Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Truth In The Movies Series: Spiderman 3 - Our Ultimate Battle"


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Today, I want to talk to you about the greatest battle that you’ll ever face in your life. It’s the battle whose victory matters most – more than any other.

The battle I’m talking about is the battle within. This is a battle against your own destructive desires. It’s our ultimate battle.

We all have good qualities, strengths, and a desire to do what’s right. You probably have done and probably will do some pretty impressive things in your life. You probably have done and will do some pretty good and kind things in your life.

In some ways you’re a pretty good person! In some ways I am. But we all have a problem.

Deep down we all have thoughts, desires, and emotions that are wrong. They’re not just wrong, but they’re dark, destructive – even evil. You might hide them, suppress them, and keep them in the dark, but they still exist.

The biggest danger this dark side of us has is that if we feed these negative qualities we could destroy a part of our lives or even destroy ourselves.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Owen Wilson. He’s a funny, likeable, successful guy. But recently his dark side showed itself. A source close to him has said, “A good portion of his [Owen’s] life has been dedicated to fighting depression and addiction… This is the third time he’s tried killing himself.”

In People magazine another source close to the actor said, "Owen is in bad mental shape but said he is thankful to be alive. He knows he came close to ending his life, and he is happy that he was saved from himself. He is basically at home with people watching him 24/7."

Owen isn’t the only successful comedian this has happened too. Chris Farley died at the age of only 33 from what they say was a combination of obesity and substance abuse. Jim Belushi died of an overdose.

It’s not just comedians who have a dark side. Check the news and you see senators, businessman, housewives, and pastors being caught in adultery, embezzling money, murder, and all sorts of crazy things!

But it’s not just them! These people are all people just like us. The only difference is that they happen to be in the spotlight, they made decisions that fed their dark side and eventually destroyed part of their lives.

If we don’t face the fact that we have a dark side whose desires, thoughts and emotions could one day destroy us, then we will be blindsided one day by it.

Today I want to use the movie Spiderman 3, as a backdrop to look at this idea and to discover some ways to help save us from ourselves.

The Spiderman 3 DVD isn’t out yet, so we’ll just use the trailer and an online clip to take a peek at the movie.

Listen to the talk below...

I've edited the movie clips out of the audio, but you can pause the audio and watch the clips below when those parts of the talk come on.)

1. Watch the trailer here.

2. Brock turns into "Venom"


Stream this talk here!
(Time: 29:55)

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

“What All Great People Of Faith Have Done BEFORE They Saw Results”

(Scroll to bottom to stream or download the audio now.)

I’ve felt like God’s led recently to do a personal self-study on faith again. I started reading Abraham’s story again, and others. I’ve reread Hebrews 11, Romans 4, and James 2.

In the middle of this study I’ve discovered what seems to be THE requirement for seeing God do huge things in and through your life. This simple thing is something that needs to happen before we see any results.

I want to talk to you about that today, but first I want to tell you an amazing story about an Eastern Indian women that I read in INC magazine.

This woman came to this country with just a simple goal. And it came true in a way that was beyond her dreams…

Prathiba Ramadoss emigrated from Chennai, a coastal city in southeast India, to St. Paul in 1999 when she was just 21 years old. She was newly married, and determined to start a business.

Two years later, with a six-month-old in tow, she launched an IT staffing firm, Business Integra, from her garage. When she started out she persistently called 50 to 60 companies a day until her husband, Selva Jay, a software consultant, came home to help her tackle the West Coast.

With Jay as her CTO, Ramadoss has transformed her company (now based in Maryland) into a full-scale contracting firm and software developer with $4.7 million in sales.

Listen to how she describes starting the company…

It was very difficult initially. When I called companies, they wouldn't listen--probably because of my accent. They would just hang up the phone. I don't blame them; they tend to get numerous calls a day. But I was patient and persistent. I would call the next day and say, "Sorry, when I called you yesterday the phone got disconnected. That was my fault, but I have some good consultants looking for a project, so if you have anything coming up I'd be happy to help." Now one of the companies that hung up on me calls me every day to get into our vendor program.

She went on to say…

My degree was in zoology, but my husband's experience in IT made it easy for me to transition. Otherwise, I would have gone into biotech.

They say behind every successful man is a good woman. Well, I have a good man behind me. Selva molded me into this level. It would have been different if I was in India, but here I am shy. He taught me the business way of talking. Like when we speak to clients, we should refer to our consultants as resources, not people. Because of my background in science, I also didn't have an in-depth knowledge of things like Dot.NET, Java, and data warehousing, which he explained to me. I'm planning to enroll in an M.B.A. program--once I have a little more time.


Did you catch where she said, “It would have been different if I was in India, but here I am shy.” She grew the company to $4.7 million in sales! And that’s when she’s SHY!

This woman came from another country and for some reason had enough guts and determination to start a business and see it succeed in HUGE ways. Her company is listed in INC as one of Americas 500 fastest growing private companies!

There are three things that she had or did that helped her succeed. She had faith. She believed she could do it. She gained the knowledge. She talked to her husband and learned the industry. And this is the most important part - she took action! She continually called 50 to 60 companies a day! And she didn’t just call them once. She called them again and again – even when they hung up on her!

A lot of people have more knowledge in the IT field, but they never accomplish anything like she did!

Why? I think there are two reasons. They don’t believe they could and they won’t take action.

Belief and action are BOTH needed in order to succeed.

If you have belief but no action you’ll have no results.
If you have action, but no belief that you can do it, then you have poor results. You won’t try hard enough. You won’t be persistent, etc.

You have to have strong belief and action to succeed!

I just got a book in the mail yesterday, that I ordered from Amazon.com called, “The Magic Of Thinking Big”. It’s a classic book, that’s sold more than 4,000,000 copies, by a Ph.D. named David J. Schwartz.

The whole premise of the book is that successful people aren’t successful because they’re smarter, luckier, work harder or any other advantage like that. He says that the reason their successful is just they believe in themselves and because the aim higher!

They have the confidence and belief to try something BIGGER than most people would. I can really see that in Prathiba’s story! Can’t you?

This idea that has some things in common with what I’ve discovered in my study of the “greats” of faith.

Listen to the talk now:

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Heroes Series - Gideon

This is from the Heroes series I finished on August 12th. I just finally got a chance to upload it.

You'll learn how God can use you even if you're fearful, faithless, and full of doubt.

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