Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"It is not the critic who counts."

My brother became an Ironman last year in Louisville. I had the privilege of cheering him on for almost 17 hours as he swam 2 miles, biked 112 miles and then ran a full 26 mile marathon. It was one of the most inspiring things I have seen in my lifetime. People reached deeper than they ever thought they could reach to prove something they never knew they could do. We watched as a blind man crossed the finish line. We saw men and women in their 70's finish before 20 year olds. Human determination shed light on many things that day and affected my thoughts, not only on sports, but on life in general. My brother has written a book that is in the process of being published. It is about an ordinary person training for the Ironman, while managing all of the other important things in life, like being a great husband and dad. It is a book about Ironman training details and a book about determination in general. I am currently reading his manuscript and--this is coming from someone who doesn't like to read-- I am finding it hard to put down.

While reading, I came across this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory or defeat."

Maybe you are in ministry and you are being criticized by those who have never done the brave thing you are doing. Take heart! "It is not the critic who counts." No one has walked the road you are walking and no one has the vision God has given to you. Do not be discouraged. Keep pressing forward.

You may have been told that you will never do great things, that you will never be loved, or that you are destined for failure as those who came before you. There is a God who says that you "can do all things through Christ" who gives you strength. Do not quit. Set your eyes on the goal and let God do His amazing work in your life! You have got what it takes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

guest writer emily morgan

Today I have a guest writer, one of my dear friends, Emily Morgan. Emily is wife to Tony Morgan and mother to four wonderful kids! She is a self-proclaimed minimalist, a simplifier, and mostly a follower of Christ. Here is Emily's paraphrase of Proverbs 31, as it might relate to women in 2010.

A quality woman is a found treasure and is better to have than all the world's riches and fame.
Her husband gives her freedom to be all God created her to be and has no reason to doubt her commitment.
She respects him and supports who he is through every season of life.
She seeks out modest and durable clothing for her family and keeps it current and wearable.
She fills her pantry and refrigerator with a variety of nutritious foods.
She wakes with time to prepare breakfast and plan the day's other meals and events.
She invests in time-saving tools and is able to give time to others.
She starts her day with a plan, confident in her ability to manage her household.
Her time and effort in meeting her family's needs pays eternal rewards, and she works long hours.
She creates a home where all who enter are nourished, encouraged, and feel safe.
She doesn't overextend herself in time or money and is able to give generously to those who need help.
She is prepared for whatever may come with appropriate clothing for her family, food in the pantry, and supplies on hand.
She dresses modestly and current.
She tends to, but doesn't obsess about her appearance.
Her husband is able to pursue an honest career and have influence in his community.
She spends her money wisely, buying only what she needs and having surplus for others.
She is assertive in her role as home manager and is prepared for the future because her priorities are right.
When she speaks, she exudes wisdom and encouragement.
She commands a respect.
She knows her family's business and won't succumb to time-wasters.
Her children honor and obey her.
Her husband recognizes her for all that she is.
"Many women can do great things, but I wouldn't want to do this life with anyone else."
Charm is fleeting and youthful beauty is soon replaced with wrinkles and gray hair,
But a woman who loves God and others will be admired by all.
She is being all that God created her to be.
Celebrate and imitate her life!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

living things

When our youngest son, Zach was in elementary school, he brought home a science paper that interested me. The title of the paper was "Living Things Grow and Change."

I knew that to be true not only in science, but in life as well. Are you growing and changing? Is your church growing and changing? Most people do not like change, but unless we are dying out, we will be growing somehow and changing as well.