Category Archives: Strength

Walking Upon Possibilities


“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” Thomas Carlyle, Scottish Historian.

Sitting in a crowded waiting room this past week, I watched a very young girl make her way slowly across the room. Tears pooled in my eyes at the thought that this crippled child would have to use crutches for the rest of her life. But she wasn’t the least bit sad. From the sweet, careless smile which lit her innocent face, it was quite obvious that she didn’t give her legs a second thought.

I was reminded of William Pitt the Elder, a British Politician, who was an extremely influential figure during the French Revolution. What Pitt lacked in physical strength, he more than made up for in determination. The concept of limitation was a foreign one to him.

Though he rarely delegated duty, he had at some point during the war given a direct command to one of his officials. When the man balked at the impossibility of the task, Pitt reprimanded him by pointing to his crutches and confidently declared: “Sir, I walk upon impossibilities!”

There is no question that all of humanity is currently facing difficulty and hardship. The future holds many uncertainties and without God, I believe, little hope. With God, however, there is much hope because with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Whatever you are going through right now, dear reader, remember that we may all lose a few battles, but we will most assuredly win the war. Now is not the time to give in to discouragement; there is too much work to do. It may be difficult, but let us all rise to the challenge.

Marie Currie, French physicist and Nobel Peace Prize winner summarized this well. She said “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that…. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”

It is far too easy to allow circumstances to cripple us. And when they do, we can choose to accept them as insurmountable, henceforth hobbling on emotional crutches. Or we can look them squarely in the face and declare, as Mr. Pitt did, “I walk upon impossibilities!” Let me remind you again, with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37).

Out of Whack


My chiropractor informs me that my body is out of alignment, but I prefer the down-home phrase, out of whack, because I have lots of whackadoodle symptoms as a result. By the way, whackadoodle has recently been added to the Oxford dictionary, so I guess I’m not the only one who favors fun and quirky phrases.

Today, as my neck was being attended to, my lower back suddenly screamed PAIN! It is amazing how one part of the body can affect another part, one that is seemingly unrelated. Our bodies are incredibly complex, however, and every part is explicitly interconnected.

For example, my dentist believed a root canal might be in order, but an adjustment of my cranial plates eliminated the severe jaw pain. The nerves in my tooth are alive and well. Similarly, an elderly friend of mine was able to cancel his knee surgery after just one visit with my chiropractor. Turns out, there was nothing wrong with his knee; his pain was merely a symptom of his body being out of whack.

Dear friends, I am certain that our spiritual lives, in like manner, can be affected by misalignment. I could offer many examples, but I would rather leave you today with the following thoughts from the book of Proverbs, chapter 3, verses 1-8:

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones

 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.    3 John 1:2

Fourteen Laps with Jesus

happy walker

Today I renewed my membership at the local fitness club and I’m trusting that I will actually use it enough to get my money’s worth this time. It’s not that I’m lazy; I’m just SDD (self-discipline deficient) at times.

Father’s day is a great day to go to the gym. I was there earlier and the place was nearly empty, which is really good for someone who is just starting the journey again. After all, it is a wee bit embarrassing to be huffing and puffing on level I when the person next to you is floating through level gazillion, with a mountain-high incline, and not even breaking a sweat.

After a mile on the treadmill, I walked ¾ of a mile on the track. There wasn’t another soul in sight –another sigh of relief. I don’t usually mind other folks on the track, just not on my start-back day. In fact, I once chatted with a woman for fourteen laps. Well, that’s not exactly true; I mostly just listened to her talk about Jesus all fourteen laps. Believe it or not, the walking track can be a spiritual place.

I would like to say that I took advantage of today’s quiet walk to converse with the LORD, but that wouldn’t be honest. Groaning, “Oh Lord, I’m out of shape,” isn’t exactly prayer. I did, however, remind myself, several times, that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).  And so can you, dear reader.

Who knows, maybe someday  you’ll pass me in a marathon, or vice-versa, which would be a genuine miracle because I only plan on running if something is on fire. If nothing else, maybe someday we will meet in a fitness club, get acquainted and walk fourteen laps talkin ’bout Jesus.

Till then, run the good race and  be healthy, happy and blessed!

A Lesson from the Dollar Store

solar flower

My dear friend, Barbara, often blesses me with some small gift just to let me know she is thinking of me. Some time ago, she gave me a small, solar-powered flower; this little gal waves her two arm-like leaves, as though she were praising the Lord, every time the sun is shining brightly.

