The Value of Time


To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who just missed a train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask someone who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal at the Olympics.

Treasure every moment that you have ... and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with. Remember, time waits for no one.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why its called the present.


A Great Sermon


Here’s an old poem by Edgar Guest that's worth reflecting on, especially for all of us who teach and preach others ...

A Sermon

I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;

I’d rather one should walk with me than merely show the way.

The eye’s a better pupil, and more willing than the ear;

Fine counsel is confusing, but example is always clear.

So I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do;

It is not enough to preach it, you must live the sermon, too.

For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give,

But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

A Call to Courage

Courage wordle

The apostle Paul finished his letter to the church at Corinth, which was facing many challenges at the time, both internally and externally ...

"So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." 1 Corinthians. 15:58. NLT

Bill Hybels writes this in his excllent book Courageous Leadership ... 

"No matter how difficult the hardship, no matter how long the particular storm lasts, no matter how dark and scary it gets, no matter how the winds how and the waves crash … choose the path of courage. Be steadfast, immovable, endure. Decide in advance you are never going to quit. That’s courageous leadership!” 

Mary Anne Radmacher once said, "Courage doesn't always ROAR. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' "

Aristotle said, "You will never do anything in this world without courage."

C.S. Lewis said, "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."

Dorothy Bernard said, "Courage is fear that has said its prayers."

Mark Twain said, "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not the absence of fear."

Victor Frankl said, "There is no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bear witness that a person has the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer."

Napoleon said, "Courage isn't having the strength to go on, it is going on when you don't have the strength."

Winston Churchill said, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."

"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength." Unknown.

God said to Joshua, "Haven't I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take." Joshua 1:9. MB

Do you need to hear a call to courage today?

I do.

God Sent You to Finish the Race

John steven  aquariBy 7 p.m. on October 20, 1968, at the Mexico City Olympics Stadium, it was beginning to darken. It had cooled down as well.

The last of the Olympic marathon runners were being assisted away to first-aid stations. Over an hour earlier, Mamo Waldi of Ethiopia had charged across the finish line, winning the 26-mile, 385-yard race looking as strong and as vigorous as when he'd started.

As the last few thousand spectators began preparing to leave, they heard police sirens and whistles through the gate entering the stadium.

The attention turned to that gate. A sole figure, wearing the colours of Tanzania, came limping into the stadium. His name was John Steven Aquari. He was the last man to finish the marathon in 1968. His leg was bandaged, bloody. He had taken a bad fall early in the race. Now, it was all he could do to limp his way around the track. The crowd stood and applauded as he completed that last lap.

When he finally crossed the finish line, one man dared ask the question all were wondering. "You are badly injured. Why didn't you quit? Why didn't you give up?"

Aquari, with quiet dignity said, "My country did not send me seven thousand miles to start this race. My country sent me to finish."

So it is with God. God didn't just send you to start this race. He didn't just send you to begin a noble task or a noble relationship. God sent you both to start and to finish.

Source: Craig Brian Larson, "Strong to the Finish," Preaching Today


Pause and Reflect

“We need to regularly stop and take stock; to sit down and determine within ourselves which things are worth valuing and which things are not; which risks are worth the cost and which are not. Even the most confusing or hurtful aspects of life can be made more tolerable by clear seeing and by choice.”
~ Epictetus (AD 55-135)

"I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint. Then the Lord said to me, 'Write my answer (the vision or the revelation) plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.''

~ Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NLT)

Bringing Out the Best in Others

DisI love the story of a man who had dealings with two British prime ministers, William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. He said of Gladstone, “Whenever I came away from a conversation with him I was left with the feeling of how brilliant he was.” He said of Disraeli, “Whenever I came away from a conversation with Disraeli I was left with the feeling of how brilliant I was.” 

Disraeli probably earned the right then to quip:

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.”

How can you bring out the best in other people today?

When you enter a room, don't have as your underlying script, "Here I am!" but rather "There you are!"

Failure - Michael Jordan


Michael Jordan was one of the greatest basketball players ever to play the game, leading the Chicago Bulls to 6 NBA championships and winning 5 MVP awards.

Near the end of his career, he said this:

"I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

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Confident Hope


Here is a special prayer of blessing for you today: 

Romans 15:13. I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. NLT

Insightful Quotes by Howard G Hendricks

Howard HendricksProfessor Howard G. Hendricks (1924-2013) influenced a lot of people. Here is a collection of some of his more well-known quotes:

  • You can impress from a distance, but you can only impact up close.
  • You teach what you know, but you reproduce what you are.
  • You never graduate from the school of discipleship.
  • It’s a sin to bore people with the Bible.
  • Most people don’t think, they just rearrange their prejudices.
  • Your strengths develop your confidence; your weaknesses develop your faith.
  • My greatest fear is not your failure, but your success.
  • Heaven is a person: Jesus.
  • Never traffic in unpracticed truth.
  • You are able to do many things. But be sure you find the one thing you must do.
  • There’s no one without significant creative potential.
  • If you’re just like someone else, we don’t need you.
  • How big is your God? The size of your God determines the size of everything.
  • You cannot impart what you do not possess.
  • The teacher has not taught until the student has learned.
  • Nothing is more common than unfulfilled potential.
  • The greatest curse that pervaded the university is apathy.
  • The measure of you as a leader is not what you do, but what others do because of what you do.
  • In the spiritual realm, the opposite of ignorance is not knowledge, it’s obedience.
  • A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for.
  • Biblically speaking, to hear and not to do is not to hear at all.
  • In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering.
  • You can control your choices but you can’t control the outcome of those choices.
  • If you want to continue leading, you must continue changing.
  • Experience is not the best teacher; evaluated experience is.
  • If we stop learning today, we stop teaching tomorrow.
  • Leaders are readers, and readers are leaders.




