Classic Wisdom For The Professional Life (book review)


Bryan Curtis has compiled a collection of quotes that are targeted for the business professional. In Classic Wisdom for the Professional Life, you will find sage wisdom from a variety of different perspectives.

Winston Churchill once said, Every uneducated man should read a book of quotes.” I love reading the wisdom of people who have been-there-done-that, and this book is full of those kinds of people. I enjoy letting their hindsight educate me and become my foresight. Normally I speed-read my way through books, but I found myself going rather slowly through this book, trying to absorb the wisdom in each of the quotes.

My only frustration with this book is that the quotes are not grouped together in any apparent categories. I would have liked a section on planning, a section on overcoming failure, a section on people skills, etc. So I just took the quotes most meaningful to me and retyped them in my computer into the categories where I would have grouped them. Other than that, there is much wisdom to be found in these pages.

I am a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson.

No Crutches

In preparing for the continuation of our Ignite series, I’ve been reviewing some of my notes about the Holy Spirit. This quote from R. Hollis Gause has really been working on me:

“[Jesus] was not a crutch for [the disciples’] immaturity. … Jesus did not encourage a mindless dependency on His physical presence; instead, He expected them to be interpretive of His instructions about their mission.”

Jesus said He wasn’t leaving us orphans, but He would send us the Holy Spirit to be a constant Counselor. When I submit to the Holy Spirit’s counsel, it’s not a mindless giving in, but a mind-full acknowledgment of His role. The Holy Spirit didn’t come to be my crutch, but to be my Liberator.

The Holy Spirit prepares me to be a conduit for God’s blessings.

I cannot touch in love…

I cannot speak with power…

I cannot truly represent Christ…

if I’m operating in my own strength.

The Holy Spirit comes alongside me to

Develop agape love in my heart…

stimulate my mind with the right words…

help me behave more like Jesus…

and live mind-full of His empowerment.

To do things on my own is to live with a crutch—to live a limited life.

To live in the flow of the Holy Spirit is to live a life that is fully engaged.

That’s how I want to live every day.

LikeWalk 2010

Just wanted to get this on everyone’s radar screen. I love Alpha Family Center and totally believe in their mission. This is a very simple way for you to get involved and to help support Alpha.

This walk is their major fundraiser of the year. So go to their website (click here), get a pledge form, find some sponsors, and then come walk with me on Saturday, June 19.

No Casualties

The Israelites had just returned from a huge military victory over the Midianites and the military commanders brought this report to Moses:

Your servants have counted the soldiers under our command, and not one is missing.

When God is with the soldiers, they have zero causalities. Zero.

Throughout the Bible, the only time casualties are mentioned is: (1) when the battle is of their own undertaking, or (2) the people have sinned and God allows an enemy to attack them.

God’s battle

in God’s timing

with God’s help

= No casualties!

If you are in a battle that you started, or if you are in a battle because you walked away from God, your best defense is to run to God in repentance.

But if God brought you to this fight, don’t run. Stand firm. He will bring you the victory with no casualties.

Necessary Or Additional?

In listing the sacrifices that the Israelites were to bring to the tabernacle, a repeated phrase kept jumping out at me:

…in addition to the regular burnt offering…

There was one daily offering that was necessary every day, then there were other offerings that were additional.

Here’s the principle:

The additional should never take the place of the necessary if the additional is crowding out the necessary.

There are some things that are necessary for me every day: my devotional time, my personal prayer life, time with my wife, time with my kids, and a few other necessaries.

There are some things that are additional for me: a church project, a community event, a committee or club. You get the idea.

There is nothing wrong with the additional UNLESS the additional is crowding out the necessary.

What is necessary for you? What are the additional things you have added?

Always remember: The additional should never take the place of the necessary. If your additional is crowding out your necessary, it’s time to make some changes.

Imagine Attending 86 Funerals A Day

Right after the Israelites came out of Egypt, God told Moses to count everyone (not coincidentally, this is recorded in the book of Numbers… get it?).

I’m sure you know the story well of the ten scouts who by their negative report turned everyone against Moses. They all believed that they couldn’t go into the Promised Land because of the big giants. So God said everyone in that generation (except Joshua and Caleb) would die before they entered the Promised Land.

Fast forward 38 years and God has Moses count the people again (can you guess where this is recorded in the Bible?). If you compare the two lists, you will see that 1.2 million Israelites had died.

Let that sink in: 1.2 million dead in 38 years.

That’s 31,579 funerals per year.

Or 86 funerals per day.

