"And let us be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if you faint not." Galatians 6:9 (KJV)
My grandson Omari had finally achieved his long sought after goal of playing high school football, in which he hoped would one day be the precursor to a great college football career. Every since he could hold a football he trained in the summer's heat, winter's cold, and everything in between for as long as I can remember. Everyone in our family knew Omari would reach his goal one day because of the dedication to his passion. Senior year is important especially for athletes because it's the last opportunity to showcase talent for college scouts looking to recruit for scholarships. During his senior year Omari was not given much playing time because his team had recruited new players. Omari's team made the championship that year but he and other long time teammates would not be playing in the biggest game of the year. The new recruits would play instead and Omari would be among others who would be on the sideline even though their hard work in earlier games had helped get the team to that point. My grandson was hurt beyond words, felt it was unfair and wanted to give up. I prayed and God gave me these words for him. "Omari, this is like a relay race and some are a better fit for positions than others. Someone has to be the first, second, third and fourth leg." "You and others have been the first, second, and third leg to get your team to this point. Now you must gladly hand off the baton to someone else who may be stronger, faster and has a better chance to first cross the finish line. You and the other teammates are still an important part of the team and need to be there to encourage the players when they are tired, weary, and may feel like giving up. " "And if your team wins the championship every team member will get the exact same championship ring." I went to that big game and it bought tears to my eyes to see Omari on the side line yelling, encouraging and motivating his teammates who seemed at one point to be knocked completely out of the water. But in spite of what looked like a losing situation in the beginning, Omari's team pulled through and won the state championship! Omari was estactic and so was I as I watched Omari, his teammates, coaches and fans run onto the field in total hysteria!!!! And in spite of Omari not getting much playing time on the field that year he was recruited by a Christian college and given a scholarship to play college football! Lesson learned.
So it is in our Christian walk when we put our own feelings of hurt and disappointment aside to encourage someone else. We will always reap God's bountiful blessings when we lay aside our own earnest desires to motivate others who may be better at getting the job done. God does not forget our labor of love when we sacrifice through our own tears to applaud the efforts of others. It may seem as though all our hard work has been overlooked by man but they will always be noticed by our God.
Father, when it seems we are overlooked, hurt and disappointed help us to put our own feelings aside to encourage those who may need a kind word or a gentle touch. Help us to push aside our own goals at times to help others reach theirs in Jesus name. Amen.Read
Those were His words to James, those were His words to John, and those have been His words to me for some time now. Oh how I wish I would have had the courage to drop my nets and follow Jesus immediately. Today I am taking that step. Jesus wants me, all of us, to be fishers of men. I have experienced so many divine moments in the past two years and Jesus has called me to share them with you!
In 2014, I was diagnosed with cancer and this year, by the very hand of God, I became a survivor. I know the sole reason I am with you a while longer is to share my journey. I will be writing to you frequently and I pray you will look for me here.
After I was diagnosed, I plunged into a deep depression. I could only see the worst of possible things to come. The day we recieved the news, I immediately began to pray and I immediately knew that I was again turning to God in a dark, desperate hour, as I have done many times before. Why had I not prayed as ferverntly for others... why had I not sought God during joyful times? I felt ashamed and not worthy of His help now. This was heavy on my heart but not His. I called and He came and sat with me on the darkest of days. I was home alone and lay in my bed overcome with fear. And then my miracle happened. I knew I was in His very presence. I shut my eyes tight, reached out my hand, and touched His cloak.
I will save the rest of this moment to share with you soon. It is not quite what you may be thinking. I am eager to share this, and so many other moments with you! Love and peace to you all!Read
It has been almost two years that I accepted Jesus into my life as my Savior. Before this, I always believed, but never took the time to really get to know Him. My life before my Savior came to me, was for of chains that held me down and made it easy for the devil to do his work. I let him take everything from me, everything. I was a hopeless broken man. It will be two years at the end of September and life has changed so much. Not everything I lost has come back, but all in life that has is wonderful. I thank Jesus everyday for this. It not an easy road to be a good Christian but it's worth it. I have love in my life, I have a beautiful woman who loves me Jesus does, I have a descent job. I really can't ask for anything more... I love all of you out there, and thank you Jesus for being there for me.Read
When I was younger, about 3 years old, my mom and I went to a church with our neighbors, who had 12 kids. We saw them as the most wonderful family -- they helped us through tough times as my single, Japanese immigrant, 20-something year old mom raised me; and they showed their love to us. This was our introduction to God.
When they moved back to their family in Texas, I was about 5 years old, my mom lost interest in church. We stopped going, but I still held interest in God.
On the last day before going on Winter Break in 8th grade, I was helping my science teacher clean his fish tank. The topic of religion came up, for he asked if my mom was Buddhist since she was Japanese. I answered no, but that we used to go to church, and I think of God often--so much, that I crave to learn about Him. My science teacher told me that he was Christian, and he said that when we got back from winter break, he would answer all my questions and tell me all about God.
