Tag Archives: courage

Smiling at death

Stjepan_Stevo_FilipovićWith a noose around his neck on the scaffold, resistance fighter Stjepan Filipovic defied his Nazi captors. “Death to facism! Freedom to people!” the Yugoslav jeered.

There is a cause that is worth more than conserving your life: it is fighting evil. There are men who are unafraid to pay the ultimate price for the highest good, whether they be our armed forces or missionaries in remote villages. They are unafraid because they realize if they don’t live for something valuable, they don’t live.

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They deliberately threw themselves back into the battle

King arthurKing Arthur and his knights had earned their freedom after 15 years of service to Rome, in the movie. But a massive army of Saxons was at Hadrian’s wall to take over the island, so Arthur realized he couldn’t make use of his new freedom. And his knights, weary of danger, wanted to leave but reluctantly decided to stay with their leader and fight.

King-Arthur-Christianity is too easy here in America. We busy ourselves seeking prosperity and insisting that its all about us feeling happy.

In Indonesia, you take your life in your hands by becoming a Christian. In Egypt, it is a crime to evangelize. You will be thrown in jail for talking to a Muslim about Christ.

king-arthur-movieHow can we ignore the plight of our brothers around the world and adhere to a soft Christianity that doesn’t require much of any adherence at all?

Upsizing trials

downsizing

When the ice cream comes slightly smaller at the same price, we might not even notice. But if we do, we’re up in arms. It’s a way to turn a profit — slow-churn a profit.

With trials, there’s no downsizing. They just harder and bigger every time. Earth is a classroom, and we can’t stay in 3rd grade forever.

I remember one time I found out about a trial my pastor was going through. Whoa, I said to myself, I hope I never have to go through something like that.

Then I went through worse things. I was victim of extortion. I got held up at gunpoint. Then I got rejected by the ones I loved.

Of course you have to beat the temptation to call it quits. But never is a trial easy. The promise of the Word is NOT a life free of trials but trials that we can handle. (I keep thinking I can’t handle it anymore.)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted (tried) more than you can bear. With the trial, He will provide a way of escape so that you can endure. — 1 Cor. 10:13.

We get breaks from trials but never graduate from them (until we graduate to Heaven).

This post is just sobering. I hope it can fill you with courage to face the day.

Pic: Mouseprint,org

Unafraid to act

hamletRomeo and Juliet died of rushing things. Hamlet died of being overly cautious.

When the chance came for Hamlet to (rightly) avenge his father, he held back with a ridiculous worry. The perfect opportunity slipped through his grasp.

It’s good to not be rash, to pray for the right direction in life. But we can excuse our inactivity too much at times. There needs to be an urgency to act as well as a wisdom to wait on God. Strike the balance.

laurence6-44391Don’t be afraid to act. When God gives marching orders, be prompt. The kingdom of God needs no more wishers. It needs people unafraid of the call to action.

Because Hamlet failed to carry out the necessary revenge, ultimately he died. Because Christians fail to carry out God’s mission, the Spirit passes over them on to another. Or worse, what God wants to do in the Earth gets stymied.

 

Setback? Step forward!

Why do they call it a “setback” if in reality is a necessary step to move forward?

The king of setback is of course Joseph. He dreams of greatness and leadership. Instead, he narrowly escapes death and winds up a slave. If that weren’t bad enough, he then is thrown into prison. He spends some 20 years in forced labor and then as a convict.

But the dude never stops dreaming. In fact, he interprets dreams. Overnight, he’s freed from jail and set upon a throne second only to Pharoah. He orchestrates a seven year famine survival for nations and brings the fledgling nation of Israel down the the Egyptian incubator. Four hundreds years later, they’re a few million, ready to take possession of the Promised Land.

Every step was necessary. Any one of them could have caused moaning. Discouragement could have overpowered the poor kid’s heart. But Joseph maintained perspective! They shackled his hands but never his heart.

Don’t despair with today’s setbacks. In reality, they are steps towards tomorrow’s successes.

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.

Teen fights child sex traffickers

Jessica at right, during Bible conference

Jessica Gallegos is not your typical American youth. While her friends might be worried about makeup and flirting in malls, this Jordan, Utah, adolescent is fighting child sex traffickers. That’s unusual Christian moxie.

This image from Backyard Broadcast dramatizes this evil.

Jessica joined a youth movement called Backyard Broadcast to heighten awareness of this form of slavery occurring right under our ignoring eyes. More than 100,000 kids are exploited each year. Sometimes its the parents themselves to blame, sometimes its runaways, sometimes its drug addiction. Whatever the point of exploitation, this evil should be stamped out. Unlike most youths who only cringe at the topic, Jessica is actually getting gritty to fight it.

You can join the fight against underage human trafficking too! Check out their website at http://backyardbroadcast.org/

Jessica is a heroine.