Be Strong

Lake Okataina (Eastern Bay of Plenty) which by interpretation means, 'Place of Laughter.' We laugh in the face of adversity. He is a mighty God! We do not fear, because our God will come.

Hi. Thanks for coming with us to Lake Okataina -

'Lakeside' is a little inspirational treat featuring some of New Zealand's prettiest spots. If you prefer a different lake today, just click the button. But if you like it at this place, we can have lunch right here.

Please Select

Never give up
Transfer request
Hold me
Strength to love
Shepherds & sheep
Staying Connected
Where are you trusted friend?

Keep trying! It's not a reflection on you personally if you get knocked back with things. It's simply the law of averages that everyone faces nine 'noes' before they get one 'yes'. The ratio may change but essentially it's true of everything from looking for a job to finding a friend.

I learned this lesson by being a salesman. It's a dog of a job if you have a tendency to depression, but one learns to be philosophical. Just pick yourself up, reject the 'rejection' and have another go.

We must fight depression like the plague, affirming on the one hand that we're as good as anyone else, but knowing also the reality that life is hard - especially these days. The ratio of no's to yes's are higher than before; but it's not anyone's fault. Just brush yourself down, ask God to recharge your enthusiasm, and keep trying until you get a 'yes.'

Most importantly, the element, which turns life from anxiety and fear, is faith. Otherwise the things above-mentioned become nothing more than 'positive thinking.'

People get through life at various levels. Some people opt out with drugs or suicide. Others crawl through life too afraid to lift their blinds or talk to people. Most cope more or less but occasionally fall under the shadow. Still others are aggressive and 'go-getting' and seem to have it all together. But you can be sure of this: all people get afraid and discouraged sometimes, even those who hide behind a big success driven front.

Others live by faith. If we can learn to live by faith nothing will crush us. You might be concerned, but not afraid. You may be perplexed but not overwhelmed. You may be disappointed from time to time, but not depressed. "The Lord goes before you." That's the rock we can stand on. So never give up!


"NEVER GIVE UP"

Christian Gedge
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
(Deuteronomy 31:8)

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TO: Commander and Chief, Spiritual Armed Forces

SUBJECT: Transfer

Sir: I am writing this to you to request a transfer to a desk job. I herewith present my reasons:
I began my career as a private, but because of the intensity of the battle, you have quickly moved me up in the ranks. You have made me an officer and given me a tremendous amount of responsibility.

There are many soldiers and recruits under my charge. I am constantly being called upon to dispense wisdom, make judgments, and find solutions to complex problems. You have placed me in a position to function as an officer, when in my heart I know I have only the skills of private. I realize that you have promised to supply all I would need for the battle. But Sir, I must present you a realistic picture of my situation.

My uniform once so crisp and starched is now stained with tears and blood of those I have tried to assist. The soles of my boots are cracked and worn from the miles I have walked trying to enlist and encourage the instructed troops. My weapons are marred, tarnished and chipped from constant battle against the enemy. Even the Book of Regulations I was issued has been torn and tattered from endless use. The words are now smeared.

You have promised you would be with me throughout, but when the noise of battle is so loud and the confusion is so great, I can neither see nor hear you. I feel so alone. I'm tired. I'm discouraged. I have battle fatigue. I would never ask you for a discharge. I love being in your service. But I humbly request a demotion and transfer. I'll file papers or clean latrines. Just get me out of the battle - please, Sir.

Your faithful, but tired soldier.

TO: Faithful, but Tired Soldier, Spiritual Armed Forces

SUBJECT: Transfer

Dear soldier: Your request for transfer has been denied. I herewith present my reasons:

You are needed in this battle. I have selected you, and I will give my Word to supply your need. (You'd never cut it on latrine duty.)

You need a period of "R & R" - Renewal and Rekindling. I am setting aside a place on the battlefield that is insulated from all sound and fully protected from the enemy. I will meet you there and I will give you rest. I will remove your old equipment and "make all things new."

You have been wounded in the battle, my soldier. Your wounds are not visible, but you have received grave internal injuries. You need to be healed. I will heal you. You have been weakened in the battle. You need to be strengthened. I will strengthen you and be your strength. I will instill in you confidence and ability. My Words will rekindle within you are renewed love, zeal and enthusiasm.

