All ability comes from and for you.

So many juicy, lush phrases I could use as the title for today’s blog!

“I love James Altucher.”

“Oh, So Trippable.”

“O.T.” Another Way to Spell “Ought”.

“Pridefall”.

“Desire Does Not Equal Ability”.

“Blog-Plug. AKA Name Drop”

“I Must Be Getting Better”.

Maybe starting at the beginning will help me to choose. It’s become usual for me to wake early. Can I call it “overwhelming desire to get together with the Lord?” Yes. Yes, I do nap during the day – OK, that might have something to do with it. But, in reverse. Which came first, the napping or the early rising? (With my myriad health issues, these are patterns that developed together. Note: did you know “myriad” classically means a unit of ten thousand? And, as an adjective, it means “countless or extremely great in number.” So, it would be correct to write “a myriad of issues,” or “myriad issues”. That’s some cool and useful knowledge, right there!)

Where was I? Oh, yes. I must be getting better. About getting up early. And napping. Less. Or more! Getting better at writing – ’cause I didn’t make it past the editorial intro, “Flexing Your Muscles“, to the May-June issue of Men of Integrity magazine before my brain was churning out blog ideas. I really love this publication. It’s full of week-long excerpts from relevant books, which really compounds your reading list. Please, check it out.

Blog-Plug two: a book I’m already tempted (in a good way) to get, and the subject of said editorial, Tim Chaddick’s The Truth About Lies. Such beautiful and true combinations of words, both in the intro and quoted from the book! (Including the word lush.) “Each time we choose truth in the face of a lie, we are, in a sense, flexing muscles in our spiritual life that grow stronger with each challenge.” “Ever since our first mother and father chose to indulge…” “…the empty promises of forbidden fruit, or, will we obey God and trust that his rewards are better?”

Obey. Trust. OT (pronounced “ought”). We OT to obey and trust. A new acronym! (We Celebrate Recovery people love acronyms!) (That was plug three, of course.)

“I want the pleasure of sin more than the reward of obedience.” “…When you reject temptation, your allegiance to Christ grows stronger” [like] “…athletes… fueled by a love for their sport that … gives them the resolve to reject… they grow a little bit stronger, faster, tougher.” Recently, when I was choosing video games over remaining abstinent, I could literally feel myself saying, in effect, I want this more. How humbling!  How great to be given the words to so aptly describe what I was feeling! (“Apt” is an excellent acronym word. Stand by for a good meaning.)

The only caveat I would add, though, is still, oh, so trippable. Perhaps, we become more able for our purpose (to compete in the sport). However, my pridefall warning bells were clanging at the thought that I could ever be – in my own strength – better able to lift myself out of harm’s way. It might be better (for me) to say it is my desire to obey that grows, but not my ability. I forever will depend on Jesus for that.

I’m reminded of my brother-in-law, Marty. Because he was in the Air Force, he would run a lot. One day, his foot hit a sidewalk slab that was uneven – and his femur snapped! All the training was as nothing, and he still limps today.

“Each test that temptation brings your way is another opportunity to affirm and grow your love for Jesus.” So very true! “… Use it as a reminder to praise and profess your obedience…”, to declare emphatically your belief and faith “… that his way is better.”

Wow, I feel like I didn’t actually do any of the writing of this entry – so much of it was quotes. But that leaves just one name-drop to explain: I Love James Altucher. James is a blogger and author and pod-caster, founder (if that’s the right word) of the Choose Yourself approach to life in this new era. I credit him as the one who finally got me writing and delivering – no, that’s the wrong word – pursuing my creative dreams and what I believe is the big piece of God’s vision for me, Sharing God’s Story in my life. James is famous for recommending the practice of “write 10 ideas every day.” In other words, just do it. That got me just writing, which has turned into a post almost daily for me. Thank You, James!

Thank You, Heavenly Father, Saviour Son, and Holy Spirit within. All ability comes from and for you.

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