Meaning – what we are devoted to and willing to suffer for…


John Piper – You can tell what a person loves by what he devotes himself to most passionately. What a person values most is reflected in his actions and motivations. 

Jordan Peterson – I got this idea about the fact that life can be meaningful enough to justify its suffering.  With regards to meaning I thought people know when they’re doing something meaningful. They can tell, so why the hell don’t they do meaningful things all the time. It seems obvious you could do it.

People have a choice.

Choice number one, nothing you do means anything.

Well that’s kind of a drag right. Meaninglessness of life and all that existential angst you know that’s kind of a pain but the upside of nothing that you do (!) be mean is meaningful is he don’t have to do anything. You’ve got no responsibility now. You have to suffer because things are meaningless but that’s a small price to pay for being able to be completely useless.

The alternative is everything you do matters.

If you make a mistake, it’s a real mistake. If you betray someone you tilt the world a little more sharply towards evil rather than good. It matters what you do well. If you buy that then you can have a meaningful life but there’s no mucking around. It means responsibility, it means that the decisions you make are important, it means that when you do something wrong it’s wrong. Well do you want that?

I learned in part from reading the writings of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who is a great Russian philosopher and novelist, that you can look at your life and you can see what isn’t right about it. **All you have to do is look and then you can start to fix that, and the way you fix it is by noticing what you could in fact fix.** People are often trying to fix things they can’t fix, which I would not recommend because if you try to fix something you can’t fix you’ll just ruin it.



If you canNOT change your circumstances….   change your perspective.


failed parenting

Entre Leadership

#170 Dr. John Townsend – Fighting Entitlement


  • I am not responsible for my impact on you
  • I am special
    • I have a special right to special treatment
    • I do not need to work my way up


  • One source of entitlement – parenting dynamics
    • Kids do not experience consequences
    • Did not learn how to fail
    • Did not learn that failure is real


  • Our culture today (advertising and web) tell us we deserve everything and we do not need to do anything to get it.


Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is inside of you.

You suppress it.  (block the light – Do not quench the spirit.  1 Thes 5:19    Do not put out the light of the spirit that is in you.)


You choose to listen to the Spirit. (1 Thes 16-18, 20-22) or you choose not.

EPIC good podcast to listen to:  Craig Groeschel

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.



Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’

Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all that their hands have made, my anger will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.’

They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

The mighty man will become tinder and his work a spark; both will burn together, with no one to quenchthe fire.”

It will not be quenched night or day; its smoke will rise forever. From generation to generation it will lie desolate; no one will ever pass through it again.

“And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.”

Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it.

“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: My anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place—on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land—and it will burn and not be quenched.

This is what the Lord says to you, house of David: “‘Administer justice every morning; rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it.

But that day belongs to the Lord, the Lord Almighty— a day of vengeance, for vengeance on his foes. The sword will devour till it is satisfied, till it has quenched its thirst with blood. For the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will offer sacrifice in the land of the north by the River Euphrates.

Say to the southern forest: ‘Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume all your trees, both green and dry. The blazing flame will not be quenched, and every face from south to north will be scorched by it.

Everyone will see that I the Lord have kindled it; it will not be quenched.’”

Seek the Lord and live, or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire; it will devour them, and Bethel will have no one to quench it.

where “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

Meaning and Purpose trump happiness

Meaning and Purpose trump happiness?

Joy is a symptom of a person who lives with meaning and purpose.


Joy vs HappinessJoy and happiness are wonderful feelings to experience, but are very different. … It comes when you make peace with who you are, why you are and how you are, where as happiness tends to be externally triggered and is based on other people, things, places, thoughts and events.

Comparison chart

Happiness versus Joy comparison chart
Edit this comparison chart Happiness Joy
Meaning Happiness is an emotion in which one experiences feelings ranging from contentment and satisfaction to bliss and intense pleasure. Joy is a stronger, less common feeling than happiness. Witnessing or achieving selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice (suffering) frequently triggers this emotion. Feeling spiritually connected to a god or to people.
Causes earthly experiences, material objects Spiritual experiences, caring for others, gratitude, thankfulness
Emotion outward expression of elation inward peace and contentment
Time frame temporary, based on outward circumstances lasting, based on inward circumstances
Example In the midst of life’s ups and downs happiness is still present. Serving others, sometimes through sacrifice with no possible personal gain. Witnessing justice for the less fortunate. Feeling close to a god.
Analogy Happiness is a state. Think of it as a 100 story building and each level corresponds to a happiness value. And that happiness will persist for quite a long time Joy is that sudden burst of happiness. Joy is like the elevator in that building that takes you up to higher levels of happiness only for a small amount of time and back.
Life Happiness can be experienced from any good activity, food or company. Joy is a byproduct of a moral lifestyle.

God’s highest value, his greatest love, is his own name.

The difference is:  God make humans uniquely able to love God.  No other known creature can do this.

God is love.   God’s highest value, his greatest love, is his own name

From here:

The Lord expresses his love through the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah and says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness”

1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”


Love in the Old Testament

Jesus said that the greatest commandment in the Old Testament was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind” (Matthew 22:36ff; Deuteronomy 6:5). The second commandment was, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39; Leviticus 19:18). Then he said, “On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets” (Matthew 22:40). This must mean that if a person understood and obeyed these two commandments, he would understand and fulfill what the whole Old Testament was trying to teach. Everything in the Old Testament, when properly understood, aims basically to transform men and women into people who fervently love God and their neighbor.


God’s Love

You can tell what a person loves by what he devotes himself to most passionately. What a person values most is reflected in his actions and motivations. It is plain in the Old Testament that God’s highest value, his greatest love, is his own name. From the beginning of Israel’s history to the end of the Old Testament era God was moved by this great love. He says through Isaiah that he created Israel “for his glory” (Isaiah 43:7): “You are my servant Israel in whom I will be glorified” (Isaiah 49:3).

Thus when God delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt and preserved them in the wilderness it was because he was acting for his own name’s sake, “that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations” (Ezekiel 20:9, 14, 22; cf Exodus 14:4). And when God drove out the other nations from the Promised Land of Canaan, he was “making himself a name” (2 Samuel 7:23). Then finally at the end of the Old Testament era, after Israel had been taken into captivity in Babylon, God plans to have mercy and save his people. He says, “For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you…For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:9, 11 cf. Ezekiel 36:22, 23, 32). From these texts we can see how much God loves his own glory and how deeply committed he is to preserving the honor of his name.


God’s highest value, his greatest love, is his own name.  I had trouble with this.   I felt that it  (God) was arrogant, self centered, self focused, greedy, jealous, etc. (all bad things that I should not be).   But when I realized that God is perfect, eternal, omnipotent, etc., it would be logically incoherent for God to NOT love perfection (himself).  It would be logically incoherent for God’s highest value, his greatest love to be anything other than his own name.


God’s highest value, his greatest love, is his own name is only really a problem for someone who has their loves out of order and believes that God can be:

  1. compared to someone or something
  2. equivalent or submissive to someone or something
  3. under control or obligation to someone or something
  4. owing someone or something

Love has value as it produces good.