Lessons on Life & Business

Proverbs 24:27 (9/16/21)

September 16, 2021 • Benham Brothers • Proverbs 24:27

* The world is changing, and we need to prepare ourselves for what lies ahead. * One of the ways we need to do that is financially - we need to be wise w/our money! * If you want to build something of lasting significance financially, you have to focus on ASSETS over liabilities. * Assets put money in your pocket. * Liabilities take money out of your pocket. * Monopoly - the name of the game is the buy property and businesses. * Vs 27 - Back then, many people were sole proprietors (had their own biz). * Solomon saw how valuable this was when his dad prepared everything for the construction of the Temple. * 1) What is your field of work? * YOU are your #1 asset - invest in making yourself better at what you do. * Talent - what you were born to do. * Skill - what you can learn to do. * Skill comes when you understand that “opportunity” often comes before “passion.” * A job is an asset, but you have to trade time for money (active income). * The key is to turn active income into passive income. * Knowledge economy, real estate, start a biz, etc. * Robert Kyosoki - #1 thing that makes people rich is their “mindset” (they think assets over liabilities). * 2) Build your house (the “stuff of life”). * ** When you view the “stuff of life” as liabilities you’ll be a “user,” not a “collector.” You won’t accumulate (Troy Rice - 250k). * Your house is a liability (accredited investor). * There is a time to buy liabilities, even nice ones. * KEY - Focus on assets first, then buy liabilities out of your assets. * Process: * Know your “why.” * Think “Assets” over “Liabilities.” (Start w/your thinking) * Make yourself valuable (talent / skill). * Live below your income. * Invest in assets (10% are speculative). * EX: My story. * Job / Job with Side Gig / Full Time Gig / Joined a Partner / Hired People. * Lived below my income & stayed in rentals. * First house was a house-hack (moved in with David). * Next house was a small fixer-upper (67k). * ALL THE WHILE - focusing on my asset (me and my business). * Then, when the biz could afford it, I bought a new house (220k).

Proverbs 27:5 (9/16/21)

September 16, 2021 • Benham Brothers • Proverbs 27:5

* Vs 5 - Rebuking someone you love is the greatest sign of friendship. * If you can’t rebuke someone who’s out of line, it points to two things: * Either an insecurity in them that they can’t take the rebuke. * Or an insecurity in you that you can’t give a rebuke. * Both are a desire for approval laced with the fear of rejection. * But if you truly love someone you’ll say the hard thing. * Why? Because you want them to thrive in life - and you know that God’s blessings are found inside God’s boundaries. * Love is compassion with standards - you can’t have one without the other. * If you “conceal your love” (you’re not willing to say the hard thing) because you don’t want to hurt them, then you are actually hurting them worse. * Vs 6 - A true friend will “hurt” you but not “harm” you. * Hurt - temporary pain for permanent gain (getting cavity removed). * Harm - temporary gain for permanent pain (eating sugar). * TWIST - Love that is hidden (concealed) in this context is just as bad as in the context of not expressing the love that you feel. * The Message says, “A spoken reprimand is better than approval that’s never expressed.” * When you feel for someone but you don’t express it, it “disheartens” them. * Consider the Love Loop. * Expressing your love to someone (via gratitude or approval, etc) opens a relational loop (but it’s only half a loop). * The loop is completed by the persons’ response. * If they respond favorably, it closes the loop and creates connection. * If they don’t respond or they’re unfavorable, it keeps the loop open and disconnection is the result. * KEY - Unexpressed gratitude / approval is received as rejection. * So what do we do? * If you feel it, say it! * If you don’t feel it, repent and ask God why you don’t (concentration leads to captivation). * Start paying attention!

