some of my counselors for 2017/2018

 

Without counsel, plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15.22)

And so, I deliberately, and regularly, seek out good advice and counsel from others. Some of that counsel comes to me in the form of books; the authors of these books are my advisers.

With the start of a new year at hand, I plan to surround myself with a small group of wise men. A dozen published minds and a dozen months. In fact, my plan is a two-year plan, and so it is actually more like two dozen minds and two dozen months.

bonhoefferMy 2017 group consists of: Dietrich Bonhoeffer (pictured above), Shane Claiborne, John Climacus, Peter Enns, Richard Foster, Stanley Hauerwas, C.S. Lewis, Scot McKnight, Eugene H. Peterson, Christian Smith, Christopher J.H. Wright, and N.T. Wright.

My 2018 group will be comprised of: John Barclay, Richard Beck, Benedict of Nursia, Edward Fudge, John Goldingay, Michael J. Gorman, James Bryan Smith, Henri Nouwen, Richard Rohr, C. Christopher Smith, James K.A. Smith, and Dallas Willard.

Of course, my advice and counsel won’t be limited to these men – by no means – but, I will focus deeply on the words of these.

I foresee some benefit overflowing your way from this effort in a number of ways, one small way being that I intend to share snippets of their insight and wisdom in the form of quotes each day the next two years on my Facebook page, as well as perhaps, some posted here on occasion.

Two thoughts:

(1) Do you have a plan for what you feed your head in terms of reading (aside from Scripture), and if so, what is it?

(2) Who do you grant special access to the stimulation, challenge, and formation of your thinking, and why? That is, who do you seek out to sharpen you?

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27.17)

golden nuggets from Sirach (5)

 

Every few days I’m posting five passages that have jumped out at me as I read through Sirach (aka: Ecclesiasticus).

Run away from sin like you would from a snake: If you go near it, it will bite you. Its teeth are lion’s teeth, destroying a person’s life. (Sirach 21.2)

People who are afraid to act are like clumps of cow manure; those who pick it up will shake off their hand. (Sirach 22.2)

Don’t grow accustomed to saying coarse things because to do so is to engage in sinful speech. (Sirach 23.13)

How beautiful is sound judgment in gray-haired women and finding good advice in elderly men! (Sirach 25.4)

The husband of a good wife is favored, and the length of his life will be doubled. A courageous wife will make her husband happy, and he will complete his years in peace. … A loudmouthed and talkative wife is like a battle trumpet sounding an attack. The spirit of the man who lives under such conditions lives perpetually in the chaos of the battlefield. (Sirach 26.1-2,27)

golden nuggets from Sirach (2)

 

Every few days now I’m posting five passages that have jumped out at me as I make my way through Sirach (aka: Ecclesiasticus) this time. Here’s the next installment. Read and consider.

Let those who are at peace with you be many, but let only one in a thousand be your advisor. (Sirach 6.6)

“Don’t seek political power from the Lord or a seat of honor from the king.” (Sirach 7.4)

“Don’t be timid in your prayer, and don’t neglect caring for those in need.” (Sirach 7.10)

“Don’t make fun of the uneducated, or your ancestors might be insulted.” (Sirach 8.4)

“Turn your eye away from a shapely woman, and don’t stare at beauty belonging to someone else.” (Sirach 9.8a)

this went thru my mind

 

Advice: Most Advice is Bad Advice by Seth Godin

“People mean well, especially friends and family, but they’re going to give you bad advice.”

God, patience, perspective, suffering & time: Waiting on the Lord by Tim Archer

“Human reasoning says, ‘Take care of it now. Bring about justice by your own hand. Something must be done immediately.’ Divine reasoning says, ‘I’ll take care of it. In my time.’ Do we have enough faith to wait on the Lord?”

Hostility & humanity: A Jolting Message by Richard Rohr

“Is this not the core historical problem that continues to justify most hostility to this day?”

Ministry & parenting: How Does a Pastor Help His Children Not Become Disenchanted with the Church or His Ministry? by Brian Croft

“Every pastor’s family is at risk at becoming disenchanted, even hostile to that church and ministry that so often takes their father away.  How can a pastor help, not hinder his children to grow in love for the church?”