Idea That ‘Transforms’ [v115]

SEPTEMBER 2008

AN IDEA THAT ‘TRANSFORMS’
For the past month or so, I have been putting a lot of time and effort into ‘transforming’ the web site (and our “corporate image”) of my company, “Visual IMPACT!”

This was a ‘huge’ undertaking—something that hadn’t been done for over 7 years. Though the web site and our corporate ‘presentation’ and “fact sheet” were updated many times during that time, the overall ‘package’ no longer depicted our integrated multimedia approach.

The new “tagline” (slogan), “Ideas That Transform,” more accurately represented our expertise—referring to how we “change the impact” of a marketing message from ordinary to extraordinary, commonplace to influential.

A major portion of our new visual ‘representation’ (branding) came from the definition of transform (a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance)— noting that our English word originally came from the Greek word “metamorphoo,” or as we say it, metamorphosis.

[ Note: If you are interested in seeing the work of the artist, M.C. Escher, that we used for our corporate image ‘theme’, click on the following link (The graphic running horizontally across the top of our web pages is called “Metamorphose II”) ]:
http://4vis.com/pdl_book/easteregg1.htm

I got to thinking that this graphic also does a good job in illustrating our lives—showing change from one ‘form’ to another in a fluent and ‘evolving’ way—as well as showing very influential ‘transformational moments’ that change the direction or ‘destiny’ of our lives.

Historically, there have been many transformational moments in human history that have changed our world significantly—and ones that, in my opinion, ‘saved’ this world from certain ‘ruination’. A few that come quickly to mind are the Holocaust (stopping Nazism), ending slavery, the fall of communism, and control of nuclear weapons (for now). There, of course, have been many people that have been ‘instrumental’ in these and many other significant events throughout history. (I also believe that, originally, America was ‘blessed’ of God to be a sort of ‘arbiter’ on the world ‘stage’).

Though, most of us will not personally affect the future of our ‘world’ to any great extent, I strongly believe each one of us can have a tremendous ‘affect’ on our own future—and possibly many others—if we are just “transformed.”

You might ask, “transformed from what…to what?”—and I would simply answer, “From an enemy of God, to a ‘friend’ of God.”

The Bible tells us that man was created to have fellowship with God, but, because of his own stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is an evidence of what the Bible calls “sin.” In the Book of Romans it says that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23]—and just a few chapters later it tells us what the ‘consequences’ are: “The wages of sin is death” (spiritual ‘death’) [Romans 6:23].

If you don’t necessarily believe all of what the Bible has to say, consider what Freud (‘unbeliever’ in God that he was), concluded from his psychoanalytic studies which probed into the ‘soul’ of humanity. There, as he plunged down into the ‘sub-basement’ of the human soul (which he called the “id”), he found lurking in all of the ‘crevices’ such foulness, such unbelievable hate, lust, greed, and pride, that he himself was shocked at what he discovered. He, evidently unknowingly, was putting his ‘imprimatur’ on the Bible, concurring with Romans 3:23 above, and with Jeremiah 17:9, where the prophet said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: Who can know it?”

So, what to do? Well, not what Freud did. He had his friend and doctor Max Schur assist him in committing suicide saying, “Now it is nothing but torture and makes no sense any more.”

I have a more ‘reasoned’ solution: “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” [Romans 12:2].

There are many examples of people that read the Bible, accepted what it said about their ‘condition’ (sinful nature), and then were ‘transformed’ by putting their trust in Christ’s ‘provision’ for their sin. One person I’m thinking of in particular, you might know very well.

After graduating from Brown University with honors, he became a Marine. Then, after the Korean War was over, the lieutenant earned a doctorate of law, started and successfully grew a law firm, and became the youngest assistant in the Senate. He rose quickly in the political realm, as his firm continued to grow. At the age of 39, President Nixon asked him to become his special counsel.

By his own admission, Chuck Colson was a “win at all costs” hatchet man for Nixon. While serving a prison sentence for his role in the “Watergate” scandal, Colson found the ultimate forgiveness by ‘transforming’ his life and committing it to Jesus Christ. Now, 30 years after Watergate, he has become a leading advocate for prison reform, civil rights, and other benevolence issues. In a day when everyone is calling for character and integrity in the public arena, Chuck Colson’s story is a refreshingly ‘happy ending’ to a very bad beginning.

This, in a very general way, can also be ‘your story’. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done up to now, God will forgive you if you just ‘let go’ of your old life and trust him for your ‘new’ one.

The Bible tells us in the Book of Ephesians that, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” [Ephesians 4:22-24]

Referring back to that graphic that was used for Visual IMPACT!’s new corporate image (Metamorphose II), about 1/3 of the way into the ‘story’ (from the left), the bees are given ‘life’, being ‘transformed’ by the hive where they were ‘nurtured’ and developed (see attached pic for that particular area, or to see what happens after that, view the scrolling image on our “splash” page of our web site: http://www.4VIS.com/ ).

