Monthly Archives: September 2012

Even before you finish praying

It irks me to no end when people cut me off and don’t let me finish what I’m saying. But this is totally different.

Before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear — Isaiah 65:24 NIV. In that case, God, go ahead and cut me off. Bring the answer faster than I can finish praying!

It paints the picture of God hanging on a thread, just waiting to grant requests. He’s in the gate, champing at the bit, the first to spring out of the racehorse. Forget about being impatient — it is God who is impatient to answer us! Man, this verse fires me up to want to pray!

I have seen this. While praying to find my cell phone, even before I had finished the sentence, my daughter found it on the floor of the car. I want to see it more. Go God!

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Unheard of!

 

Klose is a true example.

Has this ever happened before??? Miraslov Klose admitted that he scored a goal with his hand, and it was disallowed. Has a footballer ever told the truth???

Thierry Henry scored a goal that qualified France for the 2010 World Cup.

Thierry Henry

Without that goal, France would not have even played. At the end of the match, when it is too late to change the score, he admitted to the ref his foul play. His teammates shamelessly defended his dishonesty. “The end justified the means.”

When Luis Suarez blocked a goal against with his hand, he cried for being red-carded, sent off of the field. His intentional foul aided his

The ever-controversial Suarez

team pass to semi-finals in the 2010 World Cup. He cried, as if the ref’s decision were unfair. Poor him! Boo-hoo.

Against this backdrop, FINALLY, a soccer star acts NOT out of self-interest or out of interest for his team but out of interest for HONESTY. Praise God!

Sometimes telling the truth requires courage. Sometimes you have to lose to maintain your integrity. When you win the game, you lose your character.

 

 

Bad boys club

 

Balotelli and Tevez shelter from the rain

Upstart soccer sensation Manchester City is known as a club for bad boys. Carlos Tevez throws a tantrum and won’t play for six months. Mario Balotelli throws darts at his juniors and lights fireworks inside his house, all in the name of fun. All the superstar misfits who get kicked out of their topflight clubs come kicking to City.

By the way, City won the English Premier League last year, batting down their crosstown rivals and internationally famous Manchester United. Maybe this strategy of picking up all the rejects and societal blunderers has got something to it!

The church is also a can for refuse! Check out the humble beginnings of David‘s invincible army: Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men. — 1 Sam. 22:2 New Living Translation.

You can see how they became giant slayers and subjugators of a nations (that’s sarcasm, ma’am!) According to a revision of troops, David had: 1) fugitives, 2) deadbeats and 3) crybabies. Yup! Those are the men I want to count on in a fix!

By general rule, the church doesn’t receive the cream of the crop. But whoever comes is brought by the Spirit. The pastor lovingly, patiently, persistently trains them. This is called discipleship. And they become crack warriors, unflinching and deadly, to kill demons and force forward God’s kingdom! Constant prayer oversees the transformation.

Watch for more antics from the boys who wear light blue! They’re looking to win the European Champions League this year. Since I’ve see the turnaround in church disciples, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if they confound pundits by doing it.

 

Courage to face the day

Some need their energy drink. I need prayer.

It would be too easy just to resign myself, to stop fighting, to “read the writing on the wall.” Nothing will stop approaching disaster. Give up, accept it, God is not going to do it this time. After praying for Nelly’s hernia for a year, nothing has happened.

If I don’t go to prayer, I have a depressed day without faith. Murphy’s pessimism takes over my mind and heart. I get discouraged. Prayer pulls me out of the abyss. Prayer reminds me to rally faith in my heart, to believe, to continue to believe. Prayer reminds me that God gives last minute, glorious answers. Stay on track to faith.

When they screw with your mind…

from the movie

After defeating every apparent enemy in the video game, Ender faces a mirror and sees his brother’s face. He shrieks with horror. The message is clear: Ender, you’re as cruel, ruthless, cold, calculating and power-hungry as Peter.

The video game is not the only thing to screw with his mind in Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. At every turn, Col. Graff stacks the odds against the child genius in his attempts to prepare a general to fight the alien buggers. He is deprived of friends, allowed to be bullied, given the disadvantage in the battle room. Inevitably, he wins in the sci-fi story set to be a 2013 movie, but he chafes under the mind games.

