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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.

Soul Keeping

July 28, 2015

“Hurry is the great enemy of the spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

These were the words given to John Ortberg by Dallas Willard. They were the foundation on which Ortberg launched into a journey to discover a healthy soul life.

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You is a collection of reflections on his conversations with and mentorship by Dallas Willard. Ortberg blends in decades of pastoral experience into this work.

For me the book started solely with some “scholarly” definitions of the soul, but soon branched into loads of practical application.

Ortberg tackles rest, gratitude, works and grace, as well as the disappointing seasons known as the “dark night of the soul.”

Here are some of the best quotes from the book: (JO=John Orterg, DW=Dallas Willard)

Peace be With You

May 6, 2015

My wife and I have recently come off a transition in our roles. We successfully passed off many of our leadership responsibilities to men and women we trained up and walked with.

This is every leaders dream and greatest moment of success, to see something you’ve begun outlast you and be improved by another.

It can also be a place of great insecurity.

In our mission, many leaders hang on to titles far too long for fear of no longer having a voice.

We were not afraid of a loss of influence, but freedom to invest in whatever you want sounds both fantastic and terrifying at the same time.

There have been moments of insecurity and near panic attacks for me. My wife has been dealing with debilitating migraines.

Our dream of “doing whatever we want” has not gone quite as envisioned.

I hate checklists for spiritual growth.

They lead towards a works orientation and a focus on being performance-based.

When a recent church service message started with a “Checklist for Spiritual Zeal” I was concerned.

6 commands from Ephesians 5 were restated as questions.

Each one had an emphasis on not having a “hint” of such and such bad thing and of “never” acting another way. It was a list of do’s and don’ts which were totally and completely unrealistic.

When “never’s and always” are included for spiritual behavior, my legalism alarm begins to ring.

“So how are you doing?”, asked the speaker.

The church expected to be hammered into submission and guilt.

What followed next shocked me.

He went on to overview chapters 1-3 saying that all these commands are a response to what God has done.

Growth No One Wants

December 6, 2014

We all want growth in our Christian walks.

We read books, attend seminars, join support groups, and lift up change-oriented prayers as a large percentage of our requests to God.

But, it seems there is a type of growth none of us aspire to gain.

In fact, if you are like me, we seek to avoid it.

Romans 5:3-4 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,”

Paul links suffering and endurance to character growth.

I doubt we will see a touring seminar or conference based on this premise in the future.

“Come to the Exponential Growth Seminar! We will make your life miserable, inflicting all kinds of hardship and difficulty on you for the purpose of sparking change! Register now for the early bird discount!”