I am grateful for the many ongoing prayers and expressions of joy since my last posting. Indeed my situation is greatly improving and I am in the midst of some full on health-building/disease-fighting protocols now. A very clean diet, and lots of nutritional and other immune therapies to see if I can get my body as prepared and capable as possible to fight any recurrence of disease.
We have long known about so many important areas of healthy living. I am learning to drink more water, I am taking a “thousand” supplements, and I have discovered the importance of “stretching” as I proceed to try to get my body back to “fighting shape”. Who knew how much it mattered to get the muscles stretched in the right way as well as strengthened? And as I said, I have embarked on a systematic immune-boosting series of natural treatments that will continue for the next 12-18 months
My next official check in Houston is at the end of May. We continue to trust God in this healing and restoration, and we are all blessed have so many options to assist in the process. I take this period of my journey seriously and recognize that healing depends on many aspects and actions. My scans were great…but with cancer, we must always be aware of what we are dealing with and give our bodies the best chance of recovery and resistance by attacking medically, emotionally (no stress), and spiritually with God’s promises. Thanks for your prayers as always.
As I continue on this path, I also have been enjoying some stimulating communication with my business family as we seek to take the lessons of this past year, and the opportunities of today’s environment, and seek the fruit that awaits us as we move ahead. Last weekend I had a new experience as I was able to speak “live” to a group of thousands in St Petersburg, Russia at a N21 convention using a two way, video feed right from my offices in Atlanta! Then just 30 minutes later I was able to do the same thing in Johannesburg, South Africa to another group of many thousands. What a world of opportunity! I could see them and I could enter the convention and feel the energy and watch the recognition of new achievers on stage. It was a privilege for me and very encouraging. I hope it was to them as well.
Maybe we have discovered some new possibilities and ways to deliver needed messages as well as connect with newer people and bring vision and energy to our global community. You can only imagine how amazing it feels when I listen to the people being recognized and see how similar they are across cultures and languages.
To be able to contrast the Russian environment and the look in the eyes of new achievers
with those of my friends in Africa…. within just an hours time…… was inspiring. It reminded me of just how big our business is and how much our opportunity means to this diverse audience. People dreaming again, working hard, sharing success stories and how they have overcome fears and obstacles, and bringing hope to each other through this simple opportunity and through the magic of the N21 culture and teachings. I am re-inspired every time. I see what a difference we can make with people who so badly want “more”…. and are willing to work for it. Too bad so many “outsiders” still think we Just “sell things to people”….or….”just want more money for ourselves”. One peek into the content and heart and substance of these changed lives filled with renewed hopes and dreams and a vehicle to achieve them…and it becomes so obvious that there is so much more going on. Oh well, I am just thrilled that some people do see it and benefit.
I am exercising every day, playing quite a lot of golf, as my strength returns. I am also doing lots of reading and reflecting and planning, with a keen ear to what God directs. But, I am also now preparing to meet our European and African leadership in New York City in just a few weeks for a wonderful company event that will get me reconnected and into the game further. I must be careful as I consider these new adventures so as not to disrupt my rebuilding and special nutritional programs.
We then are pondering a trip to Portofino, Italy for the global annual Founders Council, and maybe even a magnificent cruise off the coast of Italy and France on the Sea Dream Yacht for the North American Growth Council in June. That all depends on my health progress, and what God leads us to do. We will be praying about these trips and may not feel it is wise or possible to take them all. We already have missed many of the things like Hawaii…and we just cancelled our trip to Peter Island that was scheduled this week. No big deal, we will have many more, but I need to stay focused on my recovery and rebuilding, and too many trips will not be smart at all. But I am grateful to have so many amazing opportunities and, with prayer, we will select one or two that seem most doable and ask for the Lord’s wisdom in these decisions.
Long travel is still difficult unless by “private” aircraft, and not for too long at a time, but we keep praying for wisdom in what is the right balance for my health (both mental and physical). I promise not to over-do. There is “health” for me in being “engaged” and with people I love and respect and can offer value to. There is also “health” in maintaining my nutritional regiments. I continue to seek His direction daily. But I sure can do a lot by phone, email, and video. And how grateful am I that if I do “nothing at all”…everything is still great and the business flows on. What a blessing we have been given.
Strangely and wonderfully, in spite of the most challenging year of my life, I have seen God’s hand in so many ways. I have learned and experienced feelings and insights never possible before. Isn’t it strange how He so often uses these trials to deepen our faith and show us His ways more clearly. Just having the urgency and the time to dig deeper into my general reading, and specifically into the Bible will “change” all of us.
What strength we can find in simply emerging ourselves in His scriptures and recognizing how Many promises He has and how much “good news” is there. In my reading I have re-awakened my passion for scripture and it’s value in guiding every step of our lives. Especially when we memorize verses and “hide them in our hearts”. I wonder how many of you are still doing this with us?
Let me share a few things I have run across regarding the Bible and it’s power in our lives when it becomes more than a “decoration” on our table. As you might know, the Bible was one of the first books to come off the printing press when it was invented, and it’s still the world’s best-selling book.
