Can you be wise and yet foolish?

Let’s take a closer look at King Solomon.

This king is said to be one of the wisest men who has ever lived. God gave him wisdom. Certainly then we would think God must love him!

God doesn’t have degrees of love for us. He created all of us and loves us the same – unconditionally and far more than we love him back.

Solomon was no different.

Let’s take a look (sparing judgment) so you can see that if God Loved and exalted Solomon – how He can, will, and does the same for us.

Solomon’s Dad was David and mom was Bathsheba (you can read more about their story later). His name means “peaceful” – and yet in order to be King he had to kill his half brother Adonijah and David’s general Joab because of a conspiracy.

Solomon wanted to be a good leader and wasn’t out just for money and fame. He asked God for wisdom as the one thing he wanted more than anything else. And so it was granted. He didn’t ask to have the self control once he had the wisdom. He just got the wisdom.

Here is where is starts to get interesting – he married the daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh for political reasons (love of power trumped Love of heart and soul).

Solomon could not control his lust for women. It’s thought that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines – 1000! Imagine that. How did he have any time to lead his community!

He built a temple in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah. It’s thought to be the first temple and is considered a wonder of the ancient world. It took 7 years to construct this facility.

He had an affinity for construction – he had a marvelous palace surrounded by gardens, roadways, and different government buildings. Solomon is thought to have had thousands of horses and chariots which allowed him to travel easily.

He made friends with neighboring leaders and built up an incredible economy through trade making him one of the wealthiest rulers of his time.

He ruled for 40 years, had an organized governmental system to distribute taxes fairly, elevated leaders into positions to help him oversee large territories, had peace in his community, built a lot of infrastructure and had a thriving economy and despite his worldly success – he stopped his pursuit of God.

He let the enticement of worldly pleasure, treasure, luxuries, the women, money and more taint him. He started to unfairly tax people and treated his labor like slaves.

Possession and fame were put over his relationship with God.

What do we seek after? What do we treasure? The Bible says that what we treasure is where our heart follows.

Solomon had great success which meant the fall may have been equally as great and painful.

We all have an opportunity to learn from Solomon and to keep our eyes focused on something higher and bigger than what we can temporarily get or achieve here while we spend only a short time on Earth.

Lord – grant me wisdom and also the self control to live in that wisdom. Thank you for providing more than I need – and that when I do not get what I want – it may be because you gave me something far more, exceedingly and abundantly more than I needed. Thank you for loving me just like you loved Solomon and most importantly thank you for sending Jesus to forgive me daily and to extend grace undeserved. Amen

It’s a new day

Morning thoughts: I was reflecting on shortcuts, knowing where you’re going, why you’re going that way, and for Who.

Colossians 3 this morning.

  • Do you remember a time growing up when you were taking a wrong path?
  • Did your parent sit you down and help guide you back onto the right one or a better one?

Mine did.

And once they helped me see that I was on the wrong road –

  1. they hugged me,
  2. we said we loved each other, and
  3. the expectation was set to get on the right road.

This is Colossians 3.

We are not from here. We know exactly what the roads should look like for us here – but we still venture other paths.

This is a reminder to keep our eyes on the right map, not the road we may be cruising down.

What is that path?

  • Wanting more and more and more things and
  • thinking things that are not from God.
  • It’s not only about selfishness and wrong thinking.
  • It’s also about anger, temper, hurting others, lying, and saying shameful things.

We could get paralyzed in these verses because they are prevalent.

Here’s where the story gets good.

It’s not a one way street with no opportunity to turn around or get onto another path.

Verse 10 says EVERY day we are made new and grow in our understanding of the King of the Universe who created us.

He CREATED us for so much more.

He is above us, ahead of us, guiding behind us, and most importantly – He is IN us – all of us – regardless of our full acknowledgement of that.

The chapter doesn’t stop there.

The love and mercy shown in the new day also tells us about the road we SHOULD travel:

  • to show more mercy and kindness;
  • to be humble, gentle, and patient;
  • to curb our anger;
  • to forgive (knowing none of us deserve forgiveness but to give it anyway just as we have been forgiven).

The wrap up piece of the lesson is LOVE, unity, peace, thankfulness, wisdom, and singing.

When you start doing everything in life for someone Who did everything in His life – include giving it up for you – the path will start to be more clear.

Lord – in all the work I’ve been given, may I do the best I can, to stay on the path you’ve paved for me, driving with the right focus, thankfulness, and gratefulness. Thank you for making me new.

The Bible shares a lot about acknowledging the Lord through song – so please enjoy this one from Royal Tailor. I posted this some the other day and it continues to remind me that every day we are made new. And this song by Switchfoot reminds us that we were made for so much more – and to not get lost out there on these pathways.

Want to read more? Go here and follow here.

Approaching max capacity

Digesting this very critical question posed to me by my teacher and mentor John Maxwell. He asked:

“How close are you to reaching your capacity and maxing yourself out.”

I started to think hard about this.

  • Where is my focus?
  • Where am I investing, spending, and wasting my time?
  • Am I growing or drifting?
  • Have I really exercised self discipline over my thoughts and my actions?

It takes discipline to focus.

Maybe you feel as though you’re approaching max capacity in some area of life as well.

We can either let our buckets overflow – or we can find a way to maximize our capacity.

How?

  • Do you follow a system?
  • Do you keep goals?
  • Do you write thoughts down?
  • Do you take your ideas out of your head and do something with them?

Creative thinking is not creative action.

True.

Thoughts only become things when you act.

I’m not perfect at this. I struggle with it daily. But I try to put first things first.

