Sunday, March 31, 2013

Finishing Proverbs!!! #31in31

As this month of Proverbs comes to a close, I can't express how awesome it was to get to share this with everyone.  God lead us all I believe!  So thanks to Him that we were able to all stick with reading these chapters each day and for what He put on our hearts throughout the book of Proverbs.  I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did.  Enjoy the last bit of Tidbits as we finish the last day today! 


22:9 "shares his food with the poor" - Stewardship is more than giving: it also involves a compassionate attitude that reaches out to people in need.
23:5 "makes wings for itself" - Accumulating earthly wealth is foolish.  At any moment it can be gone.
23:10 "encroach on the fields" - Not leaving grain in the fields for the poor after gathering the harvest was known as stealing.
24:12 "we didn't know" - God judges those who are aware of injustice but do not oppose it.
24:17-18 "gloat" - God detects an attitude of superiority.
24:27 "afterwards, build your house" - The first priority in an agricultural society was preparing the land and planting the see.  After that the people could build houses and establish families.
25:11 "word spoken" - This "word" can be an encouragement or a rebuke spoken in good timing and the right spirit.  Used correctly words make us appear wise.  Used incorrectly, they make us appear foolish.
26:14 "door turns in its hinge" - The point is not the way a slacker twists and turns, but the fact that a slacker never gets up.
27:17 "iron sharpens iron" - Good relationships are tools that God uses to develop our character.
28:11 "wise in his own eyes" - To be unteachable or proud
28:23 - Rebukes are welcomed by the wise.  But flattery is never effective with those who are wise and discerning.
29:7 "poor" - feeble or helpless, A righteous person demonstrates concern for others. 
29:16 "Without revelation" - When people do not hear God's truth, they live lawless lives.
30:6 "don't add" - Let God's word stand on its own authority and serve as its own interpreter.
31:3 "Don't spend your energy" Strength would be foolishly spend if all we did was chase women.
31:30 "praised" Beauty and charm are temporary, but a life lived for the Lord is worthy of praise.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

31 Days 31 Proverbs #4

The fourth posting from our 31 Days of 31 Proverbs.  Going to make this mostly just quick tidbits from each chapter since this post will include Chapters 11-21!!!

Chapter Tidbits:
11:4  "day of wrath" - it is righteousness, not wealth, that will save us when we face God's judgment at the end of our lives
11:7  "hope...vanishes" - Beyond this life wealth and power mean nothing.  To trade righteousness or wisdom for either is futile attempt at happiness.
11:16  This passage makes its point by comparing the value of respect to material wealth  Riches cannot buy good relationships, contentment, and respect from others.
12:11  "whoever chases fantasies" - Consistent, constructive work, not daydreaming or fantasying, yields the provisions we need for daily living.
12:16 "ignores" - Sometimes this word is translated as "covers".  The concept here is diplomacy and tact rather than avoidance.
13:8  What is the greater protection - to have the money to ransom yourself or to have so little property that no thief would try to steal from you?
14:22 "loyalty and faithfulness" - The New Testament equivalent would be grace and truth.
14:29 "quick-tempered" - Quick tempered people often act before thinking.  James encouraged his readers to be slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19)
14:31  God protects the poor.  Our actions toward the poor reflect our attitude toward God.
15:31  The way we use speech says a lot about what kind of people we are.  Whether we use gentle or harsh words, our conversation reflects our character.
15:4 "devious" - Our words have the power to influence people around us for good or evil.
15:8 "sacrifice" - God wants devoted hearts - not cold obedience.
15:32 "instruction" - God's discipline or moral correction is a part of His love for us!
16:9 "plans his way" - God's sovereignty should not keep us from planning and setting goals!  But we need God's wisdom to guide us as we make these plans.
18:8 "choice food" - An apt description of a "juicy" piece of gossip.  Just as a rich and delicious food is digested, gossip becomes a part of us and affects our attitudes.
18:11 "like a high wall" - Cities were surrounded with walls to provide protection, money is also viewed by many people as a form of security.  Jesus addressed this security issue with the rich young rulers. (Matt. 19:21-24)
21:13 "will himself also" - We reap what we sow.
21:14 "secret gift" - The purpose of this verse is not to condone bribery, but to emphasize a gift's ability to ease a tense situation.

We are coming down the home stretch of 31 days in the 31 books of Proverbs!!!  I will be writing the tidbits from 22-26 next Tuesday!!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Good To Great

Just got done reading my 4th book of the year.  In my last book review post I said it was my 5th book of the year, which was a lie, it was my fourth, so ... I am just going to call this one my 4th!  But who's counting?  (well, I guess I sorta am since I made it one my goals this year to read X amount books)

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Overall, great book, had some great takeaways.  This is a book that has been around awhile, and without looking at any specific data at all, I would say has been one of the top 10 business books to read in the last 10 years?   One of the best takeaways from the book for me was when Jim talks about a stable of horses, referring to every worker in the work place.  You have a show horse and you have a plow horse.  What kind of horses do you want working for you and what kind of horse do you want to be?  Which in the end he gets to the point that it is best to be/have a plow horse that eventually wins best in show. 

