January 23, 2017

Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability. (Roy L. Smith, American animator and film director)

To a lot of people the word “discipline” brings thoughts of punishment. Yet, its basic meaning has to do with training. Though training may be difficulty (think training for the Olympics) its purpose may be to correct errors, or to strengthen and improve skills. For that reason we should welcome any discipline that will make us more effective or skillful.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11).

January 22, 2017

I do not think about being beautiful. What I devote most of my time to is being healthy. (Ann Bancroft, late American actress)

Her physical beauty was recognized by many, yet that, apparently, was not her most important concern. After all, as they say, “beauty is only skin deep.” Physical health is exceedingly more important than physical appearance. More important yet is your spiritual health. What is your relationship with God and how does that affect all other relationships?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [and] Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39)

January 21, 2017

Try to be like the turtle—at ease in your own shell. (Inspiration newsletter)

Some people never seem to be satisfied with who they are. Whether it’s brain power, appearance, or athletic prowess—they see skills in other people and wish they could be like them. Every human being, however, has abilities and characteristics that are unique to him or her. Learn to be satisfied with who you are, and develop your own unique qualities.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. (Psalm 139:14)

January 20, 2017

Society has gotten to the point where everybody has a right, but nobody has a responsibility. (John G. Stevens, business developer)

American was born on the principles of human rights. We have fought world wars and cultural issues to guarantee those rights for every citizen. But, we sometimes seem to forget that with rights come responsibilities. To enjoy our rights to the fullest, we must exercise care to protect and guarantee those rights for others. That’s our duty.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

January 19, 2017

I don’t know the key to success, but the key failure is trying to please everyone. (From a comedy story-teller)

It’s unlikely that anyone is looking for the key to failure, but the warning here is worth noting. To climb the ladder of success, it might seem a good idea to please everyone; perhaps, they’ll help you in your ascent. But the road to achievement is often strewn with people-pleasers who discovered they could not please everybody.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? . . . If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)

January 18, 2017

Mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life! (John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist)

Muir also said, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.” We would likely agree that time off from our hectic schedules to relax in a soothing, natural environment would be refreshing. But the real fountain of life is to be found elsewhere.

For with you [God] is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9)

January 17, 2017

Let your heart determine your destination, and you mind shall carry you there.(Anonymous)

We see or read a lot about people being advised to “follow your heart.” In our culture we tend to think of the heart as the center of our emotions, and we often make decisions on the basis of how we feel. Feelings are important, of course, but if we don’t engage our mind in making decisions, we may fall short of the destination we were feeling good about.

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6) Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2)

January 16, 2017

Doing something positive toward another person is a practical approach to feeling good about yourself. (Barbara Johnson, author and speaker)

Somehow self-centered people can relate to other people only as the relationship seems to benefit them. They appear to feel good about themselves only at the expense of someone else. How sad that kind of life must be. To really feel good about yourself, try doing good for others. It will improve how both of you feel about yourselves.

Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25) In humility value others above yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

January 15, 2017

When we are young, we want to change the world. When we’re old, we want to change the young. (Anonymous)

Young people often want to be world-changers, and they are usually optimistic about their dreams. It’s that kind of ambition that has brought innovation and progress to the world. However, as we grow older, we may feel out-of-touch with change. If we’ve been good mentors, we can accept the progress the changes have brought.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers. (1 Timothy 4:12)

January 14, 2017

Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions. (George W. Bush, 43rd president of the United States)

Sometimes, it seems as if we have a blind eye when it comes to evaluating ourselves. We criticize others harshly, ignoring their strengths and emphasizing their weaknesses. At the same time, we tend to exaggerate our strengths and overlook our faults. The next time you’re tempted to judge someone, remember this thought.

First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5)