Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: February 23, 2024


You don’t climb mountains to get to the top; you climb them to see what other mountains there are to climb. (TV commercial)

Some people would be content, no doubt, just to reach the top of the mountain and enjoy the amazing view. But real mountain climbers will not be content to scale a high hill only to discover that there is a higher one in view. Until the climber  has reached the summit of Mt. Everest, he is probably never going to be satisfied. With every achievement, it’s good  to seek the next one.

I have not achieved [perfection], but . . , I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God . . . is calling us (Philippians 3:12-13).

Stop & Think: February 22, 2024


Know what happens if we don’t forgive? We’ll be chained to bitterness and anger every day of our life. And that’s no life. (Former pastor)

Have you ever heard someone who has been hurt deeply say, “I can’t ever forgive you”? Or “I forgive you, but I can’t forget”? We can understand that the person may find it difficult to forgive the offender. But the pastor’s observation is all too true. What kind of a life is it to continue with a debilitating attitude of unforgiveness? Much better to forgive and live on.

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (Colossians 3:13).

Stop & Think: February 21, 2024


If you want to be great, you must sacrifice your comfort. (Tim Kight, leadership entrepreneur)

Most people would probably like to be recognized for some achievement. To reach any measure of success, however, you may soon come to realize the truth of Kight’s observation. We are often challenged to move out of our “comfort zone,” that cozy place that doesn’t demand much of us. But remember that the price of greatness will  certainly demand some personal cost.

I will not take what is yours and give it to the Lord. I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing! (1 Chronicles 21:24)

But don’t begin until you count the cost (Luke 14:28).

Stop & Think: February 20, 2024


All is well. That’s my new philosophy. (Sally in the Peanuts cartoon)

Haven’t you known some people that never seem to be discouraged or upset about what’s happening around them? We might call them Pollyannas, people who are constantly or excessively optimistic. That’s unrealistic, of course, but it would be helpful if more of us, like cartoon Sally, would express a more positive, hopeful attitude to people around us.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise (Hebrews 10:23).

Stop & Think: February 19, 2024

Change #2

It is often the small steps,  not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change. (Queen Elizabeth II, late sovereign of the United Kingdom)

Do our plans sometimes fail because we want to start to work on our goals without considering all that’s required to make them happen? Before we can take the big leap, we probably have to take smaller ones to succeed. For example, you can’t start playing Chopin until you’ve learned how to read the music and do the fingering. Begin with the small steps today!

I am sure that the good work God began in you will continue until he completes it on the day when Jesus Christ comes again (Philippians 1:6).

Stop & Think: February 18, 2024


The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. (Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple)

That may be hyperbole, but the thought is challenging. In an election year we hear politicians who are just “crazy enough” to think that, if elected, they will be able to institute change that will solve the problems we’re facing. The point is, unless we’re willing to step out of our comfort zone and take some risks, we’re probably not going to effect any worthwhile change.

Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth (2 Timothy 2:25).

Stop & Think: February 17, 2024

Friendship #2

Misfortune shows those who are not really friends. (Aristotle)

This wisdom from antiquity is matched from a more modern source. Late actress Marlene Dietrich said, “It’s the friends you can call up at 4am that matter.” You don’t feel right about calling anyone but a close friend to come to your aid at a difficult hour or in a really tough situation. How comforting to have someone you can trust implicitly when you need help.

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. . . . The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense (Proverbs 17:17; 27:9).

Stop & Think: February 16, 2024


You only meet your once in a lifetime friend… once in a lifetime. (From the Little Rascals cartoon)

The little rascals, like a lot of other childhood gangs (in the good sense) probably thought their friendships would last forever. Perhaps, some of them did continue into their adult years. But, in reality, very few have experienced more than one or two friendships that lasted into adulthood. Such relationships are to be treasured because the mutual benefit of having friends is priceless.

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

Stop & Think: February 15, 2024


Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you. (H. Jackson Brown, late inspirational author)

One could wish that more parents would take Brown’s advice. With the breakdown of the home in recent years—especially the increase in fatherless homes, we should not be surprised with the tragic results. For all parents—single or partnered—what a worthy challenge. It’s a goal to be achieved by standing on righteous principles and exercising biblical love in the home.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

Stop & Think: February 14, 2024


Love without sacrifice is mere sentimentality. (Timothy Keller, late author and pastor)

A lot of songs and poems are about love, but a quick look reveals that most of them are mere expressions of sentiment—feelings. Genuine love, however most often costs something, even sacrifice. The New Testament writer, Paul describes such sacrifice as “meaningless if made without love for others,” the kind of love that may indeed cost a great deal.

If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3).

Stop & Think: February 13, 2024

Goals or Habits?

We should stop setting goals and start making habits. (James Clear, author of Atomic Habits)

Did you make New Year’s resolutions a month ago? How are you doing? Clear continues his helpful thought: “A goal gives you no actionable steps and, ultimately, no result. For example, commit to walking 15 minutes every weekday instead of setting a goal to lose 15 pounds. The habit is the actionable step that will result in making you healthier.”

Take care you don’t stray from the straight path, the way of truth,  and you will safely reach the end of your road (Proverbs 4:26).

Stop & Think: February 12, 2024

Is It Worth It?

Anytime you say, It’s not worth it, make sure it’s worth saying. (Kenneth J. Brown, author)

Sometimes we are just exasperated when things aren’t working out for us. We may be working on a simple project, and everything we try fails. We decide it just isn’t worth the effort. Forget it! I’ll try something else. Brown cautions us to think about that carefully. Is it really true that you should just scrap the project? If it might have real value, keep working at it with renewed vigor.

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:4).