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THE IMPORTANCE OF FOCUS
When the Alaskan Pipeline was being built, there were many Texans who went to Alaska and found work on the pipeline. The Texans could only work a few hours in the frigid weather, yet the Eskimos, the native Alaskans, could work indefinitely in the cold.
They decided to do a study to find out why the Eskimos could withstand the weather. After much study they found that there were no physiological differences between the Eskimos and the Texans. There was nothing in skin thickness, blood, or any other thing physically that would explain the differences in the ability to withstand the temperatures. The solution came when they did a psychological study. The difference was the Eskimo said, "He knows it was cold but there was a job to be done." In other words, his focus was on the job and obtaining results rather than on the weather. The Texan focused on the weather and this kept him from focusing on the job at hand. (Taken from the Movie 5th Quarter).
You and I will focus on one of two things this week. We will either focus on how bad things are, the trials, and temptations or we will focus on Christ and His Word. Godly faith can help us to face and overcome the world we live. Whatever our troubles are: with family, loneliness, things that seem impossible, dealing with death, sin or whatever it is.
In 1 John 4:18, we are assured that Love defeats fear. That’s good news. But be careful not to read that God’s Love, and God’s Love alone drives out fear. It can. It does. However, some things are very difficult to fight alone. Go back and read verse 12 of Chapter 4 as well. There we are informed that God’s love is most complete and most powerful when it has a conductor to flow through.
We’ve all had moments of pain and fear. How easy is it to see God’s love for you while you are deeply afraid, deeply depressed or in great pain? It is there and in abundance for anyone looking for it but it takes tremendous effort to maintain focus on it. We catch a glimpse and are assured and but then another wave of misery robs us of the thought.
Now, what about when people come in the name of Christ to comfort and minister to you? God’s love is easier to see and easier to focus on. Even if you do get swept away for a moment, your ministering angels are steady reminders when your focus returns. Its much easier to drive out pain and fear when 2 or more gather to live out God’s command to, "love one another."
Anyone’s love, when expressed, has power and is even amplified!
I live in the country where we have an abundance of deer. I have an electric fence around my garden that I have a long love/hate relationship with. I keep getting into “mishaps” with it, usually humorous but not until at least a half hour after the “mishap”. This is not a fence for tourists. This was given to me by a rancher and is rated for horse and cattle so it really really packs a wallop when there is a “mishap”. This fence is also battery powered.
Once when I was without battery but was not yet ready to turn the garden into an “all you can eat” buffet I pulled my truck up to connect the fence to its battery. As is the norm for me, I later went out to get something out of the truck and didn’t close the door well enough to turn the interior lights off. Yep. Next morning, truck is dead.
I got the battery charger and connected it to my battery but left the fence connected as well. Do you know, the charger was able to fill up my truck battery and run the fence at the same time? Well duh, you are saying. Of course it did, they are both connected to the same source of power.....!!!!!!!
God’s Love is made complete when you connect that circuit. Expressing Love is just as healing and revealing as receiving Love. When you choose service, you complete the circuit and God’s love then flows through you, a present, tangible, and verifiable witness of the one from whom all blessings flow. But then, by definition, God’s love is filling you as well. You are needed in the equation whether its family, friends, or a beggar on the street but ALSO REMEMBER you need the charging as much as they need the boost. Service is as much for your own sake as theirs...
A man, paralyzed by many anxieties and worries and unable to sleep at night, was so tired in mind and body that he was ready for anything. When he was at the last gasp, he met a Christian friend who told him that if he would only pray about it all, he would find some relief.
That night he prayed for the first time for years. He told God everything about himself. And while he was praying he fell asleep. When he woke up hours later he knew he had found his cure. He told his doctor: "I just tell Jesus about my worries. I turn them all over to Him." The doctor replied, "If all my nerve patients would only to that, I should be a poorer man."
SOURCE: Rev. F. H. Pickering
A STINGING BLOW FOR GOOD
Always remember that God knows what he is doing with us, even if we don’t know.
Many years ago there was found in an African mine the most magnificent diamond in the world’s history. It was presented to the King of England to wear in his crown. The king sent it to Amsterdam to be cut. It was put into the hands of an expert lapidary, who eventually cut a notch in it and struck a hard blow, splitting it in two. That blow had been planned for weeks; drawings and models had been made of the gem. Its quality, its defects, its lines of cleavage had all been studied with minutest care. When that blow was struck, the lapidary had done the one thing which could bring that gem to its most perfect shapeliness, radiance, and jeweled splen...
