Tag Archives: Christianity

Patient Endurance Pays Off

Don’t give up. Patiently enduring today’s struggles will pay off with tomorrow’s successes.

Frank wasn’t known for his patience. While he was working, Frank’s wife called him. She was speaking kind of slowly, and her mood was somewhat down.

Irritated by this, Frank barked, “Get on with it. What do you need? And, be positive!”

She was silent for a moment, and then chipperly reported, “I found out today the airbags in our brand-new BMW work very well.”

Patience can be hard. We live in a well-connected world with virtually everything at our fingertips, so when patience is required, you and I may struggle a little. We want what we want when we want it, but sometimes patience is needed. Having patience may seem grueling to us, but the reward will be worth the backbreaking work.

Hebrews 10:36 implores, “Patient endurance is what you need now so that you will continue to do God’s will, then you will receive all that he has promised.”

Moses serves as an illustration of someone who had patience. He patiently endured the struggle of Israel wondering in the desert. Moses led Israel out of Egypt and wanted to take the people into the promised land, but the unbelief of the people forced Israel to stay in the desert the rest of Moses’ life. It would have been easy for Moses to give up in this situation, yet he remained faithful.

Moses patiently endured his circumstances. He knew something better was ahead. Moses knew what was ahead would be worth the wait. For him, it was Heaven, and for Israel, it was the promised land. Patient endurance will lead to a reward worth the wait.

Two frogs fell into a bucket of cream. The sides were slippery, and the frogs did not have an immediate way out of the bucket.

One frog immediately gave up. He said, “there’s no way out. We’re going to drown.” So, he stopped swimming and sank to the bottom.

The other frog said, “I’m going to keep swimming and see what happens.” He kicked and paddled; he swam and churned. Eventually, butter formed a platform under the frog. He was able to jump out of the bucket.

Right now, life may be in a season of adversity. Achieving goals, realizing dreams, and fulfilling purpose may be a struggle. Don’t give up. Tomorrow’s successes will be worth enduring the hardships of today.

Patient endurance will be worth it when we find success.

You are working hard. Your hard work uncovers more work needing done. It shows you more practice is needed or more connections made. You see the goal and dream, but you are beginning to doubt its obtainability.

Michael Jordan can relate. Jordan may be one of the best NBA players to ever touch the court, and he had to patiently endure missed shots, game losses, and letting the team down on his way to success. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games; 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed,” Michael Jordan once said.

The work you and I are now doing is helping us find success. It will be worth it when our goals are achieved, and dreams realized. Don’t give up. Patiently endure the struggles of today to enjoy the successes of tomorrow.

Patient endurance will be worth it when our purpose is fulfilled.

You’re trying to fulfill your purpose. It seems you have to overcome a barrier each step of the way. Your suggestions are ignored; your ideas fall on deaf ears. And, life seems to always pose an interruption. You’ve determined your purpose, but the present trials are causing you to doubt. Are you really the right person for this purpose?

Moses was ignored. His requests to the people fell on deaf ears. He endured all of this as he faithfully fulfilled his purpose. Moses wondered if he was the right person for the job; he doubted leading Israel was his purpose, but God said it was.

We, too, may wonder and doubt, but God gave us life and our purpose. Like Moses, we will experience struggles. The reward of fulfilling our purpose will be worth patiently enduring the struggles.

Patiently enduring this life will be worth it in the next.

The struggles of this life will be worth it in the next.

  • James 1:12 says, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
  • “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long, yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever,” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says. “So, we don’t look at the troubles we can see now. Rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

Acting

Don’t give up. Today’s struggles will be worth tomorrow’s successes. Ask the Lord to help you patiently endure the struggles of today.

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What is your biggest weakness?

Our weakness could be a strength.

Job interviews are a necessary evil. Sitting across from a stranger answering a series of questions can be an anxious time. Providing the answer, the interviewer wants to hear is our challenge. Some questions are easy, other questions are hard, and there is the one dreaded question. It seems to find its home in every interview. What is your biggest weakness?

