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“Often an open door to another room begins with a sense of discontent about the room you’re already in.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed beforeYou an Open Door.  What Will You Do? (p. 5). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
That has been so true in my life.
I remember the day that I became discontented of living with the fear of being hurt and rejected again and decided that God had something better for me so I became open to having a relationship.  It was in that year that I asked Margaret to be my wife.
I remember when I became discontented at being a staff minister and looked to becoming a pastor which led to becoming a church planter.  I loved being a church planter.
I remember the day that I decided I didn’t want to become an invalid so I started walking and walking and walking.  I still spend time walking every day.
I remember the day that I became discontented with my inactivity as a retired person and began writing.  I love my times…

“A car’s headlights only shine for fifteen feet, but that fifteen feet will get you all the way home.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed beforeYou an Open Door.  What Will You Do? (p. 245). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
I love the story that John tells of Bob Goff. He says, “Bob Goff writes about how he desperately wanted to become a lawyer so that he could make an impact on the world in the area of justice. He knew the law school he wanted to attend. The only problem was they didn’t admit him. So he went to the dean’s office, introduced himself, explained his situation, and described how badly he wanted to attend this school even though they had rejected him. ‘I understand,’ said the dean. ‘Have a nice day.’ Bob decided to keep knocking. ‘You have the power to change my life,’ Bob said. ‘All you have to say to me is “Go buy your books,” and I could be a student in your school.’ The dean smiled. ‘Have a nice day.’ Bob decided to c…

“Forgetting what is behind.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed beforeYou an Open Door.  What Will You Do?(p. 238). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
But that can be such a difficult thing to do, can’t it?  The Apostle Paul in his letter in the New Testament, the one he wrote to his friends at Philippi said exactly that.  He said, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal.” (Philippians 3: 13-14 {NIV}).  So what is it that I need to forget?
John said, “One of the great tasks of the spiritual life is learning what to remember and what to forget. I am to forget ‘what is behind.’ My guilt, my inadequacy, my weakness, my regrets. ‘I know you have little strength,’ God says.”
What would happen in your life if instead of rehearsing all of that bad stuff you would start releasing it to God?  Instead of dwelling on it and tal…

“Every time God closes a door, he’s up to something.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed beforeYou an Open Door.  What Will You Do?(p. 211). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Have you ever thought about that?  Oh I know we have problems with open doors.  We are afraid to step out, to risk but for sure we have problems with closed doors.  I mean, I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed and I can’t seem to get the answer I want.  We have problems with that don’t we?
Well there are many different reasons why God closes doors in our life and one of them is He has something better for us.  At the time it is hard for us to realize it but over time God shows us what is best.
Back when I was 21 I had gotten pretty serious with a young lady.  I thought she was the one but she wasn’t and I went through some years after that with some deep despair.  I wasn’t sure if God was going to open the door for me to…

“People matter to God.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed beforeYou an Open Door.  What Will You Do?(p. 209). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

This is one truth that if we really, first of all, believed it about ourselves it would make all the difference in how we view ourselves and then in turned viewed others.  Then second of all if we really believed that other people, no matter who they are and what they look like and what they believe or stand for, really matter to God then we would quit writing all of that stuff that we do on social media about other people.
People matter to God.  This is a truth that God proved by sending His Son to die on a cross.  And the truth is the people who killed His Son also mattered to Him. 
John says, “People matter to God. Depressed people. Educated people. Divorced people. People with different politics from yours. They …

"Fear is never overcome by situation avoidance."

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do?   (p. 187). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Now if you are afraid of snakes that may be a fear that you really don't want to overcome.  But if you have been hurt by someone and because of that you are afraid to get back into a relationship then that is probably a fear that you need to overcome.  That is a fear you really do need to overcome to have a fulfilling and enjoyable life.  Relationships are a high priority in our lives.

John says, "We were born to be brave.  The consistent command to us is the command that came to a fearful leader named Joshua: “Be strong and courageous . . . for the LORD your God will be with you” (Joshua 1: 9)."

