1. Words of Wisdom
Thought for the week: “We shall have to repent in this generation, not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“It’s not the ship in the water but the water in the ship that sinks it. So it’s not the Christian in the world, but the world in the Christian that constitutes the danger.” – J. Wilbur Chapman
“Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life.” – Herbert Henry Asquith
“We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.” – Will Rogers
“It often happens that I lie half awake at night and begin to think about a serious problem. I remind myself that I must consult the Pope about it. Then I wake up completely, and remember, I am the Pope!” – JXXIII
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi
2. On the Lighter Side
My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, “Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?” I mentally polished my halo and I said, “No, how are we alike?” “You’re both old,” he replied.
3. Adolph Hitler’s Philosophy … a Note of Warning
“All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those toward whom it is directed will understand it…. Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”
Adolf Hitler, 1935
4. Signs of the Times?
We are familiar with some of the oft-quoted signs of the times: earthquakes in diverse places … nations rising against nations … wars and rumors of wars … famines … but Jesus also warned that in the last days “false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many.” This may be perhaps the least noticed, but the most significant happening of these times.
Jerry Beavan, American News Commentary, www.americannewscommentary.com, September 21, 2011
5. Roadside Warnings
A subscriber sent me the following report that is worth serious consideration … claimed that it came from a state Attorney General.
“While driving on a rural end of the roadway on Thursday morning, I saw an infant car seat on the side of the road with a blanket draped over it. For whatever reason, I did not stop, even though I had all kinds of thoughts running through my head. But when I got to my destination, I called the Canton Police Department and they were going to check it out. But this is what the police advised even before they went out there to check.
“There are several things to be aware of: Gangs and thieves are now plotting different ways to get a person (mostly women) to stop their vehicle and get out of the car. There is a gang initiation reported by the local Police Department where gangs are placing a car seat by the road with a fake baby in it, waiting for a woman, of course, to stop and check on the abandoned baby. Note that the location of this car seat is usually beside a wooded or grassy (field) area and the person—woman—will be dragged into the woods, beaten and raped, and even left for dead. If it’s a man, he’s usually beaten, robbed, and maybe left for dead, too.
“Do not stop for any reason! Dial 9-1-1 and report what you saw, but don’t even slow down.
“Also, if you are driving at night and eggs are thrown at your windshield, do not stop to check the car, do not operate the wiper and do not spray any water because eggs mixed with water become milky and block your vision up to 92.5%, and you are then forced to stop beside the road and become a victim of these criminals.
“This is a new technique used by gangs, so please inform your friends and relatives. These are desperate times and these are unsavory individuals who will take desperate measures to get what they want.”
6. A Parable About Leadership
By Michael Josephson of Character Counts (739.5)
As the nasty rhetoric of the upcoming presidential campaign sends the message that leadership must be aggressive and confrontive, consider this parable about leadership.
A student assigned to write an essay about an effective leader wrote this story:
“I’ve been taking a bus to school for years. Most passengers keep to themselves and no one ever talks to anyone else.
“About a year ago, an elderly man got on the bus and said loudly to the driver, ‘Good morning!’ Most people looked up, annoyed, and the bus driver just grunted. The next day the man got on at the same stop and again he said loudly, ‘Good morning!’ to the driver. Another grunt. By the fifth day, the driver relented and greeted the man with a semi-cheerful ‘Good morning!’ The man announced, ‘My name is Benny,’ and asked the driver, ‘What’s yours?’ The driver said his name was Ralph.
“That was the first time any of us heard the driver’s name and soon people began to talk to each other and say hello to Ralph and Benny. Soon Benny extended his cheerful ‘Good morning!’ to the whole bus. Within a few days his ‘Good morning!’ was returned by a whole bunch of ‘Good mornings’ and the entire bus seemed to be friendlier. People got to know each other.
“If a leader is someone who makes something happen, Benny was our leader in friendliness.
“A month ago, Benny didn’t get on the bus and we haven’t seen him since. Everyone began to ask about Benny and lots of people said he may have died. No one knew what to do and the bus got awful quiet again.
“So last week, I started to act like Benny and say, ‘Good morning!’ to everyone and they cheered up again. I guess I’m the leader now. I hope Benny comes back to see what he started.”
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
© 2012 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. God’s Good News
A sample of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”1
The word “gospel” means good news—it is the greatest news in all the world—it is the Good News of God’s salvation, without which mankind would be doomed for eternal damnation and separation from God, the author of all love and life.
But why is the gospel God’s Good News?
First, the gospel is not a message about religion but a message about God’s eternal love and purpose for all mankind. Religion wants to fix us from the outside in. God wants to fix us from the inside out. The first can become an impossible burden. The latter is what brings freedom.
Also, it’s important to realize that no matter what we have ever done or have failed to do, God loves us with an everlasting love and has a wonderful purpose for our lives—for this life and the next. As Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”2 And again, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”3
Second, the gospel is a message about sin, something we are all guilty of. As the Bible says, “We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s standard.”4 Sin, however, is not only doing harmful acts—it is anything that falls short of the standard of perfection that God envisioned for us. This includes an unforgiving spirit, pride, jealousy, mixed motives, etc. Most of us, too, are guilty of sins of omission; that is, not doing what we know we should and could do.5
However, a common misconception about God is that he is out to punish us for our sins. The fact is, we bring sin’s punishment on ourselves because sin has its own natural consequences. If we try to break the universal law of gravity, for instance, we can’t; it will break us. Neither can we break God’s universal moral law. When we try to, it breaks us. And besides its painful effects in this life—suffering, sorrow, sadness, sickness and spiritual death—its ultimate and tragic consequence is eternal death and separation from God.6
Third, the gospel is a message about God’s remedy. Because sin has separated or disconnected us from God, we have been left with a “God-shaped” vacuum or spiritual emptiness within. As St. Augustine put it, “You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” The world’s many religions are all evidence of man’s endless search to find God and fill this vacuum. However, because God loves us so much, he sent his own sinless Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our predicament.7 Christ did this by dying on the cross in our place to pay the consequence of and ransom price for our sins—death. Thus, Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin. He is the only way back to God and the only door to eternal life.8
Finally, the gospel is a summons to faith and repentance. If you were found guilty of a serious crime and were condemned to death, would you accept a free unconditional pardon, if offered? Because Jesus Christ died on the cross in your and my place, God now offers you complete acquittal, forgiveness, and the gift of eternal life. All you need to do is confess and repent of [turn way from] your sinful actions, believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died for your sins, and invite him into your life as Savior and Lord.
The following prayer will help you do this. “Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry for all the wrongs I have done and the sins that I have committed. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me for all my sins and I invite you, Jesus, to come into my heart and life as Savior and Lord. I commit and trust my life to you. Please give me the desire to be what you want me to be and to do what you want me to do. Thank you for dying for my sins, for your forgiveness and free pardon, for your gift of eternal life, and for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen.”
If you prayed this prayer and genuinely meant it, please click on www.actsweb.org/decision.php to let us know and we will send you a free copy of the eBrochure, “How to Grow.”
NOTE: This article is condensed from, “Godspell” on our ACTS web site at: http://tinyurl.com/4896egr.
1. Romans 1:16 (NIV). 2. John 3:16 (NIV). 3. John 10:10 (NIV). 4. Romans 3:23. 5. James 4:17. 6. Romans 6:23. 7. See Ephesians 2:8-9. 8. See John 14:6 and Romans 5:8.