Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
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Vol. 19 – No. 2417 June 16, 2017
Thought for the week: "The refiner is never very far from the mouth of the furnace when His gold is in the fire." – Charles H. Spurgeon
Pat and his wife, Martha, were getting ready to leave home for a vacation. Martha started out the door, then stopped and said, "Pat, this time you check to see if the coffee pot is off, television plugs are pulled, burglar alarm on, doors locked, and I'll go out and blow the horn."
"Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom, and then lost it, have never known it again."
The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It's overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.
Once the eminent philosopher, John Dewey, found his son in the bathroom. The floor was flooded and he was mopping furiously, trying to contain the water in that room, keeping the damage to a minimum. The professor began thinking, trying to understand the deeper ramifications of the situation. After a few moments the son said, "Dad, this is not the time to philosophize. It is time to mop!"
Baptism is our statement that we are ready to stop philosophizing and ready to start mopping. Zig Ziglar reminds us that the largest locomotive in the world can be held in its tracks while standing still, simply by placing a single one-inch block of wood in front of each of the eight drive wheels. The same locomotive moving at 100 miles per hour can crash through a wall of steel or reinforced concrete five feet thick, but it must be moving first.
Every day since three-year-old Michael was told he was going to have a baby sister, he would touch his mommy's tummy tenderly and sing all the songs he knew to the baby.
Tragically, the baby was born in critical condition, and the doctors said the newborn would not last through the week. Michael, who was unaware of the crisis, kept insisting he wanted to see his sister and sing to her. Although children were not allowed in intensive care, his mother decided to let Michael see his sister and sing to her before she passed away.
When the nurse saw Michael in the room she said, "That child will have to leave."
Michael's mom responded firmly, "Not until he sings to his sister."
Michael didn't notice all the wires attached to the tiny infant. Touching the outside of the plastic crib, he beamed and began to sing:
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you.
Please don`t take my sunshine away."
Strangely, the baby seemed to respond. Her pulse rate slowed and her breathing became easier. With tears in her eyes, the mother said, "Keep singing, Michael, keep singing." The more Michael sang, the more the baby relaxed.
Soon even the nurse chimed in, "Keep singing, Michael, keep singing."
And Michael did. The baby fell into a calm, healing sleep. Within days, she was well enough to take home.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
"Casting all your care on God because he cares for you."1
"Worry, like a rocking chair," said Vance Havner, "will give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere." Or as somebody else has said, "Worry is the advance interest you pay on troubles that seldom come."
According to Ken Anderson, nine times out of ten, the worrying about something does more damage to the one who worries than the thing he or she is worrying about.
Anderson continues, "Modern medical research has proved that worry breaks down resistance to disease. More than that, it diseases the nervous system—particularly that of the digestive organs and of the heart." Concern is needed to keep us on track with our responsibilities, but worry, like stress, is a killer.
An examination of 500 patients in a British clinic showed that more than one-third of their visual problems were caused by emotional tension. And a survey of some 5,000 university students showed that worriers get the lowest grades.
The word "worry" comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning to strangle or to choke. While we need to be attentive to life's concerns, worrying about them "chokes" the joy out of life. "Worrying is like driving a car with one foot on the accelerator and the other foot on the brake."
One antidote for worry is trust and trust is a choice. When things aren't going well and I am prone to worry, I keep praying until the storm passes: "Dear God, I choose to trust you in this situation no matter how I feel." In time my feelings catch up with my choice and the worry gives way to calm. Meaningful worship, supportive relationships, sharing my feelings with a trusted friend, physical exercise, proper diet, deep breathing relaxation exercises and sufficient rest all help—plus learning to pray about the causes of my worry and not just the symptoms is a major key in learning to win over worry.
All the water in the world
However hard it tried,
Could never, never sink a ship
Unless it got inside.
All the hardships of this world,
Might wear you pretty thin,
But they won't hurt you, one least bit
Unless you let them in.2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to learn to trust you more fully, act more responsibly, face and resolve the causes in my life that are at the root of my worrying, and leave the outcome to you of the many things in my life over which I have little or no control. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
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