It seems to me that God screws with our minds at times. Such is

Ender

the story of Job, who is deprived of knowing chapters 1 -3 of the book written about him that explains the bigger picture. It could have provided some solace. Such was the story of Joseph — and a host of other biblical heroes. All things work

Petra

together for the good… but when you’re going through the trial, it’s a mind game just to not explode.

So how does a child not turn to drugs when caught between parents in an acrimonious divorce? How do you keep outreaching zealously for God when your wife leaves you for no reason? How do you forgive when power-hungry church members accuse you falsely?

There is no easy answer. I personally like prayer. But what must be said is that an answer must be found. You must not burst

the book’s author

under pressure. Grace must remain intact through the furnace trial.

I was a literature major. I have never read a book that addresses this theme. It made me think profoundly. It brought comfort. (Spoiler alert) In the end, the mind games prepared Ender to defeat the enemy.

‘Perhaps today’

No two words hold more inspiration. They hang inside the prayer room at my church. Laconic but powerful: At any point, the answer will come, maybe even today.

If you knew that your long-awaited-for request were to be answered today, how earnestly, joyfully, expectantly would you pray? Do it.

Even if the answer DOESN’T come today, if you pray like it will, it MAY come today. “Perhaps today” fires up faith, and faith moves God.

If there have been tomes written on faith, this is faith’s haiku: Perhaps today. No more need be said.

As fast as a speeding train

The railroad company built a shield out the back of the car to lengthen the slipstream.

Charles Murphy became  the first man to ride a mile in a minute on a bicycle in 1899. He did so by laying wood planks between rails on Long Island and riding in the slipstream behind a speeding train. He proved his boast: the greatest limitation for the cyclist was not athleticism but wind resistance.

On the carpet of wooden planks laid for the event

Having completed the feat, Murphy was clasped and dragged from his still-moving bike into the back of the racing train. “I lay motionless, face down, on the platform. I was all in. I was half-carried to a cot at the end of the car; the roar of the train was challenged by hysterical yells. Grown men hugged and kissed each other. One man fainted and another went into hysterics, while I remained speechless on my back, ashen in colour and sore all over.”

It was a grand moment for cycling. Also, it was heyday for physics. By defeating wind drag, the cyclist could go faster and faster and faster.

Here’s a metaphor: prayer eliminates barriers, resistance, drag and other natural and human constraints on the man of God. The more you pray, the faster your ministry goes. It took Murphy and the Long Island Railroad a while to set up optimal conditions for the exposition record-breaking ride. But once they did, glory was won in less than 60 seconds. You may need time to set up “optimal conditions” in prayer that will flash in revival quickly.

The stampede

 

When thunder clapped, it sent the vast cattle herds of the Old West into a panicked stampede. At night, stampedes were guaranteed death because the animals would hurtle blindly into a river or off a cliff.

It was the cowboy’s job to race his horse to the front of the stampede and make the cows turn into a large circle where eventually the first cattle followed the last cattle. Thus, each cow, following the one in front, kept running in a circle until, exhausted, they fell down and rested.

It was a terrifying job to rush breakneck into complete darkness. But there was no other way to save the cows. It reminds of the pastor, who springs into action praying to offset the coming judgement of God over his church.

Prayer should be constant. It is also emergency-based. A prayer warrior is a cowboy.

 

Squatters and invaders

The Guatemalan poor have no land, so they gather a mob and all move in at once onto unoccupied land. These squatters are called “invaders,” and their removal from private property frequently leads to blood-shedding. They cling desperately to a place they wish to call home without having any right to be there.

This is a Biblical comparison, not a political commentary. Demons are invaders. They have no right, but they simply move in, through sin, and occupy the human heart and mind. They must be opposed and evicted with force. They cling desperately to the spot they have laid claim to.

When you pray, it is no grandmotherly knitting. It is doing violence to the kingdom of Hell. It is demanding they obey the rightful law of God, forcing them to submit to God’s superiority. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. — Matt. 11:12 KJV.

Canaan walk no cake walk

I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. — Josh. 1:3 NIV.

