“. . . just as the son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

— Matthew 20:28

SERIOUS AND FOCUSED ON BEING A SERVANT

I remember him from early in my career. Don was the CEO’s chief assistant. I also remember that he never used the power of his title to accomplish his tasks. When he came to a meeting to discuss an item, he was focused and serious. Don’s goal was resolution: How could he help? Over time he was sought out by all of us for help. He was calm, insightful, and asked good questions. He knew his role, to help the company. Seldom was the solution about him; his only concern was solving the problem.

Don helped us get many things done. His contacts and relationships could broker many solutions. His reputation transcended the title he owned. His day was spent going from meeting to meeting. Sometimes one-on-one meetings, sometimes large meetings. Don waited to hear everyone’s point of view. His solutions came in the form of questions. He would say things like “What would you think if we did this?’” or “How about trying that?” Don could go anyplace in the company and be well received.

“Jesus knew his role, to help humankind and ultimately to pay the highest price for humankind.”

Notice in today’s verse that Jesus refers to himself as the son of man, not the boss of man. This perspective of servitude opened many doors for Jesus. Jesus knew his role, to help humankind and ultimately to pay the highest price for humankind. All of his activities were serious and focused on this goal. Throughout his short period of service, three years, he touched many. He performed miracles. He healed the sick and comforted the poor. Overtime, his reputation grew and became sought out by others. Jesus developed a great reputation.

His reputation was so good, Jesus could borrow a donkey for entry into Jerusalem. For his final staff meeting called the Last Supper, he was able to secure a room at no charge. In fact, his burial tomb was given to him by a rich merchant. His actions of service got many things done and, as with Don, allowed him to go into many places.

“When we serve, where are our hearts?”

When we serve, where are our hearts? Are they set to help or express our desires? Do we have a clear view of our true role and do we stay focused on that role? When we do, doors open up. Not all will agree with us, but all will welcome us. In the marketplace, producing honorable results should be our primary goal. Each of us has a role to play in this, and when we stay within that role we succeed. The hardest part is remembering we are a servant in our roles.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

When we work, does it have to be our way?

How do each of us serve in our work?

How do we search for the common good?

Jesus in silence

“Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’”

— Luke 17:19

USING FAITH TO GO ON OUR WAY

It is easy to say, “Get up and dust yourself off.” Many of us have heard this encouragement. But it isn’t so easy to do. Perhaps we have had a major financial setback or are struggling with a relationship. In those silent moments by ourselves, we twist and we turn, searching for answers. We head down various mental paths and look in each corner. Perhaps we cry out and silently yell it’s not fair. And it probably isn’t. It is true we should just get up and dust ourselves off and go on. But it isn’t that easy for everyone.

Faith is like that. Sometimes it’s easy to go into the building of faith and hit the elevator for the top floor and just arrive. But other times in our lives we have to investigate every room in the building of faith. To find out what’s there and see if it helps us. We have to walk up each stair and see what’s on the next floor. With the spirit of Christ in us, we know the answer is on the top floor, but we have to press back our doubts by exploring. Others may say, “Just have faith.” But these journeys help us have faith. They allow us to cross off what doesn’t work. They allow us to let our heart catch up with our intellectual knowledge.

Our faith will make us well. But we have to first move to that place where we can get up and be on our way.

Jesus says, “Move on. Your faith has made you well.” Jesus has to say that, because it is right. Our faith will make us well. But we have to first move to that place where we can get up and be on our way. It is at this point where we have to decide that our progress must be forward. Our investigation has to propel us to a conclusion. It is faith that we can hang on to after we have investigated every floor, but the investigation process itself can be revealing and strengthen our faith. It is when this strengthening has occurred that we can truly get up and be on our way.

“The journey in the inner building of our self with Jesus will reveal and teach us to have faith.”

With Jesus in our hearts, we can have confidence that our journey will be well. Regardless of our inner investigation, all paths will lead back to faith. All thoughts of ill will will disappear. All thoughts of self-pity will wither away. We will return. The journey in the inner building of our self with Jesus will reveal and teach us to have faith. Jesus will be with us on this journey regardless of our despair. And when we are done, we will be able to get up and be on our way.

