Tag Archives: David

When discouraged, keep doing right things

when discouraged

The bane of most is to succumb to discouragement, to compromise your values, to lower your sights, to throw out your dreams in search of pleasure instead of goals.

Keep believing in higher goals, even when others don’t believe in you, when others ridicule your dreams and scoff at your possibilities. Keep doing right things in the midst of overwhelming discouragement.

This is the trademark of Joseph, who, sold into slavery, kept serving his God with enthusiasm, who, next incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit, continued in the straight and narrow. When his day came, he became vice president of Egypt and saved the very people who nearly killed him.

This is the trademark of Daniel, who was ripped from his homeland and taken captive to a foreign land. With no discernible future, he steadfastly served God and wound up distinguishing himself from all those who settled for less.

This is the trademark of David, who, shunned by his own brothers and fathers, believed it important to practice his aim and took on bears in lions in defense of lambs. He thought one day his skills would be useful for taking down giants. And God gave him big things.

Let this be our trademark.

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No friends allowed

Enders game

Ender in the movie

Every time, Ender makes a friend, he gets cut off by the military leaders, who think that his intensive training precludes his need for such triviality. He must learn to depend on no one but himself to get out of every situation, Graeff reasons.

So when he is surrounded by bullies who could seriously injure himself, the teachers don’t rescue him. He’s left to his own wits.

The teachers praise him in front of the other trainees knowing this will create envy and jealousy.

When he makes a friend in a platoon, they switch him.

There are many elements of madness in Ender’s Game that seem to lift from Catch 22.

The kicker is that this heartless abuse works. At the end, Ender saves Earth from the attack of the buggers with his brilliant command of the international fleet.

They talked of stoning David. Amalekites had attacked his camp while he and his men were out. They had burned it, pillaged it and made off with everybody’s wife and children. David’s men were embittered.

Then David did something extraordinary. The Bible says he encouraged himself in the Lord. No one was there for him. He dug deep and found the resource to turn the defeat into a victory. He pursued the attackers and recovered everything and everyone unharmed.

Maybe God let’s his servants go through times of utter loneliness to bring out the best in them.

You are not able

David - you are able

So said Saul to David, just before the shepherd boy cut off Goliath’s head in single combat.

Boy, nobody believed in David. Not his brother. Not his king. I guess Saul figure there would be nothing lost if David lost: You are not able. — 1 Sam.17:35

And then David went out and, with a stone and sling, showed he was able.

Of course, God was behind the miracle. The story of how David sunk a stone in the giant’s forehead is actually the first laser-guided projectile. Yeah, God was the laser guidance system.

And the giant fell down. And David ran to him, took his own sword and cut his head off.

The Philistines, who no doubt were thinking David wasn’t able, panicked and ran.

The next time someone tells you you’re not able, laugh and go out and do it in the power of God.

But there are giants in the land #ValleyBoyPastor

IMG_0367(1)Anytime you want to do something GOOD, major opposition looms.

If, however, you want to do something BAD, the path forward is a glittery and easy speedway.

What scared the Israelites and sent them back into the desert for 40 years, what kept them from their destiny, were giants. These guys were 9-feet tall — and there was no NBA back then. The whining spies said they felt like cockroaches compared to them.

It can be intimidating to do ministry. But God can knock those giants down. The taller they are, the harder the fall, as David found.

I’ve moved to Van Nuys to open a Bible study and possibly parlay it into a church. I’ve found the giant already. I’ve learned you have to stare down giants.

The hardest thing

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the Unite...

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945.

The easiest thing is to quit.

It requires no courage, no effort, no optimism, no reassessment, no analysis, no second attempt, no positive enthusiasm, no uphill battle.

My soccer team practiced on the beach

So much of Europe just surrendered as Nazi tanks rolled in. They didn’t even try to fight for their homeland. But England was whipped into resistance by Winston Churchill. He said: Never, never, never, never, never give up! He promised the Nazis war by air, war by sea, war by land — on the beaches, over the plains, in the forests, in the cities, room by room, if need by, until the last Nazi fell or withdrew.

I coach a high school soccer team. We are small school, so there’s no talent pool. A few are good, another few are athletic, some are total beginners. We go up against some really good teams. Last season, a typical loss was 10-1. This season, some players have already decided that we have lost.

If you KNOW that you are going to lose even before your feet touch the field, then you WILL fulfill your own prophecy. No wonder some of the kids goof-off at practice, crack jokes and skip training. It’s all pointless, anyhow, right?

I think David saw possibility where others saw only death. He wasn’t afraid to take on a 9-foot tall giant named Goliath. And he took him out.

Quitting may be easy. But it provides no reward, no satisfaction, no triumphalism, no heroics, no solace, no hope, no joy. There’s nothing better than winning by upset. To get that, you have to believe in yourself.

Daniel’s secret

Anybody who attains wild success these days, writes a book and explains the “secret.”

The Prophet Daniel was second in power in the Persian empire, trusted like no other counselor. More than just competent administration drove him to the top. His secret was prayer.

Three times a day, he neglected his insanely busy schedule to make time for God. This is an important reminder to us Christians who are trying to advance the kingdom of God. A recent survey found pastors pray on average only seven minutes a day.

King David, likewise, sought God’s face as a #1 priority. When he failed to do so, he fell into

sin. Christ also needed time alone with God. The busier they were, the more the Biblical heroes found time to pray.

This is difficult because it is counter-intuitive, especially here in America, where we are barraged by the message that time (working time) is money. Make (more) time for God today.

 

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.

 

Too much?

Prophet Nathan rebukes David for adultery with...

Image via Wikipedia

And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. — 2 Sam. 12:8 NIV

Honestly, I would NOT have expected God to say this. The Lord is enumerating the many blessings He gave to King David, including many wives. Why, He says through the prophet Nathan, did David take another man’s wife? David got Bathsheba pregnant and then arranged for the death of Bathsheba’s husband so that he could keep her.

Honestly, I would have expected God to be severe. But God is not overly severe with David. He makes room for grace. And what He says to David means blessings for you and me. I WOULD HAVE GIVEN YOU MORE.

If only you would ask. If only you would go through legitimate channels. If only you would believe. God does not reproach us for requesting more. He doesn’t scold us to be grateful for what we have already. He freely offers MORE, if only we would ask in prayer.

The devil aims to discourage you. Mr. Red Suit bombards you with a continual rant of “stop asking for more.”

But God says, Ask for more. Ask and keep asking. When do we have too much? Apparently, it didn’t occur to God to declare that David had too much.

When do we have too much? When everyone on Planet Earth is saved. In the meantime, ask for more without fear that He will deny your request.