Random Notes From What I’m Reading

The story of my life is the story of my faith…

Archive for March 2008

Motel 6

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Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Let’s say you spend a week in a Motel 6. How likely would it be for you to take all your money and spend it decorating your motel room? How probable is it that you would clean out your bank account to purchase van Goghs or paintings of Elvis on velvet or whatever it is your taste runs to?

Not very. You wouldn’t even be tempted, because the motel room is not home. You’re only going to be there a little while. It would be foolish to waste the treasure of your one and only life on a temporary residence.

Smart players are clear on what lasts and what doesn’t. So Jesus says it is wise to store up treasure in what’s eternal: God and people.

This is Motel 6. Your “room” – your home, your furniture and clothes and possessions – will last the equivalent of a few seconds compared to the eternity that will be occupied by your soul. It’s not bad to stay in a place and enjoy it while you’re there. But Jesus says don’t store up treasure in Motel 6. It’s not your home. You’re only going to be here a little while. If you’re going to stay up nights dreaming, dream about something better than how to upgrade your motel room.

John Ortberg in When The Game Is Over It All Goes Back In The Box 


Written by Ryan

March 6, 2008 at 8:15 am

The Daniel Adventure

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Once more: one of the best exercises for playing the game wisely is to be concious of making decisions.

So, take the next ten days to go on a Daniel adventure. Pick some area where you can take action. And for ten days, choose to honor God in that area. Maybe, like Daniel, it will involve what you eat. Or maybe it will concern what you choose to feed your mind. Maybe you will seek to go ten days without complaining to anyone. Maybe each day for the next ten days you will choose to read the book of Daniel.

Perhaps for the next ten days what will help you take your turn is to become intensely aware of all the decisions that are open to you. Some of them are absurdly small:  you can sleep on the opposite side of the bed! You can brush your teeth before you eat breakfast. You can choose what you will wear, how you will comb your hair, what you read, what you listen to,who you call on the phone, what notes you write, what music you listen to, what route you take to work, what time you get up on Saturday. Some of them will be larger. You can refuse your boss or spouse the power to dictate what kind of mood you will be in through the day based on how he or she treats you. Like Daniel, you can choose.

Never give up your spirit. Never yield emotionally.

Take action. Do something – even if you’re  not sure what. Taking action helps prevent sinking into helplessness.

John Ortberg in When The Game Is Over It All Goes Back In The Box 

Written by Ryan

March 4, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Is It My Turn Yet?

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“You have a ‘turn’ every time you have an opportunity to choose. But most of us see only a tiny faction of the choices we have. One of the best exercises for playing the game wisely is to be conscious of making decisions. The more you become aware of how many choices are up to you, the more eagerly you embrace your turn. You can practice this today. What will you feed your mind? What thoughts will you dwell on? Whom will you have conversations with? Where will you direct your desires? How will you take care of your body? What cats of service will you engage in? When will you choose to be interrupted, and when will you choose to stay on task? What will you eat? How will you spend your time? All of these are calls you will make, and when you add them up, they create your life. No one else can take your turn.”

John Ortberg in When The Game Is Over It All Goes Back In The Box 

Written by Ryan

March 3, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Two Pieces of Paper

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” Everyone must carry two pieces of paper with him and look at them every day. On one it is written: ‘You are dust and ashes.’ And on the other: ‘For you the universe was created.”

Rabbinic Saying

Written by Ryan

March 2, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Posted in Christian, Religion


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My grandmother understood the need to untie ropes also, but she called it ‘discarding’ – getting rid of the things that will hold you back. Monopoly was a game she played with her grandchildren, but her preference ran to card games. She loved a game called canasta that required to deck of cards, and she never forgot a single card that had been played. I had a pair of twin cousins named Larry and Gary who wanted to beat  my grandmother so badly they would secretly pass cards to each other using their toes. They would drop subtle hints about which suit they wanted their partner to bid in (“Boy, my heart
skipped a beat when I saw this hand.” Didn’t help. She always won. And she said the secret to the game was knowing what to discard.

In life, as in canasta, the secret lies in knowing what to discard. If I am not yet living according to what I believe matters most, it is no accident. There are forces or habits that have a deep hold on me that I will have to get rid of. The writer of Hebrews puts it like this: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked for us. ”

We must discard whatever will hold us down. We must discard the wrong priorities that keep us from what matter most.

John Ortberg in “When the game is over, it all goes back in the box”

Written by Ryan

March 1, 2008 at 10:22 pm