To this wonderful promise, there was just one problem. The Israelites had to fight for it. The Canaan walk was no cake walk. They would establish DOMINION by endangering their lives. Blood, sweat and tears.

You too have the magnificent promise that you must establish dominion in your ministry. God will grant it. But it will not be an easy war. It will be long, arduous, painful — and underfunded.

Prayer is taking dominion. Don´t be surprised that demons don´t give up easily. They go down fighting. Really, they have nothing left to lose (they are destined to hell irremediably), and they fight like it. Pray more, pray harder, in the bank line, while driving, in a lull during that meeting. Every prayer is a sword strike against the enemy. Every prayer is another demon of the millions you must expel. Every prayer is finances for your ministry. Don´t pray a Caribbean hammock prayer; pray a war prayer.

What has God called you to? That is your Canaan in which you must fight to win dominion. God will grant it. But it will cost you dearly.

Wimpy blog

 

Wow! Today in church the pastor was really inspiring! He was talking about heroes of the Bible and how they did great things for God. How they used faith to take on giants and false prophets and evil emperors. I really felt like God spoke to me. I even went up to the altar and asked Him to use me.

So today, I’m going to pray that I, too, will stop being the ho-hum Christian and go out in the world and conquer and triumph! With all this Holy Spirit energy, I’m ready to fulfill my purpose in life: I’m going to get the high score on Modern Warfare III.

 

A tale of two brothers

Adolf and Rudolf Dassler inherited shoe-making from their dad, but they didn’t inherit love for each other. Adolf broke off their partnership and founded Addidas, while Rudolf founded Puma — both in the same German town of Herzogenaurach.

A rare photo where both brothers, left and middle, appear together

Their intense sibling rivalry led to unprecedented shoe wars waged through stepped-up bidding battles for the hottest athletes. In an attempt to stave off the spiraling sponsorship costs, both made a pact to not pursue Brazilian soccer genius Pele.

Pele led the Brazilians to World Cup glory in 1970

But Rudolf betrayed it. He paid $120,000 for Pele in the 1970 World Cup to ask the ref to not whistle the beginning so that he could tie his shoes. As worldwide television looked on at the cause of the delay, Puma won a publicity coup without parallel.

His brother never forgave him. The two are even buried in the farthest opposing extremities of the town cemetery.

Can’t we get along??? Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven — Matt. 18:19 NIV. We ought to get along at least enough to pray together.

The Dassler brothers only tamed their family war with the appearance of Nike, which blindsided them and stole huge shares of the athletics market. Only when the devil shows up, will we get along?

Would that Christians were weaver ants

From National Geographic

When weaver ants sense danger, it’s all hands on deck to protect the queen. They dogpile her in a protective ball of warriors, willing to cede their lives for the good of their leader. You see, the queen is the principal reproducer of the colony.

Do we protect our pastor, the principle reproducer of the church, this way? Sadly, all the warrior ants of the colony/church often attack the pastor and cut him to pieces instead of protecting him!

Mother Nature can teach us about Father God! If we will only pay attention to the lesson. We ought to defend our pastor, understand that after all he’s only a man. We pray for him, uphold him, encourage him, give him gifts of money as he needs.

Too many Christians have the mega-church mentality. We want a superstar pastor whose smooth and cool with no rough edges. We want a demigod, not a man of God. We need to be patient and loving with our pastor and stop demanding superhuman. capabilities. Let him have his feet on the Earth. Instead of complaining, pray for him!

We have not even begun to give!

 

Someone recently gave a handsome sum of money to a Third World church, and then prayed, “To whom much has been given, much is expected.” Since I lived 16 years in the Third World, I have a different perspective than most: We cannot apply this verse to others, only to ourselves.

I know firsthand how the Third World church lives: dirt floors, open sewage, malnutrition, roofs that fall in during a downpour. Christians serve 17-hour days. They walk to and from church 5 miles, through inclement weather, in danger of thieves.

How dare we? How dare we impose on Third World Christians a burden we would not lift ourselves? When we Americans feel like we have given until burnout, we are still FAR better off than 95% of the world.

Today’s blog is brash call to introspection. It is also a rousing cry to continue giving. Banish burnout from your mind and heart and continue to give. Because after all is said and done, we (Americans) only ever give of our excess.