This is a hated question. If we truly discuss our weaknesses, we may lose the job. If we lie, we may lose our integrity. Answering this question is tricky, so much advise has been offered.

Don’t say something like, “Those eyes of yours.” Experts recommend giving a skill-based weakness and immediately following up with an improvement plan. We dread discussing our weaknesses because society views them as a problem. However, the Lord takes a different approach. He takes a better approach.

For God, our weaknesses are an opportunity.

God gave Moses the ultimate job interview. Moses was tending sheep and noticed a bush aflame, but it was not consumed by the fire. Curiosity pushed Moses to investigate, and the Lord started his interview.

God was calling Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt to the promised land. Moses, however, believed his weaknesses would keep him from accomplishing the job.

Moses stuttered. In his mind, this meant there would be absolutely no way he could speak to Pharaoh concerning the Lord. Moses attempted to convince the Lord he was not the right man for the job, but God responded, “I gave you the mouth you have, so it will be fine.”

Differing Viewpoints

Moses’ stuttering was viewed from two perspectives. This made the difference.

Moses’ Viewpoint

Moses viewed his stuttering as a problem. It would keep him from completing the assignment. No one would listen to him because he couldn’t speak clearly.

Can you relate to Moses? You know your goals, dreams, and purpose, but you believe your inadequacies will prevent achievement and fulfillment. I believe this is a struggle for most people. We feel unqualified, and that feeling paralyzes us.

God’s Viewpoint

God viewed Moses’ stuttering as an opportunity. Stuttering did not prevent Moses from leading Israel; in fact, it enhanced his leadership. It provided an opportunity for the Lord’s power to be displayed, and it kept Moses reliant on the Lord.

Like Moses, our weaknesses cannot prevent us from fulfilling our purpose. Our weaknesses may even be a benefit.

Weaknesses can become a strength.

Our weaknesses can become a strength.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Lord says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

The Lord’s power works best in weakness; when we are weak, he is strong. The Lord’s power can be magnified in our weaknesses.

Just ask Joseph, Peter, and Paul. Joseph found himself in a heap of trouble, but with the Lord’s help became the governor of Egypt. In a moment of weakness, Peter denied the Lord, but was forgiven and used to launch the church. Paul struggled with an undisclosed weakness, but the Lord used him as a missionary and author of much of the New Testament. The pages of Scripture are filled with accounts of weaknesses becoming opportunities for the Lord’s power.

We can be encouraged by knowing the Lord has a plan, and he works in moments when we are weak. In weakness, we request help, and with power, the Lord responds.

He did for Moses. Moses had a weakness in speech, so the Lord provided Aaron as a spokesperson. Weakness did not prevent Moses from accomplishing God’s calling, and weakness will not prevent us.

Acting

Challenge yourself to change the way you view your weaknesses. Try viewing them as an opportunity for the Lord to work. Share the adventure in the comments below.

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Parenting is Overwhelming

Moses’ parents experienced the struggles of parenting.

Moses’ parents were up against it. They were living at a time Pharaoh had decided the Israelites should have no more boys. The decree was for all newborn Israelite boys to be killed, but Moses’ parents ignored it. They kept Moses hidden for 3 months, and as his parents, they had to make some hard choices to protect his life.

The Bible says Moses’ parents placed him in a basket and floated it down the Nile. Moses is found and adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. The Lord’s care and Moses’ parents’ choices put him on a path to fulfill his destiny. He became a great leader for Israel. It all started when Moses’ parents had to make some hard choices.

Parenting is consuming.

Parenting is hard; it can be overwhelming. Moses’ mom and dad faced much adversity when he was born. There was the decree, they had a newborn needing care, and they had to keep him hidden. I would not want to be in their situation, but it does illustrate how consuming parenting can be.

