What is That In Your Hand?

July 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Faith, Find Your Calling

By Dan Miller

Remember when God spoke to Moses at the burning bush?  God told Moses he wanted him to go back to Egypt and lead the people out to the Promised Land.  Moses looked and said – “You’ve got to be kidding – I’m not the person for a job like that.”  God assured Moses he would prepare the way and he would provide some pretty convincing miracles.  Still Moses had a hard time believing he was up to the task.  He pleaded – “I can’t speak well, I don’t have a college degree, I’m a convicted felon – please, send anyone else!”
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Why the Cold Water?

June 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Faith, Find Your Calling

By Dan Miller

Here’s a story from Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition) by Michael Michalko.  Imagine a cage containing five monkeys.  Inside the cage there is a banana on a string.  Before long a monkey walks over and reaches for the banana.  As soon as he touches the banana, all the monkeys are sprayed with cold water.  After a while another monkey makes an attempt to grab the banana – with the same result.  All the monkeys are instantly sprayed with cold water.  Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to reach for the banana, the other monkeys will try to stop him.

Now forget the cold water.  Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one.  The new monkey sees the banana and obviously goes over and starts to grab it.  But to his surprise, all of the other monkeys attack him to prevent him from touching the banana. 
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Winner or Loser – You Get to Choose!

June 25, 2018 by  
Filed under Faith, Find Your Calling

By Dan Miller

I had a lot of fun with creative experiments while getting my graduate degrees in Psychology. Students are known for devising interesting experiments to test various human theories.  Here’s one:  A number of years ago, some students decided to use one of their friends as a guinea pig, to see if false suggestions could cause reactions in the body.

On the chosen day, the guinea pig left the dorm, suspecting nothing unusual. However, a friend greeted him with, “Good Morning, Chuck! How are you doing today? You look a little pale.” Seconds later another friend rounded the corner with “Chuck, are you feeling okay? You look a little sick!” A third friend greeted Chuck and said, “You really shouldn’t be out of bed! You look horrible!” Before the young man could get to his first class, he turned around, went back to the dormitory and fell into bed. He was in fact, sick.
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Noon-Day Demon

June 22, 2018 by  
Filed under Faith, Find Your Calling

By Dan Miller

Medieval writers used this term – “Noon-Day Demon.”  They were referring to that season in life when we lose our enthusiasm, when we begin to question our existence and direction.  We may call it a mid-life crisis today but the meaning is the same.  We hear about switching from success to significance, or finding our purpose, calling or mission.

Whatever your terminology, see this as a positive opportunity, not as a crisis.  Yes, it is healthy to take a fresh look at where we are, where we want to go and how we are going to get there.  You may not trust the career decisions that were made by a 20 yr. old.  Look today at your unique (1) Skills and Abilities, (2) Personality Traits, and (3) Values, Dreams and Passions.  What have these prepared you for?  Zig Ziglar says we should not have an “alarm clock” but an “opportunity clock.”  See the inevitable transitions in your own life not as crises, but as opportunities to move forward with more focus and confidence.
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Thinking Way Outside the Box (and the bag)

June 20, 2018 by  
Filed under Faith, Find Your Calling

By Dan Miller

Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a village money-lender. The old and ugly money-lender fancied the farmer's beautiful daughter, so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgive the farmer's debt if he could marry his daughter. Both the farmer and his daughter were horrified by the proposal, but the cunning money-lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. The girl would have to reach in and pick one pebble from the bag. 1) If she picked the black pebble, she would become his wife and her father's debt would be forgiven. 2) If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven. 3) If she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail until the debt was paid.

They were standing on a pebble-strewn path in the farmer's field. As they talked, the money-lender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag. Now, imagine that you were standing in the field. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities: (1) The girl could refuse to take a pebble – but her father would then be thrown in jail. (2) The girl could pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment. Or (3) The girl could pull out both black pebbles in the bag, expose the money-lender as a cheat and likely incite his immediate revenge.

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