Lloyd C. Douglas, author of The Robe and other novels lived in a boarding house when he was a student. On the first floor of the house there lived a retired music teacher who was confined to a wheelchair. Every morning as Douglas went down stairs he would stick his head in the music teacher's room and ask his friend; "What's the good news?" To which the music teacher would respond each day by striking a tuning fork against the side of his wheelchair and saying; "Middle C! Hear that, it's middle C! It was middle C yesterday, it's middle C today, and it will still be middle C 1,000 years from now. The tenor upstairs sings flat, the piano across the hall is out of tune, but my friendthat is middle C!"
God's love and care is our middle C. Just like middle C could be counted on by the music teacher to be middle C always and forever, so too can we count on God to love and care for us, to see us as children worth adopting and saving, even dying for, to be the light that cannot be extinguished, no matter what.
Another reason to avoid trans fat, found in many packaged foods and fast foods: not only does it raise LDL ("bad") cholesterol and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol, it also increases inflammation in the body, according to a recent study of 823 nurses. Chronic low-grade inflammation is an important player in cardiovascular disease (see Wellness Letter, March 2003).
Weight also affects inflammation levels, as was seen in another study in the same issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In a group of overweight or obese people over 60, those who lost weight via calorie reduction significantly reduced inflammation levels.
Sometimes lying makes our lives easier. If you want the day off, just call in sick. If your boss asks if you've finished a report, say you left it at home. And if an irate customer calls, just make up a good cover-up story. Sure, "technically" these are lies, but since no one is hurt, what's the big deal?
We tell ourselves that these sorts of lies are harmless. But are they really? Telling lies is like drunk driving. If we're lucky, we won't get caught and no one will get hurt. Still, drunk driving is wrong because it's irresponsible to recklessly endanger human life. Most lies are wrong because they recklessly endanger human relationships. What's more, lies are habit forming. The more lies we tell, the easier it becomes, so we tell more lies.
Self-serving lies that help us get out of a jam or look better are like land mines. Many of them may lie dormant but, sooner or later, some of them will explode, damaging both credibility and reputation. The ethical duty to be worthy of trust does not bend to our needs, convenience or desire to avoid unpleasant consequences. Besides being dishonest, lying is disrespectful because it deprives the victim of true information needed to make sensible decisions.
Lies damage personal and business relationships because they generate suspicion and distrust. Once lied to, most people think, "What else will he lie to me about?" This is not a healthy basis for any relationship.
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.
From the Apostle Paul: "But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us—is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going" (2 Corinthians 4:7-9, NLT).
I suppose there are times when all of us feel overcome by problems and feel like quitting. I've been there, but couldn't find anything better than my Christian faith to quit to. Today I thank God for the courage to keep going, not knowing that God was allowing trials to strengthen my faith and to help me grow.
If you feel like giving up and quitting, perhaps the following poem will encourage you to hang in, to hang on, but not hang up when the going gets tough.
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow!
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell just how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit –
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.1
I also like a quote that Robert Schuller uses: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Or as the title of one of his books says, Tough Times Never Last. Tough People Do.
God never forsook the Apostle Paul who faced incredible trials and opposition. And he will never forsake you or me as long as we place our trust in him.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you will never forsake or abandon me. Please help me always to put my trust in you and your faithfulness regardless of my circumstances, knowing that in the end my faith and trust in you will be justified. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
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