GOD OF HOPE

Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: September 24, 2021

Leadership

Effective leaders have the unique ability to see beyond someone’s perceived potential and call them above it. (Mike Pumphrey, pastor)

Choosing people who can add value to a team is an ability that a successful leader must have. You don’t want someone on your athletic, music, or business team who can’t contribute to a winning effort. Pumphrey suggests that it isn’t just what someone’s potential may be but, more than that, a leader must consider how can he spur his team members on to even greater success.

Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. (Daniel 6:3)

Stop & Think: September 23, 2021

Shadows

Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby. (Ruth E. Renkel, author)

Renkel must be an optimist. Many people see only the shadows or the half-empty cup. Even on an overcast, rainy day, you know the sun is shining above the clouds. It’s always a pleasure, isn’t it, to look out the plane window when you burst out of the clouds into the bright sunlit sky? We would be so much more positive if we could just remember that there is light somewhere ahead.

[Your Father in heaven] gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. (Matthew 5:45)

Stop & Think: September 22, 2021

Truth

Truth by definition excludes. (Apologist observation)

Tolerance seems to be the target to work toward today, and we are expected to allow everyone to have his or her own opinion without argument. That sounds reasonable until you realize that not everyone can be right while holding contrary ideas. When we all have the same facts but come to opposite conclusions, both cannot be true. Work to discover truth, not opinion.

Get the truth and never sell it. (Proverbs 23:23)

Jesus: “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Stop & Think: September 21, 2021

Don’t Quit!

Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit. (Napoleon Hill, late self-help author)

When it becomes hard to complete an assigned task or to reach a long dreamed of goal, it’s tempting to give up. We’ve worked so hard, putting a lot of sweat and energy into it, and we think we’ve gone as far as we could. That’s when Hill says our reward will be achieved only if we don’t give up.

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. (Luke 18:1)

Stop & Think: September 20, 2021

Others II

Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves. (Horace Mann, 19th century educational reformer)

“I’ll do it my way,” the singer says. “I have my rights,” the activist argues. It probably all started with “Me first” in pre-school. Increasingly, people seem to be more and more self-centered. It’s no wonder that there’s so much discontent in modern society. Mann’s comment may be over-simplified, but it may be an accurate observation, worth considering as a solution.

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

Stop & Think: September 19, 2021

Others I

When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled. (African parable)

We are often so concerned with our personal struggles that we don’t even think about the effects they may have on others. Physical altercations may affect not only the injured but also their families and friends who have to care for them. Even worse, perhaps, are the emotional scars you may cause those you hurt with slander, lies, or deceit. 

 Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you. (Luke 6:31)

Stop & Think: September 18, 2021

Ambition

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men. (Goethe, 18th-19th century German poet and critic)

Whether you’re the architect of a great cathedral, the sculptor of the saints’ images, or the digger of the foundation, your role is essential in the building project. Someone had the dream that led to the construction of the great edifice, but that dream had to be shared by everyone else to bring it to a successful completion. 

A dream fulfilled is a tree of life . . . It is pleasant to see dreams come true. (Proverbs 13:12, 19)

Stop & Think: September 17, 2021

Your Song

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. (Maya Angelou, late American poet)

How pleasant it is to hear the melodic chirping of a songbird. Its singing relaxes us and relieves our tensions. For a time, we can forget all the difficult questions of the day, and the issues we have to respond to can wait a few minutes. Wouldn’t it be great if our presence could bring such relief to others? Not because we solve their problems, but because we lift their spirits by our “song.”

A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:13)

Stop & Think: September 16, 2021

Teaching

Teachers open the door; you walk in by yourself. (Chinese proverb)

Maybe you’re not a teacher, but in many ways, you are constantly teaching by what you say and how you act. Someone is usually observing you and learning how to speak or behave. If we could see ourselves as teachers and others around us as learners, perhaps we could be proactive in trying to influence others for good.

And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. (Titus 2:7)

Stop & Think: September 15, 2021

Words

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. (The Bible)

Words. Words. Words. Our ears are full of them almost 24/7. (We probably hear them even in our sleep.) We’re bombarded on TV, our devices, and words in print. When we remember that less is more, it improves all we say or write. So, be careful to speak or write clearly and concisely with understanding and grace.

Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding (Proverbs 10:13).

The more words you speak, the less they mean (Ecclesiastes 6:11).

A truly wise person uses few words (Proverbs 17:17).

Stop & Think: September 14, 2021

Kindness

Choose to be kind over being right, and you’ll be right every time because kindness is a sign of strength. (Richard Carlson, film director and screenwriter)

Despite disagreements on what is right or wrong, we should always do what’s right, as we understand it. Even when you are absolutely right about something, it’s possible to be very unkind in your rightness. How you treat those that disagree with you and promote what you understand to be right and true may be the real key to mutual understanding and cooperation.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

Stop & Think: September 13, 2021

Olympics II

Hope in the future takes the sting out of the present. Phil. 3:20-21 (Charles Swindoll, author)

In the recent Olympics, we saw a lot of jubilation as medalists crossed the finish line or achieved a victory. Had we watched those athletes during the months and years of training and practice, we would have seen a lot of “stings”—the pain, isolation, and long hours—that brought the final win. When we face difficulties, focusing on our goal will keep us going.

All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. (1 Corinthians 9:25)