Category Archives: Apples of Gold

One of the best books I’ve ever read!

I just finished The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Talk about life changing, inspiring, uplifting. If I follow through and apply the principles that were clarified for me in this book, I will be a far more mature, desirable and useful person. Everyone should read this book! There were many parts that warrant sharing but this one toward the end, talking about sharpening your saw, really jumped out at me.

“Just as the education of nerve and sinew is vital to the excellent athlete and education of the mind is vital to the scholar, education of the conscience is vital to the truly proactive, highly effective person. Training and educating the conscience, however, requires even greater concentration, more balanced discipline, more consistently honest living. It requires regular feasting on inspiring literature, thinking noble thoughts and, above all, living in harmony with its still small voice.

Just as junk food and lack of exercise can ruin an athlete’s condition, those things that are obscene, crude, or pornographic can breed an inner darkness that numbs our higher sensibilities and substitutes the social conscience of “Will I be found out?” for the natural or divine conscience of “What is right and wrong?”

In the worlds of Dag Hammarskjold,

 You cannot play with the animal in you without becoming wholly animal, play with falsehood without forfeiting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensitivity of mind. He who wants to keep his garden tidy doesn’t reserve a plot for weeds.

Once we are self-aware, we must choose purposes and principles to live by; otherwise the vacuum will be filled, and we will lose our self-awareness and become like groveling animals who live primarily for survival and propagation. People who exist on that level aren’t living; they are “being lived.” They are reacting, unaware of the unique endowments that lie dormant and undeveloped within.

And there is no shortcut to developing them. The law of the harvest governs; we will always reap what we sow—no more, no less. The law of justice is immutable, and the closer we align ourselves with correct principles, the better our judgment will be about how the world operates and the more accurate our paradigms—our maps of the territory—will be.”

I could go on and on but I won’t. I’m excited to integrate these lessons into my life, with greater awareness and understanding, and see what the results are down the road.

Leave a comment

Filed under Apples of Gold, Getting It Together, Great Books, Insights

John Eldredge and “Waking the Dead”

I read this book for the first time, about 5 or 6 years ago, since then I’ve re-read it 3 times and I’ll likely read it several more times in my life. This book was revolutionary for me, the first time I read it, I had to stop every paragraph or two because I was crying. Lies that I didn’t know I was laboring under the belief of, were exposed and broken.

In spite of all the good that was poured into my life, I was in bondage to a lot of lies, the biggest one being the belief that I was not redeemable, that I was an “apostate” and somehow God couldn’t reach me. I still did the christian thing but was secretly convinced that I was a lost cause. These lies came, at least partly, out of years of struggle against my love for things dubbed “evil” by many of the church people I associated with. Things like the Star Wars movies,  the music of Sarah Brightman and Bon Jovi, Tolkien, etc. I tried over and over to kill my love for these things but to no avail, finally concluding that if I couldn’t stop loving “evil” then I must be “evil” myself. Reading “Waking the Dead” was like having the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. The dark cloud I had lived under for so many years was gone and I could see the Son.

Leave a comment

Filed under Apples of Gold, Bookshelf, Thanks

2010 in Review

Well, this year has come to an end and a fresh new year is right around the corner. Some people look forward to the new year and some people dread it. Some are glad to be out of a “bad” year and hope that the next year will be better, while others fear that the new year will probably be worse. As a Christian, and therefore a child of the King of kings, both of these attitudes seem to disparage and distrust the kindness of our Father and King. While there have been difficulties and trials this year, they have been overcome and have worked for my good. I trust the hand that directs all things, I know He is working for my best. With that in mind I can bid a fond farewell to 2010 and welcome 2011 with open arms.

Leave a comment

Filed under Apples of Gold, Thanks