Full of hope and expectation, I could hear “Eye of the Tiger” playing as I set goals like lose weight, get out of debt, and reduce stress. Desperately motivated for things to change, I envisioned myself like Rocky when he victoriously ascends to the top of the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum. Maybe with a little luck, my new theme song would finally take the heavyweight title and allow me to taste victory, even if just this year. But after the first few days, my well-intentioned efforts began to give way to the old habits that held me captive, and I knew in my heart that defeat was on the horizon.
Now here we are, only halfway through the first month of the New Year, and regretfully, my ambitions are shaping up to be nothing but déjà vu yet again. Holding the heavyweight championship title with renewed vigor, my more experienced theme song has issued a harsh and savage technical knockout to its rather naïve contender. Eye of the Tiger never stood a chance! The idea of another year of failed resolutions taunts me as the old familiar theme song plays “Another one down, and another one down. Another one bites the dust”!
My half-hearted investment permitted me to grieve my loss quickly as my well-intentioned efforts not only accepted defeat, but died an early death. I tried to be optimistic by telling myself that perhaps it was better than imprisonment with a life-sentence of unrealized goals. Better to just accept that this is just the way it is and will always be.
But somewhere deep inside, a still small voice whispers, “Does it really have to be? Your goal is right, but your approach is all wrong. Without the right method and My spirit to guide you, failure is not only probable, it is inevitable! There is one small, yet significant focus you must maintain to guarantee your victory…Me.”
God then laid the following scripture on my heart. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5.
I was leaving out the most important part – God!
It’s so easy to forget our dependence on God. It takes more than willpower to change. But when we humble ourselves and acknowledge Him to help us in meeting our goals, God is able to bless our efforts making our resolutions of this year become next year’s reality!Postedby Gregory Hartnett at 4:05 PM |
Monday, December 31, 2012
by Scott Smith
The Holidays are here in full swing. Classes are coming to a close and Christmas is right around the corner. This time of year seems to make us all reminiscent of past Holidays enjoyed, as well as the many blessings we have received over the years. Christmas is the Season of love, thanksgiving, friendship and generosity. We celebrate our hope in Christ, as Jesus came to earth to give His life so that we could be with Him forever. We also celebrate the love we share in Christ for one another and the hope He has given us.
For many, the Holidays can be a difficult season, with some facing discouragement and sadness. The Apostle Paul, perhaps the most well-known missionary of the Christian faith recorded in history, occasionally found himself in times of discouragement and sorrow. In 2 Corinthians (chapter 7), we see Paul reaching the end of his emotional rope. He was suppressed, tired and in pain. His conflict was overwhelming, but God brought Titus and others to offer encouragement to Paul. This encouragement turned it all around for him, so much that he went from feeling suppressed to being filled with joy.
This year, I want to encourage all of us to encourage. You may have to read that line again, because I used the same word twice-on purpose. This blog is meant to encourage all of us to share love and spread joy, hope, friendship and generosity this Christmas. I believe if we all do this, we will see a ripple effect this Christmas season that will impact the lives of others.
Jesus tells His disciples in the Gospel of John to love on another. In fact, He goes on to tell them others will know they are His disciples by their love for one another (John 13:34-35). Love came down when Christ came to earth, and we are called to give that Love away. So, how do we share this with others this Christmas? Encouragement.
Remember the ripple-effect idea? Titus’ encouragement to Paul came in the form of recounting his own encouragement and support he received from others. The impact potential found in acts of generosity and encouragement is profound.
Encouragement is generosity of spirit. Think about it – most of us (if not all of us) have been on both sides of the encouragement coin. In both cases, we recognize that encouragement requires giving. If we follow the trail, we discover that giving is a product of generosity. Generosity tends to foster encouragement, and this is a profound ministry to others.
So, let us all give love away this year for Christmas. Encourage others with kindness, generosity and support. You never know, it may be the very turning point in the life of someone you love. Merry Christmas LUO!Postedby Gregory Hartnett at 11:47 AM |