Monthly Archives: February 2016

Welcome To The Wonderful World of Failure

Starbucks Cup

In 1971, Starbucks opened its first store in Seattle. The coffee supplies and machinery store was a total disaster.  The failure was attributed the one big thing that the owners at that time did wrong.  Incredibly, the first Starbucks did not sell coffee.

Starbucks …welcome to the wonderful world of failure!

Bill GatesBill Gates’ first entry in the business world was in 1972 as owner of a company called Traf-O-Data.  The aim of the company was to read raw data from roadway traffic counters and then create reports for traffic engineers.

Gates’ product barely worked.  Hardly anyone bought it and the company soon went under.

Bill Gates… welcome to the wonderful world of failure!

Oprah Winfrey was fired shortly after landing a coveted co-anchor spot inOprah Winfrey Baltimore. Her boss, at the time, said that she was a complete failure and was not fit for television.

Oprah Winfrey…welcome to the wonderful world of failure!

The Wonderful World of Failure

Logo2Some of the greatest companies, institutions and people in history have been failures at one time.

God recognizes that all of us live in the wonderful world of failure.


God’s word, in James 3:2, addresses human mistakes and failures.

“Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.”

Why Do We Fail?

FailureOur failures arise from bad choices. Our failures arise from not following our goals.  Our failures arise from the inability to understand the market place.

However, most often our failures arise when we distance ourselves from God.  We fail when we rely on our own strength and stray away from God’s teaching and path for our lives.

Therefore, we must return to God’s way by taking our cues from Luke.15:18 and say, as the prodigal son said after his failure:

I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you.”

How To Handle Failure

Mary PickfordThe most important thing is how we handle failure. The Canadian actress, Mary Pickford, reportedly said “To fall is not to fail, unless you fail to get up again”. The Bible also has something to say about this.  These are the words of the wise man Solomon:

“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked”. Proverbs 24:16  

Final Thoughts: Welcome to the wonderful world of success!

God knows that we will fail.  He has been helping his children recoverThe road to sucessfrom all types of failures.  And guess what?  He can help you and me recover as well.  For a saint is just a sinner who fell down…and got up.

What Happened to Cam?

Cam-NewtonWithout question, Cam Newton is a tremendous talent.  He is a lethal combination of speed and power with a rocket arm paired with the smarts to dismantle the most complex of NFL defenses.

However, Cam’s behavior on the turf at Levi Stadium and especially in the post game press conference was more than just a loss.

Some called it a meltdown, others saw it as bad sportsmanship, while many other commentators have described it as childish.

I would rather like to believe that what we saw was the creation and the IronPhoenix-PhoenixRebornburning of a Phoenix.

Cam, just like the bird in Greek mythology, will emerge stronger as he arises from the ashes of this crushing Super Bowl defeat.

This will happen if he and all of us will learn three valuable “Phoenix lessons” from this situation.

1.Do not let the celebration outshine your talent


Winning games in the National Football League is hard.  This season the Panthers won more of them than any team in the league (17-1).

Winning all of those games takes talent; which Cam and the Panthers have in abundance.

No doubt every first down, touch down and big play should be celebrated.  However, when the celebration overshadows the talent then something is wrong.

The Phoenix lesson is this: Let your talent speak louder than your celebrations. Tone it down.

2. Superman does not exist in the NFL


Yes, it takes cockiness and swagger to be an effective NFL quarterback.

The person playing the position must   believe that they are the best player on the field and act accordingly.

However, while the quarterback is and should be the man, he is not superman.

The Phoenix lesson is this:  The best in any field realizes that humility can be your best friend if you are to be a leader and the face of the team.  

3. Being MVP is not being the Most Viewed Pouter


At 26, Cam Newton has all the trappings of a fully grown man.

  • Career Success
  • Financial Success
  • Fatherhood

Despite the trappings, we saw on display on Sunday a man broken in spirit and publicly humiliated on the field of play which for 17 games he had dominated.

