Run Today’s Race (book review)

It’s amazing the thoughts you can think if only the right “seed thought” is first planted in your mind. In Run Today’s Race that’s exactly what Oswald Chambers does for us.

Run Today’s Race is a 365-day seed-planting book designed to send your mind exploring the applications of each day’s short statement or question. At most, each day’s reading is expressed in three sentences, but many of them are expressed in just a handful of words.

The original publication in 1918 was called Seed Thoughts Calendar. In the introduction we read:

“Oswald Chambers firmly believed in the concept of ‘seed thoughts’—brief, pithy sayings designed to arrest attention and stimulate thinking. The entry for December 9 perhaps best expresses his conviction on how to affect a person’s mind and behavior: ‘Our Lord was never impatient. He simply planted seed thoughts in the disciples’ minds and surrounded them with the atmosphere of His own life….’”

Each day’s entry in Run Today’s Race will take you only a few seconds to read, but you will have some excellent thought material to keep your mind occupied all day long. Make an investment in your spiritual growth by picking up a copy of this excellent book.

As an example from November 14:

“The proof that we are rightly related to God is that we do our best whether we feel inspired or not.”

This might stimulate questions like:

  • Do I do my best only when someone is watching me, or do I do my best because God is always watching me?
  • Do my work ethic and pursuit of excellence make God look good to others?
  • Do I have to wait until I’m “inspired” to do my best, or can simply doing my best make me feel inspired?
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Know Who You Are (book review)

Tim Tebow continues to astound me! Few people have used their celebrity status to promote other people like he has. In his latest book—Know Who You Are—he turns his sights on something near and dear to his heart: homeschool students and parents.

A key component of any student’s education is learning to articulate their thoughts in writing. At the beginning of his book Tim shares about some research on this topic:

“An esteemed professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin studied the impact of journaling. Through a handful of studies, this expert found that expressive writing in a personal and meaningful way positively impacts health, well-being, and self-development. It can put us in a better mood. It can help us process tough situations. It can challenge us to make good changes. It can pave the way for a more impactful future.”

Know Who You Are helps students journal their thoughts by giving them some positive things to ponder. Tim shares his personal stories, many of which involve mistakes he’s made or things which have caused him to second-guess himself, and then talks about the life lessons he learned from those experiences. He then gives students an opportunity to apply those same lessons to their own life. Each week’s lesson wraps up with a couple of writing prompts for the student’s journaling exercises.

This book is designed to take a student through their entire school year, but will help students to think better about themselves and their circumstances for a lifetime. Know who you are—Live like it matters is an excellent resource!

I am a Waterbrook book reviewer.

P.S. If you would like to check out other Tim Tebow books, my review for Through My Eyes is here, and my review for Shaken is here.

11 Quotes From “Liquid Leadership”

Liquid LeadershipLiquid Leadership by Brad Szollose was a bit “light” on leadership development content for my tastes, but I still found a few good quotes to share with you. Check out my review of this book by clicking here.

“Baby boomers tend to isolate themselves from younger people and treat them as expendable kids, while Gen Yers to undervalue the experience of Boomers and ignore them. Either attitude is a mistake and insulting.”

“Innovation cannot thrive in environments where anxiety is too high; but in environments where anxiety is low, creativity is high. Fragile thoughts need time to survive and thrive.”

“Something remarkable took place over the past twenty-five years: People stop worshipping the companies they work for and begin instead to see themselves as value added to the bottom line, partners in success. Today’s workforce has amazingly high self-esteem and won’t look up to you just because you’ve ‘earned’ the corner office.”

“It is easy to be a leader when times are good. But when times are tough, these are the moments that make a leader great.”

“Leaders who are more involved in the day-to-day process can easily see what is creating the status quo environment, which enables them to change it. And when they make changes, they can make them organically, because they are viewed as a trusted ally instead of an intruder.”

“Your job is to be the best shepherd possible of ideas and implementation.”

“In an environment that allows truth telling, you must make sure each team member understands how to present a sticky subject without destroying a fellow colleague’s contribution. In other words, speak properly and respectfully when critiquing. Speaking the truth should not be used as a way to get even or to make a coworker look bad. Making someone feel as if they are under attack leaves angry feelings and creates a hostile environment. But when everyone is supportive and nurturing, people feel safe to admit their weaknesses. The common goal is to get better.”

“When people have a sense of purpose built into what they do, you don’t just get an employee—you get a person’s talent, passion, and full attention. … But real engagement—real, 100 percent commitment—requires a workplace that isn’t just making stuff but, in someway, changing the world.”

“Make sure each and every member of your organization understands the company’s mission, where the company is going, and how it plans on getting there. Try to make the vision exciting for everyone. Team members need to be crystal clear as to goals, purposes, and intentions for the group. Keep the mission of each team front and center, and they’ll stay on target, and your employees will understand how to earn their place on the team. High standards will guarantee greater output.”