Proverbs 14:30 (9/9/21)

September 9, 2021 • Benham Brothers • Proverbs 14:30

Proverbs 14:30 - Understanding the Spiritual / Physical Connection * Our spiritual lives affect our physical bodies. * Our physical bodies are mirrors of our spiritual life. * God made us to be His messengers to bring the good news into the world. * As such, we help people, communities, organizations, cultures, and governments function as God intended them to function. * How? By bringing the truth - God’s ways are best and you have His provision and protection if you do things His way. * It works like this: * God - Church - People - World (Institutions, governments, etc). * Our bodies are made the same way. * Brain - Glands - Hormones - Body (Organs, tissues, etc). * Just as people are the messengers in the world, hormones are the messengers of our bodies. * They tell our organs and tissues what to do and how to function. * EX: Brain - Pancreas - Insulin - Blood Sugar Levels. * If the pancreas functions like it should, blood sugar levels are good and we’re healthy. * If it doesn’t, then it secretes too much or too little insulin, our body is in trouble. * HORMONES - if they are healthy, the body is healthy. * EX: Adrenaline & Cortisol. * Adrenaline, the primary energy hormone, pumps you up. * Cortisol, the primary stress hormone. It orchestrates organ function in a stressful situation so your energy is used properly. * Cortisol curbs functions that would be nonessential in a fight-or-flight situation - It alters immune system, suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system, and growth processes. * It puts those “lesser” functions on pause so the body can focus on the threat. * EXAMPLE: When you encounter a perceived threat — such as a large dog barking at you during your morning walk — your brain sets off an alarm system in your body. It alerts your adrenal glands to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. * Adrenalin gives you energy to get moving. * Cortisol regulates your organs so your body properly uses that energy (by turning off non-essential organs briefly to focus energy on the threat). * When the threat is past, hormone levels should go back to normal. * PROBLEM - elevated cortisol can break down your body. * ** The long-term activation of the stress response system and the overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that follows can disrupt almost all your body's processes. This puts you at increased risk of many health problems, including: * Anxiety, Depression, Digestive problems, Headaches, Muscle tension and pain, Heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke, Sleep problems, Weight gain, Memory and concentration impairment. * SOLUTION - Proverbs 14:30a - “A heart at peace gives life to the body…” * Jesus rebuked the disciples when they got all out of shape while He slept in the boat. * Vs 30b - “…but envy rots the bones.” - Envy robs your peace. * Envy - “a feeling of discontentment or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions.” * Envy is “aroused,” which means it was lying dormant inside you. What aroused it? Seeing someone else with something you want. * So how do you kill it? Contentment. Contentment is “an emotional state of satisfaction resulting from the acceptance of one’s situation.” * The same thing that kills envy fuels peace - contentment. * PRACTICAL STEPS - Regulate your hormones through: * Gratitude * Prayer (emphasis on reflecting and listening) * Read * Write (journal) * Exercise * Trim Your Decisions

Proverbs 8:1-3 (9/2/21)

August 26, 2021 • Benham Brothers • Proverbs 8:1–3

* We need wisdom more now than ever. * Tony Evans says, “Wisdom is the God-given ability to perceive the true nature of a thing and then implement the will of God concerning it.” * Wisdom is the marriage of knowledge with understanding. * EX: Wisdom is like a bowtie. * Knowledge is one loop. * Understanding is the other loop. * The knot is Experience. * (Empire State Building) * How do we get wisdom? * This is where Proverbs comes in. * The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (like the fear of heights). * In Proverbs 7 Solomon talks about the Woman of Folly calling out to those who pass by. * In Proverbs 8 Solomon says Lady Wisdom does the same thing! * Notice where she is: * Vs 1-2 - she calls out to those who are “on the path” - they are “moving forward! * Vs 3 - she calls out to those “at the gate” - this is where people congregated. * How do you grow in wisdom? * 1) Move Forward * 2) Be Around Others * 3) Listen for Her Voice * You can’t be stagnant or alone if you want to grow in wisdom. * Why? Because being around people is where conflict takes place. * Conflict with others is like working out - it makes you stronger. * This is where Emotional Intelligence comes in. * Four Pillars: * Self Awareness * Self Management * Social Awareness * Relationship Management

