Tag Archives: planning

Wisdom Wednesday: Put Your Heart Into Caring

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It has been a while since I have posted a Wisdom Wednesday, but now that my EMT classes are over, and because I have a good friend who encourages and motivates me, I decided to post one today.  Thank you, Randell!

Have you ever been caught by surprise and left wondering, “How did that just happen?!”

While looking over proverbs that I had noted months ago, Proverbs 27:23 jumped out at me— “Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds.” That’s only part of the entire proverb, but it stood out to me for a few personal reasons, and I realized how multi-faceted it is. It’s not just about flocks and herds, being a farmer, or finances; it’s about stewardship, leadership, and relationships. Good shepherds know their sheep, good leaders know their people, and good relationships are kept intact when we know and love each other in the way we each need to feel loved. If we neglect to “know the face of our flocks” or “put our heart into caring”, as the literal Hebrew implies, we may find ourselves caught by surprise when something or someone slips away.

“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” —George Lorimer

“For willful waste makes woeful want, and I may live to say, ‘Oh! How I wish I had the bread that once I threw away!’” —Unknown

“When you’re dying of thirst it’s too late to think about digging a well.” —Japanese Proverb

“He who would enjoy the fruit must not spoil the blossoms.” —Gaelic proverb

“When men say [“Oh, I’ve loaded my shotgun”], ‘cause I know when men say that, they’re trying to pretend they have taken their position of leadership. You don’t need to load your shotgun, you need to love your daughter. You need to know your daughter. You need to pray with your daughter. You need to invest in your daughter, ‘cause the main thing is not to blow his head off, but to keep her heart.” —Mark Driscoll, pastor in Honor Your Father and Mother

“Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.” —Proverbs 27:23, 24 NLT

“Effective leaders are engaged in the lives of the people they are leading and are constantly seeking to understand how they can create an environment in which people succeed.” —Nathan Mellor, president of Strata Leadership, LLC

“He who wants to travel far takes care of his beast.” —French proverb


If you liked this, you might also like… Wisdom Wednesday: Neglect Destroys

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Be Prepared When Life Gets Slippery

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“They’re easier to take off than to put on,” our fire chief stated after some of us ‘probies’ learned how to install tire chains on the fire apparatus. We were expecting a snowstorm, but until the storm has passed, we never know what kind of weather or how much snow we’ll actually get here in Vermont. It’s not good to run tire chains on dry pavement, but being prepared is better than being caught with our chains down, especially since speed is important when responding to emergencies. I couldn’t help but think his statement provided a life lesson.

It is easier to avoid a slippery slope if we prepare ahead of time. It is easier to gain some traction by ‘putting on’ wisdom and knowing what to do if we have obtained the knowledge and wisdom needed for different situations. For example, it is easier to say, “No,” or avoid a temptation if we ‘put our chains on’ before facing that temptation, whether it’s a piece of triple chocolate raspberry torte, sex, drugs, or saying something in the heat of the moment that we’ll later regret. It’s best to ‘walk away’ at the outset of a potential problem rather than end up trying to extricate ourselves from the problem after we’ve succumbed. Remember B’rer Rabbit and the Tar Baby? Either don’t stop by the bakery for coffee, or make a firm decision ahead of time not to buy a pastry, too! Don’t even look at them!  Once you step foot in the bakery or go through the drive-thru, you’re already on the slope. Got traction?

I didn’t say it was easy.

It isn’t always easy to say, “No,” to strong desires, but making a decision about what to do, if we ever find ourselves in a certain type of situation, makes following through with that decision a bit easier if we make it ahead of time. If we choose not to think about it or prepare, we could find ourselves slipping and sliding, and not only crash ourselves, but hurt others as well. Good thing there are no maple cream doughnuts in the house.

If you liked this, you might also like… the Wisdom Wednesday series.

Christian Life Coach Ministry

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Meet Lyle Newell, founder and ministry leader of Christian Life Coach Ministry. I met Lyle a few weeks ago while volunteering with a local fire department’s biker’s breakfast fundraiser, a breakfast held before the annual toy run to benefit The Shriner’s Hospital. He was one of the bikers riding in the run.

