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Thursday, June 23, 2005

To read or not to read - that's the question

I just read where someone once wrote that you'll be the same person five years from now as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read. The idea is that you won't grow as a person unless you bring new and positive influences into your life.

This is my ninth summer of living in Battle Creek, Michigan. My family and I love Battle Creek. Great place to live and raise your family.

But I've noticed a trend as I watch people who live in the same place for a long period of time and am wanting to guard myself from the same temptation.

The temptation of never or rarely making new friends, seeking out mentors, or building into the lives of others.

The temptation of rarely or never reading meaningful and enriching books and articles.

Now, now, don't get me wrong.

I'm not Saying that you should dump all your current friends in favor of some new ones (unless you are hanging around with a group of negative, bitter people).

But I do challenge you today to take your relationships and your mind to the next level.

Let me give you a quote:

"Reading is the gateway for growth. Books contain information, insight, and inspiration - all of which contribute significantly to your mental and spiritual development. Without the guidance of books, you're guessing at best. You're like a boat at sea without compass or map: You have the power to get somewhere but you have no direction.

Books contain the experiences of people who have failed miserably as well as those who have achieved greatly (both are useful. Good books also present ideas and concepts that stretch beyond our self-imposed limits.

This is especially true with the Bible. The greatest book ever written will teach, correct, inspire, and point you to the author. David wrote that the words of God are "more desirable than gold" and "sweeter than honey" (Psalms 19:10). The Bible is the basic guide for life. Read it daily. And make it a habit to read other enriching books as well."

Good stuff.

Read, read, read!

I never want to remain the same, I always want to be growing spiritually, mentally, emotionally and relationally!

Read, read, read!

And may your life be changed forever.

7 comments:

Words are deadly said...

So is it just reading and making different relationships, that change us? Don't movies sometimes change us, for the better? Sometimes we can see a very inspirational movie and it changes us. There is one movie that I watched that stars Patrick Swayze, It's called "City of Joy". It was a great movie. There are really so many movies out there that CAN change us for the better. I think it is all up to us though, to choose what we allow ourselves to watch.
I have a friend who wont watch ghost related movie because she feels they are demonic- that is her choice. I, on the other hand, Well I am facinated with ghosts. They are really interesting to me. I realize that there probably isnt such a thing as Casper. But there may just be something out there- I mean doesn't it make you wonder?

Anyway, I do have to agree though with pastor. That it is best to keep reading, keep makeing friends, and grow shronger with the Lord.
This way we wont be the same exact person forever- we can change, for the better.

~Mindy Bartzen

Youth Extreme said...
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Youth Extreme said...

Reading is a great first step in our growth and enrichment. But as with anything it takes action on our part to change and grow. I can read all the John Maxwell books on leadership, I can read all the newest and greatest books on chgange and motivation. But if I choose not to act or change my habits, actions or words I will have read for nothing but entertainment. It is the actions that result from reading that show growth and learning. I love to meet people, to talk and to learn from their life exeperiances. Cedar Point is a great place, you stand in line for an hour and see the same people ocver and over. I met a group of kids who where from Warren MI. and played in thier school band. SOme ofthem attended chuch others didn't. I met a man and women who has seen Pastor and our church services on TV while they visit family in Battle Creek. They attend Emmanual Temple in Lansing. These people I will most likly never see again but the conversations impacted me and encouraged me when I know our church continues to reach across our state and touch peoples lives. Take time to say hi to the person who is in line in front of you or behind you. You might be surprised what you learn during these brief encounters.

Youth Extreme said...
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Jon said...

I love to read, always have. I struggle, however, with starting and maintaining relationships with new people...sometimes I think (and others do as well, as they tell me so) that I could go into my house and never come out, becoming a modern day hermit, as long as I had my books. Books take us places, help us to see and understand things, and provide a wealth of knowledge for us. But, as with movies, you have to choose good books and good authors, otherwise you may be tainting your life with garbage. As computer folks say, "Garbage in, garbage out" or GIGO for you techies. We have to choose our books and our relationships, and choose to implement both in some meaningful way in our lives. As I've said, relationships are hard for me...at least in the beginning...to maintain and foster. The Lord knows it's not the talking that scares me as I'll rattle on with the best of the men (I give up on keeping up with the women as they have a 12,000 word daily advantage on me) until the sun comes up. But opening myself up to a new friendship, or relationship in general, is very much a struggle.

On another note, Rick said that we have to implement what we read and he's absolutely right...I just had an interesting discussion about hell (thanks George for all the notes from yesterday) that ranged from abortion to birth control to determinism and beyond. It was a great discussion held between brothers in Christ from different religions and it was good to be able to get into the Word and talk directly from God's divine guidance. I think we were all in agreement on the topics before we began Bible study (we were supposed to be studying Hosea but got way off the mark) but each took a turn playing the opposite advocate in order to foster the discussion. So, reading combined with relationships can double (or is it exponentially increase?) the gain for both.

God bless and keep you all.

Jon

Logic said...

If one can get thier mind to think up certain events, then one is using thier mind. But, if one sits and watches a machine produce pictures for thier mind, then the mind in and of itself is not being used fully. Books are better for the mind because they force the mind to "imgaine" what it is reading.

And yes, one should never be affraid or think it unnecessary to meet and make new friends. What could be more exciting? A book?

Alex Kahn said...

Ralph and myself could not agree with you more. I hope you and yours had a great 4th of July.

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.
- In Nice Guys Finish Seventh, (1992) by Ralph Keyes