Tag Archives: Christianity

Don’t Give Up

Never count me out . . .

I am famously stubborn. My family and friends (and a few frenemies) will attest to that fact. However, the past year was so difficult that I couldn’t think well enough to write. It took all my concentration just to do the things which were required by my jobs.

During the past couple of weeks, I have received encouragement from an unexpected source: my neglected plants.

Last November, I put most of my plants in the garage, but I watered them hardly at all until a week ago. This poor arrowhead philodendron seemed completely lifeless, but look at it now. I cut away all that had died, put it on the back porch, watered it often, and voilà!

The same is true of this poor pothos plant.

The spider plants are recovering as well.

The fact that I returned the plants to the back and front porches shows that I had not completely given up on them. I hoped there was a spark of life there, so I nurtured it. I gave it what it needed: sunlight and water.

God does that with us. My life verse is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”

When I am ready to quit, God gives me what I need. He gives me strength. He nurtures me.

II Corinthians 5:7 says, “We live by faith, not by sight.” What a breath-taking statement! Had I gone by the appearance of the plants, I would have thrown them out, thinking they were dead. They weren’t. When I treated them as if they were alive, they revived.

I was like those plants. I was depressed, and I had to fight to plaster a smile on my face, but God is always good. He did not give up on me. He did not let me quit. He’s still working on me.

Another applicable principle is that pruning often helps a plant that looks dead. I cut the dead growth away so that it would not take energy from the plant. John 15:2 says, “”Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”

God pruned me during the past year. I still have things He wants me to do. I have fruit to bear, books to write, music to play, and children to teach.

He isn’t finished with me yet, and He isn’t finished with you either.


Our Wordless Proclamation

baptism-1Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4

Is water baptism essential to salvation? No, and in some instances, it is not possible to baptize a new believer. My brother-in-law accepted Christ on his deathbed, and he met our Savior face-to-face without being baptized.

If baptism is not required for salvation, why then should we be baptized? In Matthew 28:19, Jesus told us to lead people to Him and baptize them in His name. When we accept Christ, we are baptized by the Spirit. Water baptism is symbolic of being buried and rising again to new life. It is an act of obedience – a public profession of our identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Every time I see a baptism, I think of Christ’s water baptism by John the Baptist, and I ponder His sacrifice for us, as well as His victory over death, hell, and the grave.

We are ending the fall sports season. When a team wins consistently, we believe that they will continue to win. Jesus’ perfect record reminds us that we are on the winning team. No matter what Satan throws at the church, as a body and as individuals, we will always be victorious through Christ. Don’t listen to those who would discourage you. Believe Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

Father, please give us confidence as a church that You are with us and will never leave us. Help us to do Your will.