Preparing Today for Tomorrow’s Challenges
If your friends asked you today if you would run in a 10K race with them with only a few day’s notice, could you do it? That’s a 6.2 mile race for you non-runners, and don’t worry, I had to look it up myself! Unless you run long distances every week, most everyone would say, “Thanks, but NO thanks!” Why? Because we know that runners have to train months to prepare their bodies for such an intense race. Wouldn’t it be great if we trained our minds like runners trained their bodies, so that we could be ready to overcome any challenges that crossed our path? Most people wish they were better prepared mentally for the bigger challenges they have faced in life.
In the Bible, our spiritual journey is described as a race that has been set before us by God: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” —Hebrews 12:1. In order to run this spiritual race we call life in the Kingdom of God, we need to prepare for the race He has set before us. In 1 Corinthians 9:24 it states: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” In other words, ready yourself so that you can be the best you can be in His likeness.
If you are a worrier by nature, aren’t you amazed at how some people just take things in stride? What do they know that you don’t know? Part of how we deal with adversity can stem from a result of either modeling our parents’ behavior, or by just having a certain personality type. The other piece of this two-part puzzle that determines how we deal with troubling circumstances, consists of what we teach ourselves. Friends, when we become happy and whole students of Jesus, we embark on a path that teaches us faith-building skills and perseverance via what theologians call spiritual disciplines.
A spiritual discipline is essentially a homework assignment that will help refine and train you to be more Christ-like. It is essentially a simple training exercise to help form your soul into the image of Him. At Hour of Power, our prayer is to see you growing spiritually as you take this journey with us. But how can we do that when we are always so busy doing a million things like running errands, working our jobs, and caring for our families? Sometimes we go to bed exhausted, even if all we’ve done is watch TV, or engage in social media! All our days are so occupied that there’s seemingly never a moment to actually posture ourselves to hear from God. Let’s try to change this. We need to create space to bring us closer to God and what He is calling us to do. I want what God wants — for us to be people who are regularly attentive to what He’s teaching us in the faith.
Tools of the Trade
You can accomplish attentiveness to God with something as simple as reading my Positive Minute daily devotional email that faithfully appears in your inbox every day, waiting to impart wisdom in your life. If you haven’t signed up, please go to our homepage on our website at hourofpower.org. In addition, my grandfather, the late Dr. Robert H. Schuller, wrote a God’s Minute series of 365 Daily Affirmations for Positive Prayer, which you will have the opportunity to request today! If you give God a minute of your time every day, you’ll be surprised at how your spiritual health and life will shine brightly! In the enclosed letter, I review four Spiritual Disciplines that can help you become better prepared for challenges.
To help bring these points home, I think about the Apostle Paul who also compares life to training for and running a race. The term disciple has its root in the word discipline; in other words, you cannot be a disciple without the discipline required. Think of a concert pianist as a “disciple” of his or her instrument. The journey to becoming a consummate expert is not one that happens overnight. It requires great discipline. Though you may sit in the audience and admire the effortlessness of the virtuoso, we also can imagine the process required to get there!
Train Into Who He Is
Friend, walking side-by-side with Jesus requires that you train into who He is. It requires some work and discipline, but once you’ve made the commitment, life gets easier! When you take time to practice spiritual disciplines and train yourself into the Kingdom of God, you become a partaker of His life and freedom.
On behalf of my wife, Hannah and I, it’s our honor to be on this discipleship journey with you. It’s our earnest prayer that as you embrace divine transformation, the Lord will meet you with His perfect love and overflowing grace. As He changes you from glory to glory, may you find nourishment in His truth, stillness in His presence, and Holy Spirit-power to break through every challenge.
God loves you and so do I!
Fighting Life’s Battles with Enthusiasm
When asked how long his wife suffered after she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, John Stevens said boldly, “18 years.” He was asked to repeat his answer, thinking he meant to say 18 months. “She should have been in the Guinness Book of World Records for her long fight with cancer,” he said. John, an Hour of Power viewer from upstate New York added, “She had a very strong faith in the Lord, and put it all in His hands. She was like Bobby and Hannah in that she was so enthusiastic about life and never let things get her down.” At the age of 61, Lori went to be with the Lord, July 4, 2017.
John discovered Hour of Power in the 1980s, and after he and Lori got married, they became Sparrow Partners. Over the years, the couple became friendly with staff members and to this day, John calls every month to give his donation to the ministry. He tells the story of how Lori would tell our staff she was worried about him. “That’s just who she was,” he said. “She loved everyone. In the oncology unit, she would walk around and talk to fellow patients, but she was more worried about their treatments, while not complaining about hers.”
To get through the tough times, John said he finds strength in the enthusiasm that Bobby and Hannah have for the Lord. “You can just see the love for the Lord pouring out of them,” he said. “They are carrying out what God wants and letting people know that it’s ok if you mess up because you have a Heavenly Father who will always be there with open arms.”
John compared listening to Bobby on Sundays to a walk on the beach. “It’s just a breath of fresh air and a reset after hearing about war and Covid all week.” He said he gives to the ministry because he thinks it’s important to do so. “In the state of unrest our world is in, Hour of Power has a global outreach and is helping people, whether it’s people being healed or saved. People’s lives are changed and their souls are rescued.”