I feel like at the position I am in right now in life and work, this book may not have been suited for me.  But it is a book that I will take away some "leader" insights to hopefully use in the future if that type of position arises.

Tidbit Takeaways:
- To be a level 5 leader you must have Humility and Will, never letting your ego get in the way of your ambition.  He states that the biggest obstacle that we have is balancing humility and ambition - "putting aside egotistical needs for the betterment of building something greater than oneself."
-  Level 5 Leaders (being the best) always give credit to someone else, or credit luck but never credit themselves.  As Jim states it, the Window and Mirror metaphor - a level 5 leader always looks out the window to give someone else praise and in a mirror when something goes bad = looking at themselves.  Compared to other leaders who do the opposite.  Window for the bad and mirror for the good happenings.
-  Great concepts on building Discipline - build a culture around freedom and responsibility within a framework, fill that culture with self disciplined people, don't confuse the culture by being a "tyrannical disciplinarian"
-  "The real question is not, "Why Greatness?" but "What work makes you feel compelled to try to create greatness?" If you have to ask the question, "Why should we try to make it great? Isn’t success enough?" then you’re probably engaged in the wrong line of work."

Monday, March 11, 2013

31 Days 31 Proverbs #3

31 Days 31 Proverbs - Chapters 7-11 review

With the tidbits being a bit long for these chapters below, I will keep this first paragraph short.  But I hope all of you are still enjoying these 31 days through these 31 books of Proverbs.  As you can tell with these last five chapters we are still truly learning what "real wisdom" is!  Which for myself can be hard to grasp and come to the realization of while reading these verses.  So if you are having any questions while you read please send them my way! (  Also, keep in mind as we read Chapters 10 - 22, they are collections of individual proverbs that will not have a common theme.
Proverbs Chapter Tidbits 7 - 11:
7:3 "Tie them" - Moses' last charge to the Israelites was to bind god's Law to their foreheads and hands.  Solomon echoes Moses' command here.
8:14 - Wisdom is highlighted here as a source of strength.  This chapter draws a stark contrast between the wise person and the helpless victim caught in the web of sin.
8:36 "harms himself" - The Bible equates sin, choosing our own way over God's, with self-destruction.
9:8 "he will love you" - Even a rebuke is a pleasant thing because a wise person will learn from it.
9:11 "years will be added" - Generally speaking, wisdom adds to the quality and longevity of life.
9:12 - The rewards of wisdom work on the same principle that Paul described in Galatians 6:7.  What a person sows will yeld consequences.
10:4 "poor" - In Proverbs poverty is associated with laziness or a lack of discipline.
10:5 "harvest" - Solomon often uses the image of harvest to illustrate a person who understands the discipline of taking care of himself.
10:25 - Jesus may have had this proverb in mind when He told the parable of the wise man who built his house on a rock and thus withstood a fierce storm, while the foolish man built on the unstable sand.
11:4 "day of wrath" - It is righteousness, not wealth, that will save us when we face God's judgment at the end of our lives.
11:7 "hope...vanishes" - Beyond this life wealth and power mean nothing.  to trade righteousness or wisdom for either is futile attempt at happiness.
11:16 - Riches cannot buy good relationships, contentment, and respect from others.

Quitter - Jon Acuff

Quitter - By Jon Acuff
5th Book Review of the year!

I wanted to read this book basically for three reasons, and after I say these three reasons you may want to read it as well.  1) I love Jon Acuff's personality  2) He created a movie trailer for his book which enticed me (the link to it is below), and 3) I think we all ask this question at some point, "Am I really going to work for the job that I want to be and am suppose to be doing right now?"

What you want to get out of this book is all based off of the expectation that you have before you read it.  If you get this book thinking that Jon is going to tell you that it is time to quit your job and start doing what you love, then you are wrong, and I believe that to be a major positive about the book.  He is more realistic than I thought he would be.  I would say 90% of the book isn't the funny Jon Acuff, it is the "I'm being real with you" Jon Acuff, and I respect that.

