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Showing posts from July, 2014

“The words people say to us not only have shelf life but have the ability to shape life.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World(p. 88). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.(Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

For half of my life at home our family traveled all over the US and Canada and held in churches meetings for them from Wednesday through two Sundays.Dad would preach every night and Sunday morning and we as a family would sing.I started singing in front of people when I was five.That’s what I did.I sang.
Well when I was a sophomore we moved to Owosso, Michigan where I went to Owosso High School.And I tried out for the choir.I was a tenor and every choir needed tenors and because of my experience in singing I was chosen for the top choir.We had three different choirs in that school.
Now even though I had been singing for at least 10 years dad thought it would be a good thing if I would take voice lessons.So I started taking lessons from Mr. Gilbert who was the choir director fo…

“We could all stand to make some room and let God suck some terrific stuff into the space we create.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2014-01-07) from his book with Barna Group, Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey (Frames) (p. 49). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

We have so much to do.And we have no time to create space for God to fill it with terrific stuff for into our life.
Bob says, “It’s amazing how a little elbow room can give us clarity about our choices and fresh perspective on our priorities. We accumulate activities and obligations like we’re hoarders — because, actually, we are. We have stacks of things we keep doing just because they are familiar to us, not because they are meaningful for us. It’s why so many of us (72%) feel stressed out and many of us admit to being overcommitted at work or even in our relationships.”
Even the good things we do because of a feeling of responsibility and duty rob us of the potential to really live out the life God has for us.
He continues, “So quit something. Try i…

“The people who slowly became typical have the greatest problem wrapping their minds around a dynamic friendship with an invisible, alive God.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2014-01-07) from his book with Barna Group, Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey(p. 15). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Do you really realize how unbelievable you are?God says that you and I were wonderfully made.Yes life has a way of bringing people into your life who feel that they are just typical and who will do all they can to bring you down to the level that they feel they are.Oh they somehow try to come across that they are better than you but in themselves they think you are better.That is why they have to pull you down.But the truth is The Enemy is the one who is trying to get at God through us.We just don’t need to accept his lies.
Bob says, “There’s nothing wrong with being typical, I guess, but there is nothing fundamentally right about it either. I’ve never read in Genesis that God created “typical” and called it good. Instead, I think men who were bored made up…

“I think we were made to do many things. As our lives change, as we change, we will also change what we do.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2014-01-07) from his book with Barna Group, Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey (Frames) (p. 36). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

This is a good thought to stop and see if it is true for you.
Bob says, “Don’t be surprised if you need to quit a couple of jobs to find the right career — expect it. Some of us have careers that, at one time, served us and our ambitions. But over time those ambitions have changed and we’ve outgrown the career. When a career is no longer helping to shape who you’re becoming, but is instead tying you to who you used to be, there’s a fix. Quit.”
Now does that make you a quitter?No it means you are growing and learning and becoming.
He continues, “I quit things all the time. To be precise, I quit something every Thursday. Each week I pick one thing in my life to send to the scrap heap and, on Thursday, out it goes. Sometimes what I quit is perfectly good s…

“It is the wisest among us who keep choosing to make a career out of raising our families, whether or not we have another job.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2014-01-07) from his book with Barna Group, Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey(Frames) (p. 35). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

There are so many thoughts that Bob shares that are so very meaningful.I hope you click on the titles of his two book and buy them.He is so refreshing.
Now this thought touched me at a certain spot in my life.I had gotten to the place that I was away from home all day and a big part of my night.My family wasn’t close to being important to me and I came so close to losing out on their lives.One day I came to the point that I needed to make a change so I quit my staff position at a large church, moved to another town and eventually started delivering pizzas and falling in love again with my family and my God.I had gotten my priorities all out of whack.I eventually got back into fulltime ministry but with my family having a higher priority.We have even mo…

