Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

The Wisdom Of Crowds

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The online description of The Wisdom of Crowds reads, “In this fascinating book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea: Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.”
The author uses a variety of things, ranging from pop culture to politics, to present one basic thought: More often than not, the crowd gets it right. It’s an interesting theory, but one that would probably be debated during election years or when someone’s favorite contestant is voted off a reality TV show.
While the Bible makes it clear that the wisdom of crowds may not be reliable and can be dangerous (Matt. 7:13-14), there is another way collective wisdom can be helpful. In Proverbs 11:14, we read, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” One of the benefits of the body of Christ is that we can assist one another—in part by working together to seek God’s wisdom. When we join together to pursue God’s purposes, we find safety in His provision of each other and receive His wisdom for the challenges of life.
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise. —Smith
We best pursue the wisdom of God when we pursue it together.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Too Blessed

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
On my daily commute to and from the office, I have plenty of time for reading—bumper stickers on cars, that is. Some are surly, others clever, and still others downright distasteful. One bumper sticker I saw recently, however, gently challenged my heart about the way I often engage life. The sticker simply said, “Too blessed to complain.”
I must confess that I felt convicted as I pondered those words. Too often I find myself lamenting moments in life that don’t go my way, rather than focusing on the wonderful gifts my heavenly Father has given me. Reading that simple message that day brought me a renewed commitment to be more actively and intentionally grateful because my God has been good to me in more ways than I could ever count.
Psalm 107 is a song that seeks to rectify thankless thinking. The psalmist (who many think was King David) makes a plea to hearts grown cold with ingratitude, repeating four times, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (vv.8,15,21,31). Even in the worst of times, we have much to be thankful for. May we learn to thank God for His goodness to us!
Count your blessings—name them one by one;
Count your blessings—see what God hath done;
Count your blessings—name them one by one;
Count your many blessings—see what God hath done. —Oatman
We don’t need more to be thankful for, we just need to be more thankful.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Re-post From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Road Construction

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Here in Michigan we joke that we have two seasons: winter and road construction. Harsh winters damage road surfaces, so repair crews begin their work as soon as the ice melts and the ground thaws. Although we call this work “construction,” much of what they do looks like “destruction.” In some cases, simply patching holes is not an option. Workers have to replace the old road with a new one.
That’s what it can feel like when God is at work in our lives. Throughout the Old Testament, God told His people to expect some major renovation on the road between Him and them (Isa. 62:10-11; Jer. 31:31). When God sent Jesus, it seemed to the Jews as if their way to God was being destroyed. But Jesus wasn’t destroying anything. He was completing it (Matt. 5:17). The old way paved with laws became a new way paved with the sacrificial love of Jesus.
God is still at work replacing old ways of sin and legalism with the way of love that Jesus completed. When He removes our old ways of thinking and behaving, it may feel as if everything familiar is being destroyed. But God is not destroying anything; He is building a better way. And we can be confident that the end result will be smoother relationships with others and a closer relationship with Him.
Free from the law—O happy condition!
Jesus has bled, and there is remission;
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Grace has redeemed us once for all. —Bliss
Upheaval often precedes spiritual progress.

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