Archives For Reading

Wise and Foolish

October 4, 2016

In my recent readings of Proverbs, a repeated idea kept jumping of the pages. Words like rebuke, correct, instruct, teach, and train kept popping up. To take these things to heart is called wisdom in the Bible.

When I came across some similar ideas in Henry Cloud’s excellent book, Necessary Endings, they caught my eye.

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Here are a few of traits Cloud gives for both the wise and foolish person:

Traits of the Wise Person:

  • When you give them feedback, they listen, take it in, and adjust their behavior accordingly.
  • When you give them feedback, they embrace it positively. They say things like, “Thank you for telling me that.”
  • They own their performance, problems, and issues and take responsibility for them without excuses or blame.
  • Your relationship is strengthened as a result of giving them feedback.

Hopeless Hope

September 7, 2016

Christians and ministries often have a hard time losing hope. Hope filled Christianity is a wonderful thing, but it is more and more normal for people to hold out hope without any evidence to support it.

There are times when we must actually lose hope and it may be in the best interest of the person or the project.

Henry Cloud in his fantastic book,Necessary Endings,  deals with this at length. Take a look at some of these thoughts.

“Hope is based not only on desire, but also on real, objective reasons to believe that more time will help. That is way different from mere desire. Here is the principle: In the absence of real, objective reasons to think that more time is going to help, it is probably time for some type of necessary ending.”

Why is it we feel we must portray a model of perfection as Christians?

For as long as I can remember, the stereotypical Christian was one who cleaned up well and always answered the “How are you Doing?” question with positive enthusiasm.

Do we present a church which has arrived and is all together, or one filled with people on the journey of figuring it out?

Donald Miller, in his refreshingly candid book Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy says,

“Grace only sticks to our imperfections. Those who can’t accept their imperfections can’t accept grace either.”

A photo by Keith Wickramasekara. unsplash.com/photos/C-6TaN2fxK8

Sometimes it is these imperfections which bring beauty.

Miller would imply Christianity, at is core,  is an admission of weakness. We seem to grasp this as a way to enter the door of faith.

Wisdom for All of Life

January 19, 2016

In their new book, 40/40 Vision: Clarifying Your Mission in Midlife, Peter Greer and Greg Lafferty explore a number of issues to which we can all relate. Their book is geared towards those in their 40’s who are facing mid-life and the period of evaluation which goes hand in hand.

The source of wisdom comes from the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes. This makes their book applicable to any age as they explore timeless wisdom in a readable, page turning format with many personal stories and contemporary illustrations.

Areas covered are:

  • Disappointment
  • Fulfillment
  • Giving
  • Rest
  • Friendships and more

As you can see from these topics, this book can impact any age bracket.

The truth included is not complicated. Wisdom never is.

What it does accomplish is to remind us of many simple principles which need to constantly be evaluated in our lives throughout the various seasons of life.

What’s Your Goal?

January 11, 2016

Our human self-sufficiency is never more evident than at the beginning of the calendar year with our New Year’s Resolutions. Goals are great, but so often we set about those goals in a self-reliant, try harder kind of way.

As Christians, many of these goals are linked to spiritual growth, such as wanting to read the Bible more.

If spiritual growth were as simple as trying harder, we would all be light years ahead of where we find ourselves.

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I recently came across some Judah Smith quotes from his book, Jesus Is For You: Stories of God’s Relentless Love, which speak to this topic

The constant battle is to trust Jesus for growth and change even more than our own effort.

“Jesus isn’t standing aloof yelling at us to climb out of our pits and clean ourselves up so we can be worthy of Him. He was wading waist-deep into the muck of life, weeping with the broken. rescuing the lost, and healing the sick.”