Winners never quit...and quitters never win!
Having played college baseball as well as professionally, I am a baseball fan! This has been a month of baseball games, climaxed by the Chicago White Sox defeating the Houston Astros in the World Series. La Moyne and I watched the whole thing, including the 14 inning game that ended at 1:30 a.m. the other morning! (What a wife, huh?!)
This was the first World Series win for the Chicago White Sox since starting in 1917.
Last year, the Boston Red Sox won for the first time in 86 years.
This was the first time that Houston made the World Series, since starting in 1962.
So I guess you would say that these teams never quit....and they never gave up.
Please remember what the Bible says in I Corinthians 13:13:
"Now abideth Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love."
We need ALL of these and Hope is close to being first.
Hope is 'holding on, praying expectantly and never giving up.'
A father said to his boy, "Son, you have to set a goal and never quit. Remember George Washington?" The son said, "Yes".
"Remember Jefferson?" and the son said, "Yes".
"Remember Abraham Lincoln?" and the answer was "Yes."
"You know what they all had in common? They never quit!"
"Son, do you remember Azador McIngle?" "No" said the son.
"You see, you don't remember him....he quit!"
On the wall of our bedroom is a picture with this saying:
"Grow Older Along With Me, The Best is Yet to Be....
The Last for Which the First was Made."
One of my favorite poems in school was by Edgar Guest:
"Somebody said it couldn't be done', but he with a chuckle replied that,
'maybe it couldn't, but he would be one who wouldn't say so...'til he tried!'
At 77 years of age, I don't think much about being old, for 'old' is a destination.
I call it 'growing older'....which is progress....and we keep learning, growing, trusting and trying.
Last month I was pleasantly surprised when a man knocked at our front door and handed me the following poem which he had written about me and our little dog, Cosmo. (When our daughter, Kristin, enlisted in the Army Reserves Medical Corp. just before 9/11, her 8 yr. old Pekinese dog, 'Cosmo', came to live with us)
Unbeknown to us, this neighbor (who is a friend of our son, Kevin and lives on a street behind us) had seen Cosmo and me walking several times each day, so he wrote this thoughtful poem and brought a copy by to us.
"The Old Man and His Dog"
It's an early autumn morning there's a chill in the air
An old man and his dog are slowly walking with care.
Father Time walks with them...their steps shorter each year.
Conversation, friendship and happiness, without any fear.
Life-long friends, forever on a path made of gold,
They will always be together, leaving stores to be told.
Quality time together....if it could only stay this way.
Wishing to be young again, so they could run and play.
The dog turns his head with a twinkle in his eye..
The old man waits with patience and just a little sigh.
His dog takes a short pause, while he's on the go
He kicks a little dirt, so no one will ever know.
The autumn leaves falling in a colorful display
Shuffling through the leaves, his dog leading the way.
Both have gray whiskers and a slight limp as they stroll
Love is abundant even though they're growing old.
Companions, together on this brisk autumn day..
Observing mother nature and our good Lord's array.
Strolling toward the sunrise, what a beautiful sight!
An old man and his dog, silhouetted by Heaven's light.
by Jim Barger
While pastoring on the Big Island of Hawaii, we saw a good example of NOT quitting.
The Ironman Triathlon which is held each October in Kailua Kona, Hawaii includes:
Swimming for 2 miles in the ocean off the Kailua-Kona Pier...
Riding a bike for 105 miles roundtrip to Hawi on the north end of the Island...
then back down to Kona where they leave their bikes and RUN for 20 miles to the finish line!
Most athletes are young or middle aged, but an older man passed by us as we were watching the race in 1993. As he ran by, we looked up the number on his jersey in our program and found out that he was Karsten Solheim, the founder of the Ping Golf club. He was 81 yrs. of age and we learned later that he was battling Parkinson's disease at that time, becoming wheelchair bound in 1995 and died in 2000.
What a great testimony! He kept on trying and never quit.
