Family Disciple Me responds to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

What Shall We Say About…

Endurance

By Jeff Harris, President of FDM Board

“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”  – James 1:3

Struggles are a test of character, leadership, faith, endurance, and grit.

Due to a rare disease (esophageal achalasia), I endured an entire year consuming my every meal from a cup while sleeping in a chair. I literally became a shell of the man I once was as my body relentlessly cannibalized itself. I lost 55 pounds, rarely slept, and suffered from excruciating pain to even swallow a drink of water. 

I have never been pushed so far outside my comfort zone and for so long. Yet, I learned during my personal ‘Crucible of Starvation and Sleep Deprivation’ that the darkest and coldest valleys provide the greatest opportunity to reinvent ourselves, grow, and move closer to God. 

The key to enduring such a ‘rare disease’ was forging the ability to walk through the ‘dis-ease’ alongside the Lord with unshakeable character and faith. 

The experience of living life on liquids taught me that no matter what we are going through in life, we become what we are willing to endure. Letting go of the endgame, staying focused on the process, and leaning into faith are paramount. By faithfully doing what is necessary long enough, the impossible will eventually relinquish its throne.

As a parent, I was committed to holding onto my character, embracing an attitude of gratitude, and leaning into my faith to set an example for my children of what it takes to endure the most difficult of circumstances. Why? People do what people see. Our children are always watching the example that we set. 

In late 2019, I underwent a series of complicated medical procedures while fasting for 40 days to enable me to once again eat solid food. I am beyond grateful and blessed to now be healed and enjoying meals together with my wonderful family. 

I am determined to maintain and build upon the character and faith that I developed through that struggle to disciple my children and help mold their character so that their endurance may ‘rise’ as they grow. 

To endure and ultimately persevere during these challenging times, we must develop our ability to walk through pain with attitudes of gratitude and acceptance, the courage and discipline to embrace discomfort and change, a willingness to adjust our perspectives that the struggles in life are an opportunity to learn and grow, and the hope and faith for a brighter tomorrow. 

Remember, children are always watching. Thus, ask yourself,   

How much are you willing to ‘endure’ so that your children may ‘rise’ with strength of character and faith in the Lord? 

© 2020 Jeff Harris

Jeff is an executive, business owner, leadership coach, strategic advisor, Chairman of FDM, Forbes contributor, endurance athlete, Achalasia survivor, and former US Marine. He lives in Colorado Springs, CO, with his wife and three children. 

I Am Never Alone

The “Here I Am! Send Me!” Series: “I Am Never Alone”

God is as close as our breath, as near as our heartbeats. Others may not always be able to be with us, but we’re never, ever alone, because God is always with us!

I Am Completely Known

The “Here I Am! Send Me!” Series: I Am Completely Known

God completely knows you: what you’re good at, what you’re dealing with, and where you alone can make a difference in this world. You’re not just some random person; you’re God’s beloved, wanted, known child.

The “Here I Am! Send Me!” The Adventure Begins

The “Here I Am! Send Me!” Series: The Adventure Begins

As one season ends and another begins, if we listen, we’ll hear one really special voice: the voice of the Lord. His voice calls us to live for Him, and His voice tells us the truths about ourselves.

THE GOSPEL GIFT: Truth #4: We See and Receive God’s Gift to Us

THE GOSPEL GIFT: Truth #4: We See and Receive God’s Gift to Us

Though we cannot see Jesus with our physical eyes like Simeon did, we can see Him with our spiritual eyes and receive His presence into our lives today. The “Gospel Gift” is the good news about this!

THE GOSPEL GIFT: Truth #3: God’s Gift to Us is Our Savior Jesus Christ

THE GOSPEL GIFT: Truth #3: God’s Gift to Us is Our Savior Jesus Christ

God’s gift of Jesus matters because, through relationship with Him, we can experience salvation and every other gift we need: peace, hope, healing, joy, and so much more.

God Has the Power to Give Us the Gift We Need

THE GOSPEL GIFT: Truth #2: God Has the Power to Give Us the Gift We Need

Some Christmas gifts are easy to give; other gifts are impossible. Salvation is this kind of gift, something none of us can give ourselves or each other. “The Gospel Gift” is God’s great gift to us!

THE GOSPEL GIFT: Truth #1: We Need a Gift We Cannot Give Ourselves

THE GOSPEL GIFT: Truth #1: We Need a Gift We Cannot Give Ourselves

We are broken people, and, though we may try, we cannot fix all our brokenness. God could have left us this way, but He didn’t. Before time began, He planned the gift of our salvation.

Give Thanks In Everything

Give Thanks in Everything: A Discipleship Conversation for Thanksgiving 2020

Giving thanks “in everything” doesn’t mean that everything in a particular season or year is so great; giving thanks “in everything” means we acknowledge and appreciate how God has helped us through it all.

