Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
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Vol. 16 – No. 3014 July 26, 2014
Thought for the week: "We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love." – Mother Teresa
Teacher Debbie Moon's first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different hair color than the other members. One of her students suggested that he was adopted.
A little girl said, "I know all about adoption, I was adopted."
"What does it mean to be adopted?" asked another child.
"It means," said the girl, "that you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy!"
One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.
We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.
My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.
My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.
So I asked, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!"
This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.
As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it; and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally.
Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets; so love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.
Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!
On an occasion following a great victory Napoleon was asked how he made his army cross the Alps, and he replied: "One does not make an army cross the Alps; one leads it across."
Whether a boss, a parent, a teacher, or a friend, the most effective way to lead others, to teach others, to motivate others, to train our children and/or to influence others is by example; that is, by who we are, by what we do, and most of all by how much we care about them. In other words, we need to model what we want others to learn and do. We need to lead the way, not by being demanding or controlling, but by showing through both our caring and our doing—by example not by telling.
In other words, "Show me; don't tell me!"
Furthermore, "People don't care how much we know until they know how much we care," and as Carl Jung stated, "Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other."
TEACH: Tell children that their character counts—that their success and happiness will depend on who they are inside, not what they have or how they look. Tell them that people of character know the difference between right and wrong because they guide their thoughts and actions by six basic rules of living (the Six Pillars of Character): trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. Explain the meaning of these words. Use examples from your own life, history, and the news.
ENFORCE: Instill the Six Pillars of Character by rewarding good behavior (usually, praise is enough) and by discouraging all instances of bad behavior by imposing (or, in some cases, allowing others to impose) fair, consistent consequences that prove you are serious about character. Demonstrate courage and firmness of will by enforcing the core values when it is difficult or costly to do so.
ADVOCATE: Continuously encourage children to live up to the Six Pillars of Character in all their thoughts and actions. Be an advocate for character. Don't be neutral about the importance of character nor casual about improper conduct. Be clear and uncompromising that you want and expect your children to be trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring, and good citizens.
MODEL: Be careful and self-conscious about setting a good example in everything you say and do. Hold yourself to the highest standards of character by honoring the Six Pillars of Character at all times. You may be a good model now, but remember, you don't have to be sick to get better. Everything you do, and don't do, sends a message about your values. Be sure your messages reinforce your lessons about doing the right thing even when it is hard to do so. When you slip (and most of us do), act the way you want your children to behave when they act improperly—be accountable, apologize sincerely, and resolve to do better.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
"Greater love has no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends."1
Gregory Robertson, a parachute safety and training adviser and a veteran of several hundred parachute jumps, followed six other sky divers out of a plane two miles above the ground.
At 1¾ miles the six attempted to link hands. One of the divers, Debbie Williams, accidentally collided with one of the other skydivers and knocked herself unconscious. Seeing her plight, Robertson tucked his arms to his sides and, using his shoulders to steer himself, went after Debbie. Plunging downward at 200 miles per hour, he was able to catch her. Maneuvering her into a sitting position, Robertson yanked her rip cord. They were at 2,700 feet! At 2,000 feet he opened his own chute. Ten seconds later he would have slammed into the ground.
As Jesus said, there is no greater love than someone being willing to give or even risk his or her own life to save another's. But God's love for us is even greater. As the Bible says, "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, because You loved me enough to die for me, help me love You enough to live for You every day for the rest of my life. Please use me to be a vital part of what You are doing in the world today to save those who are plummeting toward eternal death without Christ. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
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