Jesus had a lot of opposition and had every reason to quit, but aren't we thankful that He didn't?! He also left us with this challenge in Luke 9:62:
"No one, having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
It did not say 'quit plowing', so let's keep on!
One of the best studies in the Old Testament on 'Don't Quit' is Ecclesiastes (a study of futility, if you quit your search for meaning with lesser things).
However, he came to the right conclusion (as should we) in Eccl. 12: 13-14. "Now all has been heard, but here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."
In the NIV translation of the New Testament, Hebrews 11 is a 'Hall of Faith' of those who did NOT quit and the writer says in Hebrews 12: 1 and following chapters:
"Therefore since we're surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles; and let us run with patience and perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross, scouring the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God. So, consider Him Who endured such opposition, so that you will not grow weary or lose heart."
C.O. Chambers has well said,
"Continually restate to yourself, what the purpose of your life is.
The 'destined end' is not happiness...nor health...but Holiness!" (See also I Peter 1:16)
Next to Jesus, the apostle Paul is probably the best example of not quitting and even in prison during his last days, he wrote to young Timothy. He ended with perhaps his last recorded words, "Be diligent in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry. I am now ready to go and the time is near. I have fought a good fight...I have finished the race....I have kept the faith." (II Tim. 4:5-7)
It is interesting to note in Verse 11, Paul says:
"Only Luke is with me, bring Mark with you, for he is profitable for the ministry."
Mark did not finish the first missionary journey and was counted a failure...
but he was NOT a failure in Paul's eyes!
So, don't ever count yourself a 'failure'. God doesn't!!
God forgives...and He empowers us to keep going and to never quit.
It is very important to note that Mark had a staunch friend in Barnabas
We all need encouragers....and we need to BE one!
You never get too old to be an encourager!
Stay excited about Jesus,
Stay committed to Him (no matter what happens....nor what age you may be)
Stay available (even daily) for His services.
Vance Havner said, "Paul was a one track man, but you can go a long way on one track."
A young evangelist was facing discouragement and criticism when he said to a friend, "I'm going to quit."
The friend spoke wisely, "Why do you give your resignation to me? When you began your service you said that The Lord Jesus Christ was calling you. I think that you had better tell the One Who called you."
If you or I should ever feel led to resign from Christian service, we need to talk to Jesus about it, for He is the One Who called us to Salvation....and Service.
Maybe this poem, 'Don't Quit' will help:
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will...
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill...
When the funds are low...and the debts are high...
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit!
Life is queer with twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won, had he stuck it out.
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow,
You might succeed...with another blow.
Success is 'failure turned inside out',
The silver-tint of the 'clouds of doubt'.
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near, when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit.
It's when things seem worse, that you MUST NOT QUIT.
Two of my earlier articles go along with this one,
in case you would like to pull those up on my website:
"Humor is Helpful for Aging" (Jan. 29, 2005)
"Things That Last" (May 8, 2005)
We had a phone call tonight from one of our most favorite people, Mrs. Shizuko 'Mary' Teshima, who owns Teshima's Restaurant in Honalo, Hawaii (up the mountain from where we served at Kona Baptist Church). She is a living example of what we've been talking about tonight, as she is 98 yrs. 'young' (should you meet her, you would NOT believe it!)
She not only does not LOOK her age, she still goes to her restaurant each day (sometimes 2-3 times daily) to meet and greet the hundreds of patrons who make Teshima's Restaurant a 'must stop and eat' place on the map!
Understandably there are times when she stays home, like tonight, but she said,
"I just HAD to call and talk with you!"
So even when she doesn't feel like going down to the restaurant, she is STILL an Encourager.....like calling us!!
That is what each of us is to do....and we can speak from experience tonight, everyone can use some encouragement!
DON'T YOU QUIT....no matter WHAT you are facing in life....let the Lord carry you through!
May our Lord BLESS you this week and give you many opportunities to be an Encourager!
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