Reflections


 

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are [often] illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you [may] get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

 

Persistance Pays by Aneel Aranha

Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” (Bits and Pieces).

Scripture concurs. Paul in his letter to the Galatians exhorts them: “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). He followed his own advice. As he wrote to the Corinthians: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV).

We need to run in such a way as to get the prize and that can be gotten only through perseverance. What is perseverance? Merriam-Webster defines perseverance as persisting in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition or discouragement. The counterinfluences could be many, including physical limitations, but persistance in the face of difficulty only makes the victory sweeter.

Wilma didn’t get much of a head start in life. A bout with polio left her left leg crooked and her foot twisted inward so she had to wear leg braces. After seven years of painful therapy, she could walk without her braces. At age 12 Wilma tried out for a girls basketball team, but didn’t make it. Determined, she practiced with a girlfriend and two boys every day. The next year she made the team. When a college track coach saw her during a game, he talked her into letting him train her as a runner. By age 14 she had outrun the fastest sprinters in the U.S. In 1956 Wilma made the U.S. Olympic team, but showed poorly. That bitter disappointment motivated her to work harder for the 1960 Olympics in Rome–and there Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals, the most a woman had ever won.

Opposition can be equally debilitating, but as the saying goes, when the going gets tough the tough get going. All of the apostles—and, indeed, every evangelist after them—faced tough opposition, but they didn’t let it stop them from achieving their goals.

Paul had this to say about the tribulations he faced, “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked” (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). Paul brought more people to Christ than anybody else before him, and quite possibly after him.

Discouragement is also a severe demotivator, as many of us have undoubtedly discovered. To be told that we are worthless, good for nothing dolts is not only a downer, if told often enough, it is something that we begin to believe. We can take encouragement from the stories of these people who were told they would amount to nothing.

Winston Churchill seemed so dull as a youth that his father thought he might be incapable of earning a living in England. Charles Darwin did so poorly in school that his father once told him, “You will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family. G.K. Chesterton, the English writer, could not read until he was eight. One of his teachers told him, “If we could open your head we should not find any brain but only a lump of white fat.” Thomas Edison’s first teacher described him as “addled,” and his father almost convinced him he was a “dunce.” Albert Einstein’s parents feared their child was dull, and he performed so badly in all high school courses except mathematics that a teacher asked him to drop out.

They didn’t pay heed but went on to become some of the greatest men that have walked on this earth. Edison, for instance, worked 18 hour days and practiced Herculean patience. Once he recognized the value of an idea, Edison stayed with the process until he discovered its secret. His alkaline storage battery became a reality after 10,000 failed experiments! Persistance pays.

 

 

What is a HOLE?


You cannot have a half a hole or a quarter hole; A little hole is as much a hole; as a, big hole.

You can put stuff in a hole and as long as there is room for more stuff it is still a hole.

If you fill the hole it is no longer a hole, if one fills a hole with something it becomes something else. For example: with water it becomes a pond, puddle, or lake.

A hole must always have room for more.

Only by removing from the boundaries of a hole, can you increase its size.

Adding to the boundaries of a hole may decrease its size but does not change the fact it is a hole.

You cannot take away from a hole because it will still be a hole no matter what its size.

One could correctly say the attribute of a hole is simply a welcoming space for something else within its boundaries.
I am not really writing about holes; however, but

What is LOVE?
You cannot have a half of love or a quarter love; A little love is as much love; as, big love.

You can welcome someone in love and as long as there is room for more it is still love.

If you fill love it is no longer love, if one fills up love with someone, love was something else to begin with, but love.

Love must always have room for more.

Only by removing from your boundaries, can you increase loves size.

Adding to your boundaries may decrease loves size but does not change the fact it is still love.

You cannot take away from love, because it will still be love no matter what its size.

One could correctly say the attribute of love is simply a welcoming space for someone else within our life’s boundaries.

We must ponder if what we claim is love, is actually love. Are our relationships limited to specific groups or types? Do we use people to fill voids in our lives that forever change in shape and need, or are we simply closed off to new friendships? I believe the definition of love has been twisted or pulled inside out. Love is not something we can stack up or acquire but, is the space left open in the boundaries we call our lives. Take a moment to reflect on the most loving people you have known in your life and how many of those very same people’s lives had a never ending welcoming space.

“[I]f I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.1 Cor 13:2-8 (NAB)”

Without love our lives are not whole (Pun intended).

By: Cliff C. Jackson Jr.