“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
These familiar words, often seen on plaques, were written by the American theologian, Richard Niebuhr, and is commonly known as “The Serenity Prayer.” They speak to challenges we all face in life. But the ability to properly deal with our ever changing and often unexpected circumstances hinges on wisdom. Continue reading →
The late R. J. Stevens and his son, Tim, have done more for lifting and improving the praise worship of God’s people than any two men I’ve ever known.
But their work has gone beyond teaching the fundamentals of music, how to beat time, or pitch a song. They have reminded us of the why and the Who behind our praise.
Tim once observed that praise is not just an outward act. Praise stems from who we are. The inner person. The heart. Like the ancient poet, we should exclaim, “Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart! (PS 11:1). Continue reading →
“Eyes that look are common. Eyes that see are rare,” wrote J. Oswald Sanders in is classic book Spiritual Leadership.
Sanders further illustrated his point with this Bible example. “The Pharisees looked at Peter and saw only a poor, unlettered fisherman, totally insignificant, not worthy of a second look. Jesus saw Peter and discovered the prophet and preacher, saint and leader of the unique band of men who turned the world upside down.” Continue reading →
Jim Valvano was one of the most colorful college basketball coaches in the 1980’s when he coached the North Carolina State Wolfpack. He may be most remembered for his ecstatic celebration after winning the national champion with their improbable victory against the heavy favored Houston Cougars.
While suffering from terminal spinal cancer at the age or 47, Valvano was interviewed by Sports Illustrated reporter, Gary Smith. He looked back on his life and told a story about himself as a 23-year-old coach of a small college team.
There is a Chinese legend about a group of elderly, cultured gentlemen who met often to exchange wisdom and drink tea. Each host tried to find the finest and most costly varieties, to create exotic blends that would arouse the admiration of his guests.
One day when the most venerable and respected of the group entertained, he served his tea with unprecedented ceremony, measuring the leaves from a golden box. The assembled epicures praised this exquisite tea. Continue reading →
In his book “Seeing Life: Finding God,” James L. Merrell, tells the story of a small, rural Tennessee church, from the 19th century that got into a fierce squabble which resulted in division.
The 100 member church was split right down the middle. There was no resolution. Neither side had the resources to build or buy its own building so they agreed to use the same building but meet at different times. However, they had a separate treasury to pay their own bills. They even had separate piles of coal to fuel the pot belly furnace to heat the building in the winter. Continue reading →
In his book, The Winner’s Edge. Denis Waitley tells about the 1972 Australian swimmer, Shane Gould who early in her career came to the United States for a meet.
When asked by a reporter how she thought she would do, the 14-year-old replied. “I have a feeling there will be a world record today.” She went on to set two world records in the one-hundred and two-hundred meter freestyle events. Continue reading →
Gary’s thesis was following the example of Jesus is more challenging than we usually think of it. Too often we “cherry pick” the scriptures that we like. Isolate the aspects of Jesus that appeal to us. And thus to fail to really see the total picture who Jesus is. And how He serves as our example. Continue reading →