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Thursday, April 28, 2011

If you want to run the marathon, you have to run one lap first

I embarked on my first run outside in what has been quite a long time. I strapped on my i -pod, tightened my sneakers, and was off like a shot. I made it all the way to an impressive half way around one lap and stopped, incredibly winded and even more discouraged. "I'll never make it" I said to myself. I almost gave up. But, then I said " I'm not going to let this get me down." I willed myself around the rest of the way and made it around one lap. It might not be a big accomplishment to you, but to me, it was more than just a simple jog, but it was a symbol of something greater. It was a release of my fear and doubt that I could endure to the end. I would love someday to run a half marathon. Maybe i'll get there. maybe I won't. But, one thing is for sure, if I want to run the marathon, I have to start with running one lap.
That goes for the Christian life, too. At times it is so engrossing and life gets so difficult, and it leaves me winded and discouraged, unsure I can even take one more step. But, my willingness to shake off the fear and endure to the end makes running the race all the sweeter. Going through each day doing what is right may not seem like much, but I have to start somewhere. If I want to reach the finish line and into my savior's arms, I have to start by running one lap.
Are you ready to run your one lap today?

Monday, April 18, 2011

What's the Favor of God?

I was stuck in bed yesterday worth what felt like a potential sinus infection. When I'm sick, I tend to do things I wouldn't normally do. For example, I watched hours and hours of mind numbing television and took two naps within an hour and a half. In between these two napes, I flipped back and forth between the "Christian" programs and "secular" programs. I don't normally watch the "Christian" station, but since it was during the church hour, I decided to give it a whirl in the hopes of hearing an inspired word from God that would change me a little more into my Savior. As message after message droned on, I came to a realization. I really didn't see much difference between the christian and the non-christian. The sermons on the Christian station talked about the same things non-christians are talking about: the bad economy, fear, doubt, comfort, hope. The only difference was on the christian station, the people wore nicer suits and clapped accordingly at the pastor's shouting proclamations. Granted, the Bishop or pastor peppered their words with Scripture (some of which were taken out of context) and belief in Jesus and ended each message with the same invitation to invite the audience to accept Jesus into their life. One Bishop even proclaimed that if i sent in a seed of $130 God would unleash unusual favor on me for the next 130 days meaning wealth and prosperity). It made me wonder: if this is all that Christians have to say on these matters, what does the non-christian really have to hope for? Furthermore, if all God is interested in is giving me his favor, what about all the favor reserved for his 12 followers? Where did all of that go? Lastly, if favor is only material wealth, what about the poor around the world who have more faith in God that I have ever dreamt of having in Him?
That Gospel doesn't seem to be worth dying for, does it?