December 2, 2016

When you forgive someone, you are canceling their debt. (Mike Lee, American pastor)

Do you find it hard to forgive someone who has deeply offended you? Or, have you said, “I forgive you, but I can’t forget the offense.” That’s not really forgiving, is it? As Lee suggests, we have to treat it as a fully paid debt with no further obligation. To forgive and forget requires a lot of mercy, but it will bring a great relief and a sense of freedom.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).

December 1, 2016

The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. (George Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, English novelist)

You might think that truth is a foundational principal that remains solid and unchanging. However, relativism has taken over the minds of modern man, and truth seems to be whatever you want it to be. Time and experience have shown Orwell to be right. To speak truth directly is too often to engender the hatred of those who have strayed from it.

For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth (2 Corinthians 13:8). If we claim to have fellowship with [God] and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth (1 John 1:6).

November 30, 2016

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. (Isaac Newton, 17th & 18th century English scientist.)

Newton is credited with formulating the laws of motion and universal gravitation, notable achievements that have made his name famous. Yet, in the quote above, he demonstrates a great sense of humility. His accomplishments were made possible by other scholars and scientists whose work benefited his. It’s an example we would all do well to follow.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom (James 3:13).

November 29, 2016

It always seems impossible until it’s done. (Nelson Mandela, late president of South Africa)

Life is often filled with what seem to be impossible obstacles. We can’t do what we want to do because there isn’t enough money or time, or the people capable of completing the desired task. Many of us are stymied in such situations, but, thankfully, there are people, like Mandela, who persist until the impossible is achieved.

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17:10).

Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

November 28, 2016

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living. (Gail Sheehy, American journalist and lecturer)

Change is difficult for a lot of people, especially as we grow older. We become “set in our ways,” and we resist learning to do things differently. At the same time, we realize that all living things have to grow in order to survive and advance. Life can be so much more enjoyable as we are challenged to learn, grow, and yes, change.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (2 Peter 3:18).

November 27, 2016

Since time flies, you must be the navigator. (Church sign board)

The older we grow, the more we sense that time really is flying by. We can’t control time, of course, so it’s imperative that we learn how to control our use of it. We can’t just let “things happen”; we must take charge and plan how we spend time to its best possible use. To do so is to be good stewards (trustees) of what God has given us in time and resources.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter (Ecclesiastes 3:1; 8:6).

November 26, 2016

Sometimes the right path is not the easiest. (Sign board)

Yogi Berra is famously quoted as saying, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” The question, however, is which road to take. We will try to take the right path, of course, but that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest. In fact, the right course is sometimes the most difficult, but we must choose right and work hard to learn and achieve the right end.

Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose (Psalm 25:12).

November 25, 2016

Once you replace your negative thoughts with positive ones you’ll start getting positive results. (Nelson, Country music star)

Nelson is noted more for his music career than for philosophical musings, but this thought has been shared by many renowned thinkers. Most of us, at some time or another, have let negative thoughts discourage us from moving ahead in the face of the disappointments of life. Replacing negative thoughts with optimistic concepts will bring greater success.

You were taught . . .  to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires [and] to be made new in the attitude of your minds (Ephesians 4:22-23).

November 24, 2016

Be thankful for what you have. Your life, no matter how bad you think it is, is someone else’s fairy tale. (Wale Ayeni, investment advisor)

We are following the example of the Pilgrims, who “…made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving” (H. U. Westermayer). So, in the midst of the abundance that most of us enjoy, we should be grateful but also find ways to encourage the less fortunate.

The purpose of riches: “You will be made rich . . .  so that you can be generous on every occasion” (2 Corinthians 9:11).

November 23, 2016

Gratitude turns what we have into enough. (Often quoted)

In the United States, tomorrow is the day we will celebrate the long-standing tradition of Thanksgiving. The last Thursday of each November gives us at least one day to acknowledge our blessings. Many who do not have a lot of this world’s goods have learned to live happily with what they have because they have developed an attitude of gratitude.

Godliness with contentment is great gain. . . . If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that (1 Timothy 6:6, 8).