Archive for April, 2012

Learning Simplifies Life


Humans begin learning as soon as they are born.  Babies start by learning to recognize your voice, your face, and your touch. When these are associated with comfort, a baby responds positively and can develop normally.  When these are associated with pain or displeasure, a baby’s development is slowed.

As they grow from babies into toddlers, children learn from playing and interacting with others.   At some point in time, at least in western societies, they will begin a formal learning process that continues through early adulthood.  Whether they are home schooled or attend public or parochial schools, the benefits of a formal education are undeniable.

Attending college is a fairly common educational goal in the United States.  A  Georgetown University study titled “The College Payoff” indicates that lifetime earnings of a college graduate on the average will be 75% higher than the earnings of a high school graduate.   Likewise, a Brookings Institution Study indicates, “a $102,000 investment in a four-year college (education) yields a rate of return of 15.2 percent per year—more than double the average return over the last 60 years experienced in the stock market.”

It pays to become educated. Higher lifetime earnings open the door to greater possibilities in life, including access to health care, good nutrition, better living conditions, recreational opportunities and a host of other advantages.  Consequently, individuals invest a lot of money in earning a college degree.   A recent U.S. government report indicated that student loan debt in America has surpassed the one trillion dollar mark.  Americans are eager to earn a college degree, even when the cost is high!

As a management consultant, I can attest to the value of learning for businesses. Businesses depend upon any number of management processes to operate.  As they grow larger, businesses require more, increasingly complex processes.  I cannot begin to count the number of businesses that I’ve seen struggling because they didn’t adhere to their processes.  The most common reason for this is they didn’t take the time to thoroughly train their employees.  By investing in employee training, a company can significantly improve its efficiency and profitability.  Show me a successful large company and I’ll show you a company that has an effective training system.

With all of our societal emphasis on education and learning, I find it puzzling that so many Christians spend little time learning about their own faith.  Take this online Bible literacy quiz and see if you have room for improving your knowledge.

While there are no accurate figures, indications are that the vast majority of Christians have never read the Bible completely through.  Do you fit into this category?  Then I challenge you to make it a point to read the Bible through in one year.

There are numerous websites that will help you read the Bible in a year.  A good one can be found at this link:  The website allows you to choose from 50 different Bible versions and to select from a variety of reading plans, including beginning to end, chronologically as the events occurred, in the historical order that most agree the books were written, or in a daily selection of verses from both the Old and New Testament.   You can find a number of Bible study tools at this website:

Many websites offer free Bible study courses. RBC Ministries, which publishes the popular devotional Our Daily Bread, offers over 40 free courses online at    Better yet, join a local Bible study group at your own church or at another church in your community.  These groups offer learning and fellowship—a great combination anytime.  Studying God’s word will make your life simpler, as it will equip you to better deal with life’s challenges and with its blessings.

I am a creature of a day. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God. I want to know one thing: the way to heaven. God himself has condescended to teach me the way. He has written it down in a book. Oh, give me that book! At any price give me the book of God. Let me be a man of one book.                  

                                                                                                                                                  John Wesley