EVEN LOST BOYS OVERCOME
Between 1983 and 2003, so many Christians were killed in the Sudanese Civil War that a whole community of orphaned children arose who have become known as the Lost Boys of Sudan. Lopez Lomong was one of those boys. At six years old, he was kidnapped from his parents at gunpoint while attending church. He was to be trained as a soldier and lived in a prison for three weeks, eating a mixture of sorghum and sand.
He escaped with three teenage boys and trekked three days to the Kenya border. His friends were sent to the Sudanese officials because of their age, but Lopez was taken to Kaluma Refugee Camp where he lived ten years. He learned to write using his finger in the desert sand and daily ran the 30 Kilometer perimeter of the camp.
After writing an essay, he was chosen as one of 3,500 Lost Boys to come to the US, where he was adopted by Robert and Barbara Rogers from Tully, New York. A whole new education began: how to flush a toilet, the difference between the two knobs in the shower, how to turn off the light so he could sleep in the dark.
Rogers struggled against many difficulties to run 1,500 meters in Bejing. David too struggled. His solution is in asking God for light: encouragement for his heart, physical healing, or wisdom for decision making.
Joni Eareckson Tada
In 1967, a diving accident left Joni Eareckson Tada paralyzed from the neck down. She has had no feeling or movement in her arms or legs. She uses her mouth to paint and write.
God used her greatly. She has been a great witness for God and an encouragement to many. She has written many books, the first one was her autobiography "Joni." She has visited 35 countries sharing the Gospel. A movie about her life has been translated into 15 languages.
In fact, it is very likely that God has graciously used Joni far more as a paralyzed woman than if she had never had the accident. God turned her mourning into joy. She has not chosen to serve God in a wheelchair, but God blessed her, and used her to bless many others.
The great blind hymn-writer Fanny Crosby wrote over 8000 hymns. The doctor made a mistake while she was just 6 weeks old, and resulted in her blindness. But she came to put her trust in Christ and wrote the hymns we still sing: I Am Thine, O Lord; Jesus Is Tenderly Calling; To God Be the Glory; Blessed Assurance.
She has not chosen to live in total darkness, but her condition made her more sensitive to things around and that enabled her to write many beautiful hymns. She has not chosen to serve God with blindness, but God blessed her, and used her to bless many others.
THE INSURANCE CLAIM LETTER
I was recently moving 500 pounds of bricks from the top of a five-story building. It would take too long to carry them down, so I put them in a bucket and lowered them by a pulley which I fastened to the top of the building. After tying the rope securely at the ground level, I returned to the top of the building, tied the other end to the barrel, loaded it with bricks and swung it over the side of the building for the descent. Then I returned to the sidewalk and untied the rope, holding it securely to guide the barrel down slowly.
Since the bucket weighed 500 pounds and I weigh only 150 pounds (before the accident}, the force of the descending bricks jerked me into the air so quickly that I did not have time to think about letting go. As I passed between the second and third floors I met the barrel coming down. This accounts for the bruises and lacerations on my upper body.
Still, I held tightly to the rope until I reached the top where my hand became jammed into the pulley, this accounts for the broken fingers. At the same time, however, the barrel crashed into the sidewalk and the bottom broke out. With the weight of the bricks now gone, the barrel weighed only forty pounds. Thus, my 150 pound body began a swift d...
DR RANDALL DEAL SR
Only people I am aware of who don’t have troubles are gathered in little neighborhoods. Most communities have at least one. We call them…cemeteries!
AN AFFLICTED LIFE CAN SAVE
Or consider the young lady suffering with terminal cancer. It’s a painful and hopeless disease. But instead of complaints and self-pity, she openly talked about her hope of eternal life in Jesus, about the inheritance in heaven Jesus won for her by dying on the cross, about Jesus conquering death by rising from the dead. Her faith shined through in the kindness she showed to others despite her suffering. How her testimony reached people that would have never entered a church! How carefully people listened in ways they seldom do to a sermon! They saw that this was real for her. She was facing imminent death, yet had hope in Jesus. God’s power and grace shines out through our weakness. For Christ’s power dwells on the weak.