Have faith!

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

What do we do when we fall down?

How do we restore our faith?

How long should it take?

“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.”

-(Luke 21:34–35)

EVEN THE MIGHTY WILL BECOME TRAPPED

In 1978, Betty Ford’s family confronted her about her alcoholism and addiction to opiates. In her memoirs she later stated, “I liked alcohol, it made me feel warm. And I loved pills. They took away my tension and pain.” Here was a former first lady admitting her addiction. A former First Lady who was well regarded for her social activism and grace. Despite her power and status, she had been trapped. After her family’s intervention, she entered rehab and emerged into recovery. Behind her life as a social activist, a recovered breast cancer survivor, and an abused wife in her first marriage, was a hidden life of booze and drugs. The pressures of her past and present had driven her into the trap.

Later, she set up the famous Betty Ford Center. In its time, it became the go-to place for addiction recovery. Betty Ford’s public admission of her situation helped over one hundred thousand people take the first steps to recovery, but Betty Ford was more than this. She also inspired women struggling with breast cancer. She fought for women’s rights by lobbying for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1991, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“Jesus tells us that all will be confronted. None will escape the battle. Even first ladies of great character.”

Near the end of Jesus’ mission on earth he issues a warning to be on guard, by saying, “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.” (Luke 21:34–35)

In this verse, Jesus tells us to be on guard against life’s addictions of all kinds. He calls them a trap that arises unexpectedly. Jesus also tells us that all will be confronted. None will escape the battle. Even first ladies of great character. It can become an embarrassing moment in our lives that we try to conceal. In this concealment, we lose the resources of friends who will help. We conceal our addiction and silent lives from God, who will help. We fight alone against a dangerous foe. Our embarrassment prevents resources from coming to our aid. We become trapped. It is inevitable that we all encounter this part of life in one form or another. Our faith development will be challenged, we will have to fight back mightily to retain our faith and ourselves.

How do we win against addiction and life’s traps? Jesus says through prayer and our faith. We should pray for strength to escape these things, but it starts with our first admitting that we are being confronted. We need to extend this recognition into prayer. We need to allow others in on the secret, as Betty Ford was forced to do. Our faith, prayers, friends, and most importantly our recognition of our addictions become our shield. There will be those who judge, but they will have their turn. They will need help in some distant future. We press forward balancing judgment against recovery. Assisting those in recovery is far stronger, judgment is far weaker.

Even one of our country’s most gracious first ladies became entrapped. Sinking into the abyss of brokenness, she found herself alone, hiding her addiction. Through her faith, prayers, family, and friends she recovered. Not only did she recover, she turned her personal tragedy into a beacon of hope for others.

We all will enter this moment in our lives. Hopefully, a temporary test of our faith. When we emerge into recovery, we can renew our lives and begin the task of being a shining light. We become healed.

*

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

“Freely you have received; freely give.”

—Matthew 10:8 (NIV)

THE DEEPER STORY BEHIND WHY WE GIVE

A friend of mine, Tom Locke, runs an extraordinarily successful organization called the Texas Methodist Foundation, based in Austin Texas. Tom is a premier networker and is very open about his faith. It is not uncommon to get a call from Tom where his only objective is to stay connected. An unusual trait in our busy world. Tom starts every conversation with, “How are you doing?” A sincere question with a desired interest in hearing your answer. Gracious and giving in all that he does, Tom is an advocate for God. In the meals I have had with Tom, he asks that we pray. When Tom makes this request, it lifts my spirits and heartens my soul. Also, Tom frequently expresses his gratitude to God for the wonderful life he has been given. He is an earnest man with a sense of responsibility to his work, that those of us who know him greatly admire. He leads a blessed life, with a wonderful wife, children and grandchildren.

Tom has run the Texas Methodist Foundation for decades. Over that period, it has grown from having a few million in assets to close to a billion dollars in assets. It lends money to churches, helps the poor and provides leadership training for the church. Tom has been able to blend his faithful life with great business acumen. Tom will quickly tell you that it is not because of him that his organization has thrived, it is because of the many people who work with him. It is true that Tom has surrounded himself with extraordinary people, however, he has also created an environment where they can excel and express their own faithful desires. Tom attracts good people because he gives.

