I’m in Germany & slowly making my way to Angola for some work with Saving Moses & our malnutrition clinics there. Our layover in Germany afforded some time to get out of the airport & catch a train to a nearby city. Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention to the train stops, so we went too far & included some extra sightseeing. I felt like an idiot because I’m not an amateur traveler & this isn’t my first train ride in Germany.
But we kept trying & alas, had a lovely afternoon outside of the airport, with delicious food, glorious sun & some nice walking.
Just because we make a mistake doesn’t mean that we quit trying. Mistakes can be frustrating but also informative & sometimes God has some unique opportunities to redeem our mistakes, if we keep a healthy attitude & humble heart 🙂
I make a pretty good roast chicken, but this hasn’t always been true. Indeed, for countless years, my roast chickens were “dry & tasteless”, to quote one of my offspring. I tried lots of different things to make it taste better: stuffing the cavity w herbs, water in the pot w a lid & lots of other stuff. Alas, I almost quit trying, but I didn’t. Instead, I decided to try getting better even just by little steps.
I’m the type of person who wants to see big steps of progress & when I only see millimeters, I can get discouraged. So I want this blog to encourage you on little bits of better if you’re discouraged w the absence of giant leaps of progress. And remember that a little better can apply to heaps of areas in your life: exercise, discipline, Bible reading, relationships, school grades, etc. Gal 6:9 🙂
And my giant leap progress for doing an awesome roast chicken happened when I cut out the backbone, seasoned both sides w salt / pepper & broiled it on the bottom rack 🙂
I no longer make dry & tasteless roast chicken 🙂
As much as I don’t want to admit this, I’m concerned that I have a disturbing pattern in my life: leaving things half done :/
While I don’t leave everything half done, there are definitely things that I don’t finish, such as: not completing my bookshelf project, starting innumerable books but not finishing them, doing half of the ironing, writing part of a story, etc. Of course this could be very discouraging if I let myself quagmire in this awareness, but I have a fail-safe solution: God doesn’t quit!
In Philippians 1:6 it says, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” Be encouraged that you’re a masterpiece in the making & the Holy Spirit is continuing to shape & grow you, never quitting, getting discouraged or giving up on you! God’s not finished!
I recently read a story about Joshua Chamberlain, a commander of 80 Union soldiers who were the defining force that captured 4,000 Confederate troops at the Civil War battle in Gettysburg. Despite being outmanned, out gunned and out of time, Chamberlain’s troops were victorious, against all odds. When Chamberlain was later interviewed about how could continue to face such impossibility and find the wherewithal to continue fighting. He replied,
“I had deep within me the inability to do nothing.”
When I read this story, I was deeply inspired not to let external opposition & hardship overcome the guts inside of me. Many of the Veterans that live among us today & have valiantly sacrificed their lives for our freedom found within themselves the same as Joshua Chamberlain, the inability to do nothing.
Let’s be as inspired to make a difference in our world!
I like progress, improvement and growing. I like being better today than I was a few months ago – and this is in every area of my life: physical health, intimacy with God, quality relationships, effectiveness with Saving Moses and LOTS more! I don’t like to be stagnant or stationary and I totaly LOATHE going backwards. So here are a few things I’m learning of late about progress:
sometimes progress is incremental and gradual rather than gigantic and massive
progress can happen in different contexts: doing PT with a recent shoulder surgery, I’m learning that progress happens in several ways (getting stronger, more flexible, getter ability to use, etc)
progress requires committment to change – if you don’t want to change, don’t expect to make progress
celebrate progress no matter the size or context: acknowledging progress breeds more progress
sometimes what seems like a step backwards is actually progress moving forward – don’t get discouraged
encourage others who are trying to get better
keep going: sometimes progress seems to be stagnant, but often these seasons of pause are nothing more than plateau set ups for greater progress if you’ll just keep going
progress requires truth; deception is the enemy of genuine growth & development 🙂
Lately, there have been some rather large difficulties that I’m having to face and I find myself having regularly make choices about where my mind will settle. If I’m not careful, my thoughts can go down some very dark alleys and they can become very discouraging. What I’ve found to be really helpful is to give my mind something constructive to chew on. So here are some verses that have been super helpful of late – may they be encouraging to you as well!
Rom 8:37, “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us”
Rom 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
1 Cor 15:57, “but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Cor 2:14, “But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph is Christ and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”
1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has over the world – our faith.”