GOD OF HOPE

Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: November 28, 2021

Intentions #2

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. (Peter Drucker, late management author)

As noted yesterday, good intentions are not enough. Drucker seems to indicate that the work involved in accomplishing anything of value is less important than the planning, but, nonetheless, hard work is essential. Dreams, visions of the future, inventive thinking—all are critical, but they fail without good planning and hard work.

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity. (Proverbs 21:5)

Stop & Think: November 27, 2021

Intentions #1

Good intentions are not enough. Being a good person begins with being a wise person. (Antonin Scalia, late US Supreme Court associate justice)

Scalia concluded, “Then when you follow your conscience, you will be heading in the right direction.” Similarly, “Good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding” (French writer Albert Camus). As in many other facets of life, a clear conscience and mature wisdom are often the keys to success.

But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. (Psalm 33:11)

 

Stop & Think: November 26, 2021

Security

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. (Helen Keller)

The latter statement may be true, but surely the first is questionable. While some people seem to be rather happy-go-lucky and unconcerned about security, the dangers of having your identity stolen or your computer hacked make many of us very careful about security. Of course, the important question is where we are placing our confidence for security.

Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm. (Proverbs 19:23)

Stop & Think: November 25, 2021

Gratitude #4

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. (Melody Beattie, American self-help author)

Around many dinner tables this Thanksgiving Day, families will be sharing why they are grateful. Some will be grateful for past blessings that have brought them to where they are today. Others are thankful for today—the people they’re around and the joys they are sharing. All of those blessings should be a great incentive to think positively about the future.

The godly are showered with blessings. Blessings reward the righteous. (Proverbs 10:6; 13:21) My cup overflows with blessings. (Psalm 23:5)

Stop & Think: November 24, 2021

Keep Moving On

You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated. (Maya Angelou, late American poet)

Another writer put it this way, “In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time” (Anthony J. D’Angelo). No one wants to make mistakes, but we all do. And when we do, we have to get up and move on, learning from our errors, and never letting those failures, as Angelou says, “defeat” us. Keep learning and moving forward.

The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. (Proverbs 24:16)

Stop & Think: November 23, 2021

Solitude

We live, in fact, in a world . . . starved for meditation and true friendship. (C. S. Lewis, late British author)

It’s difficult to get away from people, whether virtual or in-person—the meetings and appointments—all the activity of a busy person in our current lifestyles. Even if you go off alone to a retreat, you are still within the reach of the wireless and the buzzing of your smartphone no matter where you are. We really have to make an effort, a plan, perhaps, to be in touch with friends and with God.

Sustain me, and I will be rescued; then I will meditate continually on your decrees. (Psalm 119:117).

Stop & Think: November 22, 2021

Today!

Today is more than a square on a calendar. It’s an adventure. (Source unknown)

These days, most of us are bound to a calendar, probably an app on our smartphone that keeps us on schedule. But life is more than a row of seven squares to be checked off each week.  Rather, as our unknown source put it, “[It’s] a quest for character that may determine your destiny.” What’s in a day is more than just an event or an appointment. It may be a life-changing encounter. Be prepared!

In the few days of our meaningless lives, who knows how our days can best be spent? (Ecclesiastes 6:12). Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days (Ephesians 5:16).

 

Stop & Think: November 21, 2021

Darkness and Light

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars. (Og Mandino, 20th-century American author)

Would you really want it to be daylight all the time? Mandino’s observation is helpful, isn’t it? It just may be that when the sun seems to be hidden by the clouds and the day is dreary, we should look for the bright spots in the darkness. Is there some good thing to experience, something to learn that will give value to the darkness and hope for the light to come?

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. (Proverbs 18:28)

Stop & Think: November 20, 2021

Comforting

Few things heal wounded spirits better than the balm of a supportive embrace. (Author Charles Swindoll)

What do you say or do when you meet someone who is really hurting—not so much physically, but emotionally, having been deeply hurt in their spirit? We often try to hastily think of something we could say to relieve the pain—perhaps a Bible verse to quote. Swindoll suggests that maybe the best thing to do is just to give a warm hug or maybe we should just sit and listen.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

Stop & Think: November 19, 2021

Haste Makes Waste

Unreasonable haste is the direct road to error. (Molière, 17th-century French playwright)

It was true in Molière’s day and it’s certainly true in the twenty-first century as well. In the hustle-bustle of the day, who has time to settle down long enough to think seriously about anything? But the idiom is not new at all; it can be traced back to the 1500s, so not much has changed over the centuries since. The point: be careful, take your time; do it right; think about what you’re doing.

Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes. (Proverbs 19:2)

Stop & Think: November 18, 2021

Gratitude #3

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. (Cicero, first century BC Roman statesman)

Don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day next week to express your thankfulness for all you have and experience today. If Cicero was right, all of the virtues we want our lives to display will begin with an attitude of gratitude. It would be a good exercise to remember the words of an old hymn, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.”

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude. (1 Timothy 4:4)

 

Stop & Think: November 17, 2021

Doing Right

Stop getting the wrong things done. (Source Unknown)

To put it another way, when you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you. Because we may do something well is not reason enough to pursue that activity if it does not accomplish anything good or right. Continuing to do the wrong things is a waste of time, energy, and resources. Get your priorities straight and pursue them.

The Lord rewarded me for doing right (Psalm 18:24). I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong (Romans 16:19).