Tag Results For :: "wisdom"




Real Wealth, Rich Simplicity

August 21st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be good to your servant, God;
    be as good as your Word.
Train me in good common sense;
    I’m thoroughly committed to living your way.
Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place,
    but now I’m in step with your Word.
You are good, and the source of good;
    train me in your goodness.
The godless spread lies about me,
    but I focus my attention on what you are saying;
They’re bland as a bucket of lard,
    while I dance to the tune of your revelation.
My troubles turned out all for the best—
    they forced me to learn from your textbook.
Truth from your mouth means more to me
    than striking it rich in a gold mine.
— Psalm 119:65-72, The Message
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A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. — 1 Timothy 6:7a, The Message

What current activity or opportunity might be distracting you from enjoying this kind of simplicity in your life? When you see unmet needs for leadership and/or service around you—in your job or community, at home, school, or church, among your friends, family, and co-workers—do you want to respond and try to meet the need according to a list of “shoulds” instead of focusing on what God has specifically called you to do?

What goes? What stays? What needs adding?

Our natural inclination when we’re under pressure is to turn away from God’s peace. Notice the symptoms: Anxiety, upset, worry, irritability, comparisons, anger, and resentment. “Lord, don’t you care?” Choosing to wait upon the Lord and trust Him with our concerns isn’t easy or automatic. We can choose to turn toward Life as we seek Christ’s help and direction, wherever we find ourselves.

What comes to mind as you ask God for discernment about distractions in your life today?



Getting in Focus

May 4th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Keep your eyes straight ahead;
ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
and the road will stretch out smooth before you.

— Proverbs 4:25-26

 

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This morning my friend Christine emailed me a copy of this useful chart published by Learning Fundamentals. Its decision tree reminds me of the nerves and synapses that somehow link my heart, mind, and soul together to create focus.

I’m glad that the key element of my decision-making design, not pictured on the chart above, is actually a Person upon whom I can rely for help with getting in focus.

Lord, I need your wisdom today as I focus amidst my distractions. I’m trusting Your Spirit will direct my heart, mind, and soul toward You first. Thank you for the life-giving guidance You alone always provide—in Christ, I pray.

 

Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

— Phillips Brooks



Before My Eyes

May 1st, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

— 2 Peter 1:5-11, MSG

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Yesterday, an old thought once again became knew:

In Christ, I am forgiven.

Not just in part, not only a little bit, not 2/3 or even 98%.

In Christ, I am forgiven.

Completely, for everything.



The Source

April 27th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Love never gives up.

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

Love doesn’t strut,

Doesn’t have a swelled head,

Doesn’t force itself on others,

Isn’t always “me first,”

Doesn’t fly off the handle,

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

Puts up with anything,

Trusts God always,

Always looks for the best,

Never looks back,

But keeps going to the end.

– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 MSG

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In those moments when we are especially aware of the Lord’s compassion, patience, mercy, and grace, we again learn the lesson: Love doesn’t originate with us, but in God. We can love one another because God is the source, the substance, and the completion of our love.

Living in the reality of this great truth is possible for all of us. Yet how easily we become discouraged and frustrated in our quest to give and receive love!

 

Dare to love and to be a real friend. The love you give and receive is a reality that will lead you closer and closer to God as well as those whom God has given you to love. 
– Henri J. M. Nouwen



Listen

April 26th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , ,

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Job answered:

“I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me. I should never have opened my mouth! I’ve talked too much, way too much. I’m ready to shut up and listen.” — Job 40:3-5, MSG

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Job answered God:

“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’ — Job 42:1-5, MSG

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Silence can be so uncomfortable.

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Lord, as I wait upon you without words or an agenda, quiet my heart and fill my emptiness.

I’m ready to listen.




Both Sides

April 4th, 2012 | Tags: • , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

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Take a good look at God’s work.

Who could simplify and reduce Creation’s curves and angles

To a plain straight line?

On a good day, enjoy yourself;

On a bad day, examine your conscience.

God arranges for both kinds of days

So that we won’t take anything for granted.

I’ve seen it all in my brief and pointless life—here a good person cut down in the middle of doing good, there a bad person living a long life of sheer evil. So don’t knock yourself out being good, and don’t go overboard being wise. Believe me, you won’t get anything out of it.

But don’t press your luck by being bad, either. And don’t be reckless. Why die needlessly? It’s best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.

—  Ecclesiastes 7:13-18 MSG

 

Standing underneath this rose-covered arbor at Zilker Park offers such a different view of the vines than looking at the same flowers only from above. On one side, the roses seem darker, less colorful; the air is cooler, more moist. On the other, a cascade of yellow buds and blooms covers the surface, spectacularly enhanced by the noonday sun.

Solomon’s words urge me to take a step back, walk around slowly, consider the beauty of different vantage points, and direct my gaze from a variety of existing angles, regardless of whether I’m pondering a rose garden’s delights or the depths of my heart.