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Tomball Chapter

2nd Thursday
Rancho Grande Mexican Restaurant
30134 Hwy 249

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3rd Thursday
Tony's Mexican Restaurant
870 S Mason Rd

Stafford Chapter

4th Tuesday
Kelly’s Country Cookin
11555 W Airport

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Look at how many Jesus wore.

By Patrick G Howard

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

We all live very busy and stressful lives. Between our personal lives and trying to make a living, we can be pulled in so many directions that we don’t know which way is up. And now that the holidays are here, we’re going to be stressed with much less sleep.

The next time (and every other time) you feel overwhelmed, take a moment to reflect on what God told the people of Judah, through the prophet Isaiah. You see, Judah was under constant threat from the Syrians and had quite a bit to worry about. (Some things never change.) They needed to know that God was going to take care of them. So, almost 800 years before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah foretold of the coming of the messiah.

I like the way Isaiah described Jesus. It’s almost as though he was describing the solution to every one of our problems today.

Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor.

Notice that he’s not the angry counselor … or frustrated counselor … or disinterested counselor. No, he is the WONDERUL counselor. Jesus is always there for us. He is never too busy to hear our prayers.

Jesus is the Mighty God.

He defeated Satan. He calmed the wind and sea. He commanded evil spirits. He healed the sick. He raised the dead. And he forgave sins. You don’t have any problems that are too big for him to handle.

Jesus is the Everlasting Father.

He loves you like you love your own children. And He is the same – yesterday, today and tomorrow. Your father will always provide for your needs.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice, we are restored to a relationship of peace with God. All you must do to experience this peace, is just accept it.

Your focus this month …

Whenever you become stressed during this joyous season, remember the words of the prophet Isaiah, and …

– Tell Jesus about your problems. He is the Wonderful Counselor.

– Know that He can take care of your problems. He is the Mighty God.

– Understand that He wants to take care of our problems. He is the Everlasting Father.

– Believe that he wants harmony in your life. He is the Prince of Peace.

Just ask

By Patrick G Howard

Philippians 4:13 – I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

This verse is a favorite of many. It’s short and powerful. It’s easy to remember. It makes for a great Facebook meme.

It is also frequently misunderstood.

To better appreciate the true meaning of this verse, it is helpful to put it into context.

This verse is an excerpt from Paul’s letter to the church in Phillipi. You may recall that Paul wrote this letter while under arrest, as he awaited trial in Rome. And while it would have been natural for him to dwell on his situation, Paul instead wrote this letter of encouragement and thanksgiving to the Philippians, who, even though they were dealing with their own set of problems at the time, nonetheless supported Paul’s ministry with their limited resources.

You may recall that our focus from two months ago was taken from Verse 6 of this same letter.

To further place this verse in context, we need to read the entire paragraph of Paul’s letter.

Philippians 4 – (10) How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. (11) Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. (12) I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. (13) For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (14) Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.

What can we learn from Paul’s message?

First, he shows his gratitude for the Philippians’ generosity in the midst of their own adversity. (If you think it’s difficult being a Christian today, just imagine what it must have been like two millennia ago.) And second, Paul is reinforcing two very Christian concepts – to be thankful, regardless of the situation, and draw strength from God.

As I read Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, I concluded that it could have just as well been written to the church in Houston during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. I think Paul would have been proud of the Christ-like humanity of Houstonians, who having lost much (if not all) themselves, gave selflessly to others who were also in need, without complaint, and without second thought.

The circumstances are different than in Paul’s time, but the lesson is as relevant today as it was then; be thankful for all that you have, and draw your strength from God.

So, what does this mean in our business lives? Our personal lives?

The next time you are dealing with a difficult customer, thank God that you have customers and ask Him for guidance.

The next time you are late for an appointment because the last one ran long, thank God for his abundant blessings in your life and ask for strength in dealing with your day.

The next time your daughter has a piano recital at the same time your son has a football game, thank God that you have wonderful and talented children, and ask for His wisdom to know what to say to the one who’s event you had to miss.

The next time {you fill in the blank} happens, focus on Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

The importance of active listening.

By Patrick G Howard

Proverbs 18:13 – Let people finish speaking before you try to answer them. That way you will not embarrass yourself and look foolish.

If you have ever taken a class, or read a book about sales, you know about the importance of listening. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, many of our favorite quotable people have talked about listening.

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. ~ Stephen R. Covey

The art in conversation lies in listening. ~ Malcom Forbes

• I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So, if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening. ~ Larry King

• Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery. ~ Dr. Joyce Brothers

• There is a difference between truly listening and waiting for your turn to talk. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s true.

Listening is important; so important, in fact that it can be the difference between mediocrity and success in any endeavor. And while we often attribute this wisdom to our contemporaries, the first mention of the benefit of listening comes much earlier. In fact, it comes three millennia earlier.

You see, our focus of the month (Proverbs 18:13) was written in the 10th century BC by King Solomon.

I love the Book of Proverbs. It is filled with wisdom for everyday life. And the good thing is, you don’t even have to be a believer to benefit from its teachings.

Now as usual, there is a fly in the ointment. Listening is much easier said, than done. The good news is that active listening can be learned. With that in mind, let me share my Seven Tips to Better Listening with you. Hopefully, you can pick up one or two that will help you become a better listener.

1. Turn toward the speaker and make eye contact. It is the polite thing to do, and it tells the other person that they have your undivided attention.

2. Pay attention (but don’t stare). It’s uncomfortable when somebody is staring at you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be attentive. Just screen out the distractions, and hear what the other person is saying.

3. Don’t judge. When the speaker says something that you disagree with (and they will), don’t start formulating your response. Just hear what they have to say.

4. Don’t try to complete their sentences. Some people love to drag out their point. Don’t try to speed up the pace by finishing their sentences. It tells the speaker that you are more important, and that you don’t really care what they think. Besides, it’s very rude.

5. Don’t plan your response while the other person is still making their point. Think about it for a moment. How do you know what your response should be, when you don’t even know what you are responding to, yet?

6. Empathize with the speaker. Nothing will help you understand the other person more than putting yourself in their shoes, and feeling what they feel.

7. Give the speaker regular feedback. This can be something as simple as a head nod, or a “hmm…” It shows the speaker that you understand what they are saying.

And now, one BONUS TIP

Listening is more than just hearing what is said; it is also about picking up on what is NOT said. Non-verbal cues will lend context to what the speaker says, and will help you understand what the they intended to say.

I hope you can put these tips to good use. If so, won’t you consider sharing with everybody at our next CBFA meeting?

Until then …


Donna Domingue with Ford Industrial Service
Judy Hans with Remax Cinco Ranch
Buddy Urech, Jr. with Encompass Lending Group
Robert Borham with JB Custom
Jamie Borham with Coffee News
Mathew Paul with Mayanah Services
Tom Ferguson with Visible Applause
Dennis Silva with TDECU

Bill Baumeyer with Reason 2 Race
Jeanette Maurer with Joe Joe Bear Foundation
Arinze Okoye with The Amobi Okoye Foundation
Jean Gonzalez Realtor with Remax
Patrick Howard with NLR Mortgage
Mary Holeman with Katy Rocks

18039 Glenledi Drive
Houston, TX 77084
(832) 232-2049

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