Wise Up!


As they say―growing old is inevitable . . . growing up is optional. Now that I’ve just celebrated my 70th birthday I realize that I still have a lot to learn. That’s why I read and reflect every day. Almost without fail, I discover (or sometimes re-discover) a rich insight or two that is really helpful to me. Some of these learnings inspire me, others convict me, and many even affirm me. 

Here’s one that gripped me recently and won’t let go. It’s from I Samuel 26:23. Even though he was once again running for his life from King Saul, David refused to retaliate. Instead David said, “The Lord gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal.”

Yesterday I was talking with a good friend who serves as the HR director in her company. When I shared this verse with Lori I suggested that the twin values of “doing good” and “being loyal” just might serve well as guidelines for any healthy team or business. She agreed. We both see that these two standards would also help in any marriage or any ministry.

What if before making any significant decision we asked ourselves these two questions:

Is this the good and God-honoring thing?

Is this the loyal and loving thing?

I can guarantee that if those two questions had always been my guiding lights, I would have avoided some embarrassing mess-ups. In addition, those two standards are helpful in setting the guardrails, not only for better decisions, but also for better disciplines. For example, I just finished eating two pieces of pie with extra ice-cream, and I’m thinking that the way I’m feeling at the moment just might be the result of something less than one of my wiser choices!

Living wisely is a never-ending challenge. As I dare to coach and encourage leaders, I am always reminded that just as I remind them to practice daily disciplines, I need to practice them myself! Here are a few that I daily seek to follow:

  • Begin each day slowly by reading and reflecting on Scripture.
  • List and journal five specific reasons for gratitude from the day before.
  • Enjoy some physical activity, averaging at least 10,000 steps per day.
  • Encourage others with a conversation, phone call, note or email.
  • End the day giving God the last word by reading a little more from His Word. 

I still have a lot of growing to do . . . how about you? Consider this, “These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.” (Proverbs 1:1-2

Grace and Peace,

Alan Ahlgrim
Director of Pastor Care
Blessing Ranch Ministries

"We were able to spend a week at Blessing Ranch Ministries. It was an amazing week! . . . . We learned SO much during this week. It was a great opportunity for rest, reflection, prayer, reading and seeking wise counsel. We were blessed beyond words! Each day we would have sessions with Dr. Walker, time to reflect, homework (a lot of reading), and amazing dinners each night. . . I grew so much in my personal faith journey during this week." Missionary, Dominican Republic
"Just wanted to say a quick note of thanks to you for jumpstarting our road to recovery. You told me before we went there that Blessing Ranch Ministries was a place of miracles, and we totally agree with you. God used you to begin our healing process, and for that I’m so thankful." Missions and Outreach Pastor, Illinois
"I was burned out, overwhelmed, and anxious when I arrived at the Blessing Ranch Ministries; I left feeling validated and hopeful, with a deeper awareness of who God is and who I am." Youth Pastor, Wisconsin
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