A true story, I recently read, explains this better than I can.

One stormy night many years ago, an older man and his wife entered the lobby of a hotel in Philadelphia. Trying to get out of the rain, the couple approached the front desk hoping to get some shelter for the night.

“Could you possibly give us a room here?” the husband asked. The manager, a friendly man with a winning smile, looked at the couple and explained that there were three conventions in town. “All of our rooms are taken,” the clerk said. “But I can’t send a nice couple like you out into the rain at one o’clock in the morning. Would you perhaps be willing to sleep in my room? It’s not exactly a suite, but it will be good enough to make you folks comfortable for the night.”

When the couple declined, the young manager pressed on. “Don’t worry about me; I’ll make out just fine,” the clerk told them. So the couple agreed.

As he paid his bill the next morning, the older man said to the clerk, “You are the kind of manager who should be the boss of the best hotel in the United States. Maybe someday I’ll build one for you.”

The manager looked at them and smiled. The three of them had a good laugh. As they drove away, the older couple agreed that the helpful manager was indeed exceptional, as finding people who are both friendly and helpful isn’t easy.

Two years passed. The manager had almost forgotten the incident when he received a letter from the man. It recalled that stormy night and enclosed a round-trip ticket to New York, asking the young man to pay them a visit.

The older man met him in New York, and led him to the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. He then pointed to a great new building there, a palace of reddish stone, with turrets and watchtowers thrusting up to the sky. “That,” said the older man, “is the hotel I have just built for you to manage.”

“You must be joking,” the man said.

“I can assure you I am not,” said the older man, a sly smile playing around his mouth. The older man’s name was William Waldorf Astor, and the magnificent structure was the original Waldorf Hotel. The young manager who became its first manager was George C. Boldt.

This young manager never foresaw the turn of events that would lead him to become the manager of one of the world’s most glamorous hotels. What you also may not know is that when Boldt first arrived in the US in the 1860’s from Europe, he was only a teenager, had little money, and the only job he could find was as a dishwasher at the Merchant’s Exchange Hotel in New York.

There is never anyway to know how deeply one action may impact others. Boldt employed over 1,000 employees at the Waldorf, and later was a trustee at Cornell University. He was a poor dishwasher who made a difference in the lives of those ‘connected’ to him.

Jesus said that, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” [John 15:1-8].

Jesus said to His disciples that those who were ‘connected’ to Him would grow and flourish in life. He said that those who followed Him, would be “grafted” in, added to the ‘vine’ and be allowed to experience all of God’s blessings.

When Jesus said that He was the ‘vine’, it was more than just referring to Old Testament descriptions. God is working and wants EVERYONE to come back to Him—but He won’t ‘force’ you. Any life, any history, any mistake, any sorrow, and anyone can be grafted in. The ‘new life’ in Christ, is the connection to the vine that is intended to expel all the ‘trash’ from our lives, and replace it with joy.

This joy isn’t about us getting what we want. Often we confuse the blessings of God with something of our ‘design’. But the change ‘joy’ brings is more subtle, but incredibly more significant. Patrick Morley, in his book, “The Man In the Mirror,” describes joy as contentment, but “… the secret of [joy] isn’t getting what you want but redefining what you need.”

Jesus ‘redefines’ what we need—it is HIM. Jesus calls us to connect to the vine (Him), for in the vine, we find the way we are to go, we find the truth we need to believe, and we find the life we were created to live. Getting becomes giving. Having becomes helping. Rejecting gives way to redeeming.

A simple act of kindness on a stormy night made a world of difference for George C. Boldt—and an INCREDIBLE ACT OF LOVE by God’s Son, Jesus, on that ‘rugged’ cross, made the difference for the whole world—forever!

All this to say that, if you haven’t already done so, I encourage you TRANSFORM your present life—and your eternal destiny—by overcoming the ‘estrangement’ from God by accepting His reconciliation through His Son, Jesus.

The Apostle Paul, before his ‘transformation’, was one of the worst persecutors of the people who were followers of Jesus. To the best of his ability, which was great, he would arrest, throw in prison, and execute anyone that was a believer in Jesus. But, by his own account, he was totally transformed by an “encounter with the living Christ.”

Years later, now as a missionary talking to fellow believers in Corinth, he explained the ‘transformation’ one receives like this: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” [2 Corinthians 5:17].

In doing so, God will send the Holy Spirit to ‘reside in you’, and to be your “counselor”: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh [Ezekiel 36:26].

