Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
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Vol. 16 – No. 1714 April 26, 2014
Thought for the week: "What's right is right, no matter how few people do it. What's wrong is wrong, no matter how many people do it." – Lawrence
Louis Pasteur, the pioneer of immunology, lived at a time when thousands of people died each year of rabies.
Pasteur had worked for years on a cure. Just as he was about to begin experimenting on himself, a nine-year-old, Joseph Meister, was bitten by a rabid dog. The boy's mother begged Pasteur to experiment on her son. Pasteur injected Joseph for ten days—and the boy lived. Decades later, of all things Pasteur could have had etched on his tombstone, he asked for three words: Joseph Meister Lived.
Thought: Our greatest legacy will be those who live eternally in heaven because of our efforts.
From his earliest days in politics, Lincoln had a critic who continually treated him with contempt, a man by the name of Edwin Stanton. Stanton would say to newspaper reporters that Lincoln was a "low cunning clown" and "the original gorilla."
He said it was ridiculous for explorers to go to Africa to capture a gorilla "when they could find one easily in Springfield, Illinois." Lincoln never responded to such slander, and never retaliated in the least. And when, as President, he needed a Secretary of War, he selected Edwin Stanton. When his friends asked why, Lincoln replied, "Because he is the best man for the job."
Years later, that fateful night came when an assassin's bullet murdered the president in a theater. Lincoln's body was carried off to another room. Stanton came, and looking down upon the silent, rugged, face of his dead President, he said through his tears, "There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen." Stanton's animosity had finally been broken. How?
By Lincoln's patient, long-suffering, non-retaliatory love.
Dr. Dale Johnson from Sermon "How Is Your Love Life?" Cited on eSermons.com
Ben's very first duty as a new pastor was to conduct a funeral service for Albert, a man who died in his eighties. Since he didn't know the deceased personally, Ben paused from his sermon to invite members of the congregation to say a few kind words about Albert.
No one budged. So Ben said, "Many of you knew Albert for years. Surely someone can say something nice."
After an uncomfortable pause, a voice from the back of the room said, "Well, his brother was worse."
If you died tomorrow, what would people say about you? Would it make you proud of the way you lived and the choices you made?
There's an old saying: "If you want to know how to live your life, think about what you'd like people to say about you after you die ... and live backwards."
Thinking about the legacy we want to leave can help us keep our priorities straight. When the end is near, it's not likely that any of us will say, "I wish I would have spent more time at the office."
Unfortunately, many of us only begin to realize the value of the time we have after we have frittered much of it away in shallow ruts going nowhere important.
It's hard to think now what will really matter later. But doing so dramatically improves our chances of living a full and meaningful life with few regrets.
Knowing how we want to be remembered allows us to make a sort of strategic plan for our lives. And how much wiser would our choices be if we had the wisdom and discipline to regularly ask ourselves whether all the things we do and say are taking us where we want to be at the end? In a sense, we write our own eulogies by the choices we make everyday.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
"Then he [Jesus] said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'"1
On one occasion we had a speaker at our church who conducted a class for parents to help protect them from becoming infected with "affluenza." The idea being that we and our kids can get so caught up in the world of materialistic affluence that we miss the real meaning of life.
I believe that one of the main reasons we are so materialistic here in the West is because we are so emotionally repressed. Emotions are God-given. They add beauty and interest to life. When they are repressed and denied, life can be deadly dull and empty.
Furthermore, when we bury emotions, we tend to settle for counterfeit experiences and the feelings they produce. For instance, when the emotion of love is repressed, there is a tendency to substitute lust which can look like love and feel like love—but it isn't love and a damaging substitute at that—and leaves one more empty, lonely, and unsatisfied.
Also, consider the emotion of wonder—the emotion that puts sparkle into life and moves us deeply when a baby wraps its tiny hand around just one of our fingers, and in so doing, touches our very heart. When wonder is repressed, we become "characteristically bored with life," and tend to turn to materialism in a vain attempt to fill the empty void in our heart. And instead of loving people and using things, we end up unhappily loving things and using people.
So if we want to avoid the problem of "affluenza" and the blight of empty materialism and learn to fully live and fully love, it is essential that we get in touch with and connected to all of our God-given emotions.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please deliver me from the blight of materialism which can easily become the driving force in my life. Help me to get in touch with all of my God-given emotions and use them in the manner and ways you designed them to be used so that I will learn to fully live and fully love. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
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