Tag Archives: Courage

For Such a Time As This

As I woke this morning, names started coming to mind.

I would like to share them with you.

Of the following names, try to think what is common among them all.

Deitrich Bonhoffer
Jim Elliot
Joseph (the one with the coat of many colors)
Brother Andrew
Cory Ten Boom
Harriet Tubman
Frederick Douglass
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Casey Jones (the railroad engineer)
Todd Beamer (flight 93)
Abraham Lincoln
William Wilberforce (member of Parliament)
Sir Winston Churchill
Horatio G. Spafford (It Is Well With My Soul)
Rosa Parks
William Wallace
Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Col. William Travis
Oskar Schindler
Moses
Esther

If you haven’t figured it out, there may be other similarities, but all of these names have at least one thing in common: You would have never known them had it not been for their moments of adversity, the challenges forced on them, or the stands they took in the face of injustice.

Consider the words of Mordecai to a fearful and hesitant Esther:

Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” – Esther 4:13-14 NLT

Dear friends, whatever the future of this country, God has us here “for just such a time as this.”

Leave a comment

Filed under America, Church, current events, History, politics, Struggles and Trials

Courage Encourages Those In Need of Courage – and BOY do we need it!

The High School Skit

Asahi Pentax K1000 Camera Service Repair Manual | eBayIt was 1984: Michael Jackson and Madonna ruled the charts, cars were pitiful, and I was the photographer for my school’s yearbook. I still remember the camera I used … a Pentax K1000 … or was it a Yaschica? Same difference.

Anyway, because I was on the yearbook staff, I was selected to play the part of the Cowardly Lion in a skit meant to encourage sales. I still remember my lines (I was a lion saying lines – ha!) … “Courage!”

Here’s the thing, and this is the honest truth (unlike what the mainstream news will tell you), playing the part of the Cowardly Lion, when I was given a medal to honor my bravery, actually gave me courage. Yes, even though I was only acting, the costume and the script released the inhibitions deep inside me and led me to do something completely off script.

There on stage, in front of the whole school assembled, I asked one of my stage mates, “Does this mean I have the courage to do anything?”  After receiving a “Yes,” I turned to face the auditorium and yelled out to the most beautiful and glamorous girl in the school:

“Lori Gilley! Will you go out with me?!!” 

Long story short, she didn’t. …However, I got a standing ovation! Arguably the better of the two.

Take a Knee (Or Else)

It’s now 2020, the craziest year in the history of years, and courage is all but gone out of style. Oh, sure, you can find it if you look in the right places, like on patrol with a police officer, with a nurse treating a Corona patient, or with parents trying to make ends meet after being out of work for 4 months.

But let me tell you where you will find the LEAST amount of courage – professional sports.

I’ll be honest with you – as I always am – even though I think a certain large-afro’d professional football player of questionable skill is wrong about almost everything, it was courageous to be the first to take a knee during the national anthem. Yes, I said it – he did show an amount of courage in doing so.

But fast-forward to today and everyone is taking a knee, even if the reason for doing so is continuing a false narrative. Yet, is it courageous to do so? No, it’s not. In today’s social climate, taking a knee and wearing a t-shirt that says “Black Lives Matter” is nothing more than an act of self-preservation, not conviction.

OH! Excuse me! Did I say “everyone” in professional sports is taking a knee? I’m sorry … please forgive me! Because a FEW courageous souls have decided to take a stand (literally) while the rest either cower, show allegiance or sympathy to a manufactured social movement, or simply kneel to keep the endorsements rolling in.

Enter J. W. May

J.W. plays professional soccer (football) for the Savannah Clovers, a team in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA). Even more importantly, he is the son of Tommy and Tammy May (Tommy’s a deacon in our church). One day soon I’m going to drive to Savannah and have coffee with J.W. at Black Rifle Coffee Co. 

Savannah Clovers and Georgia Revolution in Finley Stadium (Chattanooga) during the playing of the National Anthem.

Not long ago, J.W. and his team played the Georgia Revolution FC in Chattanooga at Finley Stadium (shout out to UTC). When the Star Spangled Banner was played, guess who was the only one to remain standing … from either team?

You guessed it, my future coffee buddy, J.W. May.

When you read this, J.W., I just want you to know I am dang proud of you! I’ll buy the coffee!

“Encourage”

How does one define courage? Why don’t we pull an old dictionary off the shelf, one that’s not been affected by modern revisionist culture, and read what it says?

COURAGE: Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution. It is a constituent par of fortitude; but fortitude implies patience to bear continued suffering. (American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, 1828)

Now, let’s look at how this 1828 dictionary defines encourage.

ENCOURAGE: To give courage to; to give or increase confidence of success; to inspire with courage, spirit, or strength of mind; to embolden; to animate; to incite; to inspirit.

Lastly, I would like for you to note how Webster uses the word encouragement in a sentence.

“The praise of good men serves as an encouragement to virtue and heroism.”