An anonymous author has written the following about the Bible:
“It contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the fate of sinners, and the happiness of believers. It is a light to direct you, food to nourish you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveller’s road map, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s weapon, and the player’s game plan. It’s a mine of incredible wealth, and a river of genuine joy. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Christ is its grand subject, your good its design, and the glory of God its end. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be spiritually healthy. Read it slowly, frequently and prayerfully. Let it fill your memory, rule your heart, and guide your steps. It is given to you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered for ever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and judge those who trifle with its sacred contents.” The Bible is “The word of our God which shall stand forever” (See 1Pe 1:25).
Wow, I love that! I read it many times. I also discovered some interesting quotes from famous world leaders regarding the Bible that some might be surprised to read:
William Gladstone, prime minister of England: “There is but one question of the hour: How to bring the truths of God’s Word into vital contact with the minds and hearts of all classes of people.”
Goethe: “I consider the gospels to be thoroughly genuine; for in them there is the effective reflection of a sublimity which emanated from the person of Christ; and this is as divine as ever the divine appeared on earth.”
President Ulysses S. Grant: “Hold fast to the Bible as the anchor of your liberties. Write its precepts on your heart and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for the progress made, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”
President Woodrow Wilson: “A man has deprived himself of the best there is in the world, who has deprived himself of this: knowledge of the Bible. When you have read the Bible you will know that it is the Word of God because you will have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness, and your own duty.”
President Abraham Lincoln: “I have only to say that it is the best gift God has given to man.” Like the law of gravity, the Bible will never become redundant.
Napoleon: “What happiness the Bible procures for those who believe it! What marvels it bestows upon those who reflect upon it!”
Daniel Webster: “There is no solid basis for civilization but in the Word of God. If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will continue to prosper. I make it a practice to read the Bible through once every year.”
William Lyon Phelps (once referred to as the most beloved professor in America—of Yale University): “I thoroughly believe in a university education for both men and women, but I believe knowledge of the Bible without a college course, is more valuable than a college course without knowledge of the Bible.”
Sir William Jones: “The Bible contains more pure sensibility, more exquisite beauty, more pure morality, more important history, and finer strains of poetry and eloquence than can be collected from all other books in whatever age or language they may be written.”
Robert E. Lee: “The Bible is a book, in comparison with which all other books are of minor importance. In all my perplexities and distress, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “The majesty of the Scriptures strikes me with admiration, as the purity of the gospel has its influence on my heart. Peruse the works of other philosophers with all their pomp and diction, how mean, how contemptible are they, compared with the Scriptures.”
George Washington: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
Thomas Jefferson: “The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty.”
Horace Greeley: “It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible reading people.”
Patrick Henry: “This is a book worth more than all other books which were ever printed.”
President William McKinley: “The more profoundly we study this wonderful book and the more closely we observe its divine precepts, the better citizens we will become and the higher will be the destiny of our nation.”
J. Edgar Hoover (FBI Director): “Inspiration has been the keynote of America’s phenomenal growth. Inspiration has been the backbone of America’s greatness. Inspiration has been the difference between defeat and victory in America’s wars. And this inspiration has come from faith in God, faith in the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, and faith in the belief that the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God. Reading it within the family circle is more important today than ever before. It draws the family together into a more closely knit unit. It gives each member a faith to live by.”
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”
Isa 40:8 NIV
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Mt 24:35 NIV
So, it seems there is a lot of agreement that we would be well served to spend more time in the Bible. I hope you will consider doing this. If you are new at it, I suggest you start in the “New Testament” and maybe get a Bible with footnotes and helps (a study Bible). Then beginning to memorize some or all of the verses we have placed here (and read the parts of the Bible that they come from to get a wider understanding). As the simple message of God’s love and plan comes through you can gain a foundation for all of life and a freedom that comes from His unconditional forgiveness and acceptance. Good news.
This year has made us all aware of how fragile (and short) life is, and how much we should
be looking beyond the obvious and somewhat superficial worries and selfish ambitions we sometimes get caught up in. It is always important and beneficial to have ambitions and dreams of course…as that is part of our mission here;….how we can glorify God through our work and how we can give back to others through our gifts. However, it is wise also to keep our eyes on the bigger picture of why we are here, and where we might be going next (and how to assure we get there).
As I read the entries in this blog, I quickly realize how beautifully this business that many of us share has blended the need for hope and community and direction and values to people all over the world who are “stuck” (relationally, financially, emotionally, spiritually). It allows us to enter into life relationships and help each other find true meaning, and worthwhile dreams, and goals, and even rediscover our spiritual side and it’s importance. It is so much more about the “people” than the plan or the products we are known for. That is why I am praying for many more years to engage in this magnificent world we share.
We can help each other to help people and we can honor and bring glory to our God in the process. So simple. As long as we “seek Him first” …all the other blessings can be safely added. And we can multiply our fruits with His abundant blessings and favor. I look forward to lots of new experiences with you all and lots of healthy dreaming and celebrating…..Lord willing! As always….what a blessing to be on this journey…with you.