Friendly—Inside and Out

ARE YOU ATTRACTIVE? I’m not referring to external beauty nor facial features. I’m asking if you are personally attractive—magnetic, winsome, charming, friendly. Reflect carefully on this interesting proverb: A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly. PROVERBS 18:24, KJV

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Hidden Resentment

THE POISON OF RESENTMENT enters the soul imperceptibly after injury or personal insult. It can also come through the sting of misunderstanding, injustice, and betrayal. Left to itself, its insidious effects begin ever so slowly to eat away at a person’s life—eventually destroying all possibility of happiness or fulfillment. Allowed to fester through neglect, the poison of hatred foams to a boil . . . emitting feelings of anger that grow within the steam room of the soul.

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Show Some Heart

WEBSTER DEFINES THE WORD “cordial” as of or relating to the heart: vital, tending to revive, cheer, or invigorate, heartfelt, gracious. That’s really a mouthful; in fact, that’s worth a few minutes of our time together. Being cordial starts from the heart, as I see it. How do we project cordiality? In answer to that question, allow me to offer four special ingredients: 1. Warm smiles. Now lest you try, let me warn you against faking this. You don’t learn to smile by practicing in front of a mirror.

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Humility before Honor

IN A WORLD WHERE EVERYONE is out to serve self, it’s refreshing to read these ancient words from the pen of one of the most powerful men who ever lived: Solomon. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. Fear of the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor. In different words, Jesus says virtually the same thing . . .

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Confessions of a “Clutter-holic”

WHEN WE SUFFER FROM clutter-holic syndrome, our lives are marked by mediocrity, haphazardness, and putting out needless fires. Think you might have a mild case of that? Maybe a few questions will help prime the pump of self-analysis: Do you often lose things? Are you usually late for appointments and meetings? Do you put off doing your homework until late? Are you a time waster? Is your reading limited to only the essentials rather than heavier works?

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Trusting with All Your Heart

AH, PREDICAMENTS . . . LIFE IS FULL OF THEM. Sometimes they are of our own making. Other times they mysteriously happen to us, apart from anything we caused. Occasionally they are comical and borderline crazy . . . then, on the other hand, they can be irritating and troublesome. One thing is for sure: they’re unexpected; we would never have guessed they would happen. Strangely, predicaments are unpredictable. And embarrassing. And confusing. And really weird.

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A Gift for Dad

In an age of equal rights and equal time, it seems only fair to give dads equal attention. Sometimes it seems the only time that happens is during the big commercial buildup for Father’s Day, and then it’s all buy, buy, buy! Families wonder whether to wrap us in robes, fill us with food, surprise us with skis, tickle us with tools, or just cover us with kisses. If I know dads, most of ’em blush no matter what you do. They are so used to providing, receiving is a little weird.

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Mother’s Day

If there’s one attitude families are guilty of more than any other when it comes to mothers, it’s presumption . . . taking them for granted . . . being nearly blind on occasion to the load moms carry. This was reinforced in my mind last week as I was thumbing through a row of crazy greeting cards at a local drugstore. Time and again the joke in the card drew its humor from this obvious attitude that pervades a household: Forget the housework, Mom. It’s your day. Besides, you can always do double duty and catch up on Monday!

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Lifelines

I’m writing these words [originally] soon after my birthday. No big deal . . . just another stabbing realization that I’m not getting any younger. I know that because the cake won’t hold all the candles. Even if it could the frosting would melt before I’d be able to blow all of them out. My kind and thoughtful secretary reminded me of another approach I could take. She gave me a birthday card showing an old guy standing beside a cake covered with candles. On the front it reads . . .

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Growing Old

Growing old, like taxes, is a fact we all must face. Now, you’re not going to get me to declare when growing up stops and growing old starts—not on your life! But there are some signs we can read along life’s journey that suggest we are entering the transition (how’s that for diplomacy?).

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