Wisdom for my Sons

Month: May, 2012

Honorable use. 3.10.11 & 5.31.12

From Evernote:

Honorable use. 3.10.11 & 5.31.12

In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. 2 Timothy 2: 20,21

Logically this verse makes some sense…if God is concerned with displaying His glory and His name, I have to imagine he is concerned with the quality of what is being put on display. Just like a fine home, where the fine china is placed in a cabinet for all to see and lower quality stuff is placed away in drawers. Pure, clean, excellent men are at least prepared for honorable use, if its Gods will, being high quality reflections of God and his character. Just like the character of the plate determines its use, how much greater from God’s vantage point does the character of the man determine his usefulness. Action. My sons, cultivation of Godly character is the great pursuit of life, look to God for the example not those around you…for excellence of character is rarer than gold, 99.9% of those around you care little for it. Great godly men compare their character to God’s which they can never match, working to reflect it more and more over it time…while the vast majority compare it only to those around them.

What’s God’s will? 5.25.12

From Evernote:

What’s God’s will? 5.25.12

"God’s will for us is that we be Christlike." -Simmons, True Measure of a Man

"God, what is your will for my life?" The common question for us all. We easily default to thinking circumstantially, yet His desire above all is about the heart and character. We all have a ‘divided self’ (concept Simmons)…our public and private selves. Public self getting our life focus because it is where we are judged and measured by others…where our identity and worth is derived. Private self being hidden (or so we think)…getting no attention since not seen by others. So tragic for this is not the life God desires for his kids. He is not concerned with public accomplishments and success, his ‘will’-ful desire is the maturing of our character-that over time we reflect more and more the character traits of Jesus. That is how we need to evaluate and measure if we are being successful in life. This becomes the problem with religion, it deals little with the soul…church, bible studies, tithing are what many think it means to be a Christian. "However, true Christianity focuses on the inner life; it is all about the life of God working in the soul of man."-Simmons. Action. My sons, here is what you go hard after in life…maturation of Godly character-Being strong, showing yourself a man and obeying your God. It doesn’t matter the events of your life…in best of times or worst of times, the goal (God’s Will) is that you are always faithfully closing the gap between your current character and that of Christ. Be alarmed when you find circumstances great and character eroding-these seasons are deceptive and dangerous…for the world is singing your praises, while in God’s economy we are actually failing miserably. Remeber, never measure the condition of your soul by life’s circumstances, pursue hard the strengthening of Godly character and you will be a strong, respected, blessed man.

Gratitude; the most nourishing attitude. 5.21.12

From Evernote:

Gratitude; the most nourishing attitude. 5.21.12

"…Dr. Hans Selye, who was the true pioneer in discovering the impact of emotions on health, at the end of his life concluded from all his years of research, that a heart of gratitude is the single most nourishing attitude for a person’s good health and well-being." (excerpt from Simmons; The True Measure of a Man)

Humble people are grateful people, for humility is the soil in which gratitude grows. The act of saying thank you or being grateful, is theological at its core, being a humble catalyst for a joyful heart. A humble person sees all that they are and all that they have as a gift from God and a result of other people contributing to their life. There is no room for pride…an attitude of ‘I did this’ or ‘I accomplished that.’ Saying thank you to God and others, reinforces the very reality that God is the Great Giver and we are the undeserving receivers. Action. My sons, choose daily to be joyful and grateful always in life. In as many details of the day you can-physically say thank you to God and others. Proactively cultivate gratitude each and everyday. You’ll see quickly why the doctor above sees gratitude as most impact-full on one’s attitude…for it is primarily, first above all a proper God centered state of mind…not self-centered. Remember, blessed is the man who pursues authentic humility and gratitude for his life will be full of great joy.

Common sense says steer clear. 4.11.11 & 5.15.12

From Evernote:

Common sense says steer clear. 4.11.11 & 5.15.12

I saw some naive young men, and one in particular who lacked common sense.He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman, strolling down the path by her house…So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. Proverbs 7: 7,8 & 21,22

Lady wisdom warns to exercise commons sense when it comes to topic of the adulterous woman. Her novel insight being quiet simple…if you don’t want to be seduced; be wise and don’t put yourself in environments where these type of women hang out. For lust is powerful and doesn’t always exercise clear logic. Many godly men, like David, have fallen victim. The naive young man was not actively in search of this woman, yet she found him. Women like this are very dangerous…they are agressive, skilled in flattery and experts at their destructive craft. Action. My sons, everywhere I look I see men falling…please know that you are never above the fall…so be wise and exercise common sense in how and where you spend your time. Women like this have been the death of many men, steer clear and live…enjoying the deep intimate relationship with your wife as God designed it; you’ll be blessed man!

Action completes knowledge. 2.14.11 & 5.14.12

From Evernote:

Action completes knowledge. 2.14.11 & 5.14.12

But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action. James 1:25 (the message)

Far better to catch a glimpse of God’s Word and be heavy in action then it is to be deep in knowledge and light in action. This verse downplays the simple viewing of the counsel of God and puts extreme emphasis on converting to action. The person of action receives a special blessing of delight and affirmation, that the ‘hearers-only’ miss out on. Doers of the Word grow in joy and grow in their confidence of God, being affirmed daily as they listen, respond and do. Action. My sons, in life true knowledge is complete only when converted to action. Learn to measure yourself and others by yours and their actions, for talk is easy and requires no effort, action is the real evidence of where a person’s true beliefs lie.

People Pleasing. 5.11.12

From Evernote:

People Pleasing. 5.11.12

An overeager personality craves an inordinate amount of feedback. Every task, no matter how small, demands a response…what the people-pleaser longs for is unending acceptance and affirmation. No person can feed that insatiable appetite. -concept from Ed Rowell, Go The Distance.

