Archives For Observations on Life

Observations on life.

If you…

July 15, 2016
  • If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep… You are richer than 75% of this world.
  • If you woke up this morning with more health than illness .. You are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
  • If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation… You are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
  • If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death… You are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
  • If you can read (and apparently you can)… you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.
  • If you have a little money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish some place… You are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

God give me one more thing… a grateful heart.

Sometimes the hardest part isn’t learning the new, it’s unlearning the old.

Unlearning

There’s something I’ve found successful learners have in common:

They learn from other people, without trying to imitate them.

They are voracious learners. – They are never the center of their universe. They are always interested in others. They are always curious, always surrounding themselves with people better than them. Always studying greatness, always learning from others.

But they don’t try to be others. – For example, they can study the writing style of a great writer. But they don’t try to write in that writer’s style. They disseminate the principles and apply them to their own writing style.

When it comes to learning from others, imitation is limitation. But application is power.

The Coward’s Way Out

July 12, 2016

Cynicism, sarcasm, and pessimism are the path of least resistance. They are the cowards way out. They represent mental and emotional laziness. They are easy.

Hope requires courage. Hope requires vulnerability. Realistic optimism requires discipline.

Swimming Upstream

July 11, 2016

Most things that don’t involve risk or vulnerability aren’t worth doing.


If there is no opposition, if there is no possibility of criticism or rejection… you are probably swimming with the tide and not breaking any new ground.

The easiest way to see errors is in hindsight, which does you no good at all.

The best way to avoid errors is to regularly decide (in a moment of quiet, not panic) what you do and why you do it. With intention, based on Biblical principles.

Fads, culture, people, and feelings all change. Principles do not.

Criticism-Avoidance

July 7, 2016

“The only way to avoid criticism is to say nothing, be nothing, do nothing.”

This is a famous motivational quote, often erroneously attributed to Aristotle.

And it’s total hogwash.

Because if you don’t say anything, there will be people who criticize you for not saying anything. If you don’t do anything, there will be people who rail on you for your lack of action.

There is NO way to avoid criticism. You will be criticized by someone no matter what you do.

“Criticism-avoidance” is a phrase I made up to describe the driving factor in most people’s lives. We hate being criticized. So we do everything we can to avoid it.

Stop letting other people decide who you are. Stop letting the pursuit of criticism-avoidance guide your life.

Be who God has called you to be. Say what God has called you to say. Do what God has called you to do.

When someone thinks poorly of their self, they assume everyone else does as well, and they interpret everything said and done to them through that lens.

The Lens of Low Self-Esteem

Stoop

July 5, 2016

[Picture of Benjamin Franklin]At age 18, a rather triumphant Benjamin Franklin returned to visit Boston, the city he’d run away from. Full of pride, he had a new suit, a watch and a pocketful of coins that he showed to everyone he ran into. Quite showy for a boy who was not much more than an employee in a print shop in Philadelphia.

In a meeting with Cotton Mather, one of the town’s most respected figures, Franklin quickly illustrated just how ridiculously inflated his young ego had become. As they walked down a hallway, Mather suddenly admonished him, “Stoop! Stoop!” Too caught up in his performance, Franklin walked right into a low ceiling beam.

Mather’s response was perfect: “Let this be a caution to you not always to hold your head so high,” he said wryly. “Stoop, young man, stoop — as you go through this world — ­and you’ll miss many hard thumps.”

True humility is not thinking more of yourself than you ought to, or less. It is seeing yourself accurately as you really are.

War will not determine when you die.

The Zika virus will not determine when you die.

hourglass

An airplane crash will not determine when you die.

Cancer will not determine when you die.

“No matter what is happening around you, as a Christian you will not die one second before God wants to take you home.” – Jim Cymbala

Your days are numbered.

“…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Psalm 139:16


You can take comfort and peace from that.

Fear not. Remind your heart today that God is in control.