He Still Loves Me even when I Blow It

637685246Peter in his zeal blurts out “I will never be made to stumble”. Again moments later, in rebuttal to Jesus’ prophetic word in Matt 26:34-35, revealing that he would deny Him three times; Peter emphatically declares, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” Strong words that came from love and a life that was transformed by the Master. As well, the other disciples followed in voicing their commitment and devotion to Jesus that historic night on the Mount of Olives not knowing exactly what would shortly transpire.

The city was doing construction on the sewer lines in front of my Aunt and Uncles house many years ago while they were keeping my siblings and me for a summer. My brother and I were at the young age where curiosity can make you do things you shouldn’t. I remember so vividly my uncle sternly saying, before he went to work that day, “Do not play around or get down into that construction hole”.   Well… even though we had made a oath and commitment that we would never do that we were overtaken and enticed with adventure. Being able to resist no longer, my brother lowered me into the hole later that day for a harmless look. Then at the sight of my uncle coming around the corner he ran and left me in the


Jesus still loves us even after we have made great commitments to Jesus and then failing Him and totally blowing it.     (tweet)


hole. The willow tree that conveniently hung over in my sight was a perfect place for my uncle to get a branch and proceed with one hand to help me out and wimped me all in the same motion.

More than the sting of the whooping was the pain of knowing I had failed in my oath and commitment that I had made to my uncle. The thought of disappointing him and possible losing his love was worse than any other pain I was feeling. It wasn’t until later that a valuable lesson was learned.

In comparison I can vaguely imagine the feeling of disappointment that Peter Continue reading

Don’t Allow a Fall to Keep You Down!

590506608The scripture talks much about different individuals that have fallen and tripped along the journey of faith. In Prov 24:16 Solomon might have had his father in mind besides his own experience as he wrote, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.” I think most honest believers would admit to a time or times that they have tripped and fallen during their race of righteousness. Yet, we will only lose if we don’t get back up.

Four years of preparation had now come to a close as he returned to the Olympics to defend his gold medal in the 10,000 meter race. Mo Farah of Great Britain had been diligent to push forward and discipline his body for this race. He had practiced and kept focus for these past years to continue at the top of the platform. A


Just because you have stumbled and even had a major mess up, it doesn’t mean your race is over      (tweet)


you know they don’t just give gold medals away for being nice and having good intentions. There’s a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into bringing the prize home! Even so, most of us will never understand the level of commitment and sacrifice that is put into being a world class athletic once, let alone a seconded consecutive time. All of this was in the mind of Mo as he waits for the starting shot to go off. The mental strain and voices from the crowd as well as that inner voice can become a runners biggest battle as the physical pain increases.

            Everything was going as a typical championship race. The crowded lanes, the different strategies being played out and the continual screams from the onlookers. Farah as well as his faithful friend and training partner, U.S. runner Galen Rupp,


It’s always easier to quit the race and not get up, but there’s no prize in that!     (tweet)


seemed to be moving forward in the crowded pack. Then in the 10th lap Farah’s foot hit Galen behind him causing him to fall. The announcers and the world looked on in horror as Farah tumbled to the track and like a gymnast he pops back up on his feet and continues to run. Determined not to stay down or make excuses he pushed on to Continue reading

It’s not Enough to just Start…You must Finish!

77930917The anticipation of the opening gunfire for the race to begin was gut wrenching to say the least. The runner gets himself all strategically situated in the starting blocks and tunes in on the starting judge in hopes of having a perfect start. Even with an exceptional start it is still how you finish that will grade your performance. There must be a start for sure, but just because you start a race doesn’t make you a winner… only if you finish can you possibly win and receive the reward.


It’s not enough to just start strong; we must finish strong like Paul. (Tweet)


Paul wrote at the end of his life to young Timothy giving every believer some incredible insights for us to live by. We read in 2 Tim 4:7-8, Paul says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day…”.   He was referring to his journey of life as a race and fight, as he also did in his letter to the Corinthians. He says “I fought the good fight” insinuating that it isn’t easy but will take endurance and tenacity. Then Paul says, “I have finished the race. He didn’t quit because it was difficult or to long, but completed the course set before him. In Cor. 9 he says that we need to run not as a casual jog through a park, but run the race to win. He lets us know that there is a reward for all of us that finish the race of life keeping our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In his tremendous book “Multiplication” Tommy Barnett gives a startling comparison of three young preachers. All of them were filling up auditoriums and having record crowds. Graham, Templeton, and Clifford launched out of the starting blocks like Olympic gold medalist in 1945.

Those that observed them thought the young man; Templeton would be the one who would make it to the top. Even a magazine wrote a feature article calling Templeton the “Babe Ruth of evangelism.” Clifford was a young fireball evangelist. Many thought that he was the most gifted and powerful preacher to come up in the church for many centuries. People lined up for hours to get into where he was preaching. Yet why haven’t we heard of Templeton and Clifford?

Well, in just five years, 1950 Templeton had left the ministry. He pursued a radio career. He became an announcer and a newscaster, telling the world that he no longer believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Can you believe this future “babe Ruth” of preaching was no longer even in the ball park. By 1954 Clifford had lost his family, ministry and health. Eventually he lost his life because of addiction to alcohol. Financial irresponsibility left his wife and their two Downs-syndrome children with no money. This once famous preacher didn’t even finish his race.

In the Christian life…it’s not how you start the race, but how you finish the race that matters. It’s not enough to just start strong; we must finish strong as Paul and the third young man did. His name, Billy Graham, has faithfully run his race keeping the faith for all these years! Even so, let me encourage you not to quit! But synch up your belt and commit to finish the race that God has set before you.