In Psalm 68, the Psalm I read to start my day says that, "God puts the lonely in families." …

“The kind of doctor who gets sued least often is a doctor who is likable.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed beforeYou an Open Door.  What Will You Do?   (p. 153). Tyndale house publishers, inc.. Kindle edition. (p. 158). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
John says, “There was a study on lawsuits recently. What kind of doctor is least likely to be sued? The correct answer surprised me. The kind of doctor who gets sued least often is a doctor who is likable. The particular specialty or field is irrelevant. A lot of times in our legalistic world we don’t think this way. We forget about the nature of the human condition. But the number one determiner of who gets sued is not who is most or least brilliant. It’s not whether there’s genius; it’s whether there’s humanity, just simple humanity.”
Do other people matter to you?  If you see an open door do you run as fast as you can to get through it knocking people ou…

“A crucial aspect of knowing yourself is being able to define where your self-identity resides.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do? (p. 153). Tyndale house publishers, inc.. Kindle edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
You might ask, why do I need to know myself?  What difference will that make in my life?  Well John tells us why.  He says, “By having a clear sense of your interests and strengths (those skills that you are good at and enjoy using most), aptitude, talents, personality, aspirations, and life experiences, you can begin to envision the type of work  — and life  — that would be appealing and meaningful to you.”  I think that would be helpful, don’t you?
He continues, “By knowing yourself, you will develop a new set of valuable lenses to evaluate potential opportunities and to prioritize work that you could pursue and work that you probably shouldn’t.”
And then, “A crucial aspect of knowing yourself is being able to def…

“Having second thoughts or buyer’s remorse is an inevitable part of walking through open doors.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do?  (p. 137). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
How did you feel the night before you got married?  Were you having second thoughts?  I was 27 so I didn’t have second thoughts.  I was more worried that Margaret did but she didn’t and here we are 40 years later.
But “having second thoughts or buyer’s remorse is an inevitable part of walking through open doors.”  But John then says, “It is not fatal. It is not final.”
He then says, “Recognizing the angst of difficult decision making can help you avoid one of the worst, overspiritualized traps people fall into when faced with a daunting opportunity: the ‘I just don’t feel peace about it’ excuse for capitulating to fear or to laziness. In this scenario, we take the presence of internal anxiety as a supernatural rati…

“Often what matters most is not the decision I make but how I throw myself into executing it well.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . How WillYou Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do? (p. 135). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
For some the fact that they made a decision is the important thing.  I mean, I finally decided. But that is just the first step.  I can make the decision and then relax and believe that is all it takes but it isn’t.  I’m sure you really realize that, don’t you?
John says, “It’s good to choose your doors carefully. But when you go — go. I am not in charge of which doors will be presented to me through my life. I may not be able to force a closed door to open. I am not in charge of what’s behind the door. But I am in charge of one dynamic: when a door is opened, I get to choose how I will respond. Sometimes it’s what you do after the door opens that makes all the difference.”
But so many times we stop and over analyze …

“Life is facing and solving problems.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do?  (p. 118). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
But I thought that if I give my life over to God then He would take away all my problems and He would take care of them all.  I’m afraid that if you believe that then you are wrong. 
John says, “If you don’t have one, your current problem is you don’t have a problem. Life is facing and solving problems. When God calls people, he calls them to face a problem. The standard word for the condition of being truly problem-free is dead.”
He quotes Ichak Adizes who writes, “Having fewer problems is not living. It’s dying. Addressing and being able to solve bigger and bigger problems means that our strengths and capacities are improving. We need to emancipate ourselves from small problems to free the energy to deal with bi…

“It turns out that choosing drains us. It takes energy.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . HowWill You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do?    (p. 116). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
It turns out that choosing drains us. It takes energy.
Choosing is hard work.  Especially if it is an important decision.   “So wise people”, John says, “shepherd their ‘choosing energy’ well. This is why wise people never make important decisions in a wrong emotional state.”
But too many times that is when we make our major decisions, after we’ve been dumped in a relationship, or when we are very lonely, or after we've had a difficult day at work.  When I was a staff minister I had another Pastor call me about every Monday asking if I had a good day Sunday.  He thought after a bad Sunday I might say yes to come to work for him. 
John says, “Never try to choose the right course of action in the wrong frame of …