Fall Of Praise a Call For Thanksgiving

Fall of Praise: A Call for Thanksgiving

This has been a tough year, but God’s faithfulness to us is perfect. He wants us to praise Him in all the “wonderful things” He has done, even if they don’t feel “wonderful” right now.

THE MENDING: How God Changes Us

The Mending: How God Changes Us

We can’t fix all the brokenness around us or even in us. However, our great God doesn’t make us figure out how to mend and fix ourselves. He helps us and reconciles us to Himself.

The “Here I Am! Send Me!” Series: “I Am Never Alone”

God is as close as our breath, as near as our heartbeats. Others may not always be able to be with us, but we’re never, ever alone, because God is always with us!

The “Here I Am! Send Me!” Series: I Am Completely Known

God completely knows you: what you’re good at, what you’re dealing with, and where you alone can make a difference in this world. You’re not just some random person; you’re God’s beloved, wanted, known child.

The “Here I Am! Send Me!” Series: The Adventure Begins

As one season ends and another begins, if we listen, we’ll hear one really special voice: the voice of the Lord. His voice calls us to live for Him, and His voice tells us the truths about ourselves.

THE GOSPEL GIFT: Truth #4: We See and Receive God’s Gift to Us

Though we cannot see Jesus with our physical eyes like Simeon did, we can see Him with our spiritual eyes and receive His presence into our lives today. The “Gospel Gift” is the good news about this!

THE GOSPEL GIFT: Truth #3: God’s Gift to Us is Our Savior Jesus Christ

God’s gift of Jesus matters because, through relationship with Him, we can experience salvation and every other gift we need: peace, hope, healing, joy, and so much more.

THE GOSPEL GIFT: Truth #2: God Has the Power to Give Us the Gift We Need

Some Christmas gifts are easy to give; other gifts are impossible. Salvation is this kind of gift, something none of us can give ourselves or each other. “The Gospel Gift” is God’s great gift to us!

THE GOSPEL GIFT: Truth #1: We Need a Gift We Cannot Give Ourselves

We are broken people, and, though we may try, we cannot fix all our brokenness. God could have left us this way, but He didn’t. Before time began, He planned the gift of our salvation.

Give Thanks in Everything: A Discipleship Conversation for Thanksgiving 2020

Giving thanks “in everything” doesn’t mean that everything in a particular season or year is so great; giving thanks “in everything” means we acknowledge and appreciate how God has helped us through it all.

Fall of Praise: A Call for Thanksgiving

This has been a tough year, but God’s faithfulness to us is perfect. He wants us to praise Him in all the “wonderful things” He has done, even if they don’t feel “wonderful” right now.

The Mending: How God Changes Us

We can’t fix all the brokenness around us or even in us. However, our great God doesn’t make us figure out how to mend and fix ourselves. He helps us and reconciles us to Himself.

What Shall We Say About Salvation

How do we lead our children to understand salvation? Is it our job…or God’s? My journey in asking God how to lead my kids to Him has been a gift.

What Shall We Say about St Valentine

The man who inspired Valentine’s Day was a man who loved God and people with all his heart. His true story set an example of love for us to follow!

What Shall We Say About… Endurance

I have never been pushed so far outside my comfort zone and for so long. Yet, I learned during my personal ‘Crucible of Starvation and Sleep Deprivation’ that the darkest and coldest valleys provide the greatest opportunity to reinvent ourselves, grow, and move closer to God.

What Shall We Say About… In Fear, Take Heart

In the midst of all the chaos and uncertainties and changes I had to stop and ask myself one very important question: “What am I going to focus on?”

What Shall We Say About… Seeking Him and Speaking Him

How do we translate our relationship with the Lord to those He’s entrusted to us? How do we speak Him into their lives? It’s an outgrowth of Seeking Him.

What Shall We Say About Santa

The real Santa was a generous man who loved Jesus and loved others. What shall we say to the children about him? We should say his is an example to follow!

What Shall We Say About… St Patrick

How do we translate our relationship with the Lord to those He’s entrusted to us? How do we speak Him into their lives? It’s an outgrowth of Seeking Him.

What Shall We Say About… Purpose During the Pandemic

As the body of Christ, this season is our chance to rise up and live for more than ourselves. In Jesus’ Name, we can love and help others just like God has loved and helped us.

What Shall We Say About… Fear

The current coronavirus pandemic is a strategic time to disciple our kids about FEAR! How God’s Word says we should handle fear in our lives, whatever that fear is for each of us.

What Shall We Say About… Prayer during the Pandemic

Kids, today we pray. TODAY WE PRAY.

It’s pretty clear what God wants us to do during time of pestilence and disease. He wants us to fall on our faces and cry out to Him, in humility, repentance and faith. So let’s pray today!!!

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