Thursdays With Spurgeon—Study The Right Things

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

Study The Right Things

     It is very advantageous to the Christian mind frequently to consider the deep and unsearchable attributes of God. … If we study man and make him the only object of our research, there will be a strong tendency in our minds to exaggerate his importance. We will think too much of the creature and too little of the Creator, preferring the knowledge that is to be found out by observation and reason to the divine truth that revelation alone could make known to us. … 

     The fleeting things of human life and the fickle thoughts and showy deeds of men are as movable and as changeable as the waters of the treacherous deep. But when we mount up, as it were, with eagles’ wings to Him Who sits upon the circle of the earth, before Whom all its inhabitants are as grasshoppers (Isaiah 40:22), we nestle in the Rock of Ages that from its eternal socket never starts and in its fixed immovability can never be disturbed.

From The Infallibility Of God’s Purpose

I read a lot of books. But in the hands-down, it’s-not-even-close category, I read the Bible more than anything else. It is the Book of books because it reveals the eternal Wisdom behind the earth’s wisdom. 

Zig Ziglar used to say, “Every morning I read my Bible and I read the newspaper. That way, I know what both sides are up to.” That’s pretty good!

We read the Bible not just to know the Bible, but to know the One Who authored the Bible. Or, as I like to say it—

My goal in reading the Word God is to get to know the God of the Word better and better.

Charles Spurgeon would never say—nor do I—that you shouldn’t study a variety of topics. Just make sure that your priority is God’s Word. This will give you the greatest insight into other topics and will protect you from humanistic error. 

23 Other Quotes From “15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth”

15 Invaluable Laws of GrowthJohn Maxwell is extremely well-read! It is obviously that he uses many sources to sharpen and refine the teaching principles he shares in his books. I recently finished reading 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth, and as usual, Dr. Maxwell shared several quotes from others which I found very highlighter-worthy. Here are a few of them…

“What great accomplishments we’d have in the world if everybody had done what they intended to do.” —Frank Clark

“A mistake is simply another way of doing things.” —Warren Bennis

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” —Jim Rohn

“Can there be a more insidious word? Later, as in ‘I’ll do it later.’ Or, ‘Later, I’ll have time to write that book that’s been on my mind for the past five years.’ Or, ‘I know I need to straighten out my finances… I’ll do it later.’ ‘Later’ is one of those dream-killers, one of the countless obstacles we put up to derail our chances of success. The diet that starts ‘tomorrow,’ the job hunt that happens ‘eventually,’ the pursuit of the life dream that begins ‘someday’ combine with other self-imposed roadblocks and lock us on autopilot.’ —Jennifer Reed

“No one can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself.” —James Russell Lowell

“Probably the most honest self-made man ever was the one we heard say: ‘I got to the top the hard way—fighting my own laziness and ignorance every step of the way.’ —James Thom

“It’s impossible to consistently behave in a manner inconsistent with how we see ourselves. We can do very few things in a positive way if we feel negative about ourselves.” —Zig Ziglar

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” —Peter Drucker

“The wise man questions himself, the fool others.” —Henri Arnold

“The successful person has the habit of doing the things that failures don’t like to do. The successful person doesn’t like doing them either, but his dislike is subordinated to the strength of his purpose.” —E. M. Gray

“Where many people go wrong in trying to reach their goals is in constantly looking for the big hit, the homerun, the magic answer that suddenly transforms their dreams into reality. The problem is that the big hit never comes without a great deal of little hits first. Success in most things comes not from some gigantic stroke of fate, but from simple, incremental progress.” —Andrew Wood

“A bad habit never goes away by itself. It’s always an undo-it-your self project.” —Abigail Van Buren

“The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working. Beethoven, Wagner, Mozart, and Bach all settled down, day after day, to the job at hand. They didn’t waste time waiting for inspiration.” —Ernest Newman

“Do not wait for a change of environment before you act. Cause a change of environment through action. You can act upon your present environment so as to cause yourself to be transferred to a better environment.” —Wallace D. Wattles

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a plan of action and follow it to the end requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men to win them.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.” —Les Brown

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.” —Jim Rohn

“An idealist believes the short run doesn’t count. A cynic believes the long run doesn’t matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.” —Sydney J. Harris

“Every problem introduces a person to himself.” —John McDonnell

“Experience isn’t really the best teacher but it sure does serve as the best excuse for not trying to do the same silly thing again.” —Frank Hughes

“You will never stub your toe standing still. The faster you go, the more chance there is of stubbing your toe, but the more chance you have of getting somewhere.” —Charles F. Kettering

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” —James Baldwin

“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.” —William Penn

You can read my book review of 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth and its companion book JumpStart Your Growth by clicking here.

To read quotes from John Maxwell in 15 Invaluable Laws, click here.

P.S. And watch for more quotes coming soon!

