Monday, November 15, 2010

It Doesn't Happen Overnight

The following excerpt is from an entry on Dan Miller's 48 Days website. The title of the full entry is What On Earth Have You Done?
However, an authentic spirituality will celebrate our capacity to learn, grow and develop – using the seeds of talent given to each of us by God and then developing them into something useful and inspiring. No baby is born a great writer, artist, scientist, mommy or apostle of peace. Studying, practicing and polishing our creative gift is not a selfish bid for attention and fame. If you don’t do that you grieve our Creator and deprive the world of the gift you were intended to deliver.
Are we putting too much pressure on ourselves to change? Have we considered the idea that the process might be a little easier if we gave ourselves time to change?

"For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth:" (Ecclesiates 3:1 .NET)

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Have a Good Idea? Expect Opposition" by Dan Miller

I read this on today. It's another example of why we should not give up our dreams of change during our time of change.
Have a Good Idea? Expect Opposition
by Dan Miller

One of the great thinkers of the world was Plato. In describing his primary philosophy he compared people to prisoners chained in a cave. There is only a small fire illuminating our environment. The only reality we know is that tiny space in our cave. But every now and then some cave dweller breaks free from the chains, steps out of the cave and is immediately blinded by the light.

He can only see a blurry version of the Truth because his eyes cannot adjust to what all he sees. Eventually though, he will see a new reality that his old comrades cannot. So the enlightened individual returns to the cave and tries to tell the others what they are missing. Now here's where it gets interesting. Will he be welcomed with open arms? Will his old comrades thank him for sharing his new insights and opportunities? Not according to Plato. He suggests that the prophet will be killed by his former colleagues -- which history appears to confirm.

So 2300 years later -- are you surprised when your former co-workers think you're stupid for suggesting you can survive without a "real job" with "real benefits?" Or for believing that you can take your idea for making a better yo-yo and turn it into real income? Or for building a straw house (like my son Kevin is doing in ). Don't you remember the three little pigs? Well, sometimes old fairy tales just aren't true.

Don't expect your great idea to be embraced by all the old cave dwellers. There will always be whiners, naysayers, and small thinkers. If you're on a different path you can expect criticism, ridicule and laughter as they huddle around their little but familiar fire. Just don't let them kill you -- or your idea. Keep looking for more light.

Originally posted March 2008.

"If one of you is planning to build a tower, you sit down first and figure out what it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job." - (Luke 14:28 GNB)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Don't Berate But Give Yourself Grace

So, I came across a devotional yesterday that inspired this entry. When we fail or do wrong, we tend to put ourselves down. It's as if continual berating of ourselves will give us the desire or motivation to do things better in the future. However, stop and think about that for a moment. Has this course of action helped you yet? Are you more motivated to do something when someone is berating you or when someone encourages you? There is a saying that goes, "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." (Just a side note: I always thought it was bees until I looked it up. Smile.) Just as we would like for others to have grace upon us when we mess up, let's also have grace upon ourselves when we do the same. That grace will take us further in life--and closer to our goal which has created this time of change--than criticizing and berating will do.

Here is the aforementioned devotional, and it is from Charles Spurgeon's book Morning and Evening.
November 6th

I will pour water upon him that is thirsty.”
- Isaiah 44:3, KJV

When a believer has fallen into a low, sad state of feeling, he often tries to lift himself out of it by chastening himself with dark and doleful fears. Such is not the way to rise from the dust, but to continue in it. As well chain the eagle’s wing to make it mount, as doubt in order to increase our grace. It is not the law, but the gospel which saves the seeking soul at first; and it is not a legal bondage, but gospel liberty which can restore the fainting believer afterwards.

Slavish fear brings not back the backslider to God, but the sweet wooings of love allure him to Jesus’ bosom. Are you this morning thirsting for the living God, and unhappy because you cannot find him to the delight of your heart? Have you lost the joy of religion, and is this your prayer, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation”? Are you conscious also that you are barren, like the dry ground; that you are not bringing forth the fruit unto God which he has a right to expect of you; that you are not so useful in the Church, or in the world, as your heart desires to be? Then here is exactly the promise which you need, “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty.” You shall receive the grace you so much require, and you shall have it to the utmost reach of your needs.

Water refreshes the thirsty: you shall be refreshed; your desires shall be gratified. Water quickens sleeping vegetable life: your life shall be quickened by fresh grace. Water swells the buds and makes the fruits ripen; you shall have fructifying grace: you shall be made fruitful in the ways of God. Whatever good quality there is in divine grace, you shall enjoy it to the full. All the riches of divine grace you shall receive in plenty; you shall be as it were drenched with it: and as sometimes the meadows become flooded by the bursting rivers, and the fields are turned into pools, so shall you be-the thirsty land shall be springs of water.

"For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:"
(Isaiah 44:3, KVJ)