Dr. Martin Luther King said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Entering the 2016 season, Cam Newton and the Panthers will become the hunted.   Every team will bring their “A” game, every team will be trying to repeat Denver’s success, and every team will be going after the man who wears #1 on his chest.

The Phoenix lesson for Cam is this: When times get difficult in the 2017 season, he must decide which MVP will show up.

Final Thoughts: We can all rise from the ashes

Like Cam Newton, we all have experiences where:

  • We are defeated.
  • We are melted down
  • We are childish


However, unlike Cam, our bad sportsmanship moments are not witnessed by half the planet in the biggest sporting event ever.

The Phoenix lesson for all of us is that we must always be ready to become a Phoenix.

The burning down of the old, so that the new can rise from the ashes, will help us:

  • Get over that bad marriage
  • Get that new job after getting fired
  • Get that Super Bowl win after the loss


I am pulling for Cam not because he is a Panther but because he is Phoenix.  Because in his Super Bowl debacle, I am confident that Cam will emerge stronger, better and this time more capable of completing the task of winning a Super Bowl.



I Will Be Joyful

 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,

Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,

Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will be joyful in God my Savior.

These words from Habakkuk 3:17-18 reminds us that bad times, bad things and bad stuff will happen to all of us.

These words also reminds us that regardless of the hardship, regardless of the challenges, regardless of the opportunities that may befall us:

  • We will rejoice in the Lord
  • We will be joyful in God our Savior.

That is why I am so excited to invite you to join our Morning Prayer Call.

Lasting about 10 short minutes starting at 6:30 AM (Eastern) on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, a group of committed Christians gather to worship and pray together.

You can join the call by simply dialing toll free: 641-715-3580 and using access code 548874.

  • Because when we pray together we share in each other’s headaches.
  • Because when we pray together we share in each other’s disappoints
  • Because when we pray together we share in each other’s pain.

Because when we pray together we become stronger together.


Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,

Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,

Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will be joyful in God my Savior.

For as Habakkuk 3:19 tells us:

The Lord God is my strength; he will give me the speed of a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.

With God our Savior no matter what happens in our lives:

  • We will rejoice in the Lord
  • We will be joyful in God our Savior.
  • And with God’s help we will get over any mountain

The Morning Prayer Call

6:30 AM (Eastern)

641-715-3580 (Toll Free)

Access Code



Your Super Reward

Tomorrow, the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos will compete for Pro Football’s ultimate reward: the Lombardi Trophy which is symbolic of winning the historic Super Bowl 50 championship.

Life is our field of play and Satan is our opponent.  The Devil is trying to do everything possible to stop our progress in the faith.

However, God is our mighty coach. Which is why He has given us the gift of salvation. He loves us and will do everything possible to protect us from Satan.

The concept of this gift is explained when Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9

“For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it.”

The message of this scripture is clear.  Unlike a Super Bowl trophy, salvation is not a reward for the good we have done.

– We cannot credit for it.

– We cannot go around doing an end zone dance for it.

– We cannot do a boastful celebration of the salvation which we think we       have earned.

In every Super Bowl there is a winner and a loser.  While we cannot earn or win God’s salvation we can clearly lose it.

The author of Hebrews warns that it is possible to “neglect so great a salvation” (Hebrews 2:3) if we do not “give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away” (Hebrews 2:1).

Therefore on this eve of Super Bowl Sunday, God, our head coach, has a game plan to keep us from drifting away.  A game plan that will keep us from losing the gift of our salvation.

This game plan has two simple yet powerful directives that we find in Luke 10:27.

The first directive: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.

The second directive: Love your neighbor just as much as you love yourself.

Tomorrow, we will enjoy the hype, food and merriment that comes with the Super Bowl Sunday.

Let us remember that the real super reward has been offered to us by Jesus as He says in Revelations 22:12  “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done”.

Your super reward can be earned by keeping God’s gift of salvation while following God’s game plan against Satan as we Love the Lord and Love our neighbor.

Have a great time tomorrow and enjoy Super Bowl 50!