Financially Alive – By Chris Meade, PhD

Financially Alive: Wealth Creation. Social Responsibility. Timeless Values.
Is it possible to not just survive but actually thrive in this new economy? Dr. Chris Meade is convinced we can. Financially Alive is a strategy for creating wealth in several areas oFinanciallyAlive.comf our lives AND it’s about being socially responsive with our influence to help meet the needs of others through generosity and justice. Creating wealth begins first by creating value. The wrong question to ask is “How much money can I make?” The right question is “How much value can I add?” Money often follows added value. This book unpacks 15 unique and non-negotiable characteristics that add incredible value in relationships, work, and life. And with added value, financial increase often follows. This insightful and inspirational book is a mix of ancient wisdom literature, modern MBA business thinking, and 21st century success principles. This book is more than just about making money; it’s about how to make a life. Product Details: Paperback 300 pages ($19.95)

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New Book…Community Alive – Christopher Meade, PhD

Community Alive: The Timeless Truths of Belonging to a Community.

Copyright – Christopher Meade, PhD
This book unlocks the timeless truths and benefits of belonging to and interacting within an authentic Christ-centered community. Dr. Chris Meade illustrates how our lives expand, deepen, and flourish personally, professionally, and spiritually because of the Life-transforming force that is present within a healthy community, organization and work-team. Over 100 businesses, non-profit organizations, churches, and work-teams are represented in this research-based project that was conducted in over 15 cities throughout the United States.”

Product Details | Paperback 200 pages ($19.95) | Released in 2014

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Being Healthy Is The New Competitive Advantage

Investing in your own personal, professional, and spiritual formation is something people and healthy organizations never regret. Life promises to change like the four seasons each year. But one thing is for sure, the changes that take place in us go forward with us. Investing in your own growth and in the develop of the people under your care is the new competitive advantage for organizations and leaders of the 21st century. Heath, in all of it’s forms, is powerful. I believe that the greatest gift a person can give to his family, work team, organization…and even himself…is a fully alive healthy you.

Remember: What we choose to pay attention to in our lives usually gets better. May all in your wake benefit and flourish because of your intentional choice to grow into God’s full potential for you.

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Matthew Chapter 1 – Jesus: God With Us

Matthew Chapter 1 – Jesus: God With Us
And you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name ‘Emmanuel’ which means, ‘God with us.’” When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Matthew 1:21-25)

Book of Beginnings
The book of Matthew is first of the four gospels. Like Genesis, it’s a book of “beginnings.” This gospel account is written to a primarily Jewish audience. It links many of the promises found in the Old Testament scriptures to their fulfillment in the New Testament. Matthew, the author of this book, was also an eyewitness of Jesus, a former Roman tax collector, and one of the 12 apostles.

The gospel of Matthew presents Jesus as the Messiah (God’s anointed one). The Jewish people were promised a leader that would come one day and set up a new kingdom. They had hoped it would be like King David’s. The Jewish people believed that their new king (the Messiah) would be a triumphant political leader who would lead their nation to freedom. They thought the Messiah would liberate them from political oppression (which during the first century was the Roman Empire), and establish a righteous government. Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah, but He established a different kind of rulership and kingdom than they had expected.

Birth of Jesus Christ
Chapter one contains the genealogy and birth of Jesus Christ. Genealogies were important to many societies, including the Jewish people. “Family trees” were not only a matter of historical record, but gave each family a strong and clear sense of identity and calling. Matthew lists Jesus’ genealogy because it shows His legal claim to the throne of David, which was a prerequisite of the coming Messiah. Matthew is suggesting that Israel had been waiting over 2,000 years for the fulfillment of God’s promise that was being fulfilled now in the person of Jesus Christ.

The chapter concludes with the details of the dramatic story surrounding the birth of Jesus. Luke’s gospel describes the birth story through the eyes of Mary. Matthew’s gospel describes it through the eyes of Joseph. As the story unfolds, the angel announces Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit. Mary and Joseph are engaged at the time. Joseph considers divorcing Mary, as he thought she had committed adultery. Joseph is warned by an angel not to divorce her. Rather, he’s told to take Mary as his wife and name the child Jesus. The angel quotes the prophecy from the book of Isaiah that says, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel – which means, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

Emmanuel: “God with Us”
In these ancient times, names were given to people as descriptions of who they were. That’s why you often find in scripture that when a person met God face-to-face that their name was changed because that person’s nature and purpose was forever altered due to their encounter with God. So when the prophet Isaiah declared that another name for Jesus is “Emmanuel,” he is trying to tell us something about His nature and His great plan for each of us. Matthew’s gospel opens in the first chapter and concludes in the last one with this very theme: Emmanuel, the God who is with us (Matthew 28:20). Because the name Emmanuel means “God with us,” the scriptures are revealing something unique and wonderful about God’s nature and intentions. God desires to be “with us” and alongside us to help us in our lives. That’s one of the reasons why Jesus came: to put a face on the invisible God, and to extend His embrace to humanity.