Proverbs 11:28 (9/2/21)

September 2, 2021 • Benham Brothers • Proverbs 11:28–30

* “Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.” * A green leaf is a flourishing leaf. Green implies LIFE. * What do green leaves do? Pump oxygen into the air! They breathe in carbon monoxide and breathe out carbon dioxide! * How are they able to breathe in a toxic chemical and turn it into a chemical that produces life? * By staying connected to the Source! * If they shake free from the branch, the same air they were meant to breathe in actually kills them. * How do they stay connected to the Source? * 1) TRUST! * 2) OBEY! * When you trust God and obey Him you are in “right relationship” with Him. * TRUST - Our core human need is the need for Security. * It answers the question, “Who can I trust?” * The proper answer is a “who,” not a “what.” * The proper “who” is God - everything and everyone else can and will let you down. * Proverbs 11:28a - those who find security in money WILL fall. * The Bible talks more about money and wealth than any other topic. Why? * Because it represents security. * KEY - When you place your trust in anything other than God it becomes a stronghold in your life. * A stronghold is a place that is fortified so as to protect it against attack. * This stronghold is controlled by the enemy - he wants it in place! * It is erected in your life by your trust!!! * * A man who finds his security in money places his trust in that money, knowing that if anything bad happens he’s got the money to fix it. * What does he need God from if he can handle things on his own? * But what happens when bone cancer comes knocking on his door and he can’t pay enough to chase it away? * Proverbs 21:22 - A wise person knows how to tear down that stronghold by reminding the person who they can truly trust. * So what’s the reward for placing your trust in God over everything and everyone else? * Proverbs 11:28b - “he will thrive like a green leaf.” * But it doesn’t stop there. Notice: * Proverbs 11:30 - In time, when you place your trust in God (and you’re in “right relationship” with Him) you move from a leaf to a full-blown tree! * You’re breathing life and producing nourishment for others to enjoy!

Esther 4:10 (8/26/21)

August 26, 2021 • Esther 4:10

* Your greatest blessings only come on the other side of your greatest fear. * When you face your fear, God takes over the fight. * But you’ll never face your fear if you haven’t first let go of what you hold in your hand. * This is where Esther comes in - she was queen and had an opportunity to stand for what was right. * But it could cost her her life. * The evil plot of Haman - to kill the Jews - was in now the law. * She needed to stand, but she was scared. * Vs 10-11 - she hadn’t been called by the king in a month. * I think it more more than just the fear of death she feared - it was the fear of rejection. * Being approved by the king was her entire reason for getting to her position of power, influence, and authority. * It was her fear of being rejected by the man who once gave her approval. * This could’ve become an insecurity in her if she let it. * The desire for approval is one of our core desires. * The key is to find approval in God and not in others. * But she overcame! How? * Vs 12-14 - Mordecai reminded her of who she was and who she served. * He got her to THINK ASSIGNMENT OVER APPROVAL! * Then she was willing to die to what she wanted (approval). * In her heart, she let go of her position and even her life to do what was right. * She focused on the approval of God rather than that of the king. * And it set her free. * To help her stand strong, she did three things: * 1) She rallied the troops (vs 15a) - get your closest friends involved. * 2) She fasted & prayed (vs 15b) - she denied herself in the physical in order to gain something in the spiritual. * Fasting is how you learn to suffer with grace - it teaches you how to live with a faith that costs you something. * 3) She made her approach (vs 5:1-2) - she knew what would attract the king. * She did her best to gain his approval, but left the results to God. * It’s time to stand strong today, and Esther shows us how to overcome our fear and our deepest insecurities!