“I used to want to fix people, but now I just want to be with them.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World(p. 1). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Do you want to fix people?Maybe you went into your marriage with an “I can fix them” instead of just loving them attitude.No one want that, they just want to be loved for who they are.What that seems to be is an “I’m better than you” way of looking at people.And that too many times is easy for those of us who are Christians to look at those who aren’t.That is not a good thing.
I love the story that Bob shares here in his book about his being accepted by his Young Life leader rather than giving him advice. And that can really be tough to do.I mean I know how to fix you but it isn’t what I know that makes the difference but it is what I do.This is what love, acceptance and forgiveness is all about.
The New Testament talks a lot about fellowship.And I like what someone said, “Fel…

“How we identify ourselves is the thing we will become.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2014-01-07) from his book with Barna Group, Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey(Frames) (p. 38). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

How do you identify yourself?I identified myself for many years as a church planter but one day I retired and in one sense I lost my identity at least I had to change it.
Bob also said, “As time has passed, I’ve come to think of my careers as a part of my legacy, but certainly not all of it. After we’re gone, those closest to us may appreciate the work we did, but they’re more likely to remember how we did it. They will remember us for our love and whimsy. Only strangers will remember us just for our jobs or titles.” And then he says, “I have learned to be very careful how I describe myself, because people do best at what they identify with most.”
This has been a very soul searching thought for me today.It is so easy to see what you do in your career as your identity and to give our life to being very good at …

“Crummy jobs shape us.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2014-01-07) from his book with Barna Group, Multi-Careering: Do Work That Matters at Every Stage of Your Journey(Frames) (Kindle Location 193). Zondervan.

I have had some of those job and they each one built something into me.I was a teenage church custodian of my father’s church.I also took care of the lawn.When I was in college I was a middle school custodian.I have been a painter.In a small down in western Kansas I painted the Post Office, City Hall, the Motel and Restaurant out on the highway and I don’t remember how many houses I painted inside and out. I also was a mason’s tender.That job didn’t end well.But each one of those jobs built something into me.They taught me to have pride in what I did but they also showed me they weren’t what I was going to give my life too. But each one shaped me.
I like how Bob puts it, “We can draw on what we experience over a long, hot summer cleaning a camp kitchen to help us decide what we want for the rest of our lives. W…

“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book,Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World (p. 25). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

This thought reminds me of the guy who said, “I gave my life to climbing up the ladder of success to find at the end that it was leaning against the wrong wall.”
So many times we do what we do out of fear of failing.We just don’t want to look bad in the eyes of those who really matter to us.It is so important for us to be a real success at no matter at.So we do whatever we can to keep from failing, to keep from looking bad that we will do anything to succeed.That’s what it is all about isn’t it?Success.
But Bob says that he has found that he is more afraid at succeeding at things that don’t matter, things that don’t make a difference in the world that he lives in.
I remember when we moved to Las Vegas to plant a new church.We were so excited but we found ourselves in a deep financial hole.Because of sickness in a close family member…

“Pain sets us up to become self-centered.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living(Kindle Location 1982). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

And that is true emotionally and physically.Think about the last time you had some real physical pain.I’m mean you were really hurting.Who were you thinking about? You.And the same is true emotionally.
Andy says, “Emotional pain works the same way. And like physical pain, the more intense the emotional pain, the more self-centered we become, and self-centeredness is the archenemy of character. Men and women of character are committed to putting others first.”
But the Enemy knows how to sidetrack us doesn’t he?I mean I’m in pain.Take care of me.But the golden rule says, “To do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”And pain is a way of learning how to minister to others and to show people how God can make a difference when we are in pain.But it is really difficult to do isn’t it?
I’ve been thi…

“I used to think I needed an office to be a lawyer, but now I know all I need is an island.”