Never Say Die!

Are you feeling a bit discouraged or down? Do you feel like quitting or giving up? We've all been there at one time or another. Today I was searching through some old quotes and came upon this true story. Hopefully, it will encourage you today ... to never say die.

Some people just don't know when to give up. Take this bloke for example, who was the son of a what people thought was a no-hoper. He was poorly educated and his mother died when he was just nine years old. Not the best start in life one might say. 

At age 21 he worked in a grocery store doing odd jobs. A year later he opened his own store but promptly went broke. At 23, he ran for Parliament but lost. At 25 he had another go at business and went broke again. A year after this his fiance died and he suffered a nervous breakdown. Then he decided to become a lawyer and six years later at 29 unsuccessfully ran for Parliament again. He tried again at 24 and failed. And at 37 he failed for the fourth time.

He finally married and had four sons, three of whom died. At the age of 39 he ran for public office again and was defeated again. Some people just don't seem to get it!

At age 46 and 49 he again ran and was again unsuccessful. Three years late at age 52 Abraham Lincoln became the 16th President of the United States and one of the best at that. 


God's Purposes


No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him. But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” Jeremiah 29:11-14.

Reflections on Life and Aging (Pt.2)


Some quotes and thoughts worth thinking about:

  • "The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible - and achieve it, generation after generation." Pearl S. Buck
  • "Life is an exciting business and most exciting when lived for others." Helen Keller. 
  • "Today's newspaper with your name and picture on it will line the bottom of someone's birdcage tomorrow!" Unknown
  • "Life is like a parachute jump, you've got to get it right the first time." Eleanor Roosevelt
  • "We have made at least a start in discovering the meaning of human life when we plant shade trees under which we know full well we will never sit." Elton Trueblood
  • "I can do what you cannot do and you can do what I cannot do. Together we can do great things." Mother Theresa
  • "Your life is a reflection of your thoughts. Think well." Danielle Pierre
  • "Anyone who can still do at 60 what he was doing at 20 wasn't doing much at 20." Jimmy Townsend
  • "It took me all of my life to learn the biggest music lesson of all - what not to play." Dizzy Gillespie
  • "Twenty-five years ago I wish someone had told me about the exponential factor of time: that every year over forty years of age goes twice as fast, and every year over fifty goes ten times as fast." Harold Evans
  • Serenity Prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." Reinhold Niebuhr
  • Humorous Serenity Prayer: "God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to run into the ones that I do, and the eyesight to know the difference." Unknown
  • "I never criticise what God is blessing." Rick Warren
  • "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 92:10

[Part 1]

Reflections on Life and Aging (Pt.1)


Some quotes and thoughts worth thinking about:

  • "Aging allows us to separate the important from the unimportant, to appreciate more and reach for less, and to allow those who are younger to step up to the plate and learn their lessons." John Maxwell
  • "The seven ages of a man: spills, drills, thrills, bills, ills, pills, wills." Richard J. Needam
  • "When you're over the hill, that's when you pick up speed." Quincy Jones
  • "A life isn't significant except for its impact on other lives." Jackie Robinson
  • "I still find each day too short: for all the thoughts I want to think, for all the walks I want to take, for all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see." John Burroughs
  • "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards." John Maxwell
  • "If you make every game a matter of life and death ... you'll be dead a lot." Basketball Coach Dean Smith
  • "When you stop giving and offering something to the rest of the world, its time to turn the lights out." George Burns
  • "The success of my day is determined by the seeds I sow, not the harvest I reap." John Maxwell
  • "You need three things in life to be happy: someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to." Kenny Rogers
  • "By the time you reach 80 years of age, you have learned everything. You only have to remember it." George Burns
  • "The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life." Muhammad Ali
  • "Life is like driving a car. It's wise to check the rear-view mirror now and then, but the rear-view mirror is only there to glance at, not to stare at. Staring at where you've been will only land you in a ditch." John Maxwell
  • "My remnant of days I spend to His praise who died the whole world to redeem; be they many or few, my days are his due, and they all are devoted to him." John Wesley

[Part 2]



There were once four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Now Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Quotes about the Bible

B7Victor Hugo - "England has two books;  The Bible and Shakespeare.  England made Shakespeare, but the Bible made England".

"I have found in the Bible words for my inmost thought;  songs for my joy,  utterance for my hidden griefs and pleadings for my shame and feebleness"

George Mueller - "The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts."

