More Trials for Rashid

I continue to be both burdened and inspired by the trials my friend “Rashid” is experiencing in Greece.  (See previous posts At What Cost? and the Update) He was again arrested and the situation much worse this time…and yet…read on to see how he perseveres and even shares his faith in the midst of this.  Here is his account:

I was arrested last Friday and was detained in this horrible prison no food, no water, no toilet, for more then 2 days and nights, after 6 days with the Grace of God and with the help of my one brother in Christ, I am back home.  I make this video in my cell phone there was one more longer and clear video but police man have seen me making video and after they grab me out and 3 police man start beating me like animals, and removed video.  I recover it now, but unfortunately can not recover the other one. I make disciples in prison, looking forward to send some one for meeting with them. My Greek friend was in police station today for meeting with those guys, and now they have my number so now I can communicate with them. I was arrested before 2 or 3 times but this time behavior of police was totally changed.  They were full with hate and when asking from them food or water, they answered “If we go to your countries you will give us food or water? NO, you will kill us, so why you are asking for water or food?  It was strange for me, I never seen this situation in previous 7 years, remember me in your prayers.

Why I share Gospel in this situation its not because of me, its because of Jesus, when everyone is in hard and difficult times, we can not do anything but just remember God and pray to Him, so mostly in prison every one do this.  I try to give knowledge to guys about whom they can pray, who is listening to them, who can take there pains and provide them comfort, and that is only Jesus, he love us and we love him, he is the way of truth and life. One guy was Hindu, 3 was Muslims, some was open to listen , some was accepting, and start praying with the name of Jesus, i am not doing anything, its the power of holy spirit.”

Please continue to pray for Rashid.  And as before, he may read this blog so you can leave him a message here in the comments if you like.

Meet Mari Luz

We just returned from a wonderful visit to the Dominican Republic.  Part of our purpose in going to this island nation was to visit our World Vision sponsored child, Mari Luz.  She is a beautiful child and we are privileged to be a part of her life. Take a moment to view this video montage of our visit.

Working through an interpreter we were able to have a conversation with Mari, though she is quite shy. Her favorite color is pink. Her favorite subject in school is math. We found out that one of her favorite things to do is attend Bible Club (provided through World Vision). Though only 7 years old, Mari has a dreams.  When we asked her what she wants to be when she grows up she said she wanted to be a doctor!  Sometimes people wonder if their sponsorship really is tied to a specific child… I hope this video answers that question!

If you would like to make a difference in the life of a child, and quite possibly have your life changed too, I invite you to sponsor a child like Mari Luz. Click this link and get started in making a difference! Sponsor a Child!

Rejection

As the adage goes, “you are only as good as your last show.”  It applies to not just the theater, but to just about everything in life: last game, last speech, last job review.  It can be so easy to let the most recent success or failure define our worth and sabotage our stories. Check out this video to see how some pretty famous people handled their rejection.

I remember auditioning for my first professional acting job.  It was for a role in the Smokey Mountain Passion Play in Townsend, TN.  My college drama professor was directing it, and since he already knew my abilities and had cast me in lead roles before,  I was sure I had a lock on a good role.  I wanted to be Jesus or Judas, hero or villain, as long is it was a lead role!  When the cast was announced I searched for my name beside one of the lead roles… not there.  I couldn’t believe it…. I checked the list again to be sure… oh wait, there it was at the bottom of the page: “Assistant to the Director – Chuck Neighbors.”  I was heart-broken.

Assistant to the Director….what did that even mean?  It is a vital and necessary responsibility, to be sure, but it basically meant “secretary.”  I would be by the director’s side to be a gopher and to write down every bit of stage blocking. Not what I wanted! I wanted a starring role! Man, this rejection thing stings!

That was early in my career but it is by no means the only example of rejection in my story.  Everyone experiences rejection. Actors have to be thick-skinned in this department and it is never easy.  Even after 37 years as a professional actor I still find myself judging my entire career on the basis of my last performance.  If I felt good about it, I was a success; if I didn’t I was a failure, and I contemplated getting out of the business altogether.

For some, the rejection kills the dream. They let one person’s negative comment, or a day of sales with no results, or the search for a job stamped with an “over-” or “under-qualified,” bring everything to a halt. It takes self-determination and a belief in one’s calling and ability to persevere.  Here are three things I consider when I have doubts brought on by rejection:

  1. Am I doing the right thing?  I stop and reflect on my life story. Where has my journey taken me so far? Does where I am make sense with that story? I pray and seek confirmation that I am indeed moving in the right direction.
  2. Is the rejection based in truth? I need to be honest. Was there something in my performance, my presentation, my job, that was not good, or that needs improving?  If so I admit it and make adjustments so it doesn’t happen again. If not, I give myself permission to disregard it and move on.
  3. Revisit my touchstones. Webster defines a touchstone as “a test or criterion for determining the quality or genuineness of a thing.”  I think it is important to have touchstones throughout our story, our life.  Those key moments that serve as proof that you are doing the right thing. They might be items that mark milestones such as awards, letters and photos. Or places you can visit that help you remember significant events. Or a passage of scripture that God has used to speak to you and confirm things in your life. These things are wonderful reminders that can encourage and validate our story and give us an extra measure of courage to persevere.

As the video above indicates, even the most successful—or maybe I should say especially the most successful—people in the world experience rejection and failure. It is what you do with it that makes all the difference in the world.

(Side Note: In addition to being Assistant Director, I was also the understudy for ALL male roles. This basically meant I had to learn the entire script and be ready to go on for ANY actor who might be sick or absent.  It turned out to be a GREAT job and I did play, through-out the run of the show, ALL the lead roles at least once! I attribute that experience as one of my touchstones that confirms my calling and abilities!)

How do you handle rejection? What are some of your touchstones that remind you that you are doing the right thing?

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