Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: February 5, 2023


No matter what people say about you, no matter how hurtful or painful, it is crucial to retain a sense of dignity about you, a sense of who you are. (Jerry West, retired basketball professional)

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We all recognize the fallacy in that statement. Name-calling may not cause physical harm, but it can create serious emotional and relational problems. West counsels us to recognize our worth as humans. Our sense of dignity comes from having been created in the image of God.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

Stop & Think: February 4, 2023

Get Up and Go On

Crying is all right in its own way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do. (C. S. Lewis, late British author)

It does no good to cry over spilled mile, as the saying goes, but sometimes crying is all we can do when troubles pile up on us. We may get some relief from “letting it all out,” but, as Lewis suggests, you just can’t keep on in that frame of mind. Nothing good will be learned or accomplished until you wipe the tears away, get up and move on with determination.

I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched (Psalm 69:3). [God] will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. (Revelation 21:4).

Stop & Think: February 3, 2023

Arrogance vs. Integrity

Leaders get into trouble when their integrity doesn’t keep pace with the momentum created by their giftedness. (Jonathan Herron, author)

“He/She is starting to believe their press” is a good explanation for the pride and arrogance that sometimes accompanies a star athlete, celebrated performer, or best-selling author. When you are idolized, imitated, and pandered, you can hardly fail to begin to think of yourself as something extraordinary. Herron’s counsel is wise; keep pursuing integrity rather than fame and fortune.

Human pride will be brought down, and human arrogance will be humbled Isaiah 2:11).

Stop & Think: February 2, 2023


Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone. (Mitch Albom, best-selling author))

More from Albom: “If you’re trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down on you anyhow. And if you’re trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere.” How much time and effort many of us have wasted, trying to prove our worth to others. An open heart is a key to acceptance.

Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval (2 Timothy 2:15). 

Stop & Think: February 1, 2023

Life in 2023

Life . . . is not a stroll in the park; it’s a patrol in the dark. (Kip Cone, pastor)

While we may often enjoy a stroll in the park when everything seems just right, life isn’t always like that. This year may bring health or financial problems. You may wrestle with a tough job or family conflicts, and fear of an increasing crime rate troubles us all. These are all unknowns, so we need to be on alert, planning well, working hard, and asking God for direction and protection.

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions (Proverbs 27:13). The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? (Psalm 27:1)

Stop & Think: January 31, 2023

The Start

You will never win if you never begin. (Robert Schuler, late television preacher and author)

That’s a simple enough truth, isn’t it? But some of us have a really tough time completing an assignment or a project because we just can’t get started. Perhaps the task is daunting, or we don’t feel capable. Or, of course, it might just be procrastination. But, in any case, if it’s worth doing, even if we can’t do it perfectly, it won’t happen unless and until we start. So, just do it!

Leave your simple ways behind and begin to live; learn to use good judgment (Proverbs 9:6).

Stop & Think: January 30, 2023


Who we are today is the result of choices we made yesterday. Tomorrow, we will become what we choose today. (John Maxwell, leadership author and speaker)

Sometimes we don’t really understand how important our choices are. We are where we are today because of choices we made in the past. We may be happy about some but sorry about others. That alone should make us think carefully about the decisions we may be called on to make today. As Maxwell says, our choices will determine who we will become.

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. . . .  Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Stop & Think: January 29, 2023

Public Faith

Some say that one’s faith is a private matter and should not be spoken of so publicly. (Source unknown)

People who say such things may not even have a concern for their faith in the privacy of their own lives. But there are probably a lot of sincere people who have a little religious persuasion but think it’s enough just to keep their thoughts to themselves. Unfortunately, such weak faith does little for the individual and absolutely nothing for others he or she may influence.

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

Stop & Think: January 28, 2023


God fulfills His promise, “If we seek and keep on seeking, we will find.” (Paraphrase from the Bible)

That promise is in the middle of three encouragements to keep on keeping on. The other two: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. . . . Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). It’s so easy to give up when we don’t quickly find what we’re looking or working for. Don’t give up; keep at it; ask God to help you stay on track.

Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9).

Stop & Think: January 27, 2023


Preach the gospel always. If necessary, use words. (Francis of Assisi, Italian Catholic friar)

How is the truth best taught? Preachers and orators are gifted in delivering oral messages to help us understand truth about God, life, and reality. Friar Francis emphasizes the other side of truth-telling. We preach/teach by the way we live; we demonstrate what is really important to us by our conduct. Truthful conduct will open the way for truth-telling in conversations, also.

An honest witness tells the truth (Proverbs 12:17). Let us tell our neighbors the truth (Ephesians 4:25).

Stop & Think: January 26, 2023

Quiet Time

If we only stimulate our children . . . that’s not good. A sense of solitude is one of the most beautiful things a parent can give a child. (Henri Nouwen, 20th century spiritual writer)

With the widespread use of tablets and digital game boards among children, there is almost constant stimulation of their brain. Coupled with the lack of physical activity, today’s children are often developing serious physical, emotional, and learning problems. Nouwen’s advice to parents should be taken seriously. Help your children develop times of quiet meditation.

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

Stop & Think: January 25, 2023

New Friends

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen. (Steve Klaka)

It is said of some people that they never knew a stranger. That’s a compliment for sure, but it is probably not true of many of us. We find it difficult to approach someone we don’t know, especially if there is a difference in ethnicity or language. But if we just remembered Klaka’s observation, we could probably develop strong and helpful relations much more quickly.

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! (Hebrews 13:2)