Discussion Questions on Seven Men & the Secret to Their Greatness: Washington

Some questions for discussion on Eric Metaxas’ chapter on George Washington.

  1. Metaxas says, “If you wonder whether one person’s actions can matter, and if you wonder whether character matters, you needn’t look any further than the story of George Washington.” Later he states that Washington believed God had a purpose for his life. Do you ever wonder about this? Can one person’s action matter? Does God have a purpose for everyone’s life? How might that knowledge change a person? What’s God’s purpose for your life?
  2. How would you characterize Washington in his first military experience in Western Pennsylvania (in the early days of The French and Indian War)? What kinds of character traits do you observe? Throughout the remainder of the war, what do you see developing in Washington?
  3. In his letter to George Fairfax, Washington speaks of the dichotomy before him: Engaging in a bloody revolution or becoming a nation of slaves to England. He goes on to write, “Sad alternative! But can a virtuous Man hesitate in his choice?” Have you ever been in a position where you only had two options — and neither was desirable? Upon what did Washington apparently base his decision on these two alternatives?
  4. How do leaders in your life compare to this statement about Washington: He seems discreet and virtuous, no harum-scarum, ranting, swearing fellow, but sober, steady, and calm. Why would anyone not strive to be like this?
  5. According to Washington’s nephew, how often did Washington read his Bible and pray? How does one find time for this?
  6. What does Joseph Ellis mean when he says Washington “knew himself well enough to resist the illusion that he transcended his human nature?” Why is this knowledge significant or important in one’s life?
  7. In a sentence, how would you answer the question, “What was the secret to Washington’s greatness?”

PODCAST: “Good morning. How can I help you?”

A Talk I Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 1/27/2016

Your phone rings. Or the text alert sounds off. You check who it is, and it’s Willis. Willis doesn’t contact you often, but when he does, you almost always know what it is: He needs something. His son has a fever — could you pray? His lawn needs mowed — could he borrow your mower? He has a job opportunity — could you write a recommendation?

willisThese are the only times you hear from Willis, so you know, as you look at his name on your caller ID that he needs something.

And you — like every other good Christian, like you do every time Willis calls — respond with kindness. You pray, you lend, or you write that recommendation — whatever the case may be.

And you love Willis. Because that’s what Jesus does. He loves you.

I know that through various seasons in life, I have been the “Willis” in Jesus’ life. Sometimes I’m the one who comes to Him only when I need something. When my wife is sick — Help her, Jesus. When my schedule is packed — Help me get this done, Jesus. When my finances are a little iffy — Help me find ways to make ends meet, Jesus. 

And Jesus responds with kindness. He heals. He helps me find margin I didn’t have before. He provides. He loves me. That’s what Jesus does. He loves.

But may I suggest that if you are Willis on the caller-id of heaven’s prayer-line that you’re probably not the most spiritually healthy person who ever calls?  I don’t mean to judge. Judge for yourself. This podcast gives you a way to do just that.

More than helping you see for yourself, this podcast helps you see ways to become more spiritually healthy!

PODCAST: Precious In The Sight of the Lord Is the Death of His Saints

Whether I live or die, I'm ready.

Whether I live or die, I’m ready.

Today is the fourteenth anniversary of my father’s death.

Fourteen years.

It seems like yesterday.

As a pastor, I have heard people say, “I’m afraid to die” numerous times. I’ve felt it myself, when I was younger. But I never heard my dad say those words. He was not afraid to die.

Years before his death when he had his very first heart attack, I arrived at the hospital moments before they took him in for surgery. They stopped long enough for me to tell him I was praying for him. His face, taped with a tube coming from his nose, was marked with a relaxed expression of calm.

And his words brought peace to my anxious mind: “Whatever is before me, I am ready. Whether I live or die, it’s okay.”

I miss him every day, but I’d never wish him back. I wonder if they serve cake in heaven on the anniversary of your arrival.

How can we all face death like dad did? This podcast gives some answers.