Words of Wisdom
Thought for the week: “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” – Amelia Earhart
“It takes a great man to be a good listener.” – Calvin Coolidge
“The best vitamin for a Christian – B1.” – Author Unknown
“Without ambition, one starts nothing. Without work, one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“A veteran–whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve—is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’ That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.” – Author Unknown
“Look not mournfully into the past. It comes not back again. Wisely improve the present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
2. On the Lighter Side
Young Johnny finished summer vacation and went back to school.
Two days later his teacher phoned his mother to tell her that Johnny was misbehaving.
“Wait a minute!” said Johnny’s mom. “I had him here for two months and I never once called YOU when he misbehaved!”
Source: Mickey’s Funnies, www.mikeysFunnies.com.
3. In the Midst of the Storm
There was a ship at sea in time of storm. The passengers were in great distress. After a while one of them, against orders, went up on deck and made his way to the pilot. The seaman was at his post of duty at the wheel, and when he saw the man was greatly frightened, he gave him a reassuring smile. Then the passenger turned and went back to the other passengers and said, “I have seen the pilot and he smiled, ‘All is well.’” When our small boat of life is storm-tossed and our hearts are fearful, we may push through the storm to our Pilot who is standing at the wheel, and when we see His face we shall know that all is well.1
“You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall” (2 Samuel 22:29-30, NIV).
1. Robert Louis Stevenson. Source: This Day’s Thought, www.thisdaysthought.org. Submitted by Kathi of London, England.
4. When Your Case Is Weak
Have you ever noticed how many people, when they are in denial, are defensive, and/or are feeling threatened, shout.
In my student days, I recall one student in preaching class who wrote in red in the side of his sermon notes, “Weak point. Shout like _ _ _ _!”
Ken Connor said, “There’s an old adage popular among lawyers: If your case is weak on the law, pound the facts. If it’s weak on the facts, pound the law. If your case is weak on the facts and the law, pound the table.”
5. It All Counts
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4, NKJV).
I read this scripture this morning (Revelation 21:4) and it hit me like a 200 mile per hour rushing wind. I read it again and again, because I don’t want to forget it. I need these Words of God to go deep into my soul and spirit.
Billy Graham once said, “I read the ending of the Bible and it all turns out good.” No matter what is going on in this world, no matter what is going on in my world, no matter what is going on in your world; it’s all going to turn out OK!
Wherever we are in our journey of life, whatever “page we are on” in our own biography of living; the ending is no tragedy—the ending is a new beginning.
Ray Lammie in Ray Lammie’s Faith Thought of the Day. To subscribe send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Subscribe to FT of the Day” in the Subject line.
Editor’s note: Ray was a good friend and supporter of Daily and Weekend Encounter. He battled with cancer for several years and finally passed away several months ago as one of life’s battling, brave heroes.
6. The Family Treasure
By Michael Josephson of Character Counts (637.3)
A 6-year-old girl I’ll call Sarah knocked over a display case that contained a much-cherished vase once owned by her great-grandmother. Her mom loved that vase and frequently referred to it as the family treasure. The vase hit the floor with a loud crash and shattered into pieces.
Sarah, shocked and frightened at what she’d done, screamed and began sobbing.
Her mom came running into the room fearing the worst. Seeing the shattered vase, her heart sank. Then she saw Sarah sitting on the floor wailing. “I’m sorry, Mommy. I’m sorry, Mommy. I broke the family treasure!”
Seeing despair on her daughter’s face, the mother’s heart plunged further.
Faced with two powerful and conflicting instincts—one toward anger and blame, the other toward compassion and forgiveness—she sat next to Sarah, pulled her on her lap, and kissed her tears. “Sweetheart, when I ran in here, I was terrified that something bad had happened to our family’s most precious treasure. But thank God, you’re okay. Sarah, you are the family treasure.”
Sarah’s mom turned what could have been a painful incident and a lifelong source of guilt into an enduring source of affirmation and worthiness.
I wonder if I would have had the presence of mind to realize in the instant after an upsetting event that I could choose my reaction, and that my choice would have a permanent impact on someone I love.
The reaction of Sarah’s mom was nothing short of heroic and stands as a reminder that, even in the face of powerful emotions, we do have choices—and they really matter.
This is my variation of a parable told by Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, which in turn was derived from a true incident from one of his congregants.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
© 2009 Josephson Institute of Ethics; reprinted with permission. Michael Josephson, one of the nation’s leading ethicists, is the founder of the Josephson Institute of Ethics and the premier youth character education program, CHARACTER COUNTS! For further information visit www.charactercounts.org
7. When My Child Was Lost
Sample of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes
“You are to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.”1
Dr. Leighton Ford tells the story about when his daughter was young, several years ago.
I was minding the children while my wife was shopping. Debbie Jean had returned from school and was playing with her four-year-old brother in the back yard. When I called them to come in, Debbie Jean was missing.
I walked up and down the street calling her name—fearing the silence.
Later (after she was found), I reflected on the incident. During the nearly two hours that Debbie Jean was missing, nothing else mattered. In my study were books to be read, letters to be answered, articles to be written, planning to be done—but it was all forgotten. I could think of only one thing: my little girl was lost.
I had only one prayer and I prayed it a thousand times: “O God, help me to find her.”
“How often,” I ask myself, “had I felt that same terrible urgency about people who were lost from God?”
I had a similar experience when one of my baby sons was with his grandmother and I feared both were lost. I panicked a blue streak until I found them.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please help me to realize in the depths of my heart that people without you are lost for all eternity. I’m available. Please use me to be as Christ to every life I touch, and do all that I can, in as many ways I can to help win others to you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
Note: Please join with us to be a People Power for Jesus partner at www.actsweb.org/people_power.
1. Mark 16:15 (TLB/NLT).