The Power of Example

There is form of communication  that transcends the  power of words   Joseph B. Wirthlin

The Power of Example

Some of the world’s top squash players used to practise at the squash club where I play. I remember well the first time I saw at close hand a high-level squash game. It was the son of one of our regular group of players, who at the time was ranked number 11 in the world. He came to practice at our club with the world number 2.

We all watched in amazement. We had never seen anything like it. In fact, if that was ‘squash’, what we played should be called something else!

Watching them always raised our game. Suddenly we realized that it was possible to return practically any shot your opponent could serve you, however good they were. We saw how important it was to get back to the middle of the court after each shot. We watched how deep they hit the ball. We noticed the shots that they avoided playing.

When we went on court after that, we astonished ourselves by how well we played. Of course, we did not play anywhere near as well as them. But, inspired by their example, we played a whole lot better than usual.

During my Christian life I have found the same pattern. For example, I had the privilege of working for Sandy Millar for nineteen years. Through watching his life and hearing him preach I was always inspired by his example. Even though reaching the level of those who are examples to us might not be possible, hopefully it inspires us to raise our game.

A Christian is someone who believes in Jesus, puts their faith in him, knows him and lives ‘in Christ’. It is also someone who follows his example.

There is no greater example in human history than the example of Christ. Paul writes, ‘Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ’ (1 Corinthians 11:1).

1. Example of your life

Proverbs 20:5-14How you live affects others. You look to others for an example. Others look to you as an example. This happens whether you like it or not.

Nowhere is this more the case than with parents and children. I have noticed how many of my father’s eccentricities I seem to have picked up. Of course, parents provide examples in more serious ways too: ‘The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them’ (v.7).

Parents who live lives of integrity bring great blessings to their children. Billy Graham said, ‘Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.’

No one has ever lived a perfect life apart from Jesus: ‘Who among us can be trusted to be always diligent and honest?’ (v.9, MSG). Nevertheless, we can all seek to live a life that is a good example.

Parents need to demonstrate faithfulness to each other, treating one another with patience and respect, resolving disagreements with grace, supporting one another in hardship and not being drawn into inappropriate relationships with other people. ‘Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?’ (v.6).

Today’s inspirational articles shared from the following website:

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What is Your Legacy?

Colorful spotlights shining on an empty stage

What is your legacy? How would you like to be remembered? Have you taken some time to think about what true success really is and what it looks like when the time comes to make the transition back to God’s realm?

Will you be remembered for your wonderful example, kind word, and many deeds of service or will your loved ones remember that you never had time, always complained about life and did your best to make others miserable?

Life always gives us the choice to be the molder of our lives. Here’s a story to inspire you!:

About a hundred years ago, a man looked at the morning newspaper and to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column. The news papers had reported the death of the wrong person by mistake. His first response was shock. Am I here or there? When he regained his composure, his second thought was to find out what people had said about him. The obituary read, “Dynamite King Dies.” And also “He was the merchant of death.” This man was the inventor of dynamite and when he read the words “merchant of death,” he asked himself a question, “Is this how I am going to be remembered?” He got in touch with his feelings and decided that this was not the way he wanted to be remembered. From that day on, he started working toward peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he is remembered today by the great Nobel Prize.

Just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined his values, we should step back and do the same.

What is your legacy?

How would you like to be remembered?

Will you be spoken well of?

Will you be remembered with love and respect?

Will you be missed?

Today’s story is shared from

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Super Mom…

Super mom mother-429156Motherhood is such a tough job. Yet, though the rewarding moments may come infrequently, I believe that motherhood is one of the most important jobs in this world. Few others can shape a child and the world in which we live like a mother. I have seen the effect that I have had on my first four children. (Which I think/hope is mostly positive?!)  I have also seen the effect of their birth mother on my adopted children. Although my adopted son was four and my adopted daughter was nine when we adopted them, the emotional damage received as a result of a mother who frequently abandoned her children still continues to plague my children and our family. Their ability to love, trust and allow themselves to be vulnerable has been significantly compromised. Just like innocent victims in a car accident, they are left not really understanding why it had to happen to them and though the damage and neglect was not their fault, they each must be the one who does the work of recovery. I hope that every mother who feels the burden of her frequently thankless job will know that heaven thanks you for all of the sleepless nights, sacrifices made, moral instruction, positive example setting and nurturing that you do and so do I. Though I know that few days FEEL that way, as mothers, we truly are in a partnership with God. With God’s help, we are the ones who are most able to effect positive changes in this world. When the world needs change, God sends a babies into the hands and hearts of women who will raise, nurture, and instill values and principles within those children that will enable them to rise above adversity and become a part of the positive solutions needed to address the various problems of this world. God knows that the super heroes of this world are not leaders of government – they are the mothers (and fathers) who are daily in the trenches of family life; loving the sometimes unlovable, teaching children who often seem unreachable, and giving their families all of their energy even though that energy vanished with the morning chores. Tonight, as you prepare for bed, give yourself a pat on the back; for today you were a part of the super hero work of raising responsible children!


