Posted in theology

100th day of school: One foot in front of the other

By Elizabeth Prata

The other day was the 100th day of the school year. The kids have 80 more to go, I have 90. We’re over the hump.

It’s amazing how fast time goes. I vividly remember school day 1, in August. Hot, sticky, kids scared, excited, uncertain. Three new classes were transferred to our school and with them, 7 new staff members to meet and get to know. The new year is fresh and full of promise and there were roads we could not see the end of.

even pennies add up eventually. Photo by Adam Rhodes on Unsplash

Our school has a big celebration, with kids and staff dressing up in 100th day gear, songs played on the intercom at intervals, and general atmosphere of fun.

I was explaining to the kindergarteners about what the 100th day means. I brought it down to their level, saying, “You’ve said the Pledge of Allegiance 100 times. You went into the lunch room 100 times. You got on the bus 100 times.” Their eyes open wide and they are amazed at the big number.

I got to thinking about what I do every day. I unlock the double doors at opening bell and greet each child coming in. I’ve done that 100 times, since I’ve not taken a sick day at all this year. I’ve turned on and off the lamps in my room 100 times. I’ve said the alphabet 100 times.

My job is good but many parts of it are either menial (like opening ketchup packs for kids at lunch), or are important but the yield is hidden and delayed. It’s not often I get a big AHA! from a student with the clouds of inexperience parting to beam light on a newly acquired skill. I just do what I do every day and hope to see results…someday.

As I mulled that it occurred to me just HOW cumulative education is. You can’t see a growth spurt all at once, but looking back, one can see growth. A definite progress. 100 days IS a milestone, and students who entered in August not knowing letters or sounds of the alphabet, are now reading. Those who didn’t know numbers are now adding. Those who never held a pencil are now writing. Wow.

It’s the same with sanctification. You read a Bible passage each day. You pray. You work at killing some sin you’re dealing with. You do this day by day. You don’t see growth. You don’t feel growth. But you ARE growing! It accumulates.

How can it not be? 100 times of anything is a lot. Aren’t we more sanctified after reading the Bible 100 times? Wouldn’t we be closer to God after 100 prayers? Wouldn’t that sin be smaller after killing it 100 times?

It’s also the same with kindness. No job is too menial, too insignificant, too overlooked to have an impact. It might not have a global impact, but it may have an impact on someone’s world. Like this. This man thanks his wife’s stylist for haircut- his wife suffered from dementia, and…well just read it. The stylist may have given 100 haircuts that day, but this one gave a woman her last, best day.

The letter was sent anonymously. Source

You might not see growth, but be assured, if you are striving, even walking, even occasionally stumbling as you walk, you are growing. It is inevitable. Fruit grows, it doesn’t languish. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. The Spirit in you nurtures growth, because such growth in His likeness glorifies Jesus.

Posted in end time, florence chadwick, prophecy

Keep persevering – with keeping the prophetic finish line in sight

By Elizabeth Prata

This example is used a lot in sermons and devotionals. It is an oldie but a goodie.

Florence Chadwick was a young woman in 1952 but had already swum the English Channel, both ways, and broke records doing it. One morning in 1952 she stood on the shores of California with intent to swim the 26 miles to Catalina Island. It was foggy. She was used to fog, rough water, and cold, having swum in these conditions since when was 11 years old so she was prepared for any conditions that may beset her on the long swim. It was so foggy that Florence could not see the support boats motoring around her to scare away the sharks. However after 15 hours of rough water stroke after stroke, she felt like she wasn’t getting anywhere. Despite encouragement from her mother and others in the support boat next to her, Florence wearied and asked to be taken out of the water. She soon discovered that she was half a mile from her goal.

The Lubec Maine shoreline. There’s a lighthouse in the photo. Can you see it? EPrata photo

At a news conference the next day Florence said, “All I could see was the fog.…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”

Florence tried again two months later. This time, she made it! What made the difference? She said that she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam.

This is the same scene as above after the fog rolled away. [Photo by EPrata]

Prophecy is not meant to BE the fog. It is knowable, profitable, and given to us for all education. It is a light to keep in our heart as to the immutable existence of God, His eternal promises, and the goal for every believer, to reach the eternal Lighthouse.

There are end of time prophetic utterances in much of the Old Testament and in every book of the New except for four. And three of those four are single-chapter letters to one individual. Jesus meant prophecy to be the mental image for us to hold dear as to the goal. Do not give up half a mile from the finish line!

He is near, He is coming. Do not wander, drift, be swept away by currents taking you far from the goal. May every stroke of your swim toward eternity be as vigorous as the one before. Pray for that vigor. The Holy Spirit is there to help us:  “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” (John 14:16)

If you knew that Jesus was returning tomorrow would it change your decision not to study the Bible today? Not to pray? Not to help someone? If you knew it was next week, or next year, how differently would you act as a Christian? You’re tired. We are all tired. The wages of sin splash up on us, and sometimes splash into us. It is wearying holding firm against the current. But keep the goal in mind! Envision scenes the Bible gives us of that happy Day.

behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and someone was sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads…Revelation 4:2-4.

Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

The River and the Tree of Life: And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. (Revelation 22:1).

Keep persevering – with keeping the prophetic finish line in sight!

Posted in discernment, theology

A few thoughts on discernment

By Elizabeth Prata

I wrote last week that I’d tweeted something about a certain false teacher’s lifestyle, and the tsunami of hate immediately came rolling toward me. It didn’t let up for three days.

As per usual I was called hateful, evil, a troll, jealous, self-righteous, covetous, judgmental, and more. That’s the usual stuff.

I always try to learn from any experiences, especially experiences in contending for the truth. Continue reading “A few thoughts on discernment”