“His name will be called Wonderful Counselor”

-Isaiah 9:6

JOHN ROBINSON, THE WONDERFUL COUNSELOR!

Even at college I sought out people who were wiser than me. I always admired how they could get to the point and deliver their messages with frankness. People who had a high sense of what was right and how to succeed became constant companions.

“Over time I developed a human library of great people.”

Later in my business career, I continued this behavior of searching for wise people. Over time, they became invaluable. When many tough decisions had to be made and I would rely on their wisdom, whether in person or knowing what they would say I should do. The higher their personal standards the more I searched them out. I especially, liked people who were smart and frank, but also those who cared about other people. Over time I developed a human library of great people.

Later in life, as I pursued my new career as a Christian/Business ethics writer, I discovered John Robinson. A former IBM executive, who built and successfully ran a number of businesses. He was considered the pioneer in bringing computer automation to a vast number of universities. Many, still use his tools today. John is highly regarded and well known in his community.

“John doesn’t give me the answer I want to hear, but the answer I need to hear.”

When I first met John, I very much wanted to know him better. Immediately, I could see his wisdom. He has three great qualities; kindness, wisdom and most importantly, frankness. We often engage in long hours of strategic discussions. Whenever, I am off course, John will furrow his brow and put me back on course. He states his point of view simply and seriously. Inevitably, after every discussion I had a new way to approach a problem. John doesn’t give me the answer I want to hear, but the answer I need to hear.

“There are many reasons to follow Jesus, relying on the ways of Jesus will straighten any path.”

Today’s verse, is from Isaiah 9. This verse is most well known as the verse in the Old Testament that foretells the arrival of Jesus. But it also tells us about the value of Jesus, as a “wonderful counselor.” When life gets hard or complicated we need counselors to unwind our thoughts. There are many reasons to follow Jesus, relying on the ways of Jesus will straighten any path.

Now I am not saying that John is Jesus, but God puts people in our lives to listen to and hear. John Robinson, for me, is one of those people. People that have high standards and care. In a small sentence they can unravel the most difficult problem. They think from a sense of what is right and not of self-interest.

We all need Jesus in our lives, but we should also seek out those who are wise. God gives them to us.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Who in our lives will tell us what we need to hear?

How do we find these people?

How well do we listen?

field of red flowers

“When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi,’ (which translated means Teacher) ‘where are you staying?’”

— John 1:38

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, had a difficult life up to the age of sixty-five. He had countless jobs, was divorced, and had just received his first Social Security check of one hundred dollars. After a lifetime of failure, he tried one more business venture. He began traveling the back country to convince restaurant owners to buy his chicken recipes and his fryer. Many nights he slept in his car to meet the owners in the morning. Initially he received hundreds of rejections. Finally, a restaurant bought the fryer and the recipes, which led to other sales. Soon his business was earning him a thousand dollars a day. After only a few years he sold it for $2 million.

His pastor related, “He suddenly raised his head and looked at me and said that it was the first time in his life he had ever experienced the presence of Christ within his heart.”

Colonel Sanders had worked on the railroad, been a hired hand to a farmer, owned a hotel, and had many other jobs. At sixty-five, destitute, he asked God to help him with his business. For many years after he believed he was successful because of God. He gave to charity, tithed, attended church on a regular basis. But he still hadn’t fully grasped what he was looking for. There still was a void inside. At seventy-five, while attending church, he was asked to pray, to ask God to forgive him and take mercy on him. His pastor related, “He suddenly raised his head and looked at me and said that it was the first time in his life he had ever experienced the presence of Christ within his heart.”

“Like many of us, they wanted their hearts to be connected to God through Jesus.”

Jesus is walking on a road and is followed by two men. Sensing their presence, he turns and asks them, “What are you looking for?” It was the same thing Colonel Sanders was looking for. To be with Jesus and have Jesus in their hearts. They wanted to know Jesus, beyond just doing good. They wanted to know that they were forgiven and that Jesus would have mercy on them. They wanted to have the presence of Christ in their hearts. They wanted a deeper relationship than just knowing Christ existed and was good. Like many of us, they wanted their hearts to be connected to God through Jesus. They knew it was more than just doing good and working hard. It was a connection that creates a sense of finding what you are looking for.

