Al’s Quotes & Quips for November…

  • “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” (Richard L. Evans)
  • “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation.” (Coach John Wooden, quoted in United Press International)
  • “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” (Joseph Brodsky, quoted in The Wall Street Journal)
  • “You don’t have to be crazy to work here. We’ll train you.” (sign seen in a store at Blowing Rock, NC).
  • “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” (Arthur C. Clarke, quoted in BBC.com)
  • “Kindness and politeness are not overrated. They are underused.” (Tommy Lee Jones, quoted in the Lakeland, FL., Ledger)
  • “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” (Winston Churchill, quoted in the New Orleans Times-Picayune)
  • “History is a vast early warning system.” (Norman Cousins, quoted in Reader’s Digest)
  • “Excuses are like armpits. Everyone has a couple and they usually stink.”
  • “May your faith be greater than your fears.”
  • “The only boring people I know are bored people.” (Elizabeth Gilbert, quoted in Marie Claire)
  • “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” (Don Marquis, quoted in The Boston Globe)

THANKSGIVING QUOTE OF THE MONTH: “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” (William James, quoted in Vice.com). So, tell someone how much you appreciate them and make their day!

HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING (and remember to thank the One who made it possible!)

Praise the Lord, Anyhow!

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall YET praise him for the help of his countenance. —Psalm 42:5

A man was shipwrecked on a deserted island. Every day he prayed that he would be rescued.  He build himself a hut for a shelter from the rain and cold.  But one day his hut caught fire and burned to the ground. He got angry and in frustration he shook his fist at God and said, “Isn’t it bad enough that I’m deserted on this island and now You take away my hut too?”

A few hours later a ship arrived and rescued the man. The captain of the ship told the man, “When we saw your smoke signal we stopped to rescue you!”

It is hard to praise God when your hut is on fire.  However, we need to praise God in all circumstances, because He is working it out for your good if you love God (Rom. 8:28).

YET I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. —Habakkuk 3:18

“In Everything Give Thanks”

“In Everything Give Thanks”

1 Thessalonians 5:18— In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Is it possible to give thanks in everything… in every situation… in every circumstance… in every place?  As difficult as it may seem, I believe it is possible, otherwise God would not command us to do so.  Our text clearly tells us giving thanks in everything is the will of God.  It would be cruel for God to give a command that is impossible to obey.

So how can we obey this command?  I believe the answer lies in viewing our situation with a proper perspective.  For example, one young lady wrote home from college:

“Dear Mom: Sorry I haven’t written sooner. My arm really has been broken. I broke it, and my left leg, when I jumped from the second floor of my dormitory…when we had the fire. We were lucky. A young service station attendant saw the blaze and called the Fire Department. They were there in minutes. I was in the hospital for a few days. Paul, the service station attendant, came to see me every day. And because it was taking so long to get our dormitory livable again, I moved in with him. He has been so nice. I must admit that I am pregnant. Paul and I plan to get married just as soon as he can get a divorce. I hope things are fine at home. I’m doing fine, and will write more when I get the chance. Love, Your daughter, Susie

P.S. None of the above is true. But I did get a “C” in Sociology and flunked Chemistry. I just wanted you to receive this news in its “proper perspective!”

    To be thankful in all circumstances, we need a proper perspective of our circumstances and of our God, and remember—It could always be worse than it is! As Paul wrote, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us…” (Rom. 8:18). Now that’s the right perspective!

A Man of Thanksgiving

A Man of Thanksgiving

I exhort … giving of thanks, be made for all men. —1 Timothy 2:1

In the early 1800’s Jack and Hannah Armstrong befriended a young man and welcomed him into their home when he was without work. They fed him, and Hannah mended his clothes and treated him like a son. This man was very grateful, but had nothing to repay the Armstrong’s for their kindness.

This young man later became a lawyer in Illinois. Hannah Armstrong was widowed. Later, her own son William was falsely accused of murder. She wrote to that young lawyer in Illinois for help. He came and successfully defended her son in court. When she tried to pay him for his services, he would not take a penny. He said, “Aunt Hannah, I shall never take a cent of your money for all your kindness to me years ago.”

That young lawyer later became President of the United States— Abraham Lincoln — A man of thanksgiving.

Are you a man or woman of thanksgiving?  Is there someone you need to say “Thank you” to?

The Blessing of a Burden

The Blessing of a Burden

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  —1 Thessalonians 5:18

I recently read a missionary story of a young Hindu named Sadhu Sundar who became a Christian and was called to be a missionary to India.  Late one afternoon Sadhu was traveling on foot through the Himalayas with a Buddhist monk.  It was bitterly cold and night was approaching. The monk warned they were in danger of freezing to death if they did not reach the monastery before darkness fell.

As they traveled along a narrow path above a steep embankment, they heard a cry for help. Down the embankment lay a man, fallen and badly hurt. The monk told Sadhu, “Do not stop. The universe has brought this man to his fate.  Let us hurry on before we also perish.”

But Sadhu answered, “God has sent me here to minister. I cannot abandon this man.”

The monk continued down the path leaving Sadhu behind to help the fallen man. Sadhu climbed down the embankment. The man’s leg was broken and he could not walk.  Sadhu took his blanket and made a sling. He tied the man on his back and struggled back up to the pathway.

With the heavy burden on his back, he made his way through the deepening snow. It became dark and he could barely see the path. But, He drudged on faint with fatigue.

Finally he saw the lights of the monastery ahead.  Just then he stumbled in the darkness over something in the snow. It was the body of the monk, frozen to death.

Years later Sadhu was asked, “What do you consider to be life’s most difficult task?”  Without hesitation Sadhu answered: “To live with no burden to carry.”

While our lives may become heavy with burdens, we still can be thankful.  Many of those burdens are blessings in disguise! If your are bearing a burden, pause for a moment and thank the Lord for how He will use it to ultimately bless you.