The doe was surprised when it came to eat corn to find a turkey family passing through!
"There are some men and women in whose company we are always at our best. All the best stops in our nature are drawn out, and we find a music in our souls never felt before."
William Henry Drummond, 1854-1907
My dictionary defines "champion" as "a person or thing that has defeated all others in a competition. Or, a person who fights, argues, or speaks in support of another or of a cause." We all know people we might consider to be a champion: a best selling author; a famous singer, a football or baseball hero, a world class chef. There are a lot of people one could call champion.
But the champion I'm writing about is not that at all. My champions are people who live a daily life for God and who are doing His work. They are faithful saints [champions] of witnesses who try to live their life according to the Bible.
The simple joy of a little vase with lovely flowers!
I'm attending a Bible study on Tuesday mornings at my church, officiated by my pastor. We are studying David Jeremiah's study called: A Life Beyond Amazing. In the chapter about endurance, it is noted that we need champions of our faith to encourage us. And that's when people started telling about the champions in their life.
Usually I hear how this family member or that family member encouraged them and helps them as they walk through life with Jesus. Sometimes the entire family and grandparents are shining examples that bring them joy and hope. Having a family member(s) who you've been able to learn from and watch as they live their life of faith is a wonderful thing. But if you don't have a family member who lives or lived a life of faith, you sometimes feel sad that there is no one for you to celebrate.
My first garden in Maryland will be in full bloom now. It was a joy to walk through it in the early morning. I was always refreshed and quiet, listening to the sounds of morning.
This is what happened to me. There was nobody in my immediate family or extended family who lived a life for Christ. I found Christ at the age of 28 and started my walk in faith with no knowledge of walking with Jesus.
In the early years of my walk in faith, a number of lovely women became friends, and I watched and learned from them what it means to walk with Christ. I still cherish those ladies today.
But on this particular day, while listening to others tell of their champion(s), I was reminded of the champions of faith in my life that I learned from and continue to learn from. I was 44 when God lifted me up and placed me in a work location that was filled with champions of my faith. And I've been learning from them ever since.
I worked for the Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware for 16 years and was surrounded by people of integrity, wisdom, and knowledge about my faith. I saw how they interacted with one another, helped one another and used their special gift(s) from God to encourage others.
As human beings, we're not perfect, and these champions weren't perfect. But I saw them do their best to be a living example of the Savior I gave my life too.
Since retiring, I still have contact with a few individuals who continue to encourage me in my walk with Christ. And, I hope, that one day I will be a champion for someone else.
And this is the other end of that refreshing garden.
We've all heard the saying to be careful who you associate with because you will probably become more like them. That statement is indeed true. That's why learning from a champion of your faith is so important.
Biographies and accounts of faithful men and women of God can also help you live your faith. Build yourself up with examples of people who lived faithfully for God. Learn about their struggles and how they overcame.
I may not have been fortunate to be born into a family that lived by faith, and provided examples of His work for me to learn from. But God provided a substitute to help me.
The second garden I created will also be blooming now. How I miss the joy they brought me.
Surround yourself with champions. " . . . We need living, breathing champions around us today as well as others who have gone before us. " David Jeremiah
"Who is the greatest saint [champion] in the world?It is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives most alms, or is most eminent for temperance, chastity, or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God's goodness, and has a heart always ready to praise God for it." William Law, 1686-1761