January 21, 2018

Victory Through Persistence: 3 Examples

“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.”—Revelation 2:10 (KJV)

Is it possible for the little guy to win? Does the outnumbered giant ever succeed? Can a disrespected person ever move beyond his tormenters? Yes, yes, and yes. Let’s look at some cases:

A Biblical Example

The Apostle Paul was a Pharisee who converted to Christianity. I Corinthians 11:28-29 gives us the short list of what he endured:
  • Violence
  • Persecution
  • Hunger and thirst
  • Robbery
  • Imprisonment
  • Being shipwrecked
He didn’t let any of this stop him. Paul wrote one-half to two-thirds of the New Testament, depending on the source. We know that some of it was actually written during his imprisonment.

“Animals Gone Wild” (National Geographic Wild Channel)

The Grizzly Bear and the Wolves

Grizzlies are at the top of the predator chart. I’m sure most animals are unwilling to mess with them. However, a pack of five or six wolves took the job on. When a grizzly aggressively tried to join in their dinner of freshly killed meat, the animals snarled and chased him away. They also began nipping at him.

But, wait! The grizzly didn’t get the memo that “No” means “No”. The larger animal came back for more. This time, the wolves were so impressed by his persistence, they allowed him to peacefully share their meal.

The Millipede and the Blue Ants

Hundreds of hungry blue ants in Cambodia started attacking a six-inch long millipede. Talk about David and Goliath! For some time, the millipede was able to defend himself by curling up in a ball. That’s because the animal has an exoskeleton (an outer skeleton) that seems impenetrable.

Please keep in mind another defense mechanism: the ability to secrete chemical weapons (acids) from their exoskeletons. Some sources say the animals can even spray the chemicals. These chemicals can burn, and cause allergic reactions in, humans. I can’t imagine their effect on ants.That’s three strikes against the tiny animals:
  • Small size
  • Exoskeleton of the millipede
  • Chemical weapons of the other animal

Who do you think won? The ants. One ant found a chink in the exoskeleton. He gave the animal a paralyzing sting. His friends entered the attack. The ants eventually carried the millipede back to their home for dinner.

“High Hopes”

Speaking of ants, Frank Sinatra made this cute, simple song famous decades ago. It tells the story of an ant that brings a rubber-tree plant down little by little. It also mentions a ram that batters a dam down.

My Conclusion

Are you an ant in a world of bigger, stronger animals? Are you a grizzly bear who’s seriously outnumbered? Are you undervalued and/or bullied? Join the club…I mean, never fear, persistence often wins the prize in the end.

In any case, it’s certain that giving up wins a person NO prizes.

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What victories has persevering brought you?

January 14, 2018

How do we Obtain Balance?

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV)

January 7, 2018

Balance: Why is it Necessary?

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content.”—Philippians 4:11 (KJV)

December 31, 2017

How Acceptance Pushes us Forward: 3 Examples

“Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”—Romans 15:5-7 (KJV)

December 24, 2017

2 Christmas Hymns of Celebration

“O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker.”—Psalm 95:6 (KJV)

December 17, 2017

It's the Season for Hope

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”—Galatians 5:22, 23 (KJV)

December 10, 2017

3 Ways Trials Train us for Success

“For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”—Deuteronomy 20:4 (KJV)

December 3, 2017

It's the Season for...Relaxing (?)

“Be still, and know that I am God…”—Psalm 46:10 (KJV)
“Be anxious for nothing…” Philippians 4:6
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you…” –John 14:27

November 26, 2017

Wants vs. Needs: Determining the Difference

“Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man will give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed.”--John 6:27 (KJV)

November 19, 2017

How Giving Thanks Leads to Powerful Prayer

“Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me; and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.”--Psalms 50:23

November 12, 2017

The Final Victory is Already Written!

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.” James 1:12 (KJV)

November 5, 2017

Trust the Process: 4 Examples

“And he said whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what comparison shall we compare it?”
“It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the Earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the Earth.”
“But when it is sown, it groweth up and become greater than all the herbs, and shooteth up great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge in the shadows of it.”—Mark 4:30-32 (KJV)

October 29, 2017

A Legacy of Service: the #1 Goal in Life

“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrews 6:10 (KJV)

October 22, 2017

Nurturing Relationships: the #1 Goal in Life

 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”--Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)

October 15, 2017

Taking Steps Toward Progress: 2 Tips

“To everything there is a purpose, and a time to every season under the Heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.”
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”—Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 (KJV)

October 8, 2017

Accessing the Power Within: 2 Examples

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”—Luke 10:19 (NIV)

September 24, 2017

How Trials are "Lessons Learned", not Setbacks

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is left behind and straining toward what is ahead.”—Philippians 3:13 (NIV)

September 17, 2017

How the Underdog CAN win, part 3

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”--Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

September 10, 2017

6 Methods to Chase Away Negativity

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things…And the God of peace will be with you.”—Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV)

September 3, 2017

How the Underdog CAN win, part 2

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,  who have been called according to his purpose.”—Romans 8:28 (NIV)

