Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Grandfather's Son Part 1

I just started reading Clarence Thomas' book, My Grandfather's Son. I have enjoyed the first three chapters and wanted to leave you with a few quotes:

... we missed school only once in all the years I lived on East Thirty-second Street. That was not Daddy's fault: he warned us that if we died, he'd take our bodies to school for three days to make sure we weren't faking, and we figured he meant it. He also told us that our teachers, like Aunt Tina, were always right. Even when they weren't, it did no good to complain to him. Doing so was sure to get us in worse trouble. p. 15

Long after the fact, it occurred to me that this was a metaphor for life-blisters come before calluses, vulnerability before maturity-... p. 25

... the only hope I had of changing the world was to change myself first. p. 60

How could a black man be truly free if he felt obliged to act in a certain way-and how was that any different from being forced to live under segregation? How could blacks hope to solve their problems if they weren't willing to tell the truth about what they thought, no matter how unpopular it might be? p. 63

Please remember he calls his grandfather, Daddy.

To order this book click here!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Please Grow Up!

In the Volume 11 Number 3 Christian School Education magizine, Linda Montgomery Buell has written a wonderful article titled Please Grow Up! Even though it is primaryly about teachers, I believe everyone will be challenged and encouraged by the quotes below:

Let's be honest. The challenges of teaching are so great that scores of new teachers abandon the profession within the first few years. p. 6

God's intention for us is that our work be a blessing to ourselves and to others. To pursue work that is outside your gift mix and your calling is to take a path that leads to despair, for the work will never feel natural or fulfilling. p. 6

Acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works.... As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul-not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that He has for us....
...And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being Christian doesn't cover up bad work. (Colossians 1:10-12; 3:22-25, The Message) p. 7

When God calls one of His own into the work of a particular profession, His purpose in part is to use the challenges and opportunities of that profession as avenues to spiritual maturity. How we go about our work is a spiritual issue. p. 7

... our daily provision is the Holy Spirit Himself. p. 7

Being called-which is to say, gifted-doesn't make professional growth a slam dunk; it makes it possible. p. 7

We are Spirit driven to do the best we can, and because we are on a journey of spiritual transformation, almost daily we encounter challenges-the slings and arrows of our profession, if you will-that threaten to sidetrach us. p. 7

When we forget who our real Master is, there is a price to pay-physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. p. 8

What do you think God expects from you? Just this: Live in His oresence in holy reverence, follow the road He sets out for you, love Him, serve God, your God, with everything you have in you (Deuteronomy 10:12, The Message). p. 9

... growing up is a holy thing to do. p. 9

The Christian School Education magizine is an ACSI publication.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Change Your Heart Change Your Life Part 2

More from Dr Smalley's book, Change Your Heart Change Your Life.

The janitor has the same worth as the CEO. The busboy has the same worth as the restaurant owner. The checker at Wal-Mart has the same worth as the president of Wal-Mart. And that value resides in the fact that we are created and beloved by he sumpreme Master and Controller of the universe. p. 19

Every time we show love to another person, we show love to God Himself. He loves all of us so much and identifies with our needs so much that He makes no distinction between loving our fellow humans and loving Him. p. 120

C.S. Lewis understood the high value of loving others and the value God places on them. He reminded us of the potential for eternal glory in heaven that each person bears when he wrote:

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked with a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations-these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit-immortal horrors or everlasting splendors... Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. p.120

Most humans have enough love for at least one unlovable person whose life is filled with terrible deeds, attitudes, thoughts, and flaws that would make an angel blush. Who is that person? It's the one whose face you adore every morning in the mirror. p. 121

Let me tell you how I have learned to love my enemies. I force myself to think not of what my enemy has done to me but rather to think of what he is created to be. He is created with what Lewis called a tremendous "weight of glory" as a being made in the image of God and capable of becoming like Him. p. 125

When the relationship between parent and child is right, this transfer of beliefs and values happens naturally, by the process of osmosis, with love as the catalyst. p. 193

Love [crave after, to know deeply] the LORD [your King] your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6: 5-7) p. 193

Yet there are many ways for you to find time to memorize and chew on scriptures, even in your crazy schedule. Here are just a few:

  1. Havig a quiet time.
  2. Attending your Bible-believing church regularly.
  3. Listening to Christian radio or watching Christian TV.
  4. Learning and singing Christian songs.
  5. Placing reminders printed on cards or pictures on the wall of your residence.
  6. Excercising, hiking, and visiting your favorite place to meditate. pp. 216-217

This is a great book, especially for men.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Change Your Heart Change Your Life Part 1

The current book I am reading, Change Your Heart Change Your Life, by Gary Smalley is filled with wisdom. I have just a few quotes below to wet your appetite.