High-maintenance…needy; the nice people sin. It is amazing how misplaced our affections are and how many different ways our insecurity reveals itself. Nothing is more draining to an environment than an overeager, needy personality. Nothing is ever enough…the insatiability of this sin keeps the individual wandering from place to place, person to person…longing for that one person or environment that will fully recognize and affirm, only to realize at some point it doesn’t exist. Our need or desire for acceptance and affirmation will always out pace people’s ability to meet it… Action. My sons, in life people will always let you down for they are fellow sinners incapable of supporting the weight of being an idol. You must work to align your heart seeking to please God and not people. Be secure in who are, always in speech being gracious, authentic, and truthful with others. Don’t live to be liked, earn respect by being stable and secure, anchored in the principles of Gods Truth.

Work and a man’s character. 3.30.11 & 5.10.12

From Evernote:

Work and a man’s character. 3.30.11 & 5.10.12

"Work is one of the best educators of practical character. It evokes and disciplines obedience, self-control, attention, application, and perseverance; giving a man deftness and skill in his special calling, and aptitude and dexterity in dealing with the affairs of ordinary life." Character by Samuel Smiles

I love it…every aspect of life ordained perfectly by God. His purpose in the life of a man, is that our character would grow and be strengthened becoming more like that of Christ. It has been said that it is good for person to have things that must be done in life for it develops character traits that idleness can never develop. Things like persistence and fortitude are never a fruitful by product of the lazy. Work is a wonderful tool, designed by God for maturing and cultivating of character. Action. My son, the joy and satisfaction of a job well done is a rich blessing from God…it is found in knowing Gods purpose for work and honoring him through excellence in the task. Discover the joy and satisfaction of work and you’ll be a blessed man.

Meditation is bigger than we think. 6.17.11& 5.9.12

From Evernote:

Meditation is bigger than we think. 6.17.11& 5.9.12

"Lack of meditation is the primary reason that so many professing Christians, in spite of exposure to the most excellent teaching, still remain ignorant, unstable, and unfruitful; "ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." Instruction flows in upon them from all sides; but their hearts and minds are like sieves, out of which everything runs as fast as it is poured in. The impressions truth makes on their minds are as temporary as characters traced on the sands of the seashore, which the next wave erases forever. But mediation imprints truth deeply on the conscience, and engraves it on the tablets of ‘the inner man,’ as with a point of a diamond…It thus becomes incorporated into the soul; and forms, as it were, a part of it; and it is ever present, to regulate the heart’s affections and to control and guide all it’s movements." -Oliver Heywood, Heart Treasure

The most important thing a man must learn in life is that he is in daily need of contact with God and his Word. Knowing fully in his heart, man cannot survive on bread alone, but it is by every word of God that his soul is nourished. It is a pretty logical connection…if we don’t eat physically our body dies, same thing if we don’t nourish our soul through Gods Word our soul will die. The skill then becomes, how do we dwell on and apply that which we read daily…since it is so easily forgotten afterwards. It seems far better to read one verse that becomes implanted in the heart, then volumes of books providing knowledge that finds no home in the heart of a man. Action. My sons, above all else in life, develop the habit of spending quality time with God daily in his Word…for it will define your life. Find whatever way works best for you, but you must leave each encounter with God with something that can be applied, meditated and embedded in your heart, otherwise your time has been wasted. As day gives way to day…you will be slowly build a vast treasure chest of wisdom for life that is no longer useless head knowledge, but has become fully apart of who you are.

The Great Sin: Pride 5.8.12

From Evernote:

The Great Sin: Pride 5.8.12

"In fact, if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, ‘How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronize me, or show off?" -CS Lewis, Mere Christianity

Pride…the Great Sin. How do we even begin to evaluate it in ourselves, when it is so deeply rooted in our fallen nature? Pride is itself blinding…for we so quickly and easily spot in others, yet think some how we don’t give evidence of it ourselves. So how do we daily test it in our heart? Perhaps CS Lewis had it pegged…the more we have it in ourselves, the more we dislike it in others. How do we respond when not taken notice of? When others show off? Deeper yet…how about when a close peer gets praised, promoted, buys a nice house, a new car, etc. There really is no end to the pervasive nature of pride. We think we have it pegged in one area only for it to reveal its ugly head in another. Action. My sons, first steps in engaging in the lifelong battle with pride is knowing that we are in fact proud. Daily being aware of where, when and how it shows up…for whatever ignites our pride reveals our secret idols. Proactively in speech always encourage and take interest in others, speaking little of self while keeping watch over your use of the personal pronoun "I"…for our speech will be a great revealer of our current heart condition as well.

Dreamers and Realists. 6.28.11 & 5.7.12

From Evernote:

Dreamers and Realists. 6.28.11 & 5.7.12

A building would be impossible without the plans of an architect; it must be created mentally. The architect sees behind the plans, and sees the building in all it’s perfection and beauty. -Orison Marden

The successful completion of home requires both a great designer and a great builder. Without one or the other, one will never successfully complete the project. If it was only the builder, one would have a poorly thought out, ineffective home. If it was only the architect, the beauty of the home would only reside on paper, never being brought to fruition. This analogy speaks to a reality I feel I am seeing more and more in life and in business…The landscape being full of dreamers and realists. The down side when functioning solely as one or the other…we end up with, one that has great dreams, but is horrible on the execution…or the other which is great on the execution, but spends little time thinking through if there is a better way. Rare is the man who dreams big dreams and has the self-discipline to execute them as well. Action. My sons, strive to be the rare man that dreams big and executes well…always picturing the preferred future, while daily knowing the only way of getting there is through diligent execution.