‘Forgetting enough to be effective’: Chris Underwood

Below is Chris Underwood’s “Encouragement Note” for April. Chris is a Christian from Chicago IL.

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” ―Johnny Cash

Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Some businesses have entire departments responsible to deliver “Lessons Learned” training in an effort to bring awareness and compliance to their workforce. We may call it learning from your mistakes, whether the work is hospital surgery, drugstore prescriptions, or packing a parachute for one hundred people where it is not acceptable to have 99% success rate (think about that next time you have surgery, pick up a prescription or jump out of a plane).

Mistakes can be fatal, even when people do their work in good conscience. The memory of acting in good conscience and committing sin may lead to a lifetime of regrets, anguish and worry that can cause us to be “stuck” in the mud, and fail to move forward. Continue reading

#forgiveness, #memory, #mistakes

In the last election Derby Connecticut John R…

In the last election, Derby, Connecticut John R. Butler was running for a pace on the Board of Appointment and Taxation. However, due to a mistake, John J. Butler, his son’s name, was placed on the ballot. John J. had no interest in the office, never campaigned, yet because of the snafu, he was elected and reluctantly became a member of the board. Everyone makes mistakes. Most are minor slips or flubs. But as John J. and John R. learned, sometimes even minor mistakes can cause major problems. I’ve made some big mistakes in my life and lots of minor ones. But I glory in the truth that no matter what a mess I have made of things, if I will truly turn and seek God’s forgiveness, there is grace and love to be found.

#just-a-minute, #mistakes

First Impression or Lasting Impression?

None of us always make a good first impression. Sometimes we give a bad first impression intentionally, and sometimes we don’t even realize it’s being done.

Have you ever gotten the wrong first impression about someone? Those odds are about as good as someone else getting the wrong first impression about us!

What made you change your mind about them? Wasn’t it time? Was it not keeping that first impression from being the last impression?

This may be a completely subjective thought, but I think lasting impressions can be more important first impressions. Why’s that? It’s because people tend to be influenced over time and not instantaneously. Influence takes time and time leaves lasting impressions.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay attention to first impressions as God’s people. I’ve worked with the public since I was a teenager, and I know it’s much easier to keep a door open than it is to try to get someone to open that door. That’s why when it comes to first impressions God’s people are encouraged to:

Be wise in your behaviour to those who are outside, making good use of the time. Let your talk be with grace, mixed with salt, so that you may be able to give an answer to everyone.” (Colossians 4:5-6 – BBE)

But we all know we make mistakes, and we all know that despite the fact that we’re not very flexible we still somehow manage to insert our foot all the way up into our mouth. That’s why we should remember the value of a lasting impression.

We never know when five minutes, five days, five months or five years may turn into an opportunity that can change a life for an eternity. And that’s an impression that I’d call lasting!

For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.” (Romans 14:7 – NKJV)

#christianity, #impressions, #influence, #mistakes, #opportunities

The soap that floats

There is a well-known brand of soap that has two uncommon qualities. It’s known as “the soap which floats” and is the oldest of the best-sellers. But it wasn’t always that way.

Years ago this soap was just another brand among many. Then a factory foreman blundered by leaving a batch of new soap unwatched in the cooking vat during noon hour. His lunch was delayed and the soap overcooked.

Rather than report the mistake and run the risk of dismissal, the foreman decided to make the best of it. He shipped out this new batch anyway. It seemed to clean just as well — although now much lighter.

The results surprised everyone. Rather than complaints the company was deluged with orders for this floating soap. The foreman was not fired but promoted when he cooperated with company chemists to revise and modify the old formula for “the soap that floats.”

Blessings sometimes come from blunders. It’s often possible to make something better out of something bad.

That’s the way God works with us. We don’t often do right the first time, but He’s always ready to salvage the situation no matter how bad we make it. (Rom 8:28)

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#god, #mistakes, #redemption

10 mistakes to avoid

  1. Remorse over yesterday’s failure.
  2. Anxiety over today’s problems.
  3. Worry over Tomorrow’s uncertainty.
  4. Waste of the moment’s opportunity.
  5. Procrastination with one’s present duty.
  6. Resentment of another’s success.
  7. Criticism of a neighbor’s imperfection.
  8. Impatience with youth’s immaturity.
  9. Skepticism of our nation’s future.
  10. Unbelief in God’s providence.

—Maude Louise Ray

James 4:13-15 – Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit” whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#lists, #mistakes, #wisdom


I have been MIA from TFR for some time now (though I haven’t stopped reading). I suppose it is as “they” say…life gets in the way. I’m going to try to work on that, though. If I can just come up with something worthwhile to contribute now…

Which leads me to my “whoops” moment…I realized recently that I did not complete the chapter-by-chapter NT series that I began early in the year. For some reason, I had in my mind that I had covered all of the books, but I never posted 1,2,3 John or Revelation. I will double-check to make sure I have all the others, too, but in the meantime, I’m going to be posting those 4 books to (hopefully) complete that series. I hope it has been beneficial to others – it certainly has helped me.


Nudge: welcome advice

We’ve not had a Nudge in a long time, so here goes one for you. What advice do you wish you’d received before you needed it?

Advice is usually considered something unwelcome. Let’s think about a piece of advice that we would have been glad to have received, perhaps helping us to avoid a mistake or live on a higher plane.


#advice, #counseling, #mistakes, #wisdom