November 2010

3 lessons I wish I had learned earlier in life

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Some lessons I wish I had learned earlier in life. It’s been said that experience is the best teacher. Unfortunately that is not necessarily the case. Actually the best teacher is evaluated experience. Only those who seek to learn from bad experiences are destined not to repeat them. Evaluated experience leads to wisdom. And there is no better source of wisdom than perspective that comes from God inspired evaluation.

That is what this short prayer from Psalm 90 is all about. It is a prayer that I now pray frequently and have adopted as one of my life verses. It is noteworthy that Moses is the author of this Psalm. There is probably no one better qualified than him to pray so authoritatively for wisdom. After spending forty years exile in the wilderness evaluating his deadly misjudgments in Egypt he knew what it meant to number his days aright. And the heart of wisdom God imparted to him during that time positioned him at age eighty to begin a forty year run as one of the greatest leaders of all time.

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One parable we all misinterpreted

I say to you, although he will not get up and give them to him because he is his friend, because of his shamelessness, at any rate, he will rise and give him as many as he wants. (Luke 11:8)

Here is something to think about. What if the manner in which we have been interpreting this passage of Scripture is wrong? What if we have all missed the point Jesus was really making in this parable about a midnight request for bread from a neighbor? As a teacher of the Word of God, I am embarrassed to admit that I may have missed this one completely. And sadly, so may have every other teacher I have ever heard teach on this parable.

The key to the parable is the word shamelessness.

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The key to a thankful heart

We are a forgetful people. That is why the last thing Jesus did before His death was to institute communion. He invited us to practice it regularly so that as often as we would do it, we would remember Him and what He has done for us. To truly do something in remembrance means more than a mental ascent, it can move a person into the experiential dimension of the thing remembered. And here is the secret Jesus knew. Such remembrance inspires thanksgiving and thanksgiving to God has transforming power.

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3 ways to navigate through trying times

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

These well known verses are probably the best advice ever given for dealing with trials and difficulties. They contain three tried and true crisis management principles that have helped people through the ages navigate trying times.

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