Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Land of the dying and the land of living

Professional golfer Paul Azinger was diagnosed with cancer at age 33.

He had just won a PGA championship and had ten tournament victories to his credit.

He wrote, "A genuine feeling of fear came over me. I could die from cancer. Then another reality hit me even harder. I'm going to die eventually anyway, whether from cancer or something else. It's just a question of when.

Everything I had accomplished in golf became meaningless to me. All I wanted to do was live."

Then he remembered something that Larry Moody, who teaches a Bible study on the tour, had said to him...

"Zinger, we're not in the land of the living going to the land of the dying. We're in the land of the dying trying to get to the land of the living."

Golfer Paul Azinger recovered from chemotherapy and returned to the PGA tour.

He's done pretty well.

But that bout with cancer deepened his perspective. He wrote, "I've made a lot of money since I've been on the tour, and I've won a lot of tournaments, but that happiness is always temporary.

The only way you will ever have true contentment is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I'm not saying that nothing ever bothers me and I don't have problems, but I feel like I've found the answer to the six-foot hole."

Paul's message was a great reminder for us that our life here on earth is just a dress rehearsal for eternity.

We should always aim to please God and let Him be the center of our lives.

Today, if you feel overwhelmed, stressed, and tired take a short break. Breathe, utter a prayer, and meditate your memory verse.

Life can be much easier if we marinate our minds with scriptures throughout the day.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Patient Teacher

A teacher friend of mine once worked with a student who  couldn't understand Algebra no matter how hard she tried. She'd gone to her professors and they were no help . She'd gone to the study lab at her community college and they couldn't help either. And finally she asked my friend for help.

First he tried doing what all her other teachers did. He showed her how to do Algebra using some simple examples. And she was able to do them immediately  after his instruction. But when she tried a little while later, she could not remember what to do.

He knew this student was doing well in her other  classes. He knew she was intelligent. So what was keeping her from learning Algebra?

Eventually he realized she didn't know know one basic  concept about math. The root of her problem was that  she didn't know that the equal sign meant that the value on both sides of an equation is the same.

Once he showed her how the equal sign worked it was like a light went on in her head. "Oh. I get it."

He then showed her how to apply this principle to Algebra: Whatever you do to one side of an equation must be done to the other to keep it equal.

She was then able to solve the problems he presented to her and eventually she was able to solve more and more complex problems.

At that point she really understood Algebra for the first time. Most importantly she was able to remember how to do the problems later.

A few years later my friend got a call from this woman. She was excited to tell him that she had the highest grade in her math class at the University of Alabama  and that she was studying to be an accountant.

What an incredible turnaround for her. And it's all  because she had a patient teacher who assumed she had the ability to succeed even when she had her doubts.

Love Letters

When the now-famous poet Elizabeth Barrett became the wife of Robert Browning, her parents disowned her because they disapproved of the marriage.

Their daughter Elizabeth, however, wrote almost every week, telling them that she loved them and longed for a reconciliation.

After 10 years, she received a huge box in the mail that contained all the notes she had sent. Not one had been opened!

Although these "love letters" have now become a precious part of classical English literature, it's really sad to think that they were never read by Elizabeth Barrett's own parents.

Had they looked at just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed.

All of us are alienated from God because of sin, but God has provided a way of reconciliation. In the Bible, He tells about it, and also expresses His earnest desire for fellowship with us.

The question is, are you reading God's letter to you regularly?

Are you meditating His Words daily?

If not, let this message today be of an encouragement to you.