Month: October 2017 (Page 1 of 3)

Power Underestimated

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” —Leo Buscaglia

Never Listen

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” –Ernest Hemingway

Don’t Make me Listen

I drank coffee w a young man in his early 20’s the other night, he was doing me a favor. It was depressing. He confessed not liking conversations with older people. Why?

Pause.

“…because i don’t like having to brace myself against the advice. Everyone thinks their way is right. And there are usually two, three or four ways, –but theirs is always the right one. It’s to the point where, when i pray, i hear the corrections and question whether i’m doing it ‘the right way’, when i sing i wonder if i’m ‘doing it right’.

 

His friends feel the same way. They feel that way about the church. He called it immature & drama queenish, but many of his friends are fed up and so they leave. And no wonder.

Is church a place to suffer diminutive scowls & corrections, or is church winsome, enticing, edifying? Do people crave church for an encouraging dose of love-drenched truth? Or do they ‘brace themselves against the advice.’

Get around an older guy and ask, “What do you think?” That’s the last word you’ll get to say for a long, long while. They’ll go monologuing.

Wouldn’t it be more relational, engaging and effective if, instead of answering, they responded, “Hmm, interesting question. What do you think?”

Practice

“Practice puts brains in your muscles.” –Sam Snead

Mark Twain

“In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.” –Mark Twain

Elon Musk and Secular Faith

“If you can believe, all things are possible for him who believes.” -Jesus

I’ve seen nothing to suggest that Elon Musk believes in God, but he exemplifies a type of strong-willed determined faith that transforms impossible into possible by denying impossibility. He determines that something can be done, refuses to accept that it cannot be done – and makes it happen.

Best Way Out

“The best way out is always through.”
–Robert Frost

Shameless Persistence

One day Jesus’s disciples asked him how to pray—which is hilarious when you think about it: here they are talking with God (aka Jesus) asking him, ‘How should we talk with you?’

Remarkably, Jesus gives them the lay of land:

Here’s how it works, fellas: be stubborn, mule-headed and unstoppable in pursuing what you want. Be SHAMELESSLY PERSISTENT.

Jesus tell this story about a guy whose has guests arrive at midnight; he has nothing for the guests to eat (good planning, Jethro), so he hounds his next door neighbor to mooch some grub.

The neighbor says, “No, go away, I’m in bed.”

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Persistence and Habit

“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”
― Octavia E. Butler, Bloodchild and Other Stories

Kill your idols.

“People are not who you want them to be. Kill your idols. Sure there are things we can learn from people–but people aren’t going to be what you think they are–what they should be.

“People, even those people you have put up on a pedestal, are going to be faulted, weak, egomaniacal, condescending. They are going to be lazy, entitled, shortsighted. They will not be perfect. Far from it.

“That’s fine. Learn from their weaknesses. Of course: learn from their strengths and mimic and copy them in what they do well. But equally as important: Learn from their faults.

“See what not to do.

“Because you can’t control other people. You can’t make them what you want them to be. You can’t make them who you want them to be.

“The only person you can control is you. So focus on making yourself who you want to be:

“Faster. Stronger. Smarter. More humble. Less ego.”

–from “Discipline Equals Freedom”, Jocko Willink

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