June 16, 2017

Dear Brethren,

I had planned something different for tonight’s Brethren Letter, but found a letter written in 2010 and decided to send it instead. (A few minor updates were made).

In 2010, a young runner in California was running in a cross-country race. She had become severely dehydrated, falling to the ground just short of the finish-line. However, even after falling she refused to quit, and began to crawl her way to the finish-line. It’s quite an inspiring story, one that has an excellent spiritual parallel for us.

Have a wonderful Sabbath!

Your Brother in Christ,

Gary Liebold

 

December 3, 2010

Dear Brethren,

This morning, my wife and I were watching a portion of Good Morning America on television. There was a video clip being shown of a recent cross-country race in which one of the young front-runners in that race began to have a very difficult time physically, and eventually fell to the ground only a few feet short of the finish line. While some runners would perhaps have given up at that point, this young runner (Holland Reynolds), refused to quit and  literally CRAWLED over the finish line.

Here is also an article (in-part) about this young runner written by David Wright and Sarah Netter from ABC News.

Injured High School Track Star Crawls to Finish Line for Team, Coach

Holland Reynolds, 16, Melted Hearts By Finishing Race on Hands and Knees

The race was supposed to have been a moment of glory for the top runner at a northern California high school and her teammates.

But instead of crossing the finish line in a flash at the head of the pack — a finish that would have all but guaranteed the team another state championship — 16-year-old junior Holland Reynolds collapsed feet from that line and stunned onlookers by stubbornly crawling to the end, despite being in obvious pain.

.,..”I just kept on telling myself, ‘I need to finish and I need to cross the line,'” Reynolds said. “I don’t remember falling, but then I remember crawling across the line.”

… Reynolds said she was diagnosed with dehydration and light hypothermia after running in the cold, damp weather.”

I’ll have to tell you brethren, it was quite inspiring for us to watch that video. I couldn’t help but think of the parallel to the spiritual race we’re in, as the apostle Paul described in I Corinthians 9:24-27.

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
(25)  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
(26)  Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.
(27)  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

All of us learn very quickly that as Christians, we will suffer trials (Psalm 34:19, James 1:2-3, I Peter 4:12-13). However, no matter what we go through physically in this life, we still promised God at baptism that we would stay in the spiritual race until the end. That’s just what Holland Reynolds did in her physical race. No matter how hard it seemed to her physically she kept going until the goal was reached.

In Romans 8 and Matthew 10 we see there is nothing in the universe which can ever separate us from the love of God (which also encompasses His future for us as a FAMILY, in the Kingdom of God), if we endure faithfully to the end.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, (39) nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 10:22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Brethren, there’s a marvelous future ahead in what God has planned for us! I thought maybe you would like to also see the video we watched. I provided a web-link below.

Your Brother in Christ,

Gary Liebold

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