Waiting for the trophy.

 

220px-Trophées_des_Coupes_d'Algérie_1963_et_1964

Well, deer season in one state I hunt came and went. I saw some deer but didn’t shoot any as I kind of wanted one with big fancy antlers. Now I have no issue hunting for food and have in the past harvested does or smaller bucks. I like the taste of venison but am also at a place that I don’t HAVE to have it so if I don’t get a deer I really don’t worry about it. I enjoy just getting out in the woods so enjoy the time in nature. I hunt with an army buddy with whom I stood side by side during some pretty terrifying moments. We, and others we were deployed with, watched out for, took care of, one another. We had trucks blown out from under us and have been in multiple gun fights together. He is more a brother to me than any of my own kin. We talk some, about families, jobs, plans for future and such. Rarely about Iraq and if conversation goes there it’s never about the battles but about stupid situations that were funny.  And, just being able to spend time together doing something is good. We talk about church, his and mine, and how God did more for us than we deserve.

But, I digress yet again. While we were hunting, we texted checking to see if the other was seeing any deer. I saw several, mostly does, but he saw none. Now, he was hunting for meat and would have taken one while I was, as I mentioned, wanted some venison but also wanted a deer with nice antlers. I thought about others I had hunted with in the past who talked big talk about how they were going to bag a huge trophy buck and they would never shoot a doe. Yet as soon as they saw a deer, they shot it. While there is nothing at all wrong with that, they started complaining about using their deer tag on a doe. They got in a hurry and shot the first deer that came along. I remember one hunt, the guy had been scouting before season and there were some really large bucks in the area. He had one in particular he wanted to get. First day, he saw it, had it in his sights except the deer was inside the woods a little bit and he did not have a clear shot. He watched it as it moved around, but did not come out to where he could have a good shot. For 15 or 20 minutes he watched it, then another buck, much smaller, with very small antlers stepped out not too far away so he quickly took aim at got that one. Well, sometimes animals do strange things and as soon as he fired the other deer stepped into the open. I already had a deer but had hung out with him some. We go to the deer so he can clean it and all he did was complain, talked about how he made a mistake by not waiting for the one he really wanted. He could see it, but was not patient enough or willing to wait any longer, he was getting cold and decided rather than take a chance on not getting a deer at all he would take the easy way instead of trying harder to get the one he wanted. He had planned and worked hard to almost get what he wanted, but did not have the dedication to see it through. He seemed almost embarrassed about the one he got, knowing he had blown the chance, at least for that season. Would the chance come again the next season? I never found out as we never hunted together again after that year.

But, how many times do we all do that sort of thing? We plan, hope, dream of something, then after long effort stop short of obtaining what we want. I remember a couple people in my medical school class that had spent years getting into medical school; they studied hard in high school and college; they spent hours and hours preparing for the admission test; they applied to and were interviewed at multiple schools. Then, one towards the end of the second year dropped out. It wasn’t the grades, they were getting good grades, it wasn’t health or family issues, they just finally realized that it would be two more years before graduation and then 3 or more years of residency before they were a practicing physician and they didn’t want to wait that long, plus they had an offer for a job with a pharmaceutical company with good pay, not nearly what they would get as a physician, but better than average. They decided to go the easy route, forgetting all the effort they put into obtaining their dream. The other dropped out after the end of the third year. He didn’t like the long hours in hospitals and clinics, with the additional hours of studying afterwards. He had spent 10 years certain he knew what he wanted, he still said that was what he wanted, but he just did not want to put quite enough effort into fulfilling his dream. So, he found a job that he thought paid enough and quit.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

 

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

People work hard, strive for something, dedicate hours, months or years to achieve something and when it is in sight but still not quite obtained, they give up, they take less than they not only want, but have almost obtained. Leaving themselves in a spot where they still have to, one way or another, pay for what they wanted but even though they had the opportunity to obtain their dream, their goal, get their trophy, they gave up on themselves and their dreams. It’s sad to see that happen, regardless of if it is a dream for their lives, trophy deer, maybe it’s something else, but when one dedicates time and effort to something, yet are not willing to see it through, it makes me think of how many times Christians turn their back on God because they are not patient, because they feel they have put all the effort into something for God that they can and are not willing to work harder or longer. Yet, they were, for all intents and purposes, steps away from the blessings God had in store for them. Maybe they don’t turn their backs on God, but instead of achieving all they could, for themselves and for God, they quit doing as much.

