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In his book Fuzzy Memories, Jack Handey writes: There used to be this bully who would demand my lunch money every day. Since I was smaller, I would give it to him. Then I decided to fight back. I started taking karate lessons. But then the karate lesson guy said I had to start paying him five dollars a lesson. So I just went back to paying the bully.
Too many people feel it is easier just to pay the bully than it is to learn how to defeat him.
Joan of Arc said, when she was abandoned by those who should have stood by her, “It is better to be alone with God. His friendship will not fail me nor His counsel nor His love. In His strength I will dare and dare and dare until I die.”
Marathon runners often reach the point where they wonder whether they can keep going. They hit the wall. They doubt they can finish the race. Their muscles burn with pain; their strength is gone. They feel defeated.
As we run our Christian lives, we can reach that point too. Faced with our sin, we begin to doubt God’s forgiveness. “Will I really finish the race and receive the prize or are my sins too great?” Faced with the burning pains and troubles of life, we begin to doubt God’s love. “Why doesn’t God take this away from me?” We feel defeated.
At those times when you hit the wall, turn to these words that the Holy Spirit gave the Apostle Paul to write (Romans 8:31-39) and believe that in Christ Jesus, you more than conquer. For in Christ Jesus our Lord 1) no accusation can rob us of his forgiveness, and 2) no force can separate us from his love.
I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.
We know that 80% of the town of Meulaboh in Aceh, Indonesia was destroyed by the Tsunami waves and 80% of the people also died. This is one of the towns that was hit the hardest.
But there is a fantastic testimony from Meulaboh. In that town are about 400 Christians. They wanted to celebrate Christmas on December 25th but were not allowed to do so by the Muslims of Meulaboh. They were told if they wanted to celebrate Christmas they needed to go outside the city of Meulaboh on a high hill and there celebrate Christmas.
Because the Christians desired to celebrate Christmas the 400 believers left the city on December 25th and after they celebrated Christmas they stayed overnight on the hill.
As we all know the morning of December 26 there was the earthquake followed by the Tsunami waves destroying most of the city of Meulaboh and thousands were killed. The 400 believers were on the mountain and were all saved from destruction.
Now the Muslims of Meulaboh are saying that the God of the Christians punished them for forbidding the Christians from celebrating Christmas in the city. Others are questioning why so many Muslims died while not even one of the Christians died there.
Had the Christians insisted on their rights to celebrate Christmas in the city, they would have all died.
Pastor Calvary Life Fellowship in Indonesia.
An elderly Christian lady, who was crippled with arthritis, used to
hobble to the services of the church on crutches. It was a great ordeal and
required of her a considerable amount of toil and pain. A friend of hers observed
her regular and faithful attendance and asked, "How do you manage to be at
every service?" Her answer was, "My heart gets there first, and my old legs
just follow after."
To Think About:
I Refuse to be Discouraged.
I refuse to be discouraged,
To be sad, or to cry;
I refuse to be downhearted,
and here’s the reason why . . .
I have a God who’s mighty,
Who’s sovereign and supreme;
I have a God who loves me,
and I am on His team.
He is all wise and powerful,
Jesus is His name;
Though everything is changeable,
My God remains the same.
My God knows all that’s happening;
Beginning to the end,
His presence is my comfort,
He is my dearest friend.
When sickness comes to weaken me,
To bring my head down low,
I call upon my mighty God;
Into His arms I go.
When circumstances threaten
to rob me from my peace;
He draws me close unto His breast,
Where all my strivings cease.
And when my heart melts within me,
and weakness takes control;
He gathers me into His arms,
He soothes my heart and soul.
The great "I AM" is with me,
My life is in His hand,
The "Son of the Lord" is my hope,
It’s in His strength I stand.
I refuse to be defeated,
My eyes are on my God;
He has promised to be with me,
as through this life I trod.
I’m looking past all my circumstances,
To Heaven’s throne above;
My prayers have reached the heart of God,
I’m resting in His love.
I give God thanks in everything,
My eyes are on His face;
The battle’s His, the victory’s mine;
He’ll help me win the race.
The year was 1980, Bill Brodherst who hadn’t ran in any race since his high school days decided to begin training for a marathon known as the Pepsi Challenge 10k in Omaha Nebraska. Sending in his application, he wasn’t sure they would accept him as a participant, but soon the approval came back and he was a designated part of the running pack. His major reason for wanting to be in this race was that Bill Rodgers, a nationally known runner was also competing in the challenge and Brodherst wanted to be able to tell others that he had run in a race beside the great Bill Rodgers.
The reason that Brodherst had not run in races since his high school days was that he had been cruelly struck down in the prime of his life with an aneurysm that caused doctors to question if he would ever walk, let alone run. But with determination that only a few may ever understand, Mr. Brodherst continually took on the impossible and met the challenge. Eventually he did learn to walk... but always with a need to drag on foot behind him as he progressed. His running was not much different. One foot ahead, drag the other up... one foot ahead, drag the other up.
At the beginning of the race Brodherst joined the other runners and as the gun went off, the hundreds of competitors trotted off and Bill slowly followed. For a while he could still see them in the distance, and then the crowds cheered him on for a while. Eventually, he heard the sounds of their feet... coming back towards him and towards the finish line. Then the crowds gradually disappeared, and Bill Brodherst ran on alone towards the halfway point. When he reached he found that everyone had left, assuming their were no other runners. But Brodherst doggedly half ran, half dragged himself to the marker and placed his hands on it so that there would be no question that he had reached that destination.
Turning and making his way back toward the final marker he found that he was the forgotten man: the police stayed with him for a while but then they had to leave to return to their duties. Children came out to taunt and imitate him as he painfully made his way on. The markers that had laid out the course had been taken down. But Brodherst trudged on to the goal. Finally, it was in sight... although the crowds had disappeared and all that was left was the line that had painted on the street. Bill Brodherst struggled on with no one to watch his victory over his personal ...
When they first manufactured golf balls, they made the covers smooth. Then they discovered that after a ball had been roughed up one could get more distance out of it. So they started manufacturing them with dimpled covers. So it is with life; it takes some rough spots to make us go the farthest.
In the movie, Remember the Titans, the coach pushed the students to the brink of their abilities. Some accused him of trying to ruin them and break their spirits. But by pushing them - he made them stronger. It prepared them for a difficult season of football - and in the end they went undefeated and won the championship. If he hadn’t pushed them, they would not have pushed themselves. A team without discipline ends up weak and soft - unprepared for battle. And so, like a coach that pushes his players - God pushes us for our good. People can blame God for being too extreme all they want. And they will. “God took my son - so I won’t come to church. He told me I was going to hell. I can’t believe in a God that would punish in hell. He told me I couldn’t divorce my lazy husband. I can’t follow a Lord like that. That’s too extreme. ” But the Lord continues to push. Why? Because the stakes with God are not just winning a state championship. An eternity of either bliss or fire is at stake.