Odds & Ends: November 2018
“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.”
Christ is not only a remedy for your weariness and trouble, but he will give you an abundance of the contrary, joy and delight. They who come to Christ do not only come to a resting place after they have been wandering in a wilderness, but they come to a banqueting house where they may rest, and where they may feast. They may cease from their former troubles and toils, and they may enter upon a course of delights and spiritual joys.
Thank you, veterans!
On Veterans Day, we honor men and women who’ve served and sacrificed in one of America’s armed services.
On November 11, 1918, America and her allies signed a truce with German leaders, ending World War I. In 1919, President Wilson decided the United States should remember with gratitude the end of that war and honor military members by marking Armistice Day, or “truce” day. In 1954, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day, honoring veterans of every era.
Veterans Day highlights our country’s quest for peace, justice and freedom throughout the world. Followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, pray for unity among all nations and for the day when “nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4, NIV).
Discover the iron
If one should give me a dish of sand and tell me there were particles of iron in it, I might look for them with my eyes and search for them with my clumsy fingers and be unable to detect them. But let me take a magnet and sweep through it, the magnet would draw to itself the almost invisible particles by the mere power of attraction. The unthankful heart, like my fingers in the sand, discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find in every hour, some heavenly blessings. The iron in God’s sand is gold!
—Henry Ward Beecher
The power of perspective
Two friends, Al and Zeb, ran into each other. Noticing that Al was on the verge of tears, Zeb asked what was wrong. Al said, “Three weeks ago, my boss gave me a $3,000 bonus.” “Congratulations!” Zeb declared.
“Hold on,” replied Al. “I’m just getting started. Two weeks ago, my uncle died and left me $50,000.” “My sympathies on your uncle’s death,” said Zeb, “but what a nice gift he left you!”
“Then, last week,” continued Al, “I learned the IRS made some mistakes over the years. They sent me a refund of almost $1 million.” “Wow!” exclaimed Zeb. “Then why so glum?” To which Al replied, “This week — nothing!”
Giving thanks for all things
It’s easy to list the blessings in life: good health, family, a satisfying career, a comfortable home. We might even be thankful for things others take for granted such as freedom and clean drinking water, reliable transportation and food enough to eat. Then there are the little things, such as gardens, sunrises, pets and coffee.
But what about life’s storms or unanswered prayers? Should we be thankful for these? Loss and hardship remind us of our dependence on God. He uses trials to draw us closer to him, to show us that he is our rock and refuge. In misfortune and grief, we discover God’s comfort and strength. Should we not, then, be thankful for the storms, too?
“If we do not show love to one another, the world has a right to question whether Christianity is true.”
—Francis A. Schaeffer
“Use what talent you possess. The woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those who sang best.”
—Henry Van Dyke
Showing some spine
Because of a back injury, a teacher had to wear a plaster cast around his upper body. It fit under his shirt and wasn’t noticeable at all. On the first day of school, still wearing the cast, he walked confidently into a classroom full of rowdy students.
After giving a lecture and assignment, the teacher opened the window and busied himself at his desk. When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he grabbed his stapler and stapled the tie to his chest. Needless to say, the teacher had no trouble with discipline that year.
I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.