So often in the busyness of our daily lives, our bodies grow tired of the hours, the pace, and the stress of even the best of positions. Many times it’s the mindset and the attitude we have that do us in and make us falter. Someone once said that, “the hardest thing about life is, that it is so daily.” We need to go through our day knowing that the “next thing” we do, might make a difference in someone’s life. That thought has kept many a leader from wanting at times to hang it up. The Bible says in Galatians 6:9-And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. There is always light at the end of the tunnel and God promises that there are blessings to reap, if we stick with it.
Regardless of the position in which we serve, we all will grow weary at one time or another. It’s at those times that God wants us to lean on Him to get us through that day or season of our life.
Another simple Thought for Thursday.
A player of mine once challenged his teammates to practice like it was the last time that they would ever be on the court. He was talking about having the unforeseen event take place that might end their playing career. It could be an ankle, a knee, a disease that could come by without warning and cause their season to be over.
Recently, I have been reminded that it is also that way with life. The unexpected comes without warning and can change the course of life events in the blinking of an eye. It could be brought about by an accident, a trip to the doctor, or something that takes place in a friend or loved one’s life. We should be reminded that none of us are guaranteed good health or a life void of trials. None of us are even guaranteed tomorrow.
Someone once said, “Learn as if you were going to live forever, and live as if you were going to dietomorrow.” Let’s live a life today that will impact others for good, and more importantly for eternity. James 4:14 says, Whereas ye know not for what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.
A true, but sobering, Thought for Thursday.
Pride and arrogance seem to rise their ugly heads when we think we are good or more talented than others. Whether it is sports, music, or any other area where we have been given talent, we are susceptible to taking more credit than we are due. We seem to see it most apparent in sports. Probably it is because television has put it on such a national stage. We can sit in our easy chair and see first-hand the taunting and carrying on that athletes do when they score a touchdown, make a tackle, score a basket, or find success in some small way during the course of the game. Professional sports are said to be more entertainment than anything else, but the character they display trickles down to college, high school, and middle school athletics.
Even though it is not taught like it once was in the past, sportsmanship is still needed today. Teaching sportsmanship and respect for your opponent would help eliminate some of the touchdown dancing, finger pointing, stare down antics that we observe today. It would also help us focus on the fact that athletics are more about the team than about our own individual performances. It might also help us restore some more of the humility that should go along with our accomplishments. We should be excited about achieving a goal that we are seeking, but should stop short of “rubbing it into our opponents face.” Some people call that “class”.
Former NFL coach, Tom Landry, best expressed it when he would tell his players that when they scored a touchdown to just toss the ball to the official, head back to the bench, and act like you have been in the end zone before. He felt that humility was an attribute he wanted his athletes to learn just as much as football. We could use a lot of that taught on our fields, courts, and in our lives today.
Proverbs 16:18 says that “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
- Keith Champion
Coaches are forever telling their athletes that, “You will play the way that you practice”. We have often have had people tell us that “You’ll get out of it, what you put into it.” Then there is the tried and true saying, “No Pain, No Gain.” The bottom line in all of these is that if you don’t work and put the effort into something, the results will be less than you hoped for! Good effort leads to good results. Poor effort leads to poor results. No effort leads to no results. We all have to look at the outcome that we desire and make sure our effort matches up. It might be better said in Galatians 6:7… for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Let’s all “sow” a good effort today in all that is set before us. The results we achieve will parallel “the way that we practice.”
Just a simple THOUGHT FOR THURSDAY!
As a former youth pastor and now evangelist, I see the value in social media, specifically mobile devices. The fact that you are reading this article is a credit to the fact that social media is a key component to our lives and the propagation of brands and messages. But when it comes to a week at camp, be it a retreat or a youth camp, we highly discourage the use of mobile devices, and definitely social media. If you have joined us on campus and witnessed people go through withdraws or you are planning a mountain top experience at Fort Bluff camp, I think it necessary to explain why we unplug for our time together:
1. Will Be A Major Distraction
Have you ever found yourself with phone in hand mindlessly scrolling through an infinity of posts and photos? We all battle this addiction. And from youngest to oldest on platforms that span generations we feel the “phantom vibrations” of the phone beckoning for our attention. Bring a hard copy of the word to camp and leave your cell phone in your suitcase. The Bible is the only text that requires your immediate attention in this moment.
2. Leaves No Time To Detox
Whether you call it a “retreat,” “conference,” or “camp” the big idea is to escape the daily grind and seek God’s face. Our campus is a mountain, high above the cares of this world, but your cell phone can take you back home in less than a second! You’re one notification or email away from connecting to the same junk you are attempting to retreat from. Fasting from social media during your time on campus will no doubt change your life and renew your focus.
3. Robs from the Integrity of the Event
One of the things I love about going to Disney world is that staffers blend into each era or galaxy they represent flawlessly. I’ve never once seen their cowboy, astronaut, or big eared mouse on a cellular device. As a result, their attention is fully locked on the guest, the guest’s experience, and keeping the guest’s attention. Likewise, as a follower of Christ, take some time to unfollow the world and enjoy the event! It will be over before you realize it, so don’t waste your time trying to post about a moment that you could be living. Your experience cannot be replicated so don’t miss a moment of it!
I ordered some fan-tabulous crepes from a food truck recently - blueberry filling with real homemade whipped cream. My first bite was scrumptious! But they only put on a teensy dollop of the whipped cream. It was gone with the first bite.
Have you ever made yourself an ice cream sundae? I love whipped cream on mine. And not just a little bit - sometimes I’ll cover the entire top with it. That’s how much I wanted on my crepes.
James 1:5 says that if you lack wisdom, ask the Lord and He will give it to you.
So what does whipped cream have to do with wisdom? It’s a picture I want you to envision - a liberal amount of whipped cream versus a smidgeon. What’s the use of putting a dab on crepes or ice cream sundaes? Fill up the bowl!
Our theme this summer is, “I Have Decided.” You have to decide, make choices.
I once overheard a mother instruct her teenage son before he left with some friends to “make wise choices.”
That statement can cover any situation in which the young man may find himself. Ask the Lord to give you wisdom and He will. And not just a smidgeon, but a bowlful!
“Who is the greatest?” There are endless debates on sports radio and cable news on who is the greatest in this field or in that sport. We put the “greats” on pedestals and tell our young people to look at them and follow in their path. Even as believers we can fall into the trap of believing that our accomplishments and popularity define who we are and determine our status in society.
Fortunately, we have some direction in this matter. Jesus was asked this very question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” His disciples asked this question. “Jesus, could you put this on a spiritual level. Who is the greatest believer in the kingdom?” Before we criticize these men, maybe we should listen to his answer and run it through our grid first.
Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Do you think the disciples stood in silence as those stunning words sunk into their hearts? Jesus said that the great ones don’t even know they are great. They are the humble, obedient, trusting ones that don’t think about themselves much less how great they are.
This is a biblical paradox that turns modern day thinking on its head. So, what if the best athletes in our high schools were great in the Lord’s eyes? What if the student-leaders in our schools were so unassuming it was refreshing? What if our youth groups were the examples in our churches pointing our adults back to what really matters the most?
The desire to be great is an honorable goal. Let’s just be sure that the one who takes note of us is the One who defined greatness to motivated men as they humbly observed a child full of faith.