Please don’t squeeze the bonbons!

At the check-out at the bread store, I saw this little sign above a basket of goodies: “Please don’t squeeze the bonbons.” I asked the cashier what that was about.

“Oh, you wouldn’t believe how many people squeeze them — not just children either — the adults do, too!” she said. (Is this just a Brazil thing?)

So why would an adult squeeze a bonbon? Are they resisting temptation to buy one? Are they checking for freshness? Or do they have some secret hatred of humanity, trying to destroy the enjoyment of a bonbon by others? Continue reading “Please don’t squeeze the bonbons!”

Your will, not mine

One more week until the madness ends. In my lingering euphoria over having my almost-daily migraines disappear, I agreed to let the local Master Gardeners add my yard to their summer tour of a handful of gardens.

“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs16:9, NASB). In other words, things don’t always go as planned! Continue reading “Your will, not mine”

The complete will of God

Many people think it a trifle to talk about the existence of denominations, the details of conversion, or the specifics of discipleship. They see it as a waste of time, an exercise in futility, or, worse, an attempt to proselytize people whom God considers righteous.

Christians committed to following the New Testament, however, seek to be different from the world and, in the renewal of their minds and the transformation of their hearts, follow the complete will of God. Continue reading “The complete will of God”

God’s will and providence

If God answers prayers by dramatically opening doors, this proves God has revealed his individualized plan for that Christian, right? The stream of popular Christian culture pointing to Proverbs 3:5 tends to respond with a resounding yes.

Wait a moment. Every parent knows this is not necessarily so. Just reflect with me upon your own ubiquitous experiences.

Like every other parent on this planet, my wife and I strove to provide our boys with what we deemed to be the best. As they grew revealing aptitudes and interests, our resources and efforts opened doors for them to grow and develop. We intentionally and specifically entered into shaping and guiding their lives in various situations. Continue reading “God’s will and providence”

Getting Things Done vs. Doing God’s Will

From DayTimers to Stephen Covey, a plethora of tools help one get organized and keep tasks and information from getting lost in the shuffle. Systems abound for efficient work and effective effort.

A recent popular approach is David Allen’s action-management approach, Getting Things Done. His detailed plan calls for writing things down to allow the mind to focus on the task at hand, and defining specific actions that can be taken for successful outcomes.

I’m experimenting with Allen’s approach through the free service and Simon Baird’s mGSD adaptation. After the GTD people asked Baird to change the name of his version of it, because of copyright issues, he called it “Getting Stuff Done.” Continue reading “Getting Things Done vs. Doing God’s Will”

Our plans and God’s

We don’t often think of the book of Proverbs as a unified work, more as loose sayings scattered about rather carelessly. But the book has more order than at first glance. There are several groupings on topics of wisdom. Here are a few notes on one of those groupings.

Proverbs 16:1-9 makes a strong statement about the sovereignty of God. He knows what he’s doing, and man has a limited, narrow view of where everything will lead. Man thinks God’s commandments about morals is hogwash, but such arrogance has its own end. “The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster” (v. 4).

Calvinists make the sovereignty of God overbearing, crushing the human will. But he is indeed sovereign, whether in our words (Pro 16:1) or actions (Pro 16:9). Our plans cannot supersede God’s. His will always overrules. Continue reading “Our plans and God’s”