Afghanistan, a Worldview Crisis (8/19/21)

August 19, 2021

Nehemiah 8:4 (8/19/21)

August 19, 2021 • Benham Brothers • Nehemiah 8:4

* Auntie Anne said, “God gave me a pretzel, and God gave me a platform.” * Pretzel first / Platform second. * If God gives you a platform, it’s for a purpose - to shine the light away from yourself and onto Him. * In today’s “influencer” world, people often seek to be discovered before they’re developed. * This turns into “platform lust” where they’re drunk with becoming “insta-famous.” * At that point, Likes become more important than Lives. * We should seek to develop ourselves and let God handle the discovery. * Backstory - the wall had been completed; the job was done. Now what would they do? * The spiritual leader of the day (Ezra) showed up to read from God’s Word. * How would he deliver the message? * Vs 4a - he stood on a platform so his voice could be heard! * We don’t need to run from social media. We need to embrace it in the proper time. * Notice: * Ezra didn’t build his own platform - it was built by those who wanted him elevated. * He didn’t stand on it until the time was right - he was too busy encouraging and helping those with the work. * ** There’s a time to build and a time to stand on the platform that came as a result of what you built (don’t mix the two). * Vs 4b - he didn’t stand alone - he was surrounded by those who knew him well. * Vs 5 - the platform served a purpose (to get God’s message to the people). * Vs 6 - he used the platform to point people to God. * Vs 9-12 - he showed them what to do (like the Men of Issachar who “understood the times and knew what Israel should do”).

Esther 3:9 (8/19/21)

August 19, 2021 • Benham Brothers • Esther 3:9

* Proverbs 13:22 says, “The wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous…” * People in “right relationship” w/God don’t have to go after wealth. * They just have to stay in relationship with Him and He’ll handle the transfer as He sees fit. * Backstory - Wicked Haman had a position of authority and enough wealth to get anything he wanted. * He hated God’s people and wanted to use his wealth and power to destroy them. * Especially because Mordecai refused to bow to him. * Vs 9 - he offered 375 tons of silver into the king’s treasury. * Vs 10 - the king gave his ring to Haman, which meant he had the authority to do whatever he wanted. * Haman had incredible wealth AND power. * But God transferred it. * To Whom? * To the man who refused to bow to him! * Fast Forward - vs 8:1-2 - Faithful Mordecai now got the king’s signet ring. * That’s how god turns the tables when you stand faithfully for Him!

Nehemiah 1-2 (8/12/21)

August 12, 2021 • Benham Brothers • Nehemiah 1, Nehemiah 2

Nehemiah 1-2 - Nehemiah, Entrepreneur * Two things I want to accomplish: * Redefine the word “entrepreneur.” * Give you five traits of a kingdom entrepreneur. * Defining the Entrepreneur * Normal definition - An entrepreneur is a “risk-taking go-getter who generates income by meeting the needs of others.” * Marks of an entrepreneur:  * They’re fiercely independent (don’t want to work for others).  * They are self-starters (highly motivated).  * They don’t need to be managed.  * They think creatively (w/a bent toward adventure).  * They embrace risk, they don’t avoid it.  * They see opportunities when others see obstacles.  * Defining the Kingdom Entrepreneur * “Entre” means “go between” / “Prende” means “to undertake.” * An entrepreneur goes between people with problems to bring solutions. * An entrepreneur’s identity is that of an intercessor (Ezekiel 22).  * Kingdom Entrepreneur - “a risk-taking go-getter who generates income by meeting needs so that he can be a bridge that connects people to God.” * A kingdom entrepreneur:  * Knows he’s a minister right where he is.  * Is fueled by a sense of mission for God.  * Understands that his work is worship.    * Sees himself as an intercessor for others.  * Example - Jesus from 18-22 years old.  * Example - Nehemiah! * He saw a niche of people with a problem and he slides in between with a solution. * He was not a “vocational minister.” He was a government leader who knew how to run a business. * Notice these five traits of Nehemiah: * 1) He was a PRAYER (vs 1:1-4). * 2) He was a PURSUER (vs 2:1-5). * 3) He was a PLANNER (vs 2:11-13). * 4) He was a PRODUCER (vs 2:17-18). * Vs 19 - Enemies showed up once he started producing. * The next several chaps has them building and battling (sword and trowel)! * 5) He was a PURIFIER (chap 13 - the final chap - is all about purification). * He used his platform to purify the nation. * It wasn’t enough for them to have a wall - they needed the presence of God, and this couldn’t happen apart from purity. * He kicked Tobiah, the Ammonite, out of the Temple (he was given a room by a corrupt priest) - Nehemiah 13:1-9. * He re-allocated finances so the Levites could come back and serve in the Temple (they hadn’t been paid so they had to leave and work) - Nehemiah 13:10-13. * He reinstituted the Sabbath and setup protocols so people wouldn’t break it - Nehemiah 13:15-22. * He dealt with their impure marriages to foreign women (he physically assaulted these guys) - Nehemiah 13:23-31. *