Talk about mixed emotions! With every funeral the younger Israelites attended, they were sad for their loss but they also knew they were one step closer to getting out of the desert and into the Promised Land.

Every day they heard about deaths—86 of them every day.

What did these deaths remind them of? Maybe these two thoughts:

  • Sin causes death.
  • I’m just as capable of sinning as they were.

Every death should have been a reminder to them to stay as close to God as possible.

Every day I hear about divorce. This should be my reminder to cherish my wife every day.

Every day I hear about a pastor’s moral failing. This should be my reminder to pursue holiness passionately every day.

Every day I hear about pornography addictions. This should be my reminder to take every precaution I can every day.

When the Israelites heard about 86 deaths every day, they had to do something positive with that.

When I hear about divorce and sin and addiction, I cannot just shake my head and say, ‘Tisk, tisk,” but I must do something positive with it.

I must use every “death” as a reminder to move closer to God.

God’s Math

I’m preparing for a wedding this weekend, and I love God’s math that shows up in the marriage relationship. Very simply it looks like this:

1 + 1 = 1

One man + One woman = One marriage.

God said, “Let the husband and wife be joined together. And the two will become one flesh.”

A husband can have his oneness—his uniqueness—enhanced by his wife. So too can a wife have her oneness—her uniqueness—beautified by her husband.

This is why God is for healthy marriages: It gives us a better picture of the oneness that we can have with Jesus Christ. He brings out the oneness—the uniqueness—in all of His followers.

I love it!

Is Today Your Last Day With Us?

Okay, this seems a bit bizarre: God tells Moses, “Get Aaron and his son Eleazar and bring them with you up to Mount Hor. I want you to transfer the office of high priest from Aaron to Eleazer. And then Aaron is going to die on the mountain.”


Anyone reading this post knows their birth date, but none of us knows his or her death date.

Aaron did.

What do you think he did with his last few hours?

  • Did he need to apologize to someone? Ask their forgiveness?
  • Did he need to make amends?
  • Pass along some vital information to Eleazer?
  • Say “I love you” to someone dear to him?
  • Give one last kiss? One last embrace?

James wrote, “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone” (James 4:14).

You and I don’t know what our death date will be, so our best bet is to live today like it’s our last day. What do you need to do with your last few hours?

  • Are you ready to meet God?
  • Do you need to ask Christ to forgive your sins?
  • Is there someone who needs your forgiveness?
  • Do you need to make something right somewhere?
  • Is there vital information you need to share?
  • Does someone need to hear “I love you”?
  • Who do you need to hug or kiss?

Don’t wait for tomorrow, because tomorrow may never arrive. Live today like it’s your last day. Because it may very well be your last day with us.

Light Us Up

This Sunday, May 23, is a pivotal day for the Church. It’s Pentecost Sunday: the day the promised empowerment from God came upon the first believers and turned them into power-packed dynamos!

Wow, what a day!

But that empowerment is still for all Christians today. Unfortunately far too many people shut the Holy Spirit out of their lives. So I’m chomping at the bit to launch our new series this Sunday: Ignite: The Empowerment Of The Holy Spirit.

There is so much to say, so I’m trying to reign myself in a bit. Hope you can join us at Calvary Assembly of God over the next few Sundays as we talk about how to get lit up by the Spirit of God.

Liberal Forgiveness

I was reading about how Moses and God responded to the grumbling of the Israelites. After the twelve spies came back from sniffing around Canaan, only two of the spies said, “It’s all good. Let’s go!” The other ten said, “Yeah, it’s good, but there are too many giants for us to be successful.” These ten were able to persuade all of the Israelites to say to Moses, “We don’t want to go any further with you. Take us back to Egypt!”

God spoke out and said, “Stand aside, Moses. I’m going to destroy all of these ungrateful, rebellious people and begin again with you.”

But Moses stepped forward to intervene. He reminded God that He was slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.

And then comes this amazing response from God: “I have forgiven them, as you have asked.”

Did you catch that?

The depth of forgiveness was exactly as Moses had asked!

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the consequences for sin are removed. God said, “I have forgiven them, nevertheless they are still not going to be able to enter the Promised Land.”

Being forgiven doesn’t mean going unpunished. There is a price to be paid. But forgiveness means the price is only paid here on earth, not over an eternity.

How liberally and deeply and completely do YOU want to be forgiven? Whatever that level is, ask God to just as liberally and deeply and completely forgive OTHERS. Hear Him say, “I have forgiven them, just as you have asked.”

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