  1. While it is still dark and quiet – Every morning I read at least one devotional and ponder over some verses of the Bible.
  2. Next I either listen to a Short Leadership lesson from Maxwell, or I read a short article about leadership.
  3. Once I start my actual work day – I start with something called a Passion Planner. You can download it online for free.

Map out what is important and look at what is ahead.

Friends – just like you may be – I’m approaching max capacity.

I don’t focus well and act well every day – but for every day I wake up and get another chance – I try again. I am challenging myself today to think – and then act.

Maybe this will resonate with you too.

If you liked this you can read more here and follow here.

Making Me New

Every morning I go outside and this small tree greets me with purple flowers.

They are so beautiful.

By the afternoon they all fall off.

Most mornings when I wake up – I start on the “right side of the bed”. I express gratefulness, take in some deep breaths, read my devotional, and then wake my kids. I am like this purple bush.

As the day progresses – some of my “flowers fall off”. Maybe it’s a work distraction, a tough meeting, bills, simply not focusing on who and what matters most.

As I was watching this pretty tree this morning – I was reminded that although the flowers fall off and float away – the roots continue to stay firm in the ground and the branches continue to grow.

What I can’t see is that somewhere on the inside of this little tree – deep inside – it is preparing to make new flowers.

These flowers look sort of like the flowers from before – but they are always new. If the old flowers didn’t fall off – there would be no room for the new ones to greet the morning.

There are several comforting verses in the Bible that relate to this phenomenon of us having opportunities to become new daily, to deepen our roots, and to spread and grow our branches.

May one of these bless you as they have for me.

Read all the way to the end so you can get the link to listen to a great and positive song to get you through this day!

  1. Lamentations 3:22 – the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness
  2. 2 Corinthians 4:16 – so we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
  3. Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He has made everything new its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from beginning to end.
  4. 2 Corinthians 5:17 – therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.
  5. Isaiah 43:18 – remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it Springs forth, do you not perceive it?
  6. Isaiah 40:8 – the grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God lasts forever.
  7. Revelation 21:5 – and He who was seated on the throne said “behold I am making all things new”. Also He said “write this down for these words are trustworthy and true.

I love this fun, meaningful, upbeat song by Royal Tailor called “Making Me New”. You can hear it here

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#schoolofthoughts #selfdevelopment #personalgrowth #wisdom

Credentials or Character

So I’m developing a class at work based on the book “Becoming a person of influence” by John Maxwell.

One of the elements of influence – good influence – is integrity.

As I was thinking about what to share I started thinking about the lack of integrity in government, sports, entertainment, and in business.

There are enough stories out there to fill a large book.

Why is integrity so important and yet something some people don’t value?

Stephen Covey was quoted in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” as saying

“if I try to use human influence strategies and tactics of how to get other people to do what I want, to work better, to be more motivated, to like me and each other – while my character is fundamentally flawed, marked by duplicity or insincerity – then in the long run, I cannot be successful”.

Don’t sell your integrity. Character is key.

Not long ago I was working with someone who compromised integrity to grow in their career.

Actually I have seen this many times – especially working for so many years in the music business.

You can look great on the outside – but what about what your insides look like.

These people lost credibility and respect which is hard to regain.

I’ve seen some people with questionable integrity continue to be rewarded, move up the ladder, and “succeed”. But at what cost.

When does the cost outweigh the benefits.

What’s more important – credentials or character?

Should be a no brainer.

I posted yesterday about my LL Cool J story and importance of integrity – it’s paramount. Check it out if you didn’t read it!

Several years ago my friend Donald gave me a training by Joyce Meyer entitled something like “do you have a crack in your foundation”.

Imagine your home.

  • Under the carpet, tile, or wooden floors is the foundation.
  • This is what holds your house together.
  • It’s hidden and not as pretty as the floor coverings.

If your foundation cracks – a tiny crack can become larger over time and ultimately destroy your home.

Cracks in the foundation of large, multi floor buildings can cause even more damage.

Integrity is the foundation. A solid one is a good starting point to becoming and growing as a person of influence.

If you got value out of this – you can read my other posts here and follow on Fb here

Focus – on yourself.

Sometimes these posts are for me for myself.

They hold me accountable to myself.

Many many years ago I worked on a concert for LL Cool J. I’ve had an opportunity to work with many artists over the years.

That one concert and experience is still in the top 10 or maybe even top 3 most profound and impactful experiences I have had.

I spent some time with him privately talking about the show and ticket sales – he was very involved in the whole process.

He talked with me about

  • the importance of integrity, focus,
  • doing what was right despite what was easy,
  • to stand up for yourself and your dreams, and
  • how key it is to keep the best people around you.

I’ll never forget the chat. First class experience.

I don’t make a conscious and deliberate choice every day that moves me closer to my dreams.

I always give my highest and my best – but it’s usually for other people and not for myself.

I started to think this morning of the dangers of being pulled off track and not staying focused.

Even the best race car drivers crash when their focus is just even a small bit off.

Today – I commit to focus. Even if it’s just on one small bit. Maybe this resonates with you as well.

Be a doer

“”Life,” said psychologist Alfred Adler, “happens at the level of events, not words.” Our ability to communicate with one another has expanded a lot in the last ten years. As a result, we have an unprecedented opportunity to encourage, influence and edify others on a major scale. But with the opportunity comes a temptation to give more weight to our words than our actions.

When it comes down to it, the right words matter a lot. But the right actions matter more.

Let’s use our words wisely, to build others up and influence them in positive ways every chance we get. But let’s ultimately be known as people who consistently take the right action. In the end let’s be known as doers.”

– Dan Cathy