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“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” – Isaac Asimov

Wow, this is so true.  I experienced this so much last week as I was thrust in a collaborative training environment with over 400 people who I did not know.   It was eye-opening for me to test my categorization of people.  I noticed quite often that some of my initial judgements ( and fears and assumptions) were way off base once I spent a few minutes with them.  I also noticed this same effect with my first thoughts about a few of the exercises.  Wow, was I way off once things got started, and I was able to reflect on how much I was able to extract from them.

This is not to say that I was being harsh in my judgements or overly critical of the events.  I was making these judgements based on experience and created future assumptions of how I thought the person would be, or the event would unfold.  As we all do!  I learned the greater lesson that Asimov is talking about.  This week, let go of some of your assumptions about people, events and places and see if approaching things with a more receptive open mind ‘lets some new light in” and provides you will ways to grow and new things to do!

It reminds me of this section of the Proverbs

8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. Proverbs 25:8 (KJV)

 or maybe this version is easy to think through

Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw. (MSG)


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Explosions, fuses and smoke

As darkness arrived yesterday and Usher’s curated fireworks started blasting over New York, the hills and valleys around my home came to life with volleys and explosions.  Usually, I can see all of these displays, but those trees, well, you know!

Hours later, I went to sleep with the pops and cracks of hundreds of fireworks being launched from all over the city.  Deep into the night the noises could still be heard.  The birthday was celebrated well, despite the continual rain and the cancellation of most of the municipal firework shows. With the thoughts of yesterday still fresh on our minds, this proverb is a great way to move forward and create a catalyst for spiritual growth today!

16 Fools have short fuses and explode all too quickly; the prudent quietly shrug off insults. 17 Truthful witness by a good person clears the air, but liars lay down a smoke screen of deceit. Proverbs 12:16-17 MSG



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Jumping Judges

One thing I have struggled with through my years on Earth has been judging others too quickly, and most of the time for the negative.  Judging a book by its cover has come easy for me, and in lots of cases, I have been incorrect and it’s made it hard for me to establish deeper relationship.  This is something I have worked on, and I have found holding back on categorization of people has worked pretty well.  However, I continue to grow in this area and earlier this week a Proverb was pointed out to me again, but in a totally different way from the way I have always read it. This new light brought out totally new meaning for me.

do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame? Proverbs 25:8 (NIV)

In this bit of wisdom, I have always focused on ‘the bring to court’ part,  emphasizing the encouragement to stay out of the court room and not bring suits against others.  Then, I had this sentence structure shown to me this week.

Don’t jump to conclusions, there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw. -Proverbs 25:8 (MSG)

Wow, that really changed the whole thing for me. and it even brings new meaning to the same verse written this way

Do not go out hastily to argue your case; Otherwise, what will you do in the end, When your neighbor humiliates you? (NASB)

The focus has changed from staying out of court to holding back on my position, until I really understand what is going on.  That’s a pretty big lesson for me, and I am sure lots of you as well.  And then the end becomes important as well, when you realize it has a lot to do with the relationship with the others involved.  Pretty Cool!

Over the last few weeks, I keep finding myself right back in the sermon on the mount, so why should today be any different?  Let me remind you of how similar this is to the teaching of that Christ guy when he says

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Matt 7

and it also seems to come full circle to his teaching on using the proper measuring spoon.

Why is that so simple to read, but so hard to put into practice?


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Dried Bones

Lately I have learned a lot about control and well, the lack of it.  The good thing is that there are several things that I can always control.  One of those is my attitude – same for you.  So today, regardless of the situation I find myself in, I can choose to tackle it with optimism and positivity.  Or I can choose to be a defeatist.  It’s my choice, no matter the situation.

Today, I will choose to be positive – and why not, I mean it’s good medicine!

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 ESV

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Today is the only May 2, 2013 that you will ever have.  It’s an interesting thing to consider how you will spend your time marking that occasion.

My bit of advice – don’t spend the day with Swamp Feet!

You can’t find firm footing in a swamp, but life rooted in God stands firm. (Proverbs 12:3 MSG)