Illustration results for commitment
In the recent Summer Games (2012), Kim Rhode won the gold medal in skeet shooting making her the first American to win 5 olympic medals in 5 consecutive olympic games. Thatís a span of 20 years and not her only distinction. In the 2012 games, she hit 99 out of 100 skeet setting a new Olympic record and tying the world record for the event. Also, her first medal was in the 1996 Summer Games making her the youngest female gold medalist in Olympic shooting. How does one so distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowd?
In an interview with the New York Times, Rhode firmly answers the question of how. She shoots anywhere from 500 to 1,000 rounds every day of the week year around. To save you the math, this is 3,000,000 plus shots with a shotgun. Thatís 600,000 rounds per medal. When you step back and look at that number, the medals and accomplishments really are not that surprising.
It would be interesting to know how much other Olympian medalists have invested in their training? How many calories have they burned? How much money have they spent? How many other things have they rejected so that it would not interfere with their training? Of course, there is the occasional rare, natural talent, but I imagine, in most cases, if these numbers were lined up, the favorites will have distinguished themselves well before the race ever began.
In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul indicates that life is a race and its a race that we are all entered in so we might as well compete. We can choose to sit the race out but it is to our own demise. Our entry fees are paid, the starter has fired the gun, and our finish will still be recorded. Only those that complete the race get to advance to the next event.
Run to win. Run to finish first. At the very least run it in such a noble, honorable, and faithful manner that you are allowed to finish. Compete so that even if you do not win all of life, you will not be ashamed of how well you finished. And remember, the race isnít won on the track, its won in the training and preparation.
There are roughly 775,000 words in the Bible. If we read one word ever day for every round Kim Rhode practices, we would complete the Bible every few years. These days, a person that has read through it completely just once has already distinguished themselves from the pack. How much more dominant would we be if we had read through it 5 times or a dozen times?
Back in 1870ís there was one
divorce for every 34 marriages. By 1900, one in five marriages ended in divorce. Today, one out of every two marriages ends in divorce.
Something is radically wrong with homes today. The family is under fire and home life is disintegrating. Year by year the stress put on marriages grows greater. In 1870 there was one divorce for every 34 marriages. By 1900 it was one in five, and by 1950 it was one in three. In the past few years there has been virtually one divorce for every two marriages.
Barna research shows:
That divorce in the church is just as commonas outside the church. In the church 33%, outside the church 34%.
Also, the south is second in the nation in divorce. The south has a divorce rate of 35%, just behind the west (38%), and leading the Midwest (32%) and Northeast (28%).
Another striking percentage for us as Baptists is that we lead the nationís major denominations in divorce rates at 29%. Protestant churches overall is at 25%.
The divorce rate amongst the generations is also a bit of surprise:
Seniors (73+) = 18%
Builders (53-72) = 37%
Boomers = 34%
Busters = 7% (Most of these are not old enough to
What does this say about marriage in America? Is it old fashioned. One scholar said that long term marriage commitment isnít good for mode...
For many, marriage vows are unimportant. A study cited in a recent edition of Time Magazine indicates that cohabitation before marriage is on the rise, up from 10% in 1960 to 50% 1998.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 73% of Americans, under age 45, believe that life spent with the same partner is both unusual and unnecessary.
Christians do get divorced. Some for Biblical reasons. According to researcher George Barna, the ratio of Christians who have been divorced is higher than the percentage of non-Christians. In his sample of almost 4000 adults, Christians led non-Christians in divorce by a margin of 3 percentage points, 27% to 24%. -REV Magazine, May-June, 2000
Perhaps the number of non-Christians that live together, without the benefit of marriage, and the number of Christians that find their faith after divorce should be taken into account before we jump to any conclusions about this data. My point in citing it is just to say that it is unrealistic to believe you are immune from marriage problems just because you are a Christian.
Recently, a survey was made of 200 married adults in regards to forgiveness (1). The researchers were wondering how oneís ability to forgive others would affect their marital satisfaction and personal well-being. The results were astounding! This research suggests that there is a huge relationship between marriage satisfaction and forgiveness. In fact, it appears that as much as one third of marriage satisfaction is related to forgiveness. Not only does the ability to forgive impact the marriage relationship, it was significantly related to personal emotional distress. As forgiveness ability went up, individuals reported fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety, and fatigue! These results...
D. Greg Ebie
∑ The Bible tells us that where your treasure is, there your heart is also. That means we could accurately say that many folks are more committed to professional sports than they are to the church. In 1993 the total attendance at worship services in the U.S. was 5.6 billion, while the total attendance at U.S. professional baseball, football, and basketball games combined was only 103 million (less than 2 percent of the worship attendance, or for every 100 people who attended church less than 2 were at a sporting event.)
∑ Now the rest of the story: Contributions to churches for the year totaled $56.7 billion (thatís just over $10 per person), but the amount spent on professional baseball, football, and basketball totaled $4 billion (thatís nearly $40 per person or almost 4 times what people gave to their local church per person). Is it any wonder that we look at some fans and say that they really are fanatics? They are more sold out for their team than many church attenders. HOW MIGHT WE CHANGE OUR NATION IF THE CHURCH QUADRUPLED ITS COMMITMENT TO OUR CAUSE? (Statistics reported in Citation: National & International Religion Report, 5/2/94. "To Verify," Leadership.)
55% of Americans believe it is a sin to engage in homosexual behavior, among those who have a high level of religious commitment itís 76%. (Foster Letter 11/25/03)