Daily Stop & Thinks

Stop & Think: January 23, 2023


Disappointment is nothing but a premature conclusion, causing you to stop reading before the story’s end. (Ann Spangler, award-winning author)

Spangler’s comment can be a valuable reminder to all of us when we reach that familiar moment when we feel like a failure and there’s no reason to continue. In reality, it may be that we just stopped too soon. A few more days, a little more effort or persistence in the difficult moments could bring the end we’ve hoped for and dissipate any lingering frustration.

Always continue to fear the Lord. You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed. Prov. 23:17-18).

Stop & Think: January 22, 2023

Humility #2

After the game is played, the king and the pawn go into the same box. (Italian proverb)

Business consultant Dennis Engelbrecht added this: “In business terms, this famous Italian proverb translates to the fact that there is no room for arrogance or ego irrespective of one’s position.” That’s a helpful analogy, isn’t it? Likewise, when you put the separated puzzle pieces away, they lose their purpose and unity. Purposeful unity demands the subjugation of self.

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5).

Stop & Think: January 21, 2023

Humility #1

We listen more than we talk, we learn more than we teach, and we serve more than we are served. (Mitch Kruse, TV host)

That’s pretty much Kruse’s definition of humility. It’s a difficult quality to achieve. But this definition can be identified by its demonstration. When you see a person who fulfills those characteristics in life, you can be sure you’ve seen a genuinely humble person. He or she will never talk about it and may even deny they are humble, but actions speak louder than words.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others. (Philippians 2:3).

Stop & Think: January 20, 2023

Love Overcomes

Love, like a river, will cut a new path when it meets an obstacle. (Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 19th century English poet)

If you watch a swift-flowing river over the years, you can see how it has cut away the banks and even the rocks and stones that it encounters. What a forceful power flowing water can be. Browning’s observation reminds us of the power that fervent love can demonstrate, breaking down resistance and often creating new, lasting relationships.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 3:3).

Stop & Think: January 19, 2023

“I’m Sorry”

Saying, “I’m sorry” is not enough. Fixing the problem is. (Chris Suitt, pastor)

Remember what your mother said when you hit a playmate or stole his toy? She made you go to him and say, “I’m sorry.” Were you really? Probably not, you just did what you were told. Such feeble attempts at correction simply don’t work with adults. Genuine apologies seek to renew the relationship through repentance and change.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Stop & Think: January 18, 2023


If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you. (Calvin Coolidge, 30 US president)

Remember Murphy’s law? Joe Btfsplk was a character in the satirical comic strip Li’l Abner by cartoonist Al Capp. He was well-meaning but was “the world’s worst jinx.” His “bad luck” always affected others. But that’s all stuff in the funnies. Coolidge was right. Not every potential misfortune will hit you, and you have to look beyond that to the rich opportunities ahead.

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared (Proverbs 3:25-26).

Stop & Think: January 17, 2023


Forgiveness isn’t something we do for others. We do it so we can get well and move on. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, late German theologian)

Forgiving someone for hurting you is a really difficult response for most of us. We just can’t seem to forget the offense, longing for revenge. We don’t recognize that we are really hurting ourselves as we continue in this frame of mind. The longer we wait, the harder it is to forgive. But as Bonhoeffer suggests, it is the only way we can rid ourselves of the heartache and burden.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14-14).

Stop & Think: January 16, 2023


A man who does not read has no advantage over a man who cannot read. (Samuel Clemens)

There are too many illiterate people in the world who have had no opportunity to learn how to read. But in a society of readers, it’s alarming that television, podcasts, and digital games have taken away the incentive to read. Great literature that has enlightened the world is available for those who will take advantage of this great resource of wisdom.

Focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them (1 Timothy 4:13). God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church (Revelation 1:3).

Stop & Think: January 15, 2023

Just Do It

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. (Walt Disney, American animator)

The life song for some of us ought to be Mañana (tomorrow). It is so easy to put off a task that we just don’t want to do right now. We talk about it, but that doesn’t help at all. If we feel the same way tomorrow, we’ll never get around to it. Obviously, we can’t live that way. So, let’s adjust our way of thinking, and determine to establish priorities that will keep us on task.

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

Stop & Think: January 14, 2023

A Smile

I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile. (Elie Wiesel, late Romanian-born American writer)

A family who had moved from a large American city to a small Midwest town, remarked on the response of people they met on the street. In the city, everyone seemed in a hurry and hardly noticed passersby. In the small town, however, everyone smiled at them or at least nodded. Those spontaneous smiles seemed like a “welcome home.

When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them (Job 29:24).

Stop & Think: January 13, 2023


Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. (Joshua J. Marine, author)

We don’t always welcome challenges into our daily routines. They’re often interruptions, and sometimes they can really upset our plans. But, as Marine suggests, if we were to see them not as problems but opportunities, we might discover that meeting them head on and “winning” would add luster and benefit beyond the routine.

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. (1 Peter 1:7)

Stop & Think: January 12, 2023

Work at it!

You don’t have to envision everything at once; you need only a large enough vision to try your best. (Kenneth J. Brown, author)

Whether we’re into strategic planning or not, we often want to know what the future will hold for us. It may be thinking about a long weekend, a longer vacation, or a more distant career move. If we could only know what’s coming, we could be better prepared. But Brown seems to suggest that whatever we’re thinking of doing, we should give it our best effort now.

Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave . . . Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper (Proverbs 12:24; 13:4).