Archive for April, 2010

Don’t Get Caught

April 19, 2010

So often people do what is wrong as long as they know they won’t get caught. I’ve seen surveys where people were asked about doing certain things like stealing and having an affair if they were assured they would never get caught. Would they do them? Amazingly, some of the surveys indicate that over half would do them if they knew they wouldn’t get caught.

I wonder about doing acts of kindness. If you wouldn’t get caught and no one would ever know except you and God and you couldn’t tell someone, would you do it? Do something nice and not get caught?

Sometimes it is hard not tell someone. And this is not necessarily bad, because we do need to share things because it encourages others to act the same way and maybe inspires new ways of treating people as people. But I was wondering if the secret sisters never revealed who they had, would people do it? If at the end of the year, everyone just received a new name. Would we do it?

But this week, do something nice for someone without getting caught. It is a lot harder than it sounds.

Source: From a sermon by Mark Eberly, “The Gospel According to…Horton Hears a Who,” November 30, 2008

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If We Abide by the Bible…

April 17, 2010

Robert E. Lee: “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper, but if we and our posterity ignore its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”

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Oswald Chambers on Faith

April 16, 2010

Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love. There are some things only learned in a fiery furnace.

Source: Oswald Chambers in Run Today’s Race

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Who Keeps You On Your Horse?

April 15, 2010

Ulysses S. Grant was a four-star general of the Union forces during the Civil War and became the 18th President of the United States. John A. Rawlins was Grant’s friend and fellow general, who became Grant’s chief of staff. During the Civil War, no one was closer to Grant than Rawlins.

Ulysses S. Grant had a drinking problem, but he made a pledge to Rawlins that he would abstain from intoxicating liquors during the war so that he could carry out his duties. On one occasion when Grant broke that promise, Rawlins pleaded with great earnestness that Grant refrain from strong drink “for his own sake, and the nation’s great and holy cause.” Rawlins’ advice was heeded, and Grant was not impaired by drink when his decision-making was critical.

Wounds from a friend can be trusted! There stands today, in front of the Capital in Washington, a magnificent monument to General Grant. He sits upon his horse in characteristic pose and is flanked on either side by stirring battle scenes. At the other end of the mall and a little to the south of Pennsylvania Avenue is Rawlins Park. There stands a very ordinary statue of Grant’s friend, John A. Rawlins.

There might be no monument to Grant had there not been the admonition of a faithful friend. It was Rawlins (and his admonition) who kept Grant on his horse.

Contributed by: David Owens

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The Leader’s Job

April 14, 2010

“The job of a football coach is to make men do what they don’t want to do, in order to achieve what they’ve always wanted to be.” –Tom Landry

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Can’t Buy Me Love

April 13, 2010

A minister was speaking about all the things money can’t buy. “Money can’t buy happiness, it can’t buy laughter and money can’t buy love,” he told the congregation. Driving his point home, he said, “What would you do if I offered you $1,000 not to love your mother and father?” A hush fell over the congregation. Finally, a small voice near the front raised an important question: “How much would you give me not to love my big sister?”

Contributed by: Steve Greene

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What is Compassion?

April 12, 2010

“Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you, too.”

Source: Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking. Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1973.

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“Where’s My Dad?”

April 10, 2010

One of the most touching moments in sports came at the end of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games, in which the U.S. hockey team beat the Russians. It was an incredible feat. All during the games, the cameras focused on goalie Jim Craig—one of the heroes of the team—and on his father in the stands. Craig’s mother had recently died, and he and his father had grown closer through the months of grief.

When the U.S. team won the victory, a tremendous celebration erupted out on the ice. Players embraced, clenched their fists in the air, people cheered. All of a sudden, the camera focused on Jim Craig, who wasn’t celebrating but was skating alone up and down the ice, scanning the stands. You could read his lips: “Where’s my Dad? Where’s my Dad?” You see, it was the happiest moment of his life and he would celebrate with his teammates, but first he wanted to be with the one who meant the most to him, the one who had contributed the most to his life. I remember watching with tears Jim Craig and his father embracing.

Have you embraced God? Told Him how much you love Him? How much you appreciate what He has done for you? Expressed to your Heavenly Father your appreciation for the freedom you have…freedom from sin, freedom from an aimless life, freedom from death?

Contributed by: Timothy Smith

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A Christian’s Motive for Love

April 9, 2010

Whenever people expend themselves, they want results. If they lay down their life, they want someone’s life raised up. If they empty themselves, they want someone to be filled. They want their sufferings to bear fruit.

If this doesn’t happen, they’re tempted to give up. The refusal of the gift quickly becomes a reason not to offer it. Instead of leaning into resistance with love, they’ll back off and say, “Well, we tried.”

However, the motive for offering love is not that it be successful. Christians want response, but they are not bound to it. They sacrifice for others because they are the recipients of sacrifice. They are the current generation of a long line of broken bodies and shed blood.

This gift Christians have received, they freely give. They join the living history in enacting the dream of God, [which] is a people sustained and transformed by mutual sacrificial love.

Contributed by: Fr. John Shea, “Love’s Motive,” in U.S. Catholic (March 1990). Christianity Today, Vol. 34, no. 7.

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Unselfish and Happy

April 8, 2010

A fascinating study on the principle of the Golden Rule was conducted by Bernard Rimland, director of the Institute for Child Behavior Research. Rimland found that “The happiest people are those who help others.”

Each person involved in the study was asked to list ten people he knew best and to label them as happy or not happy. Then they were to go through the list again and label each one as selfish or unselfish, using the following definition of selfishness: a stable tendency to devote one’s time and resources to one’s own interests and welfare—an unwillingness to inconvenience one’s self for others.”

In categorizing the results, Rimland found that all of the people labeled happy were also labeled unselfish. He wrote that those “whose activities are devoted to bringing themselves happiness…are far less likely to be happy than those whose efforts are devoted to making others happy.” Rimland concluded: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Source: Martin & Diedre Bobgan, How To Counsel From Scripture, Moody Press, 1985, p. 123. From Rimland’s, ‘The Altruism Paradox,’ Psychological Reports , 51 (1982): 521, 522.

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