Posts Tagged ‘Giving my best to you Lord’

Reflecting on the goodness of God on a special day

August 11, 2021
Here is quotation that I use as the motto for every writing class I teach and a statement I apply each day of my life.

As an adjunct professor of English currently starting a new semester at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC, I share a weekly email devotional with my students. A new semester started today, August 11, 2021, which turns out to be an especially significant day for me. Not only is today, the first day of classes where I teach, but it is also the 47th anniversary of my ordination to the Christian ministry and the 5th birthday of my grandson, Kingston Edward Simkins. All these events intersect in a glorious display of the Providence of God. I am posting this email devotional that represents my life and my ministry.

The devotional opens with a quotation attributed to Saint Jerome:

Good, better, best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best

Professional athletes, such as Tim Duncan and others, use this motto in an athletic context, but we can apply the statement in an academic context as well.

In discussing this inspirational quote, let us look for a moment at the adjective “good” which is derived from “God” who alone is good. Indeed, Jesus Christ said, “There is none good but the Father.” Good is an adjective, and an adjective has a comparative form and a superlative form. When you compare two objects, one is said to be better than the other. If you compare three or more items, one is selected as the best of the group. With God, however, there is no comparative or superlative. No, God has not seen “better” days, and God does not have the “best” day He’s had in a long time in comparison to others. With God every day is a “Good News Day” because “God is good.” Period! Because God is good, “. . . all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28—my favorite verse in the whole Bible) So no matter how bad the situation may appear to be, it will work together for the good.

“O, taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that puts his trust in Him.”
“For the Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever.”

To further illustrate the truths of the opening quote, take a look at the video excerpt from “Facing the Giants.” Here we have a coach asking one of his players to “him his best.” That’s really all that anyone can ask of another person. Even so, as the facilitator of this class, that’s all I’m asking of you.


As we strive to apply this inspirational quote to every aspect of our lives, there should be an underlying motivation: that we want to express to God our gratitude for all that He has done for us through Christ Jesus, His Son, the least that we can do is give him our best. Like the coach in “Facing the Giants” that’s all that God is asking of us. This should be our response: “Giving My Best to You, Lord.” as offered by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir:

Good, better, best

April 22, 2018

Instead of the usual Verse of the Day, we want to examine the Quote of the Day for April 22, 2018. Here are motivational lines attributed to Saint Jerome:

Good, better, best
Never let it rest
Until your good is better
And your better is best

Professional athletes, such as Tim Duncan and others, use this motto in an athletic as well as personal context. This saying also serves as the motto for the classes that I teach. Since I describe myself as a “player/coach,” a writer who also teaches writing classes, the quote applies in an academic context as well as in my personal walk.

In introducing my students to the saying, I sometimes show them a video excerpt from “Facing the Giants” to illustrate someone who all he asks of another individual is that that individual give him “his best.” Here we have a coach asking one of his players to “him his best.” That’s really all that anyone can ask of another person. Even so, as the player coach that I am, all I’m asking of my students in each class—“Give me your best.” Take a look at the excerpt from “Facing the Giants” posted at the end of this entry and see if it has personal application.

In discussing the Quote of the Day, let us look for a moment at the adjective “good” which is derived from “God” who alone is good. Indeed, Jesus Christ said, “There is none good but the Father.” Good is an adjective, and an adjective has a comparative form and a superlative form. When you compare two objects, one is said to be better than the other.  If you compare three or more items, one is selected as the best of the group. With God, however, there is no comparative nor superlative. No, God has not seen “better” days, and God does not have the “best” day He’s had in a long time in comparison to others. With God everyday is a “Good News Day” because “God is good.” Period! Because God is good, “. . . all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28—my favorite verse in the whole Bible) So no matter how bad the situation may appear to be, it will work together for the good.

“O, taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that puts his trust in Him.”
“For the Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever.”

As we strive to apply this inspirational quote to every aspect of our lives, there should be an underlying motivation: that we want to express to God our gratitude for all that He has done for us through Christ Jesus, His Son, the least that we can do is give him our best. Like the coach in “Facing the Giants” that’s all that God is asking of us. This should be our response: “Giving My Best to You, Lord.” as offered by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir:

“Facing the Giants” Excerpt

Good, better, best

January 7, 2018

good-better-best

As a rule, I choose not to make New Year’s resolutions, but I resolve to make each year the best year of my life. I try to follow the admonition I give to the writing students whom I teach, but at the same time this motto can be applied to athletics and to any endeavor:

Good, better, best

Never let it rest

Until your good is better

And your better is best.

In my classes I provide an illustration of this motto in action as I play “the death crawl” scene from “Facing the Giants.” Here we have a coach asking one of his players to “give him his best.” That’s really all that anyone can ask of another person. Even so, as the player-coach that I am, all I am asking of my students—“Give me your best.” After viewing the video, I ask the students to see its personal application to the class and beyond.

In light of the class motto, let us look for a moment at the adjective “good.” The word good is derived from “God” who alone is good. Indeed, Jesus Christ said, “There is none good but the Father.”  Good is an adjective, and an adjective has a comparative form and a superlative form; however, with God there is no comparative nor superlative.  No, God has not seen “better” days, and certainly God does not have the “best” day He’s had in a long time in comparison to others. With God every day is a “Good News Day” because “God is good.” Period! Because God is good, “. . . all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28—my favorite verse in the whole Bible) So no matter how bad the situation may appear to be, it will work together for the good.

We proclaim with the Psalmist:

“O, taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man that puts his trust in Him.”

“For the Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever.”

As the New Year continues to unfold, we can strive to apply the class motto, not only to the classes that we take or teach but to every aspect of our lives. Our underlying motivation should be our desire to express to God our gratitude for all that He has done for us through Christ Jesus, His Son. In this case, the least that we can do is give him our best. Like the coach in “Facing the Giants” that’s all that God is asking of us. And this should be our response.

We close with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, as they sing: “Giving My Best to You Lord.”