GOD OF HOPE

Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: October 15, 2021

Knowledge

Knowledge is the most democratic source of power. (Alvin Toffler, late futurist writer)

Whether it’s what you know or who you know, it’s the knowledge that is essential. Even if you don’t know all the facts or details, if you know where to find them, and how to use them, you have the power to move forward. There is no shortage of information for us to find and use, but to use it well and properly requires more than just knowledge. How and when to use it is critical.

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7)
I pray that . . . you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. (Philippians 1:9)

Stop & Think: October 14, 2021

Questions and Answers

It might not be because you can’t find the right answer, but because you’re asking the wrong question. (John Maxwell, author, speaker)

English writer, Sir Antony Jay, put it this way: “The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions.” “Enquiring minds want to know,” but so often we’re asking the wrong questions, so we can’t really come up with the right answers. It’s not just who, what, where, and when but why. Questions of motives and reason most often will get to the point quickly.

Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. (1 Corinthians 8:2)

Stop & Think: October 13, 2021

Endurance

Where there is no struggle, there is no strength. (Oprah Winfrey, TV host)

If you help an emerging butterfly in its struggle out of its chrysalis, you may free it, but the little creature will not be able to fly because it has not developed its strength. It’s the “No Pain, No Gain” life lesson. Most of our lives have many times of physical, emotional, and mental stress. Persevering through them develops the strength and character to face the continuing challenges of life.

Endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. (Romans 5:4)

Stop & Think: October 12, 2021

Time

The competitor in many ways is time. (Brad Feld, writer and speaker)

Unlike baseball, where the end of the ninth inning in a crucial game can go on forever, other games are really time sensitive. The last minutes of a football, soccer, or basketball game can be nerve-wracking. In those sports, you have to beat the time clock to win the game. It’s that way in school or business life, too. Deadlines are a part of life. So, it’s extremely important to guard and invest our time well.

Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. (Psalm 39:4)
Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right. (Ecclesiastes 8:5)

Stop & Think: October 11, 2021

Emotions

Your emotions do not trump reality. (Eric Metaxas, radio host)

“Tell him/her how you feel.” “Follow your heart.” Such advice is often offered when difficult life situations pit emotions against life’s realities. Sometimes we look back on those emotional decisions and regret that we responded so quickly. Too often, emotions, rather than reason, drive the train. Reason, followed by faith in truth, will allow for healthy emotions.

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1)

Stop & Think: October 10, 2021

Happiness

Happiness is only real when shared. (Christopher McCandless, late American adventurer)

Another writer put it this way: “Life’s joys are joys only if they can be shared.” Whatever the emotion or circumstance, the point of these statements is clear: Life is better when it’s shared. Life may be at its most difficult when it is experienced alone. And at its most beautiful moments, its joy is increased when it is lived with someone else. We were created for sharing.

And I want all of you to share that joy . . . Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy. (Philippians 2:17-18)

Stop & Think: October 9, 2021

Beginnings

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. (Seneca, 1st century Roman philosopher)

We might want to think we’ve discovered or created something. In reality, of course, as Seneca wrote, almost nothing is created out of nothing (except for God’s creation). Whether it’s physical material that we’ve made into something new or a new thought or idea, it almost certainly came from evaluating and revising previous thoughts. Let’s do our best to create new ways to improve already existing ideas.

“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. (Proverbs 8:12)

Stop & Think: October 8, 2021

Whose Way?

People that are unaccountable inevitably do what is regrettable. (Keith Minier, conference speaker)

As free people, we like to do things our own way. An often-repeated popular song emphasizes, “I did it my way.” It’s really a good idea to work with others, perhaps in accountability groups, to assure that we aren’t too far off track, when a consensus might offer a better way. Ultimately, of course, there is a best way, and that should be our goal.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God . . . and he is the one to whom we are accountable. (Hebrews 4:13)

Stop & Think: October 7, 2021

Others

We rise by lifting others. (Robert Ingersoll, 19th century orator)

Jo Miller, a leadership CEO, put it this way, “Leaders don’t set out to climb the ladder, they rise by lifting others up.” While many people may be working hard to climb the corporate ladder, others are discovering it can be a lonely journey, and the rewards are often less than the expectations. Focusing on others and cooperating with them for common goals will bring much greater satisfaction.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

Stop & Think: October 6, 2021

Work

Wish hard. Dream Big. Make it happen. (Doe Zantamata, author and artist)

“I wish I could run in the Olympics.” “I dream about winning a Pulitzer Prize.” Such wishes and dreams may be worthy ambitions, but they will never be achieved just by wishing and dreaming. Zantamata seems to encourage hopeful expectations, but she adds the key that might unlock the door to success. Making something happen includes planning and hoping but is largely achieved by working hard.

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. (Hebrews 12:11)

Stop & Think: October 5, 2021

Be Kind

Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy. (Isaac Newton, 17th-18th century English scientist)

Some people are so certain of their knowledge and what they’ve learned from experience that they overwhelm others in any kind of discussion. They simply must make their point and they must do so with certainty and force. Not only is that tactless, which is bad enough, but it usually closes the door to further discussion that could be enlightening and helpful. Be assured but also be courteous.

Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. (Proverbs 16:24)
Be tenderhearted and keep a humble attitude. (1 Peter 3:8)

Stop & Think: October 4, 2021

Change

Like a man who has worn eyeglasses so long that he forgets he has them on, we forget that the world looks to us the way it does. (Kenich Ohmae, Japanese former university professor)

Ohmae goes on to note that it’s hard to let old beliefs go. They are familiar. We are comfortable with them having spent years building systems and developing habits that depend on them. Today he says, however, that we need new lenses. “And we need to throw the old ones away.” Change is inevitable, so we need to prepare for it and adapt to it and circumstances for the improvement of life and health.

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (James 1:23-24)