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Showing posts from February, 2012

PERCEPTIVE?

FM:  Leaving the Light On
Sixth grade hadn’t been a banner year for Eric. Never very confident in school, he had a particular dread of mathematics. “A mental block,” one of the school’s counselors had told him. Then, as if a mental math block wasn’t enough for an eleven-year-old kid to deal with, he came down with measles in the fall and had to stay out of school for two weeks. By the time he got back, his classmates were multiplying fractions. Eric was still trying to figure out what you got when you put a half pie with three-quarters of pie … besides a lot of pie.
Eric’s teacher, Mrs. Gunther – loud, overweight, terrifying, and a year away from retirement – was unsympathetic. For the rest of the year she called him “Measly” in honor of his untimely spots and hounded him with ceaseless makeup assignments. When his mental block prevented his progress in fractions, she would thunder at him in front of the class, “I don’t give a Continental for your excuses! You’d better straighten up, Me…

STILL, SMALL VOICE

By:  J. Meyer
Someone once told me of a one-act play with three characters – a father, a mother, and a son who had just returned from Viet Nam – who are sitting at a table to talk. The play lasts thirty minutes, and they all get their chance to talk. There’s only one problem: No one listens to the others.
The father is about to lose his job. The mother had once held just about every office in the church, and now younger women are pushing her aside. The son struggles with his faith. He had gone to war, seen chaos and death, and now is bewildered about life.
At the end of the play, the son stands and heads toward the door. “You haven’t heard a word I’ve said,” is his parting remark, as he walks out of the room.
The parents look at each other, and the mother asks, “What did he mean?”
What the parents didn’t get – and the audience obviously does – is that the son struggles to believe in a loving, caring God. Every time he tries to explain, one of the parents interrupts with something they wan…

THE GREATEST FEAR OF THE FUTURE

By:  Z. Ziglar
The greatest fear of the future held by many is the fear of death. I remember immediately following the events of September 11, 2001, people asked me how my travel schedule would be affected. I said, “Not at all.” I live my life looking through the windshield, not the rearview mirror. I believe the words of Psalm 139 that say the days of my life were ordained before I even existed (see verse 16). If that is true - and I believe it is - then no terrorist can touch me until God grants permission. Nor can any other harm befall me. And when it is my time to be promoted to heaven - regardless of how it happens - do you think I live in fear of that hour? Why, heaven is what I’m living for on earth!
Until one has conquered the ultimate fear - the fear of death - no lesser fear is worth worrying about.
I encourage you not to be stressed about the future … We may not know what the future holds, but we definitely know Who holds the future.

WHAT IS HAPPINESS?

By:  F. Kong
An English newspaper asked this question: “Who are the happiest people on earth?” These were the four prize-winning answers:
A craftsman or artist whistling over a job well done. A little child building sand castles. A mother, after a busy day, bathing her baby. A doctor who has finished a difficult and dangerous operation, and saved a human life.
Notice something? No millionaires among these. No kings or emperors. Riches and rank, no matter how the world strives for them, do not make happy lives.
Here’s something from the Internet.
We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are. After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are  out of that stage.
We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on…

THE MOTIVE OF TRUE LOVE

By:  M. Munroe
Most of the people who say they love you may just be tolerating you. The rest of them probably have ulterior motives. As humans, we do things for others so that we can get things done for us. If it is one thing that the world needs now is a big dose of genuine love.
As numerous scholars have researched and discussed, the Greeks have identified four kinds of love. Those four kinds of love are an attempt to describe the different motives for love. “Eros” is the Greek word for sexual or carnal love. It is simply pleasure of the flesh. “Philio” is friendship love. The third word used for love is “storge”, which is family love. The Greeks also distinguished another kind of love, which they called “agape.” Agape is the type of love that the Greeks tried to define as divine love. Jesus also used this word to describe the love of God for humanity. This love is also possible between two people.
Scripture shows that God made love a law. Why? He made it a law because He could not tr…

