A Formula for Fulfilling Your Dreams (Diet for Dreamers)

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What did the successful Chick-fil-A entrepreneur S. Truett Cathy have in common with David, the Biblical King of Israel?

King David was a warrior, a diplomat, a musician and a poet. He was a model of brilliant leadership, both on and off the battlefield. He led the Israelites to numerous victories, and strengthened the kingdom of God’s people. Today, he is considered the greatest King Israel ever had.

S. Cathy Truett (March 14, 1921-September 8, 2014) founded the phenomenally successful fast food company Chick-fil-A in 1948. Today, the company is the leading fast food chicken chain in  America, with more than 1800 restaurants operating throughout the southeastern United States, and over 5 billion in annual revenues. Cathy accomplished this feat using an unusual business model grounded by his deep Southern Baptist beliefs: he promoted people over product, and he put God first in everything. Cathy’s decision to close his restaurants on Sundays drew criticism from some diners, and even pressure from other businesses, but the entrepreneur frequently stated he wanted his employees to be able to enjoy their Sundays, spending time with their families and attending church if they chose to do so. The entrepreneur’s beliefs often came under attack as well, because he was outspoken and refused to compromise the basic principles taught in the Bible.

Although he missed sales opportunities by being closed on Sundays, and lost a few customers by standing up for God’s Word, Cathy nevertheless prospered … tremendously. When he passed away, the entrepreneur had an estimated net worth of roughly $1.2 billion. But again, he never put money before God and people: he funded countless charities, and he took good care of his employees, who benefitted from a college scholarship program and several other perks.

Cathy had his priorities straight: God came first in his life — in every area; he stayed tuned in to God’s truths; and he never strayed from doing what’s right according to God’s Word. These are qualities he shared with King David, “a man after God’s own heart,” and they provide us with the perfect formula for success:

1. Stay plugged in to God and His truths; and refuse to compromise His principles or take an easy out by siding with those who choose to disagree with God’s Word. The Bible teaches, “Blessed is the person who does not follow the advice of wicked people, take the path of sinners, or join the company of mockers. Rather, he delights in the teachings of the LORD and reflects on his teachings day and night. He is like a tree … that produces fruit in season and whose leaves do not wither. He succeeds in everything he does.” (Psalm 1:1-3 GOD’S WORD) Part of staying plugged in is:

2. Renew your mind. We need to flush out the negative, selfish, fearful, faithless thoughts we collect each day by “washing” our overtaxed brains with the Word of God. This means reading the Bible and meditating on (thinking about) what it teaches. “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” (Joshua 1:8 NLT) After all, we ARE what we think we are. Are we down-and-out losers or I-can-do-all-things-through-Christ winners? “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”  (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)

3. Talk to God. Thank Him for what He’s done for you; praise Him for who He is; then share your hopes and dreams, your problems and fears. “Commit your way to the LORD; Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Psalm 37:5 NASB) King David met with God the first thing every morning, demonstrating that although he had a busy schedule, he was putting God first. “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee….” {A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness…} (Psalm 63:1 King James Bible)

4. Keep God as your first love — not your success, money or fame; not your goals or unfulfilled dreams. These things will fall into place, once your priorities are straight. “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4 ESV)

Want to achieve your goals and realize your dreams? Then put God first in all things. Seek to be pleasing in His sight and to do His will. That’s God’s formula for success! “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NIV)

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The All-Purpose Cleaner! (Angel in the Kitchen)

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Bleach is our best friend in the kitchen. Yes, it’s great for brightening whites in the laundry, but it’s also a versatile all-purpose cleaner. Bleach seems to remove any stain, no matter how stubborn. It cuts through grease. And it disinfects, too!

Pretend for a moment that you’re in one of those cheap 1980s sci-fi movies and civilization as we know it suddenly grinds to a halt. You’ll want your bleach handy: just a drop in a tankful of stagnant water will chlorinate it and kill all the harmful bugs. So even if the TV is useless, and there’s no cell phone service, you’ll still have plenty of clean water to drink as you contemplate rebuilding civilization — or simply returning to nature to run free with the wildlife.

In the meantime, we use our bleach to kill and remove mildew under the sink. It also removes grime from our kitchen cabinets. And it cuts through grease and cleans tupperware better than anything else we’ve used. In fact, bleach removes those creepy red stains that are always left after microwaving a plastic container of chili or spaghetti sauce.And if you’re like us and have a white refrigerator, bleach is great for removing those incriminating little finger smudges left by kids sneaking an ice cream bar or the last piece of lemon meringue pie.

We also use bleach to disinfect the cutting board and the kitchen sponge we use to wash the dishes. The beauty of bleach is that it deep cleans, removes stubborn stains, purifies and sanitizes! And if a lock of hair should fall across your face while you’re scrubbing the kitchen with bleach, just push it back. No need to wash your hands before running your fingers through your hair; when you’re done, you’ll have this cool bride-of-frankenstein streak of white that’s all the rage these days.

Household bleach has a divine counterpart, too; something that deep cleans, removes stains, purifies, and is far more precious and far more eternal. Churches still sing about this miracle all-purpose cleaner, in an old hymn:

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh, precious is the flow, That makes me white as snow.

The blood of Jesus Christ has the power to cleanse us of all unrighteousness, remove the stain of any sin, purify (sanctify) the immortal spirit within each us. This is the blood that Christ shed when he was crucified over 2000 years ago for our sins. “‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient….'” (Isaiah 1:18 NIV)

But just like bleach, in order for this supernatural cleaning solution to work, it must first be applied. God applies the blood when we: acknowledge our sins and need for a Savior; turn away from our sins (change the direction of our lives); trust Jesus for our salvation, and accept (by faith) His free gift of eternal life; and make Him the Lord of our lives.

“God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong.” (1 John 1:9 GOD’S WORD)

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