John Flavel on Finding God’s Will

John Flavel:

If there­fore in doubt­ful cases you would dis­cover God’s will, gov­ern your­selves in your search after it by the fol­low­ing rules:

  1. Get the true fear of God upon your hearts. Be really afraid of offend­ing him. God will not hide his mind from such a soul. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant” (Psalm 25:14).
  2. Study the Word more, and the con­cerns and inter­ests of the world less. The Word is light to your feet (Psalm 119:105), that is, it has a dis­cov­er­ing and direct­ing use­ful­ness as to all duties to be done and dan­gers to be avoided…
  3. Reduce what you know into prac­tice, and you shall know what is your duty to prac­tice. “If any man do his will he shall know of the doc­trine” (John 7:17). “A good under­stand­ing have all they that do his com­mand­ments” (Psalm 111:10).
  4. Pray for illu­mi­na­tion and direc­tion in the way that you should go.Beg the Lord to guide you in straits and that he would not per­mit you to fall into sin…
  5. And this being done, fol­low Prov­i­dence so far as it agrees with the Word and no fur­ther. There is no use to be made of Prov­i­dence against the Word, but in sub­servience to it.

The Mys­tery of Prov­i­dence, 1678, (Carlisle, PA: Ban­ner of Truth Trust, 2006), 188–9, empha­sis mine.

HTJonathan Par­nell

Do Right

There’s a song I grew up lis­ten­ing to as a kid. It’s stuck with me and now more than ever I love the sim­plic­ity of the message.

Here’s some prin­ci­pals I want to point out from these lyrics. First of all, doing right starts with a deep pur­pose and con­vic­tion about what you believe. Sec­ond, don’t con­tem­plate or jus­tify, go head strong and do what you believe. Third, real­ize there’s often a price for doing right. Make sure you count the cost so you’re not taken off guard. Fourth, per­se­vere to the end. One right deci­sion doesn’t jus­tify your bad decisions.

And now, the lyrics to “Do Right” by Ron Hamil­ton (from Patch the Pirate).

Verse 1:
From the very start, have pur­pose in your heart
To do what’s right and never ques­tion why.
Never count the cost, though every­thing seems lost;
The price for doing right is some­times high.

Verse 2:
Right is always right, and wrong is always wrong,
And we must learn to sep­a­rate the two!
If you love the right, the Lord will give you light;
So seek the right in every­thing you do!

Cho­rus:
Do right till the stars fall, do right till the last call
Do right when there’s no one else to stand by you!
Do right when you’re all alone, do right though it’s never known.
Do right since you love the Lord — do right, do right!

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Probably the most unique high school graduation gift I got was a book written by  Dr. Seuss called “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”. I’m moving next week, and I’m going through a lot of my stuff and found this book. As I started reading it, I fell in love with it. Looking from the other side now almost a year after graduating college, I’m convinced it was the best present I got. Here’s what it says if anyone’s interested in reading the whole thing.

Congratulations!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ‘em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’ choose to go there.”

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There if fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though you arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike.
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
Random House, New York

Ebook: The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Lifestyle

“Simplicity, clarity, singleness: these are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy.”– Richard Halloway

Post written by Leo Bbauta. Follow me on Twitter.

Yes, I know it’s ironic it’s not just one page or one sentence … but I’ve just finished writing a new ebook I hope you’ll enjoy: The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life.

I could have made it a sentence – “Eliminate the unnecessary” – but I tried to make it useful, and include chapters on different problems that people will face on their journey to a more minimalist life.

What will this ebook will help you with:

* Clearing clutter and reducing your possessions
* Figuring out what’s necessary, and how to be content with less
* Simplifying your schedule, your work, and living a less stressful life
* Creating a minimalist workspace, home, computer, financial life, diet and fitness program
* How to go paperless and digitize your life

The ebook is $9.95, is Uncopyrighted.

Buy The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life here.

Here’s a listing of the chapters:

  • A small irony
  • Notes on using this book
  • What is a minimalist life?
  • Overall minimalist principles
  • How to become a minimalist
  • Contentedness
  • Rethinking necessities
  • Simplify what you do
  • Clearing clutter
  • Minimalist home
  • Minimalist workspace
  • Minimalist computer
  • Going paperless, digitizing
  • Minimalist travel
  • Wardrobe and grooming
  • Minimalist food
  • Minimalist fitness
  • Minimalist finances
  • Finding simplicity with kids
  • Dealing with non-minimalist loved ones
  • Minimalism is the end of organizing
  • Step lightly upon this world: on sustainability
  • FAQs
  • Other resources

And here’s a preview of the first few chapters, so you can see what the ebook is like. As you’ll notice, the pages are pretty sparse, so while 104 pages on minimalism might seem like a lot, the chapters are actually pretty short.

The ebook is in PDF format, is DRM-free, is $9.95 and again is Uncopyrighted. I don’t plan to offer it in different formats.

It’s my hope that this book will help you live a simpler, happier life!

Buy The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life here.

On the Virtue of Wasting Time

This is a great short post by Carl Trueman.  Well worth the read and definitely well worth putting into practice. He starts out by saying,

One of the amazing things about modern American culture is surely the pathological fear of wasting time

and ends by saying,

wasting time with a choice friend or two on a regular basis might be the best investment of time you ever make.