Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: June 12, 2021

Prayer and Work

Whatsoever we beg of God, let us also work for it. (Jeremy Taylor, 17th century English cleric)

To some people God is a last resort; prayer is a helpful “tool” when we’re desperate and seem to have no other way to resolve the conflict. Or, perhaps, it’s a project we’re really hoping will work out well, so we ask God for his blessing. While asking God for help, Taylor’s advice is equally important. Don’t ask God for something you’re not willing to work hard for.

Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed. . . (2 Timothy 2:15)

Stop & Think: June 11, 2021


In words are seen the state of mind and character and disposition of the speaker.  (Plutarch, 1st century Greek philosopher) 

Character and integrity are qualities that are developed over months and years of learning and experience. They are displayed by discipline, self-control, and interaction in community. One clear evidence of inner character is the outcome of dialogue—whether written or oral. The very words you use can be a mirror of your inner self. Be careful, O tongue, what you say!

The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions. (Proverbs 10:11)

Stop & Think: June 10, 2021


Lord, help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they’re usually not my fault. (from Myers-Briggs personality types)

It’s common to overlook our own personality traits when we are confronted with possible errors that we usually see in someone else. To acknowledge our mistakes often takes a lot of grace as well as honesty. To admit that you’ve goofed, intentionally or otherwise, is to recognize your humanness and put others at ease.

We are not accountable for [God’s secrets], but we. . . are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of [his] instructions. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

Stop & Think: June 9, 2021


Great accomplishments are often attempted but only occasionally reached. (Swindoll, author)

Swindoll continues: “What is interesting (and encouraging) is that those who reach them are usually those who missed many times before. Failures, you see, are only temporary tests to prepare us for permanent triumphs.” When we can learn from our failures, we can begin to move toward worthy achievements. If you fail, get up and try again with the determination to succeed.

In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. (1 Samuel 18:14)

Stop & Think: June 8, 2021

Gaining and Losing

If you get everything you want, you miss something you need. (Craig Groeschel, pastor)

American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way, “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” Life could be viewed as a series of gains and losses. Every gain has a cost in time, effort, money, or some intangible factor. Count the cost of what you want; be sure it is something you need.

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? (Luke 9:25) 

Stop & Think: June 7, 2021

Making a Difference II

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. (Margaret Mead, late American anthropologist)

“What can we do? We’re such a small group and without any influence.” That’s often the thought when we see the great needs around us. But just think of the world-changing work of a few disciples who followed Jesus and “changed the world.” Or, what about William Wilberforce and the Clapham group who were largely responsible for the end of the slave trade in England?

Do not despise these small beginnings. . . “All this may seem impossible to you now, a small remnant of God’s people. But is it impossible for me?” says Lord of Heaven’s Armies. (Zechariah 4:10; 8:6)

Stop & Think: June 6, 2021

Making a Difference I

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. (Edmund Burke, 18th century Irish statesman)

With a sense of inadequacy, we may shy away when we see someone—or a group—in need of help. If a family suffers a great tragedy, perhaps a house fire, and we do nothing because we know we can’t provide all that will be needed to rebuild and refurnish—what a shame! We could at least encourage others to join us in raising support for the great need. “Every little bit helps.”

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.” (Proverbs 3:27-28)

Stop & Think: June 5, 2021


Respect for the right of another to be wrong does not mean that the wrong is right.

Calm and civil debate is almost non-existent in today’s confused society. Allowing someone to voice a contrary opinion is simple courtesy and shows a willingness to learn. However, a willingness to hear an idea for discussion doesn’t mean you acknowledge that it is right. The purpose of discussion is to learn before making judgments.

So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. (1 Corinthians 1:20)

Stop & Think: June 4, 2021


Your job as a leader is to paint a picture of the future and call people to it. (Carey Nieuwhof, podcaster‏)

We might think of a leader simply as the person who is in front of the troops or is the chairman of a committee. In both cases, he or she is appointed to make sure the team “gets the picture” and completes the job. Nieuwhof, however, raises the standard for leadership quite a bit. The followers will do a much better job if they understand the plan and feel called to complete it.

If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. (Romans 12:8)

Stop & Think: June 3, 2021


A person who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected. (Source unknown)

We’ve all heard too many complaints from people who don’t like or are dissatisfied with their jobs. Their quotas are too high; their fellow workers are slackers; the boss is demanding. What it often comes down to is simply that no one ever commends them for their work or says thanks. No doubt we can relieve a lot of this frustration if we could just learn to show appreciation.

You must show your appreciation to all who serve so well. (1 Corinthians 16:18)

Stop & Think: June 2, 2021


There are exactly twenty-four hours in each day. . . Your time is fixed. (Dave Phelps, management consultant)

Phelps: “Managing your time isn’t the real issue. What you need is to manage the activities that are consuming your time.” A lot of us really do struggle to manage our time. We use calendars, appointment books, and devices, and still struggle to keep it all straight. Perhaps we should consider ways to make choices to evaluate, adjust, and even eliminate some of our activities.

I discovered that there is ceaseless activity, day and night. . . Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool. (Ecclesiastes 8:16; 5:3)

Stop & Think: June 1, 2021

Limits and Aging

Every phase of life has new limits to embrace. . . Whereas children age out of their limits; old people age into them. (Tim Sprankle, blogger)

The older you grow, the more you recognize your limitations. Memory begins to fade; energy is disappearing; hearing is more difficult, and much more. You can’t remember much about last week, but you can recall with some clarity events from your childhood. Sprankle writes, “One of the greatest ways to fight bitterness is to embrace limits.” 

Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise. . . When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life. (Ecclesiastes 7:10; 11:8)