But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.   James 1:4

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.  James 5:11

I suppose to me it means that one should know what they want, and if they made a decision to work for it, they should stay the course. Oh, there may be extenuating circumstances, but tossing aside one goal for another, over and over, as the one guy did, saying he was after a trophy buck and would never settle for less, yet every time he would shoot the first deer that came along and later complain about it. When you set your goals, work hard to reach them and He will reward us. Just because one faces hardship at times, does not mean something can’t be done. Nothing that is of high value and precious is easy. A Christian walk is not always easy but it’s not difficult, it takes dedication, faith, sacrifice but oh, the rewards are valuable beyond anything.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.   James 1:6

A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.  James 1:8

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

1 Peter 4:12-13

 

God inspires us to strive for things to make ourselves better people, better providers for our families, better Christians and servants for Him. He doesn’t promise all things will be easy, but that if one loves God and remains dedicated that He will deliver. He tests our patience and dedication to achieving goals and to serving Him. He knows that if we give up on a challenging task because it will take more patience, more waiting, that we will give up on Christ in some manner.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and am amazed at how You teach me things, how You never forgot me regardless of how far I wandered from the path You had set for me. I thank You for seeing better in me and for drawing me back to You. I thank You for the struggles and hardships I have endured over the years that taught me patience, endurance and dedication. I ask in the name of Jesus that You continue to help me remain dedicated to things I feel lead of You to strive for and in my Christian walk. Help us all know the true prize that awaits us and to help us reach the fullness of Your will and grace. Show us all the walk You plan for us and how we must remain steadfast in our efforts and not decide to fall short and accept less than You plan for us. Remind us that the prize is worth the struggles and that eternity with You is reward far greater than we will ever see on earth. I pray that You work in hearts and minds of loved ones to draw them to You and help them seek the salvation You have ready for them.

Amen

 

Thank you all for the time you took to read my thoughts. I hope that things make sense to others and that He uses me to bless someone else. Remember, try to be a blessing to at least one other person today.

 

 

 

 

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.

The shack

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I have to drive about 40 miles to work and today I was on the interstate and decided to take the old highway instead. I turned off, driving along this small, 2 lane road. Peaceful, not much traffic at all, some gentle rolling hills and occasional curves. It was just nice. As I drove, I looked over to the fields and saw an old shack, kinda falling down, but not, busted windows, roof in bad repair. It made me think of an article I read a while back where a man had seen a similar house that was maybe 100 years old. He saw it, thought about how overall, the main structure seemed solid, it just needed some repairs, some TLC. He decided to see if he could find the landowner and see if he could buy the house, maybe a couple acres and restore it. After knocking on a few doors he found the right place and talked to the owner. The owner had been planning on tearing it down as he considered it an eyesore and unsalvageable. The man told him he thought he could fix it, would he consider selling the house and a little land? The owner said he would think about it and get back to him. The guy left his number, and went on his way.

After a couple weeks, he was still waiting, trying to decide if he should call the guy or not. He didn’t want to be a best, but he really wanted to do something with it. Well, he ended up deciding to wait. A few days later the landowner called him and said he had decided he could sell him the house and maybe 4 or 5 acres. Since the house wasn’t worth anything, he told the man just the price of the land, told him how much and they agreed on a price. The guy was ecstatic. He gets his financial things taken care of and they do the paperwork. The man went out to do a full assessment, see what was good, what wasn’t and get a better idea on how to approach it. He found that the true structure of the house was solid. Foundation needed minimal repairs, but was sound. The walls and floors, good strong wood. The actual structure, the core was solid. He got his plan figured out and started. As he worked on it over a couple years, a few hours one day, weekends, and such. The neighbors would drive by and look to see what was happening, curious about the progress. Some of them thought he was doing a great thing. They, like he, saw the possibilities. Others, well, they thought he was an idiot and that the place would be a huge money pit, requiring far more than it would ever be worth and should have been demolished. Some of each group, the supporters and detractors, would stop and visit with him at times, telling him he was doing great things, or that he was crazy. He took the encouragement to heart and kept going while ignoring the naysayers. Time went on, due to time available he had to work on it in his spare time. But, he persisted with his efforts. He didn’t give up. The place had never had plumbing or electricity, so he had to plumb it and convert part of one room into a bathroom. Next was water and septic system. After that, the electricity. He overcame those obstacles. He persisted with the other areas that needed fixed, never giving up, never losing faith. Bit by bit he addressed problems, repairing some areas, replacing things that needed replaced. He had repaired or replaced the siding as needed, insulated the house, doing the interior work but not bothering to paint it yet. On the outside, it didn’t look much different. But, on the inside, it was taking shape, becoming a house instead of a ruins. The encouragers continued to try to build him up. Some remembered what the house was like years ago, and would love to see it back in that shape. The naysayers, the also continued to criticize him and talk about what a fool he was to be putting so much effort into such a structure.  Yet, he persisted in his efforts. He would occasionally give tours to the encouragers. They would walk around and were amazed. But, he chose to not do so with the detractors, believing they would just find more fault and he did not want to deal with the negative people.

As time went on, some of those that supported his efforts would talk to others. The detractors were listening, they heard a lot of praise for the work he was doing on the old structure. Some started to wonder if they had been wrong. Maybe they should reconsider and then tried looking at it again, see if they could see the good. They softened their hearts, decided to be willing to at least give him a chance. As they looked with a different attitude, they started to realize that they were mistaken initially. He was really getting it done, he was making this old dilapidated shack into a house. More and more of the doubters were slowly starting to see it differently. But, there were some that had made up their minds and there was no way this man could ever make anything out of that pile of junk. Nothing would change their minds.

