Enduring to the end

July 8, 2007

As I reflected on some of the things I have written and talked about in the previous blog entry, I realised that I hadnt provided much sense of hope or guidance on how to be dealing with some of the situations that people I have been spending time with over the past week, have been living with…so this morning’s thought for the day from Max Lucado provides a little bit of help maybe…

“Those people who keep their faith until the end will be saved.”
Matthew 10:22

Are you close to quitting? Please don’t do it. Are you discouraged as a parent? Hang in there. Are you weary with doing good? Do just a little more? Roll up your sleeves and go at it again. No communication on your marriage? Give it one more shot…

Remember, a finisher is not one with no wounds or weariness. Quite the contrary, he, like the boxer, is scarred and bloody. Mother Teresa is credited with saying, “God didn’t call us to be successful, just faithful.” The fighter, like our Master, is pierced and full of pain. He, like Paul, may even be bound and beaten. But he remains.

The Land of Promise, says Jesus, awaits those who endure. It is not just for those who make the victory laps or drink champagne. No sir. The Land of Promise is for those who simply remain to the end.

July 4, 2007

max-lucado-diving.jpg

For those of you that know me well, it will come as no surprise when I say that I am a BIG Max Lucado fan – in fact, some would think that I am on commission when it comes to recommending some of his books.   He is a truly gifted writer, and for those with a simple mind like me, he paints some wonderful pictures to help explain parts of the bible and the teachings of Jesus that previously I have not been able to fathom.  You can check out more about Max Lucado on his website which is updated daily:  www.maxlucado.com It includes daily thoughts for the day as well as daily one minute podcasts that are easy to listen to.  I am also signed up to his monthly newsletters, with longer articles and excerpts from his many books…and is one of these that I wanted to share with you below…enjoy.

Diving into Life Headfirst
by Max Lucado

Steve Lyons will be remembered as the player who dropped his pants.

The White Sox were playing the Tigers in Detroit. Lyons bunted and raced down the first-base line. He knew it was going to be tight, so he dove at the bag. Safe! The Tiger’s pitcher disagreed. He and the umpire got into a shouting match, and Lyons stepped in to voice his opinion.

Absorbed in the game and the debate, Lyons felt dirt trickling down the inside of his pants. Without missing a beat he dropped his britches, wiped away the dirt, and … uh oh … twenty thousand jaws hit the bleachers’ floor.

Within twenty-four hours of the “exposure,” he received more exposure than he’d gotten his entire career: seven live television and approximately twenty radio interviews.

Fortunately, for Steve, he was wearing sliding pants under his baseball pants.

Now, I don’t know Steve Lyons. I’m not a White Sox fan. Nor am I normally appreciative of men who drop their pants in public. But I think Steve Lyons deserves a salute.

I think anybody who dives into first base deserves a salute. How many guys do you see roaring down the baseline of life more concerned about getting a job done than they are about saving their necks? How often do you see people diving headfirst into anything?

Too seldom, right? But when we do … when we see a gutsy human throwing caution to the wind and taking a few risks … ah, now that’s a person worthy of a pat on the … back.

So here’s to all the Steve Lyons of the world.

Here’s to the Miracles, a choral group out of Memphis, Tennessee, made up of the mentally retarded and the stout-hearted. Just see if you can listen to them and still feel sorry for yourself.

Here’s to the hero of the San Francisco marathon who crossed the finish line without seeing it. (He was blind.)

Here’s to the woman whose husband left her with a nest of kids to raise and bills to pay, but who somehow tells me every Sunday that God has never been closer.

Here’s to the single father of two girls who learned to braid their hair.

Here’s to the grandparents who came out of retirement to raise the children their children couldn’t raise.

In the Eye of the StormHere’s to the foster parents who took in a child long enough for that child to take their hearts—then gave the child up again.

Here’s to the girl, told by everyone to abort the baby, who chose to keep the baby.

Here’s to the doctor who treats more than half of his patients for free.

Here’s to the heroin-addict-turned-missionary.

Here’s to the executive who every Tuesday hosts a 5:30 A.M. meeting for Bible study and prayer.

Here’s to all of you reckless lovers of life and God, who stand on first base because you paid a price to get there.

So what if you forget about pleasing the crowd and get caught with your pants down? At least you’re playing ball in the pros.

Most of us aren’t even in your league.

From In the Eye of the Storm