The Holy Spirit
In the book of Genesis, the first question God ever asked man in the Garden of Eden was, “Where are you?” Even from the beginning, God has always desired to be with us in loving relationship. Jesus described the Holy Spirit as the “helper,” which is derived from the word paraclete, which means “one alongside to help.” This is one of the themes found within the grand narrative of scripture: God loves us and wants to be with us. He pursues us and extends His reach toward us with an invitation to come near.

The Whisper Test
Mary Ann Bird, in her book The Whisper Test, illustrates this thought well as she describes an experience she had with a teacher when she was a young child. She writes: I grew up knowing I was different, and I hated it. I was born with a cleft palate, and when I started school, my classmates made it clear to me how I looked to others—a little girl with a misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth and garbled speech. When schoolmates asked, “What happened to your lip?” I’d tell them I’d fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident than to have been born different. I was convinced that no one outside of my family could love me. There was a teacher in the second grade we all adored. Her name was Mrs. Leonard, a sparkling personality. Annually, we had a hearing test. Mrs. Leonard gave the hearing test to everyone in the class, and finally, it was my turn. I knew from past years that as we stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper something, and we would have to repeat it back. Things like, “The sky is blue,” or “Do you have new shoes?” I waited there for those words, similar to what God must have put into Mrs. Leonard’s mouth…those seven words that changed my life. Mrs. Leonard said, in her whisper, “I wish you were my little girl. I wish you were mine. I choose you.”

I Choose You
This story reminds me how Jesus time and again impacted people’s worlds by “whispering” a very similar message. It was simple, sincere, and life-altering. It was the message of “Emmanuel.” Jesus walked around saying to the forgotten, “I choose you.” He called out to the lonely, “You are mine.” He declared to the troubled, “My peace be with you.” Jesus was and is the God who is with us. He promised that in times of difficulty and sorrow, He would extend His grace to meet us and sustain us, even in our darkest valley.

God With Us
“God with us” is central to the gospel message. Jesus came to earth and lived among people. And before He was crucified and resurrected, He promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to help us, comfort us, teach us, guide us, and live inside us to transform us into His image and likeness. We are not alone! We are not forgotten. It was Jesus’ intention that this “whisper” would spread over all the earth and seep into the heart of every human being.

The God Who is Near
My prayer for us is that we too would echo the “whisper” of good news, and declare the message of “Emmanuel, God is with us” to the watching world. God has come near, and His invitation is still going out to the world.

Emmanuelize
Let us “Emmanuelize” the gospel of Jesus. Let people see that as Christ-followers, we don’t claim or pretend to be perfect, but rather that God is working in us and through us, not because we are good, but because He is good and He is with us. Let our lives be authentic, open, and honest. Let the world see Jesus’ grace working in us in spite of our weaknesses, sins, and failures.

Today the Holy Spirit promises to walk with us and transform us from the inside-out. God the Spirit carries on the ministry of God the Son, Jesus Christ. Who do you know that needs to hear God’s whisper? Who needs to be reassured that God is near and available even today?

You can leave a comment below and share your thought.

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A Call For Change by Chris Meade

Excerpt From the Intro to Financially Alive

Even kids recognize that the world is rapidly changing. Some of those changes are good and some not so good. In the midst of full-blown global change, there is a new generational uprising that is calling for a new way of “doing business.” If you listen carefully, if you watch the viral videos circling Youtube, many are calling for all sectors of culture: business, education, science technology, government, media, art, entertainment, and the church, to step-up and contribute positive change into our society. The reverberations are echoing through the classrooms in major business schools across our country. Classes on ethics and character development are fast becoming a central core course in almost all business programs. Why? Because our world is facing a crisis. There is a lack of ethical leadership in all sectors of society.[1] We need strong character in our leaders. That’s why the new normal for measuring success in many business schools is what is called the triple bottom line (profit, people, and planet).

The Triple Bottom Line

The WallStreet Journal recently ran an article on the health of Harvard University’s MBA program. It said that business schools, if they are to remain relevant in the new economy, must focus on creating “leaders of competence and character, rather that just connections and credentials.”[2] Business as usual is no longer a viable option. It’s not just a social foul-ball to be focused only on attaining financial profits as your only measurement for success (even in publically-traded companies), but now it’s a game-breaker and a indicator of a short-sighted and anemic enterprise. Yes, financial profits matter. But people matter too. That means people inside the organization as well as outside (customers, suppliers, stakeholders, competitors, even other countries). To be considered “successful” in the new economy profits and people must flourish, but not just people, and profits, but also our planet.

References:
[1] Eastman, P. (2009). The character of leadership: An ancient model for a quantum age. Boise, ID: Leadership Advisors, Inc.
[2] The WallStreet Journal Online. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704124504576118674203902898.html?

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A New Kind of Leader

A New Kind Of Leader

“The global nature of the 21st century promises to unfold an unimaginable culture shift upon the world’s landscape. This emerging culture shift will initiate unprecedented change, forge immense challenges, and fuel boundless opportunity. Change begets uncertainty. Uncertainty creates challenges. Challenges generate the possibility for innovative opportunity.

We’re now living in the most demanding and perplexing times leaders have ever faced. Because contemporary culture is changing, new methodology and practices are needed to better inspire, educate, and train, new and emerging leaders of the 21st century. In every decade there are unique forces of change at work affecting the cultural landscape. Numerous challenges arise from the emergence of a new social era, an era that is replacing the industrial age which has influenced all of society’s institutions for generations.

The leader of the 21st century will be one who can discern and contextualize those challenges. Many leadership models once popular, and the mainstay in the United States, are becoming ineffective within this changing culture. Simply put, for opportunities to be seized, this new culture demands the emergence of a new kind of leader with a new approach to leadership. This leader must possess a unique combination of attributes, intelligences, and personal characteristics to effectively lead.

At the same time, most emerging leaders are suffering from the effects of “leadership competency overload.” Therefore, one aim of this book (Leadership Alive) is to address that problem and identify the core and catalytic competencies effective 21st century Christian leaders will need to employ. Providing clarity and a proven strategy for developing and training new kinds of leaders is vital. This book suggests a recommended priority list of leadership competencies that should be developed first” (preface).

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Becoming A Kaizen Leader

Leadership is a constantly unfolding process. Our current skill level as leaders may be good enough for today, but it won’t be adequate for next year. Many well-meaning leaders can drift into a delusional mindset that they have “arrived.” The truth is that good leaders never rest on their laurels; they know that past successes can hinder future achievement more than even failure, if they let it. That’s where wisdom comes in to play. Smart leaders learn how to collect wisdom from others. Life moves too fast to collect all of what we need by just our own process of trial and error. I’ve learned there are two teachers in life: wisdom and consequences. We can learn life lessons, gain experiences, glean knowledge, and garner understanding from both. The problem is that the teacher of consequences builds a leader’s capacity much slower, and in the global world of today, that just doesn’t cut it.

Wise leaders learn how to gather wisdom beyond their own experience. They learn from others. And most importantly, wise leaders live the “Kaizen” way, a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. “Kai” means change, while “zen” means to make better. Together, the word literally means “make a change for the better.”

After World War II, the Japanese economy was in disarray. The Japanese government
consulted American business consultant Dr. William Edwards Deming, who told leaders
that if they embraced kaizen principles, in five to 10 years, their economy would turn around, and in 30 years they’d be a global economic power. Once they began to understand the benefits of things like “team debriefing” and “reflective evaluating,” the Japanese economy exploded.

As leaders, we should all be constantly improving–improving in how we solve problems,
excelling in the quality of our relationships, enhancing the quality of our work teams,
excelling in people skills and business acumen, and most importantly, deepening the quality of our character. Let’s continue to cheer each other on to always pursue knowledge, understanding, faith, and wisdom. Keep sharpening your axe. Be willing to improve. Never stop. There is still so much to learn!

Today, choose one thing that you will focus on. Make it your goal to improve. Is it a relationship? A skill? A perspective? You choose. Start small but start now.

Chris Meade

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