Monday, June 27, 2016

The Courage to Endure

Recent tragedies in our world have set me to thinking about the courage to endure.

"When Dad died," the young lady remarked, "Mom allowed herself to die along with him. Her body was still alive, of course, but her spirit seemed to shrivel up and disappear." How sad it is when people give up on living before life is really over. 

We have a birth date and someday we will have a death date. It is up to us to make the very most of all the dates in between. 

Sometimes, going on is the hardest thing to do. It would be much easier to give up and quit trying. Cloistered in an emotional shell, life doesn't hurt so much -- but there's no joy in existing that way. 

John F. Kennedy said, "There is, in addition to a courage with which men die, a courage by which men must live." In difficult times, we must possess the courage to live. No matter what happens, we can make the best of it.

Annie Dillard, in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, remarked, "Our bodies are shot with mortality -- our legs are fear and our arms are time. That is why physical courage is so important. It fills, as it were, the holes." 

Courage is not the absence of fear. Someone has said, "Courage is fear that has said its prayers." "When I am afraid, I will trust in you." Psalm 56:3 

One person with courage can make a tremendous difference. 

During the war of 1812, Andrew Jackson observed, "One man with courage makes a majority." Or as Captain McNelly of the Texas Rangers noted, "Courage is a man who keeps on -- coming on! "Yes, you can slow a man like that, but you can't stop him. The man who keeps coming on, is either going to get there himself, or he is going to make it possible for others to get there." 

Stand strong! 
Stand steady!
Be of good cheer! 

With courage, you're like a kite. The stronger the winds blow, the higher you go!

Monday, June 20, 2016

How to Find a Better Life

Dr. Maxwell Maltz, an acclaimed plastic surgeon once wrote a best selling book, New Faces, New Futures, describing the tremendous changes in individuals' lives after having plastic surgery.  He told many stories about "ugly ducklings" who were given a new life by receiving a new face.

Unfortunately, after the publication, Dr. Maltz discovered he had made some serious errors in his book.  A careful study of all his patients revealed that people were generally no more happy with life after a plastic surgery than before.    He found that a face lift did not automatically bring a better life.

So, Dr. Maxwell Maltz quite the plastic surgery business and devoted the rest of his life to helping people find inner beauty.  He discovered that true happiness comes from the inside.  It isn't obtained with a new face.

This is not a new concept.  The Bible has lots to say about inner joy and peace.  Building a better life is an inside job.

Many people miss this point.  A quick Google search for "Better Life" brought the following results:

"The Better Life Health Spa will take your problems away!"  
"Take our herbal vitamins daily for a better life!"  
"55 and retired --Now, that's the way to a better life!"  
"SWF, 29-45 seeking relationship with SM, 29-45, I want to give you a better life!"   From a rock group -- "A better life means more noise!" 
Finally, my favorite:  "For a better life -- try cheese!"  (Wow!  What a breakthrough!  When life unravels, all I need to do is run the refrigerator.)

Actually, the only way to a better life is to become a better person -- and the only way to do that is to let the Perfect Person (Jesus) direct it.

He can transform you into a better person --with better thoughts, attitudes, and actions.  It's an inside job.  He, alone, can bring the better life." 

Saturday, June 04, 2016

What's More Important?

 Your place is not as important as your perspective.
 Your position is not as important as your disposition.
 Your standing is not as important as your understanding.
 Your reputation is not as important as your character.
 Your challenges are not as important as your gumption.
 Your career is not as important as your family.
 Your difficulties are not as important as your determination.
 Your money is not as important as your peace of mind.
 Your gratification is not as important as your ultimate satisfaction.
 Your outer looks are not as important as your inner beauty.
 Your impressiveness is not as important as your honesty.
 Your success is not as important as your integrity.
 Your conditions are not as important as your choices.
 Your grades are not as important as your education.
 Your pet peeves are not as important as your kindness.
 Your preferences are not as important as your respect.
 Your coolness is not as important as your authenticity.
 Your fear is not as important as your courage.
 Your circumstance is not as important as your reaction.
 Your self-interest is not as important as your love.
 Your life on earth is not as important as your eternal soul.
 Your beginning is not as important as your ending.