LOVE

By:  Blackaby
The problem with love is that so many people don’t have a clue what it is. Love is not a feeling; it’s an attitude. Basing love on emotions, as the world does, has caused immeasurable pain to countless numbers of people. It’s like building a sand castle on the beach. It might look solid, but when the high tide rolls in, the sand castle isn’t strong enough to hold up, and it washes away.
Feelings come and go. We all experience a wide array of emotions on any given day. Obviously, basing any human relationship strictly on feelings is asking for trouble. Parents who love their children only when the mood hits them are poor parents. A friend who remains loyal only until a better offer comes along is not much of a friend. A husband who deserts his wife and children because he finds another woman more attractive has missed the point of marriage. The world gives love a staggering amount of attention. Movies, songs, and books about love generate billions of dollars in revenue. The…

SPARKY

By:  E. Nightingale
For Sparky, school was all but impossible. He failed every subject in eight grade. He flunked physics in high school, getting a grade of zero. Sparky also flunked Latin, Algebra, and English. He didn’t do much better in sports. Although he did manage to make it to the school’s golf team, he promptly lost the only important match of the season. There was a consolation match; he lost that, too.
Throughout his youth, Sparky was awkward socially. He was not actually disliked by the other students; no one cared that much. He was astonished if a classmate ever said hello to him outside of school hours.
There’s no way to tell how he might have done at dating. Sparky never once asked a girl to go out in high school. He was too afraid of being turned down.
Sparky was a loser. He, his classmates … everyone knew it. So he rolled with it. Sparky had made up his mind early in life that if things were meant to work out, they would. Otherwise he would content himself with what appear…

SMILE IT ADDS TO YOUR FACE VALUE

By:  John L . M.
Christians should be the happiest, most enthusiastic people on earth. In fact, the word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word “entheous”, which means “God within” or “full of God.”
Smiling, proof that you are happy and enthusiastic, is always a choice, not a result. It is a decision that must be consciously made. Enthusiasm and joy and happiness will improve your personality and people’s opinion of you. It will help you keep a proper perspective in life.. Helen Keller said, “Keep your face to the sunshine, and you cannot see the shadow.”
The bigger the challenge you are facing, the more enthusiasm you need. Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” I believe that Jesus was a man who had a smile on his face and a spring in His step.
Our attitude always tells others what we expect in return.
A smile is a powerful weapon. It can break the ice in tough situations. You will find that being enthusiastic is like having a head cold; both ar…

EARTHQUAKES EVERYWHERE

By:  F. Kong
Max Lucado in his book entitled “When Jesus comes” wrote of an earthquake.
The 1989 Armenian earthquake needed only four minutes to flatten the nation and kill thirty thousand people. Moments after the deadly tremor ceased, a father raced to an elementary school to save his son. When he arrived, he saw that the building had been leveled. Looking at the mass of stones and rubble, he remembered a promise he had made to his child: “No matter what happens, I’ll always be there for you.”
Driven by his own promise, he found the area closest to his son’s room and began to pull back the rocks. Other parents arrived and began sobbing for their children. “It’s too late,” they told the man. “You know they are dead. You can’t help.” Even a police officer encouraged him to give up.
But the father refused. For eight hours, then sixteen, then thirty-two, thirty-six hours he dug. His hands were raw and his energy gone, but he refused to quit. Finally, after thirty-eight wrenching hours, he p…

FIRST THINGS FIRST

By:  M. Munroe
The greatest secret to living effectively on earth is understanding the principle and power of priorities. Life on earth holds no greater challenge than the complicating daily demand of choosing among competing alternatives for our limited time. Our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those decisions are determined by our priorities. How we use our time every day eventually defines our lives. Life was designed to be simple, not complicated, and the key to simplifying life is prioritization. So then, what is the principle and concept of priority?
Priority is defined as: the principal thing, putting first things first, establishing the most important thing, and primary focus. It is also defined as placing highest value and worth upon. If our priorities determine the quality of life and dictate all of our actions and behavior, then it is essential that we understand and identify our priorities.
The greatest tragedy in life is not death but life w…

