Philip's Goads

by O. P. Martin

Here are some short sayings I try to live my life by. Some are more original, some less, some are old, some are new. Here they are:

0. pray for it right now while you are thinking about it.
1. asking the right question is three quarters of getting the right answer.
2. going to the source is almost always better than trusting someone's paraphrase of the source.
3. when someone complains about a third party, they are usually describing themself more than the third party.
4. have a healthy respect for the proximity factor.
5. don't give a beggar money; ask what it is for and offer to buy him food. he will either make an excuse or accept the food.
6. following mere human-made regulations is a distant second to God's rules.
7. seek the balance.
8. thank the Lord first, then present your requests.
9. have friends of many different ages and social standings.
10. learn from other people's mistakes.
11. make room for the Lord first in all areas of life.
12. fear and guilt get in the way of love. love is seeking the other person's highest good.
13. forgiveness is accepting the pain without trying to punish the offender, even passively.
14. give information on a need-to-know basis. speak the truth in love. it is only necessary to be transparent to the extent that it is needed to safely build one another up.
15. true encouragement must first of all be true.
16. Jesus Christ is our glorious Creator, Lord, and Savior.
17. (this one is well-known:) spend 80% of the time and effort on the 20% that will make 80% of the difference.
18. keep the eternal perspective with you at all times.
19. when in doubt, don't. (my mother taught me that one.)
20. gather all the available information before producing output.
21. any human movement that has been at all popular has a gold nugget of truth to be found in it, often a truth that has currently been overlooked by the church. the devil will try to mix it with poisonous ungodly philosophy and dress it up in new packaging for people.
22. base your decisions on the most likely explanations of the evidence available at the time.
23. when going into marriage, keep your eyes wide open; ever after, eyes half shut.
24. the secret formula is: pray and obey.
25. stay in the inertia the Lord last called you to until He specifically makes a change.
26. after i had read through the whole Bible for myself the first time, i was more confident because no one could tell me what was in it or not. i knew.

When I am trying to make a difficult decision, after praying, sometimes I picture the different options as a bouquet of lighted fiber optic segments and ask myself, "Which is the brightest ?" It's weird, I know; but, it works for me.

On Tuesday, October 31, (Reformation Day!), I drafted a personal mission statement, (something that is recommended in Stephen Covey's book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". Here it is:
mission statement: i am a child of God in training seeking to
     be, have, think, say, and do everything that is pleasing to the Lord,
     serving as an excellent ambassador for Christ to those i meet in
     church, family, work, school, friends, and hobbies,
     balancing the spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional, with all
     wisdom, power, and love.

© copyright 2006-2007, O. P. Martin