Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Failure Is Not Optional, It's Expected

A musical group with one of the strangest names in recorded history (Chumbawamba) sang one of the most-oddly-named songs ever written ("Tubthumping"). It was the group's biggest hit, even though it reached Number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 20 Most-Annoying Songs.

Having just read the complete lyric, I'm glad that all anybody really remembers is the endlessly repeated "I get knocked down, but I get up again." It's an empowering, energetic anthem of personal triumph.

It's also the normal turn of events when trying to do or learn anything. "If at first you don't succeed" is Standard Operating Procedure for humanity.

And I'm not the only one who thinks so:

  • The semi-official mantra of the engineering department at Franklin Institute's nationally-recognized Science Leadership Academy is "Fail early. Fail often."
  • "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently."  -  Henry Ford
  • "Each time you fail, you have eliminated another wrong option."  -  Thomas A. Edison
  • "The awesome thing about failure is that it is only temporary. Embrace it, learn the lesson and come back blazing."  -  Joel Brown
  • "Failure is another steppingstone to greatness."  -  Oprah Winfrey

Truth is...even the apostle Paul, who wrote a large chunk of the New Testament, can be added to the list. "Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have 'arrived', spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal"  -  Philippians 3:12-14 (Phillips)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Gandhi on Jesus: Top 25 Jesus Quotes: #17

Mahatma Gandhi, though raised as a Hindu, spent significant time comparing religions. Today's Jesus quote was, no doubt, born of Gandhi's spiritual searching and may be the most discouraging quote on the list:

I like your Christ.
I do not like your Christians.
Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

Truth is...the disparity between professing faith in Christ and living in a Christ-like manner has always stood as one of the greatest barriers between seeking Truth and falling in love with Jesus.

Lord, empower me to love like Jesus, pray like Jesus...indeed, to live like Jesus. May my life lift up Jesus so that all people will be drawn to Him.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Acts 2:14-21 With Footnotes

Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles, and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd, "Fellow Jews, and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means. These men are not drunk, as you suppose; it is only nine o'clock in the morning. Rather, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about,

'This is what I will do in the last days, God says: I will pour out my Spirit upon all men. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy; your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. Yes, even on my slaves, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will perform miracles in the sky above, and marvels on the earth below. There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke, the sun will become dark, and the moon red as blood, before the great and glorious Day of the Lord arrives. And then, whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved'."

I heard the ocean say
I started so long ago
I received my first wave
From the hand of God I flow
And the Son comes over the hill
The Son comes over the hill

I heard the breeze at night
Saying I receive my flight
From the turning of His eyes
As they moved across the sky
And the Son comes over the hill
The Son comes over the hill

I heard the Word at night
Speak to darkness with His light
Not a shadow will return
For all darkness shall be burned
When the Son comes over the hill
When the Son comes over the hill
When the Son comes over the hill

"The Son Comes Over the Hill"
©1974 Latter Rain Music and Word Music, Inc.

Truth is...From that Pentecost through today, the Lord has been pouring out His Spirit on all men, and whoever calls on the name of the Lord has been saved, and we've been anticipating the Son coming over the hill.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Demonic Comic

Today's lesson on how temptation works is courtesy of Baby Blues, by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott. (© Baby Blues Bros, LLC)

It begins by whetting the victim's appetite.

And then, a stretching of the truth.

Followed by a preposterous lie.

With the payoff of trying to reverse the sin by committing it even more.

Truth is..."Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:14-15)