“When was the first time you gave in your life?”

One of Tom’s jobs is fund raising to support the many giving programs of the Texas Methodist Foundation. His approach to this effort is highly unusual. First, he asks one question to everyone he meets, “When was the first time you gave in your life?” This demonstrates his sincere interest in knowing the story, and also to learn more about the individual.

In these answers, he finds very deep and personal stories about faithful Christians. He finds a deepness of gratitude that will bring many to tears when they tell Tom why they first gave. A cleansing that occurs as people reflect on all they have received. He discovers that they give because they have received from God. To most, it is an overwhelming response of gratitude at both knowing God exists and a very intense appreciation of what they have been given.

Tom does not ask this question to stir up the emotion that lies beneath the surface but is always amazed at its intensity. Many of these conversations become a therapeutic response to his simple question. As Tom and I talked about why this happens, we are both amazed at the strong current of emotion that exists when people are in a safe environment to discuss their faith. I saw this same emotion in many of my interviews for this book. A drawing out of the gratitude that simmers beneath the exterior of all who believe.

As I reflected on therapeutic responses received, I went back to Genesis 1:27 where it states, So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” As we are made in the image of God, one of the wonderful attributes acquired is that of generosity. A desire to give and to help injected in each of us from our birth. When we give, we act in the spirit of God. We live into our image of God and whenever we give, we satisfy this spirit of generosity. We are left with a joy that is directly connected to our birthright of being made in the image of God. Tom’s questions draw this sense of joy to the surface and invokes the strong human emotion that is directly connected to our desire to have a God-like sense of compassion. We are in this moment connected to God.

Tom gives us a beacon of responsibility to our Lord that inspires each of us to give freely.

Tom continues to work as hard today as he did yesterday. Each day Tom is driven by his sense of responsibility to his organization’s wonderful mission of serving God and his desire to help. Tom has many friends who trust him because he cares first and asks second. He inspires us because he gives each of us space to be creative and express ourselves. In addition, Tom gives us a beacon of responsibility to our Lord that inspires each of us to give freely.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Photo by Jony Ariadi on Unsplash

“. . . just as the son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

— Matthew 20:28

SERIOUS AND FOCUSED ON BEING A SERVANT

I remember him from early in my career. Don was the CEO’s chief assistant. I also remember that he never used the power of his title to accomplish his tasks. When he came to a meeting to discuss an item, he was focused and serious. Don’s goal was resolution: How could he help? Over time he was sought out by all of us for help. He was calm, insightful, and asked good questions. He knew his role, to help the company. Seldom was the solution about him; his only concern was solving the problem.

Don helped us get many things done. His contacts and relationships could broker many solutions. His reputation transcended the title he owned. His day was spent going from meeting to meeting. Sometimes one-on-one meetings, sometimes large meetings. Don waited to hear everyone’s point of view. His solutions came in the form of questions. He would say things like “What would you think if we did this?’” or “How about trying that?” Don could go anyplace in the company and be well received.

“Jesus knew his role, to help humankind and ultimately to pay the highest price for humankind.”

Notice in today’s verse that Jesus refers to himself as the son of man, not the boss of man. This perspective of servitude opened many doors for Jesus. Jesus knew his role, to help humankind and ultimately to pay the highest price for humankind. All of his activities were serious and focused on this goal. Throughout his short period of service, three years, he touched many. He performed miracles. He healed the sick and comforted the poor. Overtime, his reputation grew and became sought out by others. Jesus developed a great reputation.

His reputation was so good, Jesus could borrow a donkey for entry into Jerusalem. For his final staff meeting called the Last Supper, he was able to secure a room at no charge. In fact, his burial tomb was given to him by a rich merchant. His actions of service got many things done and, as with Don, allowed him to go into many places.

“When we serve, where are our hearts?”

When we serve, where are our hearts? Are they set to help or express our desires? Do we have a clear view of our true role and do we stay focused on that role? When we do, doors open up. Not all will agree with us, but all will welcome us. In the marketplace, producing honorable results should be our primary goal. Each of us has a role to play in this, and when we stay within that role we succeed. The hardest part is remembering we are a servant in our roles.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

When we work, does it have to be our way?

