Tag Archives: character

Speak Up

Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13 (NLT)

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Go with the flow, don’t make waves, just let it go, no big deal – sound familiar? Maybe you have even said or thought it yourself occasionally. It is easier to follow the crowd to make a problem disappear than to take the lonely hard position.

However, character stands up when tested – even to the point of pain. Gen. Charles C. Krulak, Commandant of the Marine Corps got it right when he said, “The true test of character comes when the chips are down, when your gut starts to turn, when the sweat starts to form on your brow, when you know the decision you are about to make may not be popular … but it must be made. That’s when your true character is exposed.”

We don’t have the same luxury enjoyed by previous generations where moral conduct, good manners, and respect for the law and property are supported by parents, neighbors, churches, and even the government. Simply, turn on the television or read the Internet and you will find the news is overwhelming. Our children and grandchildren’s security and future compel us to get involved.

In an election year, I encourage you to pay attention to the local news, go to a school board or town council meeting, attend a candidate forum, and don’t forget to vote.

It is not easy or fun but character demands it and then you, too, will make a difference.

   “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

 

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Life is NOT Fair

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5:3:4 (NLT)

My word for 2013 is “hope” and I recently completed Sarah Young’s devotional, Jesus Today, Experience Hope Through His Presence. She wrote this particular one when she was going through some very difficult health challenges and God gave her hope.

Sometimes, life is just not fair. When we signed up for this Christian life, we thought it would all be rosy. And then the trials hit and we’re thrown off balance, take a tumble, and may be angry about it.

I have a friend who is struggling in a relationship that makes no sense and all this person wants is for it TO make sense. Or, depression hits, the darkness closes in, and all we want is for the pain to go away.

I’ve heard people say that God will not give us more than we can bear. I’ve thought about this and did a little research. Actually God says:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it. I Corinthians 10:13 (HCSB)

We won’t be tempted beyond our ability to cope but nowhere are we promised a free ride. In fact, the promises come for help in the middle of the difficulty:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

 

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. 2 Corinthians 2:9-10 (The Message)

This is my take-away lesson: hardship produces endurance which develops character so that I can experience joyful hope. Joyful? Hope? Yes.

Amen and amen.

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Practice x3

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

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Grandgirlie, Tori, is in North Carolina this weekend with her Cheer Squad competing for the championship at the National Finals. Last year, the team won it all so there is a bit of pressure to finish well.

The old adage, “Practice, practice, practice” resonates in each team member when they run onto the floor knowing they have done the work to win. They even got a little extra practice at the airport while they waited for a delayed flight.

But it also comes into play when the unplanned happens. I watched Tori (via live streaming) move right where she was supposed to be even though she had been unintentionally struck in the eye during the routine. She never missed a beat. She may have a shiner tomorrow but that is for another day.

We watch and learn from a little girl’s endurance under trial and see from her actions the strength of character to carry on.

I thought I had everything all planned and organized in my life until a doctor’s prognosis tripped me up this week. It’s not life threatening but it will change my life. I have macular degeneration and it’s progressing more rapidly than I would like. I watched both of my parents struggle with it, especially my dad. Things that I take for granted now, such as driving, will become impossible. I think the loss of independence is what I will miss most.

Yet, last year has taught me again and again that my dependance must be on God alone. He’s not going anywhere and I know I can grab His hand whenever I need it. However, it changes my perspective: Live each day to the fullest. Don’t put off something that I want to see or do. Love extravagantly. Be grateful for little things. Show appreciation.

In His great mercy, God is developing my character, giving me strength and confident hope in all that He has for me.

Way to go, Tori!

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