Other viewer’s lives are being touched by the grace of God:
“Thank you, Bobby. We appreciate these daily devotional challenges. You are being used by God to bless many of us. My husband and I are in our late 80’s. We go to a wonderful local church on Sundays, have our devotions daily with you, and ‘Daily Bread’ reading. A wonderful way to start the day. Our prayers for you and your family.” —Carolyn, email
“Thank you so much for sharing your ministry online. For the last two years or so, I have faithfully watched every Sunday. Especially with the churches being closed a lot, it helped me so much. Bobby, your words reach my heart every Sunday again. Most of the time you tell me exactly what I need to hear. Although it is online, I truly feel part of your church and I am so grateful. I just love Hour of Power so much. I can’t imagine ever stopping watching it. The blessings and lessons I learn from you are so good. Life changing really! God is so, so good. Sending many blessings and lots of love from the Netherlands.” —Peter, Netherlands
If you would like to share your story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at Hour of Power, PO Box 100, Garden Grove, CA 92842-0100.
It Just Takes a Minute!
Connecting with God on a daily basis has never been so simple and easy with this special resource:
Daily Devotion Keeps Legacy Couple Strong
For Scott and Phyllis Rhyner of Prescott, Arizona, their walk with the Lord in their early years
looked a little different, but ultimately got them to the same place for the past 21 years — with our Hour of Power family! Growing up in the Christian Science church, Phyllis said there was never a time she wasn’t involved in church. For Scott, a series of “God coincidences” as he called them, brought him to the Lord in his 30s. The couple, who were both divorced when they met, will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary this year! With five children between them, including 13 grandchildren and one great grandchild, they feel truly blessed. Music is a passion for both of them, so they play their hearts out for the music ministry at their local Prescott United Methodist Church.
The Rhyners are Hour of Power Eagle Partners, as well as Legacy Donors, which means they designated a portion of their estate to our ministry. “We also included our local church in our Trust,” Scott said. “I am very impressed with the positive messages Hour of Power sends out to the world and I’m happy to be able to support it even after we’re gone.”
Scott remembers checking out Dr. Schuller’s autobiography from his local library in 2001. “We’ve been watching Hour of Power ever since,” he said. When asked how Hour of Power has made an impact in his life, Scott said, “Bobby is forever preaching that we need to spend time in the Word and has encouraged me in that direction. Phyllis and I now do a daily devotion, and we thank God for our marriage.” For Phyllis, she added, “Bobby taught me to think of Jesus as my friend. I’ve never thought about it that way, but it makes more sense to me and gives me peace.”
Intentionality is Powerful
“LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart … umm … and with all of your mind, and with all of your soul, and with … umm … all of your strength,” I recite.
“Good job, Hannah!” exclaims my mom. “Do you remember where it’s found?”
“Umm … Mark 12:30,” I answer.
“Yay! Very good, Hannah. Here’s your Scripture money.”
Wow! Five whole Scripture dollars — I’m rich! I head toward the shelf with the lip balms and pull up a chair to stand on so I can see all my options. Grape. Cherry. Bubble gum. The scent fills my senses as I sniff one little tin. I’m definitely buying this one.
After my lips are coated in multiple fruit flavors with a top coat of bubble gum-scented lip balm, I spot the candy table! I hadn’t even seen it there before. Mental note to self: The Scripture Store is the BEST place ever!
Intentionality is powerful. My mom was intentional to help her kids memorize Scripture — and having those verses in my heart continues to be a gift, from her to me, to this day!
But nowadays, lives are busier than ever. And I’m talking about myself when I say this: It’s so easy to get sucked into the daily demands of life and choose simply to “maintain” rather than act with prayerful intention and direction in life.
The crazy thing? We often don’t have time for “intentionality time” because our calendars are packed full of tasks to “maintain” whatever the world is demanding of us.
A great way to fight this is to recognize how POWERFUL these prayer and intentionality times are — and to schedule them on your calendar so other demands don’t crowd them out. I like to schedule a long, quiet block of time with God so that I can ask Him to:
- Refocus my priorities on what’s most important — my relationship with Him, my husband, and our kids.
- Give me wisdom on how to be intentional with my priorities.
With the new school year approaching, it’s a great time to create intentional rhythms and goals that will direct you and your children or grandchildren in the direction you desire!
I love this quote: “If we don’t teach our children to follow Christ, the world will teach them not to.” This is why I want to be intentional. They grow up so fast, and I don’t want to let the years slip by without guiding them in the right direction. We can do it with the Lord’s help!
Or maybe you need to be more intentional with your personal relationship with God. One of the Lord’s greatest desires is connecting with His children!
“We are called to make intentional decisions in taking steps that will move us into a place of greater interaction with God,” Dallas Willard says in his book Life Without Lack. “So we must create and execute a plan, and make the necessary arrangements to accomplish this goal.”
A connection with our Father is a connection to the BEST LIFE POSSIBLE.
Blessings on you and your family, friend. God loves you and so do I!