Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: October 3, 2023

Best Friend

My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me. (Henry Ford, late auto magnate)

You sometimes hear someone say, “He (or she) is my new best friend,” as if friends come and go easily. The value of friendship is not just those who are the newest or even those whom you’ve know “forever.” Ford puts it well. Good friends may even hurt you with the truth at times, but they always do so in love with your best interest in mind. Hold on to such friends!

Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy . . .. The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense (Proverbs 27:6, 9)

Stop & Think: October 2, 2023

What’s Next?

If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world. (C. S. Lewis, British scholar)

A popular song a few years ago asked, “Is that all there is?” Whether it’s in athletics, the arts, or simply career pursuits, many achieve some of their goals and then wonder, what else is there for me to achieve? Lewis’ comment is challenging. Beyond the physical and material, there is something eternal that we should be looking for, and you can find direction in your Bible.

The world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions…And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever (1 John 2:16-17).

Stop & Think: October 1, 2023


I am less interested in leaving a legacy and more interested in witnessing a legacy unfold. (BobLupton, philanthropist)

Caring parents plan carefully to leave tangible properties to their heirs. More than that, they want to leave a legacy of integrity and trust that their children and friends can be proud of. Lupton wants us to think a little further. It would be more rewarding if we could see a wholesome legacy of such non-tangibles as integrity and kindness developing in our heirs.

Satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones. May their children have plenty, leaving an inheritance for their descendants (Psalm 17:14).

Stop & Think: September 30, 2023


Given an equality of strength and skill, the victory in golf will be to him who is captain of his soul. (Arnold Haultain, 19th-20th century British writer)

Haultain’s observation could surely be applied to any sport or competitive activity. Of course, natural talent developed through exercise and practice is essential for success in any endeavor. But not everyone with such ability wins. Many gifted and trained people lose at times. Self-control and confidence will often overcome. Practice well and keep control.

Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city (Proverbs 16:32). So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control (1 Peter 1:13).

Stop & Think: September 29, 2023


A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd. (Max Lucado, author)

It may seem just too obvious, but there is a good lesson to learn. The conductor isn’t concerned about the audience. He’s concentrating on the music and the orchestra. What he wants is the highest quality performance possible—in tune, with proper tempo and excellent precision. The lesson: focus on the performance without concern about who is watching.

Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4b) 

Stop & Think: September 28, 2023

“Why” in Leadership

The only leadership question that unites people is “Why?” (Carey Nieuwhof, best-selling author, speaker, and podcaster.)

He continues, “When you cast vision, focus twice as much on why you do what you do rather than what and how. Why unites, while what and how divide.” A really challenging thought. If you can unite your followers and co-workers on the “why” of your project, you may find it easier to explain the “what” and “how.” A united workforce is essential to accomplish worthy projects.

Make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose (Philippians 2:2).

Stop & Think: September 27, 2023


Without God there are no moral facts. In a secular world, there can only be opinions about morality. (Dennis Prager, radio talk show host)

Pastor Kip Cone expressed the same sentiment: “Apart from the existence of God as a moral law giver, there simply is no objective morality. Instead, there are just moral opinions. This double reminder ought to help any sincere thinking person to evaluate more carefully the opinions he shares and those he hears. Anchor your thoughts in revealed truth.

Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions (Proverbs 18:2).

Stop & Think: September 26, 2023


Wisdom is the fruit of a balanced development. It is this balanced growth of individuality which it should be the aim of education to secure. (Alfred North Whitehead, 19th-20th century English mathematician)

Education is one of those highly explosive topics for discussion today. Federal and state agencies are wrestling with the issue, and it seems Whitehead’s counsel would be helpful to follow. Balance is often hard to achieve in any endeavor. (Just ask a high balance beam gymnast.) It may be even more difficult to achieve in life unless we look at all sides of the issues.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding . . .. He sets the standards for fairness (Proverbs 2:6; 16:11b)

Stop & Think: September 25, 2023


Nothing is more free than the imagination of man. (Hume, 18th-century Scottish essayist)

Out of free thinking have come imaginative thoughts that have created much of what we experience today. However, it’s not all good. What God saw among his creation early on was that “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). We see evidence of such thinking today, too. So, it’s critical to judge well and follow worthy ideas.

Cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5 paraphrase).

Stop & Think: September 24, 2023


Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods. (Aristotle, ancient Greek philosopher)

The thought is a bit extreme, but current reports on suicides and attempted suicides are alarming. We hear of people who have a lot of this worlds goods and have achieved a degree of success and fame, yet take their lives. Apparently, having “all other goods” doesn’t bring satisfaction. Loneliness itself may be fatal. We must look not only to have friends but to make friends.

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

Stop & Think: September 23, 2023


We work, we play…we work, we play- but our spirits are neglected in the cycle. (William Wilberforce, 18th-19th century British politician and philanthropist)

Sports are all-pervasive in today’s society. Kids are encouraged to participate in baseball, soccer, gymnastics virtually year-round. TV and newsprint are filled with advertisements for sports equipment and physical training. Workers are looking for retirement to play golf or pickle ball. Where is the time for needed rest and relaxation to benefit the soul? Don’t neglect it!

Jesus: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest . . .. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28-29) 

Stop & Think: September 22, 2023


When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another. (Helen Keller, late author and speaker)

Who would have thought that a girl with Keller’s physical disabilities could become such a great encourager and person of influence? The great miracles of life are not always the phenomena of healings or restorations. They often are the results of personal influence in spite of, or maybe because of handicaps. What a privilege to share our life-lessons with those who need them.

They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor (Psalm 112:9).