A Challenge to Excellence


There are a few people who have greatness thrust upon them.  Most achieve it.  I have discovered that the accomplishment of excellence involves discipline and passion of purpose.

The dictionary defines excellence as "superior," above the standard, far beyond what is expected.  The desire for excellence is divine spark, implanted in the human heart to mimic God - to do as He does.  Excellence means "the very finest."  It takes hard work and constant commitment to excel, but you can do it.

The pursuit of excellence is not just for a privileged few, the superstar or genius.  It is for you - whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you do.  It's the quality of what you do that counts, not your occupation.  Join me in this last month of the year to make the achievement of excellence part of your life.  I promise that it will change you and the world around you.

Gratitude, an Attitude

Most of us are thankful for a variety of special and personal concerns, but we also hold apparent gratitude for something uniquely ours.  Daniel Webster thanked God just for the blessing of being an American.  George Matheson, the blind Scottish pastor, apologized to God for not being thankful for his “thorn in the flesh,” while Mark Twain says through one of Huckleberry Finn’s characters: “Let us be thankful for fools.  But for them the rest of us could not succeed.”

Thanksgiving is not just a national holiday; it is the heart of the Christian life.  It is the portrayal of a deep seated appreciation for all of life.  Attitude is the beginning point.  Little children could do much to teach us this perspective.  Listen to them pray.  They thank God for everything – sunshine, grass trees, food, homes, moms and dads.  They fully understand everything is a gift from God.

Attitude ought to produce action.  Thanksgiving involves what we say and what we do, our words and our ways.  We ought to express thanksgiving by lip and life.  One without the other is hollow.  Both evidence the spirit of gratitude everyone rejoices to see.  Let’s share it throughout this wonderful season.

Don’t Look Back

I remember a time in my life when I was tired and almost quit.  It was my second year in graduate school.  Bills were piling up and the workload was unbearable.  I almost quit.  Do you ever ask yourself, “Why do I put up with all of this?”  Working with others often results in strained relationships, disappointments, even pain.  All of us will sometimes dream of what life was like before we were so committed to our present work.

The lesson for quitters is clear.  Don’t look back to a better time; the comfort zone is a myth.  Don’t look for pleasant perks; the compelling force in your life must be a love for the best in Christ.  Don’t look at others; the comparison game always disappoints.  Don’t miss God’s best.  You will never know the exciting future of growing significance for your Lord if you quit.  Don’t quit!

The Reality of Truth

We live in an era where there is increasing opposition to truth.  The postmodern worldview is opposed to the concept of absolute truth; this age is subjective, culturally relative and socially constructed.  Anyone who claims to know universal truth is written off as outdated imperialists.  But our task in ACAP is to proclaim an eternal, trans-cultural, and unchanging truth.  Bound by a priceless pledge of fidelity to all we know to be truth and with hearts filled with thankfulness and faithfulness we make the commitment to reach toward the high calling of truth for the glory of God and the good of men.  Let us continue to press on!!
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American Council on Addiction and Alcohol Problems
2376 Lakeside Drive