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“and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32. Truth breeds integrity.
Have you ever met someone who was just plain stubborn? You might know people within your circle of friends who insist on having their way. They are hardheaded and obstinate about what they want. A moment of reflection may cause you to feel uncomfortable at the thought (you know, personally). God calls it a heart problem. This problem of self-centeredness has existed from the beginning of time, documented in the lives of people we read about in Scripture as well as people we live with today.
Pharaoh is probably the best illustration in the Bible of a person with a hard heart. He was exposed to the truth over and over again, yet refused to respond accordingly. Notice God said, “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart.” God engineered…
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I know a man who taught me a valuable life-lesson that is based in hope. At the time he shared this with me I was 27 and clueless. I had my own idea of how life was supposed to be and I was working hard to realize my dreams. I was living well but I was always caught up in some type of chaos I was creating due to my inability to find the joy in the journey. My friend must have realized this and shared this lesson with me.
He had been a mail carrier for the USPS for decades. It brought financial security and marital stability along with a lifestyle that was envied by his family. He described his experience as what he thought were “the best years of his life.” His circumstances changed when he became ill. He lost his job and all of the financial security. He became unemployable and homeless. He found himself alone, needy and hopeless. After a major hospitalization caused by his apparent demise brought about by his “seemingly hopeless case of mind and body,” he heard, through a series of interactions with people who survived the same problem that was killing him, there is a solution. He stayed the course of a particular treatment plan wherein he found a constant presence of hope within. His life gradually began to change for the better. He became employable again but he dealt with serious blemishes in his history that deterred many potential employers from hiring him. Frustration ensued but willingness prevailed. A training program with the regional transit authority yielded him favorable results and he once again had work. He found unspeakable joy day after day as he struggled to establish himself again. He gained a new life that was exponentially better than “the best years of his life.” His joy still remains to this day as he is living better than ever in the second half of his life.
As I reflect on this life-lesson I am blessed today to realize that I now understand the value of his story that never abandoned my memory and I have used it to generate hope in my own hopelessness. God is always present. His realized presence provides an unlimited source of hope to carry us through life situations with a constant spirit of joy that positively affects our lives and the lives of others. As long as we are willing to show-up for life each day, we can live through any circumstance that materializes victoriously. This is a virtuous reality based in an Conqueror lifestyle. THE JOY IS IN THE JOURNEY!