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There are five days of Think a Minute resources on this page, one for each day of the work week. Click the link for the Audio Player to play the file. You may view the transcript of the audio file while you listen by clicking on the Audio Transcript button. Finally you may download the audio file and script for each day by clicking on the button in the Download tab.

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Day 1: Know Your Limits
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Think a minute . . . A family-owned pastry company had been successful for over 40 years. In the 1990’s the owners decided to expand their bakery business into other kinds of products. They worked harder than ever to make their new products. But in return for all their hard work, they lost so much money they almost went bankrupt and completely out of business.

The businessman who bought their failing company said: “These people could not have worked harder, but they could have worked smarter.” Instead of working hard at what they did best, they worked hard at too many other things, and that is what caused them to fail. Remember, our goal is to “get results” not just “get tired.”

That is why it is not enough to work hard, we also must work smart by knowing our limits. We must understand not only our strengths but also our weaknesses. Remember: “A leopard cannot change its spots.” So why try? Don’t fight the facts! Simply be who you are, and become the very best you can be. Make the most of your assets and natural abilities. This means knowing your limits and not wasting your time and energy trying to be something you are not. Pigs can’t fly and fish can’t climb trees. We need to work in areas where we are competent and confident.

In a way, your personality is like your shoe size: you do not get to choose it. You do, however, get to choose whether or not you “fill your shoes” in life by reaching your potential and making the most of your natural abilities and personality.

Remember, your self-confidence must be in your real self. You must know the truth of who you are and who you are not. It is the One Who made you Who can show you exactly who He designed you to be. So won’t you ask Jesus to take charge of your heart and way of living for the rest of your life? He is the only One Who can help you know your true limits. He will set you free to make the most of your personality and abilities He gave you—so you become the very best He created you to be. Just think a minute . . .

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Day 2: Friends Best Fortune
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Think a minute . . . I recently saw a famous television and movie star interviewed on television. A few months earlier his brother had asked him to take a vacation with him driving across America, but he was extremely busy working on a new television series. However, he also knew this was a special opportunity to spend time with his brother. So he arranged for time off from his successful television show and career to drive across America with his brother.

Just a few months later his brother died! Through tears on nationwide television, this movie star said how grateful he would always be for the time he chose to spend with his brother. It is so true that family and friends beat fortune and fame every time!

Recently I met a businesswoman who told me that her husband had been killed. She said her husband and his brother had argued for months over their family inheritance. Finally one day her husband’s brother got so angry that he drove to their house, walked in with a gun, and killed his brother. And for what? A little more money!

We need regular reminding that family and friends are worth much more than fortune. Remember, money can never give you what family and friends can: love. You can always tell how happy a person is not by how much money he has, but by how close his relationships are with his family members; and by how many close, caring friends he has. A man who lost his best friend over a business disagreement shared the painful lesson he had learned. He said: “Money is like a glove and friendship is like your hand. You can live happily without your glove, but not without your hand.”

How happy and close are your family relationships? How many close, caring friends do you have? Jesus said: “I call you friends if you have my kind of heart and way of living.” So won’t you ask Him to forgive you for all your wrong living? Then, as you become His friend, you can start enjoying the new life and love He wants to give you. He will not only help you rebuild your broken relationships, but He will help you build a “fortune of friends” who also are His true friends. Just think a minute . . .

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Day 3: Training for Parents Part 1
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Think a minute . . . Scientific studies have shown that if you put a frog into boiling water, it will jump out immediately to save its life. But if you put that same frog into water that is normal room temperature, then raise the heat of the water very slowly, the frog will just sit there until it boils to death! Why? It gets comfortable with the water at each slightly raised temperature, so it does not realize how dangerously hot its environment has become—until it is too late.

In a similar way, our children’s lives can be destroyed if we do not realize how gradually they are being negativelhy influenced by their bad social environment of the wrong friends—and even by our daily bad examples as their parents. Before we know it, our kids have grown older without becoming the honest, self-controlled, loving and courageous adults we want them to be. Even though we are living with them every day, we fail to see the dangerous direction their character and friends are taking them. We need to save our kids from this destructive, increasingly “hot water” by changing our unhealthy parenting habits before it is too late.

Today and tomorrow we will talk about a few of the most important things that can help us train our kids well, so they can become the honorable adults we want them to become.

