Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
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Vol. 18 – No. 4016 October 01, 2016
Thought for the week: "Losers fix the blame; winners fix what caused the problem." – Denis Waitley
"A good place to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm." – Unknown
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." – Albert Einstein
"Read books, listen to tapes, attend seminars—they are decades of wisdom reduced to invaluable hours." – Mark Victor Hansen
"Difficulties are things that show what men are." – Epictetus
"Difficulties mastered are opportunities won." – Winston Churchill
"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." – John F. Kennedy,
"Dig your well before you're thirsty." – Chinese Proverb
"An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding; and it is not to be found in foreign lands, but in the heart itself." – Robert Louis Stevenson
"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive!" – Eleonora Duse
The teacher asked her class what each wanted to become when they grew up. A chorus of responses came from all over the room. "A football player," "A doctor," "An astronaut," "The president," "A fireman," "A teacher," "A race car driver." Everyone that is, except Tommy.
The teacher noticed he was sitting there quiet and still. So she said to him, "Tommy, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
"Possible" Tommy replied. "Possible?" asked the teacher.
"Yes," Tommy said. "Mom is always telling me I'm impossible. So when I get to be big, I want to be possible."
So stop waiting until you finish school,
until you go back to school,
until you lose ten pounds,
until you gain ten pounds,
until you have kids,
until your kids leave the house,
until you start work,
until you retire,
until you get married,
until you get divorced,
until Friday night,
until Sunday morning,
until you get a new car or home,
until your car or home is paid off,
until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter,
until you are off welfare,
until the first or fifteenth,
until your song comes on,
until you've had a drink,
until you've sobered up,
until you die,
until you are born again
to decide that there is no better time than
right now to be happy....
In a rare public dissent, 19 Catholic priests have denounced the Vatican's opposition to gay marriage and allowing homosexuals into the priesthood.
The clerics signed an open letter that ran Sunday in Montreal's La Presse newspaper, criticizing the church's positions on the issues.
The priests said the church was invoking "natural law" to make its case against homosexuality, arguing that slavery was also once considered "natural."
"What we are saying is that human nature is constantly evolving," Claude Lemieux, one of the signatories, told The Associated Press by phone Tuesday. "We believe this position is closer to that which is shared by our parishioners."1
Editor's note: Can you imagine men who claim to be spokesmen for God believing (or wanting to believe) that human nature is constantly evolving and that homosexuality and gay marriage are a result of this evolution—something that is diametrically opposed to God's Word and God's creation. Maybe it should be called "devil-ution" rather than evolution!
In the early nineties I was asked to spend a full day talking about ethics with the entire California Senate. I was their punishment. Three senators were convicted the previous year and voters passed an ethics initiative including a requirement that legislators receive education on principles of ethics.
This was a high-profile, high-prestige program and I didn't want to be na´ve about the political realities and rationalizations in Sacramento, so I spent days interviewing senators and staffers.
During one interview a very senior staffer confided, "We need this program. People really lie a lot up here." I wondered, should I act surprised? "Lying in the state's capitol? I'm shocked!" But before I could respond the staffer added, "I hardly ever lie."
"Gee," I thought, "do you hardly ever take bribes?"
Though his statement about lying sounded like a confession, he wasn't embarrassed at all. In fact, he was proud. "Hardly ever lying" made him morally superior. In a culture where lying is common, the occasional liar feels like a saint. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
I've heard variations of this justification—"I'm not so bad as long as others are worse"—so many times I've given it a name: The Doctrine of Relative Filth.
It's a rationalization used by cheating athletes and coaches, dishonest businessmen, and others who minimize their moral shortcomings by comparing themselves to others who have even lower standards.
What a pathetic defense! People of character aren't satisfied being better than someone else. They strive to be the best they can be.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
"Then He [Jesus] appointed twelve, that they might be with Him."1
God is not into religion. He's into relationships. That is, his goal for you and me is that we be in healthy relationships both with him and with one another.
Please don't ask me to explain it, but God himself is in relationship as the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And being created in the image of God, we too were created for relationships. Furthermore, Christianity began in a relationship when at the beginning of his earthly ministry Jesus chose the twelve disciples "that they might be with him."
As another has said, "To be is to be in relationship" without which we limp along in the shadows of life with an empty hole in our heart. It may not be most desirable but we can live a fulfilling life without being in a romantic relationship, but we cannot fully live, let alone fully love, unless we have a healthy relationship with at least one other loving person ... preferably with more than one. To be in relationship is to be open, vulnerable, and known as we really are, for we can only ever be loved and truly relate to others to the degree that we are known. As long as we hide behind a mask we can never feel loved. Masks can't relate.
In his book, The Transparent Self, Sydney Jourard said, "Every maladjusted person is someone who has not made himself known to another human being and in consequence he does not know himself. Nor can he be himself. More than that, he struggles actively to avoid becoming known by another human being. He works ceaselessly at it day and night. And it is work!"
True relationship begins with being ruthlessly honest with one's self and with God—and then with at least one other honest, loving and trustworthy friend.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be an authentic person—honest with myself, with You and with at least one other trustworthy friend so that I will learn to be the person You envisioned for me to be, and therein discover how to fully live and fully love. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
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Oprah Winfrey: "Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi." – Oprah Winfrey
Books by Dick Innes, Editor of Weekend Encounter You Can't Fly With a Broken Wing How to Mend a Broken Heart I Hate Witnessing—A Handbook for Effective Christian
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