As Jon says in the Trailer for the book - "Its time to close the gap between a day job and dream job, its time to be a Quitter"  If that sounds appealing to you right now in life, then pick up this read! - Quitter Book by Jon Acuff (Official Trailer)

Just a few of my favorites from the book:
-"Figuring it all out as you go is not a plan.  Escaping imperfect circumstances is not a purpose.  Quitting your job becasue it feels right is not progress.  It's precisely the opposite."
-"The operative word in the phrase "enough time" is not time.  Its "enough", and the truth you should accept is that you will probably never have "enough" time to pursue your dream.   But every day somebody somewhere is making magic with the less-than-enough time he has.  So can you, if you stop focusing on the amount of time you have and start focusing on the amount of tasks that really matter. 
- "Competition is a great motivator but horrible measurment...Pitting your dream against someone else's is a fantastic way to get discouraged and depressed.  Nothing good comes from measuring your dream against your competition"
-  There are several great comparisons throughout the book; David and Goliath vs. The Cinderella Story, and a man working overtime for more money vs. that time with his family  (but you have to read the book to really dive into these)

I will end with one thing that was added into this book that I will be using forever.  "Future Me"  Please click on the link and check it out.  It allows you to write an email to yourself for the future.  For example, writing an email to yourself of where you want to be in a week, year, 5 years, you can do it.  You will get the email sent to you at the time you choose to see where you really are in life.  If things have changed, if you have changed, what has gone wrong, what has gone right.  I can't wait to use this and so should you.  I will call this site "Goal Setting Amazingness".

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

31 Days 31 Proverbs "#2"

31 Days 31 Proverbs
Quick Review of Proverbs - Chapters 2 - 6

Throughout the these chapters we continually see the word "wisdom" and as I keep saying to myself as I read "Proverbs is all about dishing out some awesome wisdom".  One of the most well known verses out of these chapters is in Chapter three, verse five, which says - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart , and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight."  I feel like everyone can read that and focus on something a little different or a certain part of it has a different effect on everyone.  For me it is the word "path".  Reading this the last several days really gave me time to  truly think about my own path that I am walking down in life; what does that look like, where is it taking me, and who is my guide. In the next five chapters, try to focus on one main point and really ask yourself specific questions to challenge yourself.

Below I have listed my tidbits to consider for the past five chapters and I look forward to writing again when we hit chapter 11!

Chapter 2 Tidbits:
2:4 "seek...treasure" - to find wisdom a person must be willing to search and dig
2:12 "perverse" - throughout proverbs this word will describe a person who chooses wickedness over wisdom or there self over God
Chapter 3 Tidbits:
3:5 "with all your heart" - The Bible uses the phrase to express total commitment.
3:6 "guide...paths" - This implies more than guidance it means God removes obstacles from your path.
Chapter 4 Tidbits:
4:3 "son with my father" - Solomon's father was King David.
4:10 "live many years" - The Bible often equates obedience with long life, but a long life is measured by quality of life as well as number of years.
4:18-19 - Throughout the Bible righteousness and wickedness are compared to light and darkness.  God's presence and guidance are described in terms of light.  Jesus called Himself "the light of the World"
Chapter 5 Tidbits:
5:7-14 - Sexual infidelity carries a price.  It costs a person dearly, including self-respect.
Chapter 6 Tidbits:

6:6 "slacker" - A slacker was a lazy and shiftless person who chose a lifestyle of irresponsibility over actively doing the right things.
6:17 "arrogant eyes" - A proud look.  God does not reward pride or arrogance. Pride leads to destruction.

Friday, March 1, 2013

31 Days 31 Proverbs - Day 1

This morning I tweeted out to about 30 people that this was the month of 31 in 31.  Reading all 31 Chapters of the Book of Proverbs in the 31 days of March!  (= reading one chapter a day)

Morgann (my wife) and I had talked about doing this back in January, and today is the day it begins!  I am eagerly pumped for anyone/everyone who wants to join in on this.  With that said, every 5 chapters I will post some tidbits from the last 5 chapters on this blog!  Today just a "little" background on Proverbs itself to get started a tiny bit on Chapter 1.  (next blog will be tidbits on Chapters 2 - 6, etc, every 5 chapters till we reach day 31 - Easter Sunday)

Author - Solomon mostly (a couple other scribes in later chapters, I will point out when we get there)
Theme - To impart moral wisdom and uncommon sense for right living 
Little Background Info - The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and offered him the desire of his heart, which he chose wisdom.  The book of Proverbs collects this God-given wisdom in poetic figures of speech.  Proverbs will focus on our practical lives, and will be very visual in doing so.  You will also notice that since the book was written for instruction, the proverbs will be given in the form of commands.

Chapter 1: (a couple tidbits)
  • 1:7  "fear the Lord"  Fearing the Lord involves the acknowledgement of  God's power and sovereignty
  • 1:18  "attack...own lives" referring to living apart from God, setting up a trap to catch yourself
  • 1:26  "laugh...mock"  Wisdom derives joy from the works of God
  • 1:32  "kill...destroy"  Living outside of God's wisdom brings destruction - (a message that is repeated throughout the New Testament, Romans 6:23 - The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord)
  • 1:33 "live securely"  Obedience may seem rough, hard, a burden, BUT, consider the difference between honesty and deception - living openly before others as opposed to having to keep track of lies and half-truths.
This month is going to be an AWESOME MONTH OF PROVERBS, and I am so pumped for the Journey!  Please email me anytime with questions, or comments -