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God of Hope

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STOP AND THINK - People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others. (Blaise Pascal, 17th century French scientist and writer)

Pascal’s comment expresses an important lesson for parents and teachers to learn and adapt their teaching accordingly. When we offer all the right answers as facts, no matter the work we may have put into the discovering of the truth, we shortchange the learners from the excitement and value of discovery. Give learning the excitement of search and discovery.

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law (Psalm 119:18-20). When I applied my mind to know wisdom. . .then I saw all that God has done (Ecclesiastes 8:16-17).
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STOP AND THINK - Love may make the world go round, but laughter keeps you from getting dizzy. (Barbara Johnson, American literary critic)

Although love is an often misunderstood word, it is recognized by most people as invaluable in discovering and maintaining meaningful relationships. But sometimes relationships can be strained for a variety of external reasons. It’s in times like those that a good joke, a witty remark, or a good belly laugh will ease the strain and restore a sense of mutual well being.

A cheerful heart is good medicine. (Proverbs 17:22 )
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STOP AND THINK - People ask for criticism, but they only want praise. (W. Somerset Maugham, British playwright, novelist, and poet)

Constructive criticism is good for anyone. Speakers, writers, athletes, musicians— everyone needs to know how well he or she is doing in their performance. But sometimes, we don’t really want to hear the critique. We want only good reports, the acclaim that pleases us. A really good critique of a person should include both the faults and the strengths of their work.

Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear. (Proverbs 25:12)
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God of Hope

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STOP AND THINK - Leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment. (John Maxwell, author and motivational speaker)

This is what Maxwell calls the “Law of Priorities.” In a frenetic time like ours, we seem to think that a lot of activity means a lot of progress and achievement. Just be busy working or playing at something, and things will turn out well. Well, we’ve all seen a lot of unproductive activity, haven’t we? It’s important to prioritize to do good so we can achieve the best results.

Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives. (Titus 3:14)
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STOP AND THINK - Since changes are going on anyway, the great thing is to learn enough about them so that we will be able to lay hold of them and turn them in the direction of our desires. (John Dewey, American philosopher and educator)

Change seems to be one of the few constants in life. Dewey suggests, “Conditions and events are neither to be fled from nor passively acquiesced in; they are to be utilized and directed.” We should not fear change, and we dare not ignore it. We must approach it with a view to using it to our best advantage; minimize the bad in it and maximize the good.

Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it. (Ecclesiastes 7:12)
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STOP AND THINK - Do what you can, where you’re at, with what you have. (John Wooden, renowned basketball coach)

Do the tasks before you seem insurmountable? We look at their immensity or difficulty, and we think we can’t do much. Wooden says, however, that whatever we can do, do it. Don’t look for something far away, perhaps more glamorous; do what you can right where you are now. And don’t think you haven’t enough resources; use what is at hand.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others. (1 Peter 4:10)
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STOP AND THINK - I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. (Maya Angelou, African-American poet)

We should be careful about what we say to people. Did we say the right thing? Were we critical? Did we make a joke at somebody’s expense? It’s important to remember that it’s not merely the words we use, but the tone and accompanying body language. The question always is how we made someone else feel. Aim to make them feel good.

Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect. (James 3:2)
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God of Hope

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STOP AND THINK - What your children believe is more important than what you believe. (Author unknown)

Is that really true? If so, how is it so? Maybe the point is to emphasize how important it is to train our children well. What they ultimately come to believe will say a lot about how successful we’ve been in passing our values on to them. Parents must live out their values or their children will abandon them and seek values from somewhere or someone else.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
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STOP AND THINK - Where you go and what you do tells people what you are. (Zig Ziglar, late motivational speaker)

It is true that what you are is more important than what you do. What’s inside you is essential, but the externals are important, too. Where you go and what you do, as Ziglar suggests, is very important because your activity reveals your inner character. What’s inside will ultimately expose the real you. So, be careful what you say and do.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:45)
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STOP AND THINK - The more time you give to something, the more you reveal its importance and value to you. (Rick Warren, pastor and author)

Our use of time and money will pretty accurately reflect our priorities or, as Warren says, their “importance and value” to us. Hours spent in sports, watching them on TV, traveling to sporting events—such behavior might pretty well show what we value most in life. It would be good for us to examine the use of time in order to make sure our priorities are right.

But seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
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STOP AND THINK - In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change. (Susan Taylor, editor, writer, and journalist)

Legend has it that the Chinese word for crisis is made up of two words meaning “danger” and “opportunity.” Whether that’s an accurate translation or not, it does suggest the best way to look at crises when they occur. Often, as Taylor says, a crisis may force us to make a change for the better. So, we should accept the crisis and work toward beneficial change.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
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STOP AND THINK - Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. (Winston Churchill, World War II British prime minister)

When we’ve accomplished something significant, we may think that our success will continue unendingly. On the other hand, when we stumble and don’t do well, we may think we’ll never be able to do anything well again. Churchill reminds us that neither is true. We must get up and with courage move ahead to greater achievement.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. (Joshua 10:25)
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A new way of spreading stories of Jesus!
Introduction

God of Hope wants to equip people with the tools so others can hear stories about Jesus through a gentle, loving manner through the use of the internet, videos, books, and other forms of media. However, the internet is only a tool and God’s Holy Spirit works best through one-on-one personal relationships.