For whatever it’s worth, Colin Kaepernick encouraged other African-Americans (primarily youth) to make a social statement against police violence (based on an unfortunate false narrative). Whether or not their cause was justified, one can’t help but admit those kneeling when everyone else was standing and deriding them was, in all fairness, courageous.

Flip the script… Now, with nearly every professional and non-professional athlete, regardless of color, taking a knee — instead of standing in honor of the flag of the very nation that affirms their right to be disrespectful to it — true courage is seen in those few who stand out from the crowd … literally.

In the book of Daniel we read of three Hebrew men who wouldn’t bow before a 90ft. golden statue. Even though God worked a miracle and rescued them, they were thrown into a furnace because of their uncompromising… ummm… stand.

These days the furnace isn’t quite as hot, but it’s still deadly to one’s career and social standing, at least.

Thank you, J.W., for the courage to encourage others… we sure do need it.

J. W. May tending the goal for the Savannah Clovers. Photo Credit: J. W. May

1 Comment

Filed under America, Culture Wars, current events, politics

Nugget the Brave

Little Dogs

What is it about little dogs? If our little dog, Nugget, weighed another 50 pounds he could take down an elephant. Honestly!

Tonight I took our little dogs out for their final walk of the night. Jack was on a leash because he would never come back, but Nugget was able, as always, to walk on his own. All of a sudden Nugget tore away like a streak of lightening, barking like mad.

It was dark behind our house and church, but just as Nugget got out of sight the moonlight illuminated the fur of four large, terrified deer! Somewhere in the grass was an 8 lb. chorkie threatening the lives of four 110 lb. wild animals! What was he thinking?!

Nugget the Brave

Nugget the Deer Chaser

“Hey!! Hey!! Hey!! Hey!! Heyyyyy!!”

“Hey you! My yard! My yard! My yard! STOP! so I can sniff you!”

“You’re not getting away this time, you over-sized cats! Come back here and feel my fangs chew your scrawny legs!”

“That’s right, RUN! Fear me! Fear me! Hey, hey, hey, HEY!”

“Dang it! Why can’t I jump the fence like that? Oh well, I’ll just use my wet feet to show my mommy how much I love her and her clean sheets.”

Little Children

On the other hand, maybe he was blessed with a little of what we ought to feel whenever we see giants in the night…

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. – Philippians 4:13 KJV

Fear not, for I [am] with you; Be not dismayed, for I [am] your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ – Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4 NKJV

 Giants will flee as you go forth in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10). Be brave!

2 Comments

Filed under animals, Faith, General Observations, Life Lessons, Struggles and Trials

I’ve Been Sick

It may be news to you, but I have been a little under the weather. To put it another way, I have been sick. But who hasn’t, right?

It can get depressing.

However, I have also been experiencing some unexplained pain in my chest. After a couple of trips to the E.R. and a few visits to doctors, I am still no closer to a diagnosis. All I know is that nothing shows up as a heart attack.

I didn’t want to tell many people, though. The last thing I wanted was worried people calling me all day and night asking how I felt. I feel OK, other than that nagging little pain.

Don’t Pray?

It was only a couple of years ago that I had a cancer scare. I was told that a mass in my chest might be a tumor. When people began finding out about the potential diagnosis, I had to say something. I said, “Don’t you dare pray that I be healed! If you pray anything, pray that God gets the glory through whatever He is leading me through.”The same message holds true this time.

Now, if you are an atheist like Andrew Marburger (my most prolific antagonist), then withholding your prayers for my healing shouldn’t be a problem. But if you are a Christ-follower, then you may be tempted to pray that God heal me and take away my pain. I wouldn’t blame you, for I believe that God is fully capable of doing just that. However, what I desire most is to be full of the Holy Spirit and yielded to the will of my Savior.

Just think, it might be His will for me to take the love of Christ to a nurse who is searching for hope. Maybe God wants me to look into the eyes of a surgeon and say, “I know in Whom I have believed?” You see, sometimes, when those in the hospital won’t go to church, the Lord puts the Church in the hospital.

It Is Well

140 years ago, in 1873, Horatio G. Spafford lost his four daughters to the icy Atlantic when a ship they and his wife were on sank in only 12 minutes. Only a short time before he had lost his only son, a 4-year old, to illness. Then he lost most all his wealth to the Chicago fire. It is hard to imagine the grief he must have been going through.

But it was during his mourning, while sailing to meet his grieving wife who survived the sinking, that Spafford looked over the rails into the waves where his daughters had drowned and wrote the following words…

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

If you want to pray for me, then by all means, pray! Just let it be, “SOLI DEO GLORIA!” (To God alone be the glory!).

It is well with my soul.

8 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, Faith, Life Lessons, ministry, Struggles and Trials

Courageous Commitment

“Daddy, will you dance with me?”

If you have seen the movie Courageous, then you’ll get it.

If you have not seen the movie, get it, then you’ll get it. Got it?

At 9 a.m. I was at the gym, signing us both up, and committing to work out with my 16-year-old daughter. It was hard, but worth it. She was so thrilled that I would take the time.

I just wish I could make time stand still.

Being the Dad.

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under fitness, Life Lessons, Relationships and Family