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Crawford's Kingsmen Kommentary

Aug 20 | Posted by: Kingsmen Quartet

I am writing a very different Kommentary this month.  It has been on my mind for some time now.  Getting right to it . . .what do all of these people have in common?

 

Jackie Robinson – first black man to play baseball in the MLB.

Susan B. Anthony – key leader for Woman’s Suffrage and women’s rights. (Vote, hold office, own land)

Dr. Sally Ride – first woman in space.

Nelson Mandela - South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. 

Martin Luther – father of the Protestant Reformation.

Mother Teresa – Nun who served God without fail or falter in working with and for the poor.

Helen Adams Keller - Helen Adams Keller was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf/blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Ludwig van Beethoven – Considered one of the greatest classical composers of all time and was deaf.

 

Simple, really.  Not one of these great people let ANY circumstance get in their way of making a difference.  Nor did they make excuses for why they COULDN’T do something.  I can’t because . . .

________________ (fill in the blank).  We all make excuses for why we can’t achieve or get done a certain thing or live a certain way.  The fact is – there is NOTHING too big, too high, too wide, too deep, too hopeless, or too impossible for God.  Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  I don’t see any room for failure there.  Now I am not talking about God deciding that you don’t need what you strive or ask for – or that you will be used as an example to test faith or an example to show others the true power of God – I am talking about not letting others, or your situation, keep you from the work that you know is good and right.  Not making excuses or blaming someone or something else for your failure or lack of vision, sense, work ethic, or effort.   I am tired of hearing folks blaming someone or something (or in the case of politics –the past administration) for why they can’t get something accomplished. 

The people listed at the beginning of the article never made excuses.  The road wasn’t easy for ANY of them.  Great obstacles faced them all.  Let me outline just a few of the remarkable people that persevered against great odds. 

Susan B. Anthony faced hatred and oppression by the very country she lived in; The United States.  To put it simply, it was bigotry. It was not because of the color of her skin – but because she was a woman.  In 1851 Anthony began tirelessly laboring for civil rights including anti-slavery and women’s rights movements.  In her day, women could not vote.  She thought this a grave injustice.  Women had no rights to determine who would lead and make laws that governed them. She founded and fostered many different avenues to combat this injustice.  Her cause and efforts were so despised and feared that she was arrested in 1872 when she voted illegally in the presidential election. Anthony was arrested for the crime, and she unsuccessfully fought the charges; she was fined $100, which she never paid.

 In 1906 she died at the age of 86 never realizing the full impact of her life’s work.  Just before she passed, Anthony stated to a friend, "To think I have had more than 60 years of hard struggle for a little liberty, and then to die without it seems so cruel."  It wouldn't be until 14 years after Anthony's death—in 1920—that the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving all adult women the right to vote, was passed. Susan B. Anthony’s efforts only bloomed after her death.  She was faithful to the end . . . always believing in the task and great work she had been given.  She never made excuses.  She stayed the course and finished the race.

Ludwig van Beethoven is a different situation all together.  He did not face outside oppression.  He had a celebrated life.  He never had to worry about money or security.  He was widely accepted by everyone.  Everyone wanted to be near him, to be schooled by him, to BE him. Beethoven had it all.  He composed countless celebrated works, and at the age of 26, was considered a virtuoso pianist and cherished composer.  But in 1796, at the age of 26, he began losing his hearing.  It progressed so rapidly that he was considered completely deaf by 1802. However, his 9th Symphony was composed AFTER the onset of his deafness.  The 9th symphony is considered one of, if not the greatest, of Beethoven’s works.  There is a well-attested story that, at the end of the premiere of his 9th Symphony, he had to be turned around to see the tumultuous applause of the audience; hearing nothing, he wept.  Beethoven was not defeated by his handicap.  He was not deterred by his non-ability.  He still continued to write his music.  He still continued with the gift he was given by God.  That is perseverance . . .that is faithfulness.

Now, the obvious.  The prophets and disciples of old.  Their words were heresy.  Their “crimes” punishable by death.  It did not stop them from preaching, teaching, and doing the work God gave them.  For some it meant prison.  For some it meant the flames of a furnace.  For some it meant death.  For all it meant doing the work of God with no excuses believing He could and would be there in the fight. Faith in Him – NO EXCUSES!

Now, the ultimate. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, preached a message of hope, peace, and love.  He came to bring salvation to the world.  But because He said exactly who He was (The Son of God) he was a heretic. Because He said He would set up a Kingdom that would never end – He was a criminal.  Jesus never made excuses.  He never backed down.  He never once abandoned His work or who He was.  He never stopped preaching the message.  And he was faithful – unto death. 

Now most of us don’t have these HUGE insurmountable odds to face every day.  But we have obstacles.  We have those that would make the road hard and rocky for us.  Do you start blaming?  Do you begin to point the finger when struggles come?  Or do you take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, pray and dig deep?  It seems to me too many in society now want to blame and say, “It’s not my fault”, or, “I can’t because they won’t let me”.  You have to take ownership of your life.  God has given us all a great work to do.  We need to find out what that work is - then stop at NOTHING to get it done. Jesus gave His all – do we owe Him any less?  Let no one or nothing get in your way of the work God has for you; not race, gender, sex, age, handicap, lack of education, or shoe size!  It’s you and God in this fight.  With Him you are more than a conqueror!  Romans 8:31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  

This is not a “feel good – name it, claim it” idea.  This is simple hard work and perseverance.  Everyone has their own work, task, cause, mountain, river, etc. And in the struggle there is only One who can be counted on to see us through.  He is the One, True, LIVING GOD!  Remember, you and God make a majority.  If He has given you the work, He will see you through it. Phillipians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. 

 

Now . . .a funny that has nothing to do with anything . . .

 

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and small American flags mounted on either side of it. The six-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, "Good morning, Alex."

"Good morning, Pastor," he replied, still focused on the plaque. "Pastor, what is this?"

The pastor said, "Well son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service."

Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear asked, "The 8:30 or the 10 AM service?"

 

He’s a good, good GOD!

 

RC

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