Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

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Wednesday

17

January 2018

Wednesday Wisdom | The Workshop of Character is everyday life

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"Good habits are not made on birthdays, nor Christian character at the new year. The workshop of character is everyday life. The uneventful and commonplace hour is where the battle is lost or won." (Maltbie Babcock) | See more at hopereflected.com

“Good habits are not made on birthdays, nor Christian character at the new year. The workshop of character is everyday life. The uneventful and commonplace hour is where the battle is lost or won.” (Maltbie Babcock)

An American writer most well-known for his hymn, “This is My Father’s World,” Maltbie Babcock said that the workshop of character is everyday life. I first wrote about Babcock’s quote in my column about volunteering, however this quote rings true in every area of life.

There’s a reason more people go to the gym during the months of January and February.

There’s a reason Genesis is one of the most-read books in the Bible.

People often start off the new year with a resolution that they’re going to lose weight, exercise more, read the Bible through in a year, eat healthier, so on and so forth. So many people fail at their resolutions because they don’t practice them long enough to turn them into habits. To develop good character, you must practice good habits.

Good habits don’t happen on one day of the year, they’re practiced each and every day. The same goes for our character. It’s not how we “act” on Sundays, or what we do to get recognized, in fact it’s quite the opposite. Our character is who we are when no one’s watching. Aristotle once said that excellence is not an act but a habit, and the same can be said of our character. Your words are not your character; your actions are your character.

You may be familiar with the saying, “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

The workshop of character is everyday life.

“Good habits are not made on birthdays, nor Christian character at the new year. The workshop of character is everyday life. The uneventful and commonplace hour is where the battle is lost or won.” (Maltbie Babcock)

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Wednesday

19

October 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: Guard Your Heart, Mind, and Tongue

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guard your heart, mind, tongue

We’ve all been there; at least once a week, I something I shouldn’t say and then afterwards lament about it. Our words are incredibly powerful, and once we say them, we can’t take them back. Before we speak, we have to consider and be conscious of what we’re taking into our minds and hearts.

Here are 3 verses each about remembering to guard your heart, mind, and tongue:

Guard Your Heart

  • Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
  • Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
  • Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

For more verses about the importance of guarding your heart, see also Psalm 51:10, Jeremiah 17:9, Philippians 4:6-7, and 1 John 3:20.

Guard Your Mind

  • 2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
  • 1 Peter 1:13 “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
  • Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

For more verses about guarding your thoughts and your mind, see also Psalm 101:3, Proverbs 4:25, Romans 12:2.

Guard Your Tongue

  • Proverbs 13:3 “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.”
  • Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
  • Proverbs 21:23 “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.”

For more verses on the importance of guarding your tongue, see also Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 17:28, Matthew 12:36, and Ephesians 4:29.

 

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Wednesday

5

October 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: God Never Hurries

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God never hurries A.W. Tozer quote Wednesday Wisdom

“God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which he must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves.” A.W. Tozer

When circumstances just don’t seem in my favour, or when I wonder why God’s making me wait, it always helps to remember that God’s timing is perfect. As A.W. Tozer said in his book The Pursuit of God, “God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which he must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves.” We may not understand God’s timing, but when we rest in the fact that His timing is perfect, we’ll be filled with a peace only our Saviour can provide.

It’s a good thing to wait on the Lord, and it is a good thing to rest in Him.

Here are some verses that remind us of God’s perfect timing:

  • “Wait on the LORD: be of courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Psalm 27:14
  • “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Psalm 37:7
  • “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1
  • “Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.” Proverbs 20:22
  • “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:25
  • “I will wait upon the LORD…” Isaiah 8:17
  • “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
  • “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith 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
  • “But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7
  • “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6

 

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Wednesday

28

September 2016

Wednesday Wisdom: Get into God’s Word

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Get into God's Word, everyday

“Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to be.” A.W. Tozer

God’s Word is perhaps the greatest earthly gift we will ever receive. It’s a compass for everyday living, an encouragement when we’re down, and an instruction manual with details on how to deal with life.

If you’re someone who’s not accustomed to practicing devotions on a daily basis, I encourage you to seek out the Bible and its wisdom each and every day. Make time each day to get into God’s Word. Even if you just start with a Psalm or a Proverb, make the effort to read something from the Bible each day. You won’t regret it!

David said in Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” When we go out in the world with God’s Word as our guide, He will provide light for our steps and direct our paths. Tozer said that whatever kept him from his Bible was his enemy, because he realized the crucial importance and impact of the Bible in his life. God’s Word is not just a way to to get to know more about God; it’s a way to know God.

“Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to be.” A.W. Tozer

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Friday

23

May 2014

Hope, She Wrote: Laws for Life

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work, Uncategorized

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courage_hoperobertson

Last week I had the opportunity to meet a gentleman who is celebrating his 101st birthday (happy birthday, Maurice)! More than a century on this Earth, and I can’t help but think of the time and experiences he’s had in his lifetime – living literally through eras which I’ve only read about in history books.

Mortality is a subject I’ve been thinking about lately. The whole notion that none of us knows how much time we’re allotted or when we’ll be called away from this Earth certainly provides perspective. And with that mindfulness, there’s new importance and value in each day we do have here.

There was this Oprah quote I used to have hanging in my college dorm that said “Live your best life.” Simple, yet profound words. How easy to say, even though the reality is often entirely different. I have days (more frequently than I’d like to admit), where I get discouraged and feel down. Everyone does. It’s normal. The key is to not let your mind linger on that negativity, and also, to stop looking in and start looking out.

Other ways to make the most of right now and the time we do have?

Learn to be comfortable on your own path. Comfortable doesn’t mean lazy. This just means being secure as the individual God made you to be. You are a unique creation, and you should celebrate this. So many people waste precious time copying others or trying to imitate favourite “celebrities” that they miss out on being the coolest person they can be. Accept, and challenge your own self.

Go to bed wiser than when you woke up. This nugget of wisdom has been attributed to several “successful” entrepreneurs, and while it might seem silly to some, it’s such great advice. A strong woman once told me that I should step outside the box and do one thing that I dread or find intimidating – Every. Day. And this is not only über-challenging, but completely sound advice. Think about it – what are the days when you feel most accomplished? These aren’t the days when you drag your feet; the days you’ve made a difference are the days you’ve put yourself out there and done some impactful work.

Grow some courage and go for it. This is waaay easier said and written than it is to actually do. Truth! I struggle with this at least once a week. “What if I say this and someone thinks it’s a crappy idea?” “What if no one understands where I’m coming from?” Develop the courage to not care what others think, and develop the courage to take risks. As entrepreneur Scott Dinsmore says, “Courage does not grow on its own. Just like a muscle, it must be constantly worked out and developed.” See also this quote from living legend surfer dude Laird Hamilton, who says “We are each our own greatest inhibitor. People don’t want to do new things if they’re going to be bad at them or people are going to laugh at them. You have to be willing to subject yourself to failure, to be bad, to fall on your head and do it again, and try stuff that you’ve never done in order to be the best you can be.”

We’re not all guaranteed 101 years of life. There is no better time than now to live!

Robertson, Hope. “Laws for Life.” Minto Express 21 May 2014: 5 Print.

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