Yesterday, we were both waiving our arms. After all, life has been pretty good lately; my family has  a great deal to be thankful for. As I was meditating on God’s goodness and His faithfulness, the following song lyrics came to mind:

I’ve been on the mountain when the sun was shining bright, and I’ve been in the valley when the clouds were black as night…

In that moment, I heard that still small voice (see I Kings 19:11-13) gently convicting, “What about the dark times, do you praise me then?” To which I had to confess that lately I hadn’t –at least not as much, or as often, as I should.

I find it so easy to lift my hands, and heart, in praise when life is good, and all is well. To praise Him in the darkest hours is never quite as easy. But we can learn a lesson from King David. Though he was often distraught over many issues, and struggled with them, he always came back to praise. Unlike that little Dollar Store flower that only lifts its arms when the sun is shining brightly, David proclaimed:

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:1-4

Then I recalled another part of the aforementioned song and remembered how many times these very words were true in my own life:

You know I’ve heard the battle raging, then I prayed till victory came. There have been times I really thought, Lord, you don’t even know my name. But I’ve been blessed and I’ve been down to where I didn’t know what to do, But in the times of joy or sorrow, Lord, I’ve learned to lean on you…..When I don’t know what to do, I have the faith you’re gonna see me through, to supply my every need; I lean on you!

What about you dear reader, are you currently walking through a dark valley? Your Heavenly Father, is right there beside you, waiting for you to lean on Him and find rest from all your burdens. Moreover, while you are waiting for the sun to shine brightly again, why not raise your hands and praise Him, with full assurance that He is going to see you through!

Wilted and Exhausted?


Today, it is hot enough outside to melt a lizard! Even so, my husband had to work outside in this scorching heat all day, while I finished up the week’s errands, driving place to place in a van with a malfunctioning air conditioner. By the time we came home, we were both wilted and exhausted from the sweltering attack on our bodies.

Thankfully, the air conditioning does work in our home. This is one of the blessings that I try not to take for granted and thank God for often. Do we NEED the air conditioning? No, but it sure is a comfort during seasons of great heat.

Speaking of seasons, I am often amused at how fickle we humans can be. Once we are hit with the sultry days of summer, we wish for winter. Then, when winter days become a little too frigid, we long for summer. And so it goes for many areas of our lives: When we are young we wish to be older; when we are old, we long for youth. When we have little, we wish for much; when we have much, we long for simplicity, and etc.

The apostle Paul was surely no different than you and I in the beginning of his life. Towards the end, however, having matured spiritually, he began to see things from a whole new perspective, knowing that this life –with all its intricacies- is only temporal. Thus, through time and experience, he

“…learned to be content whatever the circumstances. [saying] I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:11-13

Dear reader, no matter which of life’s challenges has caused you to feel wilted and exhausted;  I pray that you find comfort in Paul’s words. We truly can learn to be content in all circumstances, knowing with full confidence that the Lord Jesus will help us and give us the strength to make it through. He is a always our greatest comfort during seasons of great heat.

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.  –John 14:18

Strength of Flight part II

dove 2

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to the beautiful racing pigeon that I had the privilege of nursing back to health, and released. According to his leg band, Sampson was ten years old, so he was certainly old enough, and wise enough to find his way home.

Sampson didn’t return home, though. I’ve seen him around my home several times since the day he soared to freedom, no longer needing my care. Tonight, as I sat on my back porch, he flew overhead twice.

What perfect timing. I had just been pondering certain situations, asking myself, do I really make a difference? Down deep I believe that I do, but truthfully, there are times I feel that, even though I try my best to input into the lives of others, I am only repayed with scorn and spite.

But just when my eyes moistened with tears, there flew Sampson overhead, wings outstretched, beautiful and strong; and the voice of the Lord reassured me, “Yes, you do make a difference!” He reminded me:

So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isa 55:11).

Dear reader, if you have ever asked yourself the same question, do I really make a difference, let me assure you that you do. Whereas you might not ever see the positive results in those whose lives you have invested in, you can certainly have confidence that your efforts are not in vain, for God will use them for His glory.

Thankfully, there are other times that we are privileged to witness the strength that others gained as a result of our obedience to God. Like Sampson, whose presence tonight was a comforting reminder to me, your benefactors will oft be near to remind you that you have helped them to gain ‘strength of flight.’

Either way, to God be the glory! And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we [and they] shall reap, if we faint not (Gal 6:9).

Strength of Flight pt I