proverbs {paraphrased}

proverbs 13:14

the teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.

reading and listening to the words of gifted, godly men and women will not only help you have a better day.... it just might save your life.

when we allow daily distractions to draw our minds away from the truth, we can suffer the consequences... bad moods, negative attitudes or aloof, uninterested interactions.
but, if we're willing to choose the best over the bad, our moods soften and we become tender, our attitudes become positive and we begin to interact with the people around us in love and with joy.  it starts with prayer, confession, surrender.... and a good word.

choose to turn off the tv and instead watch a message from your pastor online.  if your church doesn't archive weekly messages, pick a pastor you've heard of before or that you like.  i often listen to messages on my iPod while cleaning.  my mind is filled with wisdom, knowledge and truth.... and i'm getting a not-so-enjoyable-job completed as well.  i even find i have a better attitude about the cleaning itself when i do this.

instead of flipping through a fashion magazine or gossip rag, pick up a book by a well known Bible teacher.  let the truth of THAT sink into your brain rather than the worlds view on political and social subjects.

rather than getting caught up in blogs and websites that make you feel inadequate and fuel your insecurities,  do a Bible study written by a godly man or woman that will serve to instruct and inspire you.  you'll learn and grow in the person YOU are supposed to be and won't be so tempted to imitate or covet someone else's life.

these should not be 'alternatives' to the norm.... they should be our go-to choices

*disclaimer/confession*
i love a few tv shows. i enjoy a couple of fashion magazines. i follow several blogs.

that may at first sound like a double standard but hear me: the goal here is to get you to see the value and importance of filling up your heart and mind with truth so that when you have some extra time on your hands (extra. meaning you did all the other stuff first) you can filter through the rest and enjoy. time management is not my forte. i have to work at it. and i admit i often fail at it.  the idea here is to put the first things first, let God have the first shot at inspiring you. let his Word be the first, life-giving thing you drink. your whole life will reap the benefits.

here are some links to a few preachers, teachers and writers that God uses consistently to inspire and instruct me:

fresh life church
levi lusko
anne graham-lotz
beth moore
john piper
matt chandler
charles spurgeon
eugene peterson
mike erre
john eldredge
priscilla shrier
greg laurie
cathe laurie
skip heitzig
lenya heitzig