Endurance

Relaxing in the park

If all you knew about love was rumor and reputation,
If all you held on to were wistful hopes or magical memories…
If everything you trusted to carry you relied on fair weather
Or the favor of fickle people,
Then whatever you know of love would be vain.

But there is a Love that is real, that stands and delivers
More than wishful thinking or the Good Ole Days…
A Love that lasts through the strain of the Dog days
And the pain of disappointing people…
A Love that goes to the Ends of the Earth.

If all you knew of love was agreement and approval,
And the whole world danced while you sang your song…
If every morning greeted you with sunshine and rainbows
And the endless praise of life-long admirers,
Then what you call Love is at best empty.

But there is a Love that holds on to you when life pushes back,
And embraces you warmly when people grow cold.
A Love that endures the pelting of blinding storms
And the ignorance of sightless critics…
A Love that goes to the Ends of the Earth. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Child sitting on a pier and drinking tea on a cold evening

Believe it or not, the time will come…

the realization will dawn…

your heart will rest

Because for the first time in a long time,

perhaps the first time ever,

you will know that your waiting is done.

But there you will discover another kind of waiting –

one of attending…

loving focus…

adoring and serving.

And then more than ever, it will be worth the wait. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

My 2015 Christmas Prayer for You

by Andy Wood on December 25, 2015

in Prayers

Lubbock Christmas Card

As the night gives way to glorious light and the angels declare the glory of God as they war –

As wise men pursue a heart of worship and shepherds share the good news of great joy for all time and eternity…

As jealous kings and underlings cling to power and the world still groans with sighs of the taxed and moves along mindlessly…

I pray for you to the God who can still make the darkest of skies a canvass for His glory on this day. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Marathon

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews12:1-2a, NET).

You are running, and the race is long. I pray that your eyes, your ears, your heart will be open to know just how many witnesses you have – how great a cloud of watchers, so aware of the race you are running.

Others near and far have been tripped up and fallen. I pray that you run free from the entanglements and weights – light-hearted, love-driven, and alert to distraction.

Underdogs and favorites all start well, but only one receives the prize. I pray that you will have the will of the marathoner, knowing the road is long but your will and power to endure is longer still. [click to continue…]

{ 2 comments }

wood bridge on sunset

I pray that wherever you are in relation to your dreams – whether putting them to bed or waking them up – crying out for new visions or mourning the death of old ones – I pray that you would endure…

Not just in terms of putting one foot in front of the other (that’s survival), but in terms of first love – the endurance of the heart.  Specifically I pray that… [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Dave was going through a rough season.  Looking back on it now, the load seems pretty mind-numbing.  He was being viciously verbally attacked by other people, including complete strangers.  His casual acquaintances were keeping their distance, but he had that feeling you get when all eyes are upon you.

He was physically impaired for a while, and his health looked pretty grim at one point.  I would say his life flashed before his eyes, but in Dave’s case it was more like his life grabbed him by the ankle and started dragging.  Dave was understandably terrified.

Then to make matters worse, one of Dave’s closest, most trusted friends betrayed him.  And for some time Dave had dealt with the anguish, disbelief, and downright bitterness that comes with that kind of pain.

But through it all, Dave learned a powerful lesson.  And you can read all about it in Psalm 55.  The lesson: [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

I spend a lot of time trying to think up new things, or new ways to say the familiar things.  I’m a big believer in singing a new song to the Lord and the exquisite beauty that comes from being completely random every once in a while.

That said, our brains were build to learn by repetition, and our hearts were made to be renewed by reminders.  That’s why the Bible has four gospels, Kings and Chronicles, and the books of Deuteronomy and 1 John. All built on some form of repetition.  That’s why the early church met daily from house to house or had a regular assembly on the first day of the week.  To be reminded.  To be renewed.

I know I accidentally repeat myself plenty of times, but today I thought it may be time for a little deliberate renewal – some purpose-driven (sorry, Rick) reminders of the big stuff – a harvested collection of some of the good stuff.  Not my stuff, but those themes that keep us going and keep going themselves long after we’re gone.  So here goes… [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

As I give thanks to You at the end of the day or greet this day with hope, the one thing lately that I want above all else is to live with a full heart.  The one thing I fear most is passing through what’s left of my days with sterile laughter, superficial comfort, or counterfeit gladness.

I don’t want to say, “I love you” and not mean it.  I don’t want see your handiwork in all its glory and not be moved by it.  I don’t want to chase a life of ease and catch up to an empty heart.

So I come to You, knowing there’s no one who can fill my life with that kind of love, or free my soul from that kind of passionless bondage, like You do.  And I pray that just as the morning sun fills the earth with light even on a cloudy day like today, that You would do what only You can do: [click to continue…]

{ 3 comments }

I once read that among those who run in marathon races, somewhere around the 18th mile to the 22nd mile of that 26-mile run, the runner hits “The Wall.”

(That’s about as close as I’ll ever get to a marathon, other than the three days I just hiked through the Disney jungle, but I digress…)

The Wall is a place so hard that the runner thinks he or she can’t possibly continue the race.  It’s a little uncertain whether The Wall is physical or psychological, but it’s real.  And the temptation to drop out of the race is greater at this point than at any time in the race.  The runner feels he can’t make it.  The lungs burn, the heart pounds, and the runner fights dizziness and nausea.  A little voice begins to whisper (or scream), “Why torture yourself?”

You may not run 26-mile marathons, but if you are a follower of Christ, that fact alone means you are in an endurance race.  And you can expect at times to encounter “The Wall.”

You will find The Wall when you have tried time after time to pray consistently, and have failed. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Does your team have what it takes to go the distance?

Something happens when people get together to forge a team.  Unfortunately, that “something” isn’t always what you’re looking for.  See if you recognize any of these teams from your experience:

Team Fritter. Talk about potential.  It seems as though whenever they’re on the ropes, somehow the miraculous happens and they live to see another day. On the other hand, every time it seems they have the chance for that big breakthrough they flounder.  Never fully realizing their potential, they choke every time they get ahead.

Team Glitter. This bunch has success written all over it.  Smart, good-looking, and well-liked, things came fast and easy for Team Glitter.  Too fast.  And too easy.  Before you know it, what appears to shimmer is anything but gold.  And the team comes caving in under the load of its own scandal(s), greed, and dishonesty.

Team Bitter.  Another story of lost potential, this team doesn’t have an integrity problem.  It has an anger problem.  A big anger problem.  Sucked in by jealousy and dispirited by feelings of rejection or failure, this team sabotages its own enormous potential by holding onto the bitterness, anger, or mistrust. [click to continue…]

{ 4 comments }