“Stop Waiting for a Spontaneous Outburst of Passion.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . HowWill You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do?   (p. 112). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
There are some thoughts that jump out at me at just the right time.  Many times I am looking for thoughts that would be good to share but this one was for me today.  Here is my question that comes at this thought from a different direction.  If I lose my passion at doing what I am doing do I then need to stop doing what I am doing? No you just keep at it.
John quotes Andy Chan who heads up the Office of Personal and Career Development at Wake Forest and who is known by some as a “career-development guru.”  And he says, “That one of the greatest stumbling blocks he has to warn young adults about is the illusion that there is some passion out there with their name on it, and if they could just discover their passion…

“God wants us to be excellent choosers.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . HowWill You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do?   (p. 108). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
But we don’t like to make choices because we are afraid to be wrong.  And that is one of the reasons why we are constantly praying for God’s will in different choices that we are called to make.  It also is very difficult.  It really is.
But John says, “God wants us to learn to choose well. That may be why, when we look at the Bible, there is no chapter devoted to ‘How to know God’s will for your life.’ Often when we are faced with a real-life choice, the Bible seems no more helpful than Yogi Berra’s old dictum: ‘When you come to a fork in the road, take it.’ Paul doesn’t write about ‘six steps to determine if he’s the one’ or ‘five ways to discern God’s job for you.’ What we do see are statements like this: ‘If a…

“Do not despise the day of small things. For we do not know what is small in God’s eyes.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . HowWill You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do?  (p. 85). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
That is such a good thought at the beginning of a new week and close to the beginning of a new month.  How do you view what you do?  Think about this, maybe how you view it is different from how God views it.
John says, “When we are born, our world is very small. As we grow, it may become quite large. If we live long enough and grow old enough, it will become small again. If we do not learn to find God in our small worlds, we will never find God at all.”
I am finding that true in my retirement years.  There was a time that I was challenged to do greater things as a church planter but now the quality time that I get to spend with my wife, Margaret and with my three granddaughters, Ashlyn, Addison and Harper has more m…

“Every morning is an open door; every moment can become one.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . HowWill You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do?  (p. 18). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

I love that thought.  I read on Facebook this morning that a friend of mine had a horrible day yesterday and I felt for her but then the thought came to me but today is a new day.  Yes there is memory of yesterday but today is a blank slate with new adventure and new possibilities and new potential. 
What was your day like yesterday?  Learn the lessons from it and see today as a new open door to walk through.  Oh I can see the door and have some fear because of what happened yesterday and decide I’m not going to open it.  That is a real choice for us.  The problems of yesterday can keep us from the possibilities of today.  They can but they don’t have to.
John says, “Some of us see the doors and seize them, and so l…

“God’s primary will for your life is not the achievements you accrue…”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book, All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do? (p. 15). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
What is God’s will for my life?  What does He want me to do?  The problem is that is the wrong question.  Here is the whole thought of John, “God’s primary will for your life is not the achievements you accrue; it’s the person you become.” 
He continues, “God’s primary will for your life is not what job you ought to take; it’s not primarily situational or circumstantial. It’s not mainly the city where you live or whether you get married or what house you ought to be in. God’s primary will for your life is that you become a magnificent person in his image, somebody with the character of Jesus. That is God’s main will for your life. No circumstance can prevent that.”
No the question is, who does He want me to become?�…

“God can open a door for anyone.”

A thought by John Ortberg, (2015-02-24) from his book. All the Places to Go . . . HowWill You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door.  What Will You Do?(p. 7). Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Here is the full thought by John, “What a gift to know that open doors are not reserved for the specially talented or the extraordinarily strong. God can open a door for anyone.”
And God writes through the Apostle John in Revelation 3:8 (NIV), “See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.”
Now John in his book here quotes one of his college professors, Jerry Hawthorne, who says, “A door is one of the richest images in literature. It can mean safety (‘my door is chained and locked’) or hiddenness (‘no one knows what goes on behind closed doors’). It can mean rejection (‘she shut the door in my face’) or rest (young mothers’ favorite room is the bathroom, where they can close the door and be alone). Bu…