Daily Stop & Thinks

May 13, 2017

There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs. (Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker and author)

Elevators and escalators are welcome inventions for many reasons. Climbing stairs can be exhausting, but Ziglar’s observation is an important reminder to many of us 21st century workers. We need to realize that hard work, like climbing stairs, is required to reach our higher, worthy goals.

Those who work their land will have abundant food. All hard work brings a profit (Proverbs 12:11; 14:23).

May 12, 2017

To obey is to be at peace. (Kip Cone, minister)

We might take our pet dog to obedience school. It’s our hope to make it easier to manage the dog. As a result, we’ll have more peace than if we have to live with a troublesome pet. How much more important for human beings to learn obedience! As Cone says, “Struggles will be manageable if we cultivate a life of obedience.”

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him (Psalm 128:1). In fact, this is love for God: to keep (obey) his commands. And his commands are not burdensome (1 John 5:3).

May 11, 2017

People do not lack strength; they lack will. (Victor Hugo, 19th century poet and novelist)

It’s often asked, “Why doesn’t somebody do something about it?” Is it because no one else has seen the need? There are probably many capable people who could solve the problem or, at least, initiate activity toward a solution. Or, as Hugo suggests, is it because they don’t have sufficient motivation? If so, we must develop the resolve to act.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans (Proverbs 16:3).

May 10, 2017

Followers are so important that the role of leaders is to serve them. (James Emery White, church leader)

White adds, “No one can be an effective leader until they first learn how to follow.” Some people want to be leaders right away. They might take courses on leadership, but they’re reluctant to spend time following other leaders. Yet, as White suggests, learning to be a good follower is essential in developing leadership skills.

The Apostle Paul: “Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do” (Philippians 3:17).

May 9, 2017

Your family is an eternal investment. Its price is indefinable. (Mike Lee, pastor)

Studies indicate that families are undergoing unprecedented stress, which affects the entire household. As a result, everyone suffers. Often there are overwhelming pressures at work, overloaded schedules, or physical ills, which all contribute to weaken the family. As Lee suggests, we must give attention to our families, our greatest earthly responsibility.

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8).

May 8, 2017

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind. (Samuel Johnson, 18th century English writer)

We’ve heard it said that “Curiosity kills the cat.” While it may be true that an over eager nosiness can be dangerous, we should note that curiosity feeds growth and growth feeds curiosity (a paraphrase of a comment by Rev. Dave Wickstrom). So, let’s encourage the legitimate desire to learn and discover.

Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning (Proverbs 9:9).

May 7, 2017

Often it’s better to be held by God than to be healed by God. (Christian George, historian and professor)

No one likes to be sick. When we are, we are willing to try almost anything to be restored to health. Many will pray, asking God for healing. People of faith, however, have learned that healing is not always in their best interest. Prayer and trusting God in the hard times can bring a richer relationship with the “Great Physician.” Pray and trust God.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to [heal me]. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).

May 6, 2017

We are what we eat. (Old proverb)

It is a scientifically proven fact that our food choices affect our heath. Every cell in our body is affected by the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. As we learn more about nutrients and additives in our food, we can make wiser decisions about what we eat. But, is there something even more important than our physical diet?

The things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them [.] . . . —murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person. (Matthew 15:17-20)

May 5, 2017

Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. (John Ortberg, author and speaker)

“Hurry” might well be the theme of 21st century life. We hurry to and from work and from work to the weekend excursion. We chauffeur our children from sports practice to dance lessons, to and from other activities ad infinitum. For our health, Ortberg wisely suggests that we need to plan time for us and our children to rest.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28).

May 4, 2017

If all men knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world. (Blaise Pascal, 17th century French mathematician and philosopher)

That’s a sad commentary on society, isn’t it? To what extent is Pascal’s comment true? Are 20th century people any better? If Pascal is right, the world must be full of hypocrites, pretending to be friends, but actually cut-throat in their comments about others. So, if we want to have friends, we must be honest and transparent.

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? . . . The one . . . who speaks the truth from their heart, whose tongue utters no slander. (Psalm 15:1-3)

May 3, 2017

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. (George Santayana), 19th-20th centuries Spanish philosopher and writer)

It’s a common expression, but it bears repeating, because every generation needs to be reminded of its importance. You might easily wonder if certain writers and leaders recognize that what they are promoting has often been tried before with complete failure. If we can learn from the mistakes of our forebears, we have a better prospect for success.

Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12).

May 2, 2017

Time indeed has very little to do with living except at its beginning or near the end. (Phyllis Bottome, 20th century British novelist)

While we are often quite conscious of time, it really becomes most meaningful as we grow older. They say that nobody wants to live to be 100 until they are 99. Most of us won’t live to test that theory, but we must understand that how we use the time God gives us is the important issue.

Be very careful, then, how you live . . .  making the most of every opportunity. (Ephesians 5:15-16)