Greg McKeown is the author of an excellent book entitled essentialism. Greg contends that the disciplined pursuit of less is a major key to success. Lin Yutang says, “The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” From this premise, McKeown lays out a compelling case which helps us understand why it is important to: say “no” and not overextend; prioritize our lives; exercise the power of choice; discern what is important; know when to make tradeoffs; know when to play and to sleep; know what to select and what to eliminate; set boundaries and focus; etc.
The Washington Post's Style Invitational asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here were some winners:
*Arachnoleptic fit: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
*Beelzebug: Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at 3 a.m. and cannot be cast out.
Stephen and I signed up to run the Run to the Ascent 5k, a race our church sponsored to raise funds to help prevent suicides in the local schools. Even though he had just moved to Colorado, Stephen was able to place fifth overall in the race—a remarkable achievement given the high elevation of Monument, Colorado against 360 other competitors.
Jesus in the final hours before getting arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane asked eight of the disciples to sit while he prayed. Then He took Peter, James and John with him further into the garden. Disclosing His anguish to His three closest friends, He asked them to stay awake with Him. Then He went a little further and fell face down on the ground to pray. When He returned to the three he found them sleeping. He confronted Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake one hour?” (vs. 37)
The word eristicis of Greek origin and refers to those who argue simply for the purpose of winning, regardless of the reason. The word animus comes to us from Latin and means strong dislike. We know this as animosity. While these two words share nothing in common, I believe that the former can lead to the latter causing the two to become intricately linked.
Guards stopped us at the entrance to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ho Chunk and checked our IDs before allowing my Command Sergeant Major (CSM) and me to walk unarmed into the camp where several units were assigned. As we inspected the premises we saw unmade beds and gear strewn haphazardly inside tents. Soldiers walked by us out of uniform. At one point I ducked inside a tent and noticed several unsecured weapons. I grabbed an M16 and slung it on my shoulder. As we continued observing, warning sirens sounded and a quick response force rushed by us to meet a notional threat. I wondered what soldier was running around trying to find what happened to his M16! The captain in charge of the FOB (known as the mayor) approached us and spoke to us for several minutes. Amazingly he completely missed the fact that I was carrying a rifle—not something generals do.
Pound for pound Manny Pacquiao may be the best boxer ever. Born December 17, 1978, Manny is not just a Filipino fighter; he is also a politician, musician and actor. Given his popularity, he may be his country’s president someday. Manny is the first boxer to become an eight-division world champion. He won six world titles and is the first man to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes—an astounding accomplishment. The Boxing Writers Association of America named Manny the “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s.
In his book Younger Next Year cowritten with Chris Crowley, Dr. Henry Lodge states that “Over 50% of all illness and injuries in the last third of your life can be eliminated by changing your lifestyle in the way we suggest.” The major way they suggest is to exercise forty-five minutes a day six days a week. Four of those workouts are aerobic and two involve weight training. The reason most people grow weak and more susceptible to disease is directly attributed to their failure to exercise!
In 1969 the Japanese reported their first case of karoshi—death from overwork. More recently about 10,000 Japanese die annually for reasons attributed to karoshi. If that is a frightening statistic for an island of high achievers, one can only wonder how many die for the same reasons in the United States where even longer work hours are kept! King Solomon once wrote, “Therefore, I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me. For everything is futile and a pursuit of the wind (Ecclesiastes 7:22). I wonder how many people die each year hating what they do or full of anxiety because work has not brought them the pleasure and meaning in life they so desperately sought.
Luke 14:26, 27, 33—If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciple.
Have you ever had a period in life where you felt like an idiot and wish you could crawl in a hole and hide? I think I’m just emerging from the hole.
We can learn a lot from a cat. We recently bought a puppy, a yellow Labrador we named Hero. As is often the case with puppies, he is a chewer—nothing is safe from his razor-like teeth—except for Misty, our cat. Every time Hero tries to chew on Misty he takes one-two combinations to the head from a not-amused feline.
Okay, I admit it. There are days I just don’t feel like working out. However, if I want to have good muscle tone, a healthy heart and a strong body I have to exercise. Physical fitness doesn’t just happen. It takes consistentwork. We all know what occurs when we don’t exercise regularly. One workout (jogging, weight-lifting, aerobics class) per week, will not make me physically fit! Unfortunately, it’s be fit or be fat.
Supervisor’s 1st Week Work Evaluation of Prospective Employees:
Exodus 24:9-11--Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and 70 of Israel’s elders, and they saw the God of Israel. Beneath His feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire stone, as clear as the sky itself. God did not harm the Israelite nobles; they saw Him, and they ate and drank.
It must be difficult to be a professional basketball coach. It seems with each passing year that an increasing number of players are disrespectful to their coaches, referees, other players and the fans themselves. What should be a poetic team exercise of unselfish sportsmanship has turned into a circus of “I-isms” where a player’s attitude and action state, “It’s all about me.”
It must be difficult to be God. Daily He observes unruly, disrespectful children who seem more than willing to grieve His Spirit, ignore the commands of His Son and disdain His appointed leaders. What should be a marvelous demonstration of unity and fruit-bearing instead is the First Church of Me.
The Thanksgiving holiday is supposed to be about remembering how blessed we are by our Almighty Father in heaven. If gratitude is the point, food is the reminder. In truth, a hearty feast is a wonderful custom for celebrating our blessings. Not a Thanksgiving goes by for me that I don’t think back to traveling to Newburgh, NY with my roommate and best friend, Dave Mead. We would totally stuff ourselves at his grandmother’s house—eating was a competitive sport for two young cadets.
Why is it that the one year you get a flu shot you get the flu? Why does your dog shake off muddy water next to you when you’ve just changed into good clothes? Why does your husband get sick on the day you’re supposed to go on a family vacation? Why is it that the day you’re ready to complete your project the power goes out? Why do microphones work fine in rehearsal but then screech during the play? Why do people get mad at other drivers right after leaving church? Why do camera batteries go dead just when your son takes his first steps? Why does some stranger’s toddler pitch a fit at the climax of your daughter’s recital?