Thursdays With Oswald—Public And Private

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Public and Private 

   My worth to God in public is what I am in private.

From Run Today’s Race

Run Today’s Race contains short statements from Oswald Chambers intended to stimulate Christians to ponder things like:

  • Do I spend enough time alone with God, or am I too quick to run off to accomplish my tasks?
  • Am I listening to what God really wants to tell me in private?
  • Am I applying those private lessons to my public life?
  • Jesus spent much time in solitude with His Father; am I spending enough time in solitude with God?
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How To Be An Active Listener

Travis Bradberry“To practice active listening:

  • Spend more time listening than you do talking.
  • Do not answer questions with questions.
  • Avoid finishing other people’s sentences.
  • Focus more on the other person than you do on yourself.
  • Focus on what people are saying right now, not on what their interests are.
  • Reframe what the other person has said to make sure you understand him or her correctly (‘So you’re telling me that this budget needs further consideration, right?’)
  • Think about what you’re going to say after someone has finished speaking, not while he or she is speaking.
  • Ask plenty of questions.
  • Never interrupt.
  • Don’t take notes.” —Dr. Travis Bradberry

How To Be Wise With Your Mouth And Ears

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinion. (Proverbs 18:2)

One’s open mouth—and closed ears and mind—says a lot of one’s heart! In this 18th chapter of Proverbs, Solomon draws a pretty stark contrast between the mouth and ears of a fool and of a wise person. Check out the links on each of the verses to Bible Gateway to get a full picture of both the fool and the wise person.

Big MouthThe fool…

  • His lips bring him trouble, a smack on the jaw, and may even cost him his life. And yet he keeps on spouting foolishness. He’s not interested in getting any better (vv. 6, 7).
  • His ears gobble up the latest gossip (v. 8).
  • He fires off an answer before really listening (v. 13).
  • His quick, careless words creates the poison food that he continues to eat (v. 21).

The wise…

  • He is always learning how to use his words in a God-honoring, soul-benefitting way (v. 4).
  • He avoids “cheap candy” gossip (v. 8).
  • He listens fully before trying to respond (v. 13).
  • He asks good, clarifying questions (v. 17).
  • His wise words creates the healthy food that nourishes him (v. 20).

So… are you being wise or foolish with your mouth and ears?

17 More Quotes From “Our Brilliant Heritage”

Our Brilliant HeritageThis is the second batch of quotes from Our Brilliant Heritage. You can read the first set of quotes here, and my review of this book is posted here.

“God does not supply us with character, He gives us the life of His Son and we can either ignore Him and refused to obey Him, or we can so obey Him, so bring every thought and imagination into captivity, that the life of Jesus is manifested in our mortal flesh. It is not a question of being saved from hell, but of being saved in order to manifest the Son of God in our mortal flesh. Our responsibility is to keep ourselves fit to manifest Him.” 

“We cannot do anything for our salvation, but we must do something to manifest it; we must work it out. Am I working out my salvation with my tongue, with my brain, and with my nerves?”

“We are not called to success but to faithfulness.”

“The marvelous thing about spiritual wealth is that when we take our part in that, everyone else is blessed; whereas if we refused to be partakers, we hinder others from entering into the riches of God.”

“It is a crime to allow external physical misery to make us sulky with God. There are desolating experiences, such as the Psalmist describes in Psalms 42-43, and he says, ‘Then will I go…unto God my exceeding joy’—not ‘with joy,’ but unto God Who is my joy. No calamity can touch that wealth. No sin is worse than self-pity because it puts self-interest on the throne; it ‘makes the bastard of self seem in the right’; it obliterates God and opens the mouth to spit out murmurings against God; and the life becomes impoverished and mean, there is nothing lovely or generous about it.” 

“The witness of the Holy Spirit is that we realize with growing amazement Who Jesus is to us personally, our Lord and Master. The baptism of the Holy Ghost makes us witnesses to Jesus, not wonder-workers. The witness is not to what Jesus does, but to what He is.”

“When we say—‘But it is common sense to do this and that,’ we make our common sense Almighty God, and God has to retire right out, then after a while He comes back and asks us if we are satisfied.”

“There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus. We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.”

“Pride is the deification of myself.” 

“‘Oh, I’m no saint.’ To talk like that is acceptable to human pride, but it is unconscious blasphemy against God. It literally means I defy God to make me a saint. The reason I am not a saint is either that I do not want to be a saint or I do not believe God can make me one.”

“The greatest hindrance of our spiritual life lies in looking for big things to do; Jesus Christ ‘took a towel….’”

“We say we do not expect God to carry us to heaven on ‘flowery beds of ease,’ but we act as if we did!”

“We can all shine in the sun, but Jesus wants us to shine where there is no sun, where it is dark with the press of practical things.”

“Our Lord never taught us to deny sin: sin must be destroyed, not denied. Nothing sinful can ever be good.”

“Never say you will pray about a thing; pray about it. … It is not part of the life of a natural man to pray. We hear it said that a man will suffer in his life if he does not pray; I question it. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food but by prayer.”

“The five minutes we give to the words of Jesus the first thing in the morning are worth more than all the rest of the day.”

“Are we in the habit of listening to the Words of Jesus? Do we realize that Jesus knows more about our business than we do ourselves? Do we take His Word for our clothes, our money, our domestic work; or do we think we can manage these things for ourselves?” 

Poetry Saturday—While Others Are

William Arthur WardBelieve while others are doubting.
Plan while others are playing.
Study while others are sleeping.
Decide while others are delaying.
Prepare while others are daydreaming.
Begin while others are procrastinating.
Work while others are wishing.
Save while others are wasting.
Listen while others are talking.
Smile while others are frowning.
Commend while others are criticizing.
Persist while others are quitting. William Arthur Ward

Links & Quotes

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“Who can tell, dear friends, how much peace you may give by only telling the story of our Savior.” ―Charles Spurgeon

“There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.” ―C.S. Lewis

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) reports that you and I have funded the abortions committed by Planned Parenthood to the tune of $1.5 billion! Our tax dollars are going to murder our fellow citizens … this is unacceptable!

In their excellent investigatory work, Live Action has uncovered how Planned Parenthood allows sex traffickers, pornographers, and pimps to continue to earn a profit of the enslavement of women.

Kudos to Pastor John Lindell for boldly declaring the biblical stance Christians should take against immoral laws. Predictably, people are labeling him as a hater and out-of-touch, but he is absolutely right on the mark.

Seth Godin says, “If it’s worth listening to, it’s worth questioning until you understand it.” Read more of his post Active Listening.

Science shows that encouragement truly does help people get through tough circumstances better.

Links & Quotes

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Some good reading from today…

Food for thought: Worship In A Selfie World.

“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.” —Rachel Naomi Remen

Pastor Dave Barringer has some good thoughts on Successful Communication In Marriage.

Joy is distinctly a Christian word and a Christian thing. It is the reverse of happiness. Happiness is the result of what happens of an agreeable sort. Joy has its springs deep down inside. And that spring never runs dry, no matter what happens. Only Jesus gives that joy.” —S.D. Gordon

The Holy Spirit does not bring text after text until we are utterly confused; He simply brings back with the greatest of ease the words which we need in the particular circumstances we are in. Then comes in the use of the will, will I obey the word which has been brought back to our remembrance? The battle comes when we begin to debate instead of obeying.” —Oswald Chambers

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