1. Words of Wisdom
Thought for the week: “A good way to have the last word is to apologize.” – Barbara Johnson
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – William Shedd
“Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy.” – Brian Tracy
“Living consciously involves being genuine; it involves listening and responding to others honestly and openly; it involves being in the moment.” – Sidney Poitier
“Never does the human soul appear so strong and noble as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury.” – E. H. Chapin
“You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.” – Golda Meir
“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.” – Robert Frost
2. On the Lighter Side
A young lady signed up on an Internet dating service. She got to the section of the application that asked, “What exactly are you looking for?”
This was her description: “He needs to be good-looking, polite, humorous, sporty, knowledgeable, good at singing and dancing. Willing to accompany me the whole day at home if I don’t go out. Be able to tell me interesting stories when I need a companion for conversation and be silent when I want to rest.”
In a matter of moments, the results were returned to the woman: “Buy a television.”
Source: MickeysFunnies, www.mikeysFunnies.com
3. The Power of a Single Candle
In a Daily Encounter I had said how, as Christians, we need to let our light shine so that others would see God’s love shining through us and made the comment that all the darkness in the world couldn’t put out or diminish the light of one small candle.
A subscriber, Angela Mehan, responded by saying, “This reminds me of an experience I had when I was in Girl Scouts. We used to go spelunking (cave exploring), and I remember one trip in particular. We had gone deep enough into the cave that no light from the outside could get to us. The guide had us turn off all our flashlights so we could see just how dark total darkness is. I couldn’t see anything! No matter how close I got my hand to my face I still couldn’t see it. Then the guide lit a single candle. It was amazing how much we could see, even though the candle itself wasn’t all that bright. So even though we were completely surrounded by darkness, that single candle allowed us to see.
As we used to sing in Sunday School when we were kids: “See this little light of mine / I’m going to let it shine … Let it shine / Let is shine / Let it shine.”
4. The Only Way to Get Love
The only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love.’ But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.
– Warren Buffett
5. The Importance of Saying Thank You
Bishop Gerland Kennedy of California tells the true story of a shipwreck off the coast of Evanston, Illinois many years ago. The students of Northwestern University came to the rescue. One student, Edward Spenser, personally saved the lives of 17 persons that day.
Years later a reporter was writing a follow-up story on the event, and went to interview the now elderly Spenser. When asked what was the one thing that stood out about the incident in his mind; Spenser replied: “I remember that of the 17 people I saved that day, not one of them ever thanked me.”
– Cited on www.eSermons.com
6. Teach or Punish—That’s the Question
By Michael Josephson of Character Counts (761.4)
As Greg paces the floor, waiting for his 17-year-old daughter Sandy to return from a school event, he feels two conflicting emotions: fear and anger. Fear that something terrible has happened to her. Anger because he thinks his fear is probably unfounded and Sandy is not hurt, simply irresponsible.
Finally, Sandy calls. She’s all right. She just lost track of time. Greg’s fear disappears, but his anger grows.
The love that motivated his worry is overwhelmed by a growing sense of outrage. He begins to rehearse what he will say and what punishment he will inflict. Unless he intercepts his anger, it can easily turn to rage, an emotion likely to produce foolishly impulsive conduct that’s likely to alienate Sandy and widen the rift between them.
Here’s the character challenge: Can Greg stop his runaway train of anger long enough to think about his objectives? His immediate goal is to vent his fury and frustration and teach Sandy a lesson. His long-term goals are to strengthen—not weaken—his relationship with his daughter and to help her become more responsible and respectful.
If Greg stops and thinks about his broader goals, he will want to turn this event into a positive teaching moment. To do that, he will have to choose his words and tone carefully.
Good managers don’t yell at or demean employees because it would be ineffective and unethical. Parents have no less of a duty to be tactful and respectful when dealing with their children.
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. Creative Adversity
A sample of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”1
In 1832, French engineer Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps was traveling on the Mediterranean Sea. One of the passengers on the ship (he was on) came down with a contagious disease and the ship was quarantined. Lesseps became very frustrated. To help kill time he read the memoirs of Charles le Pere who had considered the feasibility of building a canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.
In 1869 the Suez Canal was completed. It was constructed following the design by and under the leadership of de Lesseps which, thirty-seven years earlier during that quarantine, was germinated and conceived. The entire world has reaped the benefit ever since.
In my own life and work almost every major change for the good that I have made has been the result of a setback or crisis of some kind. Most of the things I write about have come out of my own struggles, setbacks, and failures and my subsequent search for answers to these issues. I turned to writing in the first place over four decades ago when I felt God had put me on the shelf and forgotten I existed. I never wanted to be a writer but God has used my writing to help many others.
Be assured that God wants to use your trials, failures, and setbacks, too, not only to help you grow, but also so you will be able to help others who are going through the same or similar trials that you have gone through.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please use the struggles in my life to help me become more Christ-like and compassionate so I can be a comfort to other fellow-strugglers. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen.”
1. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV).