Endurance: Recreation for the Lovesick

Today I went to a friend’s house and listened to “Endurance” by Derek Prince. It’s a teaching about, well, endurance. Derek Prince was a brilliant thinker, profound speaker, and passionate man of God. He died in 2003 after years of travelling the world: speaking, healing, and bringing deliverance. His teachings are incredible.

(More on his life here)

I drove home after the endurance-infusion and when I put my hand on my doorknob I thought, “It’s very important that I am Redding right now.” The stature of this statement is measured against my desire to be in Iraq presently. When I left Iraq weeks ago it looked like I would be back there at the end of January. Then the US troops left; and the nation wiggled-and-waggled into more instability. Now it is not clear when I will return, but between my blazing hope and quicksand love for Iraq, there is a holy confidence in God’s timing. There are things for me in Redding; and this preparation period matters. Moreover, Romans 5 promises the end quotient of the endurance equation is HOPE. Well, I’m all about hope. Moreover, I have discovered that hope and endurance are key assets when in a war zone, and certainly life in general.

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

In Derek’s talk “Endurance” he broached several strategic insights. Here are a few of them:

Patience and perseverance are not signs of weakness, but of strength.

When the book of James talks about trials, he is indicating that allowing yourself to fully journey to the rightful end and resolution of a trial will cause flaws and shortcomings to be worked out of you so you are ready for what is next. (AMEN!)

It is one thing to faithfully claim a promise at its giving; it is a true demonstration of character to continue to hold onto a promise until its fulfillment. Many people let go of the promise during the process and they later wonder why they didn’t see the promise fulfilled.

There are two tests of character:

1. When life is “too hard”

2. When life is “too easy”

Many people can make it through tribulation, but they can not make it through success. Conversely, many people can make it through success, but they can not make it through tribulation. Those with true character will flourish through both.

Lastly, Derek presented four instructions for enduring:

1. Make a firm, wholehearted commitment to Jesus with no reservations.

2. Keep your focus on the invisible. (The unseen world must be more real to us than the seen. THOSE things are eternal.)

3. If you fail, don’t give up. (Psalm 37:23-4 and 2 Timothy 4:7-8)

4. Keep the faith, fight the fight

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Now, a lot of people know I’m a bit fixated on Antarctica. It’s been one of my life dreams to go there since I was a kid. I love the idea of frontiers; confronting the “impossible”; expanses of ice and wonder; and I love adventure. Thus, it makes sense that a favorite demonstration of endurance is that of Ernest Shackleton. Shackleton was an arctic explorer. He also named his ship “The Endurance.” Though the ship did not make it through the icebergs that surrounded it, the expedition was far from futile. On the contrary, Shackleton proved to many that Antarctica was accessible. Well done, faithful explorer! Like another hero of mine, Amelia Earhart, Shackleton provided a foundation for the generations following to do more and have greater success than he ever did. This is the nature of leaving a legacy and an inheritance. Endurance is also an investment in future generations, so your ceiling can be their floor.

Mighty men and women of God, keep on keeping on! You are strong; and He is stronger! Drive through the icebergs! Commit to do the impossible. A.W. Tozer said, “God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible.
What a pity when we plan only the things we can do by ourselves.”

Endurance is a pathway to the impossible. And if you are madly in love with Jesus, it’s fun. You get to discover what both you and He would do and can do and will do for love. Endurance is recreation for the lovesick.

See video of the voyage here

A Brave New World starts with the first step

"A Brave New World"

I have been thinking a lot lately about bravery and doing what has never been done. Amelia Earhart is one of my heroes. I once saw her in a vision in which she looked intently in my eyes and said, “No one understands what I am doing.” Then she hopped in her plane and flew away. That moment was pivotal for me. I knew what she meant. I imagined the flak she received for her “foolish” confidence and her grandiose vision. I thought of the eye-rolls she must have endured when sharing her dreams. Yet, she knew there was more in her breakthrough than herself – there was a future full of millions of people. She made a way through flight. Now, most people think little of flying – and thousands of people do it daily. In some sense, Amelia saw this. From far off, from eighty years ago, she SAW it. She knew she was blazing a new trail that would soon become well-traveled. Her “unthinkable” dream, has become our norm.

And so it shall be for peace and flourishing in the Middle East.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”
Amelia Earhart


(I painted the above painting in worship at BSSM one lovely March day this year. It’s called, “A Brave New World.”)

Adventure – scoops of heaven one week from Asia

One week from right now I will be in Central Asia – on a missions trip for 2 weeks. Part of my journey involves one of the highest airports in the world (14,00 feet) and a 9 hour bus ride. These two things are a valentine from my Beloved. Jesus knows me so well. I LOVE ADVENTURE. Grab a hold of heaven’s rope swing and come up up up with me…

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the grasslands I get to drink with my eyes and breathe with my heart

the grasslands I get to drink with my eyes and breathe with my heart

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”

– Amelia Earhart (one of my heroes)

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.”

– G.K. Chesterton

“Follow your bliss, and doors will open for you that you never knew existed. Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

– Joseph Campbell

“Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

— Thomas Alva Edison

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

— Ambrose Redmoon

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

— Anais Nin

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

— John A. Shedd

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

— Helen Keller

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

– C.S. Lewis

To my mind, God is amazingly courageous.

Then I realize that is because He IS PERFECT LOVE.

Perfect love can not resist being courageous.