notesbynora

Walking by Faith Alone

Posts Tagged ‘faith

Eagle Power…

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I love the movie Nacho Libre. While there isn’t technically any literary worthiness to it, there is a message. Jack Black plays the part of Nacho, a Monk, discouraged with his life and longing for some form of recognition that his job has meaning. He is the cook for the other Monks and the orphans in a small town in Mexico. When a beautiful Nun enters the scene as a new teacher for the orphans, things begin to change. In secret, Nacho becomes a tag team wrestler and with the proceeds of his fights, buys fresh ingredients to prepare better meals for the children. To gain more power and become the best wrestler in the world, Nacho climbs a cliff to a known eagle’s nest, drinks the yolk of the eagle’s eggs, so that he may gain eagle power.

Discouragement happens to us all at some point in our lives – to some more than others. It is a loss of hope. A feeling that surrender and defeat are the only answers. Discouragement highlights the word ‘quit’ when we want desperately to fight and stay the course. It chips away at our future and makes us believe we are weak, incapable, too old, too young, no-good, hang-it-up people.

Can you imagine the discouragement Noah must have felt waiting for the rain and listening to the jeers and name calling from his neighbors? Or Daniel as they lowered him into the lion’s den? Being swallowed by a whale and living in the belly had to have left Jonah a bit out of sorts…Esther facing the King…Moses dealing with the Isrealites…Jesus as He prayed in the garden and His disciples slept. It leaves me to wonder, what separates “the men from the boys” or the “women from the girls”?

Steps to Combat Discouragement:

  • Tell yourself ‘Who’ is on your side. God is a God of encouragement and hope, not doubt and fear. His words are uplifting, not negative. God never says, “You can’t do it! I’m going to find someone else.” On the contrary, God says, “Despite your weakness, WE will do it and do it well!” Isaiah 40:29, “He gives strength to the weary,and increases the power of the weak.”
  • Relieve yourself of the weight. Carrying burdens, harboring anxiety, filling our worry tanks glorifies Satan. He is the instigator of all doubt and fear as he whispers in our ear, “What ever gave you the idea things would work out! You are going under!” Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares (burdens) on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous be shaken.”
  • Tell yourself not to fear. Psalm 56:11, “…though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.” God spends a great deal of time in the Old and New Testament telling us not to fear. Not to worry. Not to let anxiety rule us. Why then do we?
  • Allow God to renew your strength. Pray for encouragement and that God will surround you with His people who will lift you up and give you a renewed sense of hope. Isaiah 40:31, “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” Don’t withdraw. Don’t stop praying. Don’t buy into the potential destruction. Praise God that He will renew and restore you!
  • Summon your Eagle Powers. You don’t have to drink eagle egg yolk like our friend Nacho. God renews our strength like the eagles. Isaiah 40:31, “You will soar on wings like eagles. You will run and not grow weary. You will walk and not be faint.”

Discouragement can have a hold on us that destroys and weakens our ability to function. The bigger the plan God has for your life, the tougher Satan will be on thwarting that plan. Just when we think we are almost there, something interrupts our progress and hurls us back a few feet. Stand up. Brush yourself off and face the challenge before you. Because God will win  that means you will win too.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

July 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm

To Caroline…

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I’m so excited today! Know why? Today is May 5th the running of the Kentucky Derby. I love the Derby – always have. When I was your age, I was going to be a horse trainer; run a barn; live in Kentucky; and yes – win the Derby. : )

Dreams fill our lives from when we are 2 and 3, from wanting to be policemen or firemen or teachers or astronauts to even in our older days dreaming of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, beautiful gardens, or a vacation home on a remote island. Life is full of them. And they are all good and important in the eyes of God.

One of my favorite Bible verses was written by Paul through God’s inspiration. It comes from 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, ” Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

Today you are being confirmed into the church, your training ground for the big race. In your lifetime you will hear that a person doesn’t have to go to church to go to Heaven. And that is true. But as you know with cheerleading, you cannot be a part of the squad unless you train, practice, work hard, keep your body free of alcohol and drugs, keep your grades up, and attend practice. You are dedicated to your sport because you want to be a part of the winning team. There are many cheerleaders out there – yes there are. There are many teams. There are people who wish to be a part and people who want you to succeed and those who want you to fail. It is part of the game.

Paul is telling us through God to take our walk with Christ like a race, only we are running for “the crown.” There are people who attend church but then Monday morning treat people or act in ways that is not worthy of a person on God’s team. They are seeking prizes that do not last. Be the one who trains to win the race Caroline. Be the one who trains as Christ longs for us to train, as active members of our churches, readers of the scriptures, prayer warriors, but most importantly people who love other people.

One of the Pharisees tested Jesus with a question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (Matthew 22:36 NIV).  Jesus replied, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV).

And that’s how you win the race…

I am proud of who you are and who you are becoming. Do not lose sight of where you are running and who you are running beside. Be strong and bold for God. Have faith in Him. Most importantly know that as you become a part of the Body of Christ (the Church), you are representing Him in everything that you do.

Much love to you today. Never forget that you are the apple of God’s eye and a daughter of the King of kings.

As I watch the Kentucky Derby, I am going to think about you. I am going to envision the race you are running in your life for Christ. And when the winning horse crosses the finish line, I will rejoice and be glad because I know in your race, you will win for Christ.

God Bless you and keep you. May His Son shine across your face. May He forever hold you in the palm of His hand.

 

Aunt Nora

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

May 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm