Archive for the ‘Faith’ category

Blessed

January 8, 2010

For Christmas in 1996 my good friend Bruce Barbour gave me the devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.  Of all the books I have been given, I think perhaps this one has had the biggest impact in my life.

Of course, like many people, I didn’t bother to crack this little book until I faced the first really major crisis in my life in 2001.

Since 2001 I have spent many mornings with Oswald.  Bruce gave me an idea that has been a huge blessing to me.

Each day I read, I write a short note or prayer about what is going on.  My first diary is jammed with notes from different years, and every year it’s great to see what God has done, and to be reminded that the present crisis will also be handled by God, just like He took care of the previous ones.

For example, through the years on Jan 8th I prayed about:

A new business we started that tanked
A book deal
Blessings for a seminar
A family member with cancer
A family member with serious immune issues
A family member who had a heart cath
An old friend battling alcoholism

Reflecting on every one of these it is truly amazing how God has worked.  I am so blessed!

My recommendation for you in 2010 – spend some daily time with God, and write your thoughts down.  He doesn’t need you to write them down, but you will be blessed when you see His hand in your life as you look back.

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CAT Scan

January 6, 2010

The first day of work at Ziglar in 2010 had a few twists in it.
Picked up Dad at 7:00 a.m. so that we could get an early start; attending our 8:00 a.m.  company devotions, which was awesome, as usual.

Learned at 8:30 that our phone system was down.  Learned a little later our hard drive crashed on the computer so while the phones are working, all of the needed features like voice mail are not!  Suddenly 2010 feels like 1975!

Mom picks up Dad at 10:00 a.m. to go home.  As Cindy and I head out to lunch at 11:30, Mom calls and says Dad is very dizzy.  We head over to Mom and Dad’s place instead.

Mom calls Dad’s doctor who put the brain shunt in last year to relieve his hydrocephalous.  They order a CAT scan ASAP.  We borrow a wheelchair for Dad and head down to the hospital.  (Dad is absolutely loving the attention, as he feels totally normal except when he tries to stand up.)

Arrive at the CAT scan place at 1:15 p.m.  Get checked in, and they promise to work us in.  It’s packed and I am thinking they are running some sort of “start the new year with an X-Ray special”!  Everybody in the room is so nice and courteous.
Dad needs to go to the men’s room and I get elected to help. (Still can’t believe Mom and Cindy voted for me!)

I help Dad, since his balance is way off.  I ask him if he would like some privacy and he says yes, so I turn off the bathroom light. It’s pitch black, as we both laugh in the darkness!  (Side note: Dad has always been able to laugh in the dark.)

Amazingly, when we come out they are ready for us.  They ask Dad a list of 50 questions about his medical history, and Mom gets 48 of them right!  Cindy and I correct the other two.  Dad somehow manages to make a funny comment or joke about almost every question.

We are moved to another waiting area.  Two different “higher ups” check in on us.  The service really is amazing at Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center at Presbyterian Hospital on Walnut Hill in Dallas.  Had a very nice conversation with Debbie Merten, the Technical Director.  Turns out she trained one of our staff development programs in the 1990’s when she was at Saint Paul Hospital in Dallas.  No wonder the customer service is so good!

(Side note:  Saint Paul Hospital is where my sister Suzie lost her battle against pulmonary fibrosis in 1995, and Debbie was teaching our program at that time.  I can’t tell you how it made our family feel when we went through that time with Suzie and having the hospital staff treat us like family.)

At 2:00 p.m. they take Dad back for the CAT scan.  Mom rides shotgun.

At 2:15 they come back, all done!

In Ziglar tradition we do the only logical thing, we head to IHOP for some FOOD!  The thought of Harvest Grain pancakes drives the dizziness from Dad’s body and he returns to normal (or I guess whatever is normal for Zig Ziglar).

Arrive at IHOP about 3:00.  Dad doesn’t need the wheelchair anymore.  We laugh as we eat gi-normous omelets with pancakes.