How do each of us serve in our work?

How do we search for the common good?

Jesus in silence

“Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’”

— Luke 17:19

USING FAITH TO GO ON OUR WAY

It is easy to say, “Get up and dust yourself off.” Many of us have heard this encouragement. But it isn’t so easy to do. Perhaps we have had a major financial setback or are struggling with a relationship. In those silent moments by ourselves, we twist and we turn, searching for answers. We head down various mental paths and look in each corner. Perhaps we cry out and silently yell it’s not fair. And it probably isn’t. It is true we should just get up and dust ourselves off and go on. But it isn’t that easy for everyone.

Faith is like that. Sometimes it’s easy to go into the building of faith and hit the elevator for the top floor and just arrive. But other times in our lives we have to investigate every room in the building of faith. To find out what’s there and see if it helps us. We have to walk up each stair and see what’s on the next floor. With the spirit of Christ in us, we know the answer is on the top floor, but we have to press back our doubts by exploring. Others may say, “Just have faith.” But these journeys help us have faith. They allow us to cross off what doesn’t work. They allow us to let our heart catch up with our intellectual knowledge.

Our faith will make us well. But we have to first move to that place where we can get up and be on our way.

Jesus says, “Move on. Your faith has made you well.” Jesus has to say that, because it is right. Our faith will make us well. But we have to first move to that place where we can get up and be on our way. It is at this point where we have to decide that our progress must be forward. Our investigation has to propel us to a conclusion. It is faith that we can hang on to after we have investigated every floor, but the investigation process itself can be revealing and strengthen our faith. It is when this strengthening has occurred that we can truly get up and be on our way.

“The journey in the inner building of our self with Jesus will reveal and teach us to have faith.”

With Jesus in our hearts, we can have confidence that our journey will be well. Regardless of our inner investigation, all paths will lead back to faith. All thoughts of ill will will disappear. All thoughts of self-pity will wither away. We will return. The journey in the inner building of our self with Jesus will reveal and teach us to have faith. Jesus will be with us on this journey regardless of our despair. And when we are done, we will be able to get up and be on our way.

Have faith!

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

What do we do when we fall down?

How do we restore our faith?

How long should it take?

mountains

“Rise up, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.”

(Genesis 13:17)

WALKING THE TRAILS

On a recent hike on the Appalachian trail in Massachusetts, a friend of mine, exclaimed, “This is boring! Aren’t there any sights to see?” We were on a stretch of this famous route, which stretches from Springer mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Encompassing well over two thousand miles. This stretch had no waterfalls or great vistas or flowing streams. A seven-mile stretch, that flowed over small rises and descended into valleys filled with ferns. Nothing existed on this silent path except the large green trees, rocks to avoid and a brown path. That’s all there was. A place to wander to get to the next segment.

“During our walk through life we will meet ordinary people and walk by ordinary places. In these ordinary people and places exist extraordinary stories.”

It took me back to my own professional career and reminded me of the many days and months where all I had to do was my job. Ambition always pushed me to want the next great step in my life. Just doing my job wasn’t enough. What was next for me would ramble in my mind, luring me to put my focus on the excitement of a new promotion and accomplishment. But most of my days were spent walking through these stretches of my career that were no more than just doing my job, being a faithful employee and helping my company. When we are young we are told of the great things that lie at the end of the segment of the trail we are on. We look expectedly to that future. Along the way we hope that our efforts lead to an extraordinary life. During our walk through life we will meet ordinary people and walk by ordinary places. In these ordinary people and places exist extraordinary stories. We only have to stop and observe to find them. They frame our lives, values and friendships. It is in these moments we find extraordinary things.

“Surely, Abraham would see great vistas, running streams and waterfalls. But most of his journey would be with the ordinary.”

Today’s verse is about God’s promise to Abraham. God was about to give him a land that would be the source of our great faith. But first, Abraham had to walk its entire breadth. To see the ordinary and learn about its ways. A walk where observing was more important than the finish. Surely, Abraham would see great vistas, running streams and waterfalls. But most of his journey would be with the ordinary. Jesus himself, wandered thousands of mile in his great mission to reveal God’s values to humanity. We read about his miracles and those he helped, but most of his time was walking the trails of life.

“God’s promise is an extraordinary life, when we have walked the length and breadth of His land.”

Surely, when we walk with faith and an eye towards the values of Jesus, we will see great things. But most of our walk will be in everyday life. Our careers will have those days of great success, but most days will be spent doing ordinary things. Just doing our jobs, raising our children and living a life. God’s promise is an extraordinary life, when we have walked the length and breadth of His land. Not in just what we see in the end, but in what we see along the way.

Enjoy the walk and observe all you can!

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

How often do we reflect on where we are?

How often do we wonder about the ordinary things of life and see a deeper story?

How often do we take the time to go beyond a quick hello and discover an extraordinary person?

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not to harm, to give you a future with hope.

(Jer. 29:11)

ERASING WORTHLESSNESS

In my current business, Gideon Partners, I have clients who have lost their job and have come to me for advice. The most common thing I hear that connects all these individuals together is a sense of worthlessness. They all have suffered a loss and wonder how did they allow themselves to get into this situation. What could they have done differently? Many times the answer doesn’t lie with them, but with circumstances out of their control. Perhaps their company had to downsize, they had a conflict with their boss or their job wasn’t a good fit. Regardless of the reason they all have a sense of worthlessness that is overstated in their minds.

“This sense of worthlessness comes from a loss of identity.”

This sense of worthlessness comes from a loss of identity. Many times they are alone all day, while their friends go to work. They often are alone with their thoughts and take too much of the blame. They will hear things like, “It was probably for the best.” Or “Take advantage of the time off.” These statements will bring a momentary smile, but they still have bills to pay and worry about their future. They miss the camaraderie of the work place. They are alone.

“Like many of life’s problems, the only way out is to move forward and not stay behind.”

It is a terrible place to be, yet the vast majority of people will spend some portion of their life without a job. This sense of worthlessness is also debilitating. The very thing they want and need is finding a job, yet this worthlessness makes them lethargic in their search. The hardest thing to do is to stay positive and move forward in spite of this feeling of worthlessness. Like many of life’s problems, the only way out is to move forward and not stay behind.

“To claim our future, we must work with God.”

In today’s verse, God states He has plans for us and not to harm us. Plans that move us from worthlessness to hope. While this is an encouraging verse for those who believe, there are conditions to having a future with hope. There are things we must do in conjunction with God’s plans for us. Perhaps it is some soul searching of what we could have done better. Perhaps it is a very careful evaluation of what we should do next. For those without a job it means enthusiastically embracing the task of finding a new job. To claim our future, we must work with God.

Most new jobs are found through your personal network. Seventy to eighty percent of new jobs are obtained by using our networks. While difficult and sometimes embarrassing to ask for help and insight, our networks, many times are the source of a regained identity. They will know you and will mention you to other people, who might have a job. When we contact these people our goals should be to stay positive and demonstrate trustworthiness. While this seems obvious, becoming “riveted” on these two traits is paramount to finding a new job. We all have networks and when we approach them with a positive sense of mutuality, they will help.

Applying for jobs on-line can and will be frustrating. Many times there will be no reply back or rejection. In spite of this we all must continue to apply. While not as effective as our networks, we still must apply and ignore the repetition of negative feedback. Our goal is always to press forward when we work with God. To keep searching and pray. He will answer.

God does have plans for us, but God works “with” us and not for us. To claim the “future with hope,” we have to work hard. We have to rise up and even on the tough days. Smile when we are interviewing. To claim our future, we have to be honest with ourselves and others. God is there and will answer. God will give us this answer through our efforts of searching and personal reflection.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

What are the biggest obstacles to staying positive in the face of adversity?

In tough times, do we believe in ourselves or doubt ourselves?

How does God help us?

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

-Luke 6:31

TREATING CUSTOMERS LIKE GOD’S PEOPLE

How we treat customers in our businesses is the single most important aspect of maintaining a thriving enterprise. How we view our customers is the start of developing a successful customer first mindset. Recently as I was starting up my business, I needed some work done to create a successful platform for my work. The contractor did his job as described. I noticed something in how they worked to complete the job. Subtle extra things would appear. “We thought you might need this addition,” they would reply when we noticed these additions. Comments we would make in our planning discussions were taken seriously and if even if they had to work extra they would complete the task. When the job was completed it was far better than we had imagined and at the price they had quoted.

“At the end we told them that their work far exceeded our expectations, they humbly said, “thank you.”

They had created a raving fan of their business. They knew what we didn’t and carefully guided us to what we needed and not what we asked for. They listened to learn and got the job done. Needless to say we gave them references and posted great reviews. Later as I thought about this experience I realized that this was the model for great customer service. They didn’t tell me, “That isn’t what you asked for and it will cost more.” They didn’t treat me like an annuity that would only generate cash for their business. They didn’t dismiss our ideas. They politely pushed us where we needed to go. At the end we told them that their work far exceeded our expectations, they humbly said, “thank you.”

“Simply, we should treat others the way we want to be treated. In business, holding this tenet is the cornerstone of great customer service.”

Today’s verse is from Luke and we recognize it as the “Golden Rule.” The Golden Rule is also found in the Gospel of Matthew, as part of the Sermon on the Mount. The words are similar, but contain the same message. Like most of Jesus’ messages it is simple to understand and powerful in its point of view. Simply, we should treat others the way we want to be treated. In business, holding this tenet is the cornerstone of great customer service.

Countless trees have been cut down to produce the volumes of books about how to create great customer service. Many hours have been spent in debate reflecting on the subject of customer service. But here it is, in a short phrase that contains only eleven words, a thesis by Jesus on what great customer service is. As is typical of Jesus, short to the point and aptly spoken. We don’t need rules and overly bureaucratic systems to determine how to treat customers. We need a heart that has the intent on satisfying our customers. A desire and willingness to treat our customers the way we would want to be treated.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

What holds us back from creating “raving fans” of our business?

Can we look past our desire to make money from our customers to providing great service?

How would Jesus handle customers?

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”

(Matthew 16:18)

JESUS AND THE ART OF DELEGATION

When Jesus delegated, he also picked great leaders, like the apostle Peter. After the Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples and Jesus ascended to heaven, Peter assumed the leadership of the growing sect, called “the Way.” In Peter’s inaugural speech he reinforced Jesus’s purpose, a message that both enthralled and comforted the crowd. After this message was delivered to a large crowd on his first day as leader, three thousand people converted to the Way. Each day more and more people joined, and Peter did a tremendous job recruiting and training this rapidly growing flock.

But wasn’t this the same Peter who abandoned Jesus numerous times? the same man who seemed never able to grasp Jesus’s message when Jesus walked the earth? the apostle who cowered in fear with the others during the dark three days of the Passion? In fact, as Jesus had predicted, Peter denied knowing him three times before the cock crowed in the early morning on the day of the Crucifixion.

Jesus saw this greatness in Peter when it wasn’t obvious.

Now Peter was the leader, the person convincing the masses of the rightness of Jesus’s way. A new way to live. A new way to thrive in the marketplace. Jesus saw this greatness in Peter when it wasn’t obvious.

A few years earlier, Jesus has said, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) Now Peter finally understood why Jesus had called him “the Rock.”

Jesus had seen something in Peter. He changed his name from Simon to Peter. He announced that Peter would be the man to carry on his message. Yes, Jesus correctly predicted that Peter would deny him three times. He knew this, and still selected him.

“Jesus knew that Peter was human like the rest of us, but special like few.”

Jesus spent time teaching Peter in spite of a multitude of missteps on Peter’s part. He showed him how to move about the countryside. Peter learned that he could walk on water with faith. He learned that a few loaves of bread could feed thousands. Even though Peter failed many times, when it was his time, Jesus knew that Peter would be there. Jesus knew that Peter was human like the rest of us, but special like few. Jesus had delegated the mission of God to the right person.

*From page 108 and 109 in Jesus & CO.  Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman