Articles by Stan Dean


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I read a story some time back about the famed actress of yesteryear, Helen Hayes. What I am about to share with you impressed me as much about her character as her acting ability.

In Ms. Hayes’ early days her producer told her if she were only four inches taller she could become one of the greatest actresses of her time. Determined to reach for the stars she said, “I decided to lick my size.” She then allowed herself to be tortured by having her body pulled and stretched repeatedly for a period of time, but all to no avail.

The actress remained the same in stature, although she did develop perfect posture. Recounting the experience she said, “I became the tallest five-foot woman in the world. And my refusal to be limited by my limitations enabled me to play Mary of Scotland, one of the tallest queens in history!”

Refusing to be limited by limitations is an attitude commendable of anyone. Too often we let the world in which we live define the image of the “perfect” person. As a result, a lot of people go around thinking they are too tall, too short, too fat, too skinny, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not rich enough, too young, too old, ad nauseam. Sure, we all have some limitations, but we need not let them rob us of the joy of living.

I am a strong believer in the adage, “God don’t make junk!” The grammar is wrong, but the message is right. We are all created in His image and He values us for what we are- - not for traits by which the world might value us (cf. 1 Samuel 16:7).

Paul also understood this truth due to his own physical struggle which he referred to as “a thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7f). And even though he prayed that it might be removed, to do so was not in God’s plan. But Paul certainly did not let it limit him from serving the Lord with all his heart- - and my, what a blessing he was to the Church!

What do you perceive to be your limitations? And once more, we all have them. The key is whether we control them- - or let them control us!
So, let me conclude by saying, regardless of who you are or what you have, your life can be filled with joy! You can be a blessing to others! And, you can be a glory to God! Not because you have no limitations, but by your refusal to be limited by them.

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