Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Drops Of Character

Have you ever watched an icicle form? Did you notice how the dripping water froze, one drop at a time, until the icicle was a foot long or more? If the water was clean, the icicle remained clear and sparkled brightly in the sun; but if the water was slightly muddy, the icicle looked cloudy, its beauty spoiled. Our character is formed in like manner. Each thought or feeling adds its influence. Each decision we make - both great and small - contributes its part. Everything we take into our minds and souls - impressions, experiences, images, or words - helps create our character. At all times, we must be aware of the "droplets" we allow to drip into our lives. Acts that develop habits of hate, falsehood, and evil intent mar and eventually destroy us--but habits born of love, truth, and goodness silently mold and fashion us into the image of God.
[God's Little Devotional Bible] 

*Photo taken by Lois Rinert of Tracy, Minnesota

Wednesday, July 11, 2012



You’ve heard it said, “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” .... but what if it says it’s a duck and it doesn’t look like a duck, swim like a duck or quack like a duck???

Imagine, if you will, a doctor. Well, he says he’s a doctor anyway. He offers medical advice to anyone and everyone, solicited or not, but he doesn’t own or operate his own practice, and is not employed by any health care institution. He drinks and smokes heavily and every time you see him eating it involves junk food. Actually, truth be told, he doesn’t even have his doctorate. But he sits at home with his laptop and sells his “medical advice” on the world wide web. So, what are we to make of this self-proclaimed “doctor”?

Well I’ll say, if he’s a doctor, why doesn’t he act like one? Shouldn’t a doctor be the first in line to take proper care of his own body?? How much do you trust a doctor to help you take care of your body if he doesn’t take good care of his own?
Now I’m not here to say he is or isn’t what he says he is, but let’s take a look at how we can apply this to our lives.

If I SAY I’m a Christian, but I go about in this world not acting like one, then what do I expect others to make of me? If I swear like a sailor, dress like a stripper & fill my mind with worldly smut ... how am I portraying myself to the world?

Does it ever occur to you that what you put into your mind will eventually work itself out in your attitude, language and behavior? I dont know about you, but this makes me want to be extremely cautious of what content I allow my mind to absorb!

Here’s a quote from my favorite author & speaker, Andy Andrews- Wisdom can be gathered on your downtime. Wisdom that can change the very course of your life will come from the people you are around, the books you read, and the things you listen to or watch on radio or television. Of course, bad information is gathered in your downtime too. Bad information that can change the very course of your life will come from the people you are around, the books you read, and the things you listen to or watch on radio or television. One of wisdom's greatest benefits, is accurate discernment- the learned ability to immediately tell right from wrong. Good from evil. Acceptable from unacceptable. Time well spent from time wasted. The right decision from the wrong decision. And many times this is simply a matter of having the correct perspective. One way to define wisdom is THE ABILITY TO SEE, INTO THE FUTURE, THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR CHOICES IN THE PRESENT. That ability can give you a completely different perspective on what the future might look like... with a degree of intelligence and a hint of wisdom, most people can tell the difference between good and bad. However, it takes a truly wise person to discern the oh-so-thin line between good and best. And that line... gives you the perspective that allows you to see clearly the long-term consequences of your choices.

The way of the world is not the way of the wise!

Does scripture not say, “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 

Remember this quote?
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” –Unknown

And this scripture?
“...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” -Matthew 12:34b

 And this one?
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, 
nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord.
'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, 
so are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

How about these?

“Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” -Ephesians 4:29

“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” -1 Corinthians 6:18 
Not sure what constitutes sexual sin? According to the Bible it includes adultery, fornication, homosexuality, incest, prostitution, rape, and lust.

"For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."   
1 John 2:16-17

"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13-14

So, who are you? 
What defines you? 
Do your choices reflect what you claim to believe? 
What do you “feed” your mind? 
I’ll leave you with another old adage- “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!”

Have a lovely day!

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. 
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, 
and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8