Tag Archives: persevere

Finishing strong

In the video above, my son makes the tying goal in the last minutes of the game against the first place team. It was the last game of the Fall 2014 season. The fact that they could come from behind 0-3 and equal the best team was significant.

It is important as a Christian to finish strong. Too many of my friends have been meteoric, a bright light for Christ that burns out. He who perseveres to the end shall be saved, Christ warns in Matt. 24:13. It’s only a 15-second video.

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Make the finish line

make the finish lineThe Christian life is not a sprint. It is a marathon.

The marathon — 26 miles — is divided into two parts: 1) the first 25 miles, then 2) the last mile.

Forget about who’s first. Just finish the rest. Too many Christians burn out, get confused, get bitter or otherwise fall out of their orbit.

He who persevere to the end shall be saved. — Matt. 24:13.

Never, never, never, never give up

On dirt fields, he taught me. He was patient, hard-working, demanding, tireless. He almost always won, often coming from behind.

On dirt fields, he taught me. He was patient, hard-working, demanding, tireless. He almost always won, often coming from behind.

Like he fought on the field, so in the church. Mario always invited youths to know God.

Like he fought on the field, so in the church. Mario always invited youths to know God.

No matter how many goals he goes down, Mario Ajcip never despairs. The Guatemalan patiently works to improve his team and to remount the score and win. Sometimes he yells at his teammates, demanding output.

Since learning to play from him some 10 years imagesago, I now know that his is an extraordinary characteristic. I have played, coached and watched teams that become despondent and give up. If they go down two goals, they anguish and pray for the final whistle to hurry so they can scurry off the field of humiliation. Soccer is low scoring, so when you’re down a few, commentators say it’s over.

Well, I learned from Mario. It’s never over!

I don’t care what troubles your facing now (economical, marital, prodigal), it ain’t over till you’re dead. SOOOOO, keep fighting. Keep kicking that ball, connect passes, set up goals, defend667 staunchly. Don’t just retreat into your half and try to limit goals against, run the counter-attack! And yell at yourself for having a give-up attitude.

The title of the blog, of course, comes from Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who inspired Britain to stand alone against the monolithic Axis Powers in World War II, when France and all other resistance had been crushed. We have need to remember his motto today. Keep believing, keep working, keep praying.

‘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.

Hitting the wall

A runner falls before the finish line in the Melbourne Marathon in 2006

At 18-20 miles, a marathoner can experience acute fatigue known commonly as “hitting the wall.” At that point stored glycogen depletes, and the body turns to fat, but the conversion is slower. Hardcore marathoners bring “energy gels” to supply easy energy.

I am not (yet) a marathoner. Just a few weeks ago, I could hardly do 2 miles. But I am preparing to do the 6-mile running leg of the L.A. Triathlon Sept. 30 as part of a relay team. So I am learning about long distance running as I train.

Christianity is not for sprinters. I have seen too many good men die after a spectacular mad dash. After so much promise and exhibiting boundless potential, they stop serving Him altogether. It is terribly saddening.

So far, I have been a born-again Christian for 33 years. I still have a long way to go. I want to continue growing and being useful. Most of all, I don’t want to pull the plug. I don’t want to hit the wall short of the finish line.

Somewhere in the years of ministry, stagnation, monotony, boredom and distraction take a toll. The leader falls tragically into sin. God help us to stay the course and finish the race. When acute fatigue sets in, take that energy capsule!

Don’t miss the miracle

Literally tens of thousands of Israelite soldiers missed this. Saul and his 600 men rushed out to the battle and found the Philistines killing each other — 1 Sam. 14:20 (Living Bible). Jonathan had sparked panic and confusion on the enemy with only his armor bearer.

And the rest of the 300,000 soldiers (see 1 Sam. 11:8-9)? They were hiding in caves, wells, bushes and even running across borders into foreign countries. They missed witnessing God’s sovereign and wondrous move!

In ministry, there’s definitely a need to hang in there. When war clangor strikes fear in a normal man’s heart, you must remain stout, unmoved, waiting patiently on God. The guys who run, miss out. Pray and remain. In fact, the key to winning is just staying when God is involved. The only ones who lose are those who quit.