"After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him" - Joh 6:66 ESV.

I have to make a confession that I got started on a lot of things that I eventually gave up because they're difficult to do. I am no superman and I'm just like many others who give up on the difficult. There may be different reasons why people give up on the difficult and I have my own. Some may give up because the difficult thing may require resources they don't have. Others give up because the difficult will cause them to give up on something else much more important. This is where I belong.

Difficult things can take some time to learn and master and this time can be a luxury for those who are already engaged in something of high importance. Giving up then isn't an issue of picking the easier road but of priority. Most of the things I started on but gave up later were because they would distract me from my main duty as a preacher which needs much time for study - a resource I don't want to squander on time-consuming learning of that which will only bring me nothing more than fame and fortune and not crowns in heaven. There are of course those who aren't at all busy but whose reason for giving up on the difficult is just that. They don't want to deal with complicated matters. I'd say, don't be too quick to do that. 

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"...Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD" - Gen 13:12-13 ESV.

Camping is fun. This is an activity that we used to do annually because of our church. We travel to the mountains, pitch our tents and enjoy the place, lessons, activities and the company of friends. At the end of the camping which usually lasts four days, we hesitantly gather our stuff and leave, most of us wishing to stay a little bit longer.

We always welcome the company of people who think alike as we do. Better still if they also enjoy the things that we enjoy and want to do the things we want to do. But if our standard is flawed to begin with, we may be putting ourselves in danger by seeking their company. Instead, we must set up camp with those whom we know can only improve us as a person. They from whom we can expect support, good counsel and if necessary rebuke, all done in love and gentleness. We don't have to worry about them influencing us toward acquiring bad habits, developing the wrong attitude nor engaging in empty, dangerous or malicious quests. They are the ones we should seek and befriend and, if at all possible, want to set up camp with any time of day.

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"Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love" - Jon 2:8 ESV.

Some activities require so much from us. They may not just require us of our time and effort. Others may require us of our whole being because that which we chase after can turn out to be the biggest influencer of who we would become. Chase after material things and what would that make of you? A materialistic person, of course. Chase after women and you are likely to end up as a playboy. Chase after much knowledge and that may just make you a very learned man. Good or bad, the things we chase after will definitely greatly impact our life.

Knowing that, it would seem worth considering what kind of things we chase after. Many of the tempting ones aren't really worth the chase considering the cost and the repercussions. But if we are able to pick one that is worth chasing after, then we may just have discovered our purpose - that which we won't regret to have defined us. For something to be worth doing, it must have that quality or characteristic to give us a hope or a future and also the possibility of realizing both.

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"For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, to preserve you..." - Pro 6:23-24 ESV.

Generally speaking, we want things to be clear, plain and transparent. Darkness can only serve the purpose of those who are hiding that which they don't want others to see. And usually, that which is painstakingly hidden are up to something not good. Light and visibility is what protects us from those bad things associated with darkness. And so we light our homes and our paths to make things bright even during the night. 

But aside from our environment at night which need to be well-lit, our minds also need the same. The errors in judgment that we are prone to make is a result of a clouded reasoning. The mistakes that we commit can only come from not having seen the light. Even the lies that we believe is a result of not having encountered the light of the truth. 

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"...for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights" - Pro 3:12 ESV.

Everyday experiences bring lessons into our lives. Some lessons are taught gently and others are taught the hard way. The choice is normally ours.

People have been in this world long enough to experience most of what life can teach us. The pioneers in terms of experiences are the ones who learned things the hard way. Made knowledgeable by being the first, many of them share to us, latecomers, the rules of life, the dos and don'ts, the safe and the unsafe, the effective and the ineffective. If we listen to them, then the lessons that they already learned the hard way will be ours without the pain. We have been taught gently. But if we are the type who would rather discover things for ourselves, then we repeat the mistakes of those ahead of us and the corresponding pains that those mistakes may incur. This is hardly the better choice. This is learning the hard way again.

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"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness..." - 2Pe 1:3 ESV.

How comforting! Although this thought could mean different things to different people at different times, none can be more comforting. A project with all the needed materials in place is a comforting thought to a builder. A business venture with all the contracts and financing in place is comforting to a business person. A child with both his parents loving him and loving each other is of great comfort as well. The availability of the best and the choicest ingredients can give a chef heart palpitations if he intends to make the best dish to impress the most discriminating taste buds.  

Everything we need! We know how much will this require. Sometimes when we contemplate on how much we need it can be overwhelming. Consider for example a man having a family of six, all of whom are going to school. How much money will he need for tuition fees come school opening? Or imagine a person who has just been told that his kidneys have failed and he needs to undergo dialysis three times a week. Aside from the money, how much strength is needed to endure this procedure? Imagine a king being told that a strong army is marching toward his kingdom. How much courage and how many soldiers will he need to be confident that he will be able to defend against the invaders? 

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