One of my favorite songs, written and performed by Steven Curtis Chapman, summarizes what I’m trying to say. The ‘meat’ of its lyrics is:

“Well I’ve got this way of thinking that comes so naturally
Where I believe the whole world is revolving around me
And I got this way of living that I have to die to every single day
‘Cause if God’s Spirit lives inside of me, yeah
I’m gonna live life differently.”

[Note: Scroll down for the complete lyrics and a link to hear it].

This is an ‘idea’ that can really transform!

(If you would like to investigate further what it really means to “believe,” visit the following link:
http://www.thesearchformeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q10_d1_1of10.html ).

[Excerpts from: D. James Kennedy; Ken Hagler ]

“Eulogia”
(“Blessings” in Greek)
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v115) for SEPTEMBER 2008
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Thanks To:
Richard Bachman

*****************************
*****************************
THE CHANGE
Well I got myself a T-shirt that says what I believe
I got letters on my bracelet to serve as my ID
I got the necklace and the key chain
And almost everything a good Christian needs, yeah
I got the little Bible magnets on my refrigerator door
And a welcome mat to bless you before you walk across my floor
I got a Jesus bumper sticker
And the outline of a fish stuck on my car
And even though this stuff’s all well and good, yeah
I cannot help but ask myself—

What about the change
What about the difference
What about the grace
What about forgiveness
What about a life that’s showing
I’m undergoing the change, yeah
I’m undergoing the change

Well I’ve got this way of thinking that comes so naturally
Where I believe the whole world is revolving around me
And I got this way of living that I have to die to every single day
‘Cause if God’s Spirit lives inside of me, yeah
I’m gonna live life differently

I’m gonna have the change
I’m gonna have the difference
I’m gonna have the grace
I’m gonna have forgiveness
I’m gonna live a life that’s showing
I’m undergoing the change
[Steven Curtis Chapman]

To hear this song, click on the link below:
http://www.spiritedesign.com/misc/TheChange-StevenCurtisChapman.mp3

*****************************
LIFE RESTORED
Plug my life into Jesus — this gets my life restored
Such a cakewalk — no brainer
Don’t need to fuss if I call on our savior
This gets my life restored

Plugged my life into Jesus — I’ve seen my life restored
Such a cakewalk — no brainer
Don’t need to fuss since I called Him my savior
Do not even care if I die later
Cause I belong to Jesus Christ
If they took my life tonight — chances are I’d arrive
In a place that’s out of sight — and I’m confident I’m doin’ fine

‘Cause I’m improving my life, renewing my mind
This all started with Romans 10:9
Doing what’s right, doin’ quite fine
This all started with Romans 10:9

I never realized I was meant to live
To live a new life if I would let Him within
Told me — death is the payoff for living in sin
End the cycle when you’re born again
It all started when I first discovered
The Book on my shelf and read cover to cover
Searching — to find religion that held my attention
Finding — something called Christian redemption

‘Cause I’m improving my life, renewing my mind
This all started with Romans 10:9
Doing what’s right, doin’ quite fine
This all started with Romans 10:9

I’ll be all right — I’ll be just fine
You’re runnin’ out of time
I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m fine
I can’t go wrong living this way

Plug my life into Jesus
This gets my life restored
Selfish nature — don’t need it
Go give it up — you can conquer your demons
Would it be wrong for me to pry
If you give your life to Christ — Chances are dynamite
You will make it out alive — and I’m confident you’ll do it right

‘Cause I’m improving my life, renewing my mind
This all started with Romans 10:9
Doing what’s right, doin’ quite fine
This all started with Romans 10:9

I’ll be all right — I’ll be just fine — You’re runnin’ out of time
I can’t go wrong livin’ this way — Can’t go wrong living this way
I’ll be all – right
[ApologetiX – Parody of  “Last Resort” by Papa Roarch]

To hear this song, click on the link below:
http://www.spiritedesign.com/misc/LifeRestored-ApologetiX.mp3

*****************************
BECOMING A BUTTERFLY
“How does one become a butterfly?”

“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

“You mean die?”

“Yes and no! Life is changed, not taken away. Once you are a butterfly, you can really love the kind of love that makes new life. It’s better than all the hugging that caterpillars can do.”
[“Hope for the Flowers” by Trina Paulus]

*****************************
EVER WONDERED?
– Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?
– Why women can’t put on mascara with their mouth closed?
– Why don’t you ever see the headline “Psychic Wins Lottery”?
– Why is “abbreviated” such a long word?
– Why is it that doctors call what they do “practice”?
– Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
– Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
– Why isn’t there mouse-flavored cat food?
– Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
– Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
– Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?
– Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
– If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
– If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?
[Received from Richard Bachman]

*****************************
DEEP THOUGHT:
A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.
[Spanish proverb]

*****************************
Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
[2 Corinthians 5:17].

Mark

*****************************
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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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