Archive for the ‘insights’ Category

Gifts by Seth Godin

What is a gift?

something received?

something free?

a present?

more stuff to add to our life?

We all love getting stuff, but when is it truly a gift?

How do we know when we have received a gift?

I love this blog by Seth Godin entitled Gifts, Misunderstood.  Enjoy!

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One year can make all the difference in our lives.  Sometimes we just have to make it through that one year, that difficult year.  Then look back and be amazed at what happens.

During this last year, I have

. . . survived some tough situations

. . . lost some friendships/relationships

. . . continued to be active in children’s ministry

. . . read the Bible in 90 days

. . . started a master’s degree in Christian education online (The online part is significant.)

. . . joined a new church staff

. . . worked with a friend on a book he is writing – great stuff!

. . . a great mentor for my graduate program

. . . made a lot of new friends

. . . preached at a church for Pastor Appreciation Sunday to a congregation who really knows how to love their pastor and worship pastor

. . . renewed friendships from high school and college through facebook

. . . added twitter too

. . . started writing this blog which has proven very useful in my graduate program

. . . marked a significant birthday this year

. . . a son who is graduating with a master’s degree from the Brandcenter of Virginia Commonwealth University

. . . learned about invitation and gift

. . . learned a lot from my sons, Adam and Jason

. . . celebrated everything that I can and a few things that I didn’t want to

Who knew life could be so good?

A year can make all the difference.

It’s important to look back and remember,

but it’s also important to look into what the future could possibly be.

Sometimes we get a future that is even better than we imagined.

God may seem silent.

He doesn’t always work loudly.

sometimes he works quietly . . .

listen to Him

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The figurative definition of a pedestal is a position in which one is greatly or UNCRITICALLY admired.  If you put me on a pedestal, I’ll eventually disappoint you is even found in the thesaurus under pedestal.
Pedestals are columns to display busts of dead people on.
This is what belongs on a pedestal.
Dead people who can’t mess up anymore.

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Michael Hyatt, president of Thomas Nelson Publishers, writes about the best question to ask when something negative happens.

The Question

What does this experience make possible?

Read his entire blog here.

During this past year, I have gone through a “bad thing” and began to list all the things that this “bad thing” made possible.  It was amazing.  Opportunities and choices that I wouldn’t have been able to make if the “bad thing” had not occurred, now become possible.  It’s not easy when the “bad things” happen, but the question does help and produces new perspective.

Possible things for me have included

…new opportunities for creativity such as this blog,

…organizing files (paper and computer),

…new stuff like Twitter and Facebook,

…purchasing a Mac computer and learning to use it (still learning),

…speaking opportunities,

…assisting a pastor friend with a book writing project,

…reading the Bible in 90 days (still working on that one – on day #54),

…finding new recipes to prepare (yummy!),

…spending fall break with my sons in Virginia

…the list goes on,

and I’m sure that there is more to come.

Thought for the Day – It’s not easy to be thankful for the “bad thing”, but the “bad thing” can move into some “good things”.  Unfortunately, this takes time and perhaps new perspective.  In the meantime, just keep choosing good stuff, new stuff, fun stuff, crazy stuff, never thought of that before stuff…

and looking (sometimes waiting) for new open doors.

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eye rolling

no one wants an irrational conversation

conversation killers happen

mac vs pc commercials

kanye westlike interruptions

American Idol auditions

What can the judges say?

America’s Got Talent auditions

Judges are amazed at what has been offered as “talent”.

academics, doctors, experts who use verbiage to stress their importance



people who have all the answers about everything

people who have God all figured out

The Dunning-Kruger effect does shed some light on this phenomenon.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Dunning-Kruger effect)
The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which “people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it”.  The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating heir own ability as above average, much higher than actuality; by contrast the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.  This leads to a perverse result where less competent people will rate their own ability higher than relatively more competent people.  It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding.

They hypothesized that with a typical skill which humans may possess in greater or lesser degree,

  1. Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.
  2. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.
  3. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.
  4. If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.

For more information, check out the Dunning-Kruger effect.

