Week Fourteen, 2022

I am your God and will take care of you until you are old and your hair is gray. I made you and will care for you; I will give you help and rescue you.

– Isaiah 46:4

The Bible is full of assurances that God cares for us:

▪ For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you. – Isaiah 41:13

▪ I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. -Psalm 32.8

▪ The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23.1-3

▪ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

But, there is more. God calls on us to care, care for ourselves and care for others. We live by a scoreboard. Are you winning? Who are you caring for? You can’t care for others until you care for yourself, physically and spiritually. Are you too busy for God? If He wanted to whisper in your ear, could you work it into your schedule of life? Does your schedule leave time for Him? Is your life’s schedule a maze of unorganized twists and turns?

When you earn and prioritize caring for yourself, then you can, and are commanded, to turn to others. Find out what comforts them. Hear their story. Help them physically and spiritually. Pour yourself into them.

The best days of Elijah were when he was pouring into Elisha. At age 92, the great basketball coach said the best days of his life lay ahead, because he was spending his time giving back.

Are you giving back by pouring into others?



“Nordic combined skiing” is so named because it combines ski jumping and cross-country skiing. The sport has been dominated in recent years by Norwegian athlete Jarl Magnus Riiber, considered by NBC analyst Johnny Spillane, to be “the best Nordic combined skier ever.” As Riiber prepared to compete in this year’s Olympics, Spillane predicted, “If he has a good day, he’s pretty much unstoppable.”

He didn’t have a good day.

Riiber tested positive for COVID-19 upon his arrival at the Olympic Games in China, missing his first event and every training session. He cleared isolation on Monday in time to ski cross-country for ten kilometers on Tuesday. As he entered the first of four 2.5-kilometer loops on the course, he came to a fork. To the left was the cross-country circuit; to the right was the path to the finish line. He had not had a chance to practice on the track, so he had to guess and picked the lane on the right.

He chose poorly.

After skiing around fifty yards, he realized he was going the wrong way and turned around. It was too late, however—he’d frittered away his lead and finished in eighth place. “It’s a silly mistake,” Riiber said later, “and it’s not fun to show the world that I’m maybe wasting a gold medal on that.”

Let’s consider his mishap as a cultural parable.

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One in five first grade Florida students have fetal alcohol syndrome.

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., a member of the US Supreme Court for thirty years, once explained his career choice: “I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers.”

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We are a culture drowning in possessions.

We take in more and more at an unprecedented rate, but rarely do we make commitments to discard possessions as quickly as they accumulate. As a result, our homes fill with stuff. The Minimalist



Normal is not coming back, but Jesus is. Geary Jarrett

If we could learn to like ourselves, even a little, maybe our cruelties and angers might melt away. JOHN STEINBECK

It’s easy to discount the sacrifices that people make who are worldly successful; but it is impossible to measure the effort Jesus made to give His life for each of our eternal destiny…because no one else has ever done likewise. Dwight Short

How foolish it is to think that we can hide the truth from God. Dan Shock

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort. JOHN RUSKIN

My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me. Henry Ford

Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another. NAPOLEON HILL

People in their right minds never take pride in their talents. Harper Lee The only way to have a friend is to be one. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Your Wealth is Where Your Friends Are. Ernie J. Zelinski

Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. VÁCLAV HAVEL