At 3:45 the phone rings with the results.  All good, nothing wrong with the shunt, and most likely a little inner ear problem or a lingering effect of the fall from a few years ago.

On the way home from IHOP Dad informs us that his next book is going to be on encouragement, since so many people are down right now.  Life is back to normal.

Drop Mom and Dad off and Cindy takes me back to the office to get my car.

Still have a 1975 phone system at the office, but I don’t care.

The Top 5 Of 2009

January 2, 2010

Following are the Top 5 Ziglar Pure and Simple blog posts of 2009 with the number of hits.  Thank you for being a reader!  Let me know what you would like to see in 2010.

#5   The Purity Diet 3,200 hits

#4    I Tweet, therefore I …… The Twitter Strategy for Ziglar 4,875  hits

#3  So You Wanna Be A Speaker 5,065 hits

#2  Seven Success Keys 5,251 hits

#1  At The Foot Of A Giant At the Foot of a Giant 9,141 hits

I Believe in Christmas

December 25, 2009

By Zig Ziglar

It’s the first Christmas I can remember. It arrived just seven weeks after the deaths of my father and baby sister. To make matters worse, it was in the heart of the Great Depression. Things were tough. All of us children who were older made what income contributions we could, but the truth was my mother had eight of her eleven remaining children still living at home, and six were too young to work. Understandably, the Ziglar kids were concerned about what kind of Christmas it would be!

The good news is that though our grief was fresh, we still celebrated Christmas. We received no toys that year, but much to my delight in my gift box I found three English walnuts and something I had never tasted before—raisins! They were absolutely delicious.  Mama prepared her wonderful molasses candy and we had a small cedar tree. And my mother read the Christmas story, like she always did.

My sixth Christmas will always have great meaning to me. We celebrated the birth of Christ even in hard times because we believed in Christmas.

A CHANGE IN CELEBRATING THE SEASON

Unfortunately, over the years things have changed. The cheerful “Merry Christmas” of yesteryear has been replaced by the politically correct “Happy Holidays!” In the minds of many people we celebrate “holidays.” Not only is Christ not at the center of the celebration, he isn’t even considered to be the reason for the season!

If I seem upset about the changes that I see taking place in regard to Christmas, it is because I am! It’s not because an old tradition is being changed. No, I’m upset that the event that made it possible for me to have a life I could never have imagined is being hidden from view with decorations, wrapping paper, parties and political correctness!

CHRISTMAS! A REASON TO CELEBRATE

You see, I believe it’s worth celebrating that Jesus came to earth—His birth signaled hope for all mankind. I believe that as he lived out a perfect life before God and mankind, he showed that he truly was God’s Son. And I believe that by giving his life up on a cross, he completely paid the penalty that my sins—and yours—deserve before a holy God. And it was made possible because of that first Christmas.

How could I not believe in Christmas? Because Christ was born as a baby in a manger that’s more than enough reason to celebrate Christmas for what it is—a joyful occasion.  I’ve experienced forgiveness of my sins and have the assurance of eternity in Heaven!

If you don’t know Jesus Christ, let me say that He tells us in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  How do you do that? First, understand that I’m talking about a relationship, not a religion. All the world’s major religions emphasize that you qualify for heaven by your good works—the things that you do. Such “religion” is spelled “d-o.” Christianity is spelled “d-o-n-e.” Christ already paid for our sins when He died on the cross. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And he rose from the grave proving that the punishment for our sins was fully paid.

Nothing we could ever “do” could qualify us for God’s forgiveness and reserve our place in heaven.  That’s why Christ himself said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him who he has sent” (John 6:29).

CELEBRATE LIKE NEVER BEFORE!

God forgives us, saves us from our sins, and gives us eternal life based on our belief in what Jesus did for us. Why? Because God is gracious beyond measure! The Bible says that it is “…by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works…” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Though “the wages of sin is death” [eternal separation from God], the greatest Christmas gift we could ever have is “the free gift of God…eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

With gift-giving like that from God, I don’t want to lose the significance of Christmas. I believe in Christmas!

