Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. Time will pass anyway. Earl Nightengale

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A few years ago (okay, more than a few) as I was talking to coworkers and friends while I was starting on college classes in order to obtain my bachelors degree and go to medical school I heard more times than I can remember, “That will take at least 8 years. Do you know how old you will be in 8 years if you go to medical school?” Well, my response was, “The same age I will be in 8 years if I don’t go to school.” There were some who were very supportive, but others that were not supportive, maybe due to concern for me or out of jealousy, that I don’t know. But, there were some who did try to discouraging me from pursuing my education.

While it is true that it would (did) take 8 years to get my bachelor’s degree and finish medical school and yes, that is a long time, it is also true that had I not done it I would have had frustration with myself when that 8 years was up if I didn’t put the effort into it. Now, 20 years after graduating medical school the time and effort was worth it.

How many times have I, or others, NOT done things because it would take too much time, it will be a week, a month, a year, several years……but then complained, at least to themselves for not doing it. There are a lot of things that take time but if one has a dream, giving up on a dream because of the effort and time required only causes frustration in the long run. And, if the dream remains, it only delays what one needs to do to achieve that goal. And, my life has shown me that the really good things do not come easily and require a lot more effort while those things that come easily, are rarely as good as the things one works harder to obtain. I know personally, I don’t appreciate what comes to me easily, but if it is something that requires effort, I value it much more.

And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.   2 Samuel 24:24

Sometimes, God puts a dream or vision in our minds to do something and sometimes that thing will require a lot of dedication and hard work. Some will start down a path then give up soon after starting, not wanting to devote the time required because it will take too long. Others will start and part way through, sometimes very near the finish line, they give up not willing to put forth anymore effort. God uses goals and dreams to test our determination. Sadly, some fail the test.

1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2

He wants us to remain steadfast and true, as dedicated to Him as He is to us. He wants us to strive to win and once we have our sights on something He does not want us to surrender and quit and that we fight for what we believe Christ has instructed us to do.

24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

God puts dreams, wishes and aspirations into our hearts and minds so that we can accomplish things for His glory. He does so to test our faith, to help us become stronger in that faith and trust in Him to see us through all He set before us. He doesn’t want us to give up on something because it isn’t easy. He wants us to learn the value of working hard, for Him, for ourselves and for others. He tries to teach us patience by making some things more difficult and making us wait. All those things help us become better Christians and better servants for Jesus. He wants us to lean on Him when things appear too difficult for us, when it appears that things are not possible due to the effort and time it will take and when we feel weak. Christ will strengthen us, all we need to do is seek Him and ask for His help.

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.   Mark 10:27

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Philippians 4:13

Lord, I thank You for helping me stay the course to reach the goals You put in my heart in the past and for helping me see the finish line and purpose for running various races in my life. I praise You for teaching me patience and dedication. I thank You for showing me other goals to help me be a better person and better Christian and servant. I pray You use my efforts to better glorify Jesus and the sacrifice He made for my forgiveness. That You keep me strong as I follow You and help me to become worthy of all You have done for me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help others see that regardless of the difficulty we see, all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us. That You will give us the strength and dedication to finish that which you put before us and keep us in Your arms to make all things possible. Help us all see the true plan You have for us.

Amen

 

Thank to all for your time today. I hope You have a great day and that you are able to be a blessing to someone else.

 

 

The Chicken and the Pig.

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A pig and a chicken were walking down the road. As they passed a church, they notice that a potluck charity breakfast was under way. Caught up in the spirit, the pig suggested to the chicken that they each make a contribution.
“Great Idea!” the chicken cried. “Let’s offer them ham and eggs!”
“Not so fast.” said the pig. “For you, that’s just a little sacrifice, but for me, it’s a total commitment.”

I was thinking about times when someone has brought up possible sacrifices. One person wants to make a donation, and they give whatever, then they try to convince someone else to contribute as well, but the one making a small sacrifice suggests the contribution by the other, which is far more than a little donation, but instead requires total commitment of everything. Now, it is not wrong to donate to various causes, churches for example and in fact, that is a good thing indeed. But, when one person is only willing to give a little, but not only suggests that another not only give a little, but to give all they have to the cause while they are only willing to give up a little, it is a completely different matter.

In this little story, the chicken wants to give a little and then can walk away feeling good that they added a bit to the feast. I wonder why, if the chicken thought it was such a marvelous idea, that the chicken didn’t instead say maybe we should contribute and then say, “you give the ham for breakfast and I will give so they can have fried chicken for lunch.” The idea that one is willing to sacrifice just a small amount without making a total commitment, all the while expecting the other to give up everything seems more than a little shallow, selfish, inconsiderate and, well, for lack of a better way to say it, pretty much double standards.

13 Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small.
14 Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small.
15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Deuteronomy 25:13-15

He doesn’t want us to hold others to different standards than to which we hold ourselves. Nor does He want us to hold different people to different standards. We should not expect more of others than we do of ourselves. I am not saying that all should, or even can, give equally. There are a lot of factors that can enter into that: how much one makes, living expenses, other financial obligations. But, this goes beyond that, how many times has someone said they wanted to get together and then consistently go on to specify exactly when and where they want to go somewhere with you? And, if you make other suggestions they quickly complain, say that is something they don’t want to do, not a restaurant they like, etc. Once again, expecting one person to give completely while not being willing to compromise themselves. I have seen it a lot, had it happen a lot and probably been guilty to an extent of the same. Not all can give equally, but the amount given is not what God is concerned about. He is concerned with the attitude we give and with the extent we give within our means.

1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

Luke 21:1-4

We all know someone that seems that person is not as loving or compassionate towards others as Christ has told us to be to one another. They are the one person encouraging others to give and keep giving constantly and while only making token sacrifices all the while pushing the other to totally commit. I have to say, the way I understand it is that what we give, how much, to which church or charity is all between the individual and Christ. For this reason or that one feels more compelled by the Spirit to give more to one cause over another. Whether the gift/donation be cash, donations of food, or donations of time and labor. It should be a personal choice based on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and not someone pushing another to donate.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

And, one should donate in a way that doesn’t bring attention to themselves. It should be between the person and God, if they do it for attention, then it is not about God, but self.

1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:1-4

As far as donating a little or making a full and total commitment, well, we should all make a total commitment to Jesus. Not always easy for humans, because well, lets face it: it is hard, as a human, to truly and completely let go and let God have complete control. I try, and I think I do well in that aspect of my spiritual life: better then some, not as good as others. But, I am trying to get better with that part (okay, okay and pretty much all aspects of my spiritual walk with Christ as I have a long way to go in a lot of areas.) But, as much as financial and other gifts to churches are important; far more important is our gift to God of our love, worship and service as well as our love and kindness to others.

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Matthew 22:37

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for teaching me so much. I pray that I learn better how to give as You would have me to give but more importantly that I remember to not only give of what I have, but give myself to You. Totally and completely and without anything or part held back. I ask You to help me and others to know Your blessings and Your love. I ask in Jesus name that I and all my loved ones know how to, and strive to, give You are all and serve You totally and completely. Show us all how to give ourselves for Your glory and that we learn to not try to glorify ourselves. Teach us how to be humble for You and before You.

Amen

 

Thanks so very much for your time. I hope all have a blessed day and weekend and that you have a chance to be a blessing to others in the process.