GOD OF HOPE

Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: July 22, 2021

Pressure

Don’t let social pressures turn you into something you’re not. (Source unknown)

Sometimes we have to deal with social pressure, whether it’s from the expectations aroused on social media or the request/demands of a friend. We may be tempted to yield because we want to please someone else, or we don’t want to be thought less of. But when we hide who we really are, or let others influence us, we do take a step backward in character development. 

If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. (Proverbs 24:10)

Stop & Think: July 21, 2021

Responsibility

Life is the acceptance of responsibilities or their evasion. (Ben Ames Williams, late short story writer)

Williams continues, “. . .it is a business of meeting obligations or avoiding them.” We do have to make choices, and Williams says, “By the manner of his choosing you may fairly measure [a man].”  We may want to avoid our responsibilities at times, but to do so can have really tough consequences. It’s best to face our obligations head-on, prepare well, and move forward.

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. (Galatians 6:4-5)

Stop & Think: July 20, 2021

Be Effective

We spend most of our days being busy and productive; take your life to the next level by focusing on being effective. (Source Unknown)

As many others have observed, “Being busy is not the same as being productive.” There is much to be learned from God’s creatures, like bees or ants. Not only are they busy and productive, but they also contribute to the balance of nature and we all profit. Plan and prepare well so that your busyness will be effective in achieving your goals.

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. (Proverbs 6:6)

They aren’t strong, but they store up food all summer. (Proverbs 30:25)

Stop & Think: July 19, 2021

Higher and Deeper

We need you to reach higher than you’ve ever imagined and to do so you must dig deeper than you ever have before. (Author unknown)

Most people probably wish to achieve more—to climb higher in their profession or avocation. Everyone recognizes that it takes a lot of work to accomplish anything of lasting value. But like erecting a building where foundations have to be really deep to support a skyscraper, so climbing to new heights will require a deeper study and understanding of the principles of achieving. 

He will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. (Isaiah 33:6)

Stop & Think: July 18, 2021

Leadership II

The litmus test of a great leader is if you can write down the five names of people you have developed (Mike Pumphrey, religious worker)

We’ve often heard the comment that if there is no one following you, you really aren’t a leader. Pumphrey suggests a good test to evaluate leaders. It’s simply this: If you have worked with a group for a reasonable amount of time, is there any sign that future leaders are being developed and moving on to their own opportunities for leading others? If not, why?

Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher. (Luke 6:40)

Stop & Think: July 17, 2021

Leadership I

Leaders [are] those who empower others. (Paraphrase of Bill Gates, business leader)

Most adults work or serve under a variety of leaders over their work life. We have found some of them to be easy to work for; others made it difficult because of their leadership style. Some of our most profitable times were likely those when our bosses shared the plan, provided what we needed to work with, and gave us the authority to do our job in the way we thought best.

If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. (Romans 12:8)

Stop & Think: July 16, 2021

Taking Risks

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. (William Faulkner, late Nobel prize-winning author)

Author Mark Batterson put it another way: “The greatest opportunities were the scariest lions. Part of me has wanted to play it safe, but I’ve learned that taking no risks is the greatest risk of all.” It’s often a difficult decision: do I, or don’t I? The answer may depend upon ability, resources, and opportunities. And considering the risks is an important issue to answer first.

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. (Proverbs 22:3)

Stop & Think: July 15, 2021

Busy

It’s not how busy you are, but why you are busy. Bees are praised. Mosquitos are swatted! (Mary O’Connor, business assistant)

In modern American, the hectic pace of life creates all kinds of problems for people who try to catch or keep up. Busy, busy, busy seems to be the answer to “how’s it going?” O’Connor’s observation assumes there might be the need to evaluate our “busyness.” Are we engaged in worthy activity with beneficial results or just aimlessly being a pest?

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. (Psalm 39:60)

Stop & Think: July 14, 2021

The Danger of Wealth

We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us. (Winston Churchill. British prime minister)

Is it possible that we could become so enamored with our houses that we begin to emulate them? If we built the bare minimum, could we somehow live that frugally? Or, if we really enlarged our dwelling and furnished it to the max, we would surely be living in an ostentatious way. But. remember what happened to the rich man in the Bible that kept expanding his property. 

“I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones.” “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for? Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” (Luke 12:18, 20-21)

Stop & Think: July 13, 2021

Courage

Courage is far more than just a lofty, noble concept appropriate only for fairy tales and movies. (Keith Caver, leadership consultant)

Caver says, “Courage is meant not only for the battlefield. . . Rather, it’s a skill that is essential to ensure a thriving, high-performance culture.” When things are difficult in life, whether it’s a business problem, a personal issue, or any one of many potential problems, we can give up or we can face the situation with determination—that takes courage, too!

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged. (1 Chronicles 28:20)

Take courage as you fulfill your duties. (2 Chronicles 19:11)

Stop & Think: July 12, 2021

Problems II

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. (Aldous Huxley, 20th century English writer)

Like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, we sometimes find it easier to ignore a problem and act as if it doesn’t exist than to face it head-on. We have all found that Huxley’s comment is right on. As much as we wish it weren’t there, the problem keeps surfacing, and we have to do something about it. Identify and acknowledge the issue. Face it squarely and bravely.

When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up. (Isaiah 43:2)

Stop & Think: July 11, 2021

Problems I

Happiness is not the absence of problems; it’s the ability to deal with them. (Steve Marshall, American writer)

Did you ever have a problem-free week? Or even a day without problems? They can cause us to clam up and not move to do anything at all. But, if we move to solve the problem, resolve the conflict, or handle the unpleasant situation, we will be taking a great step forward to make the day successful. What a relief! What happiness when we don’t avoid but solve the problem!

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. (Romans 5:3)