 

Please pray for Nelly

Nelly, with her two daughters, doing what she likes most — serving in the church.

When we were forced to leave Guatemala after 16 years of missionary work, we left Pastor Ludving and his wife, Nelly, in charge of the churches and the school.

Today, I want to ask you to pray for Nelly. She has not one but two grave needs of healing: serious arthritis and a hernia that is now on its fourth operation.

I always try to encourage on this blog others to have faith, but I am struggling to muster faith myself now. Thanks for praying!

Btw, just a note to my regular readers: During the summer, I got you used to two blogs a day, morning and evening. But school has started, and since I am a teacher, my time has been limited, so I have decreased my output to one blog a day. I hope this can continue to inspire people everywhere to assume great challenges. Thanks for praying for Nelly!

When you reap what you didn’t sow

Money is a problem for us, not for God. We quote to our kids that money doesn’t grow on trees or appear out of thin air. But for God it does. He can make money appear from nowhere.

I harvest crops I didn’t plant and gather crops I didn’t cultivate. — Matt. 25:26. Many know God as the “God of the Harvest.” But do you know that He is also the “God of the Harvest that He did not Cultivate” and the “God of the Harvest You did not Cultivate.”

He can bring a windfall at any time — usually just in time (it always seems late). The word “windfall” is derived from the Middle Ages, when peasants were forbidden to chop wood for cooking. When a wind whipped up, it often blew down the necessary firewood. It was called a “windfall.”

God’s Wind, his Holy Spirit, will blow finances your way. Just pray. God’s harvest of unknown origins will be reaped into your barn. Just pray. Don’t chafe under the mounting bills. Trust and keep working for souls.

Spoiled Christian

When Junior’s brother walked out the front door that night, he said he was going to buy a coke. But he never came back. Frantic, his parents went from police station to hospital to morgue searching for any sign of him.

Junior’s brother was not abused physically or emotionally. He was not “run off.” He simply was spoiled. He was given ever whim. And he gravitated intensely to a mentality of entitlement. He left because sometimes Mom and Dad got in the way of what he wanted. He didn’t even leave a note, never called home, to explain or assure his parents.

This is a true story from Guatemala. It illustrates why God does NOT grant every prayer request immediately. We run the risk of becoming selfish, serving ourselves, making ourselves into our own gods. If God granted us all our capricious desires, we would reduce Him down to our servant, that at a snap of our fingers, He should act like a genie in a bottle whose not limited to three wishes. That’s why not every answer is affirmative, and not every answer is immediate. It would spoil us.

To the contrary, we are His servants. We must be patient and persevering. We must not give up if an answer comes slowly. We must accept “No” from God occasionally. We must make sure our requests align with the word of God. This is for our best.

Junior’s parents know no end of grief. Uneasy and unsettled about the final destination of their son, they continue with torment. Whether it is an earthly father or a Heavenly Father, it is not good to spoil kids.

Wimpy blog

A funny thing happened in Sunday school yesterday. Elder Eli was teaching about being your brother’s keeper from Galatians 6:1: Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.

As he expounded, a lot of us teens kept looking at each other with our eyes wide open, almost laughing, because it’s his kids who are the biggest trouble-makers. Basically, Mr. Eli was teaching us to tell on the youth who are messing up. It was funny because he didn’t show any signs of realizing the irony. He believes his kids are the angels of the church .

The other thing was not so funny though. We can’t tell on HIS kids because they’re bigger than my group of friends AND once you rat out someone you get a bad rap in the church so that no one wants to be your friend. Not that Harry or Phillip are friends of mine to worry about losing them.

I’ve grown up in church, so I’ve heard this lesson before. But you can’t actually apply some of the things of the Bible. You have to sort of filter the Bible and make adjustments for reality, you know? The unwritten rules are what’s important.

 

Rip down the evil insignia

Apostolos Santas acted with daring. He and a friend tore down the Nazi flag on the Acropolis on May 30, 1941. His brash courage inspired thousands to resistance fighting against the Axis domination.

