September 1, 2014

STOP AND THINK - We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same. (Carlos Castaneda, Peruvian-American author)

In the United States today is Labor Day, a time to honor the workmen of our country. But Castaneda is speaking of another kind of work. It’s not the labor of your hands or the back-breaking toil of the laborer. Rather, it’s the equally hard work of controlling our minds and attitudes. We can’t blame it on others—or on our jobs; happiness is our responsibility.

Jesus: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

August 31, 2014

STOP AND THINK – No matter how much madder it may make you, get out of bed forcing a smile. (Kenneth Goode)

Are you a “morning person”? If not, this quote might be good for you. Goode goes on to say, “You may not smile because you are cheerful; but if you will force yourself to smile, you’ll end up laughing.” Try it tomorrow morning to see if it makes your day start better—or, at least, you will start with a better attitude and lighter spirit.

A happy heart makes the face cheerful. (Proverbs 15:13)

August 30, 2014

STOP AND THINK – A leader that is no longer a learner is not leading—he is managing. (Jeff Bogue, American pastor)

Some people might think that a leader should “know it all.” After all, he or she is in a position that is responsible for a group of followers, who are dependent upon their leader. But, unless that leader continues to learn and grow in his knowledge and skills, he may eventually not know enough or retain the needed skills to continue to lead effectively.

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance (Proverbs 1:5). Teach the righteous and they will add to their learning (Proverbs 9:9).

August 29, 2014

STOP AND THINK – A friend is a present you give yourself. (Robert Louis Stevenson, 19th century Scottish writer)

We all like to have friends, the more the merrier. But we must choose them carefully. Not every acquaintance will help to build us up emotionally and spiritually. When we find one who will, we are giving ourselves a great gift that will be mutually beneficial throughout our lifetime. We will enjoy them today and establish lasting, pleasant memories.

The righteous choose their friends carefully (Proverbs 12:26). A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity (Proverbs 17:17).

August 28, 2014

STOP AND THINK – A position does not give you followers, only subordinates. (John Gardner, American writer and literary critic)

Some folks seem always to be climbing the ladder, hoping to reach a higher position in their job or career. But, simply achieving position doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have a successful, happy crew working for you. They may serve under you, but you may never have loyal, devoted followers. Servant-leadership develops followers.

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant. (Matthew 20:26)

August 27, 2014

STOP AND THINK – It’s more important to build your eulogy rather than your resumé. (Paraphrased from David Brooks, New York Times columnist)

Brooks writes of two kinds of virtues: resumé virtues are oriented toward “accumulating power, wealth, and professional achievements.” Eulogy virtues are “the kinds of qualities that will be recalled at our funerals.” How do we want to be remembered? By our public persona (sometimes calculated) or our character, demonstrated by genuine qualities?

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

August 26, 2014

God heals broken hearts but He has to have all the pieces. (Church signboard)

When we’re distressed, calling out to God for help, what are we expecting from Him? Removal of the problem or a change in our circumstances? What are we offering in return? We can never repay God for His blessing, but, if we are willing to commit ourselves fully to Him with unfailing trust, He will meet our need and mend our heart.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

August 25, 2014

STOP AND THINK – Our commitment to integrity can easily be eroded by our love of progress. (Quoted by Tom Roy, attributed to Jonathan Herron)

If patience is a virtue, then impatience must be a vice. We may profess to hold very high standards and to operate ethically, but when a little deviation from the “straight and narrow” promises to help us to progress more quickly toward our goal, we may be strongly tempted to give in. “Just this once,” we think , but it usually is followed by more “slips” in the future.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9)

August 24, 2014

STOP AND THINK – Think twice before you act. (From Aesop’s Fables)

Many of us are impetuous; we just can’t wait to forge ahead, thinking all will be right. The carpenter’s rule is similarly good advice: “Measure twice, cut once.” Some people think and plan so long, they never seem to get started. But for many of us it’s the other way around. How wise it would be to slow down enough to think carefully before we take action.

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? (Luke 14:28)

August 23, 2014

STOP AND THINK – I think the hardest thing in life is to forgive. (Louis Zamperini, late American Olympian and World War II POW)

After suffering pain and privation as a prisoner of war, Zamperini, could say, “Hate is self-destructive. If you hate someone, you’re not hurting the person you hate, you’re hurting yourself.” That’s a difficult but important lesson to learn. Our anger and hatred does little to the one who has hurt us, but it greatly harms us unless we learn this important lesson.

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs (Proverbs 10:12). Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you (Colossians 3:13).