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To Live Greatly…

To live greatly 871849Today I received a photograph of my 10 year old granddaughter Kamrey. She was smiling – smiling despite being connected to numerous tubes, monitors and a nasal cannula for breathing. She was having a short break from the face mask that normally supplies her oxygen. Kamrey was severely injured in a rock slide and has been in a pediatrics ICU for just over a month. I know, because God has promised, that she will heal and she will eventually resume a normal life. In the meantime, she has been an inspiration to me. She has had tremendous pain yet she has not complained. In the moments since her accident, she has literally feared for her life – yet she has trusted and faced her situation with courage. She has all the reasons in the world to feel like God has picked on her – yet I know when she is able to talk again that she will express gratitude for His help in her healing. I know that when the day comes that Kamrey is able to go home, she will do so with the determination to rebuild her strength and to regain her complete health. Kamrey is a fighter. That characteristic has and will serve her well. Kamrey is also a natural athlete. That quality will also serve her well. However, the quality that will serve her and this world best is her ability to think of others before herself. Just a few months ago, Kamrey was in a race. Kamrey could have placed well in her race but Kamrey stopped to help a struggling little girl who was feeling overwhelmed. Kamrey offered to run beside her and then did. When the race was over, in my mind, Kamrey was the biggest winner of all. Kamrey is an incredible example of living greatly to me. If you have stories of others living greatly, I hope that you will share them with me. In the meantime, will you help me pray for Kamrey? Prayers have already blessed her and given her strength but she has a long recovery ahead of her and I would appreciate all the strength and healing that prayers and angels can provide for my sweet granddaughter 🙂


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A Tribute to my Father…

Service   forest-78239I recently received an email from my cousin. His email was in regards to my father who passed to the other side in 2014.When I received his email sharing his admiration for the kind of person my dad was, I knew I needed to write this post in tribute to my dad. My father was not a perfect person. He had significant flaws just like most of us. My father was not incredibly wealthy nor did he ever earn a college diploma. However, my father was a true and wonderful friend and he epitomized the guy who would give a stranger the shirt off of his back. I remember at my dad’s funeral talking to one of his friends. It occurred to me that I didn’t know how he and my dad had become friends. He explained that my dad had come to his house one day because he was interested in leasing some land from him. At the moment my dad arrived, this man was in the middle of trying to replace a broken toilet without much knowledge of what he needed to do. With my mom waiting outside in the car (and not aware of what was going on inside), my dad offered to help. Two hours later, my dad had replaced his new friend’s toilet and had made arrangements to lease his land. My dad never felt worthy to enter a church and so he rarely did. However, shortly after his second wife died, he kindly accepted the invitation to let two missionaries live with him. The arrangement was to last for one year but was extended to two. During my dad’s final months, he made sure he went to see a few of those missionaries that had lived with him and whom he loved like sons. When the church congregation that he was a part of decided to build a small home for a man who was living in a cave, my dad  consistently showed up to help – more consistently than other members of his congregation. When they cut wood for widows and struggling families, my dad was there. When the small community of Roundup, where he lived, flooded a few years ago, my dad was out helping ranchers get their cattle to higher ground at the risk of not being able to get home to his own “high ground”. Often were the times that he called family members to make arrangements to meet everyone for ice cream. He was always more interested in playing with my grandchildren – his great grandchildren than eating the ice cream! What I wouldn’t give to have a video of all of the moments he gleefully played with them. Less than a year before he died of cancer, he happened to be at my house when my annual chocolate order of approximately 2000 lbs. arrived earlier than anticipated. My dad called me to let me know. The truck left my order in front of my garage and the temperature was below freezing. Explaining to my dad that I would rush home as quickly as possible because I needed to get that chocolate to a warmer place before the freezing temperatures impaired it – I quickly headed for home. When I arrived, my dad had single handedly moved all 2000# of my chocolate from outside of my garage up a flight of 8 stairs to my living room. Just days before his passing, his branch president (church leader) came to see my dad at the hospital. None of us realized his time was so short. His branch president told him what a wonderful man he was. He explained that although they rarely saw him within the walls of their chapel, he knew that if ever the congregation had a need, he knew he could rely on my dad. He said, “If I asked you right now to get out of that bed to come and help me I know you would do it, wouldn’t you?” My dad, embarrassed by the remarks, admitted that he would. “That, my friend, is the reason I consider you to be one of the finest men I know.” were the words his church leader exclaimed. Thinking back on those words, I am reminded that our religion, our faith is not demonstrated within the walls of a church – they are demonstrated by the way we treat and serve our fellow man. If ever there was a true Christian; it was my dad – a man who never felt worthy to step inside a church building but who willingly served his friends, family and neighbors until the day of his final breath. I love you dad! Thank you for your wonderful example!

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