Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: July 29, 2021

Angry Rhetoric

We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy. (U.S. Senator Susan Collins)

Haven’t you found Senator Collins’ comment to be true? The more hot-under-the-collar we get, the more difficult it is to speak, act, or react sanely. Surely, the senior senator from Maine has seen this happen in that prestigious congressional chamber. And we’re seeing it in public all too often whether in city or state counsels, school board meetings, or on the public airwaves.

People with understanding control their anger. But the wise quietly hold it back. (Proverbs 14:19; 29:11)

Stop & Think: July 28, 2021

Ideas II

One person committed to a cause is far more effective than a thousand who are merely interested.” (Bill Brown, educator)

People by the thousands sign petitions of all kinds—many of them for worthy causes. But the signatures do very little to actually address the issue. To a boaster who talks loudly but doesn’t do much, you might say, “Put your money where your mouth is.” It’s a rather crude way of stating an important truth: if you don’t act on your ideas, your talk will have little positive effect.

Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. (Ecclesiastes 5:7)

For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. (1 Corinthians 4:20)

Stop & Think: July 27, 2021

Ideas I

Ideas alone can’t change culture. People, committed to ideas, are the ones who change culture. (John Stonestreet, worldview commentator)

What Stonestreet continues to say is most important: “Without people to embrace, articulate, repeat, apply, and embody ideas, ideas will have very little impact.” Very bad ideas, when put into practice, can be most dangerous to society, especially if people with the better ideas are reluctant to enter the culture wars. Believe deeply in what’s right and act directly!

Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. (1 Timothy 4:7)

Stop & Think: July 26, 2021


Never assume that loud is strong and quiet is weak. (Tommy Shelby, fictional movie character)

It seems that more and more marketing managers think that shouting and machine-gun delivery attracts buyers. That may be true, of course, but there are a lot of potential customers who just turn the volume down (or off) and ignore the product. A more reasoned tone and pace make a far more attractive advertisement. Our world has enough noise in it. Quiet and calm bring relief.

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands. (1 Thessalonians 4:11)

Stop & Think: July 25, 2021

Good Counsel

Without an open mind, you can never be a great success. (Paraphrase of Martha Stewart, businesswoman)

When we’ve made up our minds about something, many of us are so determined that we can’t—or won’t—accept anybody else’s suggestions. We’re so sure we’re right that we plunge ahead even against the advice of friends and colleagues. Suppose Thomas Edison had refused to learn from others. None of us knows it all, so let’s open our minds to helpful counsel.

Plans succeed through good counsel. The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong. (Proverbs 20:18; 37:30)

Stop & Think: July 24, 2021


If we pay attention, the treasury of wisdom from our elders should astound us. (Tim Sprankle, pastor)

Doesn’t it seem like a great number of TV commercials are addressed to the young and virile (or the wannabes): e.g., exercise equipment to help you stay young and athletic. Even the ads for the elderly are often geared to help them think and act younger. As Sprankle suggests, those eager young adults might learn a lot more about life and living if they listened more to the gray heads.

The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old. (Proverbs 20:29)

Stop & Think: July 23, 2021

Faith & Love

Faith moves mountains, love transforms heart. (John Paul Warren, author)

Which is more difficult? Actually, both are impossible in normal human experience. Gigantic earth-moving equipment can move mountain-like landscapes. But there is no similar tool to change your heart. But many can testify to a heart change when they met the “right” person. And the Bible reveals a God who can transform lives by a change in their heart’s devotion. 

Jesus: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.” (John 14:27)

Stop & Think: July 22, 2021


Don’t let social pressures turn you into something you’re not. (Source unknown)

Sometimes we have to deal with social pressure, whether it’s from the expectations aroused on social media or the request/demands of a friend. We may be tempted to yield because we want to please someone else, or we don’t want to be thought less of. But when we hide who we really are, or let others influence us, we do take a step backward in character development. 

If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. (Proverbs 24:10)

Stop & Think: July 21, 2021


Life is the acceptance of responsibilities or their evasion. (Ben Ames Williams, late short story writer)

Williams continues, “. . .it is a business of meeting obligations or avoiding them.” We do have to make choices, and Williams says, “By the manner of his choosing you may fairly measure [a man].”  We may want to avoid our responsibilities at times, but to do so can have really tough consequences. It’s best to face our obligations head-on, prepare well, and move forward.

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. (Galatians 6:4-5)

Stop & Think: July 20, 2021

Be Effective

We spend most of our days being busy and productive; take your life to the next level by focusing on being effective. (Source Unknown)

As many others have observed, “Being busy is not the same as being productive.” There is much to be learned from God’s creatures, like bees or ants. Not only are they busy and productive, but they also contribute to the balance of nature and we all profit. Plan and prepare well so that your busyness will be effective in achieving your goals.

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. (Proverbs 6:6)

They aren’t strong, but they store up food all summer. (Proverbs 30:25)

Stop & Think: July 19, 2021

Higher and Deeper

We need you to reach higher than you’ve ever imagined and to do so you must dig deeper than you ever have before. (Author unknown)

Most people probably wish to achieve more—to climb higher in their profession or avocation. Everyone recognizes that it takes a lot of work to accomplish anything of lasting value. But like erecting a building where foundations have to be really deep to support a skyscraper, so climbing to new heights will require a deeper study and understanding of the principles of achieving. 

He will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. (Isaiah 33:6)

Stop & Think: July 18, 2021

Leadership II

The litmus test of a great leader is if you can write down the five names of people you have developed (Mike Pumphrey, religious worker)

We’ve often heard the comment that if there is no one following you, you really aren’t a leader. Pumphrey suggests a good test to evaluate leaders. It’s simply this: If you have worked with a group for a reasonable amount of time, is there any sign that future leaders are being developed and moving on to their own opportunities for leading others? If not, why?

Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher. (Luke 6:40)