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Help for despair (2004-02-18 - 4:47 p.m.)

I got a neat surprise in the mail today. Actually, it wasn’t really a surprise because I knew it was coming. I won a cd and tickets for a concert for By the Tree from 89.7 Power FM, the other night on my way to work. The cd is called “Root,” and it is the new one from By the Tree. We saw them with the Newsboys at Next Stage last year, and we really liked them.

I also just found out that Christi won tickets to see the Dallas Starts play the Mighty Ducks on Sunday afternoon. These are the seats in her company’s luxury suite at American Airlines center in Dallas. So at least two of us will be going to that game. We may decide to let one of the girls go, if they want to.

I’m off to a good start with the Scripture memory system. I’ve pretty much got the first passage committed to memory already (Psalm 103:1-4). I had part of that already memorized from past readings, but not all of it. I like the way this system works. The audio cds have a 3-5 minute track for each week that includes John MacArthur reading the passage, then giving a brief devotional thought about it. I listened to it on the way to work and back last night. That alone was enough to get it memorized. Then it’s written across my monitor on the desktop program that came on the cd-rom. This will allegedly update automatically every seven days to show the next passage. It is also scrolling across on the screen saver whenever the computer is not being used. Plus, there was a program that put an icon on the desktop for listening to the passage whenever I want to. So, this system puts the passage of Scripture that I am memorizing right in front of me in a variety of settings. I highly recommend it. As I said yesterday, if you are interested, check out the Grace To You website.

The Chambers reading today is all about despair. Again, it uses the word “initiative,” as it has in the last two readings, as well. I looked ahead, and the next two also contain that word. Rachel should get a kick out of that. Along with the fact that KLTY’s “character trait of the week” last week was “initiative.” Hee. Anyway, we all tend to get a sense of despair whenever we fail at something. Chambers’ example was the disciples who fell asleep while Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. They realized what they had done, and realized that it was too late, and could not be taken back, and they despaired. “The sense of the irreparable is apt to make us despair, and we say—‘It is all up now, it is no use trying any more.’ If we imagine that this kind of despair is exceptional, we are mistaken, it is a very ordinary human experience.” We cannot take back the past, we can only go on to the future. There are no “do overs” in real life. Life has no “undo” button. There are no “save points.” (Thank goodness PS2 games have “save points,” though.)

I love the next statement by Chambers, though. “Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.” (I really wish he wouldn’t use the word “bosom.” That makes me think of Amy Acker’s screen test which is included as an “extra feature” in the Angel Season 3 DVD set. You should get it and watch it. Today.) But what a beautiful statement. We cannot wallow in despair. We must, once again, as he spoke of yesterday, get up and do the next thing, which is “to trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption. Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action.” Great advice from a great man.

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