I read an article recently about the downfall of Target in Canada. In 2013 Target decided to enter Canada for the first time, opening 133 new stores in its first year. Moving into Canada seemed like a brilliant move. Many Canadians were already familiar with Target, and made stopping at Target a major part of any trip to the US. All indicators were that Target’s expansion into Canada would be a run away success. Yet, from the beginning, the Canadian expansion was a disaster. All of Target’s ordering, sales, and re-stocking are managed by computer software that has served them well in the United States. Canada, however, differs from the US in its use of the Canadian dollar, French and English, and the metric system. Those responsible for Target’s data entry often forgot about these differences, leading to errors in 70% of their initial product orders (mostly related to entering sizes in inches rather then centimeters). This led to major mistakes in the ordering of products, and most Target’s opened with half-empty shelves. To make things worse, store shelves never seemed to get re-stocked. Target soon discovered that its ordering clerks, who needed to keep the shelves 97% full to receive positive evaluations, had turned off the software function that reported empty shelves. While this assured them of a 100% success rate, it also meant that Target HQ was never informed that stores were out of products. Less then two years from opening Target Canada went out of business, closing 133 stores, laying off 17,600 employees, and losing over $2 billion.
As I read this story I was amazed that there was never a point in which someone said “stop!” Instead of opening stores with a known problem in their supply chain Target should have postponed openings for one or two months to ensure all their data problems were fixed. When things do not go as we like in life we tend to simply trudge on like Target Canada, no matter how bad things may be. We soon become so stressed and overwhelmed that we have no idea what to do next. When you start feeling overwhelmed in life take Jesus’ advice in Matthew 11:28-29: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
All of us need to take time to stop whatever we are doing in life to simply spend time with God. We need to take time to speak with Him, listen to Him, and let his love flow over us. Even if this is for only 10 minutes during your crazy day take the time to let God re-charge you. Don’t try to do everything on your own, especially when things start going wrong. Press stop and let God’s love and grace help push you through the trials of your life.
2 Corinthians 3:2New Living Translation (NLT)
2 The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.
What does your shape in Christ look like? These key components will strengthen men to strive into the shape of living a God filled life. They will challenge us and strengthen us men who look to what a real man looks like and how we raise our sons into the same values.
As our country recognizes a day of rest from labor, I ask that you take a moment to look at these key components of making men. Which one are are you doing well at? Write out what that looks like. Also look at the one that challenges you the most. Write out how to move these key components into a strength.
Being a man of God takes work, even is a day that we rest from labor. I look forward to hearing from Chuck Holton and his experiences in the challenge of real manhood.
Strength and Courage
1 Timothy 2:1-4New Living Translation (NLT)
Instructions about Worship
2 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
The primary activity of believers is meeting together in fellowship and to minister to the Lord in prayer. Prayer should be given on behalf of all people. As believers, our primary responsibility is to pray for the government of our nation. We are to ask God that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and reverence. The government we live under affects the life we lead. We are to ask that our government will achieve conditions in which we who are under the government may lead a quiet and peaceful life. We are to lead a life in all godliness and reverence. We must pray that our government will do its job well and properly. We are to pray for a good government. The basic purpose of our Constitution that was put together by our founding fathers was to create a country where people could lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and reverence. God approves of good government. God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. God wants the truth of the Gospel proclaimed to everyone everywhere. We know that good government is the will of God because it helps the preaching of the Gospel, and that is the primary purpose of God for our world. What goes on is not beyond our control. We must grasp the limitless possibilities of prayer and praying according to God’s will that is revealed in his Word. Pray for the government.
Matthew 18:19-20New Living Translation (NLT)
19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
When two or more are lead together by the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus, they can count on His presence. If we are in different places praying in solitary, our prayers still come up before the Lord’s presence as one corporate voice as we pray His will and in His name. Pray 1 Timothy 2:1-4 as a corporate prayer for peace.
I Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV) Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
As you read today’s commentary, I am sitting high on a Rocky Mountain ridge top. Perhaps, I’ve filled my tag already, perhaps not. Regardless, I’m having a great time in God’s playground.
A couple months ago I shared with you how I allowed a bad attitude to sink in on last year’s hunt. I lost sight of why I come out here. I lost sight of what a gift, pure privilege it is. Consequently, I ruined the experience for myself and my companions. More, importantly though, I disappointed God and, I imagine, broke His heart.
He doesn’t have to do the things He does for us. He doesn’t have to provide for our wants and needs. He doesn’t have to allow us the opportunities that He does. But… He does. He’s our infinitely loving Father.
So, this year, as I sit here soaking up God’s majestic creation, I am thankful, thankful for His forgiving me my past transgression, mentioned and not. I am thankful for ALL that He is, for ALL that He does and for ALL that He allows me. I am honoring my Father in heaven by appreciating His infinite love and provision. I am thinking on this verse from I Corinthians and, hopefully, reflecting His glory. Have a blessed weekend.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,