Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

Rise Again

Story of the Day for Wednesday November 23, 2011

Rise Again

                 Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Even though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord is a light for me. 

                                                                          Micah 7:8

 Leroy and Mike were high school friends who shared a passion for basketball. They both tried out for the varsity, but Leroy made the team, while Mike was cut.

Mike was crushed.

He asked the coach if he could at least ride on the bus with the team for the district tournament. The coach let him accompany them – as long as he helped carry the player’s uniforms.


So, how do you respond to failure?

When I fail, I find it convenient to give up – claiming it is God’s will. I have often felt that, if God is behind it, then I will be successful, and it will be easy.


Over the years, I have begun to realize that Jesus doesn’t share my theology. He told a parable of a widow who kept coming to a judge with the plea, “Give me justice against my adversary.” Again and again the judge ignored her.

Eventually, she wore him down, and he heard her case.

The point that Jesus is making is that – even after repeated failure – we should never give up. The Lord will come to our aid.


In 1976, Ronald Reagan challenged the incumbent president, Jerry Ford. Reagan fought hard to gain the nomination, but in the end, Ford won.

Reagan had lost, but hadn’t given up. At the Republican National Convention, he met with tearful supporters and quoted from an old ballad, “Sir Andrew Barton.”  There is a line in this poem which says:

I am hurt but I am not slain;

I will lay me down and bleed a while,

And then I will rise and fight again.


When, Mike failed to make the basketball team, he didn’t give up. All summer long, he practiced basketball with his friend Leroy Smith. And that next year, Michael Jordan did make the team.

Failure didn’t keep him down. It fueled a fire within him. Jordan says, “It all started when Coach Herring cut me.”


Do you feel like you’ve stumbled into a deep pit? Invite your enemies to come quickly, because they won’t have much time to gloat over you. The Lord is our light. He heals, he strengthens, he forgives. You can wallow in the pit for a while, but don’t get used to it down there; the Lord intends to pull you out.

You’re going to rise again.

                                           (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

He Might Be Talking To Me

Story of the Day for Friday September 9, 2011

He Might Be Talking To Me

                     It is time for judgment to begin with the house of God.

                                                                 1 Peter 4:17     

            I don’t repent when I listen to sermons on repentance. In fact, they usually put me in a sorrier spiritual state.

            When preachers rail against the wickedness in the world, it makes me wish everyone else would repent. After hearing all the lurid and revolting examples of evil, I feel as if I’m not so bad, by comparison.

            In other words, sermons on repentance tend to make me unbearably self-righteous – which is the worst sin of all.


            In his memoirs, An American Life, Ronald Reagan recalled a state dinner at the White House. French premiere, Francois Mitterrand and his wife were the guests of honor. After Reagan, Mitterrand, and their wives finished greeting the other guests in the East Room, they all went to the State Dining Room. The proper protocol was for everyone to stand until Nancy Reagan led Francois to her table and President Reagan led Mrs. Mitterrand to his.

            Nancy and Mr. Mitterrand headed for their table, but Mrs. Mitterrand stood still – even after the butler motioned for her to be seated. She whispered something to President Reagan in French, which he didn’t understand. The guests remained standing.             President Reagan quietly told her, “We’re supposed to go over there to the other side.” Mrs. Mitterrand whispered something back, but he didn’t understand what she was saying.

            An interpreter then approached Reagan and said, “She’s telling you that you’re standing on her gown.”


            I’m pretty good at spotting sin, and what I mean by that is I’m pretty good at spotting your sin. I’m not so good at realizing when I’m the one stepping on the gown.


            In 2003, in the small town of Forest, Ohio, travelling evangelist, Don Hardman held a revival service at the First Baptist Church, and, in Mr. Hardman’s words, “We had a right good crowd of folks.”

            He was preaching on repentance.

            Shortly after he stared preaching, a storm rolled in. As the thunder began to rumble, Hardman told the congregation that, in the Bible, God’s voice sometimes sounded like thunder, and that God was speaking to them tonight. Hardman looked heavenward and said, “That’s right, God! We hear you!”

            And then a bolt of lightning struck the church. Hardman, who was wearing a cordless mike, had sparks of electricity go from his belt buckle up to his microphone.  There was a blue aura in the building as the lights flickered on and off and the sound system exploded. Heavy clay tiles from the steeple feel off and damaged a car in the parking lot.  

            No one was hurt, and Mr. Hardman continued to preach on repentance until a church trustee came in and said the steeple was on fire.


            When God tells the world to repent, it’s so hard to realize he might be talking to me.

                                                                        (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)