One of the most powerful truths to come out of my discovery is that no one can make you unhappy. p. 6

Nothing and no one can take away your happiness or joy unless you hand it that job over to others or to your circumstances. To find enduring joy and peace, you must learn to recognize and accept the reality that your Designer created the best beliefs for you to store in your own heart, and those beliefs determine your level of happiness. I can see now why King Solomon warned all of us, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Proverbs 4:23). p. 6

When anyone corrects my driving, I know that God wants me to learn how to be in deeper submission to Him. p. 20

Dr. William Backus says that "you feel the way you think; you think the way you believe. Beliefs are the primary source of your attitudes, reactions, feelings, and behavior. Isn't that just about everything you are?" p. 21

Our reactions are not caused by what happens to us; they are caused by our beliefs. p. 24

What you think about all day long, over long periods, eventually seeps into your heart as a belief. p. 7

God has already answered the question about what beliefs to store within our hearts. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." This belief will accomplish more in your life than any other belief I know. p. 7

Your consistent thoughts become your beliefs, and your beliefs control everything about you. p. 28

. . . chewing on powerful, selected Bible verses day after day throws out your old destructive beliefs and leaves you more empowered to manage your own life and be happier and more satisfied than you ever imagined. p. 31

. . . die daily. p. 37

That's what it means to surrender. In other words, you die to life as you want it or as the world advises you to live, and live only by what God says in His Word. p. 37

The point is, by meditating, ruminating, chewing, and eating your verses on a regular basis, you are making them a part of you. You are making God's way of doing things the real beliefs of your heart from which all your thoughts and actions will spring. p. 62

When you have God at the center of your life, whatever else you gain in material goods is simply overflow. p. 74

CS Lewis points out this famous passage: I think that many of us, when Christ has enabled us to overcome one or two sins that were an obvious nuisance, are inclined to feel (though we do not put it into words) that we are now good enough. He has done all we wanted Him to do, and we should be obliged if He would leave us alone. But the question is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what He intended us to be when He made us . . . Image yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on. You knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage, but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself. pp. 114-115

I am almost half through the book. I may share more later.

To order a copy click here!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cure for the Common Life Part 2

More from Max Lucado's book, Cure for the Common Life.

Each time we do our best to thank God for giving His, we worship. p. 75

Our gifts make an eternal difference only in concert with the church. p. 80

We are His workmanship (Eph. 2:10). "Workmanship" descends from he Greek word poeo or "poetry." We are God's poetry. p. 80

You are not God's poetry. I'm not God's poetry. I'm not God's poetry. We are God's poetry. Poetry demands variety. God works through different men in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves His purposes through them all. pp. 80-81

God's body has no nobodies. No exceptions. No exclusions. p. 81

He grants gifts so we can "prepare God's holy people." Paul reached into a medical dictionary for this term. Doctors used it to describe the setting of a broken bone. Broken people come to churches. p. 81

When you're full of yourself, God can't fill you. p. 88

But when you empty yourself, God has a useful vessel. p. 88

With God, our work matters as much as our worship. Indeed, work can be worship. p. 98

Jesus said no to good things so He could say yes to the right thing. p. 107

Christ repeatedly escaped the noise of the crowd in order to hear the voice of God. p. 108

Hurry is not of the Devil; it is the Devil. p. 109

Don't discount the smallest of your deeds. p. 115

Moses had a staff.
David had a sling.
Samson had a jawbone.
Rahab had a string.
Mary had some ointment.
Aaron had a rod.
Dorcas had a needle.
All were used by God.
What do you have? p. 116

Love the overlooked. Jesus sits in your classroom, wearing the thick glasses, outdated clothing, and a sad face. You've seen him. He's Jesus. Jesus works in your office. Pregnant again, she shows up to work late and tired. No one knows the father. According to water-cooler rumors, even she doesn't know the father. You've seen her. She's Jesus. When you talk to the lonely student, befriend the weary mom, you love Jesus. He dresses in the grab of the overlooked and ignored . "Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was Me-you did it to Me" (Matt. 25:40). p. 133

Friday, February 1, 2008

Quiet Strength Part 2

More from Tony Dungy's Quiet Strength.

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. Booker T. Washington p. xiii

It's the journey that matters. Learning is more important than the test p. xiv

Things will go wrong at times. You can't always control circumstances. However, you can always control your attitude, approach, and response. p. 16

Excellence that feels it has to be proclaimed, by the mere fact of its proclamation admits the doubt of its existence. Cleo Mae Dungy p. 151

Being stubborn is a virtue when you're right; it's only a character flaw when you're wrong. p. 288

He didn't call me to be successful in the world's eyes; He called me to be faithful! p. 289

My purpose in life is simply to glorify God. We have to be careful that we don't let the pursuit of our life's goals, no matter how important they seem, cause us to lose sight of our purpose. p. 301

Visit Tony Dungy site!

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