Even though I did not grow up learning every name, story, or verse in the Bible, I found my way to God just by talking about my interest in Him, and I have never felt so happy. Don't rule out people who may not appear interested or know anything about God--our purpose is to spread the Good News to every single person.
In the beginning, We try to understand what we see, Life! We are taught by the people who raise us. In theory, we adjust to our circumstances, in reality, we dont understand and we question many things that we encounter in our journey. I as a child, was raised in a Catholic upbringing and I experienced the Greatness of God at an early age, however, not knowing the world and it's agenda's, I focused on what I had to do regarding my life on this planet. During my UP's and Down's of life I always knew God was around, and I felt His Love when I focused on him, But when I continued to persist on my self, I would loose that feeling! Not knowing just existing and wondering. Through my battles with addiction and bondage to many bad habits, I always had God on the back burner knowing He was there, but I insisted on doing things my way! Frank Sinatra had song with "My Way" but I quickly learned the truth about how much Our God really loves us. It took me 55 years to understand this amazing Love. God has removed my addictions, and has set me free! No more bondage! No more confusion, what is ironic, All this time, I knew, what I had to do, in a blink of the eye, I moved God from the back burner to the front and First obligation, expressing my Love for Him in a very personal manner! Wow! God really comes to your Life! When you make Him your partner! I am excited about my Love Story with God! The Best is yet to Come! Love is the key! God is Love!Read
The message August 13th 2016 was very meaningful in trusting God even when I cannot understand.
My husband left his job to become an RN and just at the end of his 3 month orientation in a major hospital with great job benefits he had a sudden onset of neck pain resulting in cervical surgery. This resulted in unemployment for a while. He moved to other nursing jobs which did not seem to work well . Was moving into nursing the best thing I do not know.
My testimony is that, during that time I was the only person working full time. My family has never been behind our mortgage, our bills have been paid including student loans, we tithe faithfully and give to missions. God has used the five loaves and two fishes and blessed us tremendously. Why my husband lost his job which was so promising, I don't understand. I know the Lord has been forever faithful, and we are trusting His Plan. The lyrics of the song ,"Trust his heart" fits in well with the devotion today.
God bless all ODB staff and management.
Today like many days before I stood at the brim of the ocean amazed at its secrets. We watch dolphins dance through waves and seagulls spiral into them. Suddenly, my dad scooped something small out of the sand and handed it to me. "Here, it's an oyster shell. Open it---does it have a pearl!?" I turned the opal shell over in fingers a few times and looked--"No pearl." "Shucks," he said. "Maybe next time." Peals are of great value, aren't they? Not necessarily something you're lucky to scoop out of the grey tide without a search. I learned once a long time ago that pearls are formed through trial. Something unexpected seeps in--the oyster fights back, layer upon layer. It's defenses persevere and produce something beautiful, through the process was painful. Again, I'm reminded how God flips the world upside down, reassuring all things that happen to us happens for us: "We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trails, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment". (Rom.5:3-5).
Regardless of how old we are or who we are, we are ALL storytellers. From the moment we take our first breath until our very last, with each new sunrise God grants us, our life’s story is being written. Along the way, there may be some chapters in our lives that are more significant than others, which we may remember more passionately. Nevertheless, each of us has our very own “special” biography to share with others; for we are all custom-made by God’s design.
After being diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer three years ago, I was to discover just five months ago that I am now living with Stage IV breast cancer; in other words, it has now metastasized throughout my body. Subsequently, I am now in aggressive therapy to hopefully put the cancer in remission, which has yet to occur.
Recently, I was asked why I wanted to write and publicly share my story. Without a moment's hesitation, I knew exactly why. It's all about H.I.M., aka Hope – Inspiration – Motivation.
It is my heartfelt passion to encourage others during their life’s journey when facing their trials and tribulations. With God’s compassion, grace and strength, it is my sincere mission to turn my life’s story into a message of H.I.M. Rather than wallowing in my own fears and tears, I am inspired, more than ever, to give H.I.M. to others, while their life feels like it is crumbling all around them.
Like Jeremiah, when we read the first two and a half chapters of Lamentations, we, too, may feel afraid, alone, discouraged and in despair. However, as Jeremiah begins to trust and seek God’s compassion and great faithfulness, which we read in Lamentations 3:22-26, he also learns to “quietly wait” (patiently) for God’s deliverance for hope, inspiration and motivation.
• Hope – “The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3:24)
• Inspiration – “Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
• Motivation – “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:25-26)
It is, therefore, by such lessons of Jeremiah that we, too, can experience God’s unwavering love, faithfulness, and mercy cascade into our lives when we seek and trust Him. For I know, I will never be alone, while the chapters of my life continue to be written, and as I continue sharing H.I.M. to others.
When you feel you can no longer cope, remember God gently whispers, "persevere, stay calm, carry on and never give up hope."
For "true faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible" (Author Unknown).Read