King Salmon taught me how to learn

Last year I started learning how to fish for King Salmon and Steelhead. I’d regularly fished for Atlantic Salmon in Scotland, but soon discovered I needed a whole new set of skills and tackle.

When I first started going into Michigan Tackle shops, I would begin by mentioning that I had fished for Atlantic Salmon for many years and was keen to try my hand at Kings and Steelies. I used to get frustrated that the store staff and neighboring anglers would share very little advice or local knowledge with me.

Know-it-all?
Was I coming across like a know-it-all? Did they just assume, “Oh, well he sounds as if he knows what he’s doing.”

Then I decided just to say nothing about my past angling experience. Just go in and ask some questions. Again, little or nothing in the way of help. And sometimes worse – sending me to the wrong places with the wrong tackle. Did I look as if I was going to empty their rivers of all their precious fish? Or maybe they’re still fighting the War of Independence in Northern Michigan.

I know nothing
This year, I took a different tack – and struck information gold! My first line to local guides and tackle shops was, “Look, I’m a complete novice at this and know absolutely nothing. Can you help out a total beginner?”

And out the information gushed: best spots, best tackle, best lures, best days, and best techniques. And as you can see – in came the fish!

Maybe they thought, “Well this poor guy hasn’t got a hope of hooking a King, never mind getting one in his net.” More likely, I think people like to teach the teachable. They enjoy having expert knowledge that they can pass on to willing students. It’s enjoyable to see others acknowledge, seek, and benefit from their expertise.

Teach me everything
The key to learning is admitting ignorance. As a teacher and preacher, I’ve certainly experienced the opposite. When I’m with someone who can’t stop talking about what they know, and who never asks a question in even an hour of conversation, I clam up, lose interest, and begin to think, “How can I get out of this fast?”

I wonder how often God has felt like that with me? With you? If we want to learn anything from God, let’s take His Word to Him and say, “Lord, I know nothing. Teach me everything.”

Has He not promised: “The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way” (Ps. 25:9).

P.S. Knowing Nate E. helps too ;)


Check out

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Tweets of the Day


Children’s Bible Reading Plan

This week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first 12 months of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

And here’s the first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

And here’s an explanation of the plan.


The key to a better job and a higher salary is….

…Creativity.

Yes, our Creator’s call to create like Him will not just help you see your daily work and calling in a brighter and better light, it will also improve your professional prospects and increase your salary.

As Tony Wagner reported in Creating Innovators, corporations and institutions are increasingly looking for evidence of creativity and innovation in their hiring and promotional decisions:

  • According to a 2008 Conference Board report, “U.S. employers rate creativity/innovation among the top five skills that will increase in importance over the next five years.”
  • Stimulating innovation/creativity and enabling entrepreneurship is among the top 10 challenges of U.S. CEO’s.
  • In a 2010 McKinsey & Company global survey, 84 percent of executives say innovation is extremely or very important.

In a world of intense global competition, companies are desperately trying to stand out through innovative products, services, and marketing. In most fields, it’s no longer enough to be average or even good at what you do. Human Resource managers want to see evidence of initiative and innovation, even if it’s in an entirely unrelated field. It’s problem-solving ability and opportunity-making (and taking) character they are looking for. “Has he taken any risks in his life? Has she branched out on her own before? Has he done anything different?”

Christians who know THE Creator and learn from Him how to create like Him in their own little corner of the creation, should have a massive competitive advantage in the workplace and marketplace.

They also get to glorify and enjoy God better.


Check out

Samuel Miller’s Triumph over Pastoral Distraction
Are you tempted by digital distraction and political partisanship? Gary Steward invites you to learn from Samuel Miller’s life: “When Miller became a professor at Princeton, he renounced the social, intellectual, and political entanglements that had ensnared him as a pastor in New York.  By the time he arrived at Princeton he had already renounced all connections with the Masonic Lodge.  He also came to renounce his Jeffersonian political views and see his former political partisanship in a negative light altogether.”

Joy in the Midst of Hope Deferred
Then Mike Leake points us to another Samuel (the Rutherford variety) for help in dealing with disappointment.

Without blogging, would we ever see such great short pieces as these come to public attention? Isn’t it a great way for people to share brief insights and spiritual lessons without having to write a whole book about it!

10 Ways Blogging has Made me More Productive
While we’re on the subject, I’m always amazed by how often people associate blogging with time-wasting. It can be a time-sink, of course. However, my own experience has been much more along the lines of this article.

7 Ways Twitter Sharpens Your Writing
Yes, even Twitter can be a help to overall communication. I certainly know a few writers (and preachers!) who could benefit from some Twitter training.

How to write a Theology Essay
Just in case my students begin to think I’m for dumbing down.

Guns, Gangs, and God: Why you should care about Chicago
Ending the week on a sobering note: “Chicago Homicides Outnumber U.S. Troop Killings In Afghanistan.” Although we may differ on how to address this carnage, I agree with the writer’s conclusion: “Everyone cannot get to Chicago overnight to impact that city, but you can be effective in your own city. When you show a concern, things can change.”