1. Words of Wisdom
Thought for the week: “The happiness of most people we know is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things.” – Ernest Dimnet
“Emotional sickness is avoiding reality at any cost. Emotional health is facing reality at any cost.” – Scott Peck
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” – Unknown
“Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it and it darts away.” – Dorothy Parker
“Your life is your message to the world. Make it inspiring.” – Lorrin L. Lee
“Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.” – Cato the Elder, Roman statesman
“Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor…. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.” – Mother Theresa
2. On the Lighter Side
Paddy shouts frantically into the phone: “My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!”
“Is this her first child?” asks the doctor.
“No!” shouts Paddy, “this is her husband!”
3. Do You Know God?
Hilding Halverson writes: “When my son was a small boy playing with his buddies in the back yard, I overheard them talking one day —and the conversation was, amusingly, one of those ‘My dad can whip your dad’ routines.
“I heard one boy proudly say, ‘My dad knows the mayor of our town!’ Then I heard another say, ‘That’s nothing—my dad knows the governor of our state!” Wondering what was coming next in the ‘program of bragging,’ I presently heard a wonderfully familiar voice (that of my own little son), saying, ‘That’s nothing—my dad knows God!”
“I swiftly slipped away from my place of eavesdropping with tears running down my cheeks. I dropped on my knees in my room and prayed earnestly and gratefully, ‘Oh, God, I pray that my boy will always be able to say, My dad knows God.’”
Of all the people you may claim to know, I pray that God is one of them. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (I John 2:3).
Cited on, Alan Smith’s Thought for the Day, Feb. 16, 2012
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4. A Sobering Thought
“Every single day, a silent horror kills more Americans than were killed on 9/11. Every single year, this silent horror kills about as many Americans as have been killed on all the battlefields in all of the wars in U.S. history combined. This silent horror is called abortion, and it is a national disgrace. Overall, more than 50 million babies have been slaughtered since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. We have become a nation with so little regard for human life that nobody even really talks that much about this issue anymore.”
From The American Dream. Cited on American News Commentary, Feb. 15, 2012 http://evangelicalviewpoint2006.blogspot.com/
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction… It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.” – Ronald Reagan, 1961
6. Do Bad People Think They’re Good?
By Michael Josephson of Character Counts (760.3)
When she was six, my daughter Carissa asked, “Do dumb people think they’re smart?” Answering her own question, she added, “They probably do because they’re dumb.”
This made me think: “Do bad people think they’re good?”
I wouldn’t be surprised if most do. In fact, I think all of us are ethical in our own eyes. The human tendency to rationalize, to justify our conduct in our own minds, provides a powerful anesthetic to our conscience. Think of all the athletes, politicians, religious leaders, and business executives who’ve been caught in wrongdoing and who feel more like victims than villains.
Self-interest has a powerful tendency to disable our objectivity and befuddle our commitment to live up to moral principles.
The higher the stakes, the more likely it is that we’ll persuade ourselves that what we want to do, or what we’ve already done, is justified. When our financial or physical security is at stake, even the best of us are vulnerable to reason-crippling self-delusion that allows us to defend our positions with self-righteous ferocity—as if the mere intensity of our convictions makes them more valid.
One way to fortify our integrity is to be on the lookout for our tendency to rationalize and to remember that we don’t have a moral right to get what we want. Necessity isn’t a fact; it’s an interpretation.
Living an ethical life isn’t easy. It requires us to do the right thing even when it costs more than we want to pay. Perhaps the best antidote to rationalization sickness is to rigorously and faithfully follow the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
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. Mindset Matters
A sample of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes
The Apostle Paul at the end of his life confidently said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”1
There’s an old parable that explains how three men were working hard cutting stone from large blocks of granite. When asked what they were doing, the first man said, “I’m making bricks.” The second man said, “I’m cutting stones for the foundation of a large building,” while the third man said, “I’m building a cathedral.”
All three men were equally capable and doing the same work, so which man’s work do you think would have been the most fulfilling? What mattered was each man’s thinking about the purpose of the work he was doing. It wasn’t his aptitude that made the difference—it was his attitude—his mindset!
One’s attitude will determine the direction and purpose of one’s life. The purpose of one man might be to make lots of money, while the purpose of another might be to help build the lives of the people he is serving. One woman may see housework as a burdensome chore while another does it joyfully because she is doing it for the ones she loves. It’s their mindset that makes the difference.
The reason the Apostle Paul ended his life victoriously was because he had a noble God-given life-purpose and had dedicated his entire life to fulfilling that purpose. He had a mindset that mattered.
If we want to end our life with a sense of fulfillment, it will be our mindset now that will determine how we end.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, Please help me to discover my God-given life purpose and dedicate my life to serving you by loving and serving people. Help me to live in harmony with your will and, with your help, to fulfill my God-given life purpose by living a life that matters—not only for time but also for eternity. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer; gratefully in Jesus’ name, amen.”
1. 2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV).