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A king is pleased with a wise servant, but he will become angry with one who causes him shame. Proverbs 14:35 (NCV)

I’ve always wanted to play piano. My mom played piano. She read music…a little. But she also had the ability to hear a song and then sit down at the piano an in a few minutes be able to play a simple version of the song. God’s given me a love for music. He gave me a mom that was more than willing to teach me to play. I can’t play the piano. Never found the time to practice.

My inability to play the piano is a small example of something we all struggle with and that’s taking the time to do the small things that lead to greater achievement later on in life. When I was a boy, practicing the piano for a half hour a day seemed like a huge investment of time. But that small investment would have produced greater results later in life.

Sometimes neglecting the little things in life have relatively unimportant results. For example, I can’t play the piano, but I can enjoy the ability others have to do so. But sometimes neglecting the little things in life have life-changing effects.

My wife calls them the ‘I’m Gonna’s’. All those little things we say we are going to do…someday. “I’m gonna write a book”; “I’m gonna start to exercise”; “I’m gonna help more around the house”. You can add to that list.

Sometimes we may realize that our “I’m gonna’s’ are lofty dreams, such as the child-hood dream of “Someday I’m going to be president!” Other times the failure to do the “I’m gonna’s’ lead to disaster.

It’s sad to say, but there are many marriages that have failed because one or both (usually both) people in the relationship have overlooked the little things. Things like helping with housework or putting household duties aside to sit with the kids or spend time together. Relationships aren’t destroyed by the big things in life. Many families have worked through affairs and illness and financial disaster. I believe it’s because those families have done the little things that create a bond that nothing can sever.

The proverbs say, “A King is pleased with a wise servant.” Servant’s had a pretty menial existence. They were the ones that cleaned the palace and cooked the food. They built the buildings and tended to the gardens and the livestock. Their actions were small, but when done right, were noticed by the king.

God doesn’t expect us to accomplish huge results in life. He doesn’t ask for perfection. Your Heavenly Father is far more interested in what you are doing than what you hope to accomplish.

If you are a minister he’s far more excited about how your family is than he is how large your church is. If you are a business owner he’s far more pleased with how your customers are treated than he is the black ink in your ledger. As a husband he’s far more impressed with your attitude when your wife asks you to hold her purse in the mall, or your child asks you to sit with them and read when the big ball game is on.

What ‘I’m gonna’s’ are on your list? Choose one thing today to work on and DO IT! It’s the little things that make a big difference.

PRAYER: Lord, I’m so frustrated right now with my inability to do the small things in life. There is so much I want to accomplish, yet I struggle to do the little things. Help me to start today to tackle the ‘I’m gonna’s in my life. Amen.


So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord! Psalm 31:24 (NLT)

Fear is an amazing thing. Its power over us can cripple us or it can motivate us. It can drive us to new heights of accomplishment or destroy our potential and perspective. The difference between success and failure is often dependent on what we do with fear.  

One time I was going through a very difficult and devastating period in my life. I was unemployed, staring bankruptcy in the face and really saw no way out. All my dreams had vanished in a period of six months. I wasn’t ‘suicidal’ but I was close.

I remember walking with a friend of mine one day. She told me she’d heard a radio show that day. The commentator on the show was talking about what one quality we see in other people’s lives that draws us to them. She then told me that when she thought about me, the one enduring quality she saw was courage.

I was shocked. I asked her how on earth she could say that courage was a quality I had. I reminded her of all the bad stuff that had happened. I recounted how my future looked bleak on the good days. Bad days were another story. I felt anything but brave and courageous that day.

Her response stuck with me though. She said “I don’t think I could go through all you are going through without going crazy or blaming God or something. I draw a huge amount of faith and strength by the way you handle the stuff you are going through.”

I’ve thought about that walk many times in the past few years and I’ve come to a couple of conclusions. First, the only way we can learn to be ‘strong and courageous’ is to test our strength. God isn’t in the business of making milk-toast followers. He’s in the business of making warriors and warriors don’t grow strong in times of peace. They get their strength from warfare. Why else would Alexander the Great cry when he realized there were no more worlds to conquer. He had run out of battle.

The second thing I realized is that often times the way we handle battles speaks much more loudly to those around us than our words. Warriors are admired simply because they know how to handle the battles before them.

When we go to battle in our own strength we have reason to fear. We are fallible and weak mortals. When we go to battle in the strength of our God we go knowing that even though we may lose a battle along the way, eventually we will become victorious. Strong courageous people are those whose strength comes from enduring the very hardship that they’d rather avoid but makes them stronger. Strong and courageous people gain strength from faith in the God of Genesis. The mighty warrior.

PRAYER: Father, as I look at my life I realize that many of the things I fear are really there to make me stronger. Empower me with your Spirit to fight the battles I face in your strength. Allow me to show your strength by going through life leaning on your grace. In Jesus name, Amen.

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