Judges, Chapter 14, Verse 11
Out of their fear of him, they brought thirty men to be his companions.
This verse is about Sampson the strongman of the bible; who struck fear into the hearts of the pagan Philistines. Nevertheless how different was Sampson from his pagan neighbors? Justyn Rees has an interesting shortened tale of the tragedy of Sampson that is available online that is a quick thought-provoking read in his book entitled, “Old Story New”.
Sampson who was born endowed with great physical strength started out following God but failed to continue walking in the spirit of He that Is. John Maxwell points out that like Gideon many men fail toward the end of their life because they dilute the vision God had given them, and have become too comfortable with their success and lack the self-control to overcome their weaknesses. John’s advice to leaders is to be self-disciplined using a quote from Plato, “The first and best victory is to conquer self.” John points out a five step plan to develop self-discipline in your life.
1. Develop and follow your priorities. Time is a precious commodity, do what’s really important first and release yourself from the rest.
2. Make a disciplined lifestyle your goal. Set up systems and routines to ensure you feed the mind, body, spirit and love of neighbor daily.
3. Challenge your excuses. We all make them; push the envelope.
4. Remove rewards until you finish the job. Eat your vegetables first.
5. Stay focused on results. Focus on the outcomes and not the difficulties in accomplishing it; envision the change.
Our model for transformation: Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. (Luke 6:12)
Passion Week Timeline
Tuesday of Holy Week
Traditionally the account of Christ's Passion according to St. Mark is read today and most people continue with spring cleaning. Also today marks the bargaining of Judas with the Sanhedrin as the Jewish way of tracking time makes Tuesday evening Wednesday as days changed after sunset and not at midnight following roman time keeping method.
We learned yesterday from St. John that Judas was a thief. He robbed from Christ, from the other apostles, from the incipient Church. Jesus, for him, had become merely an excuse to seek after his own interests. Jesus was not the one thing necessary, as he was for Mary of Bethany. Jesus wasn't even an end, but merely a means for Judas to satisfy his own greed. Judas supposedly had serious qualms of conscience about the failure to sell the years’ worth of aromatic nard with which Mary had anointed Jesus' feet, but he thought nothing about selling Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Judas had been a disciple merely in his body, not in his heart. Judas had been called personally by the Lord, had lived with him for about 1,000 days, had followed him for three years, had heard him preach and teach, had seen him walk on water, still stormy seas, feed thousands with a five rolls and two sardines, raise three people from the dead, heal on countless occasions the sick, blind and lame and have mercy on countless sinners, had even received from the Lord the power to do many of these same things himself, and had been entrusted by him with the money bag for the Twelve. But he tragically had never gotten to know Jesus, and even more tragically had never gotten to love him. He remained just a follower of Jesus on the outside, not on the inside. In betraying Jesus, Judas valued him less than a handful of coins, forgetting that it would profit him nothing to gain the whole world and forfeit his life.
Full Pink Moon
According to the almanac today we are having a Full Pink Moon; plan to spend some time with the women in your life and develop a true friendship.
 John Maxwell, The Leadership Bible, 1982.