Today is Friday, August 2nd, 2013; Karen's Korner #2625
In the late winter five years ago, former Clarion resident Neal Bunn, who now resides in the Des Moines area, brought the ALPHA series back to Clarion after his participation in the multi-week study and the life-changing impact on his life. Most of the time he would come back to Clarion for each Sunday evening's study.
One week his friend and fellow-church-goer Nicole Woodley brought her message to the group instead. Nicole and her husband, Grant (who also was raised in Clarion), are co-pastors in the mega-church where all three now attend.
I penned when Nicole brought this message to us as listeners in my Bible - April 11, 2008. Her five-year-old topic could now be a personal message back to Nicole. The thirty-something mother of three is now in a battle against breast cancer.
Her topic came from II Timothy 2:3 - 7 under the chapter sub-heading "Good soldiers are not afraid to suffer":
"Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ,
just as I do,
and as Christ's soldier do not let yourself become tied up in worldly affairs,
for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army.
Follow the Lord's rules for doing his work,
just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize.
Work hard, like a farmer who gets paid well if he raises a large crop.
Think over these three illustrations,
and may the Lord help you to understand how they apply to you."
Bible Commentary: "As Timothy (to whom this letter was written by Paul) preached and taught, he would face suffering, but he should be willing to take it. Christian leaders are not the only ones who suffer. Soldiers, athletes, and farmers must discipline themselves and be willing to sacrifice to achieve the results they want. Like soldiers, we have to give up worldly security and endure rigorous discipline. Like athletes, we must train hard and follow the rules. Like farmers, we must work extremely hard. We keep going in spite of suffering because of the thought of victory, the vision of winning, and the hope of harvest. All of our suffering is made worthwhile by our goal of glorifying God, winning people to Christ, and one day living eternally with him."
Let's pray for Nicole and her family, as she concludes her health treatments. As I heard a gal say on a Christian broadcast a couple of days ago: time for Christians to 'dance on the battlefields'. None of us have to look very far to see or have to participate in a 'battlefield'. Time to take a second look: and DANCE!