February 22, 2017

I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man. (George Washington, first president of the United States)

February seems to be U.S. presidents’ month. Today is the anniversary of Washington’s birth. He was the primary military force in the Revolutionary War, chairman of pre-constitutional conventions, and, of course, chief executive officer of the new American nation. What he valued most, however, was not the titles but being a man of integrity.

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. (1 Chronicles 29:17)

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely. (Proverbs 10:9)



February 21, 2017

The tree that grows fast falls easily. (Bill Burk, late cross-cultural teacher)

Many of us are pretty impatient people. When we do our landscaping, we are tempted to plant trees that will grow fast, bloom early, and give us a quick return for our expense and effort. The trees that stand strong in the fiercest of winds and storms, however, are those that dig their roots deep and grow slowly. Impatience often spells disaster.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. (Psalm 1:3)



February 20, 2017

Sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make. (Donald Trump, successful businessman and the 45th present of the United States)

Today is Presidents’ Day in the United States. It was just one month ago today that our current president was inaugurated. We prayerfully support him and recognize the value of what he said above. Whether it’s in the realm of politics or personal life, we need wisdom in knowing how to invest our time and resources.

Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:20-21)



February 19, 2017

Love without Truth isn’t reality—it’s sentimentality, and Truth without Love isn’t sustainable—it’s terminal. (Ann Voskamp, best-selling author)

Voskamp explains: “Real love truthfully sees the flaws and still really loves fully. Love isn’t blind—love is the only way of really seeing.” All too often romantically-inclined people may be blinded by emotion so they don’t really see clearly. True love (which always seeks the best for the loved one), recognizes flaws but lovingly works to help overcome them.

Be . . . patient, bearing with one another in love. . . . speaking the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:2, 15)



February 18, 2017

Having faith, beliefs, and convictions is a great thing, but your life is measured by the actions you take based upon them. (Nick Vujicic, inspirational speaker)

Another way of saying it: “Actions speak louder than words.” We’ve often heard people speak about what they believe and then see them acting in a contradictory manner. People of integrity, however, let their honest behavior substantiate their claims of faith. Vujicic, born without arms or legs, speaks and acts out his firm convictions of faith.

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. (James 2:18As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:26)



February 17, 2017

2/17/1

Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles. (Stephen Chappell)

What’s more, the writer says, “Worry is faith in the negative; trust in the unpleasant, assurance of disaster, and belief in defeat.” We sometimes think that faith is the opposite of worry, but Chappell argues that to fear that adversity is inevitable is to place faith in what you fear. That sounds like a very unpleasant way to live.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. (Matthew 6:34) Cast all your anxiety on him [God] because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)



February 16, 2017

A life is not important except [for] the impact it has on other lives. (Jackie Robinson, late major league baseball star)

Sports fans will well remember that Robinson was the first to break the color barrier in professional sports. In spite of severe and hateful treatment, he maintained a quiet and non-threatening behavior. As a result, his life certainly impacted countless others—not only athletes of color but ordinary citizens who saw a life lived graciously.

We urge you, brothers and sisters . . . to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. (1 Thessalonians 4:10-11) The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. (Ecclesiastes 9:17)



February 15, 2017

Happiness is not having what you want but wanting only what you have. (H. Schachtel, 20th century rabbi)

“Happiness” is sometimes replaced in this quotation with “Contentment” or “Prosperity.” Whichever word you choose, the teaching is clear. Rather than always wishing for something different or something more, we must learn to live with what we have and make good use of it. It’s a lesson we need to be reminded of often.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances . . . I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:11-12)



February 14, 2017

Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin. (Victor Kiam, late American entrepreneur)

Whether it’s because of fear or uncertainty, a lot of people just can’t seem to get started. They might miss appointments or deadlines because they’re waiting for inspiration or an outside nudge to get them going. As Kiam suggests, hesitation just might be the death of an opportunity to make progress. Don’t put it off; as Nike says, “Just do it.”

I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands. (Psalm 119:60)



February 13, 2017

Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. (Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th century American essayist)

We’re well into the new year now, so it’s a good time, perhaps, to think about how well we’re doing in looking ahead rather than to the past. Emerson also wrote, “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.” Look forward, not backward.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me. (Philippians 3:13-14)