Monday, April 20, 2009

Endurance Part Three

Just so y'all know, ever since the first Endurance post I kinda got hooked! I don't think that there will be an end to these posts! With the times getting harder, it is a good reminder that we need to endure all of the hardships for Christ. It has helped me to write these and then go back and read them as I hear about what is going on in the world. I hope that they are an encouragement to you, too!

On Saturday, Dad, and the boys had a karate rank test. Let me tell you,it was a very hard test!

Daddy and another friend of ours just about gave up. There was one part where they had to spar against the teacher.

The teacher pushes his students to their limit, then farther. When Daddy was done sparring, he could not walk. I was afraid that he was going to fall over. Daddy and the other Dad had to endure the pain and tiredness that they felt. The teacher would not let them quit when they got tired! He kept pushing them. The sensei (or teacher) knew they had more in them.

I got thinking, "If I had to do this karate rank test, would I be able to endure?" My immediate answer was "No way. I could never do that and last!" Then I was reminded that this is what Jesus Christ calls us to do. He calls us to endure hardships for His name.

My Dad was performing a self-defense and the teacher had the higher belts come and distract him. They were pushing, pulling and talking to him.

Satan does the same thing to us. He makes us lose our focus on Jesus Christ. That is when we need to endure. Daddy had the endurance to withstand the "temptation" of the higher belts. We need the endurance to withstand the devil.

One year ago, Daddy could not have endured this test. He practiced for it. We need to do the same thing. We go through life saying "yes, we love Jesus Christ" and not do anything about it. We need to "practice" so we can endure the temptations that Satan throws at us.

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."
By Dc talk "What if I stumble"

Here are some pictures of their test!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Endurance, Part Two

There are a lot of stories in history about endurance. There is no story of endurance greater than the story of Jesus Christ dying on the cross.

"And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt]. " Matthew 26:39 (KJV)

Jesus did not want to die, but, nevertheless, he endured the pain, and suffering to cleanse me of my sins.

I don't think that I could have endured that, to tell you the truth.
He bled for me. He came to earth for me. He died for me!

The Story of Jesus' death on the cross is a wonderful story of endurance. Jesus did not want to die, but he knew that is what His Father wanted.

There was a question that was asked in church a few Sundays ago, "Would you die for someone who you had no clue who they were? Would you give your daughters, your sons, or your wives, to die for someone you don't know?" That is what Jesus did. He died for EVERYONE!!!!

Jesus withstood the temptation of running away from His Father's will. He endured the pain and hardship because He loved his people.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."John 3:16 (KJV)

This is love
Hanging on a tree
For all the world to see
Holy sacrifice

This is love
Dying in my place
Bearing my disgrace
Giving me new life

This is love, perfect love
Like I have never known
Father God, in your righteousness
To think You would claim me as Your own
This is love

This is love
Reaching for me first
When I was at my worst
On a lonely road

This is love
My sin as black as night
Covered in a robe of white
That your grace bestowed

This is love, perfect love
Like I have never known
Father God, in your righteousness
To think You would claim me as Your own
This is love

"This is Love" By Todd Vaters.

The Resurrection story can be found in Matthew 26-28.

Oh, I forgot. If you have not seen the video in the last post, I encourage you to watch it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Endurance, Part One

What does that word mean? It means "the power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process; the capacity of something to last or to withstand wear and tear."

Let me tell you a story about endurance. There was an expedition to Antarctica in 1914, lead by a English gentleman named, Sir Ernest Shackleton. He took with him 27 men, and 69 dogs who were trying to cross the continent. Before he left for Antarctica, he promised all the men they would make it back alive. Now, THAT is a pretty big promise.

Let me take a minute and fill you in on the details of Antarctica. With the technology in the early 20th century, it was impossible to cross. Winter is from May- September. There is complete darkness and the temperature is below zero. Some of the other fellow explorers never came back because after being in complete blackness for five months, the men would go mad and die. The summer months are from November- February and the sun never sets.

So, now do you see why I say that he made a pretty big promise to his men about returning alive?
The year that they (Shackleton and his crew) went to the Antarctica, the ice floes were vary far out in the Weddell Sea. The captains at South Georgia said that he was crazy to go anywhere near Antarctica that year. But, he and his crew set out on their ship Endurance anyway.

They left South Georgia on December 5, 1914. They were hoping to spend Christmas on the shores of Antarctica. Instead they spent it trapped in an ice floe.
The Endurance withstood everything that had already come at her. She was trapped in the ice for just about a year. For that year, nature was trying to win; trying to take 28 men, 69 dogs, and the ship. Then, on November 21, 1915, she won. The ice smashed the sides of the ship and she went down. The Endurance, even though just a ship, gives us an example of endurance. She endured many of the hardships of Antarctica.

That is not the end of the story. Shackleton did go on. Since they no longer had boat to go forward, they had to go back to South Georgia. They had to kill the dogs for food, face blizzards, frost bite, and ice splitting.

All of the men did endure a lot, but Shackleton faced the most. He gave up his food, some of his clothing, and the Bible that the King of England had given him. He had to travel 825 miles to South Georgia in a dinghy, face the bad storms that are on the South Sea, and not sleep for days in order to get help for his men.
All 28 men made it back to England safely. The surgeons of the crew did have to amputate one man's toes, but they all made it back home.

"We seek the truth and will endure the consequences."
~Charles Seymour.