Words of Wisdom
Thought for the week: “A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.” – English proverb
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Oprah Winfrey
“Love does not dominate, it cultivates.” – Anonymous
“Love is unselfishly choosing for another’s highest good.” – C. S. Lewis
“Friends are like the stars. You can’t always see them, but you know they are there.” – Unknown
“It is important to acknowledge a mistake instantly, correct it, and learn from it. That literally turns a failure into a success. Success is on the far side of failure.” – T.J. Watson, 1874-1956, Founder if IBM
2. On the Lighter Side
A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn’t find a space with a meter. Then he puts a note under the windshield wiper that read: “I have circled the block 10 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses.”
When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note: “I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket I’ll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation.”
Submitted by Doris Allmer as seen on Holy Humor
3. Rescued from Rubble
American journalist Frank Thorp was in an area about six hours north of Port-au-Prince when the earthquake occurred in Haiti on that Tuesday afternoon. He felt the ground shake where he was, but he assumed that it was just a small quake. He soon learned, however, that it was a 7.0-magnitude tremor that caused massive destruction in the Haitian capital—where his wife Jillian was located!
Then Frank received a terrifying ten-second phone call from his wife. She told him that she was trapped beneath the rubble of their home. That was all of the message that she was able to communicate! Frank immediately got into his car to make the journey home as quickly as possible, unsure of the condition of his wife.
When he finally arrived at his home, he discovered that it had collapsed to ground level and his wife was still trapped underneath along with a co-worker. Frank immediately joined some Haitian workers as they tried to dig them out of the rubble. He saw Jillian’s hand and heard her voice telling him to keep it together and get her out.
“We had to pull bricks and bricks and bricks and wood and doors and metal away for at least an hour before we were able to get her and her co-worker out,” he said.
After being trapped beneath the rubble for about 10 hours, Jillian was finally rescued by her loving husband.
This successful rescue in the midst of the current devastation and desperation in Haiti reminds us of another search and rescue mission….
Because of our wrong choices, YOU and I were trapped in the rubble of sin, destined to die!
But God, knowing our plight, sent His son Jesus to save us from sin. His journey was of too great a distance to measure in miles or hours, because He came from heaven to earth, from immortality to mortality, from tranquility to trouble. Please read Philippians 2:5-8.
In order to rescue us from the wreckage of sin, Jesus had to give His life for us. He died as payment for our redemption from sin (Ephesians 1:7). He has promised to redeem those who believe and trust Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) in His name for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
While WE are pinned under the condemnation of sin, God reaches out His saving hand to us through Jesus. Won’t YOU take His hand in trusting obedience and be rescued?1
Editors Note. For help to trust Jesus and accept God’s forgiveness read, “How to Be Sure You’re a Real Christian” at: http://tinyurl.com/real-christian.
1David A. Sargent on Welcome to the Illustrator. Provided by Answers2Prayer http://www.answers2prayer.org
4. Don’t Take Everything Personal
When someone disagrees with you, it’s not always a personal attack. The ability to hear someone else’s view without letting it get under your skin is powerful. I once shared a room, while away on a baseball tournament, with a lawyer. We had opposite views on just about everything. We both did a lot of listening (and talking) during the week. Both of us came away from that experience with more understanding and compassion for the other’s views. To this day we are best of friends, even though we still do not agree on many issues. The key was that we didn’t take it personal. When one rejects your way or your ideas, it doesn’t mean they reject you!
Source: Random Thoughts on Life by Raymond Lammie. To subscribe send an email to email@example.com with Subscribe to RTL in the Subject line.
5. A German’s View on Islam
A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. “Very few people were true Nazis,” he said, “but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.”
We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.
The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.
The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous.
Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.
The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across Southeast Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.
And who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?
History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:
Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.
Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.
Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts—the fanatics who threaten our way of life.
Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email [message] without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world-wide, read this and think about it, and send it on—before it’s too late.
