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It happens often enough in sports: you are so tired you can't go on - but somehow, you do go on. Your "faith" in your own strength is gone, but you find a way to persist. 

Now imagine that it is not your physical strength that has failed you but your heart, your emotion, your will itself. 

I think this is what Paul has in mind in 2 Timothy 2:11-13. 

I recently heard someone tell the story of how their life got turned around for God through a "chance" encounter. Sitting in a waiting room, the speaker was recognized by an old acquaintance. They said a quick hello and then, just as they were about to part, the guy handed him a little brochure/track that talked about Jesus. The speaker stuck it in his pocket, read it later and said the short prayer on the back. It changed his life.

What made this possible? 

In life - as it must be lived today - bad things happen. People make poor choices...and suffer the consequences. "Justice" is delivered...and sometimes it is not so just. The "normal" stresses and strains of living in this fallen, broken world drain our energy and can take away our hope.

There are good and “less good” ways to talk about your faith. Explaining to people that you are writing a book about both the good and the bad leads to hearing stories like this one:

Oh, yeah, I know exactly what you mean. My mom’s friend, a woman from her neighborhood, someone she had know for years, recently asked her: “Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior?” Completely out of the blue. My mom was really upset. If she wanted a sermon, she would have gone to church!

This morning on a whim, I walked up my neighbor's driveway to see what my house looked like from the side. It's not a pretty picture....