Better Off or Worse When We Hold On?

Smarter Than A Monkey?

According to some sources, Asian villagers capture a monkey by placing fruit in a vase or other container.

The monkey sticks his hand in the container to grab a banana, but when he tries to pull it out, he gets stuck.

There isn’t enough room for the monkey to get both his hand and the fruit past the opening.

If the monkey were to let go, he could easily extract his hand, but refusing to let go keeps him stuck and captured.

What are we holding onto that keeps us stuck?

“Give careful thought to your ways.” Haggai 1:5 niv

Maybe some hold on to the old and previous while missing the abundance of the future lies in the way we view and treat others.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote:

“As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it.”

Ginsburg, Ruth Bader. My Own Words . Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

The Perfect Gift

Gifts.

We all like getting them.

Have you ever gotten a gift and, upon opening the box you looked in dismay because the gift is not right for you?

You blurt out “How can this gift be right for me?”

You huff, puff, and toss the gift aside.

Yet the gift will not go away.

Point of the story — “People who loves us and know us give us the perfect gift which fits us!”

Judge Not

“What did you do?”

“Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?”

“Is it you?”

Making a snap judgement and judging someone on what is perceived can lead to ?”

A teacher early in my childhood pointed one finger towards me and then said “Remember when you point one finger at someone one else, there are three fingers pointing back to you.”

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:1-2)

One Person Can and Did!

The action of one person can change the world of many.

Teenagers can talk a lot.

When their parents talk to them, sometimes the teenagers listen and at other times they do not.

Yet a teenager who said “yes.”

Her time had come – though she had yet to realize it.

Mordecai, a relative, had a message for her.

He had adopted his orphaned cousin and had brought up as if she were his own daughter.

Esther is this teenager.

Now parents say many things to their kids.

On this occasion he said the following to her.

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”  Esther 4:14

When Esther heard the words of Mordecai – ‘Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ – she could have done many things.

She could have said, ‘Give me time to grow up, get married, have children.

Let me fulfill my dreams before asking me to put my life on the line to save the Jewish people.’

She could have ignored the words of Mordecai.

But she didn’t.

 She said, ‘I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish’ (v. 16)

And she did go.

Her world changed.

The world and the future of her people changed.

The action of one person can change the world of many.

Busy and Useful Hands

Our hands can fidget, wring, pound, beat, or make.

Doing something useful with our hand can be both an opportunity and a challenge in our current times.

Some wisdom and the impetus can emanate from the following “do something useful with your own hands, that you may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28).

One person I know makes chocolate chip cookies and delivers them to persons who are having medical issues.

So, what can I and you do?

Consider the following.

Your hands can make protective masks to share with others.

Your hands can knit hats, gloves, and scarves.

Your hands can turn steering wheels to drive neighbors to medical appointments.

What are some others creative things “share with others in need?

Honest and Humble Politician — Lincoln

The events in our life say what happened to us but not not determine what we become!

Facts do not become sentences.

David Reynolds wrote in his new biography, Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times that Lincoln’s father, Thomas, witnessed the killing of his father by Indians, making him an orphan at the age of ten. 

Abraham’s mother, Nancy Hanks, was born out of wedlock. She died at the age of thirty-four. At age of nine Abraham when he was nine years old, Abraham attended five schools for short terms, for a total of less than one year. 

And yet, Reynolds says of our sixteenth president: “At America’s most divided time, Lincoln pushed hard toward justice while keeping the whole nation foremost in his mind. He progressed cautiously, shrewdly, inexorably. With honesty. With humility. With winning humor. And in the end, with his thoughts on all Americans, regardless of party, religion, or race. 

“His principled vision and his disarming modesty remain an inspiration to everyday Americans and political leaders alike. Freedom. Equality. Justice for everyone—even for the most marginalized or oppressed—contained within one nation. This was Abe, in his democratic fullness”

Give the facts and not tell the story

How Big Was The Fish — the proof is in the facts!

Once upon a time.

Four kids were sitting down and having a soda.

Jimmy say “Hey, my day went fishing last weekend. As he stretched out his hands, he said “my dad’s fish was this big.”

Eddie replied by saying “Really?” “My dad’s fish would make your dad’s fish look like a minnow.”

Pete, just shook his head, letting out a loooonnnnngggg sigh. He then said “It took my dad and three of his friends two hours to get his fish into the boat which promptly sank and the fish got away.”

Carol, remaining silent, and shook her head, saying “You boys!” She took out her phone and showed her friends the following:

The story you tell is a folly while the picture tells tells the truth!