Book Review: The Power of a Half Hour by Tommy Barnett

Summary in a sentence: “Your half hours direct and shape your future.”

Tommy Barnett points out the incredible power of investing small amounts of time to get huge returns. Time is the “most significant nonrenewable resource” that we have. Each day that passes leaves us with less time. Time is a gift from God which He intends for us to invest carefully, intentionally, wisely, and productively.

“You will never get lost time back–and nobody can eliminate the results of time well-invested.”

The thirty short chapters in this book are grouped into categories that focus charting your life path, strengthening your faith, building your character, advancing your dreams, improving your relationships, and changing the world. Mr. Barnett shows how all of this can be accomplished thirty minutes at a time.

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The book offers some good, practical instruction. By no means does it exhaust each topic, but the point is to demonstrate the difference a small amount of time given regularly to any area of life needing improvement can make a big difference.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is striving for growth in any area of life. Especially if you ever feel overwhelmed by what seems to be insurmountable odds. Mr. Barnett will help you break down every obstacle and attack it strategically.

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Spend and be Spent

Africa causes one to take a good look at their spending habits.

Everyone is spending. At this moment, all across this globe effort is being exerted, knowledge is being invested, talents compounded (or buried). Money is changing hands and likely slipping through the cracks. All are spending.

All of this takes place as men and women everywhere spend humanity’s most precious commodity at an equal and steady pace; TIME. Like a single file row of soldiers marching over a cliff to their demise, time marches on as seconds slip over the edge never to return again.

How are your spending habits?

Isaiah 58:10 says, “And [if] thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness [be] as the noonday:” One translation says, “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry…” We live in a world of great hunger, both physical and spiritual hunger. Of course, the physical hunger is evident, it is visible. Spiritual hunger is not always so easy to see. I wonder what it would do to us if we could get just a glimpse of the spiritual hunger in our world. How am I being spent to help solve the famine?

Paul takes it a step further in 2 Corinthians 12:15 he says, “I will gladly spend and be spent…” It is most interesting that Paul distinguishes between the two. When you spend, you choose what you will purchase and how much you will spend. When you are spent, you become the traded commodity; you have no choice in the matter. That which is spent is submitted to the spender.

Is it your heart’s desire to reach a hungry world? Can you say with Paul, “I will gladly spend and be spent.”

What are your spending habits? How will you be spent?

The ‘How’ and the ‘Why’

I was intrigued by this poem today.  It may provide some inspiration for those of you who are reviewing 2010 and praying, planning, and preparing for 2011.

Photo by h.koppdelaney

I am any man’s suitor, If any will be my tutor: Some say this life is pleasant, Some think it speedeth fast: In time there is no present, In eternity no future, In eternity no past. We laugh, we cry, we are born, we die, Who will riddle me the how and the why?

The bulrush nods unto his brother The wheatears whisper to each other: What is it they say? What do they there? Why two and two make four? Why round is not square? Why the rocks stand still, and the light clouds fly? Why the heavy oak groans, and the white willows sigh? Why deep is not high, and high is not deep? Whether we wake or whether we sleep? Whether we sleep or whether we die? How you are you? Why I am I? Who will riddle me the how and the why?

The world is somewhat; it goes on somehow; But what is the meaning of then and now! I feel there is something; but how and what? I know there is somewhat; but what and why! I cannot tell if that somewhat be I.

The little bird pipeth ‘why! why!’ In the summerwoods when the sun falls low, And the great bird sits on the opposite bough, And stares in his face and shouts ‘how? how?’ And the black owl scuds down the mellow twilight, And chaunts ‘how? how?’ the whole of the night.

Why the life goes when the blood is spilt? What the life is? Where the soul may lie? Why a church is with a steeple built; And a house with a chimney-pot? Who will riddle me the how and the what? Who will riddle me the what and the why?

– Alfred Lord Tennyson (The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson)

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The Lifetime of an Opportunity

It has been said that the opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity. Every great opportunity has its limitations. There is a limited period of time in which to make use of their offer and their opportunity.

This truth is illustrated by the story of an old Saxon king who set out to put down a rebellion in a distant province of his kingdom. When the insurrection had been quelled, the king put a candle over the archway of his castle where he had headquarters and, lighting the candle, announced to all who had been in rebellion against him that all who surrendered while the candle was burning would be spared. The king offered mercy, but the offer was limited to the lifetime of the candle.

Every great offer of life and of time has its candle limitations. We always say tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. All we have are our todays. It doesn’t matter what you will do with your opportunity tomorrow, what will you do with it today?

To the sinner, today is the day of salvation. Please don’t wait for we are not promised tomorrow. Repent and turn to Jesus today.

To the child of God, what is it that God is calling you to do? Please, the world is counting on the Church today. We cannot afford to wait until tomorrow.

The wick is short. The flame flickers. The opportunity has almost lived its lifetime.