Resolutions|Promises [v35]


RESOLUTIONS — This past Christmas, I have to believe that most of you gave or received many presents. Some were surprised. Some surprises were ‘happy’ ones—receiving that ‘perfect gift,’ something even more meaningful than you had hoped for—but for some, they were undoubtedly disappointed.

So, some of us spent time taking those ‘unwanted’ gifts back to the store for something of our choosing. But sometimes we might be a bit hasty in ‘judging’ a gift given to us—sometimes it might be something we didn’t know we wanted.

Author Chuck Swindoll recently shared a memory of a Christmas in his past growing up in Houston, Texas. It was when he was in eighth grade, and basketball was his passion. He practiced on his concrete driveway in the backyard every day—but this wore out the basketball and it burst one day late in November. This is when he started to ‘drop’ hints about what he wanted for Christmas. But he knew if he ever would see that new ball under the tree, he would have to “turn it on thick.”

For the next month the bathroom and kitchen got a daily mopping. The lawn began to resemble the greens at Augusta. He became a borderline neurotic about every wastepaper basket in the house. He even set the table and did the dishes each day (in the sink, by hand—this was just 45 years ago).

Christmas Day finally arrived, and while no one was looking he had shaken the only box that was the right size and right weight to contain what he had wanted so badly. So when it was time to open presents, he went right to this one and excitedly tore off all the wrapping and ribbon, opened up the top—and to his utter disbelief, there was….a world globe!!! This was the exact size, shape, and weight of a basketball, but nowhere near what he put all his energy into getting.

If this story was written about last week, the gift might have been returned for something else. But back then, their family was taught that gifts from others should be appreciated since they were given in love and with a lot of care in the selection. To Chuck’s surprise, he became ‘enthralled’ with locating geographical spots on the globe—asking his mom to call out places so he could find them.

Come to find out, Chuck never attained his ‘fantasy’ of becoming a pro basketball player—but because of his mother’s ‘vision’ for her child one day, this gift did play a part in his future.

This season, beneath many a tree were brightly wrapped surprises—some of which will seem momentarily disappointing—but with time may be put into perspective. Chuck is a very accomplished traveler, author and has a worldwide ministry.

If you’re like I am, you’re about to make some New Year’s resolutions. “I’m going to lose weight.” “I’m going to be more organized.” “I’m going to spend more time ______” (fill in the blank). You know the kind. Sadly, we tend to break these resolutions within a few weeks or even days.

May I suggest a resolution that could change your life? If you don’t know God in a personal way, maybe this could be the time for you to seek Him.

We have just celebrated Christmas—the remembrance of a time over 2000 years ago when the Bible says God became man in the person of Jesus. Do you really believe this happened? Many people that lived in that time were hoping for someone different—just as many of us do today. But, as the Bible presents, He was actually more than they could have ever hoped for. His gift lasts for eternity—with no disappointments.

Who do you ‘say’ He is? Do you know Him as your personal Savior? Have you accepted salvation from Him—the best gift we will ever receive? If not, consider investigating His claims and His promises. It could be a gift that you won’t want to return.


(NOTE: Please send your ‘thoughts’ to me at:

I am glad to organize and distribute more ‘stuff’ if y’all send it to me.

They were looking for a lion,
He came as a Lamb, and they missed Him.

They were looking for a warrior,
He came as a Peacemaker, and they missed Him.

They were looking for a king,
He came as a Servant, and they missed Him.

They were looking for liberation from Rome,
He submitted to the Roman stake, and they missed Him.

They were looking for a fit to their mold,
He was the mold maker, and they missed Him.

What are you looking for? Lion? Warrior? King? Liberator?
What are you looking for?

They were looking for their temporal needs to be met,
He came to meet their eternal need, and they missed Him.

He came as a Lamb to be sacrificed for your sin.
Will you miss Him?

He came to make peace between God and man.
Will you miss Him?