Many historians say it was not the Russians or the Americans who won World War II but it was the Greeks. After all, the trouble they caused to the Nazi War Machine mired them down and slowed their blitzkrieg into Russia.

It’s not worth to live by cowardice. Make a brazen move to live for God, and stick to your guns. Don’t just let the evil powers dominate your life, your ministry. Stand up and fight — in prayer! Are we not fighting for people’s freedom (from Satanic domination)?

For his bravery, Santas was condemned but never caught by the Nazis. He was canonized as a hero, not only for the Greeks, but for freedom-fighters everywhere. Dare to stand for what you believe. You can run away from troubles until you die, but history belongs to those who act.

Dagon’s down

Crisis reigns in Israel. Not only have they lost the Philistine war, the ark of the covenant, Israel’s one great treasure, has been captured. Now, it lies deep within enemy territory, in their temple, a tribute to their god, a mockery to the one true God. True believers are in disgrace.

A depiction of Dagon

But when there is absolutely no hope, God’s not panicked. Instead, He uses the hopelessness to glorify Himself. The first night His holy ark is in a pagan temple, he makes the idol Dagon bow before it.

When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. — 1 Sam. 5:3 NIV. The Philistines don’t get. They think it’s a fluke.

A replica of the ark

But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. — 1 Sam. 5:4 NIV.

Things are about to get worse, and the Philistines grow terrified. The message is clear: You don’t make a trophy of the one true God to honor false gods. That is what the Philistines learn.

They sent it back on a cart pulled by cattle, who with no guiding, took it straight back to Israel.

The Israelites learn that God can act alone, without any human intervention. At the end of the story, the Philistines send the ark back to Israel voluntarily. There is no military raid to recover it. No high-level diplomatic negotiations. No agreement to exchange war prisoners. To the Israelite perspective, it is starkly an Act of God.

Maybe you need an Act of God for your desperate circumstances today. Instead of wringing your hands, fold them in prayer. Instead of anxiety, let quiet trust reign in your heart.

God doesn’t need you. He needs only your prayers.

Measure of greatness

Greatness in the world is vastly different than greatness in the Kingdom of God. In fact, the two outlooks are in direct conflict.

My pastor once was a college football player. At that time, greatness was the privilege to tread the turf of a Rose Bowl Tournament.

Now, greatness is sharing the Word of God over breakfast at Fromin’s Delicatessen in Santa Monica with a few early risers. It is a privilege.

If greatness for you is money, your goals may bring you into conflict with God’s word. You may call yourself a Christian but the majority of your effort is, in fact, not to advance His kingdom.

Your view of greatness is your vision for life.

Unlocking Heaven’s riches

How to unlock the unlimited riches of Heaven for my ministry? Theologically, it is simply a matter of asking. But then there are other factors: perseverance, attitude, seeking God. To get it all right can feel like picking a safe.

By no means are we stealing from God. But sometimes our immaturity gets in the way. Sometimes, selfishness, wrong motives, capriciousness, unforgiveness and an evil host of other reasons block that instant answer we desperately want. Some people seem to get answers easier than others, some get more money than others. It’s as if they know the combination to the safe.

I don’t aim to explain — or even know — all the answers here. I shoot only to encourage. Continue praying. Strive to line up all your attitudes and motives with the Word of God. Persist day after day. These are correct.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. — Rom. 8:27 NIV.

Yes! We are weak! Sometimes, we don’t know how to pray!

In this verse, pentecostal commentators see the groanings as “tongues.” Others say they are just groanings. Whatever the case, you ought to practice your interpretation. What is clear is that we do not always know how to pray, and the Spirit is there to help us.

In other words, God wants us to get to the answer even more than we do (though it may not seem like it!). So get the Holy Spirit to help you. If you’re going to “make off” with Heaven’s wealth, you’re going to have to find the right combination!

Muir’s musings

John Muir communed with nature. Contemplating the utter placidity of a peak-reflecting lake in a ice-ringed “stadium” peopled only by 100,000 conifer trees , the father of our national parks found God. I certainly sympathize with Muir; I’ve known the holy awe of the pristine gorge gush that thunders. It also whispers: this is God’s place.

