May 5, 2016

Men who cannot be silent will not say anything when they talk. (A.W. Tozer, author)

Some people have the “gift of gab,” as we say. They talk easily and often. One thought leads to another, and their listeners are likely to tune them out. It’s not the number of words that one speaks, but the content that’s important. We would all do well to think carefully before we speak and try to be uplifting and encouraging in our conversations.

The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? (Ecclesiastes 6:11) Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones (Proverbs 16:24 ).

May 4, 2016

Truth, though it has many disadvantages, is at least changeless. You can always find it where you left it. (Phyllis Bottome, British novelist and short story writer)

Truth sometimes hurts. When we’re faced with the consequences of our mistakes, the realization that we were wrong may, indeed, hurt us. Confronting someone with his or her mistakes may be difficult for both parties. But, truth is truth. It doesn’t change with the changing ethics of society or personal preference. Pursue truth at all costs.

Truthful lips endure forever (Proverbs 12:19). Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist (Ephesians 6:14).

May 3, 2016

In statesmanship prudence counts for more than daring. (Harper’s Weekly)

Those words were written in the issue of April 29, 1865, in commemoration of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. They are words well worth our consideration today. We often look for someone to lead us who is daring and bold, qualities that are commendable in leaders. But prudence—wise judgment—must precede and inform action.

I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion (Proverbs 8:12).

May 2, 2016

We get the leaders in the future that we make now. (Randy Smith, pastor and educator)

Great leaders don’t just pop up when we need them. They must be trained, gain experience, and be tested in the workplace. And the best place to find them is from among us. Looking outside for leaders can be a disappointing venture, but when we grow our future leaders, we’ll know what to expect from their leadership.

So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man [from among you] in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him” (Numbers 27:18).

May 1, 2016

The house of delusions is cheap to build but drafty to live in. (A. E. Housman, English classical scholar and poet)

It’s easy to let your mind run away with you and to dream dreams that are fanciful, fun, and pleasing to pursue. Such dreams are of little value except for momentary enjoyment. They have no substance, and when reality sets in, they are blown away as in a windstorm. It’s better to keep our hopes in the realm of reality. Dream big but plan well.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans (Proverbs 16:3).

April 30, 2016

If we love our country, we should also love our fellow countrymen. (Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States)

When patriots talk about their country, what is it they’re speaking of? Its geography, its resources, its political system? Nations are made up of people, and Reagan was right to encourage citizens to love one another. Sounds like a biblical instruction, doesn’t it? And its good advice for all of us to follow.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart … soul and … mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).

April 29, 2016

Don’t get addicted to hearing only what you want to hear. (Dr. Henry Cloud, self-help author)

Have you ever met someone who doesn’t seem to hear anything negative. He or she doesn’t take criticism; it just doesn’t register with them. People who are like that may miss some very helpful constructive criticism that others could help them with. It’s their loss, of course, but we must not limit ourselves to hearing only those things that please us.

Whoever heeds correction is honored. Whoever heeds correction shows prudence. (Proverbs 13:18; 15:5)

April 28, 2016

Most of us know we won’t be the greatest, just don’t let us be the least. (Robert J Foster, college professor)

Most people don’t like to think of themselves as being proud. They aren’t trying to gain fame merely for the sake of the public’s recognition and applause. On the other hand, most people probably don’t want to be thought of as the least popular or talented, either. Or worse, to be overlooked altogether. We must think soberly and truthfully about ourselves.

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment (Romans 16:3).

April 27, 2016

By changing yourself, you will change your circumstances. (Kary Oberbrunner, author and inspirational speaker)

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations we wish we could change. Maybe it’s the people we’re working with or for; they’re making things difficult, and we’d like to change them so our job or life itself would be easier. In reality, of course, we usually can’t give other people a makeover. To have peace and find joy, most often we need to work on changing ourselves.

Live in harmony with one another. … If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:16, 18).

April 26, 2016

Societies are changed from the bottom up, not the top down. (John Naisbitt, author and futurist)

This is an election year in the United States. The candidates for public office are making all kinds of promises, wanting us to believe that they, by themselves, can bring change and improvement to our society. As Naisbitt points out, however, lasting change must come from the citizens themselves. Their wholesome activity is the only hope for real change.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).