I recently re-read a book by Dale Evans Rogers entitled 'The Home Stretch'.
The dictionary definition of the 'home stretch' is not so encouraging, but if you go to a race track, there is much excitement as the horses round the last turn heading for the finish line. Rider and horse appear as 'one'...straining forward and giving it all they have in order to finish the race.
Diving into a pool, Joni Eareckson Tada became a quadriplegic at 18 yrs. years of age and has been an International Disability Advocate for many years.
Recently she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
She said, "Our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God Who loves us and wants the best for us. Although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me. Yes it's alarming, but rest assured that my husband Ken and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this to:
~stretch our faith,
~brighten our hope
~and strengthen our witness to others."
Our long-time friend Jamall Badry who died a few weeks ago, was a great person and a great gospel singer! The words to one of his songs fit this paper:
"Lord, I want to know You more.
When I cannot see Your hand, I'll trust Your heart.
I know You are too wise to be mistaken and too good to be unkind."
These words took on special meaning these past several months as Jamall ministered to his younger sister, Selma Badry who had cancer. She was very ill when Jamall died three weeks ago and when Selma died this week, it was comforting to know that her 'big brother' was waiting to welcome her 'Home'.
For several years now, La Moyne and I have had the privilege to write 284 weekly online thoughts we've rec'd from God's inspiration. We send them to over 500 friends around the world who are on our mailing list.
One of my first writings was a study on the book of Philippians ~ Paul's writings on 'Joy' which he wrote from prison! I entitled that paper 'Life at it's Best'.
In Chapter 3, he wrote:
~Know THE person, Jesus
~Experience THE power of the Holy Spirit
~Fellowship in THE passion - Love
~Conform to THE pattern - Christ-likeness
~Claim THE promises
Recently I had the privilege of sharing at the Memorial service for my close friend from High School, Ken Pryor. He and my older brother played ball together at Friendship High.
Ken was 2 yrs. ahead of me @ the University of Oklahoma. I soon realized that the only way I was going to get to play for the OU Baseball team was for Ken to graduate :)
I then followed Ken as 2nd baseman for the Sooners.
I shared Scripture from II Timothy 4:7:
"I have fought a good fight....I have finished my course....I have kept the faith.
Therefore there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord will give to me and all who love Him and look forward to His return."
One of my favorite Scriptures has always been (and even more-so as I age)
"That I may know Christ...
and the power of His resurrection...
and the fellowship of His suffering...
and that I may be conformed unto His likeness."
He suffered, so He certainly knows how to help us when we suffer!
He will give us all that we need to be able to finish our race....our 'Home Stretch'.
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