A thought by Bob Goff, (2012-05-01) from his book, Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World(Kindle Locations 134-135). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

And that beginning thought by Bob caught my attention.The island is Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland.I have had an Annual Pass to Disney World and I now have an Annual Pass to Disneyland and I have never been to Tom Sawyer Island.And that speaks to too many of us and our trek through life.
Oh I’ve looked across and seen it many times but I didn’t think it looked very interesting or exciting so I stayed on my side of the water and never adventured to the other side to see what was there.But Bob did and he says, “I do all of my best thinking on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland. There’s a picnic table at the end of a little pier right across from the pirate ship. I suppose most people think this place is just a prop because there are a couple of wooden kegs marked “gunpowder” and some pirate paraphernalia hung over th…

“Forgiveness is not a gift for someone else.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living (Kindle Location 1942). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Now it does have some benefit to the one being forgiven.I mean it really makes us feel good when someone shows they care enough to ask us to forgive them for something we did to them.The gift of forgiveness to someone is a very meaningful gift but the real gift is to the one doing the forgiving.
As Andy says, “We have a tendency to view forgiveness as a gift to the one who offended us— as a benefit to that person.”That is why it is difficult for us to do.We see it as letting them off the hook for what they did to us.
But he then goes on to say, “For the most part, it’s a gift that was designed for us. It’s something we give ourselves. Because when you consider everything that’s at stake, the one who benefits the most from forgiveness is the one…

“Our feelings are wonderful followers, but they are terrible leaders.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living(Kindle Locations 1540-1541). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I almost did that today.I wasn’t feeling very inspired and I had a lot of other things getting my attention and I just about convinced myself to not write a new post.I could wait and write it tomorrow.I just don’t feel like writing today.
Do you ever get to that point?I heard of this guy who got up on a Sunday morning and told his wife, “You know, I just don’t feel like going to church today.I was up late last night and I just feel like staying home.”But his wife brought him back to reality.She said, “But you are the Pastor.You can’t stay home.”
Maybe that is the way you feel every Monday.“I just don’t feel like going to work.I think I will just stay home.That is what I really feel like doing?”But you get up and get ready and head in to work because you realize that feelings are terrible leaders.

“False assumptions make any temptation seem worth entertaining for the moment.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living (Kindle Locations 1369-1370). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

What tempts you?What is it you want to do and you have great trouble in not giving in to doing it?Does something come to your mind?
Andy says, “Analyze your temptations. What exactly is the appeal? What is the promise of sin? What sort of mental gymnastics do you go through to justify it? Think through the conversations you have with yourself as you talk yourself into something you know is wrong.”
This is so important.Figure out what the lie is that is drawing you to the temptation.
Back when Jesus was first starting His ministry Matthew tells us in chapter 4 verses 1-3 (CEB), “Then the Spirit led Jesus up into the wilderness so that the devil might tempt him. After Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was starving. The tempter came to him and said, “Since you are God’s Son, comma…

“It is imperative that you begin identifying those things in your battery of beliefs that are not true.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living(Kindle Locations 1248-1249). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Andy uses as an example of a false belief that was controlling the world at the time of Christopher Columbus that the world was flat.That was a false belief that Columbus rejected and by that found the New World.And there are many false beliefs that we need to identify and deal with before we can step out into our new world.
As Andy says, “Every single facet of our behavior is somehow tied back to something we believe. When you and I believe the wrong thing, it works its way out in the form of wrong behavior.”
Here are a couple of these he gives, “If you believe happiness is found in the accumulation of possessions, you’re not going to be very generous. If you believe that people cannot be trusted, you’re not going to have many close friends.”But you have your own false beliefs that control your …

“Imagine your potential if you were to work with Him rather than working around Him.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living (Kindle Location 1175). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I don’t think any of us really can see the potential in us if we would let God work in and through us.Even the best Christ follower at times holds back from letting God work on us.I mean we fight those circumstances that are there to make us in the image He wants for us.
You see as Andy says, “When the two of you are in alignment, there will be unleashed a whole new dimension of His power in your life. And as you renew your mind, you will begin to understand and cooperate with God’s purposes for your life, rather than fighting against them.”
And that is where the potential in us is realized.I mean all that is happening to us and in us is for our good.We just need to relax and let Him work.Don’t waist the circumstances accept and see what He is doing.
What could happen if we would quit fighting Him?

