Inspiration

Goals of a Spiritual Champion

A businessman was plagued with distractions. At the end of the day, he faced a pile of unfinished work and felt like a failure.

The businessman hired a consultant who charged him a cool million then gave him a piece of organizational advice solving all his problems. "Set goals," said the consultant, "and put them on your calendar. Each day, list mini-goals you need to accomplish to meet your main goals. Everything else comes second."

Ever felt like this businessman? I have. We all fight an uphill battle and it is easy to burn out.

Are You Stuck in a Hole?

Imagine you're running a marathon. You're monitoring the situation, carefully maintaining a reasonable pace based on ability and training. You've prepared your body and mind for the race; you know the signs that tell you to run faster or slower, when to drink or eat.

You expect the unavoidable ebbs and flows of mental and physical energy. Hills and headwinds will increase difficulty in some places; sunshine and tailwinds will provide a few easy, enjoyable stretches. You're eager to confront exhilaration and trial as fundamental elements of the competition.

You also know about "the wall," that point where you'll be tested nearly beyond your ability. You anticipate that burning muscles and aching lungs will challenge desire and discipline. You expect the urge to give up, to stop and allow the pain to subside. The lure of immediate relief will entice you to cast aside goals and dreams, surrendering the satisfaction of the finish line in return for an end to the struggle.

Then, without any warning, you fall into a hole.

The publicized course didn't mention this complication. You didn't train for it, couldn't see it coming, didn't prepare survival supplies or pack climbing equipment. There's no cell phone reception in the hole.

You try everything you know to escape from the hole on your own, but

Thanksgiving: Tryptophanic Delight

Gravy will spatter, babies will blubber,
Toddlers will plaster their hair with the butter,
Turkeys so tender, fit to be carved
And tossed to the masses assembled, starved,
Grandpa will nod by the end of the meal
Then jump when the elbow from Grandma wheels,
Mountains of taters and stuffing will flow,
Bellies all 'round will grow, grow, grow.

Pastries and pies will add to the craze,
Burping and slurping continue unfazed,
Unfettered gobbling will finally peak,
A sudden a sleepiness fall on the feast,
Tables abandoned, couches claimed,
Children and elders alike feeling chains,
Tethers that tryptophan wields on the peeps,
Hypnotic aminos, now sleep, sleep, sleep.

God is....... (Attributes of God)

God is Lord Almighty... Omnipotent King... Lion of Judah... Rock of Ages... Prince of Peace... King of Kings... Lord of Lords ... Provider... Protector... Paternal Leader... Ruling Lord... and Reigning King of all the universe. He is Father... He is Helper... He is Guardian... and He is God. He is the First and Last... the Beginning and the End. He is the Keeper of creation and the Creator of all He keeps. He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times. He always was, He always is, and He always will be. Unmoved, unchanged, undefeated, and never undone.

He was bruised and brought healing. He was pierced and eased pain. He was persecuted and bought freedom. He was dead and bought life. He is risen and brings power. He reigns and brings peace. The world can't understand Him, the armies can't defeat Him, the schools can't explain Him, and the leaders can't ignore Him. Herod couldn't kill Him, the Pharisees couldn't confuse Him, the people couldn't hold Him. Nero couldn't crush Him, Hitler couldn't silence Him, the New Age can't replace Him, and Donahue can't explain Him away.

He is Light, Love, Longevity, and Lord. He is Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God. He is Holy, Righteous, Mighty, Powerful, and Pure. His ways are right, His word is eternal, His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me. He is my Redeemer, He is my Savior, He is my guide, and He is my peace. He is my joy, He is my comfort, He is my Lord, and He rules my life. I serve Him because His bond is love, His burden is light, and His goal for me is abundant life. I follow Him because He is the Wisdom of the Wise, the Power of the Powerful, the Ancient of Days, the Ruler of Rulers, the Leader of Leaders, the Overseer of the overcomers, and the Sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come. And, if that seems impressive, how about this? His goal is a relationship with ME!

Are You a Bird on a String?

For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin. Acts 8:23

If the Son sets you free--you will be free indeed! John 8:36

A bird that is tied by a string--seems to have more liberty than a bird in a cage; it flutters up and down--and yet it is held just as fast.

When a man thinks that he has escaped from the bondage of sin in general, and yet evidently remains under the power of some one favored lust--he is woefully mistaken in his judgment as to his spiritual freedom. He may boast that he is out of the cage--but assuredly, the string is on his leg!

Won't You Listen?

Won't you listen my friend to the words that we share.
Won't you open your heart to a power that cares.

For within each of our souls is the spirit of living,
Within each of our hearts is a gift of giving.

Won't you be free my friend to open your mind,
to know God is with us One day at a time.

Copyright 1997, by Neil Wright San Francisco, CA.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Parable of a Rose

A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully and before it blossomed, he examined it. He saw the bud that would soon blossom, but noticed thorns upon the stem and he thought...

"How can any beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so many sharp thorns?"

Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose, and before it was ready to bloom, it died.

So it is with many people. Within every soul there is a rose. The God like qualities planted in us at birth growing amid the thorns of our faults. Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns, the defects. We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to water the good within us, and eventually it dies. We never realize our potential.

Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them.

One of the greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorns and find the rose within others. This is the characteristic of love.... to look at a person and know their true faults. Accepting that person into your life, while recognizing the nobility in their soul.

Laying Firm Foundations in Recovery

Jesus says:
Matthew 7:24-27
"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

"And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."

Matthew 7:24-27 speaks to everyone who is in recovery. At one time or another, we all have built our houses on sand. That sand could be alcohol, riches, drugs, sex, food, another person, gambling, anger, abuse, depression, the list is endless. And just like sand, these God-substitutes slip through our fingers, leaving no trace as we desperately grasp at them looking for something firm to cling to. None of these sand-gods provide a firm foundation. Only God Almighty provides a foundation that is unshakable. No matter how bad things get, God is always there. He never fails. Yes, at times we may feel He is distant, but that is a FEELING. The reality is that He is always present and He holds you firmly in His grip, if you let Him.

Are You Living Below Your Privileges in Christ?

The story is told of a man in England whose lifetime ambition was to take a trip to the United States of America. One day, a friend of his surprised him with the gift of an envelope. In opening it, the man discovered a ticket for a boat trip from the English port of Southampton (where he lived) to New York City. Overjoyed, and overwhelmed by the generosity of his friend, the man realized his dream was soon to come true.

On boarding the ship, the man's joy could be seen by all. Yet one thing differentiated him from the others on board. During meal times, the rest of the passengers went into the dinner lounge to enjoy sumptuous gourmet meals. Instead, this man went back to his cabin and opened the little bag he carried with him on board containing crackers and cheese, and day by day, he consumed the contents, alone.

Undeterred, the man, if it was possible, was only growing in excitement. He knew that in a short time, he would see America for the first time. In fact, he understood that there would be relatives waiting to meet him at New York harbor. The long sea crossing from England seemed a short one to him, because of the wonders he knew were awaiting him at the journey's end.

Never Again Will I.....

Never again will I confess, "I can't"
For I can do all things through Christ which Strengtheneth me Philippians 4:13

Never again will I confess lack, for
My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory
by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Never again will I confess fear, for
God has not given us the spirit of fear,
but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

Never again will I confess doubt and lack of faith, for
God hath given to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3

Never again shall I confess weakness, for

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