But I differ on one thing: You can find God anywhere. While the splendor of Yosemite certainly resounds of God’s handiwork, I can find God in cacophony of urban ugliness. I don’t need nature to induce a God-feel. I can get high on God simply by going to prayer. And I wouldn’t give that up for anything.

John Muir

I didn’t make it to the national parks this year. But I haven’t missed a day of communing with God.

No doubt, thousands have sensed the mystical sway of crossing the threshold of some natural sanctum. They could stand to learn that the tingling sensation of being in God’s presence can be found right here at home too.

Prayer is rest

Let us LABOUR therefore to enter into that REST –– Heb. 4:11 KJV (caps mine). On the surface, this verse contradicts itself. On the one hand, there is labor (note the English spelling); on the other, rest. Instead of “labor,” the NIV says “make every effort” and the English Standard Version, “strive.”

Rest is no small theme in the Book of Hebrews. It receives more than an incidental mention. The author compares the Old Testament Sabbath rest to Christianity, in that we are no longer doing “works” toward salvation (i.e. no circumcision, no sacrifices). As Christians, we “rest” in salvation because we just receive it by believing. But he warns us against lack of belief, because in the desert some failed to enter the rest of the Promised Land.

Prayer is not worry. It is not labor. It is ceasing from labors and allowing God to do the labor. It is ceasing from worry and purposely deciding to live by faith. A diagram might be more exact: we have worry –> so we pray –> as faith fills us in prayer, we rest with quiet confidence that God will do what we cannot. No longer feverishly agitated, we calmly go about our daily labors, trusting that God will bring the breakthrough we cannot order ourselves through our own cleverness or hard work.

It is easy to fall back into worry. That is why we must constantly oblige our nervous minds to return to faith — and thus rest — in the Lord. So prayer is rest, but not laziness. Being unconcerned about life is not what I’m talking about either.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. — 1 Pet. 5:7 NIV.

Wimpy blog

I wouldn’t be caught dead with a Bible in the streets. The kids at school would never let me live it down. So, when it comes time to go to church, I’m always forgetting it, even though Dad scolds me. You see, there’s a short window of opportunity, when we go from the car into the church, that I could potentially be seen on the street by one my classmates. Then it would all be over.

Actually the Bible-forgetting lends itself perfectly to a major goal in life that I have – to get an iPhone. I keep telling Mom that I could download the Bible onto the iPhone, and then I would never forget it for church. So far, Dad and Mom keep using lame excuses like we don’t have enough money. So I’m going to keep dropping hints and pressuring until I wear them down. Mom, will be the first to break. Then, Dad won’t be able to say no to her.

You aren’t even hardly a person if you don’t have a cool smartphone. The other day in Sunday School, the teacher slid an iPhone across the table so that one of the older kids could call the main teacher. We hadn’t noticed his iPhone before. There was a collective “Ooooh!” when we saw it.. After class, a lot of the kids circled around him and wanted to see his phone and chattered a bunch with him. His rating with us kids just went way up.

Why don’t parents understand important stuff like this? Dad scowls and says a phone is for making calls. He doesn’t understand that things like status and image are important to us. If I had an iPhone maybe even Rose would notice me. But as it is, I’m a bottom-dwelling fish, doomed to uncool by uncool parents.

‘Immortal’ cells

Normal cells cease to replicate at about the 50th cell division. Not so with the HeLa cells, which are immortal. Taken from a cancer from Henrietta Lacks in 1951, these extraordinary cells are cultivated in lab cultures and propagate endlessly. They have been useful in research for the polio vaccine, cancer, AIDS, and gene mapping. HeLa cells have given so much to humanity, and they just keep giving.

Henrietta Lax

Shouldn’t Christians be like that? There are people who burn out on their donating. At some point, they get frustrated with the endless need for their finances and start looking out only for number one. There are pastors who weary of self-sacrifice for the good of others; they start doing more for me. After replicating about 50 times, they’ve had enough.

Let us pray for resiliency today. We should be the workers who “bear the heat of the day” and don’t complain to the Vineyard Owner about getting the same wage as the Johnny-come-latelies. He who stands firm to the end will be saved. — Mark 13:13 NIV. Don’t just start the race gloriously; finish it satisfactorily.