He came to model servanthood for all mankind.
Will you miss Him?

He came that we might have true liberty.
Will you miss Him?

He came to give you eternal life.
Will you miss Him?

When we submit to the Lamb, we will meet the Lion.
Join with the Peacemaker, and we will meet the Warrior.
Work with the Servant, and we will meet the King.
Walk with the Submitted, and we will meet the Liberator.
Concern ourselves with the eternal, and we will have the temporal.

If Jesus is not fitting into the mold you have, then come to the mold maker and get a new one. Submit to His plan for your life and you will see the eternal need met first; then all the other things you have need of will be taken care of as well. [Author unknown]

If your vision is for a year, plant wheat.
If your vision is for ten years, plant trees.
If your vision is for a lifetime, plant people.
[Chinese proverb]

Many of us make resolutions at the beginning of the New Year and then promptly break them by the middle of the month. Perhaps you are contemplating some resolutions to make significant changes in your life as we turn the calendar. Maybe this will be the year that you actually lose weight, read the Bible through, clean out your closets or put in an underground lawn sprinkling system. That’s fine and if you want to do those things, we wish you success, but have you thought about making some more serious inward changes?  This week’s Perception’s column ask you to consider doing just that.

This year why not make some promises rather than resolutions for the New Year? The following list should get you started.

– Promise to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

– Promise to make all your friends feel that there is something special about them.

– Promise to look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

– Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to make the best come true.

– Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

– Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.

– Promise to wear a cheerful expression at all times and to give every person you meet a smile.

– Promise to give so much effort to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

– Promise to be too big to worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble in your life   [Author Unknown]

Paid in full
A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car.

Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, and somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the Box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man’s name embossed in gold.

Angry, he rose his voice to his father and said, “With all your money you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things. When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart.

He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matthew 7:11, “And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in Heaven, give to those who ask Him?”

As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words PAID IN FULL.

How many times do we miss God’s blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?   [Author unknown]

Gifts That Do Not Cost A Cent
Sometimes your don’t know just what to get a person for an occasion–or you don’t have enough time or money to get what you do want to give them. So, in those instances, try these suggestions:

– The Gift of Listening…
But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

– The Gift of Affection…
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds.
Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

– The Gift of Laughter…
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

– The Gift of a Written Note…
It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

– The Gift of a Compliment…
A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.

– The Gift of a Favor…
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

– The Gift of Solitude…
There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

– The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition…
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone, really it’s not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You.

You may be surprised that any one of these will be appreciated more than that ‘bought’ gift

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t  [Henry Ward Beecher]

Needing Proof
A man went to his lawyer and told him, “My neighbor owes me $500 and he doesn’t want to pay up. What should I do?”

“Do you have any proof?” asked the lawyer.

“Nope,” replied the man.

“Okay, then write him a letter asking him for the $1000 he owed you,” said the lawyer.

“But it’s only $500,” replied the man.

“Precisely. That’s what he will reply and we will have him!

Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use
[Wendell Johnson]

If you think you are to small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.  [Unknown]

If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen—you then can be awakened by the ‘alarm’ when breakfast is ready (when the smoke alarm goes off).  [Mark Besh]

We see things, not the way they are, but the way we are. And we tend to see what we expect to see. For example:

1. Loveisnowhere

2. Theytoldhimtobeatthefrontdoor

3. rat eht was tac ehT

1. We may see “Love is now here” or “Love is nowhere” depending on whether we are feeling hopeful or hopeless!

2. It is easy to perceive “be at the front door” because we would not expect anyone to “beat the front door.”

3. Almost everybody misreads this back-to-front teaser. “The cat saw…” are words belonging together as are “cat …rat.” But “cat … tar” do not.
[Peter Cotterell]

Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for—it is a thing to be achieved.  [Unknown]

Don’t be afraid to go out on the limb—that’s where the fruit is!

Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with!

Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.”  [Acts 17:27]


Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.


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