“You never change the existing reality by fighting it. Instead, create a new model that makes the old one obsolete.” —Buckminster Fuller

“I am going to share with you the key to success in any business: the secret, in a word, is ‘heart-power.’ Capture the heart, and you’ve captured the person.” —Vince Lombardi

Links & Quotes

link quote

“Reason can engage the conversation; winsomeness can set the tone; patient listening can earn the right to be heard; but only divine revelation—the Gospel of Jesus Christ—is powerful to break the hold of the Lie and open someone’s heart to the truth of God.” —T.M. Moore

“I am sure, whenever we see Christ, we ought to remember the deluge of wrath from which He has delivered us, the flames of hell from which He has saved us; and so, humbly bowing ourselves in the dust, let us love, and praise, and bless His name.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Remember: ‘I cannot turn one hair black or white: but I can brush my hair daily and go to the barber at regular intervals.’ In other words we must divert our efforts from our general condition or frame of mind (which we can’t alter by direct action of the will) to what is in our power—our words and acts. Try to remember that the ‘bottomless sea’ can’t hurt us as long as we keep on swimming.” —C.S. Lewis

Hey, fellas: Mark Merrill has a great suggestion of 10 texts to send your wife.

When Yonggi Cho began holding services in May 1958 in Seoul, South Korea, he couldn’t have known what God would do through his ministry. Only five people attended the first service, held in the home of a friend. However, the small gatherings grew in size, ultimately developing into the largest Christian congregation in the world, Yoido Full Gospel Church, an Assemblies of God church with over 700,000 members.” Read more about Pastor Cho in From Buddhism To Christ.

George O. Wood is the General Superintendent for the Assemblies of God. In light of last week’s Supreme Court decision, he sent out a letter that I really appreciated. Here is how the letter closes: “I close with three words of pastoral advice—First, to Assemblies of God ministers: Politics reflects culture, and culture reflects religion. If you are concerned with the political drift of American culture, preach the gospel! As it sends out roots in the lives of believers, the seeds of the Gospel will change hearts and minds. Second, to Assemblies of God adherents: You are privileged citizens of a blessed nation. Use your citizenship well! Seek the common good. Advocate for the last, the lost, and the least. Speak the truth in love. And vote for candidates and issues that reflect a biblical perspective. The difference in so many conflicts in American politics and culture turns on who turns out to vote. Third, to all Christians: If you are troubled with the Supreme Court’s decision, keep perspective! In this and every other matter, always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33). Let us all pray for a great spiritual awakening in our country!”

Fixed Thoughts

Fix your thoughts on JesusSince the children have flesh and blood, [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil…. Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. …Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus…. (Hebrews 2:14, 18; 3:1)

Jesus defeated every temptation as a Man. He didn’t use His prerogatives as God to defeat the devil’s temptations; He faced them as we do: as a Man in the flesh.

Therefore, I need to fix my thoughts on Jesus. 

[Think carefully about Jesus in the New Living Translation] 

Jesus defeated—destroyed!—the devil by His death. Did God die? No! But the Man part—the human part of Jesus—died on the Cross. Then God raised Jesus from the dead. Was God dead? No! The Man part of Jesus was dead, and the Man part was resurrected.

Therefore, I need to fix my thoughts on Jesus. 

[Thoughtfully and attentively consider Jesus in the Amplified Bible] 

Jesus alone is able to help me. I cannot defeat the devil or his temptations on my own. Jesus defeated the devil’s temptation by His total reliance on the Father, and I can gain a victory over temptation by no other means.

Therefore, I need to fix my thoughts on Jesus. 

[Look carefully at Jesus in the God’s Word translation] 

Jesus suffered through temptation, but He was victorious and without sin. I too suffer through temptation, but He is able to help those who are being tempted! He can help me be victorious too!

Therefore, I need to fix my thoughts on Jesus. 

[Fix your eyes and mind upon Jesus in the Greek Dictionary] 

Where are your thoughts today? If they are on what you can do to defeat temptation, you’ll be disappointed in the outcome. Fix your thoughts: turn your full attention to Jesus!

Thursdays With Oswald—Mirror

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.

Mirror

    It is a wonderful thing that God can cleanse and purify the thinking of our hearts. That is why our Lord says, “Of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). The Bible says that words are born in the heart, not in the head….

     Jesus Christ said He always spoke as His Father wished Him to. Did His Father write out the words and tell Him to learn them by heart? No, the mainspring of the heart of Jesus Christ was the mainspring of the heart of God the Father, consequently the words Jesus Christ spoke were the exact expression of God’s thoughts. In our Lord the tongue was in its right place; He never spoke from His head, but always from His heart. 

From Biblical Psychology

Have you ever noticed how friends begin to talk like each other? They laugh at the punchline without the joke being told any longer, because they know it so well.

Or how about married couples who can finish each other’s sentences, because they are so in tune with each other.

Biblical scholars have pointed out the similarity of writing styles of Luke and the Apostle Paul, probably due to the huge amount of time they spent with each other.

We begin to mirror those with whom we spend the most time.

Jesus Christ had his heart filled with God’s presence, so His words mirrored the thoughts of His Father.

What about me? Whom do I mirror? My vocabulary will tell me who fascinates me most, who has my attention, who as my heart.

I pray that more and more my words reveal that I mirror my Savior Jesus Christ. May my heart be fascinated and attentive to Him, and then may I never speak from my head, but always from my heart.

So We Become

The thought manifests the word;

The word manifests the deed;

The deed develops into habit;

And habit hardens into character.

So watch the thought and its ways with care,

And let them spring forth from love

Born out of compassion for all beings.

As the shadow follows the body, as we think,

So we become. —Juan Mascaro

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