Living in America has the very subtle & sneaky attempt to be blinded by glitz, glam, image, shiny, trendy and veneer. Whether we realize it or not, our culture bombards us with airbrushed faces, glimmery white teeth, body images that are almost physically impossible and lots more. If we aren’t careful, we can be seduced by image and forget that substance, character and integrity are very important.
With this in mind, I find it very interesting that the person who heralded Jesus’ arrival was the antithesis of image conscious – John the Baptist was very earthy and for that matter, so is Jesus. The Son of God, robed in splendor, glory and the ultimate glitz put on our skin, lived among us and was often mistaken for a mere man. May the Holy Spirit help us to reveal Jesus through our daily and earthy living 🙂
I’m currently reading the book of Nehemiah & I was encouraged this morning when I read about Nehemiah’s reaction to his enemies (Sanballat & Tobia) when they severaly opposed Nehemiah & the Jews. Instead of quitting, Nehemiah split up the people & let half of them keeping working to repair the wall & posted the other half to protect those who were working on the wall. By splitting up his work force into 2 groups, he probably lengthened the time it took to finish the project, but my point is that he didn’t quit. They kept working, even though their progress slowed down, but they didn’t quit.
“I’m resigning.” I had someone tell me this last year and it was a really big deal to me because this person was doing lots of great stuff for Saving Moses. When this person quit, I became really discouraged. It was difficult because I already had a pretty hefty workload & now with this person resigning, I didn’t have anyone available to step into this position. How would I get all of this work done? I found myself kind of flailing and floundering, but over the course of a few weeks it became evident that I’d have to just be patient, pray & trust God to fill in this massively important gap. And in the meantime, I gave myself to do the best I could with this gap.
Sometimes, I can get myself really wound up & uptight. But over the course of the last year, God has been teaching me many things, including the valuable lesson of trusting God and not leaning on my own efforts. Keep going my friend, one day at a time and even one step at a time 🙂
Feel free to share this with your friends & family who might be discouraged 🙂
I’m back in India having been here about 3 years ago & I’m looking forward to another adventure. Three years ago (maybe 4), I came here for the purpose of starting nightcare with saving Moses. My first attempt was almost comical now that I have some hindsight. I had some very grandiose plans in my thinking & they quickly evaporated into thin but very humid air.
Now that I’m back, I still have it in my heart to start nightcare here & I’m praying for God to direct our steps, relationships & the time we have here.
For the ideas & dreams that God has put in your heart, here is some encouragement (feel free to forward to anyone discouraged):
*dont quit – it’s easy to be discouraged with set backs, but make the decision not to quit
*let God help you grow in the process of achieving these dreams – be a better & not bitter person through the process
*trust God – lets fully embrace the truth that God is good & loving, causing all things to work together for our good as we stay in love with God 🙂
I was in 5th grade when I first tried to play basketball & I was 100% horrible. Neither of my parents are particularly athletic nor did they have alot of athletic background or experience. Furthermore, we didn’t have lots of sports stuff when I was growing up so my recess basketball games at school were the extent of getting some initial experience. For whatever reason, I wanted to be good at basketball so I decided to keep trying even though I was awful. I didn’t have much success at the beginning of my efforts, but I kept trying. I had horrible shooting form because I wasn’t strong enough to get the ball to the hoop. I couldn’t dribble to save my life & I was more uncoordinated than any 5th grade girl in my class, but I kept trying. When I entered 6th grade, I joined a school that had a girls basketball team & I shockingly made the Varisty squad, but was soon demoted to JV, but I kept trying. Throughout my middle school years, I continued to play basketball & because I kept trying, I began to improve. When I was in 8th grade, we had a freethrow competition to see who could make the most free throws out of 50 attempts. I tried really hard & came in 2nd on my team. I went on to play basketball in high school and kept trying to get better. I continued to improve and was privileged to be on a team that went on to win the state championship 🙂
Moral of the story: long-term success requires that we keep trying
Holy Cow! That was Jeroboam’s solution to help him stay in power as the king of Israel, even though God had obviously put him in this position. I was reading this morning (1 Kings 7) about how God spoke to Jeroboam through a prophet & told him that he was going to be the king of Israel. When Jeroboam became the king, he got really jittery about keeping his power & decided that his kingdom needed it’s own set of gods, festival days, worship routines, etc that would exclude anything from the Temple in Jerusalem or the worship of the true God, as outlined by Moses.
Jeroboam was put in the position of king by God’s power but he didn’t stay long because he decided to trust in his own methods & efforts rather than trusting in God. In my thinking, there’s no staying power of any lasting value that doesn’t include trusting in our Triune God 🙂
Happy post Thanksgiving! I hope your day went well, with lots of peace, joy and enjoyable food 🙂 A few days ago, I posted about how I don’t really care for cooking turkey because of the litany of failed attempts my family has endured over many years. Well, I’m happy to report that yesterday’s turkey was totally tasty! It wasn’t burned, not too dry, not undercooked nor any of the other ways that I’ve ruined turkeys over many years – yahoo!!!
So here’s some encouragement. Think of something that you’ve been trying to get good at for a long time, then consider a few things:
perhaps the lessons you’ve learned from the failures just helped you to understand better what doesn’t work
be thankful that you don’t have to make the same list of mistakes – you can make new ones
perhaps you next attempt will be the one that brings you success
if you next attempt doesn’t succeed consider that you’re one step further from failure & closer to success 🙂
When I was recently in Angola with Saving Moses I had an experience that has really been haunting me. If I understood the situation correctly, I met a mom who had seemed to give up hope on her baby surviving and I’m deeply affected by this – so much that this experience is really starting to challenge some of my thinking. I think that there are situations where I quit too easily for various reasons (disappointment, discouragement, lack of progress, bad reports, setbacks, etc). Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that I should quit or give up. And even if I’m only making microscopic progress, I’m challenging myself not to quit.
When I was learning to snowboard, one of the super important terms / skills that was essential to master was the concept of linking turns – being able to turn from moving to the right to the left & vice versa – easier said than done. Today, I have no problem linking my turns & it’s close to second nature for me, but not without lots of falling, spills, pain, etc. What I’ve learned from snowboarding is that there can be lots of lessons I can learn from pain. These include:
*get up & keep trying
*transitions require lots of practice to be smooth
*when I get lazy, I tend to fall more
*sometimes I need to give my legs a rest
*remember the lesson but forget the pain 🙂
I’ve read lots of things that encourage us to persevere, don’t quit, endure & keep going. The Bible applauds faithfulness & endurance on multiple occasions. But I think that we have to be careful that we don’t let the “endurance” trait to justify being stubborn & refusing to change.
I want to endure & be faithful to Jesus & Give Him the total freedom to change & shape me to be more & more like Him. For me, it’s cool to be stubborn in keeping my relationship with Jesus vibrant but it’s not ok to be stubborn & refuse to change or grow – that kind of stubborn is brittle & very susceptible to being broken 🙂