As parents, you and I are trusted with a life. This person for whom we are responsible has a purpose, so we don’t want to mess up. Adding to the stress is the fact part of our purpose is to help our child fulfill his or her purpose, so we don’t want to mess up.

Parenting is hard. We worry about everything. Are we too strict? Are we too lenient? Is our child growing and learning fast enough? Is our child growing and learning too fast? When something happens, we worry the opposite should be happening. Parenting is hard.

It can be overwhelming as we worry about everything, but we need to remember as much as we love our kids, God loves them more. As much as we want what is best for our kids, God wants it more, so we should rely on the Lord to guide us in the overwhelming task of parenting.

Lamentations 2:19 encourages, “Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer pleading for your children….”

No matter the situation, when our kids are hurting, we want to come to the rescue. It is easy to bandage a sore and offer a hug, but when the situation becomes more advanced, rescue becomes more difficult. It might even reach a point where we must follow the example of Moses’ parents. Pray and trust the Lord.

The hard choice of floating Moses down the Nile was made in faith. Hebrews 11 says it was by faith Moses’ parents made their decisions. They knew the Lord gave them a child, and the Lord would care for him.

In Fearless, Max Lucado reminds us that before our kids were ours, they belonged to God. And, even as they are our children, they still belong to God. All people are God’s people, even the little people residing in our home. God shares in our desire to do something when our kids are hurting.

Moses parents trusted the Lord with their child. They had reached a point where they were powerless. There was nothing more for them to do than trust the Lord. They were not the only parents who have reached this point.

  • In Matthew 15, a Canaanite mother came to Jesus pleading for help. Her daughter was plagued by an evil spirit. The disciples tried to ignore her, but Jesus didn’t. He heard her pleas, and he provided relief for her daughter.
  • Mark 9 records a boy had been struggling since he was young. The child was possessed by an evil spirit causing much havoc. The boy’s father came first to the disciples, then to Jesus pleading for help. The disciples couldn’t do anything, but Jesus could. Jesus heard the father’s plea for assistance, and he provided an answer.
  • Jairus, in Mark 5, came to Jesus passionately pleading for Jesus to heal his sick daughter. There were individuals who said it was too late. Nothing could be done to heal the girl, but Jesus still did something. Jesus heard the father’s plea and healed her.

When we have reached the end of our rope and there is nothing more we can do for our child, we can pray and trust the Lord. In the doctor’s office, in the hospital room, in the recovery center, in the moments when we see disaster looming, we can pray and trust the Lord. He is fond of our kids, and he wants what is best for them.

I must pause for a moment and say I’ve not experienced every emotion a parent may feel. You, as a parent, may be navigating through overwhelming circumstances I have not experienced, so I am not claiming to have all the answers. I’m only desiring to point you toward a resource. As you are amid overwhelming situations, I hope you are doing okay, and offer the Lord as a guiding resource.

Seek the Lord’s guidance.

Lucado goes on in fearless to tell us God has a heart for hurting parents. After all, he’s a parent too. He understands the overwhelming emotion of being a parent. His child was beaten, mocked, and even died. He was separated from his child. He gets the pain and agony that comes from being a hurting parent.

So, as a parent, take advantage of the resource of prayer.

  • As your child leaves the house, send him or her away with a prayer.
  • As you put your child to bed, cover him or her with prayer.
  • As your child struggles with life, pray with and for him or her.
  • Pray he or she develops a hopeful confidence in this life and an eternal home in the next.

And remember, even when your child is not safe in your arms, he or she is safe in the Lord’s arms.

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3 Reasons God is Our Refuge

Psalm 46 confidently proclaims the Lord is our refuge.

Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength always ready to help in times of trouble.”

Here are 3 reasons God is our refuge.

1. God is our salvation.

Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ, our Lord, has done for us.”

2. God is our safety net.

Romans 8:35 asks, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity or are persecuted or hungry or destitute or in danger or threatened with death?”

