What Makes Jesus Mighty Men Joyful?

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials James 1:2

Drew Brees calls the play

Drew Brees calls the play

Have you ever read a verse in the Bible and wished it hadn’t made the final draft?  (James 1:2-8)  are verses I struggled with…until today.  Most of you have probably already come to this conclusion but for the couple of us that have not, here is what I received today.

I was or might argue, that I am still today, an athlete.  I love the game, the feel, passion, competition, you name it, if it is in the game, I love it.  So this post will be written from that prospective.

Competitors love to be in the game, winners want the ball.  Many hate practice, in fact, some get “injured” so they don’t have to go through the agony of running plays, drills, sprints and conditioning. 

My question to you, do you think Sean Peyton came to work every day and told his players, ‘Don’t worry about practice, we are the New Orleans Saints, we are so good we don’t need to practice.  Sit down, eat these donuts, did you want more pancakes?”

No, I imagine they practiced hard all year. (Here is a side note, you do not become world champions at anything without practice.) I would bet they were still conditioning, and running plays right up to the Super Bowl.

Take that picture of what the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints (Still like the sound of that) did, vs. what you do as a follower of Christ.  Do you dedicate yourself to be the best each day.  The Saints put on their pads.  You should be putting on the full armor of God each day.

Coach Peyton would be fired if he did not push his players in practice.  No one enjoys practice, but it necessary to build champions.  God uses trials like a good coach uses wind sprints.  Think of it as a conditioning exercise to get you ready for the “Big Game”. 

Satan has a team that is coming to steal everything you own, kill everyone you know, and destroy all you have ever been or will every become.  This is your “Big Game”, your life.  Whether you enter in or not, Satan hates you, he will not stop until he destroys you and yours.

God is your Father/Coach, He loves you and will train you with trials until you can defeat your enemy and walk in the “more than conquerors” scripture.  So the next time things get a little “tough”, count it all joy and let God do a work in you.

Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11

Sharing a God story

Have you ever had a thought that is so “not you”? I recently had such a thought and I believe it is worth sharing. A little background, I rarely read the newspaper. In fact I must also confess I do not watch much TV. So now you know by modern standards I am “strange”. I justify this stance on 2 things, my experience and the scripture in Philippians 4:8 that tells me to think on those things that are of good report. My attitude and perspective is soo much better not engaging in all the negative stuff the media tries to feed me.

So now you have the background, here is what happened Tuesday. I was sitting down to lunch and the Shreveport Times was sitting on the table, it had on the front page President Bush’s visit to Alexandria. I scanned the article and for some strange reason I turned the page. On page 2 was an article about a fallen soldier and how his brother wrote a letter to the President. After reading the article, I was immediately moved to write the President an email to thank and encourage him to continue to see families.

I have never written a letter to any public official before so needless to say I argued with myself for the rest of the lunch. The conversation in my head went something like this, “You need to write the President”. “Write the President? That is crazy, he’ll never see it.” Ignoring my own sound reasoning I had the same thought again, “You need to write the President.” After about 3 or 4 volleys back and forth in my head I got the thought, “It will take 5 minutes, why would you not write him?”

I got up and wrote the President this email.

Dear President Bush,

You are a man of great honor and dignity. The story in the Shreveport Times
today sums up your heart and spirit. Thank you for visiting with the families
of fallen soldiers.

You are called every name in the book, daily, but the one that comes to my mind is honorable. May God continue to bless you and your family in this time of transition.

Rarely do I read the paper but today I had a weak moment and picked it up. I
was drawn to the story about a family I do not know, and will probably never meet, but I wanted to say thank you for giving your time to this family. Travis Nixon gave all he had to America and because of great warriors like Travis I am free to live my life.

You do not have to die to give all and I know you have surrendered 8 years of your life to serve America. Thank you for your service to this great country. While I have not agreed with everything you have done,  (I don’t know of anyone I agree with all the time.) I have prayed and continued to support you because of your great character.

Thank you again, may God bless you and May God bless America.

Your brother in Christ,

Greg Ryan
President- One Drop of Blood
Haughton, LA

I wrote my letter, still not sure why, but I was at least obedient to the thought I had at lunch. That was Tuesday and as Paul Harvey has said so many times but now here is the “Rest of the Story”.

Friday I had a scheduled closing on a house (For those of you who do not know I am a Realtor). My Buyer was a very nice older lady downsizing to a smaller home, the closing was postponed a week because of an additional requirement of her mortgage company.

The closing went great, my lady signed everything and was excited about buying her new home, we were all about to leave when the Seller showed his Realtor a coin. Being across the table I could not see it but his Realtor said something like, “That is so cool, the President gave this to you?” My ears perked up and I jumped into their conversation. “Did you say the President, do you mean the President of the United States?” They said yes and handed me the coin the President gave this man. It was at that time I “came to myself” and notice the name of the Seller…Kurt Nixon. The man that wrote the President a letter and had inspired my email was sitting across the table from me.

Since I represented the Buyer I had no connection to the Sellers other than selling their home. I never pay much attention to the Sellers’ name because I do not ever have contact with them. With that said, I sat there in total amazement of how God put all of this together to minister to me. I told them my story and about the email. (They were also amazed)

When I wrote the email I thought it was to encourage our President. God knew the email was written to encourage me and build my faith. What an awesome God we serve. I am sure He speaks to me everyday. I pray I will become a better listener.

We overcome the enemy by the blood of the lamb and word of our testimony. (Revelation 12:11) We have built a company on helping you share your testimony with people who ask for it. I hope this encourages you, even though you did not ask, I had to tell someone else how God encouraged me. God is good all the time.