Battle Proof

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Battle Proof

Post  AngelicSmile on Thu 19 Feb 2009, 5:06 am

By:Shannon Heiden

Battle Proof......

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Sir Winston Churchill took three years getting through eighth grade because he had trouble learning English. It seems ironic that years later Oxford University asked him to address its commencement exercises.

He arrived with his usual props. A cigar, a cane and a top hat accompanied Churchill wherever he went. As Churchill approached the podium, the crowd rose in appreciative applause. With unmatched dignity, he settled the crowd and stood confident before his admirers. Removing the cigar and carefully placing the top hat on the podium, Churchill gazed at his waiting audience. Authority rang in Churchill's voice as he shouted, "Never give up!"

Several seconds passed before he rose to his toes and repeated: "Never give up!" His words thundered in their ears. There was a deafening silence as Churchill reached for his hat and cigar, steadied himself with his cane and left the platform. His commencement address was finished.

Beautiful One, can God take someone who doesn't know everything, nor do everything right, who has less and do more with them than expected?....better yet, can God take you and do the impossible?

I don't know about you but I love underdogs. Maybe because I am one myself, but there is nothing more inspiring, that revives my sense of hope, than to hear of someone who has struggled and squirmed, came face to face with adversity, made it through to the other side with the victory, silencing the voices of failure and defeat.

Beautiful One, where are we going? I am not talking about heaven, I am speaking about where are we, you and I going as we journey through each day? In order for us to reach our God given destiny and purpose, are we taking steps now that will help us arrive later?

One thing we must be careful to do and not become slack in, is realizing that for every step, for every dream and every plan, we must become battle proof. For nothing comes easy, especially nothing good. There is alot of hardwork, fortitude, tenacity, maturity and keeping careful focus on the prize that is before us, so when obstacles do come our wayand they will, we are not thrown off course or shoved aside.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to take my boys and their friends to the NBA All Star Events in our city. I was hoping for their sake because they are avid basketball players and watchers that maybe, just maybe they would get to see a player up close, but God had more in store for them this weekend, for them and me.

We didn't quite know where to go, there was so much to see, from the block party, to hoop shooting, to several places to eat. Mass lines were everywhere, excitement was in the air and we just happened to be outside of Amarie Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns restaurant. Talk about being at the right place at the right time, this was actaully the central hub for a television broadcast featuring several NBA players that were going to be interviewed. One by one they came out, people were crowding one another, pressing each other hoping to catch a glimpse or a picture of the players. I looked back at my youngest son, he was standing on the back of a truck and as hard as he was struggling to see, he couldn't.

Something in me rose up, I went and grabbed his little arm and I told him, "come on Cristian, we're going to have to get a bit aggresive and push our way through this crowd.".....and thats what we did, not rudely, not out of order, but the thought hit me, "we are here, we came here to see something great and if we don't get in there, we're going to be pushed aside and miss out."

I can tell you it was just the encouragement my son needed, he took those words and ran with them, not only did he push his way to the front, he got real low to the ground, but he assessed the door all the players were coming in and exiting through and when they would get done interviewing he would run around to the side, into the restarant and go and meet them. At one point he was in the restaurant longer than the other times so I went in to see what he was doing. It just so happened that all of my boys followed the players to the VIP lounge way in the back, and were told they could stay.

They weren't supposed to be there, but because they didn't give up and they pursued with a pure heart and a childlike faith, the reward was even bigger than we could've imagined. I laugh at the thought of my sons getting VIP treatment, all the food they could eat, tournaments, speaking to players from the NBA, I am so glad I grabbed his little arm and he pushed his way through.

As I stayed outside for the next few hours listening to the players who hadn't interviewd yet, Paul Pierce for the Boston Celtics came out. I listened intently to this young man, and he said one sentence that is so profound and true for all of us. When asked what he does to prepare for a big game, he replied" I prepare my mind for battle, for the battle is won in my mind first, before I ever win on the court."

I think someone else said those words;" As a man thinks in his heart, so is he"

What about Winston Churchill? Somewhere he had to see in his mind that he could pass and conquor English, or he wouldn't have done it three times. He had to believe that he would get his diploma before he would actually receive one, maybe that was what helped him overcome the discouragment of failing classes? It's the same with Paul Pierce? What if he had the mindset that other players were better than he was, they were faster, could play better and he should just be content to be on a team? But Paul believed that he could do the impossible, he worked hard and he conditioned his mind to not accept defeat and last year this man received the MVP award as his team took home the Championship.

Failure is a given, but defeat is optional. We are only defeated when we fail and we dont get back up, and try again......

Beautiful One, we are each on a road to somewhere. Greatness lies in each of us because we come from the Great One. We have something the world does not have, we have a powerful, mighty God who has a thousand ways to help us, deliver us, love us and speak to us.

Whatever you are facing, whether it be discouragement, failure, fear, doubt, worry, whatever it is, remember this; God uses the adversity in our lives to strengthen us, grow us and teach us his faithfulness. Obstacles are nothing more than opportunity's to push us through the crowd, with authority in our voice, "Excuse me, Excuse me, God is calling me from the background to the forefront and I will accomplish what I came here to do!"

Beautiful One, just believe because you are becoming battle proof!

Shannon Heiden

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