I urge you to accept the greatest “Christmas gift” you’ll ever receive: If you’re convinced that God’s way is the only way to meaningful life now and eternal life in heaven, you can tell him in words like these…”Dear God, I do believe Jesus died for me, and took the punishment my sins deserved. I want to receive your free gift of salvation and eternal life. Thank you for making this possible!”

Then join me this year in celebrating Christmas like you’ve never celebrated it before!

Merry Christmas!

This article can be found on a Christmas tract from the good folks at Good News Publishing.  You can buy it and share with your friends and neighbors.

Staying Positive in a Struggle When Others Are Frustrated

December 22, 2009

“What can you do to enable positive attitudes as the struggle continues so those around you don’t get frustrated with your struggle recovery?”  Marla

This question came in from a Success 2.0 Webcast

Marla, here are a couple of ideas for you:

Be an example and have the attitude you want others to have.  Those who are around you the most will respond to whatever attitude you have the most.  If you are going through a struggle and they see you embracing it, moving forward, looking for the bright side, and working hard to improve the situation, this will encourage them.

Express gratitude.  Let those around you know that you are thankful for many things, including their support, love, and encouragement.

Understand you can’t change everybody.  Some of the people around you may continue to react negatively and remain frustrated.  By being the right kind of person and doing the things you need to do to help the situation, you have the peace of mind to understand that they are not frustrated with you, but with the situation.  They may “take it out” on you from time to time, and after this occurs you may want to have a talk with them.  The purpose of this talk will be to ask them, “Are you frustrated with me, or the situation?”  Then listen.  Chances are good that it will be the situation, especially if you are doing all you can.  If they say it is you, then you will need to understand why.  Perhaps you are doing something that they see as making the situation worse that you have not considered.  If they are right, this is great news because you have more room to improve.  Maybe you just need a time of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Or maybe they are the ones with the problem.  In any case, you need to find out if they are part of your struggle and recovery.

Embrace The Struggle!

Getting Knocked Down

December 17, 2009

This question came in from a Success 2.0 webcast.

“When your mind takes a hit after working hard at getting better, how does one get back?”  Chris

Chris, good news and bad news on this one.  The bad news first.  We all get knocked down!  Everyone has to deal with taking a mental hit, even if you are working on staying mentally strong and staying positive.

Here is the good news.  You can decide NOW how you are going to respond when you take a mental hit.  Here are a few things to remember.

“Logic will not change an emotion, but action will.”  Zig Ziglar.  You can not “just” think your way out of a mental hit.  It is important to recognize that you have taken a hit, and then you have to take action to get back on track.

Have on hand your favorite books and audio recordings, and when you take a hit plan some time each day to absorb the good stuff.

Call a friend or mentor who is positive and ask them for a little motivational feedback.  It’s great if you can also be this person for someone else.

Create a victory list of all of the things you have accomplished and the goals that you are in the process of achieving and review it when you get knocked down.  This will remind you that you have been knocked down before and you can get back up and achieve great things.

Pray.  Tell God exactly what is going on, ask Him for direction, and then be still and listen.  It is amazing how many times getting knocked down really means that you just stand up and start again, in a slightly new direction!

Zig Ziglar’s Greatest Accomplishment

December 10, 2009

This question came in from a Success 2.0 Webcast

“Being a student of Tor Dahl in Minnesota, he speaks very highly of the way your dad has changed the world.  What would you say has been your dad’s greatest accomplishment?  Also, does he believe in giving back or paying it forward?  What would he say about that?” Dwayne

Dwayne, Dad’s core philosophy, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want,” is very close to the “pay it forward” or “giving back” concept.  I believe Dad’s greatest accomplishment is his gift of encouragement and hope.  Dad has the ability to help others “see” what they can become.  This encouragement creates hope, and when this happens people take action and try out what Dad says.  By taking action, they get results, and then they try something else, which gets even more results.

Dad’s greatest accomplishment is simple – it is really the sum of other people’s accomplishments that he had a small part in inspiring.