One of Colonel Sanders’s famous quotes is “I lost half my vocabulary when I found Jesus, I had to stop cussing.”

One of Colonel Sanders’s famous quotes is “I lost half my vocabulary when I found Jesus, I had to stop cussing.” Matthew Henry called this experience “an awakened soul.” It is a communion between our souls and Christ. It is Christ who begins the conversation, by asking us, “What are you looking for?” When we hear this question in our inner castle, the process of fully accepting Jesus has begun. The conversation starts, and we begin the journey of leaving other thoughts behind. We begin to focus on answering this question. We search, we  look, and eventually we discover we are looking for the presence of Jesus in our hearts.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

How do we feel Jesus?

What experiences of this have we had?

Have we found what we are looking for?

sunflower field

“And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples.”

— Matthew 9:10

WHERE DO WE GET OUR INFORMATION AND JESUS

We are in the midst of a populist revolution. It is occurring in the worlds of politics, the marketplace, and our daily lives. Everyday people are changing the landscape of politics, both in the USA and the world. Companies that didn’t exist a few years ago are growing explosively. We can change a company’s direction with favorable reviews we post online. What is driving this democratization is our access to information and our ability to affect information. The Internet has allowed us to reach outside our own private sphere and state our opinions to a larger audience. The common person is emerging as a driving force for all aspects of our world.

“What and how we believe was modeled by Jesus, two thousand years ago.”

But we are at a crossroads. What do we do with all this information? Who do we listen to? Are we influencers or followers? The avalanche of information has transformed journalism into editorializing versus news reporting. We sift out what we agree with and ignore the rest.  Greater divides are being created within our society. Our religious elite assert what we should believe. What and how we believe was modeled by Jesus, two thousand years ago.

“Jesus knows that among the common people resides the majority of humankind.”

In today’s verse we notice Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners. In the ancient Judean world, the tax collectors were considered the thugs of the marketplace. Sinners ate with Jesus because they wanted instruction and guidance. The religious elite of this period frowned upon these dinners. They felt pure and righteous. Sinners were welcomed by Jesus because they had made an honest assessment of their spiritual state. They knew they were not accepted by the elite. They were tired of being told about their sin; they wanted a voice. Jesus knows that among the common people resides the majority of humankind.

“With the voice of the Holy Spirit we talk directly to God when we read the Bible.”

When we consider the original twelve apostles, we notice that none are from the religious elite. They are fishermen, a tax collector, a Zealot; they are from the masses. They were given the chance to be influencers. Jesus picked ordinary people because they knew the unvarnished life. They knew the details of everyday living. They knew the struggle of paying bills and tending flocks. In effect, Jesus “democratized” God for us. Today, Jesus is still with us in the Bible. Our direct source of information. Reading the Bible removes the requirement of listening to what others tell us to think. With the voice of the Holy Spirit we talk directly to God when we read the Bible. The information we most need is there.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

What is a “red lettered” Bible?

Where do we get our Christian information?

Whom do we discuss the Bible with?

ocean scene

“Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”

— John 2:16

DO YOU USE GOD OR DOES GOD USE YOU?

Strive Masiyiwa is one of the leading African industrialists. In the 1980s, while still in his twenties, he started a telecom company in Zimbabwe with seventy-five dollars. Over time the company grew and became a force in his country, until the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, issued an order that would effectively bankrupt Strive’s company. He went on to fight the ruling and win, while at the brink of bankruptcy. In 1998 the company, now called Econet Wireless, had its first cellphone subscriber. Econet has gone on to operate in twenty countries and was a key driver in bringing cellphone service to Africa.

During the recent Ebola outbreak, he set up funding sources to help fight the deadly disease. Amid all of this he reads the Bible every day.

What we should know about Strive is that he is a born again Christian. Each year he funds the education of forty thousand orphans. He has provided one hundred thousand scholarships. Strive is one of the ten members of the African Progress Panel that advocates for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. He is a member of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s initiative called the “The Giving Pledge.” During the recent Ebola outbreak, he set up funding sources to help fight the deadly disease. Amid all of this he reads the Bible every day.

Beyond the ethics of using God to take advantage of people, there was a defilement of the sacred. A dangerous game of commerce.

Jesus said today’s words when he discovered that the local merchants were using the great temple of Jerusalem as an ancient shopping mall. Beyond that, the merchants were taking advantage of those worshipping in the temple, by overcharging on items they needed for worship. Travelers would need to convert their foreign coins into the local currency, but were charged inflated rates. People would need to buy doves for worship, but were charged above market prices. The merchants had a ready-made market. God’s market. Beyond the ethics of using God to take advantage of people, there was a defilement of the sacred. A dangerous game of commerce.  

Jesus wants us to make a living by having God in our lives, but cautions us not to make a living at God’s expense.

Jesus wasn’t angry because of the commerce, Jesus was angry because merchants were taking advantage of people who were living out their faith. Certainly, Jesus knew people had to make a living. In fact, over 80 percent of his parables relate to the marketplace in some manner. It was how they were earning their livelihood that Jesus was railing against. On one hand we have Strive Masiyiwa, who became wealthy and gives back to God’s people. On the other hand, we have merchants using God to make money and take advantage of God’s people. Jesus wants us to make a living by having God in our lives, but cautions us not to make a living at God’s expense.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

How do we make a living with God in our lives?

What is Jesus’s perspective on earning a living?

“The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.’”

—Luke 24:5

REFRAMING OUR LIVES

In the business book Who Moved My Cheese? there are four characters: two mice, Sniff and Scurry, and two humans, Hem and Haw. Each day the four went to a cheese pile and ate. Over time the pile dwindled and eventually disappeared. Hem and Haw, while noticing the pile was dwindling, did little to find more cheese. Sniff and Scurry set out and found a new cheese station. As time moved on, Hem and Haw became terrified, and resorted to anger, denial, and blaming to account for their situation. They debated and discussed their next moves, but couldn’t get themselves to move.

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

Over time, as hunger became a real issue, they eventually started looking for a new pile. The process was laborious and tedious. They debated endlessly their various options. Eventually, Hem found the pile that Sniff and Scurry had told them about, called Cheese Station N. As their mindset began to change, Hem and Haw created quotes like “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” and “When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.” Slowly, over time, they began to reframe their view of life and to recognize the need to constantly look at things differently.

“The Angels reminded the women that Jesus had told them that on the third day he would arise.”

The women had arrived at the tomb of Jesus and found his body missing. Two angels suddenly appeared and the women were terrified. They had been looking for a body and it was gone! All they had known was in disarray. Where had the body gone? The angels gave them a clue, that Jesus was among the living and not the dead. He had risen. The Angels reminded the women that Jesus had told them that on the third day he would arise. They had heard this directly from Jesus, but hadn’t understood him. When he had spoken to them, what he said didn’t fit with what they had previously experienced. It was too hard to comprehend. But now they saw it and remembered his words.

“When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.”

Life is like this a lot. Change is inevitable. Those of us who can reframe the events of life quickly, move quickly. While others of us remain terrified of change. We stay rooted in the past and take on a cynical view of the change. We hem and haw about why we have to change. We resist, but change is inevitable. The more we resist, the greater our fear. The story of the risen Jesus changes this paradigm. It invites us to embrace change. As Haw said, “When you move beyond your fear, you feel free.” This is true with both the Resurrection and the smaller events of our lives. The Resurrection is a reframing of our relationship with God. A God for the living and not the dead. A hopeful future with Jesus. In the smaller events of our lives, this is true as well. When we reframe our circumstances, we reframe our actions. Many times it is fear that holds us back. Moving past this fear reframes our future.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

What is our biggest fear?

How does a different perspective help with our fear?

Is our fear real?

“And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still looking sad.”

— Luke 24:17

QUESTIONS CREATE RECEPTIVITY

A client of mine was struggling to find employment. He was doing a great job getting interviews, but was failing in the interview process. Through conversations about what happened in each of the interviews, we determined that he wasn’t connecting with the interviewers. He was talking without creating receptivity. When asked a question by the interviewer that only required a short answer, he would belabor the point he was making. Further, he seldom asked the interviewer questions about his or her business. When he did, he was in a rush to state his next point. In talking about this, my client expressed that it was a lifelong problem and he knew he had to fix this issue.

“In asking questions, we give people a chance to talk and way to be affirmed.”

My client wasn’t creating receptivity. He forgot two key principles in all conversations. The first is that all people want to be heard. The second, that  people like people who care about them. One of the best ways to recognize these principles is to ask questions and listen. In asking questions, we give people a chance to talk and way to be affirmed. We are also expressing interest in them and their company. When we express our interest in them, they in turn will become receptive to our points of view. We learn very little when we just talk. We begin the process of shutting the other person down when we talk too much. The person feels like he or she has limited value. In turn, the interview will end politely and no further communication will occur.  

“By allowing the two men to talk, Jesus gave them the space to piece the events together. He allowed them to reconnect with him.”

Jesus meets two of his former disciples on their walk to Emmaus and asks them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They aren’t able to recognize him, because of their state of mourning from Jesus’s perceived death on the cross. Jesus uses questions to bring them to a point of recognition. He listens patiently. Later in the conversation, he continues to ask questions by saying, “What things?”  Jesus continues to draw them out. He listens to them. By the time they get to Emmaus, Jesus has created a bond that compels the unseeing men to ask him to dinner. When they break bread at the meal, they recognize that it was Jesus they were talking with on the road. By allowing the two men to talk, Jesus gave them the space to piece the events together. He allowed them to reconnect with him. Jesus said very little, just a few questions and a statement, but it was all that was needed.

“Asking questions and letting others talk affirms them and in turn affirms us.”

When we engage in conversation, whether general conversation or in an interview, there are always at least two people present. Many of us want to make our points, to tell our side of the story. We want to be heard and accepted. So does the other person. Exercises I gave my client were to have four to five questions ready, and to answer questions crisply and ensure that the interviewer had the appropriate amount of time to speak. Asking questions and letting others talk affirms them and in turn affirms us.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Do we dominate conversations?

Is there more value in listening or talking?

forgiveness

“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

— Luke 23:34

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT

Printed on every receipt, L.L.Bean’s return policy reads: “Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L.Bean that is not completely satisfactory.” It’s true, this is exactly what L.L.Bean means. There are countless stories about people returning things many years later and getting their money back. No questions asked and no hassles. Live Christmas wreaths that have turned brown or slippers worn out in the sole—L.L.Bean will refund you your money.

“Successful businesses index to trust and an attitude of forgiveness.”

Sure there has been abuse. You can read about these stories on the Internet. L.L.Bean sees it differently. They see a customer they have to satisfy. Each employee knows the rules and issues a credit with no questions asked. Successful businesses index to trust and an attitude of forgiveness. They avoid judging their customers and look for ways to give their customers the benefit of the doubt. They surely know there is abuse, but they look the other way. They look to satisfy and put themselves in their customers’ shoes. They believe in their customers and have done so for over 104 years. They remain one of America’s most successful retailers.

“Forgiveness is one of the major tenets of Christian belief.”

Jesus likewise implores us to have a forgiving heart. A heart that does not judge, but searches for a different view. With this attitude we take a position that all people have value. That people make mistakes, not because of inherent evil, but because of a lack of knowledge. Jesus says, “They don’t know what they are doing.” By admitting this, we make it easier to forgive. We assign a value of humanity to the individual. We avoid the argument of telling someone he or she is wrong. Instead, we provide an example of Christian action. Forgiveness is one of the major tenets of Christian belief. It removes judgment and seeks an understanding of the offender. For L.L.Bean, the customer is always right.

“Businesses with the most lenient return policies are also the most successful.”

How many of us have been duped? We know the cost, and it is the most difficult position to be put in as a business. A position where we have to make a decision out of anger or out of kindness. But what if we knew more about the offender’s backstory? What if we knew about why the person acted that way on this day? What caused him or her to behave in a way we found offensive? Businesses that have a reputation of good customer service choose to give their customers the benefit of the doubt. They know there might be abuse, but they also know they have to forgive. Businesses with the most lenient return policies are also the most successful. Their hearts are aligned with the adage “The customer is always right.”

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

How many chances do we give people?

How many should we?

Do we know the rest of their story?

path to spiritual freedom

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

— Luke 23:43

THE CHOICES WE MAKE

A business friend of mine, Bill,  related to me his story of accepting Christ. He had been troubled for a very long time that his life was out of control. Bill’s business gave him a lengthy “to do” list every day. He had stocks he had to keep track of weekly. He was a father and a husband. He was constantly pulled in numerous directions by outside interests. He felt he had nothing left that was worthy to give. He described this moment in his life as one of abject despair. He wasn’t sure why he felt this way. His job paid well. His financial situation was strong. But his spirit was beaten. He needed to turn in a different direction. He began reading the Bible and attending church, to look for answers. Slowly he saw a different life. A life with Christ that didn’t require a hyper-vigilant focus. A life that was more outward and less inward.

“Bill had stepped back and his vision improved.”

Bill  gave up reading newspapers. He gave up creating lengthy “to do” lists. His focus on money abated. His list of worries dwindled. He became focused on his community and family. What he discovered was that he didn’t need to read the newspaper every day. Bill discovered that his employees could do their own “to do” lists. He discovered that his excessive attention to detail wasn’t needed. Life still came at him in waves, but he was better equipped to handle the stress. His focus became that of what he could control, and he left the rest to those who were better equipped. Bill had stepped back and his vision improved.

“The one who acknowledges Christ receives the path to spiritual freedom.”

Today’s verse was directed to one of the two criminals who were dying on their crosses next to Jesus. One man mocked Jesus and implored him to prove he was God, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” The other man rebuked his companion by stating that they belonged on the cross, but Jesus didn’t. In turn he asked Jesus to save him and let him into the Kingdom. Jesus agreed and spoke the words in today’s verse, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” It was simple for one and impossible for the other. The one who acknowledges Christ receives the path to spiritual freedom. The other remained stuck in his past and couldn’t accept there was a different way. A way of being released. A way of spiritual freedom. A way to see life from a different perspective.

“Jesus offers us another way to live life.”

Our challenges may be not nearly as dramatic as the scene on the cross, but they can require a change in the choices we make. We all at various times have to choose what we follow. Do we continue to be slaves to a world that pushes us into deeper detail? Do we choose to try and control every facet of our lives? Do we continue to let faraway events affect our being? Jesus offers us another way to live life. Another choice versus our current life. Jesus offers paradise. A way that will still have hardships, details, and worries, but will change our perspective on what is important. We will turn away from a world that we can never satisfy, toward one that holds promise. Life will still happen regardless of our choice, but how we handle life will change. Our choice will make us more available to our neighbor, a better parent, and a better spouse. We will turn from fearing that we have missed something to an embracing of the good we can do. We all have this choice.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

What are the difficult choices we have to make?

How do we make these choices?

Can Jesus help?

jesus and creation

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

— John 1:1

THE WORD IS GOD AND JESUS

At the beginning of the Gospel of John, the Gospel explains the substance and presence of Jesus. Four critical statements are made that confirm Jesus’s presence, from creation to today. Understanding these four statements helps us understand Jesus’s mission and the substance of God. This Gospel is the last of the four Gospels and was written in the late first century or potentially early in the second century. Its original language was Greek, and in turn it expresses itself in a very philosophical manner.

Many of us have different thoughts about who Jesus is. But in the Gospel of John we find an overarching description of Jesus and the beginning of the explanation of the substance of the Trinity. In four statements at the beginning of this Gospel, the author lays out the relational substance of God and how Jesus fits into this substance. Jesus is the Word and at the same time God. Our understanding of this concept laid out at the beginning of the Gospel of John, opens up a more expansive view of who Jesus is.

“The statement “In the beginning” has a direct connection to Genesis 1:1…”

The first statement, “In the beginning was the Word,” contains two of the four points that support Jesus’s position within the Trinity. The writer uses “Word” to describe Jesus and further asserts that Jesus existed in the beginning. The statement “In the beginning” has a direct connection to Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created . . .” From this statement we can conclude that Jesus existed at the beginning of creation and was the creator.

“Jesus participated in creation, not in an inferior position, but as part of creation.”

The second statement, and the Word was with God,” tells us that Jesus coexisted with God. Jesus participated in creation, not in an inferior position, but as part of creation. In the deep ocean of the divine, the substance of God is partially disclosed. A turning of the covers continues by expressing the partnership and coexistence of Jesus with God. This statement expresses the eternal communion of Jesus with God.

“Jesus is God and God is Jesus.”

The third statement, “and the Word was God,” makes the statement that Jesus was God. This final turning of the covers unveils the reality that Jesus is God and God is Jesus. A body with three substances, when we include the Holy Spirit. An eternal being that works together through creation, the past and the future. Jesus is not defined as a creature independent of God, but is God.

“Through Jesus, God is revealed to the world.”

The fact is that Jesus is God and not a missionary to mankind. Jesus was an agent of creation and the Alpha and Omega. Through Jesus, God is revealed to the world. Jesus, as son of man, both saves and reveals. This concept of revelation is critical to understanding the Word. Jesus is many things beyond just a redeemer. Jesus existed at the beginning and is God.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Who is Jesus to us in our lives?

What are our descriptions of God?

Does knowing that Jesus is part of the eternal being change our thoughts?

cloud over the ocean

“Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”

— Luke 22:46

STAYING AWAKE

As we passed each hurdle in our recovery at Foot Locker, I would often rest and reflect on what we had just accomplished. But as with any company in recovery, danger lurked around every corner. Inevitably, Giovanna Cipriano would come to visit and tell me about the next obstacle. I would become crestfallen and want to give up. But Giovanna was always clear that here was what we needed to do. I would eventually listen, gather up the team, and tell them about the next hurdle. They would grumble, saying things like “Here we go again.” A new goal was created and we had another trial to get through. We always grumbled and complained. But we always got through the trial.

“Her efforts to keep us awake were critical to our success.”

Giovanna was our lookout. An extraordinarily smart executive. She was promoted to being our chief accounting officer before the age of thirty. She was always on guard for danger and very adept at spotting trouble ahead of its arrival. Not only did she have my respect, but she had that of her peers and our board. She was always right. Her efforts to keep us awake were critical to our success. While I dreaded seeing her in my office, I knew after a certain amount of grumbling that I would have to respond. We survived because she kept us awake.

“Jesus tells us to get up and act. He knows danger is lurking around the corner.”

Jesus gives us very sound business advice: Stay awake, so that you don’t get into trouble. He implores us to act. Jesus tells us to get up and act. He knows danger is lurking around the corner. In warning us he gives us three directives. First, don’t fall asleep, don’t become satisfied with yesterday. Second, act, be aware of the importance of staying busy, continuing to work hard. Third, pray faithfully, petition God to protect us and guide us in our honorable activities, pray that we remain vigilant, active, and purposeful. In this remedy, we can avoid trial.

“Eventually, we were no longer financially troubled and actually thriving.”

At Foot Locker, it seemed that for three years we were always jumping to fix one crisis after another. After each of these events, there would be a period of relief, where we could take a respite. This was usually followed by Giovanna telling us about something new that threatened our existence. Eventually, we were no longer financially troubled and actually thriving. However, while our dangers became more spaced out, they still existed. Giovanna still warned us, we still acted. We thrived.

Jesus give us our remedy. To stay vigilant, to remain active, and to pray. With all of this we begin to avoid times of trial.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

What are our trials and how could they have been avoided?

How do we stay awake?