Words of Wisdom
Thought for the week: “Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.” – Abraham Lincoln
“The highest form of success comes to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship or from bitter toil, and who, out of these, wins the splendid ultimate triumph.” – Theodore Roosevelt
“We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie
“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” – Mother Theresa
“Appreciate people. Nothing gives more joy than appreciation.” – Ruth Smeltzer
“Who can save a child from a burning house without taking the risk of being hurt by the flames? Who can take away suffering without entering it?” – Henry Nouwen
“No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.” – Agnes De Mille
2. On the Lighter Side
An 11-year-old boy was doing his violin practice at home and the torturous noise was making the dog howl.
Upstairs the boy’s father was trying to work on the computer. After putting up with the combined racket of the violin and the dog’s wailing for 20 minutes, the father eventually called out, “Jason, can’t you play something the dog doesn’t know?”
Cited on Mickey’s Funnies, www.mikeysFunnies.com
3. The Impact of Working Together
Anthills are made when a bunch of insignificant creatures get together.
If you ever mistakenly step on an anthill without shoes, their fellowship will make an impact on you. One ant bite might sting a little. Most folks can handle that. But if a person messes with the whole family in an anthill, those ants will gather around your foot and serve notice that you are unwelcome in their house.
One ant can’t create that kind of impact by itself. Gathered together, their combined effect is much greater. Not only do they ward off intruders together, they will also work together to rebuild in a day-and-a-half what was destroyed.
By Tony Evans. Cited on KneEmail, http://forthright.net/kneemail/
4. Christian Leaders Disinvited—Urgent Need for Prayer
The “Disinvited”—A Club Growing In Membership….
In last week’s issue (of The American News Commentary) we cited a new Christian advocacy link (www.michaelyoussef.com) in which the author, Dr. Michael Youssef, recounted how he had been invited, then disinvited, to offer the invocation at an affair honoring General Petraeus. There was also reference to an article in the National Journal commenting on the invitation, followed by the disinvitation, of FRC (Family Research Council) president Tony Perkins from offering an invocation at a military affair.
Now Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, and himself a national and international Evangelical leader, has been “disinvited” from his invitation to speak at a Pentagon observance of the National Day of Prayer on May 6. Graham had already been named Honorary Chairman of this year’s observance of the National Day of Prayer.
So membership in the “Disinvited Club” is growing, and we are reminded of the famous sign on the desk of President Harry Truman: “The buck stops here.” In other words, President Truman made it clear that the ultimate responsibility for major national decisions was right there in the office of the president. And for decisions involving the US military, the ultimate source is the Commander in Chief….
The presidents whom we think of as having issued calls for the nation to unite in prayer—Washington, Lincoln, Truman and Reagan, for examples—did not hide their Christian faith behind some political hedge. They were open and sincere in believing that God’s people should turn to Him in a time when this nation needed His help and His guidance. The National Day of Prayer is an important observance, and requires the leadership of true believers who know the Lord to whom they are praying. It is not a mere ritual for public acclaim. It is a time for a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles to turn to the God of the Bible, to thank Him for His blessings, and to renew our dependence on Him….
Source: The American News Commentary, Vol. 14, No. 17 April 28, 2010. © To Subscribe (Nno charge), send a blank email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Faith Thought of the Day
Those who say “I can’t” and those who say “I can” are both right. There is no way we can do anything worthwhile if we say and believe we can’t. The power to achieve is in the “I can”! – Ray Lammie
“I can do all thing through Christ which strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, KJV).
Ray Lammie, Faith Thought of the Day. To subscribe send a blank email to email@example.com with “Faith Thought of the Day Subscribe” in the Subject line.
6. Living and Reading
By Michael Josephson of Character Counts (636.4)
One of the most insightful and useful books I’ve ever read is a small volume by Harold Kushner called Living a Life That Matters.
Today I want to suggest ways of getting the most out of books, at least nonfiction books, which is about all I read.
Reading shouldn’t be a passive experience. If you allow yourself to be absorbed in the interaction of the author’s thoughts and your reactions, it’s like a great conversation. Lots of people think it’s a sin to mark up a book. I think it’s a waste to leave it untouched.
I reread complex, clever, and profound passages several times. I underline them, make notes in the margins, fold back pages, do whatever I can to highlight the parts I find useful or inspirational so I can find them again.
When a passage stimulates thoughts, I write them in the margins or on the blank pages in the front or back of the book. A really good book has me thinking as much as reading, and I never read a book in one sitting. When I restart a book, I revisit my notes like they were old friends.
Both during and after a book, I try to communicate what I’ve learned or the new ideas it generated in conversations, letters, and even these commentaries. New insights are a great gift, and we should share them. I liked Kushner’s book so much that I bought 30 copies and gave them as gifts.
While writing this piece, I realized the way I approach books is also a decent way to approach life: Live it fully and completely at the time, and live it by remembering it and sharing it.
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. Scary Leap of Faith
Sample of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”1
Brennan Manning in his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, tells about a child caught on the second floor of his house when it was on fire. The family members were all running out of the house when the smallest boy panicked and ran back upstairs.
Terrified, he screamed from a smoke-filled window. Below, his father could see him and cried out, “Jump, son, jump! I’ll catch you.” “But daddy, I can’t see you,” the boy cried.
“I know,” the father called, “but I can see you.”
The father could see the son and that’s all that really mattered.
Many a time in our lives we are in difficult situations and we panic and long for God to help us. But not being able to see him or sense his presence, we don’t know what to do. Let us always remember that God is there regardless of our feelings. He can see us. And when we call to him and choose to put our trust in him, he will help us. He is our refuge. Underneath us are his everlasting arms. And he loves us with an everlasting love.
“And that may be all we need to know!”
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please help me to commit and trust my life and way to you when darkness surrounds me and I am lost and do not know the way. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
1. Deuteronomy 33:27 (NIV).