Week Thirty-One, 2022

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Last year, a two-year-old colt finished dead last in his first race. Disappointed, his owners placed him in a “claiming” race where anyone could take the ownership for a fee. An older man purchased the colt after missing the chance to claim another horse he wanted. He said it was his last attempt to find some success in the racing industry.

The colt won by 17 lengths, and his new owner was encouraged. But, in the races that followed, he finished third twice, fourth once, and fifth once. His owner, however, still believed in him.

2022 was the colt’s only chance to race in major thoroughbred races, which are limited to three-year-olds. The day before the Kentucky Derby, the field of horses was already full, but then, at the last moment, a famous trainer scratched (withdrew) his horse. The colt took that place in a field of twenty horses, just 30 seconds before the entry deadline. Suddenly, he was in the game. He had a chance.

All the metrics and predictors were against him. Neither his owner, his trainer, nor his jockey had ever been associated with any horse in the Kentucky Derby. His jockey had never even won a major event. They were decidedly outsiders and newbies in an extremely elite arena. On the morning of the race, his odds of winning were set at 80 to 1, the second longest odds in Derby history.

Halfway around the track, the colt was 16 horses back from the lead. He couldn’t even be seen in the field of view of the drone camera flying above the race. He was a nobody, a throw-away, an inconsequential participant.

But then, he made his move.

He began working his way through the crowded pack, finding a few narrow, fleeting opportunities to improve his position. As they headed toward the finish line, he had miraculously moved up to fifth, then fourth, but still, no one had noticed him. Everyone’s attention was firmly focused on the battle between the two famous front-runners.

Only seconds before the finish, he suddenly, almost magically passed the two front-runners. The announcer struggled to identify him and say his name in time. He said, almost in a single breath, “Rich Strike is coming up on the inside … Oh my goodness! The longest shot has won the Kentucky Derby!”

Where there is life, there is hope. Anything is possible. Don’t let anyone count you out.

Persistence and determination beat the odds.



The greatest gift you can ever give yourself is to live a life fully aligned with God’s values.

When you spend your money, time, and energy on the godly things that bring you happiness today and joy tomorrow, you experience peace, confidence, and satisfaction in the present life you have chosen to live.

Unfortunately, in many respects, we live lives that are too easily pleased. We rely on possessions and money to satisfy our heart’s desire. Or we get caught up in other selfish pursuits, like fame, accolades, or notoriety.

We often fall into the assumption that the secret to a fulfilled life is the possession of more belongings and the achievement of personal gain.

But while we are settling for the temporal pleasure of material possessions, is it possible we are missing out on something better? Is it possible we are missing things that would bring even greater satisfaction and more lasting pleasure to our lives?

Could it be that we were designed for something greater than material acquisitions? And that the greatest act of self-care we could partake in is to stop settling for anything less than the best?

C. S. Lewis said it this way: “Our desires are not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” The Minimalist

— o —

Charley, a new retiree-greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn’t seem to get to work on time. Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean-shaven, sharp-minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their “Older Person Friendly” policies.

One day the boss called him into the office for a talk. “Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang-up job when you finally get here; but your being late so often is quite bothersome.”

“Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it.” “Well good, you are a team player. That’s what I like to hear” “Yes sir, I understand your concern and I will try harder”.

Seeming puzzled, the manager went on to comment, “I know you’re retired from the Armed Forces. What did they say to you there if you showed up in the morning late so often?”

The old man looked down at the floor, then smiled. He chuckled quietly, then said with a grin, “They usually saluted and said, Good morning, Admiral, can I get your coffee, sir”?



No matter how dark the night, Jesus is still the “light of the world” (John 8:12). He will forgive every sin we confess to him (1 John 1:9) and transform any life entrusted to his grace (2 Corinthians 5:17).

God has no restrictions, no limitations. Dan Shock

No man can succeed in a line of endeavor which he does not like. Napoleon Hill

People are like vines. They only grow as high as their supports. Jomo Cousins

When confronted with evil, it’s a sin to stay when you could leave.

Don’t lose sight of what God has called you to do.

I awoke, only to see that the rest of the world is still asleep. Leonardo Da Vinci

The only way to tell the truth is to speak with kindness. Only the words of a loving man can be heard. Henry David Thoreau

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create. Albert Einstein

Consider this: rare is the person who lists money and possessions among their greatest goals in life, but we spend most of our time and energy trying to acquire them. In fact, according to one survey, 70% of us say our desire for acquiring more money influences our daily decisions. The Minimalist