Reading has become a favorite past time for me. Shortly after our children started competing in golf I combed the bookstore shelves looking for books that would help me learn more about golf but even more, teach me how to encourage my children in the game. I didn’t grow up playing sports but as our kids became serious competitive golfers, I wanted to be able to encourage from the sidelines.

The first book I ever picked up was John Wooden’s book, “Wooden”. I loved it! At the very end he had a couple of pages of recommendations, just short statements of things he had learned. One that jumped off the page and punched me between the eyes was what he said about reading. “If you choose not to become a lifelong reader, YOU choose a life of IGNORANCE”. I had been choosing a life of ignorance and that day…I decided to decide…I would no longer choose “ignorance!” Some of the best advice I have ever taken…..

Currently I am working on completing my reading list so that I can recommend a reading list to my audience when I travel and speak in 2016. I have one for this year, 15 for 2015, and this coming year I hope to have 16 for 2016. Today, I am reading the most challenging and fascinating book entitled, “Drive, The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”. I love it.

It is not an easy book to read but it is full of truth. The studies and their findings are compelling! In fact, I so agree with it. I now realize I bought into the cultural lie in parenting and in performance for so long that I am sick that I didn’t know about it sooner. So thankful I do now. As I read the book, I see clearly the points and the proofs the book gives on intrinsic motivation and how rewards-based motivation actually weakens motivation!

The best motivation and drive comes from within…without incentives or rewards.

For example, over the years our kids played golf, their best golf was played from their “love of the game!” A “passion from within!” Their love for daily improving and seeing themselves grow and get better during the process. For all three of our children that changed when they got to college. Their golf and their game became about pleasing and performing for someone other than themselves. It became about “performance” and at times their was “fear of reproof”. I watched their golf game go backwards. Not what you would expect but I saw it and have now read about it as well.

Two very special young Christian men, Joshua Medcalf and Jamie Gilmore, both former college athletes, recently introduced me to their reading list. I learned about both men after speaking at a college golf tournament. In this list I have found some of the most rewarding books I have ever read. I was so encouraged when I got the list and saw that most of my 15 for 2015 were on their recommended list…but they had countless others. Of course these men recommend God’s word and all of the books on their list encourage, strengthen and solidify biblical principles…for an abundant life.

So simply today…I encourage you with this…READ, READ, READ.

There is so much great reading material today. Turn off the trash on TV and open your mind and heart to becoming wise. Just because it says it on TV doesn’t mean that it is true. As I read I realize the “media” bombards you with their agenda, their “truth,” in which there are “many lies!”

You don’t know what you don’t know. Adopt the scripture found in Proverbs 4:7-9, “The beginning of of wisdom is this: GET WISDOM. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown” [emphasis added].

Understand…the Bible is the beginning of wisdom…but there have been in the past and now in the present many Christians who write excellent work to supplement and help anyone strengthen their walk and their life through the writer’s own testimonies of success, mistakes and experience. The best advice I can encourage you with today is to become a “lifelong reader” and “seek wisdom!”

“Wisdom is to the soul what health is to the body.” ~Unknown

“Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read….We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure time, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service. Paul cries, “Bring the books” — join in the cry.”” ~Charles Spurgeon

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