Book Reviews From 2014

Zig Ziglar On Money & Success

Inspire To Be GreatZig Ziglar was a highly successful salesman, which opened the door for him to have a successful second career as a motivational speaker. His insight into money and success is well worth paying attention to—

“I define success as having acquired some of the things that money will buy and all of the things that money won’t buy—while maintaining balance in your life.” 

“Money bought me the house, but it won’t buy me a home. It’ll buy me a companion, but it won’t buy me a friend. It’ll buy me a good time, but it won’t buy me peace of mind. It’ll buy me a bed, but it won’t buy me a good night’s sleep.”

“Don’t count the things you do. Do the things which count.”

“In America, we have become greedy. We are bombarded with so many ads that say, ‘You gotta have this car! You gotta wear these clothes! You gotta take this vacation trip! You gotta have that second home at the beach,’ and all of these absurd things. Over the years, I have noticed this—that if standard of living is your number-one objective, your quality of life almost never improves. But if quality of life is your number-one objective, standard of living invariably goes up. That kinda contradicts what a lot of people believe.”

“Until you are happy with who you are, you will never be happy because of what you have.”

These quotes are from the book Inspire To Be Great. You can read my review of that book by clicking here. I shared some of my other favorite quotes from this book earlier, and you can read them by clicking here.

10 Quotes From “Inspire To Be Great”

Inspire To Be GreatThe news show 60 Minutes described Zig Ziglar as “a legend in the industry—the Bill Gates, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison of enthusiasm.” Truer words were never spoken! Zig is a fabulous motivator (you can read my review of Inspire To Be Great by clicking here). Here are some of my favorite quotes from this book.

“People often tell me that motivation doesn’t last, and I tell them that bathing doesn’t either. That’s why I recommend it daily.”

“To avoid procrastination, write your schedule out the night before, including precisely when you are going to start.”

“People with integrity are more successful, because with integrity you do the right thing, and there is no guilt attached to you. With integrity, you have nothing to fear because you have nothing to hide.”

“The greatest good we can do for anyone is not to share our wealth with them, but rather to reveal their own wealth to them.”

“It’s not what you’ve got; it’s what you use that makes a difference.”

“Never say anything negative about yourself. If we don’t see ourselves as ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ [Psalm 139:14], who will?”

“When your goals are clearly defined and intelligently set, you have, in essence, taken a major step toward programming your left brain. That frees your right brain to be its creative best.”

“Among the things you can give and still keep are: your word, a smile, and a grateful heart.”

“Failure is an event, not a person. So regardless of what happens to you along the way, you must keep on going and doing the right thing in the right way. Then the event becomes a reality of a changed life.”

“Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker.”

Inspire To Be Great (book review)

Inspire To Be GreatIn my dictionary if you look up the word “inspiring,” you’ll find a picture of Zig Ziglar. Zig had such a unique and memorable way of blending quotes, personal examples, motivation, and helpful next-steps, that few have ever inspired to action like him. In Inspire To Be Great you will find a collection of Zig’s inspiring, insightful quotes.

This book is a part of the “Life Wisdom” series, which is a very appropriate title for the folks featured in these books because they are people who have lived their lives successfully. They don’t just talk-the-walk, they walk-the-talk.

Zig, like others in this series, never hid the fact that his personal relationship with Jesus Christ made him a better man, a better husband, a better father, a better salesman. Tapping into the principles found in Scripture, Zig had a God-given gift to make those principles applicable to every walk of life.

Truly this book is an inspiring read for anyone!

Burn, Baby, Burn

It’s been a debate around golfing circles for years as to which PGA pro gets credit for responding to a fan who quipped, “That was a lucky shot!” The famous reply (variously attributed to either Gary Player, Arnold Palmer or Lee Trevino) is, “You know, the more I practice, the luckier I seem to get.”

Regardless of who said it, there’s so much truth in that statement. Here’s what I’ve learned about success —

NO ONE is an over-night success. “The heights of great men reached and kept // Were not attained by sudden flight // But they, while their companions slept // Were toiling upwards in the night.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

NO ONE is a half-hearted success. “Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.” — Zig Ziglar

NO ONE is successful on their own. “Leaders will not experience long-term success unless a lot of people want them to.” — John Maxwell

SUCCESS requires a high price. “Achievers choose what losers won’t and pay the price that others don’t.” — Anonymous

SUCCESS takes dedicated time. Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers quotes the 10,000 Hour Rule. He writes, “The biggest misconception about success is that we do it solely on our smarts, ambition, hustle and hard work.” Instead, he says that highly successful people have put in a minimum of 10,000 hours in a single area (think the Beatles with their music or Bill Gates with his computer programming).

SUCCESS starts with personal initiative. “Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” — Arnold H. Glasow

John Wesley explained how he drew such large crowds in the First Great Awakening by stating, “I set myself on fire, and the people come to see me burn.” If you want to be successful, you must set yourself on fire, pay the price, and do the time.

Are you ready? If so, then burn, baby, burn!

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