D.L. Moody - "Sin will keep you from this Book.  This Book will keep you from sin."
"I know the Bible is inspired because it inspires me"

Napoleon - "The Bible is not merely a book;  it is a Living Being, with an action, a power, which invades everything that opposes its extension,  behold!  It is upon this table:  This Book, surpassing all others; I never omit to read it, and every day with some pleasure."

Charles Haddon Spurgeon - "Nobody ever outgrows Scriptures;  the Book widens and deepens with our years."

Lord Tennyson - "Bible reading is an education in itself."

Thomas Huxley - "The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the poor and oppressed.  The human race is not in position to dispense with it"

E. Stanley Jones - "The Bible redirects my will, cleanses my emotions, enlightens my mind, and quickens my total being"

Helen Keller - "The Bible gives me a deep, comforting sense that 'things seen are temporal, and things unseen are eternal'".

Abraham Lincoln - "Without Divine assistance I cannot succeed;  With it I cannot fail!"
"I am busily engaged in the study of the Bible.  I believe it is God's Word because it finds me where I am."

John Adams - "Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book,  and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited!   Every member would be obliged in conscience,  to temperance, frugality,  and industry;  to justice, kindness,  and charity towards his fellow men;  and to piety, love,  and reverence toward  Almighty  God ...  What a Utopia,  what a Paradise would this region be."

Immanuel Kant - "The existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced.  Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity."

George Washington Carver - "The secret of my success?  It is simple.  It is found in the Bible, "In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths."

Charles Colson - "The Bible - banned, burned, beloved.  More widely read, more frequently attacked than any other book in history. Generations of intellectuals have attempted to discredit it,  dictators of every age have outlawed it and executed those who read it.  Yet soldiers carry it into battle believing it more powerful than their weapons.  Fragments of it smuggled into solitary prison cells have transformed ruthless killers into gentle saints." 

Cecil B. DeMille - "After more than sixty years of almost daily reading of the Bible,  I never fail to find it always new and marvellously in tune with the changing needs of every day."

Jack Hayford - "The Bible is ... as necessary to spiritual life as breath is to natural life.  There is nothing more essential to our lives than the Word of God."


The Bible - Michael Horton

B2“To preach the Bible as 'the handbook for life,' or as the answer to every question, rather than as the revelation of Christ, is to turn the Bible into an entirely different book. This is how the Pharisees approached Scripture, as we can see clearly from the questions they asked Jesus. For the Pharisees, the Scriptures were a source of trivia for life's dilemmas.”

Michael Horton

John 5:39-40. You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. NLT


The Bible

Bible"The Bible is a harp with a thousand strings. Play on one to the exclusion of its relationship to the others, and you will develop discord. Play on all of them, keeping them in their places in the divine scale, and you will hear heavenly music all the time."

William P. White


Lewis“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from - my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”

C.S. Lewis in Till We Have Faces

Science and Faith - Sir Isaac Newton

NewtonSir Isaac Newton was one of the fathers of modern scientific revolution. Interesting, he said that his greatest passion was the Bible over and above science.

“I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.”

His curiosity about the world was entwined with his reverence for the Creator, whom he credited with the existence of the universe. He was able to hold his scientific discoveries in tension with his faith, rather than replacing God with natural laws.

In fact, almost all of the scientific greats of the modern period were also deeply religious people who learned to balance the need for both faith & reason.

Henri Nouwen on Finding Our Identity in Christ

HenriFrom Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen (1932-1996):

 “Aren't you, like me, hoping that some person, thing, or event will come along to give you that final feeling of inner well-being you desire? Don't you often hope: 'May this book, idea, course, trip, job, country or relationship fulfill my deepest desire.' But as long as you are waiting for that mysterious moment you will go on running helter-skelter, always anxious and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied. You know that this is the compulsiveness that keeps us going and busy, but at the same time makes us wonder whether we are getting anywhere in the long run. This is the way to spiritual exhaustion and burn-out. This is the way to spiritual death ... 

I kept running around it in large or small circles, always looking for someone or something able to convince me of my Belovedness.

Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the "Beloved". Being the Beloved expresses the core truth of our existence ... 

You have to keep unmasking the world about you for what it is: manipulative, controlling, power-hungry, and, in the long run, destructive. The world tells you many lies about who you are, and you simply have to be realistic enough to remind yourself of this. Every time you feel hurt, offended, or rejected, you have to dare to say to yourself: 'These feelings, strong as they may be, are not telling me the truth about myself. The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in God's eyes, called the Beloved from all eternity, and held safe in an everlasting belief.”

A Spacious Place

Spac"He brought me into a spacious place ..." Psalm 18:19a NIV

"I am beginning to understand that life is not so much a search for answers, as it is a search for clearings. Clearings are the required stopping places in our lives when our lives get to be too much. A clearing is a place of shelter, peace, rest, safety, quiet and healing. It is a place where you can get your bearing, regroup, inspect the damage, fill out the estimate and make repairs. It is a place where mid-course corrections are made - where you can change course, even start over. A clearing is a place where you can see what you couldn't see and hear what you couldn't hear. Clearings are not optional. They are longings in disguise. They are the required rest stops of life when our exhausted souls run out of steam."

Mike Yanconelli