Report to me tattered and empty. I will refill you.

Compassionately,
Your Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ.


"TRANSFER REQUEST"

Des Jago


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If you hold my hand tightly
Really, really tightly,
We can make it.
Into the weather, standing together,
Hell and high water n'er can shake it.

I' got you. That makes two.
We will do it: we'll face it.
We' got God. You got me. That makes three.
Who can break it?

If you hold my hand tightly
Really, really tightly,
We can make it.
If you hold my face softly,
Really, really softly,
We won't have to fake it,
Sweetheart.
We'll see it through, me and you,
If you hold me.


"HOLD ME"

Christian Gedge
"Two are better than one
... and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
(Ecclesiastes 4:9,12)

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At times we need to know that the Lord is a God of justice. When slumbering giants of injustice emerge in the earth, we need to know that there is a God of power who can cut them down like the grass and leave them withering like the green herb. When our most tireless efforts fail to stop the surging sweep of oppression we need to know that in this universe is a God whose matchless strength is a fit contrast to the sordid weakness of man.

But there are also times when we need to know that God possesses love and mercy. When we are staggered by the chilly winds of adversity and battered by the raging storms of disappointment and when through our folly and sin we stray into some destructive far country and are frustrated because of a strange feeling of home sickness, we need to know that there is someone who loves us, cares for us, understands us, and will give us another chance.

When days grow dark and nights grow dreary, we can be thankful that our God combines in his nature a creative synthesis of love and justice which will lead us through life's dark valleys and into sunlit pathways of hope and fulfillment.


"STRENGTH TO LOVE"

Martin Luther King


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'Twas as sheep, not a lamb, that went astray
In the parable the Lord Jesus told;
'Twas a grown-up sheep that wandered away
From the ninety and nine in the fold.

And out on the hilltops and out in the cold,
'Twas a sheep that the Good Shepherd sought,
And back to the flock and back to the fold
'Twas a sheep that the Good Shepherd brought.

Now why should the sheep be so carefully fed
And cared for still today?
Because there is danger if they go wrong
They will lead the lambs astray.

For the lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever they wander, wherever they stray;
If the sheep go wrong, it will not be long
'Till the lambs are as wrong as they.

So still with the sheep we must earnestly plead,
For the sake of the lambs today.
If the lambs are lost, what a terrible cost
Some sheep will have to pay!


"SHEPHERDS AND SHEEP"

Author Unknown


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It was a wonderful snowy day; just windy. You could hear that wind whistling through the trees. The thin, spindly tree that I could see outside the living room window was being seriously blown about. All the leaves were gone from the tree, save for a tiny reddish-brown one at the very top of the tree. It clung tenaciously as the wind whipped it.

The little leaf was enduring the hardship of a mountain winter. Spring would soon arrive and the tree would bud and fill with new leaves. It looked like the little leaf would make it. It would survive and enjoy the new spring and lazy summer before autumn and another winter would come.

Winter storms come into all of our lives. If you haven't experienced one, you surely will. Sometimes our personal winters cause us to abandon or turn our backs on whatever (or whomever) we're connected to.

When we suffer the pain of divorce, miscarriage, job loss, or any number of things that come our way in life's journey, there are times when we don't feel like hanging on. It simply seems too hard.

In the bible, in the book of John, Jesus tells us He is the vine (tree) and we are branches. If we stay connected to the tree, we can weather any storm. That's a hope we can hold onto and a promise we can claim. Staying connected will never get any better than that.


"STAYING CONNECTED"

Sally Kennedy
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
(John 15:5)

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Where are you trusted friend?
Did the sly one sow a seed?
Did you heed,
a word that was not true,
that cut between me and you,
and grew,
and said our dream could never be?

What we saw we also spoke,
Did we hope?
Did we speak a dream that wasn’t real,
nothing you could touch or feel,
could not seal,
because hope is foolish anyway?

Where are you trusted friend?
If two or three agree,
if they see,
it shall be done as they believe;
the vision they conceive
God breathes,
and speaks reality into their humble plans.

"WHERE ARE YOU TRUSTED FRIEND?"

Christian Gedge
"Even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest
because I did not find my brother Titus there."
(2 Cor. 2:12,13)

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