Verses 37-39 answers, “No, to spite all these things overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us. And, I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow, not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below, indeed nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God has our back. When everything else around us crumbles and falls, God stands strong and keeps us safe. Financial markets may crash, retirement funds may plummet, illnesses may come, but the Lord holds us safely in his refuge.

3. God is our strength.

Philippians 4:13 says, “For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.”

It doesn’t matter where we are; whether we have plenty or are lacking, The Lord gives us strength to get through the situation.

“Be still and know that I am God,” the Lord says in Psalm 46, “I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.’ The Lord of heaven’s armies is here among us. The God of Israel is our fortress.”

With God as our refuge, we can have peace. This is a peace which transcends human understanding.

Philippians 4:7 says, “Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

As things shift and move around us today, we can enjoy the peace given to us by being in the Lord’s refuge.

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Always Stay Humble and Kind

A reminder to display humility and kindness.

Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw is a song that grabs you by the heart and reminds you it is best to live a lifestyle of humility and kindness.

BUY Humble and Kind at Amazon

The chorus reminds us to always be humble and kind. You and I have goals to achieve, dreams to realize, and purposes to fulfill. This takes a great deal of work on our part, but when the goal is achieved, dream realized, and purpose fulfilled, we need to remember to stay humble and kind. We may have worked hard, but without the Lord’s help, we would not be successful.

The song also reminds us a grudge can weigh us down. It’s hard, but we should work to forgive and not hold a grudge. Always be humble and kind.

The song gives us a challenge for which to strive. A lifestyle of humility and kindness is the best way to live.

9 Jokes Guaranteed Not to Make You Laugh

Some humor to help you get through the day.

Amid the stressfulness of life, one of the best ways you and I can encourage one another is offering a slight diversion. So, here’s a slight diversion.

Here’s 9 jokes guaranteed not to make you laugh.

1. What did Mr. and Mrs. Hamburger name their daughter?

Patty

2. How do you convince a farmer’s daughter to go on a date with you?

A tractor.

3. What are the weakest days of the week?

Saturday and Sunday. They are the weekends.

4. Why are skunks intelligent?

They have lots of sense.

5. What do you call a farmer who counts his corn stalks?

A corn stalker.

6. What did the one egg say to the other egg?

Get cracking.

7. Why does a golfer take two pairs of pants to the course?

In case he gets a hole in one.

8. What do you call two monkeys sharing an Amazon account?

Amazon Prime mates.

9. What did the triangle say to the circle?

You’re pointless.

I hope this has encouraged you in some way. In this stressful season, remember to stay calm. The Lord is our constant as everything changes around us.

Share your clean joke which will not make us laugh in the comments below.

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3 Benefits to Staying Calm in Overwhelming Situations

Clear thinking helps us get through the heaviest of situations.

It was a sunny Saturday morning, and the van made several turns before stopping. The driver said, “Let the training begin. Get out. I’ll see you back at the training facility.” The team with their guide dogs got out. They were lost.

What street were they on? What direction did they need to go? They were faced with a choice. They could panic or stay calm.

Staying calm awards, you and I benefits in overwhelming circumstances.

1. Staying calm keeps us thinking clearly.

Our minds are not fogged by panic, so we can process the situation. We can clearly see the event and any options available to us. Clear thinking will help us ask appropriate questions and develop strategies for moving forward.

2. Staying calm helps us respond rather than react to the situation.

Often reacting to a situation makes it worse. Our reaction is not thoughtful, so it doesn’t solve the problem. Responding with a thoughtful strategy can propel us forward even in the heaviest of situations.

3. Staying calm helps us communicate clearly.

One of the best resources we have in overwhelming situations is each other. Working together will help us create a better path out of the situation than we can make on our own. Staying calm helps us communicate in a more effective way.

Calm communicators think before they speak. They are not irritable and are less likely to drive teammates away by the things they say. Calmness fosters clear communication.

You and I will be placed in overwhelming situations. No one knows what tomorrow holds. The recent Corona pandemic is a good reminder we need to be ready for anything. There are benefits to staying calm when we feel overwhelmed. Staying calm will help us develop and execute a plan to get through the situation.