2 Chronicles 10:7 (8/5/21)

August 5, 2021 • Benham Brothers • 2 Chronicles 10:7

* Leadership is the ability to create appetites in others. * The question is, what kind of appetites are you creating? * In business, we create two kinds: * Success at work (your work is worship). * Significance in life (you’re a minister on mission). * There are three characteristics that will create appetites in others. * We see this in the story of Rehoboam, King Solomon’s son. * When the people came and asked for their labor to be made easier, he got advice from his dad’s advisors. * Listen to what they said - “If you will be a servant to this people, be considerate of their needs and respond with compassion, work things out with them, they’ll end up doing anything for you.” * Three characteristics of a good leader: * 1) He’s a Servant - like when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. * John 13:1-5 - He recognized His leadership authority, stooped down, and served. * He focused on “their” feet, not “His” feet. * John 13:12-15 - He told them He did this to “create an appetite” in them to do the same. * EX: Michael Jr. “giving” laughs instead of “getting” laughs. * 2) He’s Considerate - to be considerate is to “show careful thought.” * They think good thoughts and then they act on those thoughts (through words, deeds, prayer, etc). * A considerate person is a “thoughtful” person - they “consider” others before themselves (this makes them kind). * 3) He’s Compassionate - they “feel” for others. * Being “considerate” is about your thinking, being “compassionate” is about your feeling. * You can be considerate without being compassionate, but you can’t be compassionate without being considerate. * The only way to feel for others is through “empathy.” * EX: My friend Joe Silva. * The real test isn’t weeping when others weep, but rejoicing when others rejoice!

2 Chronicles 20:1-22 (8/5/21)

August 5, 2021 • Benham Brothers • 2 Chronicles 20:1–22

* True worship isn't just an incredible musical set on a Sunday morning - it is a posture of reverence and reliance that mobilizes God to act on our behalf. * Worship is placing our faith in God and living it out courageously. * When we do this, it moves the heart of God and He joins our efforts. * God is an emotional being. * Emotion is an “impulse to act” - we feel it in our body. * When we worship, we give God “the feels!” * This causes Him to act on our behalf - He literally joins us in the effort. * True worship has two faces: * 1) FACE up - toward God, showing your reliance on Him. * 2) FACE down - bowing in reverence to God. * 3) FACE out - toward our problem, or our project, or that person, etc. * BACKSTORY - Jehoshaphat was king and 3 nations attacked at one time. * Vs 2-3 - He “resolved” to face God first. * Vs 4 - the people responded in like manner when the leader showed them the way! * The King then prays an elaborate prayer, showing their reliance on God. * Vs 12 - the King stood there, facing God - “our eyes are on you.” * Vs 13 - the people did the same. * Vs 14 - God spoke! * Listening prayer - when you worship God with both reverence and reliance He will speak! * Vs 15-17 - The second face - ‘…Go out and FACE them tomorrow!” * Vs 18 - Jehoshaphat put his FACE on the ground in worship to God! * Vs 20-21 - this is true worship: they faced God then they faced their enemy. * They were ready to fight! * Vs 22 - When you face God, then face your fear, God takes over the fight!

