STANDARDS (SUNDAY EVENING OF OCTOBER 23, 2016)
Just because one has sailed, canoed, or kayaked his whole life does not mean that he is capable of captaining a cruise ship. Just because a farmer has mastered growing corn or wheat does not mean that he knows how to grow other crops efficiently. Just because one has excelled in one form of martial arts or is the toughest guy in the dojo does not mean that he can do other martial arts well or that he could beat up every guy in other dojos. A lot of people, however, have that misconception. They are ignorant of things outside their realm of experience. They have been sheltered. We know that eating fruit every day is healthier than eating a box of twinkies; however, if you grew up eating Twinkies every day, then you will resist exchanging those for fruit. This is also true spiritually.
Seek a healthy, spiritual life rather than just what feels good or comfortable now. Do not be limited by the habits and standards of others. For example, a lot of people (especially doctors) limit others with hopeless diagnoses. But we often see those people surpass those expectations by far. Six months to live sometimes ends up being another ten years.
On the other hand, many people get limited by low standards. Set low standards, and those people will meet them and no more than that. Raise standards, and they often rise up to meet them. We have seen this in the gym and the dojo.
Do not set your standards too low. Once you meet a standard, then raise it to continue to excel. This is true for the church.
Standards continue to rise throughout our spiritual walks. Keep your standards high. Jesus is the standard. Everything else fades, but eternity is before you. Where do you want to spend it?
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF FEAR (SUNDAY MORNING OF OCTOBER 30, 2017)
Sensei demonstrates different reactions to stressful situations. He did this by punching a student in the midsection. The student handled the strike complacently due to her training, experience, and subsequent lack of fear.
Then Sensei prepared to punch an untrained volunteer, who betrayed a lot of nervousness due to a lack of experience and training. This fear heightened stress and tension, which would have caused greater pain and probably damage or injury. Sensei did not actually strike this person, but he demonstrated the negative effects that fear can make.
It is destructive to allow fear to rule you. Complete faith in God dispels all fear. As the scripture says, perfect love casts out fear.