April 2010

Persevering to the end.

Story of the day: Persevering to the end.

It was a fog-shrouded morning, July 4, 1952, when a young woman named Florence Chadwick waded into the water off Catalina Island. She intended to swim the channel from the island to the California coast. Long-distance swimming was not new to her; she had been the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.

The water was numbing cold that day. The fog was so thick she could hardly see the boats in her party. Several times sharks had to be driven away with rifle fire. She swam more than fifteen hours before she asked to be taken out of the water. Her trainer tried to encourage her to swim on since they were so close to land, but when Florence looked, all she saw was fog. So she quit…only one-half mile from her goal.

Later she said, “I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen the land, I might have made it.” It wasn’t the cold or fear or exhaustion that cause Florence Chadwick to fail. It was the fog.

Many times we too fail, not because we’re afraid or because of peer pressure or because anything other than the fact that we lose sight of the goal. Two months after her failure, Florence Chadwick walked off the same beach into the same channel and swam the distance, setting a new speed record, because she could see the land. [Larson, Craig. 750 Engaging Illustrations. Grand Rapids: Baker Books Publishing. 1996. pg.198-199]

Quote of the day: Author Unknown

“When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.'”

Bible verse of the day: Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Whatever my fog may be in my life, I pray to continue on no matter if I can see the finish line with my eyes or not. My faith is placed solely in You even in the things that I can’t see, and because of this, I will press toward the goal that You have set before me. When I get tired and I am wanting to throw in towel, it is Your Strength that sees me through and helps me to complete the small tasks leading up to the greater prize of Your Calling through Your Son Jesus. Thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

December 2009

Shed the Weight of Sin

Story of the day:  Shed the Weight of Sin

Julie Link writes in The Last Few Pounds:

Whatever weight-loss plan you choose, you’re bound to lose pounds–at least for a while.  But most dieters reach a plateau before they reach their goal, and many get discouraged when the thrill leaves before all the weight does.  Many give up and go back to their old ways of eating.

Something similar happens in our Christian lives.  When we begin our walk with Jesus, we easily shed many of the sins that have weighed us down.  We give dramatic testimonies about being freed from addictive behaviors.  Then the attention shifts to another new believer, and we discover that “little” sins like jealousy, resentment, and anger don’t drop away as readily as the “big” ones.  Some of us get so discouraged that we lose sight of our commitment to Christ and go back to some of our old ways of living.

When Jesus talked about the cost of being His disciple (Luke 14:25-35), He wanted those who heard Him to realize that believing in Him and following Him involves more than starting something that is exciting.  It means sticking with something that is difficult.

So whether we’re talking about weight loss or spiritual gain, the message is the same:  What matters most is not how we start but how we finish. [Link, Julie.  The Last Few Pounds.  Our Daily Bread, day 66, 2001.]

Quote of the day:  Brandt

“Perseverance makes the difference between failure and success.”

Bible verse of the day:  Luke 14:33 (NIV)

“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

There is always a cost to whatever we choose to do in this life.  I pray that my life is reflective of the things of You that are full of the Fruits of the Spirit.  Even when things in my life become difficult, may I persevere to the very end, finishing what You have started within me, after all, just as the author put it, it’s not how I started, but how I finish that counts.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen