STOP AND THINK -
Prayer is the nearest approach to God and the highest enjoyment of Him that we are capable of in this life. (William Law, 18th century Church of England priest)
When many people think of prayer, they may recall those they recited as a child before a meal or at bedtime. Others use prayer as a kind of heavenly vending machine or last resort when things are really bad. But prayer is a two-way conversation with God; its highest purpose is to enjoy His presence and listen to His voice, and then tell Him our needs.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2). For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer (1 Peter 3:12).
STOP AND THINK – You can’t serve, love, or care for others without connecting. (Mike Lee, American pastor)
It’s easy to “care about” the poor or the suffering in some far country. But that’s not really caring, although we might pray for and give financially to support such unfortunate people. To really help and have an impact, however, we need to have a closer contact. We must work at connecting with some who are quite near us so we can offer genuine love and care.
The righteous care about justice for the poor (Proverbs 29:7).
STOP AND THINK – The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts. (C. S. Lewis, British scholar and Christian apologist)
Teachers might feel that their students’ minds are clogged with untruths and exaggerated values because of the influences of modern society. So, they want to wipe the thinking slate clean. It’s better, however, to teach learners how to think logically and critically to open paths of understanding and the ability to make sound judgments.
I have written [my letters to you] as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking (2 Peter 3:1).
STOP AND THINK – Happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up. (Charles Langbridge Morgan, 20th century English-born playwright and novelist)
Morgan also wrote, “The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mood of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change.” When we were a child, lots of silly things made us feel happy. As we matured, however, we gained a more mature understanding of what happiness is.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me (1 Corinthians 13:11).
STOP AND THINK – Build your dreams, or someone will hire you to build theirs. (Tony Gaskins, motivational speaker)
Many people have dreams, ideas for inventions or ways to improve life. For those who pursue their dreams, there may be disappointments, but there will also be satisfaction in following the dream. As Gaskins suggests, if you don’t chase after your vision, someone else will, and you may find yourself working on their dream, rather than yours.
“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you . . . plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11)
STOP AND THINK – When trouble has smitten us, a spirit of thanksgiving is a soothing antiseptic. (Clinton C. Cox)
This is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, and there is much for most Americans to be thankful for. But some are facing difficulties of one kind or another. It’s hard to be thankful when you’re hurting, but as Cox suggests, an attitude of gratitude does go a long way to raising one’s spirits. Find some reason today to thank God, and you will feel better.
Admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs, . . . singing to God with gratitude in your hearts (Colossians 3:16).
STOP AND THINK – Inspiration followed by motivation followed by perspiration improves any life. (Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist and radio commentator)
In his commentary Thomas’ statement was in contrast to the philosophy that tends to provide people’s needs without requiring much on their part. Whether it’s parents, educators, or politicians, Thomas’ counsel seems to be verified by life’s experiences. We usually get out of a project (or life) what we put into it. Intentional effort is vital.
The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
STOP AND THINK – You are the only person on earth who can use your ability. (Zig Ziglar, late motivational speaker)
Sometimes our abilities are hidden because we may think we’re not gifted in any particular area. Everyone, however, has something of value to contribute to society and, as Ziglar suggests, he or she is the only one who can exercise that gift. We must use our talents for the benefit of others and encourage everyone to discover and exercise his talent, too.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. (Romans 12:6). Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others (1 Peter 4:10).
STOP AND THINK – Crises [break] down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place. (Susan Taylor, editor, writer, and journalist)
Taylor notes “In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change.” Whether a particular calamity is the result of a natural disaster or of some life circumstance, it often produces careful evaluation and planning to handle it. The crisis, then, may result in a very positive and beneficial outcome.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Corinthians 4:17).
STOP AND THINK – Never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides. (Rob Lowe, movie and TV actor)
That was Lowe’s response when his son, about to begin his college days, said, “None of the other kids look scared at all.” You may think you’re the only one who has doubts and fears. Others may seem to be confident in their outward appearance. In reality, they may be just as fearful as you are, so don’t be controlled by what you think you see in other people.
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe (Proverbs 29:25).