Eventually, after 2 or 3 years, he finally finished it. The last step was painting the exterior and landscaping the yard. The change was phenomenal. It looked amazing. He decided to have a cook out/open house and invited anyone that wanted to come. Tons of folks turned out to see. Some were curious as they had heard, some were those who would drive by to watch the progress and a few were those that from the start until the finish had criticized him and his efforts. As the day progressed, people were amazed, he had found period correct furniture, used old or reproduction fixtures that looked right for the age of the house, paint, wall paper and wood work was done as it would have been back when the house was built. He received a lot of kind words, congratulations and reinforcement that his efforts were worthwhile. Although, while much fewer of the detractors existed as most had been swayed, there were some that refused to consider the project successful. No matter how good the house looked, no matter how the majority considered it a massive success, these naysayers persisted in their criticism. They found very slight faults, maybe in a couple places the wood trim was slightly off in the placement, just a little crooked, or there were places that he used the wrong color paint, the lighting wasn’t what they would have used, and the list went on. Those that saw the house as a hopeless project that were unwilling to re-evaluate as things progressed. They had closed minds, and refused to open themselves to possibilities. Those people, regardless of what anyone else had to say, left just as negative as they were when it all started.

People are that way at times. A person tries to change, does change, but sometimes, progress can be slow and not easily noticed. Perhaps they can’t see, because they refuse to look, at the inside. Maybe the outside looks the same, but the interior is oh, so much improved. Work is till going on, but the improvements that have actually taken place are great. The Master Carpenter, Jesus, is working on them. Started with small things, working diligently to get things addressed, repairing areas as the project continues. And, then finally, the time is right and people finally see the change. Some had seen change all along, little things, slow improvements. Language and vocabulary is better. Interactions with others markedly improved, they spend time praying and studying scripture, the pain they had felt is replaced with joy. Mostly internal changes, but still the impact of the changes can be seen, if one looks. People will notice as God works on a person. Some notice immediately, others gradually notice improvement and slowly they realize the real changes that have occurred. Sadly, there are always some that refuse to see any change, saying things to try to criticize the person, regardless of the obvious improvements.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Romans 5:8-13

 

All have sinned, yet some purported Christians seem to feel that they have a monopoly on redemption and salvation. They think that they are worthy to be saved, and others are not. They attack those that they doubt. Maybe thinking that person was such a mess, such a horrid person (possibly true, maybe only partially true) that there is no way they can ever do any right or be redeemed. Christ does not care what we did, who we were, He will redeem all those that acknowledge Him as the Son of God, confess our sins, and that He sacrificed Himself for all sinners. If one does, and then strives to become a faithful servant. Jesus will provide what He seeks.

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Titus 2:11-15

Christ will, and does, redeem all that seek redemption. The critical people, the naysayers, may continue with their harsh words. But that does not change that our Jesus does miraculous things. I have criticized, I have been criticized. When I did, I was wrong. I have talked about this with the Lord and He has forgiven me. He has done much in my life and there is certainly a lot more to do. But, He doesn’t give up on me. Some people may, some days, I may want to give up on myself, but if I talk to God on those days, He strengthens my resolve to persist in my efforts. He is such a magnificent Lord.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 1:14-17

 

Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.  Acts 27:25

Remember, if you are going through this, Christ brings grace, redemption, salvation and mercy. Do not let those who wish to attack you and bring you down succeed. Your Lord is great and mighty and all things are possible through Christ. Run your race, stay your course. Seek the Lord and you will succeed. You will get your old, run down shack restored. It will be a new house. Keep the faith, keep up your efforts.

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.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

Hebrews 12:1-4

 

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Acts 20:24

 

Those striving to improve as Christians, trying to learn His word, will and way. Stay your course, Run your race, finish your course, continue to restore your shack to make it into a mansion. Don’t let stumbling blocks and naysayers make you falter. Don’t let them take your resolve. Don’t let anyone steal the joy that Christ gives you. Know you will never be perfect, but never stop striving for that goal. You will only improve as you go.

Lord,

I praise your Holy Name and thank You for the blessings You give me. I ask You to continue Your work in my heart, help me continue my efforts to better serve You and to better learn how to seek You. Give me the strength, patience and resolve to stay the course, finish my race, complete my restoration. I ask that You give me the grace to forgive and pray for those that show hate and anger towards me. That I not let their negative words and behavior drag me down. That I be meek and forgiving, not brash and judgmental about others actions. I pray that if I have been the naysayer those people forgive me. I pray for forgiveness from You for all of my sins and failures to be the Christian Jesus wishes me to be. Help me draw closer to You. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones, make them see Your truths, mercies, forgiveness and salvation so they seek You as well. Open their eyes to Your truths. Strengthen those struggling with whatever issues they are dealing with in their lives. I praise Jesus for my salvation and redemption through His blood.

Amen

 

Thanks for reading all this, sometimes, I seem to start, and have trouble concluding without a long bit in between. I hope this gives someone some encouragement, some assurance, and the will to persist. I hope all of you manage to be a blessing to others today as well.