He told me a cute anecdote related to biking. While gassing up his motorcycle one day, a van drove up and he heard a child say, “Mom, look! A biker!”

“Where?” thought Lyle as he looked around and realized the child was talking about him.

Since I also had the privilege of riding in the Toy Run, I was able to spend some time getting to know Lyle through the event as well as through Facebook. He is the husband of a lovely wife and father of two sons. He has a lot of energy and seems to have a genuine love for God and people.

CLC.logoChristian Life Coach Ministry provides services to individuals, couples and groups on a donation basis. It is based in northern Vermont, but provides online services as well. Services include: spiritual and personal growth, career planning and development, effective communication, motivation, stress management, time management, transition management, finances and budgeting, relationships, intimacy, family and parenting, household management, health and fitness, lifestyle, and self-care.

You can find out more info or contact Lyle through the Christian Life Coach Ministry Facebook page.

Serving others – One life, One moment, One step at a time.


If you liked this, you might also like Leave No One Behind, in which Lyle is pictured wearing the “Born2” t-shirt.

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Wisdom Wednesday: Don’t Build Your House First!

"Before you marry, have a house to live in, fields to till, and vines to cut."  —Spanish proverb

“Before you marry, have a house to live in, fields to till, and vines to cut.” —Spanish proverb

Have you ever considered the wisdom of some things that seem old-fashioned? Although the concept of young men preparing themselves to support a wife and family can be found and is encouraged among the homeschool community, long before they even start dating, so many young people, especially outside of the homeschooling community struggle financially after being newly married, because they were not really prepared. I have been to many bridal showers at which the bride-to-be has confessed to not even knowing how to cook. It is time to recall and revive some old-fashioned things.

When I first read Proverbs 24:27, I thought, “What?? Don’t you need a house to live in, to come home to after working in the field? Why would you prepare your fields first and then build your house?”

Ok, so I’m a little slow sometimes.

There was a time when young people learned life skills and saved money while living with their parents, so they would be ready to raise a family of their own. Young men sought to have a good job and a place of their own before they would even consider proposing marriage. Although the economy has forced kids to move back in with parents after having been on their own for a time, this generation seems to be more concerned with having fun in college and becoming independent than in preparing to become parents themselves. In fact, some shows portray having children as a negative thing, a fun and freedom stealer rather than the many joys and blessings children can bring. The word house in ancient times was also used to mean ‘family’, so the principle of preparing your fields, i.e. getting a job and being established before building your house, can apply to both your literal house and your family.

“In life, those who think about the future tend to do better than those who think only in the present. Yet those who think only in the present still do much better than those who think only in the past.” —Joe Beam

“The one who is not prepared today will be less prepared tomorrow.” —Latin proverb

The #1 reason for strife in marriages is money, although it generally isn’t the root cause but a symptom of something deeper. Men need respect and women need to feel secure and loved. Just think how much that reason can be diminished when young men are better prepared to support a wife and family financially and emotionally. I’m not saying women shouldn’t work, too, but ask any man, and even if they are failing to provide, they still feel that weight of responsibility.

“The better prepared, the more secure.” —Latin proverb

“Before you marry, have a house to live in, fields to till, and vines to cut.” —Spanish proverb

“An empty purse and a finished house, make a man wise, but too late.” —Portuguese proverb

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” —Vincent Van Gogh

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” —Karen Lamb


If you liked this, you might also like… Making Plans


Wisdom Wednesday: Making Plans

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Have you ever felt like your life was going nowhere or like you just can’t ever seem to get ahead?  Maybe it’s just one area of your life, or maybe it’s your whole life.  I often feel like I can never cage the paper tiger of bookkeeping or household management.  But I do know from experience that when I do sit down and make a plan, things seem to run so much more smoothly and efficiently than when I don’t.  Writing things down or keeping a To Do list on my phone helps me keep track of things.  Planning can actually save time and money and help us reach goals we otherwise would never pursue without taking the time to make a plan and invest in it.  Eleanor Roosevelt, the longest-serving First Lady of the U.S., said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”  The problem with wishing and not planning is wishing never gets us anywhere.  If we fail to plan, we will merely react and become a slave to our circumstances.

“The rich man plans for tomorrow, the poor man for today.”  —Chinese proverb

“It is not good enough for things to be planned—they still have to be done; for the intention to become a reality, energy has to be launched into operation.”  —Walt Kelly, American cartoonist

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.”  —Peter Marshall

Even when I take the time to plan, I often procrastinate in working my plan and then find myself stressed out, because I either have to rush through it, find myself running late, or unable to obtain the needed supplies I thought I’d just be able to pick up quickly.  Has that ever happened to you?  When we procrastinate, we don’t leave room for the unexpected.  That’s what happened with the past two weeks of Wisdom Wednesday— procrastination and unforeseen circumstances.  Procrastination costs more.  If we procrastinate in paying a bill, we end up paying more because of late fees or finance charges.

Some people are good at daily planning while others are great at long-term planning.  I admire my friends, Mary Ellen and Diane, because they are great at planning daily, weekly and monthly activities while remaining very flexible so they can serve and bless others.  I admire my friend, Barb, who is great at long-term planning.  She purposely sets money aside so she can take vacations and visit long distance family members.  I admire my friend, Tabitha, a single mother, who is great at planning and multitasking in her career and ministry, while maintaining a budget and a close relationship with her daughter.  And I admire my friend, Jean, who has great organizational and planning skills and is very productive.

Some Christians  fail to make plans, because they misunderstand Matthew 6:34, which says, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”  They think they are fully trusting the Lord by not planning, but  there’s a difference between worrying or being anxious about tomorrow versus planning for tomorrow.  The Bible encourages wise planning and seeking godly advisers when making plans.  God promises to take care of us, but we have a responsibility to live wisely.  The thing to remember when making plans is to pray and remember that God is sovereign and our plans may not match up with His, so we need to be flexible and willing to adjust.

“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”  —Proverbs 19:21

“For man plans, but God arranges.”  —German proverb

“Any plan is bad that cannot be changed.”  —Italian proverb

Another thing about planning is to be diligent and not give up if we don’t see immediate results, like with a weight loss plan or a career plan that begins with education.  Or think Karate Kid.  Some things take more time and effort.

“Time is always a factor in sowing and reaping.  If one plants a seed today, one does not expect to see the end result tomorrow.”  —Gary Runn

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”  —Greek proverb

“…the best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today.  That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.”  —Dale Carnegie

“The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.”  —Proverbs 21:5

“A little impatience, spoils great plans.”  —Chinese proverb

Some people encourage others to just go for it!  Chase your dreams with wild abandon!  But to do so without some sort of plan would be foolish.  You don’t have to jump off and jump in.  That would be like jumping into deep water when you don’t know how to swim.  Just take the first step.  Come up with a plan and work it!

Wisdom Wednesday: Counting the Cost

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“Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?”  –Luke 14:31

Have you ever decided or promised to do something and later realized you wouldn’t be able to make it happen?  Were you embarrassed or felt like you had failed?

A few years ago while outside photographing some flowers, I came across an interesting sight.  A tetragnatha pinicola spider appeared to have sensed movement.  It slowly made its way to the center of the flower where a honey bee was gathering pollen.  As both the spider and honey bee drew closer together, the spider carefully stretched out one of its legs, drew it back again, and backed away.  It appeared to have examined its potential prey and counted the costs before attacking.  The bee on the other hand seemed quite undaunted by the spider’s presence or covert probe.  The encounter reminded me of Jesus admonishing a great multitude of followers to count the cost of becoming His disciple (Luke 14:25-35).  A Japanese proverb says, “A monk for just three days,” describes a person who hadn’t fully considered what he was getting into and gave up when things became too difficult.  Jesus never promised us a rose garden here on Earth.  Following Jesus has cost some people their family, friends, jobs, and even lives.  A Dutch proverb says, “What costs nothing is worth nothing.”   Just as Jesus used the common examples of a man building a tower and a king going to war, we, too, should count the cost before venturing into any potential unknown.

Before you act, consider; when you have considered, ‘tis fully time to act.”  —Sallust, Roman historian

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