The lost team made it back to the training facility with no issues. We stayed calm and started walking in what we believed was the right direction. We found someone from the neighborhood, and she gave us more thorough directions. We made it back and had the confidence to stay calm if the events of the training exercise ever occurred in a real-life situation.

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This was originally posted on The Good Men Project.

 

 

3 Keys from Psalm 16 for OverpoweringCircumstances

Here are 3 keys from Psalm 16 to help in the storms of life.

1. The Lord is a place of refuge during overwhelming times.

David’s life had its share of overwhelming situations. He faced down Goliath. He found himself being surrounded by his enemies and being chased through the wilderness. During these times, David found his refuge in the Lord.

David says in verse 1, “Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge.”

Life creates moments when we need the shelter of the Lord, and we can seek refuge from him. He will rescue us.

Psalm 17:7 says, “By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies.”

When the pink slip arrives, the bank account hits negative numbers, and we’re not sure what tomorrow holds, the Lord shelters us. When the loved one leaves and we are heartbroken, we can enter the sanctuary of the Lord. Life’s storms will hit, but the Lord will keep us safe and give us refuge.

2. The Lord will guide us in overwhelming times.

David says in verses 7-8, “I will bless the Lord who guides me. Even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken for he is right beside me.”

The Lord will prompt our steps and guide our direction. He will help us navigate overwhelming situations. We need only to trust him.

Proverbs 3:5-7 advises, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, submit to him and he will direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and shun evil.”

The direction we go may seem strange, but we must remember the Lord will not lead us astray nor will he leave us. He will pilot us through the darkest of times.

3. Victory comes in the Lord.

At the end of all the struggles, David knew victory comes in the Lord.

He says in verses 10-11, “For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”

Acting

The next time a storm comes in your life, apply these points and allow the Lord to go with you through the storm.

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Faith Overcomes Barriers

They told the man, “It can’t be done.” Climbing the mountain would be difficult, and there were giant obstacles standing in the way. “It can’t be done,” they continually repeated. Sound familiar?

There are barriers in life that seem like mountains. The goal is huge, the dream is enormous, and the calling seems impossible. We believe we know our purpose, but fulfilling it is overwhelming. So, we become disheartened. If this is you, the Bible offers encouragement.

Caleb was able to overcome a mountain.

The Bible records the story of Caleb. He faced much adversity on his path to fulfilling his purpose. Caleb kept hearing the phrase “it can’t be done,” but he was able to overcome the barriers thought to be disabling.

They said, “It can’t be done.”

Caleb was among the 12 spies who explored the land promised to Israel. Most of the spies came back with an unfavorable report. They did not believe it was possible to take possession of the land. They said, “It can’t be done.”

This is a disheartening statement.

“It can’t be done” is a short statement but has the power to demoralize the recipient. It did in Israel’s day; they heard the words causing panic and a lack of faith. Unfortunately, the same happens today.

We take steps to fulfill our purpose, and we are met with resistance; “it can’t be done,” we are told. Odds are we won’t be successful because of our background, socioeconomic status, or we have a disability. Society creates a stereotype deeming you and me unsuccessful, so we are instantly told, “it can’t be done.”

Hearing this phrase is discouraging. Our desire is to overcome barriers and fulfill our purpose, yet attempts are cut short by a few words. In turn, placing another barrier on the path. Caleb shows us how to respond when this occurs. He responded to the statement with faith.

Caleb was able to overcome the statement.

Caleb responded to the “can’t” statement with faith.

“If the Lord is pleased with us, he will let us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us,” Caleb says in Numbers 14:8.

Caleb remembered the Lord had already helped Israel, and he knew the Lord would help them again. Caleb had faith, which is the most important key to be an overcomer.

Caleb had a proper understanding of his own abilities. He understood his own capabilities and limits. We too need to have a proper self-image. We have limits, and it’s in our weaknesses God does some amazing work.

More important than a proper self-image, Caleb believed in the limitless power of the Lord. If the Lord was with Israel, Caleb knew they would be victorious. The same is true for us. If the Lord is with us, we will be victorious.

Caleb’s faith propelled him past doubt to knowing the Lord would help Israel accomplish the purpose.

His faith allowed him to take a mountain.

Caleb remained faithful as life continued. Israel had to stay in the desert 40 years because of their disbelief. Caleb continued living the life of an overcomer, and when he was 85 years old, Israel had taken possession of the land, and there was a mountain needing conquered.

This was no ordinary mountain. Its inhabitants were giants. Caleb faced some barriers in taking this portion of land, but he believed he could. Again, Caleb’s faith propelled him past doubt to knowing the Lord would help him.

Caleb was not someone satisfied with the average or commonplace. His goals and dreams were big. His purpose was important, and his faith was strong. There were barriers standing between Caleb and fulfilling his purpose, but Caleb’s faith helped him overcome the barriers.

Our faith needs to propel us past doubting to knowing.

Our goals and dreams are big. Our purpose is important, so we need our faith to be strong. There will be barriers standing in our way. Some may seem as large as a mountain occupied by giants, but we can overcome them. The Lord will be with us as we accomplish the purpose, he has given us. Like Caleb, our faith needs to propel us past doubting to knowing the Lord will help us.

Acting

Faith is like muscle. The more it is used, the more it builds. Build up your faith by taking steps to accomplish your purpose. Identify one or two steps you can take in the next week, and in faith, take them. See what happens.

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An Overcoming Character

The twists and turns of life often create barriers and hurtles needing overcome. The path to success is blocked by any number of obstacles forcing you and me to take a different route. The challenges posed by finding an alternate route can overwhelm and discourage us.

Thankfully, we are not alone. Many have overcome obstacles and barriers to find their way to success. Their stories can serve as encouragement to you and me. The Bible gives us examples of people who overcame life’s difficulties to fulfill their purpose.

Ruth went into the unknown.

Ruth is one of those overcomers. Her life seemed to be ordinary. A native of Moab, Ruth fell in love with a young man from Bethlehem. He and his family moved to Moab to escape a famine, and he was smitten by Ruth’s beauty and character. The two were married, but it wasn’t long before life challenged Ruth.

Her husband, brother-in-law, and father-in-law died leaving Ruth and her relatives as widows. Naomi, her mother-in-law, decided to return to Bethlehem, and Ruth had to decide what she was going to do. Ruth had to decide which direction to go; stay in Moab or go with Naomi into the unknown.

Stay or go?

For Ruth, this was a pivotal moment. The choice she made here was going to chart the course of her future. This was a big decision. It could have easily been overwhelming and discouraging. Can you relate?

Life is going well, but suddenly, it changes. You and I are pushed into a moment of change and required to make decisions charting our future. It is an overwhelming feeling and can be discouraging, especially if we thought the path to success was clear. Ruth illustrates the best approach for us.

Ruth allowed character to determine her direction.

To spite being overwhelmed, Ruth allowed her character to determine her direction. She was unselfish and loyal, so she went with Naomi into the unknown. Naomi was at an age where she was going to need help and Ruth believed she could be of assistance, so she went to Bethlehem. Her character propelled her into the unknown.

The unknown soon became familiar.

Bethlehem soon became familiar to Ruth, and she developed a relationship with Boaz. The two were married and had a son. This put Ruth in the lineage of Jesus.

The same will be true for us. If our character pushes us into unknown territory, it will soon become familiar.

Ruth’s secret to success was character.

Ruth was able to overcome barriers in life and find success. Her secret was character. Ruth allowed her unselfishness and loyalty to move her into the unknown.

Acting

Cultivate a character that’s ready to overcome barriers. Allow your character to determine your direction rather than feelings. A properly cultivated character will help us find the path to success.

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