Sunday, January 31, 2010

40 Things I've Learned in 40 Years

Here is this morning's sermon. Listen here.
40 Things I’ve Learned (or at least should have learned) in 40 Years: Wit and Wisdom from Saints, Sinners, and My Journey with God
40. I have learned that each day is a gift. I should accept it, embrace it, use it, and share it.
39. I have learned to learn from my mistakes. Or at least I should have this one figured out by now.
38. I have learned that it is the pebble in your shoe and not the mountain in front of you that will likely wear you out.
37. I have learned the journey of the thousand miles begins with a single step.
36. I have learned that to risk is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to risk is to lose oneself. –Søren Kierkegaard
35. I have learned that our life always expresses our dominant thoughts. It’s kind of like this: our thoughts become our words which become our actions which become our habits which become our character which becomes our destiny.
34. I have learned that love is not an adjective; it is a verb.
33. I have learned that friends are the brothers and sisters that God didn’t give us by birth.
32. I have learned that we look most like Jesus when we serve others.
31. I have learned that anger is destructive to everyone who is in proximity of the angry person. I’ve also learned that the person who suffers the most from anger is the one who is angry.
30. I have learned that the marriage relationship is the most important human relationship that I have.
29. I have learned that I would rather fail as a pastor than fail as a father.
28. I have learned that I should accept people for being their true selves, encourage people to become their true selves, but never allow somebody to be ruined by their self-destructive behaviors.
27. I have learned that joy is not in things; it is in us.
26. I have learned when life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.
25. I have learned that the entire population of the world, with the exception of one person, consists of people other than myself.
24. I have learned that it is by grace I have been saved, through faith—and this not from myself, it is a gift of God. –Ephesians 2:8
23. I have learned that I am God’s masterpiece. –Ephesians 2:10
22. I have learned that big dreams lead to a big life.
21. I have learned that sometimes it’s not ready, aim, fire. Sometimes it’s ready, fire, aim! –Steve Sjogren
20. I have learned that the world is made up of imperfect people and, therefore, any relationship I am going to be in will also be imperfect. “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” –Romans 3:23
19. I have learned that sin is not hurtful because it is forbidden; sin is forbidden because it is hurtful.
18. I have learned that in running, and in life, the will to win means nothing without the will to prepare. –Juma Ikangaa
17. I have learned that sometimes life is hard, but our response makes a difference. Pain in life is inevitable; suffering is optional.
16. I have learned that I can’t go back and start a new beginning, but I can start today and make a new ending. “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” –Philippians 3:13
15. I have learned vision without action is a daydream and action without vision is a nightmare.
14. I have learned to give up the good to go for the great.
13. I have learned that we can’t change other people. We can only change our reaction to those people.
12. I have learned that forgiveness is the key to contentment. Forgiving and living is better than remembering and resenting.
11. I have learned not to forget to love myself.
10. I have learned that one of the most productive uses of my time is investing in future generations.
9. I have learned that my attitude in life determines life’s attitude toward me.
8. I have learned that forty years from now I will be more disappointed by the things that I didn't do than by the ones I did do. I will dare, discover, and dream. -Mark Twain
7. I have learned that I am closest to God and my life makes most sense when I read the Bible daily.
6. I have learned it’s best to do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. –John Wesley
5. I have learned rest isn’t a waste of time. Rest is necessary for a fruitful life. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” –Matthew 11:28
4. I have learned that God’s grace is sufficient for me, for my power is made perfect in weakness. -2 Corinthians 12:9
3. I have learned that the function of prayer is not necessarily to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. –Søren Kierkegaard
2. I have learned that God makes saints out of sinners. God has always been and will always be in the business of changing lives. Few things in life are as beautiful as a changed life.
1. I have learned that God loves me. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16

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