August 27, 2017

How the Underdog CAN win: 6 Examples

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”—Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

August 20, 2017

Stressbusters: Quotes and Solutions

 “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the Earth.’”—Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

August 13, 2017

Everyday Marvels, part 3

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”—2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

August 6, 2017

Everday Marvels, part 2

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.”—Psalm 107:19-20 (NIV)

July 30, 2017

Everyday Marvels

“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear.”—Isaiah 59:1 (NIV)

July 16, 2017

Victorious Underdogs--2 Examples

“…the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness…He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness…”—Deuteronomy 8:14-16 (NIV)

July 2, 2017

Victory Through Endurance, part 3

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;”—Romans 5:3 (NIV)

June 18, 2017

The Essence of a Successful Father

What makes a great dad? That’s a deep life question. I’m not sure there’s any “correct” answer. Each individual’s response may vary depending on their values, customs, and background. We don’t all think or act alike.

June 4, 2017

Examples of Endurance, part 2

“Does anybody really think that they didn’t get what they had because they didn’t  have the talent and strength or the endurance or commitment?” Nelson Mandela

May 21, 2017

3 Examples of Endurance

“We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.” –Cesar Chavez

May 7, 2017

Why Kindness is Worth the Effort

We live in a world of emotionally wounded, struggling individuals. Hurting people hurt people; it’s a knee-jerk reaction. Compassion can be a tough choice when we can’t get beyond our own pain. For instance, if I’m going through a family tragedy, I probably won’t be thinking about speaking with sympathy.

April 23, 2017

Faith: the Antidote to Fear

There are certain laws of science that govern our everyday lives, such as gravity. Every object on Earth is affected by this rule. It’s what keeps us firmly planted on the ground--literally.

April 9, 2017

How Words can Create or Destroy

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”—Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)

March 26, 2017

How Barriers can Protect us Rather than Block Us

None of us like to be stopped from accomplishing our desires. We want healing, promotion, better relationships, and so forth; we want them now. Yet, we can still be consoled by these facts:

March 12, 2017

6 Powerful Benefits of Prayer

My last article was about keeping up hope in the middle of trying times. I particularly suggested expanding our vision to look on the positive side as much as possible.   For instance, I’ve heard accounts of cancerous tumors being discovered during surgery on newly injured patients.

February 26, 2017

Hope: 5 Tips for Keeping it Alive

“How many success stories do you need to hear before you make your own?”—Todo (emphasis mine)

Victory is hard work. Celebrities in any field can confirm this. Every accomplishment takes time and effort. It doesn’t just happen. We also have to simply refuse to accept failure in order to truly move forward. Here are five Bible-based suggestions for positivity:

February 12, 2017

Top Example of a Positive Perspective

“We measure our days out in steps of uncertainty not turning to see how far we’ve come.” Al Stewart

January 29, 2017

Varying Viewpoints: Everyone has a Part to Play

My last blog post here introduced different personality types. It’s important to remember that we don’t all think the same. On the other hand, each person can add value to her world in a unique way. It doesn’t matter if she’s naturally outgoing or quiet.

January 22, 2017

How to Deal With Different Personalities

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophecy according to your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”—Romans 12:5-8 (NIV)

January 15, 2017

2 Alternatives: Trust God or Give in to Worry

“Fear is nothing more than a lack of faith in God.”—The Power of Brokenness: the Language of Healing—Glen Kerby and Jim McCraigh

January 8, 2017

Personal Growth: a Beneficial Struggle

Please see more about miraculous changes in my book. Here is the link: Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds.

Each New Year brings a chance to start again. Many of us might not be where we want to be, but we’re not where we were, either. Others have “failed up”. In other words, we’ve learned from our mistakes, and we’re moving forward. That’s something to be proud of! I flatter myself that I fall in this last category.

January 1, 2017

The New Year: A Resolution for Progress

It’s New Year’s Day—a time to look forward to growth and renewal. How do we do that if 2016 was a challenging year? Maybe the last ten years, or more, were even full of trials. We see absolutely no way to move forward.

December 25, 2016

Jesus' Birth: Why It's Important

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be upon his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
—Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) (emphasis mine)

December 18, 2016

Hope: 7 Methods for Achieving it Right Now

Hope is belief in a brighter tomorrow—no matter what you’re going through now.

December 4, 2016

Life is a Process; That's a Good Thing.

My last article was about how life doesn’t always make sense. That’s actually normal, but frustrating. It’s hard when we can’t get immediate results.

November 27, 2016

When Life Doesn't Make Sense...

The right part of my brain (logic) is stronger than the left (creative) area. I crave the following:
  • Planning
  • Order
  • Introspection
  • Searching for, and implementing, solutions

November 20, 2016

Attitude: the key to Joy

There are plenty of roadblocks on the pathway to peace and happiness. Some of us have small pebbles strewn along the path. We can still drive or walk comfortably. Others are faced with traffic accidents or construction zones. These people could be slowed down for hours. They may even have to find an alternate route.