1. Words of Wisdom
Thought for the week: “Every thought is a seed. If you plant crabapples, don’t count on harvesting golden delicious.” – Bill Meyer
“If God was small enough for me to figure out, He wouldn’t be big enough for me to worship.” – J.B. Phillips
“The great use of life is to spend it doing something that will outlast it.” – William James, Psychologist
“You make the world a better place by making yourself a better person.” – Scott Sorrell
“We must take change by the hand or rest assuredly, change will take us by the throat.” – Winston Churchill
“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.” – Samuel Johnson
“A man does what he must—in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures.” – John Kennedy
“Love is the one thing that the more you give, the more you have.” – Unknown
2. On the Lighter Side
On the way back from a Cub Scout meeting, my grandson innocently said to my son, “Dad, I know babies come from mommies’ tummies, but how do they get there in the first place?”
After my son hemmed and hawed awhile, my grandson finally spoke up in disgust, “You don’t have to make up something, Dad. It’s okay if you don’t know the answer.’”
3. Political Science 101
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
Adrian Pierce Rogers
4. Good for Business—Christianity in China
The man who owns the industrial valve company makes no secret of his religious faith: He’s a committed Christian. Once a week, he gathers together his senior staffers for prayer. Employees are invited to attend Bible studies on the premises and pray for one another’s needs.
The factory owner is also quite open about another fact: When it comes to hiring, he would choose Christians over non-Christians every time—because he thinks they make better workers.
You may think this company is located in South Carolina—but you’d be wrong. It’s in southeastern China. The company is exhibit “A” for the argument, backed up by social researchers, that Christian faith is responsible for much of China’s productivity.
A faithful BreakPoint listener alerted me to an article from the BBC, written by Christopher Landau. Landau reports that the valve company’s owner, Weng-Jen Wau, believes that the more Christian employees he has, the better his business will prosper.
“If you’re a Christian, you’re more honest, with a better heart,” Wau says. And if they do something wrong, “they feel guilty—that’s the difference,” he notes.
BreakPoint by Chuck Colson, ©, September 23, 2010.
5. The Big Lie Theory
In 1943 the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS—the fore-runner of the CIA) commissioned the development of a report titled “A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler, His Life and Legend,” by Walter C. Langer. The report was kept secret for more than 20 years after the end of WW II, was declassified in 1968 and published in 1972 as “The Mind of Adolph Hitler.”
But in the description of Hitler’s psychological profile there is this analysis: “His primary rules were never to allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or a wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong. People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough, people will sooner or later believe it.”
Source: The American News Commentary, Vol. 15, No. 14, October 6, 2010. Jerry Beavan, Ed. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/american_news/
6. The Parable of the Carpenter
By Michael Josephson of Character Counts (691.3)
A master carpenter who’d worked for the same builder for nearly 50 years announced he was retiring. The builder told him how much he appreciated his work and presented him with a $5,000 bonus. Then he asked if he would build just one more house. He owned a magnificent lot with a spectacular view and wanted to build a dream home there.
The carpenter was bitterly disappointed at the small bonus and extra project, but the building fee would help him buy a small cottage. He agreed to build the dream house.
He’d always prided himself on his uncompromising commitment to quality, but his resentment caused him to cut corners, ignore details, and accept shoddy workmanship from his workers. He even looked the other way when some of them substituted cheaper materials and pocketed the difference.
When the house was finished, the builder shook the carpenter’s hand and with a huge smile gave him a thank-you card. The carpenter was disdainful—until he saw inside the card the deed to the house he’d just built. The carpenter was ashamed to have misjudged his old friend and betrayed his own values, and he was remorseful that the house he would now live in for the rest of his life had been made so carelessly.
Our character is the house we live in, and it’s built piece by piece by our daily choices. Deceit, irresponsibility, and disrespect are like shoddy workmanship. Whenever we put in less than our best and ignore our potential for excellence, we create a future full of creaky floors, leaky roofs, and crumbling foundations.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
© 2011 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
Note from RWI:
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ
7. No Hiding Place
A sample of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes
“Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”1
Tim Timmons and Stephen Arteburn in their book, Hooked on Life, tell about a middle-aged woman who made her way into an apartment building to the twelfth floor.
As she arrived at her intended destination, she rang the doorbell impatiently. The door opened mysteriously, and she was welcomed by the smell of incense and smoke. She entered and was greeted by a slightly dressed young girl who announced her presence with the sounding of a huge gong. With this the young girl said, “Do you wish to see the all-knowing, all-powerful, the wonderful one, Maharishi Narru?”
“Yeah,” the woman said, “tell Sheldon his mother is here!”
We laugh at such folly in others, while at the same time, most of us to some degree hide behind some kind of phony facade. It may not be as absurd as what we have just read about, but when it comes to trying to hide from God, that’s impossible. God knows all. He sees all. He knows who I am . . . where I am . . . why I am here . . . where I am going . . . what I am doing . . . and what I am not doing. No matter how I try, I cannot hide from God! No way. Period!
As David wrote in the Psalms, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”2
The best thing is to tell God who you are, where you are, what you want, what you don’t want, what you are afraid of, what you don’t want to give up, etc., etc. Only when we get honest with ourselves and real with God, can he (or anyone else) help us.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please open my eyes so I can see any way in which I may be deceiving myself, or running from your perfect plan and will for my life. Help me to be honest with myself and honest with you—knowing that the best thing in the world for me is the purpose you have for my life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen.”
1. Jeremiah 23:24 (NIV).
2. Psalm 139:7-10 (NIV).