A Record in Honesty

The great hope of society is individual character. Channing

Have you ever noticed that they don't pass out trophies for the truly important? Oh, sure, they give them to sports champions, spelling bee winners and best of show pigs, but not for character - maybe that's why there are so few people who are truly accomplished in this area. And then there are people like Bobby Palacio.

Bobby was a Jr. High student whose #1 goal was to set the school record for the rope climb. It seemed that he had worked forever towards this goal when finally the day arrived. He stood beneath the rope and awaited the coach's signal. The whistle blew, Bobby scrambled up the rope and reached for the top. The stopwatch revealed what Bobby had dreamed about and worked toward for so long: A new school record.

The coach had only one question - he was not sure that Bobby's hand had actually touched the top beam. It was very close and only Bobby knew for sure. Still, the question had to be asked: "Bobby, did you touch?" Bobby, still a boy but with the integrity that many grown men never achieve, simply shook his head no. "Bobby", his coach said, "you still have one more attempt. This time I want you to jump just a bit higher and give it all you have." The whistle blew, Bobby jumped and scrambled up that rope and hit the top with his hand. The result? A new school record! A new city record - perhaps even a new state record!

But, the coach was later to comment that he had been in the presence of greatness - not because of the record set for speed, but for the record and example that a Jr. High boy had set for honesty. The really fine thing about such character is that you don't need a trophy to prove that you have it. And, no amount of awards or trophies can ever compensate for the lack of it.

Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. Proverbs 12:19, NIV


A Quiet Place With Jesus

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.

Anne Frank

Some of the most difficult challenges we will ever face will come during times of noisy confusion and turmoil. I think moms can relate to this on the days that the baby is fussy and needs more attention, the same day the washer goes out, the same day that Dad needs her to run an errand, the same day that little Mary or Johnny come home crying from some great catastrophe at school, the same day that...

Dads can relate on the day their car breaks down in traffic, the same day that their boss is a terror because they are late from said breakdown, the same day they come home to a frazzled wife because she has been staying home with all of the above mentioned problems. So, how do we handle these things?

We get away to a quiet place.

Now, we all know that you cannot just drop everything and leave, so we will have to wait for the right time - but when the right time comes, grab hold of it with both hands! Maybe you can't get away to a serene mountain top or quiet brook, but you can go outside to the back porch and star gaze for a moment or two. You can slip away to your bedroom and kneel before God for a quiet minute of prayer. Or you can get up while everyone is still sleeping and take a peaceful walk. I do that just about every morning and I can assure you that it is far more refreshing than the few minutes of sleep that we miss from getting up a half-hour early.

The point is that we need to find quiet times to spend with our Lord or life will not work as it should. One more thing about this: You should not feel like those few minutes alone with God and Christ are "stealing" time from those who need you. A refreshed person with a proper relationship with God will become far more able to meet the needs of those around them in this busy, noisy world that we call home.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even get a chance to eat, He said to them,

"Come with me by yourselves to a quite place and get some rest". 

Mark 6:31, NIV



A Prescription for Peace

Peace is the deliberate adjustment of my life to the will of God. 


Ever had one of those days where everyone seems to need something from you? Since you are eager to help, you try to please everyone - only to find out that there are not enough hours in the day. Then you go to bed too late and then get up too early the next day to catch up on the things left undone. Then January somehow turns into December, and you still haven't slowed down. Sound familiar?

I read several years ago about such a man. He had an important job and felt that only he could handle  the really vital matters, so he burned the candle at both ends. Finally the stress caught up to him and he went to the doctor for help. The doctor listened to his symptoms, as well as his lifestyle, and made his diagnosis. He told the businessman that he could give him a prescription that would take care of his nerves, but went on to tell the man that he probably wouldn't follow his recommendations so there was no sense in giving the prescription.

The man, desperate for relief, promised the doctor that he would follow his orders - if only the doctor would give him the prescription. This is what the doctor ordered: Take the afternoon off and visit the cemetery. The man was furious and told the doctor that the suggestion was ridiculous and that he would not agree to such folly. But the man was reminded that he had given his word so, reluctantly, he agreed. Do you know what he found?

He found grave after grave of important men who thought the world could not function in their absence. He passed tombstone after tombstone with names of people whose lives were over but whose eternities had just begun. These men had been just like him. And the important businessman realized that the things that he thought so important, really weren't that important at all. And, the man changed. Could you use such a change?

Then... breathe! Take a quiet moment and start your day with God's word and just see if your life doesn't change. Take a few precious moments and thank our Father for your incredible blessings. Instead of going to a cemetery for a few hours, why not allow the Lord to lead you for a few minutes each day beside those still waters. And, may I recommend, that you see for yourself what it means to be a child of the King, rather than the too-busy master of your own universe. Take this prescription and find the peace that you have been seeking.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul... 

Psalms 23:1-3, NKJV


A Majority of One

A man with courage is a majority. Thomas Jefferson

It's amazing what a little courage can do. Courage has the power to win battles. It has the power to overcome all obstacles. It has the power, once employed, to turn a thousand fearful, sleepless nights into nights of restful bliss. 

Courage allows you to "pop the question". It allows you to try out for and make the team. It allows you to stand before large audiences, or before that pretty girl or cute guy. 

Courage changes your life, but it requires two essential ingredients: One is God, the other is trust.

And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. "Come here", he said, "and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field." David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord God Almighty..." I Samuel 17:43-45, NIV

Do you remember who won?

Do you have any giants in your life that need facing? God will give you courage. You need but to trust and obey!


A Little Good News

How I want to hear the anchor man talk about a county fair... how everybody learned to care... and everybody loves everybody in the good old U.S.A... we sure could use a little good news today.

Anne Murray

I was listening to the news some time ago talking about a 5.9 earthquake back east. They had to evacuate the White House and the Pentagon. An anchor man walked through a store in Virginia and described it as a wasteland. He told of the paper goods strewn all about. He described the carnage of coke bottles lying broken on the floor. To emphasize the devastation, he even showed the nation the sticky bottom sides of his shoes.

Oh, the humanity!!

As I was wondering how pathetic we must all be to make that big of a fuss over such a minor incident, it dawned on me: If this was the most serious problem we had in America that day, it was a pretty good day.

Then I realized that every day is a pretty good day. It's true we have problems - sometimes very serious problems, but we have a lot of things that are going very, very well for us each day. If you are surrounded by family and friends who love you, what do you really have to complain about?

God is in Heaven, and He is genuinely concerned about what goes on in our lives every day. He listens to our prayers, He showers blessings upon our lives, and He is taking us home to be with Him forever, if we will just do our best to serve Him in His way.

It's the very thing that Christ came into this world to proclaim to His precious friends. That's pretty good news, is it not?

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord."

John 2:10-11, NIV