Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: October 4, 2022

What Do You Have?

The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have. (Vince Lombardi, late football coach)

An attractive outward appearance may win beauty contests, but it doesn’t tell you anything about who the person really is at heart. Someone who is not gifted physically may never win a sports award, but when he or she displays their talent in music, drama, or art, we applaud them. Likewise, we recognize the scholar who gains knowledge and then teaches eager students.

Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies (1 Peter 4:11).

Stop & Think: October 3, 2022


Our main secret is just to show up for work. (Chuck Swindoll, author)

Songwriter Bill Gaither made a similar comment about work habits: “Just keep doing what you know to do and do it with all the energy you have.” Our work assignments aren’t always easy or pleasant, but we are expected to fulfill our responsibilities anyway. Doing what we “know to do” and working at it with diligence is the best way to complete our job well.

Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15). 

Stop & Think: October 2, 2022


Good judgment comes from experience, and most of that comes from bad judgment. (Kerr L White, MD, author)

Our choices do make a significant impact on our lives, not only in the moment of choosing, but even more so further along in our lives. Bad judgments today might have immediate consequences (e.g., a speeding ticket), but repeating those choices regularly could result in a much more severe outcome. Making the right judgments today will have lasting benefits.

Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe (Proverbs 2:11).

Stop & Think: October 1, 2022


I believe we need both the light of truth and the guidance of tradition now more than ever. (John Tang)

Tradition alone does not determine what is true or false, but it does help in understanding the context in which it has been applied. When we want to know clearly about a specific issue, it is often helpful to consider how the word in question was understood originally. Update the current usage of the term, but don’t move away from its basic meaning.

Truthful words stand the test of time (Proverbs 12:19).

Stop & Think: September 30, 2022


People are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound. (James Allen, 19th – 20th century English writer)

We often complain about our circumstances. We blame our failures on the weather, our teachers, or anything else that might give us an excuse. We’d like to see the government, our boss, or our spouse make a change. If only they would, we could do better. In reality, however, if we were to take a closer look at ourselves, we might just find that there’s where change needs to be made.

The Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Stop & Think: September 29, 2022


Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important. (Charles E. Hummel, Tyranny of the Urgent)

Further: “There is an insidious tendency to neglect important tasks that do not have to be done today—or even this week.” They say that the squeaking wheel gets the oil, and that is probably true even when there are more important issues to care for. We are inclined to let the immediate need supersede the more important, so it’s important to establish and stick with firm priorities.

You ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things (Matthew 23:23).

Stop & Think: September 28, 2022


You don’t get older, you get better. (Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer)

Here’s a list of ideas to help us get better as we get older: Live realistically. Give generously. Adapt willingly. Trust fearlessly. Can we do all that? Certainly not unless we pay attention and take positive steps to improve our attitudes and behavior. Aging is often difficult with the loss of strength and flexibility, but we can make the choice to be positive and pursue healthy habits.

But the godly will flourish like palm trees . . . They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. (Psalm 92:12-14)

Stop & Think: September 27, 2022


Failure is acceptable but failing to try is not. (R. Keith Mobley, business leader and author)

Theodore Roosevelt put it another way: “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” Having failed to score the winning basket or doing poorly in a recital often discourages a young person so much that he or she vows to never try again. Adults should encourage children to keep trying, which, in turn, teaches them to do the same for their friends.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble (Ecclesiastes 4:10)

Stop & Think: September 26, 2022


The best times in life are made a thousand times better when shared with a dear friend. (Lucy Fawley, churchgoer.)

Have you admired a beautiful mountain scene or an exciting concert, wishing you could share it with a friend? Of course, you can share a photo or a recording, but it isn’t quite the same, is it? Enjoying a good meal is so much better when you can do it with friends. Being friendly is the best way to find friends. Serve them well, and you’ll enjoy their fellowship for a long time.

The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life; a wise person wins friends (Proverbs 11:30).

Stop & Think: September 25, 2022


There is nothing wrong or unnatural with feeling weary . . . (Source unknown)

The thought continues: “. . . but there is everything wrong with abandoning ship in the midst of the fight.” Is fatigue a sufficient reason for quitting? We do get tired when we exert effort over a period of time. And we do need time to recuperate. But when is the right time to stop? Surely, not when the battle is hard, and your help is needed. Pray for strength to continue working with others in the struggle.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

Stop & Think: September 24, 2022

Doing Nothing

If you stop and do nothing until you can do everything, you will remain useless. (Charles Spurgeon, 19th century English preacher)

It’s a mistaken idea to that that you shouldn’t venture to help if you can’t completely solve the problem or resolve the issue at hand. What foolishness! “Every little bit helps,” they say, and that is certainly worth remembering. To wait until you can do it all, as Spurgeon observes, is likely to mean that nothing good happens and you’ve failed to have a part in something worth trying.

The Apostle Paul: “For you . . . ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you (1 Thessalonians 3:7).

Stop & Think: September 23, 2022


No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future. (Roy T. Bennett, author)

It’s obvious, isn’t it? Yet, we often recall one experience or the other: sorrowing over past mistakes or fretting about tomorrow. Some life-lessons are just hard to learn. We keep repeating our errors even when we know better. It’s important to have really good friends whose positive view of life and compassion for us will help us live in the present with hope for the future.

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries (Matthew 6:24).

But I am trusting you, O Lord . . .  My future is in your hands (Psalm 31:14, 15).