ASSUMPTIONS — Can be costly
The tough-minded CEO was touring his shipping department and came upon a younger man lounging against a filing cabinet, humming and watching the action around him. The CEO went up to the man and said, “How much are you paid?”
“About $150 a week,” the young man replied.
“Here’s two week’s pay,” the CEO said, stuffing three $100 bills in the man’s shirt pocket. “Get out of here and don’t ever come back.”
As soon as the young man had gone, the CEO turned to the department manager and shouted, “Who hired that loafer?”
“We didn’t hire him,” the manager answered. “He was just here from the messenger service to pick up a package.”
BELIEF — Power of
Norman Vincent Peale recounted an ancient Persian tale of a prince with a physical deformity that caused him to be bent over. The prince had a statue made of himself, as he would appear if he was tall and without deformity. Day by day, the young prince stood before the statue and willed himself to be like it. According to the legend, ultimately the prince could stand as tall as the form in the statue.
Peale says the tale illustrates the quality that people have to change themselves, with enough will and belief. (Readers Digest, May 1985)
CHILDREN — Need attention
In a UCLA research project involving more than 2,500 fifth graders, the children indicated that their single greatest frustration was a lack of time spent with their parents.
If you want to raise secure children, it takes an investment of time on the part of Moms and Dads.
“Religion, like music, is not in need of defense, but rendition.” (Harry Emerson Fosdick)
“Religion is something you do, not something you wait for.” (Charles G. Finney)
“Christianity is the least concerned about religion of any of the world’s faiths. It is primarily concerned about life.” (T. D. Price)
COMMITMENT — Often temporary
Professional golfer Lee Trevino once described the devotion of a fan, who asked Lee to autograph a five-dollar bill. “I’ll keep it for the rest of my life,” she told Trevino. A half-hour later, Lee bought some drinks with a twenty-dollar bill, and his autographed five was among the change! (Detroit Free Press)
Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your own way.
FAME — Temporary
What do you suppose the following people have in common: Owen D. Young, Pierre Laval, Hugh S. Johnson, James F. Byrnes, Harlow Curtis, John Sirica? If you don’t recognize them, you may be surprised to learn these were very famous people. In fact, every one was judged to have had, in a given year, the greatest impact of any human being on the planet — judged, that is, by Time magazine, which has identified each of those people as its “Man of the Year” in some time since 1927.
Imagine: all that fame at one time, yet today 99 out of 100 persons don’t even recognize the name. Fame may be fabulous for a moment, but it is fleeting. We have to look elsewhere to find something that will satisfy permanently. (John A. Huffman, Jr., Pastor, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach, CA)
HATE — Hurts us most
Dale Carnegie once wrote: “When we hate our enemies, we give them power over us — power over our sleep, our appetities and our happiness. They would dance with joy if they knew how much they were worrying us. Our hate is not hurting them at all, but it is turning our own days and nights into hellish turmoil.” (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living)
INFLUENCE — Not always known
Leslie Weatherhead recalled a woman who received a letter from a soldier she did not know. His name was Murray, and he wrote from the battlefield. Murray wrote that he had once been in her Sunday School class, and she had spoken about Christ as a hero for the boys. He mentioned the date when this woman’s words had altered his whole life’s perspective.
She had kept a diary, so she turned to see her entry for the date Murray had mentioned. She learned that she had come home that particular Sunday discouraged, and thought about giving up teaching. The entry read: “Had an awful time. The boys were so restless. I am not cut out for this kind of thing. I had to take two classes together. No one listened, except, at the end, a boy from the other class called Murray seemed to be taking it in. He grew very quiet and subdued, but I expect he was just tired of playing.”
The shadow of the woman who was a Sunday School teacher fell across a boy’s life and made a lasting impression. (Edward Chinn, Pastor, All Saints Church, Philadelphia, PA)
LOVE — Sets priority
The story is told of a group of soldiers released from prison camp at the end of World War II. Because transportation was limited and weather threatened to cut off the port, the remaining soldiers who were to board the last boat were told they could bring only one important piece of luggage.
Two particular men had been with each other throughout the war. They had watched out for one another. When one was selected to go but the other was to be forced to stay behind and wait for a later boat, the first man turned over his dufflebag, spilling all his personal possessions onto the ground, then told his friend to step into the bag. Then he carefully lifted the bag onto his back and carried his “most important item of luggage” onto the ship.
Love understands where true priorities lie.
MATERIALISM — Failure of
“But is it not utter folly that (man) should imagine that he can really burst the bounds of afflicted humanity? Does he not merely shift the misery from outward poverty to inward poverty? Does he not cause men to be debauched inwardly with excessive prosperity, comfort, and boredom by inculcating the illusion that the peace of his soul is to be found in cars, television sets, freezers, and other miracles of civilization?” (Helmut Thielicke, How the World Began)
Two movers were struggling with a huge crate, trying to get it through a doorway. After strenuous but futile effort, they were exhausted. As they sat the crate down, one of them said, “I give up — we’ll never get this thing in here.”
“In there?” said the other one. “I thought we were trying to get it out!”
SALVATION — Necessity of
Suppose two people were stranded in the ocean 500 miles from shore. One is an Olympic champion swimmer, the other a poor dog-paddler. Which one will be saved? Neither one, because no swimmer — no matter how good — can swim 500 miles. Suppose that a rescue helicopter appeared overhead and dropped a rescue line — which one will be saved? Whichever one grabs the line to be lifted to safety.
That’s exactly what Jesus has done. The Bible says we are all lost — 500 miles from shore. No matter how good we may be, we just aren’t good enough. We are all lost and need a saviour. The ones who will be saved are those who recognize that fact and accept salvation through Jesus Christ.
SIN — Some blind to result
Paul Harvey told about the firemen in Manchester, England — in full suits and oxygen — who burst into a burning home, only to find a woman and her two daughters watching TV. They had to persuade them to leave the house!
Many people are that way about sin — oblivious to the impending destruction of their own lives.
Six-year-old Johnny came to his Dad, who was reading the newspaper, and asked, “Daddy, where did God come from?” “I don’t know, Johnny,” came the reply. A second question, “Why is the sky blue?” “I don’t know, son.” Johnny tried again, “Why is the earth round?” “Beats me, Johnny,” his father answered.
Finally, Johnny asked, “Daddy, do you mind if I ask you so many questions?” “Not at all, son,” said the father. “How else are you going to learn?”

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