Attributed to Emanuel Tanay, M.D.
2980 Provincial St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
6. The Power of Responsibility
By Michael Josephson of Character Counts (663.1)
It’s been said that the line between childhood and adulthood is crossed when we move from saying, “It got lost” to “I lost it.” Indeed, being accountable and understanding and accepting the role our choices play in the things that happen are crucial signs of emotional and moral maturity. That’s why responsibility is one of the main pillars of good character.
Many people have been seduced by the Peter Pan philosophy of refusing to grow up and avoiding the burdens implied in being accountable. Yes, responsibility sometimes requires us to do things that are unpleasant or even frightening. It asks us to carry our own weight, prepare and set goals, and exercise the discipline to reach our aspirations. But the benefits of accepting responsibility far outweigh the short-lived advantages of refusing to do so. No one makes his or her life better by avoiding responsibility. In fact, irresponsibility is a form of self-imposed servitude—to circumstances and to other people.
Responsibility is about our ability to respond to circumstances and to choose the attitudes, actions, and reactions that shape our lives. It is a concept of power that puts us in the driver’s seat.
The grand panorama of the potential of our lives can only be appreciated when we begin to be accountable and self-reliant. Responsible people not only depend on themselves but show others that they can be depended on. This breeds trust, and trust is a key that opens many doors.
If you want more control over your life and the pleasures, prerogatives, and power of freedom and independence, all you have to do is be responsible.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
© 2010 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. Jesus Christ—Will He Ever Return?
A of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes
Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”1
I have borrowed the title of today’s Daily Encounter from Newsmax magazine that, several months ago, wrote an article on this topic and later reported that it drew the largest response from any previous Newsmax offer. This shows that there is a very strong interest in this subject. So the question is: Will Jesus Christ return to earth as he promised he would some 2,000 years ago?
No enlightened person would deny the fact that Jesus Christ was here on earth two thousand years ago any more than they would deny the existence of Julius Caesar. Both were undeniable persons of history. However, Jesus made a claim that no Caesar ever did—or could. Jesus promised he would come back to earth again. Millions of Christians sincerely believe that he will. But is this fact or just wishful thinking?
According to Bible scholar, Mark Hitchcock, “Jesus’ return is explicitly referred to 1,845 times in the Bible—1,527 times in the Old Testament and 318 times in the New Testament.2
“The Second Coming [of Jesus] is mentioned in 23 of 27 New Testament books.
“Out of the New Testament’s 260 chapters, there are 318 references to the Second Coming.
“Jesus’ Second Coming is mentioned eight times for every reference to his first coming.
“The final prophecy of the Bible deals with the Second Coming of Jesus.3
“People are exhorted [encouraged] over 50 times to be ready for the return of Jesus.
“Jesus Christ himself refers to his return 21 times.”4,5
Jesus IS coming again. As every prophecy written (several hundred years ahead of time) about Jesus’ first coming was fulfilled in minutest detail, we can be just as certain regarding his second coming.
What if Jesus should come today? Would you be ready or would you be left behind? As Jesus, referring to himself, said, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”6 For help to be sure you are ready for Jesus Christ’s return read “How to Be Sure You’re a Real Christian” at: http://tinyurl.com/real-christian.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank you for the promise in your Word that Jesus is coming again to earth to take all his true followers to be with him forever in Heaven. Help me to be absolutely sure that I am ready for Jesus’ return. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen.”
NOTE: For more details on this topic read the article, “The Climax of History.” at: http://tinyurl.com/climax-history.
1. John 14:1-3 (NIV). 2. See Zechariah 14:3-4 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7. 3. Revelation 22:20. 4. For example see Matthew 24:2-30; 25:31, John 14:3; 21:2-23. 5. 101 Answers to the Most Asked Questions About the End Times, p. 200, Multnomah Publishers, Sisters, Oregon. (c) 2001 by Mark Hitchcock. 6. Matthew 24:44 (NIV).