As you watch the Dunning-Kruger effect in action, it produces the following side effects in you:

widening of the eyes

rolling eyes with a cynical smile

checking for obstruction in the ears

hysterical laughter suppressed behind a cough

choking sensation

utter disbelief of ineptness

shut down

shaking of the head

hasty retreat or exit if possible

conversation over

long-term end result – dead relationship

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One of the most difficult things to do

To Tell the Truth


Phil for Humanity says

  • Fear of harm
  • Fear of conflict
  • Fear of punishment
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of loss
  • Altruistic Reasons

Despite all the technical reasons why people lie, it all boils down to this:

The fundamental reason why people lie is because it mostly works.

And because lying has become more understood in today’s society, lying has become more acceptable. It has sometimes even become an admirable and useful social skill.

That is the Truth about Lies.

by Phil B.  http://www.philforhumanity.com/6_Reasons_Why_We_Lie.html
By Rita Kai – The 13 main reasons why people lie:
1. To avoid punishment/consequences.
2. To avoid a confrontation and general unpleasantness of the situation.
3. To be liked.
4. To be sociable.
5. To get their way.
6. To protect privacy.
7. To pump their image up (personal or professional).
8. To avoid an extra effort.
9. As a passive-aggressive “punishment” or protest.
10. To damage other people’s reputation, to harm someone.
11. It’s a part of their job.
12. To cover up insecurity.
13. As a joke or a prank.
Sometimes it’s not just one reason, but a number of them.



Bottom Line:  Everyone has lied.  Why?  What good comes from lying?   How many lives are forever changed because someone lied?  It’s time to tell the truth.

We could say everyone lies….so……”it is what it is,”  but what’s the fun in that.  Watch for “or is it.”

The clip was just for fun.

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Rich and Poor

Yesterday Pastor Craig Parker shared a question and one main point with the Christ followers of his church.  Scripture reading:  Mark 10:13-25

Question – Is it harder to change the lives of poor people who have nothing or to change the lives of rich people who have everything?

Main Point – The way God changes the lives of rich people is to use us to change the lives of poor people.

Something to ponder this week, because as US citizens, we are rich, all of us.  Is God changing you?  Are you making a difference in the life of those who have nothing?  Are you being challenged and changed?

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Don’t Fight Them!

I saw this clip of Perry Noble from another blog, Monday Morning Insights.  You can read that blog here.

Good advice – Don’t fight battles with people who claim to be Christians and don’t like us.  Perry Noble has shared this in light of his ministry, and this is also good advice for the personal lives of every believer.

Keep your focus.  Preach the gospel.  We have been called to share Jesus with our world.  We have a higher calling than fighting with other Christians.  This is sometimes called taking the high road.  The view is great from the high road.

Preach the gospel at all times —  if necessary, use words.

Saint Francis of Assisi

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…get through the kings of Israel and all the horrible things they did (a few good kings).

…then proceed to Chronicles and review the same kings and all the horrible things they did (a few good kings).

…thousands upon thousands of animal sacrifices, can’t begin to imagine all the blood spilled out.

…God was merciful in the Old Testament over and over and over and over….

…Israelites were told to seek God, and God would be with them.  Unfortunately they made other choices – chose idols.  Not so different today.

… you see God’s great patience with human beings.

…you also see man’s great wickedness.

…with God we can have no fear.

…used children’s curriculum that included Iddo the Seer – didn’t know he was a character in the Old Testament.

…family was important in the Old Testament.  Everyone is included, accounted for, and named in God’s kingdom.  all those unfamiliar names represent God’s love and care for people.

…in Nehemiah “the people had a heart for the work” in rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem.

What work do you have a heart for today?

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” The job of the newspaper is… to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
– Finley Peter Dunne

This quote is displayed on a wall at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  When I saw it, I automatically thought the newspaper doesn’t do that the Bible does.

Oddly enough this is a quote that has been taken out of context.  The writer’s intent was to show that newspapers should not wield this kind of influence or power, but many journalists adopted this as their mission statement.

Isn’t this what Jesus was all about?  He comforted the afflicted, and yet He also afflicted the comfortable.  So what does that mean for me?

I am afflicted.  So comfort me.

I need to afflict them.  They are too comfortable.

Probably not.

As a student of Jesus, what does that mean for me?

Who is afflicted that I am comforting?

Who is uncomfortable with me because of Christ living in me?

Are people uncomfortable

because they don’t understand my actions and reactions

to people and to circumstances of life?

Jesus comforts the afflicted.

Jesus afflicts the comfortable.

Is Jesus transforming you?

comforting or afflicting?


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