Deborah - "When the Future Is Unclear..."

Deborah & Barak defeat Canaanite
forces at Mount Tabor
We’ve entered a great stadium, mid-race, as thousands cheer us on.  One by one, great heroes of the faith have come down to cheer us on our journey. A woman now approaches us with a commanding presence and the voice of a wise counselor: “Shalom Aleichem!" she says. "I am Deborah.” "And upon you also be peace" we reply. What a privilege to speak with this prophetess, counselor, and warrior who led Israel during the period of the Judges.  It was a time when the people were to look to God for leadership; but often failed to do so, plunging them into a cycle of oppression and suffering at the hands of their enemies.  When at last they cried to God for help, he would raise up inspired leaders or “judges” to deliver them. Deborah was the fourth of these Spirit-filled leaders during a period of Canaanite oppression.  As this great woman of faith starts to jog alongside us, we hear these words, “Even when the future was unclear, I could see God’s victory… and so can you.”  Click this link to download.

Joshua - "When There's No Looking Back..."

We’ve entered a great stadium, mid-race, as thousands cheer us on.  One by one, great heroes of the faith have come down to encourage us on our journey. Last week we ran a lap with Moses, but as he returns to the stands with staff in hand, he is passed by a strong and courageous-looking man who suddenly falls to his knees and embraces Moses like a child would his father. Rising to his feet again, he smiles warmly at Moses before continuing down to the field toward us. Could this be Joshua? Joshua who was sent into Canaan by Moses to spy out the land with eleven others (Numbers 13-14)?  Joshua who along with Caleb, were the only men to bring back a hopeful report, saying, “If the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us….” (Num. 14.8)?  Joshua who was chosen by God to succeed Moses, because he trusted that God would indeed bring the Israelites into the Promised Land?  "That's me," he replies, and begins to jog alongside us.  A thought that we've encountered before on this track resurfaces: “My life feels so ordinary when compared to someone like Joshua or Moses, or even one of the Lord's disciples.”  “I know how you feel,” Joshua says, as though able to hear our thoughts, “but believe me when I say that the greatest thing is to be part of the next thing God is doing.”  Click this link to download.

Moses - "When You Want Justice..."

When we read in Heb. 12:1 that we are surrounded by a great “cloud of witnesses”…we may picture a stadium in which men and women of faith who have gone before us, are cheering us on as we run; but instead of being at the end of the race, let’s picture ourselves, as John Maxwell does, entering the stadium somewhere in mid-race, to the cheers of onlookers; drawing inspiration and energy from the crowd.  Great heroes of the faith one by one come down from the stands to encourage us on our journey. As we begin our third lap we see a bearded man with a great staff approach us, a humble man who speaks softly but with authority. His name, he says, is Moses, and as he jogs alongside us he says, “God loves to set captives free!  Click this link to download.

Jacob: "When you feel defeated..."


Life is like a marathon...or is it more like a wrestling match?  When we read in Heb. 12:1 that we are surrounded by a great “cloud of witnesses”…we may picture a stadium in which men and women of faith who have gone before us, are cheering us on as we run; but instead of being at the end of the race, let’s picture ourselves, as John Maxwell does, entering the stadium somewhere in mid-race, drawing inspiration and energy from the crowd.  Making our way around the track, one by one, great heroes of the faith  come down from the stands to encourage us on our journey. It's now our second lap as a man comes jogging toward us with a limp. We rack our brains trying to remember his name from Sunday School...and how he got that limp.  “I’m Jacob,” the man says, seeing our mental strain.  Jacob... the grandson of Abraham and the father of the 12 tribes of Israel?  He nods and then speaks six surprising words: “There is blessing in every defeat!”  Click this link to download.