Tuesday
Oct132015

INCH BY INCH MAKES IT A SINCH 

A couple of months ago my son challenged me to get in shape.  Now I know it’s the new year and everyone has their “new year resolutions”, but this challenge was made before the holidays, right around the time when all the sweets, parties and good eatin’ was approaching.  He said, “dad, just start doing push-ups, you can do at least five, then add one more a day and pretty soon you’ll be doing twenty.”  Well, that sounded like a challenge I could do, so I did five, and the next day six and today, I did 57  push-ups and 85 sit ups!  Crazy, huh?  But it worked, now  I’m staring down 100 like it’s nothing.

There is a principal in this challenge, which I call “Inch by Inch makes it a sinch, but yard by yard makes it hard.”  Too many times we bite off more than we can chew, so when the predicable failure comes, we feel there is no use trying again because we failed before and nothing has changed.  However, let me encourage you to try again, but this time, take it easy, and then let your small victory encourage you to the next level.  I have learned that it takes “discipline” and “determination” before you will find the “delight” in achieving our goals.

Spiritually, we must be disciplined in our prayer walk.  The bible teaches us that “early in the morning will I rise up a greet thee.”  A good example of this is Daniel, who when held captive had his set prayer times, and he never varied from his schedule.  Nothing came before him and God, not even the lion’s den.

We also must be determined.  We cannot allow distractions or interruptions to stop us from achieving our spiritual goals. Remember, the devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, and the last thing he wants you to do is grow up spiritually.  So when you embark on your new spiritual journey in Christ Jesus, be ready to battle the enemy. Be determined to not allow anything to distract or dissuade you from becoming the man or woman God made you to be.

Finally, always remember that there is “delight” at the end of the day.  You may not feel like doing it.  You may not feel like praying, but when you do, and when you are determined and disciplined in your prayer life, you will find  the “delight” is overwhelming.  You will find that God speaks to you more loudly, more clearly, and more often then ever.  And may I say, that is the joy that is full of glory.

Ok, that’s it for now my friends.  Keep on keeping on, and don’t let the devil steal your joy, because if he can steal your joy he can steal your stuff!

    IN Christ Jesus,

Ed

Monday
Aug312015

CONFESSIONS OF A TELEPHONE OPERATOR

Recently I spoke with a retired telephone operator and asked her what was the craziest request that was asked of her during her 25 year tenure at AT&T, where she worked both domestic and international calls. Well, you can imagine the stories, from the prank calls to requests for information on the red light district.  She spoke of emergency calls from victims of home invasions and domestic violence and the time she helped a caller find a long lost relative.  Yes, her 25+ years of being the “voice” holds a lot of secrets about people and places that, if made public, would cause an awful lot of embarrassment to a lot of people, worldwide!

You can see where this weeks’ Weekly Encouragement is going, can’t you?  Just imagine what our Father in heaven has overheard and witnessed in your life.  Things that, if made public, would cause you to blush in embarrassment and possibly cause a lot of pain to others.  It is for this reason that God forewarns us that “sin may be good for a season”[1] but in the end, it all comes out in the wash.[2] Nothing is hidden from God and unless you have a savior who paid the price for your secret sins, you too will suffer severe consequences.  Remember, sooner or later every knee must bow before Christ Jesus.[3]

This week I encourage you to rest in the assurance that, once you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal lord and savior, your sins are forever forgiven and thrown in the sea of forgetfulness and as far as the east is from the west.[4]  You have been eternally forgiven and the “voice” ain’t got nutin' on you.  This assurance is something that many of us forget as we wrestle with daily living.  So when you are confronted with doubt or you feel week in your faith, know this:  God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that  whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.[5]

Have a great week and don’t forget, to ask for directory assistance from Jesus when you’re in a pinch.


[1] Hebrews 11:25

[2] Luke 8:17

[3] Philippians 2:10

[4] Micah 7:19; Psalm 103:12

[5] John 3:16

Monday
Aug242015

A SHOVEL FULL OF DIRT

Recently I attended a ground breaking ceremony for a large commercial building, where the bank, the contractor, the city councilman and the owner each had a gold-painted shovel and, dressed in a suit and tie, they posed with their shovels and a shovel full of dirt.  Yes, it was a good day, as it represented the end of all the negotiations to get the project approved, the bank loan funded and the land purchased.  It also represented the beginning of the construction, which had been a long time in the making.  But nothing else happened that day and, after the pictures were taken, everyone left leaving the vacant lot in the same condition it was before the ground-breaking ceremony, except of course where each of the dignitaries had turned the soil with their gold-painted shovels.

Ah, but that was months ago!  Today, when you visit the site, there is a nine-story hotel under construction and soon, the hotel will be fully operational with all the amenities, including valet parking, bell hops, two swimming pools, a restaurant and much, much, more.  But you would have never known that at the ground-breaking ceremony, unless of course you had read the plans. 

So it is with our own personal lives.  We may have grandiose plans, goals and aspirations for which we have hoped and prayed for years.  Some of us may have given it our all and sacrificed beyond measure to keep the dream alive, but there is little evidence of anything happening, except a small shovel full of dirt that is so insignificant that we have lost all hope.  To us, it’s the same ole’ same ole’ and our faith has wavered to the point of exasperation.

If this is you, I want to encourage you today.  Don’t laugh at small beginnings[1].   For what seems small today is the beginning of something big tomorrow.   Just like an apple seed, if properly planted, fertilized and cared for, it can become not just an apple tree, but an apple orchard!   This; however, requires you to change your perspective and not look at what is not happening, but rather look for the evidence of what is happening.  God’s ways are not our ways, and He promises that “every ravine will be filled.  Every mountain and hill will be brought low; the crooked will become straight, and the rough roads smooth!”[2]

What seems like an insignificant shovel full of dirt today, may be the beginning of your dream being realized tomorrow.   Don’t give up.  Stand firm in the knowledge that our wonderful Father will deliver that which He has promised, because his promises are “yes and amen.”[3]  If your faith is wavering, look to Jesus, he has a gold-plated shovel for you to begin your digging, after all there is no shortage of gold in heaven because even the streets are paved with that stuff!

 


[1] Zachariah 4:10

[2] Luke 3:5

[3] 2 Corinthians 1:20

Monday
Aug172015

THE MILKMAN

Our bodies are engaged in a continuous war against the toxins in our blood, which if not removed, can kill us. To combat the poisons in our blood we have a complex immune system, called the Lymphatic System, which is made up of more than 100 lymph nodes and 60,000 miles of lymph vessels. Together they work to filter our blood, remove the bad stuff and return the refreshed blood back to our blood stream. It’s this cleaned, washed and purified blood that allows our bodies to fight off infectious diseases. Our lymphatic system is like the Milkman, who delivers fresh milk to our doorstep and takes back the old empty bottles.

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Tuesday
Aug112015

TWO LESS ARROWS

We all know that the only thing constant in our lives is change. It may be hard to measure change from day to day, but when we recalibrate our perspective and look back from where we have come, we can see the hand of Almighty God and his protection and provision. But some of us are so fixated on the present that we have lost focus of the future. We are so consumed with today that we don’t see a way out of a problem or situation. We are consumed with the pressure of today that we forget that tomorrow is a new day, with new opportunities and challenges. But, things will change, and if we just give it a chance we can look back and say “What a difference a day makes.” Nevertheless, the reality of life is that we live from day to day, and for that reason I want to encourage you take three practical steps that will help ease your stress and give you better insight on how to press on in the face of what seems like unbearable pressure.

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