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  • Pastor Ralph

The Kid Who Could Not Skate

When I was growing up, I had a one track mind – hockey, hockey, and hockey. In the fall of the year, the lot behind us would flood and my Dad would shovel off an area for a rink and I would literally spend all day out skating, shooting the puck and stick handling. I could never get enough of hockey.

There was only one problem. I was probably the worst skater the Lord ever created. Instead of my ankle turning inside and down, it turned outside and down. I don’t know how I ever did it but away I went, the weirdest skater you have ever seen. My poor Father must have wondered what he was ever going to do to help me. But my dad encouraged me not to give up. He called me “tiger” and he would say “Go get um Tiger” and away I would go with the most unorthodox skating style Belleville had ever seen. I didn’t care. I loved hockey and wanted to give hockey my best.

Eventually, I got the skating ironed out and started to become a stand out hockey player. I was invited to try out for the All Star team and made it. I continued to improve and had a bright hockey future ahead of me. Then our car accident happened and my life, and the life of my family, was radically changed. I look back on those days and sometimes wonder what could have happened if the accident had not occurred. Most of the kids I played with went on to play hockey at the US College level. One guy played for the Montreal Canadians and became the assistant captain of the St. Louis Blues and another guy became a successful coach in the NCAA. But as an adult, and as a Christian, I look back and see a much broader perspective.

I see the lessons it taught be about perseverance – hanging in.

I see the lessons it taught me about pursuing your passion. As I saw the other day, “Dreams don’t have deadlines!”

I see the lessons it taught me about the importance of encouragement and what a powerful tool it is in life.

I see the lessons it taught me about parenting.

I see the lessons of Genesis 50:20 & Romans 8:28 – God can bring good out of disappointment and what may seem to be disaster.

I see the lessons it taught me about faith – trusting God when the “way be dreary.”

I see the lessons it taught me about love.

And there are many, many, more lessons!

Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Although things in life may change, Jesus’ character – who He is - does not. “He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.”

He is there to love us, guide us, empower us and help us “finish the race.” (2 Timothy 4:7 NIV). Life teaches us many important lessons, as Christians, that ring with eternal reality. Try and cling to, and value, those. They are the truths that count and, in the end, define who we are. Remember, it is the Lord who rewards one hundred fold! He is faithful.

God bless you and may His peace give you strength this day. God loves you, I love you. Keep safe. - Pastor Ralph

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