“We have a tendency to assume that if our spiritual experience is real, it will produce instant change.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living(Kindle Locations 1054-1055). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

We have a tendency to think that if I am a Christ-follower then longevity means maturity.That when I accepted Christ into my life that I have arrived and that is it but that isn’t true.Oh there may be some things that changed in that moment but there are other things that come from growth.We grow in our character.
Now I am a 67 year old retired pastor who has found a ministry through writing.I take other people’s thoughts and from my experience I give my thoughts, I just continue that thought.Now it can come across that I have arrived.I no longer have a need to grow, I just need to show.And there is great spiritual danger there.I have not yet arrived.I am still going through the process and I have to constantly live with that fact.
And God is still very faithful to show me where I need growth in …

“We have a natural propensity to change the rules on God.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book,Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living (Kindle Locations 912-913). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

He then continues and says, “We tend to change His commands to fit our personality, our present lifestyle, or our current circumstances.”
Now I read that and thought about some of the stands politically that I read on Facebook of the things that Christians are up in arms about that in reality go against the character standard that Christ shares in His Word.And I was ready to use this as an opportunity to lash out at our inconsistencies but it then hit me of the character stands He takes on this matter of judging others and that stopped me in my tracks. I don’t believe that if I am a man of character that I can be judgmental.I can’t and I won’t.
But we must each as individuals determine where we are going to set the standards by which we live…

“If God answered all of our prayers, our character would suffer.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living (Kindle Location 836). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

He qualifies that with “For in most cases, our prayers center around the removal of the very circumstances He is using to conform us to His image.”
Somehow we need to come to grips with the fact that God’s plan and purpose for us is different than ours.You see God is an investor and He only invests in those things that will last.Our outside will not last.Dust to dust and ashes to ashes but what lasts is what is inside of us, our spirit, our soul, our character.  That is what He invests in.He wants us to become like Him.
I love the story of the sculptor who was looking at a big piece of granite and someone asked him what he was going to do with it?And he said that he was going to create a sculpture of an elephant.And they asked, “How are you going to do that?”And he said, “I’m going to chisel off everyt…

“Self-image constitutes one of the most important relationships in life.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living (Kindle Locations 511-512). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

I know from a Christ follower perspective anything with self in it is a problem.But Andy says, “The way we view ourselves determines how we will interact with God, family, friends, loved ones, and even those we consider to be our enemies.”So this is an important relationship in our life.
I was just walking back from my time of read and I walked past a group of middle schoolers who were in summer school.And as I was walking by a young guy was practicing hitting a ball into a floor hockey goal and he missed it by a mile.Now I didn’t look up so he would notice he had missed it because I know how embarrassed he would have been.I’m sure he was telling himself that he couldn’t do it maybe because he was a loser and I felt his pain.
And that is wh…

“The instant we knowingly compromise our character, a change takes place deep inside us.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living (Kindle Location 497). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

You have experienced that haven’t you?Andy says, “In that moment we become keenly aware of a disparity between God’s standard and the one we are living out. We are filled with a gnawing sense of unworthiness, and we feel distanced from Him. We call this feeling guilt.”And that guilt affects my relationship with God.
I know that God hates pride.I just was at Whole Foods Market and I put the checker on the spot on something that I thought she had done wrong.As I was walking out I had this feeling inside that I had mishandled that.I saw that my pride had reared its ugly head and that it had the potential to hurt my relationship with God.
Now I could have just ignored the feeling and rationalized that she was trying to jip me out of some of my money and that I had the right to stand up against wrong.And I …

“There is no clearer measure of our character than the health of our relationships.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book,Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living(Kindle Locations 446-447). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Now to Andy, “Character is the will to do what is right, as defined by God, regardless of personal cost.”In reality having character is other’s-oriented.“As we subscribe to God’s absolute standard of right and wrong, we are directed to focus on the needs of others instead of ourselves.”
Here are some examples that Andy gives.“It’s that one-in-a-million friend who never says anything negative about you in your absence. It’s the guy who quickly owns up to his mistakes instead of blaming others. It’s the woman who is quick to give credit to the person who originated an idea rather than taking credit herself. It’s the husband who has only positive things to say about his wife in public. It’s the wife who allows her husband to lead when everyone knows she is more gifted in that area than her spouse.”I w…