GOD OF HOPE

Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: September 27, 2021

Deadlines

Desire without a deadline is simply a pipe dream. (Kary Oberbrunner, author and motivational speaker)

Not everyone is a dreamer, a person whose head always seems to be in the clouds. But almost everybody has a dream about something they want to accomplish. Few people seem to achieve their dreams, and Oberbrunner suggests a reason for many failures. Planning must not only have a starting point and a strategy, but it must have a deadline for completing the dream, too. 

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)

Stop & Think: September 26, 2021

Life

After the game is played the king and the pawn go to the same box. (Dennis Engelbrecht, business consultant)

The reference to the skilled game of chess is simply a reminder that games do come to an end. When it’s over, it’s over. The winner and loser are identified, and you can’t make changes to the moves you made in the game. Life, of course, is much more than a game. But like chess, until it’s over changes can (and often should) be made. Set things right before it’s over.  

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. (Mark 8:35)

Stop & Think: September 25, 2021

Just Do It!

Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it. (Leo Buscaglia, late motivational speaker)

If our memory hasn’t failed us altogether, we can look to the past and remember some events that have greatly affected our present life. We can’t depend upon the future, however, for much assurance. So, we would do well to heed Buscaglia’s counsel. Today is the only day we have assurance of, and that isn’t absolutely secure. So, work diligently at your present task.

Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do. (Proverbs 6:4)

Indeed, the “right time” is now. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

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)