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Monday, February 13, 2023

Philippians 3:14

"Be A Plodder"

Message summary: Don't be deterred by the difficulties of life, but plod on, one step at a time.

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"So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD" (Hosea 6:3a). "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

Travis KelseyI played tight end in football in Junior High School in Belton Missouri, a small town south of Kansas City in the late 60's. At that time I suppose I aspired to someday being in the NFL and perhaps even playing for the Kansas City Chiefs but that never happened, as you already know. My most notable play was a touchdown that got called back! (Lest there be any confusion, in spite of the striking similarity the photo to the right is not really me!)

In high school I ran track and cross country, already realizing I was not destined to be a great football player. But I did quite well in my running competition.

Many high school players aspire to playing in the NFL but only some .02% ever make it.* At this point in my life I am doing a lot more looking back than aspiring, in regard to things like playing football. But I still want to have an outlook of aspiration for that which matters most, knowing the Lord! I'm a plodder.

Plodding OnToday let us consider the value of a plodder. In regard to walking, plodding means one who moves heavily or trudges laboriously but, in a more expanded meaning, it is to "work or act perseveringly".

The older you get in life the more your appreciation grows for plodders. We've met many, such as the late Jim Scanlon who wrote, "I have always been a 'plodder', not interested in making the headlines, just following my Shepherd." Or our Texan friend, David Penley, who in spite of some severe health setbacks in life, plods on. He wrote, "The importance of simple, persistent, every day faith is so vital."

Warren Wiersbe wrote in a book, "In Praise of Plodders", "Plodders are those who labor with determination and drive--whether pastor, teacher, choir director, or counselor." I would add any follower of Christ!

Aesop wrote, "Plodding wins the race."

PloddingPlodding, in a sense, is analogous to the term "press on" in our daily texts. God faithfully, incrementally dispenses His grace while conforming us to His image along life's way. Many of us have been on this journey for decades but initially knew little of the ensuing battle the enemy would launch to recapture our soul, and yet we plod on mile by mile, year by year, knowing that God's strength, power and abiding Holy Spirit will take us forward to our heavenward goal.

In comparing our journey to running a race the apostle Paul reminds us to keep our eyes on the prize, lest the arduous and wearying race cause us to stumble and cry out, "It's hopeless!" Our journey of faith may at times seem daunting. The indefinite aspect of the "future" reward may weary us and can easily fade from view. But we encourage you to just keep plodding on one step at a time, keeping your eyes on the prize. Don't let the drop-outs sidetrack you from finishing the race God has set before us.

Friend, don't be deterred by the difficulties of life, but plod on, one step at a time. Your future reward lies just ahead.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, when we begin our journey with You, we're not privy to all that lies ahead. We're told in Scripture that if we walk with Christ old things have passed away, and all things have become new. That's because we now align our thoughts and actions according to Scripture; we begin to see through the eyes of Christ; and we press on to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus so that we will receive our future eternal reward laid up for us already in heaven. Keep us steadily plodding and trusting while also being fruitful as we press on in the faith. Through Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"There is Hope"  Video   CityAlight

Our choir and orchestra at Calvary Church sang a powerful anthem, "Not To Us" in yesterday's worship service. Here's the set of three songs: Video

As a blogger this is an interesting article by Tim Challies, "A Call for Plodding Bloggers"

Benjamin Nathan Cardozo (May 24, 1870 – July 9, 1938) was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He wrote, "In truth, I am nothing but a plodding mediocrity — please observe, a plodding mediocrity — for a mere mediocrity does not go very far, but a plodding one gets quite a distance. There is joy in that success, and a distinction can come from courage, fidelity and industry."

Wiersbe writes,

"The word 'plod' comes from a Middle English word that means 'a puddle.' A 'plodder' is someone who is willing to get his feet wet and wade through water and mud to get to his destination. He or she keeps going! History shows us that it is the plodders who finally make it. 'By perseverance,' said Spurgeon, 'the snail reached the ark.' In this age of fast food, digests and quick fixes, plodding is not held in high esteem; but it is still the plodders who are getting things done, a day at a time, a step at a time. William Carey sums it up well, 'I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything'.”

Finally today:

Super Bowl decorations
Being raised in the Kansas City area I was pleased with the outcome of the game last night but also commiserate with many local friends who would have preferred a different outcome. But Ester was a very enthusiastic Kansas City supporter though she really has little connection apart from early childhood memories of my dad who was from there. However she decorated for both sides while heartily rooting for just one side! (In case you're wondering the doors bearing the names of the opposing teams are not men and women bathrooms. It's a storage closet in our family room that opens on both ends. That's where Brooksyne stores her extra kitchen needs, lots of napkins and all her home canned goods, mostly jams, at this point.)

This is actually a photo of the real me over 50 years ago when I was a just a bit trimmer and better fit. Being a member of the 2 mile relay team I am ready to receive the baton.

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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