GOD’s INSTRUCTIONS TO THE RICH

By:  H. Dayton
Are you rich? Sometime I feel rich and sometimes I don’t. It usually depends on whom I am around. Most of us define a rich person as a person who has more money than we do. But if we compare our living standards to all the people who have lived throughout history or even with the rest of the billions of people living on the earth today, the majority of us who live in this nation are rich.
The Lord knew the rich would face serious spiritual danger. So Scripture offers three instructions for “those who are rich in this present world” (1 Timothy 6:17). Do not be conceited.
“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited” (1 Timothy 6:17). Wealth tends to produce pride. For several years, I drove two vehicles. The first was an old pickup truck … When I drove that truck to the bank drive-in window to cash a check, I was humble. I knew the cashier was going to double-check my account to make certain that the driver of that truck had sufficient funds to cov…

THERE BUT NOT THERE

By:  F. Kong
Thomas Carlyle lived from 1795 until 1881. He was a Scot essayist and historian. During his lifetime he became one of the world’s greatest writers. But he was human and humans make mistakes.
On October 17, 1826, Carlyle married his secretary Jane Welsh. She was an intelligent, attractive and somewhat temperamental daughter of a well-to-do doctor. They had their quarrels and misunderstandings, but still loved each other dearly. After their marriage, Jane continued to serve as his secretary.
After several years of marriage, Jane became ill. Being a hard worker, Carlyle became so absorbed in his writings that he let Jane continue working for several weeks after she became ill. She had cancer, and it was one of the slow growing kind. Finally, she became confined to her bed. Although Carlyle loved her dearly, he very seldom find time to stay with her long. He was busy with his work. When Jane died they carried her to the cemetery for the service.
The day was a miserable day. It w…

ONLY ETERNITY IS ULTIMATELY IMPORTANT

By:  W. Kroll
It looked as though both the hero and the heroine of the Western movie were doomed. They were surrounded by a pack of cattle thieves intent on making sure neither left that place alive. One of the little boys in the front row of the theater sniffed, “If he had kept his eye on the gang instead of the girl, this never would have happened!”
Unfortunately, all of us are guilty of having our eyes on the wrong thing – especially when it comes to the matter of eternity. We get so caught up in the here and now that we forget eternity is far more important.
Eternity will last an awfully long time (in fact, using eternity and time in the same sentence is an oxymoron; they don’t logically belong together, like sanitary and landfill). God’s wisdom urges us to face the fact that the earthly part of life is brief (Prov. 27:1) and that we will spend far more of our life in eternity than anywhere else. Therefore, we need to look at our accomplishments as we will see them on eternity’s morn…

A REAL LOVE STORY

By:  F. Kong
Thomas Crum has a story to tell. In his book entitled “Journey to Center” he describes his own personal encounter with a great love story – a story of unending love and undying commitment.
One evening I found myself at a conference in Washington, D.C. And as fate would have it, Inventor Bucky Fuller happened to be making a presentation that evening at another conference in the very same hotel. I got to the ballroom in time to hear the end of Buck’s lecture. I was in awe of this little man in his eighties, with his clear mind, deep wisdom and boundless energy. At the end of the talk, we walked together through the underground parking lot to his airport limousine.
“I’ve got to go to New York City for another presentation,” he said, looking at me with an anxiousness that I had rarely seen in Bucky.
      “You know, Annie’s not doing well. I’m very    
        concerned about her.”
We hugged.
Bucky Fuller had once confided to me that he had promised his wife Annie to die before she…

TAKE CARE OF THE LITTLE THINGS

By:  J. Maxwell
     When I teach at a conference or go to a book signing, people sometimes confide in me that they desire to write books too. “How do I get started?” they ask.      “How much writing do you do now?” I ask in return.      Some tell me about articles and other pieces they are writing, and I simply encourage them; but most of the time they sheepishly respond, “Well, I haven’t really written anything yet.”      “Then you need to start writing,” I explain. “You’ve got to start small and work up to it.”      Leadership is the same. You’ve got to start small and work up to it. A person who has never led before needs to try to influence one other person. Someone who has some influence should try to build a team. Just start with what’s necessary.      St. Francis of Assisi said, “Start doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” All good leadership begins where you are. It was Napoleon who said, “The only conquests which are permane…