Ask For Such Strength

Written by A.Z. Alfred


And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: For my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)

Every morning I openrepparttar Bible. I canít help but read at least a verse fromrepparttar 139167 books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes because I need wisdom for each day. Then I would plunge deeply into studying my Bible. Thirty minutes to an hour later, I would close my Holy book, pray and facerepparttar 139168 day.

But one morning was exceptional. I woke up with a heavy heart and a migraine headache. I knewrepparttar 139169 cause of my infirmities. I had believed God for a job forrepparttar 139170 past five years, but a day before, I lost out at another interview. So I felt hopeless and empty. The strength to hang on ran dry and I was weak torepparttar 139171 core.

Relaxing for a while, I picked up my Bible. I opened it like it was some coffee-table book. My troubled eyes fell on Mark chapter five. I scanned through to verse twenty-five to thirty-five. It wasrepparttar 139172 story ofrepparttar 139173 woman withrepparttar 139174 issue of blood. Though I did not knowrepparttar 139175 reason, but I readrepparttar 139176 account story six times that remarkable morning.

This is a story Iíve heard all my life from my age eight when attending Sunday school classes. I knew her story so well like my last name; I knew it likerepparttar 139177 number of blouses in my small closet. It was a miraculous story of faith more than that of a mustard seed.

I remembered inrepparttar 139178 University campus fellowship, we gave her story a name, ď The garmentís faithĒ. I personally had preachedrepparttar 139179 garmentís faith to believers and unbelievers more than a hundred times but after reading it six times, God wanted me reading it again.

ďWhat do you want to tell me in this?Ē I questioned God.

ď Read it again, my daughterĒrepparttar 139180 still voice responded, ignoring my question.

ď God! Read what again? Iíve read this story all my life and Iíve got her kind of faith.Ē I yelled out loud. Butrepparttar 139181 still voice was adamant and I was left with a choice, to read it again. Then, as I went through it, something dawned on me. Something Iíve never thought of hit me hard.

The woman was strong, rich and healthy. Perhaps people envied her for her success. Perhaps she had taught people a hundred times how to remain healthy and rich. But one day she was ready for her monthly menstrual period just like every other woman. After three to five days,repparttar 139182 flow never stopped. She became worried, saw a gynaecologist, got some medications and was told not to worry, but it persisted. Her worries led to fear as she tried other doctors, still no changes. She tried whatever people suggested and they were as diverse as they were costly until she spent all her lot. Before her very eyes, everything she had acquired completely disappeared.

Twelve years later, her expensive linen and satin turned ragged sackcloth with patches. Her strong physique turned a weary bone bag. She was nothing but a walking corpse. She was so frail with no strength to stand on her legs. Then her families and friends abandoned her, throwingrepparttar 139183 once celebrated woman to a corner, outsiderepparttar 139184 city, where lepers live.

Fearing the Light

Written by Debbie O'Meara


Iím writing this on a plane, between Boston and Los Angeles. Our movie today is ďCoach Carter.Ē Itís about an inner-city basketball coach who coaches his players to be not just winners onrepparttar court, but winners in life. A little clichť, but always a good story.

At one ofrepparttar 139069 crisis/resolution points inrepparttar 139070 movie, one ofrepparttar 139071 formerly problem players quotes a passage that he clearly memorized from a book somewhere. I canít reciterepparttar 139072 whole thing but one part talks aboutrepparttar 139073 fact that itís not our darkness we fear. Itís our light. Itís not our powerlessness. Itís our power.

I once went to a marketing seminar whererepparttar 139074 instructor asked about what barriers to success people had encountered. One person suggested ďfear of success.Ē The instructor actually ridiculedrepparttar 139075 concept, puttingrepparttar 139076 woman onrepparttar 139077 defensive and dismissingrepparttar 139078 idea. But there is such a thing, isnít there?

A college roommate of mine got a perfect 4.0 grade point average one semester (thatís as high as you can get in American universities.) She was excited, but unnerved atrepparttar 139079 same time. She felt like achieving it once put pressure on her to achieve it again, and again, and again. Thatís whatrepparttar 139080 fear of success is. Itísrepparttar 139081 fear of setting expectations too high, and feeling constant pressure to meet them. The fear that you canít make any more mistakes, because if you do, youíre letting people down.

Powerful stuff! But when you think about it, itís wrong on so many levels. Hereís why: It assumes that people are paying attention to what youíre doing, and judging your successes and failures. When we were growing up, perhaps, our parents watched Ė and commented Ė on everything we did. Or mayberepparttar 139082 opposite Ė they didnít see anything we did. Either way, if as adults we think weíre constantly being evaluated, arenít we giving that parental role to other adults who arenít our parents? Who are just as insecure and self-conscious as we are? If you think about it, itís a little egotistical to think that theyíre spending their time evaluating us. And if they are, itís their own shortcoming, their act of measuring their own lives and finding them lacking. Thatís their choice.

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