November 20, 2017

Nothing is true, but that which is simple. (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, 18th-19th century German writer and statesman)

We need to think carefully about that statement. If you look at Einstein’s theory of special relativity (E = mc2), the equation appears simple and can be interpreted as energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. Many of us think that’s not as simple as it sounds. Maybe Goethe wasn’t right after all. However, truth can be simple if its source is undisputed.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)

November 19, 2017

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. (Faith Whittlesey, former White House staff assistant)

Old-timers will remember the extravagant movie musicals of yesteryear. Astaire was an amazing dancer who was able to make unbelievably intricate dance steps look easy. But Rogers, his frequent dancing partner, was equally adept. “It takes two to Tango,” they say. (Pardon the pun!) Quite often we must have someone to help us accomplish a difficult task well.

Two are better than one . . . If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

November 18, 2017

A smile is a curve that can set a lot of things straight. (Victor Borge, America-Danish comedian)

When we read the news or watch TV news coverage, we often don’t find much to smile about. Whether it’s a personal, national, or world news story, it is often discouraging—sometimes even frightening. So, people, like the humorist Borge, help to lift our spirits if only briefly. In turn, when we find joy from a heavenly source, we can encourage others with a simple smile.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. (Numbers 6:25) When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them. (Job 29:24)

November 17, 2017

Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value. (Albert Einstein, noted scientist)

Ours is a success-oriented society. It’s more than just wanting not to fail. From early childhood we want to be first in everything, and from there to adulthood, we are pushed to be winners in whatever we pursue. Sometimes winners, however, don’t always exhibit the best conduct. The person of integrity is always a winner in the most important sense.

Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right. (Proverbs 16:13)

November 16, 2017

Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children. (Oliver Wendell Holmes, 20th century justice of the United States Supreme Court)

Before they learn to be deceitful, children are often very blunt, stating the facts as they see them. (Remember the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”?) They soon learn, unfortunately, how to lie, but their early innocence is a delight to behold, although at times it can be embarrassing. How sad that adults are often not more forthright.

Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. (Proverbs 12:19) Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor. Ephesians 4:25)

November 15, 2017

Never put the key to happiness in someone else’s pocket. (Author unknown)

What is it that makes you happy? Maybe it’s winning at sports? Or, acing an exam. More often, it’s a person—someone you like to be with. Are you, perhaps, the person who someone else is depending upon for their happiness? Be warned: true, lasting happiness is rarely to be found in another imperfect human being, because God alone is its true source.

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness. (Ecclesiastes 2:16)

November 14, 2017

Perfectionism can turn us into an unwitting accomplice for the status quo. (Bobby Gruenewald, pastor and innovator)

More: “Improvement is admirable. Perfection is impossible. . . . Our pursuit of an unattainable standard can keep us from getting anywhere near our goal. We end up tolerating more imperfection for far longer than if we accepted an almost-perfect solution.” In other words, it’s better to put up with less than perfect than waiting for the perfect that we may never achieve.

To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless. Psalm 119:96

November 13, 2017

The more teachable we are, the more mature we will become. (David Egner, philanthropist)

Teaching is sometimes a difficult task. Either the subject is extremely difficult to understand or the classroom environment is not appropriate. Sometimes we might even think the teacher is not properly prepared. But the biggest difficulty may be that we are not teachable or we’re not good learners. The more we want to learn and prepare well to do it, the better we become.

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

November 12, 2017

Accountability is hard. It needs to be intentional and honest, not judgmental or condemning. A true friend confronts with truth and love. (Dave Illingworth, businessman and author)

A lot is said about accountability these days, but we don’t often see it practiced very well. To be an accountable friend you need to have the other person’s best interest at heart—not just be a sounding board or a “yes man.” A good friend and partner will sometimes say things that are hard—but necessary—to hear. Not to hurt, but to help.

Speaking the truth in love . . . (Ephesians 4:15) Wounds from a friend can be trusted. (Proverbs 27:6)

November 11, 2017

Our greatest fear in life should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. (Francis Chan, educator and author)

Most of us will go to great lengths to avoid failing. Whether it’s in our social, academic, or personal life, we want to be successful, to always win even in the lesser pursuits of life. But, as Chan suggests, perhaps the more important issue has to do with priorities. Our efforts should be toward achieving goals that have great value, not fearing failure in lesser efforts.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)