1 Chronicles 28:11-21 (7/29/21)

July 29, 2021

* Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “In his heart a man PLANS his course, but God determines his steps.” * It’s our job to plan - it’s God’s job to direct. * God won’t plan for us - we have to do it for ourselves, taking Him into consideration. * This is what David did for his son Solomon. * Vs 11-12 - David gave the plans that the Spirit gave to him. * So now we get to see how God planned something. * Notice what was in the plan: * 1) The Leader (vs 6) * 2) The Design (vs vs 12) * 3) The Team (vs 13a) * 4) The Tools (vs 13b) * 5) The Money (vs 14-18) * David ended with The Encouragement (vs 20)

1 Chronicles 17:7-8 (7/29/21)

July 29, 2021

* We live in an “insta-famous” world. * KEY - Our fame should be attached to our faithfulness, not our finagling! * Faith is living without scheming. * But we live in a time where you can get fame without faithfulness. * As a result the people who have that fame don’t have the grace to handle it. * When you ambitiously pursue something you may get it, but you won’t have the grace to handle it when you do. * The process is where you receive your power. * If, by your faithfulness, you experience a degree of fame, you will have the grace to handle that place. * You won’t find your identity in being there. * You won’t think it was your plan that got you there. * You won’t look down on others who aren’t there. * BACKSTORY - David wanted to build a temple, but God said “no” through Nathan - then He gave David a promise. * Vs 7 - David was faithful when nobody was watching (but God). * Vs 8 - God took it on Himself to build David’s platform! * Our job is faithfulness. God’s job is to reward that with however He sees fit! * 1 Chronicles 29:12 - David prayed, “Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.” * 2 Chronicles 1:11-12 - Because Solomon asked for wisdom, he got wealth and honor. * ** If we seek the wisdom to influence rather than a platform of influence God may give us both! ** * Our goal should be to seek PRESENCE over PLATFORM. * When we seek presence over platform then we value LIVES more than LIKES! * So what do we do? * Don’t run from social media - people need what’s stirring in you. * Here’s what I suggest: * 1) PRESENCE - seek God’s presence. * Live by faith (no scheming). * Faithful in your work, purity, obedience, etc. * 2) PLAN - make a plan. * Schedule when you’ll post and check - don’t go outside. * Without a plan, you’ll always be in “react” mode and it will swallow you. * 3) POST - post it! * Lead with value. * Elevate “lives” over “likes.”

Psalms 65:5-8 (7/22/21)

July 22, 2021 • Benham Brothers

* Everybody hits a wall in their lives at some point. * God uses these moments to teach you how to breakthrough those walls! * Walls can lead to fear and anxiety. * Fear is about a past or present threat. * Anxiety is about a future threat - it’s projected powerlessness. * “Anxiety in the heart weighs a man down.” (Proverbs 12:25) * The walls in your life were meant to come down. * By focusing on how BIG and awesome God is, not how small and insignificant you are. * The key to breakthrough is not about YOU - it’s about God! * Breakthrough is a matter of worship - being in “awe” of God! * Vs - 5-8 - read in Message version. * When you stop and consider God like this, God gets bigger and your problems get smaller. * “Turn your eyes upon Jesus … and the things of earth will grow strangely dim.” * Four Steps to achieve breakthrough? * 1) Stop what you’re doing - be still in your mind. * Get alone (hear the fridge motor). * Clean yourself up (purity). * 2) Take God in - experience Him with your senses (smell, sight, feel, taste, hear). * 3) Project power into your future - in light of God’s awesomeness, assume He’ll come through for you. * The Israelites worshipped then shouted victory before the walls came down around Jericho. * The walls “came down” - they didn’t have to break through them. * 4) Move forward whatever the cost - don’t stand still, MOVE!