First, nagging and yelling at our children can become a bad daily habit that is actually counterproductive and does not work. An angry family is not a happy family! We might think getting angry will get our kids to obey; but the more we yell and nag, the more our kids learn to tune us out and take us less seriously. Then we may actually lose control and seriously hurt our children with our words, or even physical harm, to force them to obey us simply out of fear.

The healthiest, most effective way to discipline our kids is to take away their favorite possessions or privileges for a short time. This way they learn the natural consequences of their own bad choices and behavior. Then, they have only themselves to blame. That is how they learn to control themselves and change for the better.

Today you can ask Jesus to forgive you for whatever wrong, unhealthy ways you have been teaching and disciplining your kids? Only He can help you change so you do not make the same mistakes with your kids that your parents possibly made with you. Just think a minute . . .

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Day 4: Training for Parents Part 2
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Think a minute . . . Yesterday we learned from the boiling frog that it is easy to become so accustomed and comfortable with our emotionally and spiritually unhealthy parenting habits that we do not see the dangerous direction we are leading our kids. Before it is too late, we need to start changing the negative, hurtful ways we may be raising and teaching them. First, we learned not to use anger, yelling and nagging to train our children. It does not truly work, nor does it make a happy family.

Second, we parents must earn our child’s respect. It is easy to get your child to fear you, but it will take your time and love to earn their true respect. This is greatly important, because your child’s respect for your authority is going to determine his respect for all other kinds of authority: his school teachers, bosses, laws and government, along with everyone else he will live and work with. If you want your children to accept your authority and values when they are teenagers, you must first earn their respect by your daily good example during their younger years. As an expert family counselor says: “Rules without relationship bring rebellion.”

We parents can damage, even destroy, our children through overly strict, harsh and unloving punishment that hurts them emotionally through cruel, unkind words or even physical harm to our kids. A child should never be laughed at and his feelings not valued and cared about by his or her father and mother. A parent who regularly hurts and humiliates their child will eventually lose their child’s love and respect for them. The child will fear you enough to obey you when they are young, but later as a young adult they may deeply resent you for years, even their lifetime.

A third important principle is to show your love to your child after you have needed to discipline and punish him. Let him know that you will always accept him, even if you do not approve of his bad behavior and attitude. Remember, punishment is not something we do TO our child, but something we do FOR our child, so he can build real happiness and success from his good character we have helped him develop. That is how we communicate to our child: “I love you too much to let you think and behave wrongly.”Love should be the reason for everything we say and do with our child.

Today, won’t you ask Jesus to forgive you for your mistakes as a parent? Then ask Him to help you love and teach your children the way they need and are designed for. Just think a minute . . .

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Day 5: A Great Son
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Think a minute . . . This is a true story about a boy who dreamed of sailing around the world living a life of adventure on the sea. The day finally came at age 15 when he was old enough to follow his dream and join the Navy as a midshipman on a real war ship. Of course, his big challenge now was to convince his mother to let him go. But his dear mother had lost her husband only 5 years earlier and was left to raise more than a dozen children all by herself. So for her to give up her youngest son was asking almost too much. Yet she told him if that was what he really wanted, she would give her approval to let him go.

The day finally came to say goodbye. Her boy was standing in front of her in a dashing Navy uniform, ready to sail away. Suddenly his mother became overwhelmed with the pain of letting go of her youngest son. She began to cry uncontrollably and begged him to stay home to help her and the rest of the family. Her 15-year-old son was quiet for a long time before finally speaking. He wanted with all his heart to become a Navy officer—but not if it was going to break his mother’s heart. He was deeply sad and disappointed, yet he returned home to help his mother take care of the rest of the family.

But that’s not the end of the story. For this honorable young man who almost became a midshipman, later became the captain of a country. This devoted son who sacrificed everything became known as the Father of the Nation: George Washington, the first President of the United States.

The Son of God Himself sacrificed everything, including His perfectly innocent life, because of His great love for us. Then three days later He came back to life to rule over everything He had created. Yet He still gives us human beings the freedom and choice whether or not we will accept His authority and follow His leadership over our life. The great news is that we can trust Him, because He has already proven that He rules and leads us with His unfailing love that sacrificed Himself for us. Won’t you trust and ask Him to take full charge of your heart and life for the rest of your life? You have nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain. Just think a minute . . .

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