Positive Advice I Have Received Over the Years
I remember the positive advice that has been given to me throughout my life. Remembering it keeps me from focusing on anything negative I have been told.
The advice that I cherish today has come from parents, teachers, mentors, pastors, family members, students, and well-meaning friends.
Please feel free to use any advice given to me as my advice to you whenever it is appropriate.
My mother said many things to her ten children about how to live as comfortably and as peacefully as possible. She told us to do good and good would follow us.
She said it was better to do something right the first time instead of having to explain why we didn't.
Of all the things I remember the most and have been applying for seven decades later is that she taught us to read something from the Bible every single day. She said she didn't care what it was as long as it was something.
I can't speak for the other nine, but as for me, I still follow her advice.
Read the Bible
"Read something from the Bible every single day."
Good, Better, Best
"Never be satisfied with GOOD because there is always BETTER. Never be satisfied with better for there is always BEST."
I graduated from Sussex Central in Sussex County, Virginia in 1963. However, I still remember something Principal William J. Hopkins said. I can't remember whether it was part of a speech during an assembly or if it was during a one-on-one conversation. However, I do remember that he said never be satisfied with what's good because there is always better, and never be satisfied with what's better because there is always the best.
After graduating from high school in 1963, I took a gap year to work at Macy's Department Store in New York. I had to work to save money to go to college. While living in Brooklyn, New York I joined the Concord Baptist Church which was within walking distance down the street from where I lived.
The late Gardner C. Taylor was the longtime pastor. During one of his sermons, he said we should be so much like Jesus that the angels would have to ask, "Which is which?"
When I graduated from seminary many years later in 1998, I wrote to Dr. Taylor and reminded him of what he had said. He sent a letter to be included in my souvenir journal. He said he was glad he had something to do with my spirituality and my becoming an ordained minister.
Be Like Jesus
"Be so much like Jesus that if the two of you were standing side by side, the angels would have to ask, "Which is which?"
I met the late Zig Ziglar at a conference during the time God had called me to start a Bible institute. I had everything all set except the name. At the end of the conference, I went up front to meet the eloquent motivational speaker. He wrote on his business card John 14:6 and gave it to me after I explained to him what my dilemma was.
Based on that scripture that reads, "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" I named my school The Way of Life that was successful for 14 years until God called me to something else.
"Always remember that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life."
The late Kathryn Kuhlman was a healing evangelist. I reached out to her in 1972, not because I needed physical healing but because I was experiencing a broken heart. She personally wrote back and advised me to "Look up and see Jesus."
She added that Jesus is the One who would heal my heart and carry out the plans He has for my life. She advised me to realize that prayer will help change my situation, and it did.
"Never stop looking up."
Life Can Be a Cinch
"Life may be hard yard by yard, but
life can be a cinch inch by inch."
---Dr. Robert H. Schuller
I owned and operated a successful magazine called "Singles Unlimited." When I went to Mr. Barksdale “Barky” Haggins of Barky's Music Store in Richmond, Virginia for an advertisement, he gave me more than an ad for my magazine. He gave me a tremendous compliment that has motivated me over the years.
He said he knew about me and had observed that I am like a potbelly stove with fire within that warms those around me. However, like the stove, I have no idea how many people I impact with the fire within me. He said I will really be surprised when I get to heave and see how many are there because of something I have taught them that caused them to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
"You are like a potbelly stove. You give warm to others, but you don't realize the fire within yourself."
Touching While Teaching
"You touch when you teach."
I have taught hundreds of students during my career. I started out teaching English in Metuchen, New Jersey in 1968. Since then I taught at Charles City High School, Kee Business College, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, John Tyler Community College, Beta Tech, Averett University and Trinity Episcopal School.
I have facilitated religious and other workshops for dozens of churches in the Richmond metropolitan area as well as having jobs as Minister of Christian Education at half a dozen of churches. I operated The Way of Life Spiritual Development Center in Partnership with Oral Roberts University for 14 years. Today I teach thousands of students online.
Of all the comments I have heard over the years, one stands out among the others. It came from a student in my New Testament class at Averett University. The young woman wrote on her evaluation form that "Rev. Minnicks touches when she teaches!"
"You are the most faithful person I know."
I have belonged to various churches over the years. I remember most of the things I have heard, especially the things that pastors told me personally.
One pastor told me that I had strong faith. In fact, he added that I had more faith than he had. He reminded me that Proverbs 18:16 says my gift would make room for me. The pastor assured me that my gift and my faith make a good combination.
Being in My Aura
"I follow you because I want to be in your aura."
When I was in seminary, I noticed a person following me around. I never considered him to be a stalker. However, I was curious enough to approach him. When I asked him why he showed up at so many places where I was, he gave me a very enlightening answer.
He said, "I just wanted to be in your aura."
Today, the young man is a successful pastor. Like Dr. Taylor told me, I am glad I had something to do with his career choice.
"Let 'No' be your friend."
"You do not get what you deserve.
You get what you negotiate."
The last two pieces of advice I will list came from my only son, Michael Minnicks. He knows about some of the challenges I have had with people overburdening me with their requests.
In 2018, he advised me to do two things differently.
- "Let 'No' be your friend."
- "Remember, people don't give you what you deserve. They give you what you negotiate."