Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: April 22, 2024

Careful Thinking

It’s the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

Sharing ideas aids in personal growth and community progress. Some people are not open to another’s ideas if they are not in line with their own, but we should carefully consider ideas from whatever source. It’s wise to consider good ideas even if they are different from ours, As Aristotle counsels, we don’t have to accept them, especially those that are illogical or immoral.

So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas (Hebrews 1:39).
You didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

Stop & Think: April 21, 2024

Cartoon Love

Love makes you do strange things. (Charlie Brown, in the Peanuts cartoon)

Sometimes we can glean some simple but powerful comments from the funnies. Charlie Brown isn’t noted for his intellect, but Charles Schultz, the cartoonist, put some really practical wisdom in his cartoons. Those characters played at life, trying to understand the confusing speech and conduct of the older generation. Love was one of the tough puzzles they tried hard to figure out.

Let love be your highest goal! . . . And do everything with love. (1 Corinthians 14:1; 16:14)

Stop & Think: April 20, 2024

Integrity 2

Your integrity must be the driving force in the exercise of your skill. (Jesse Deloe, author)

To watch a skilled artisan exercise his or her craft is a delight and pleasure. We marvel at the workmanship of a creative woodworker or sculptor, musician, or artist. But there are some who use their proficiency for nefarious purposes: a safe cracker, for example. As Deloe says, integrity must be the driving force behind any creation or activity.

I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. (1 Chronicles 29:17)

Stop & Think: April 19, 2024


Often, if there is no risk of loss or painful consequences, one will never know if one has integrity. (Sam Storms, theologian and teacher)

Storms continues, “One will never know if what motivates you is moral conviction or moral convenience until you are forced to suffer loss for standing your ground…” Suppose your employer offered a promotion or pay increase that would mean you had to compromise your values. To refuse could cost you your job. That’s when your integrity will be tested.

He is a shield to those who walk with integrity… People with integrity walk safely… The godly walk with integrity. (Proverbs 2:7; 10:9; 20:7)

Stop & Think: April 18, 2024

Using Time Well

It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste time. (Henry Ford, early auto manufacturer)

One self-evident fact of life is that we all have the same amount of time each day and each year. How we use that time is what makes the difference. If we are healthy and of sound mind, there should surely be some evidence of the progress we’ve made. If Ford is right, we can judge our life by the way we use our time.

Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right. (Ecclesiastes 8:5)

Stop & Think: April 17, 2024

Life’s Difficulties

A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner. (Franklin D. Roosevelt, late U.S. president)

The test of a sea-faring sailor is not how smoothly he or she sails over calm seas, but how they master the storm. When the high winds buffet and the waves threaten to sink them—that’s the time when sailors must use their training and skill to right the ship and bring it safely to harbor. It’s a perfect analogy of life. Our survival skills are developed through struggle and difficulty.

Is not all human life a struggle? (Job 7:1)
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. (Isaiah 43:2)

Stop & Think: April 16, 2024

Making a Difference

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito! (Kary Oberbrunner, author and motivational speaker)

Oberbrunner’s comment is a light but effective observation. A little mosquito or gnat can really affect our behavior as we try to ward them off. And, if the mosquito bites, the struggle is only beginning with the continual itch and discomfort. Take to heart the intended application. Each of us has the ability to affect others by our care, concern, and assistance or lack thereof.

“You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” (Matthew 25:21)

Stop & Think: April 15, 2024

Tax Day

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax. (Albert Einstein, renowned scientist)

If you haven’t filed your 2023 tax forms yet, you will need an extension or face penalties. Some have delayed probably because they just can’t understand the 1040 directions. If Einstein recognized the difficulty, how are the rest of us to file correctly? Fortunately, there are experts that can help. We do have a duty to pay our taxes and to support and pray for our leaders.

Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. (Romans 13:7)

Stop & Think: April 14, 2024

Courage or Comfort

We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. (Brené Brown, university professor and author)

Brown is probably not thinking about soldiers in warfare when there really isn’t any choice. It often takes courage to do what they have to do. Rather, it’s likely she’s referring to the choices between doing something we know we should do or putting it off till a more convenient time. It may take courage for us to move out of our “comfort zone” to accomplish any worthy project.

Don’t try to avoid doing your duty … Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right. (Ecclesiastes 8:3, 5)

Stop & Think: April 13, 2024

Leisure or Rest?

Too often people are terrific at leisure but lousy at resting.(Paraphrase of author Allistair Begg)

Amusement parks, game arcades, and travel often fill up our leisure time to the max. Other leisure activities like video games, Netflix,  and social media occupy the little time left. We even return from vacations more tired than when we left. Begg is right. Most of us do not take time for solitude and rest, losing out on valuable physical and emotional refreshment.

Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” (Mark 6:31) 

Stop & Think: April 12, 2024

Quiet Time

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

Get up, go to work, come home, eat supper, do some leisure activity or chores, go to bed—that’s probably the cycle of life for many people. Often the missing element is time to be quiet, to rest from the hustle-bustle of activity and open your mind and heart to something other than your schedule. Spending quiet time with God and His Word can lead to healthy changes in your life.

Be still, and know that I am God! (Psalm 46:10)

Stop & Think: April 11, 2024

Being Kind

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. (Marcel Proust, 20th-century French writer)

Life can be lonely. There are times when we are “alone in a crowd” no matter how many or few we’re with. It’s at times like those that a cheerful voice, even from a stranger, may brighten our spirit and completely change our momentary outlook. Be grateful for that kind person and try to do the same for someone else.

[Y]our comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. (Psalm 94:19)
[A]n encouraging word cheers a person up. (Proverbs 12:25)