Does Transparency = Truthfulness?

If I used the word “transparency” what would you think? Would you think I was speaking of something you could see through? Would you think of a picture (as on film) viewed by light shining through it or by projection? Maybe a piece of beautiful stained glass? In a relationship, transparency means being completely honest with one another and that generally comes after they have assured each other that the truth will bring them closer and no they will never laugh, accuse, judge, or throw the things you have shared back in your face in the future. Are you still with me here?

How many relationships do you have that are completely transparent? You can say anything without fear of all the things I mentioned above? My guess is not many.

In my growing years I kept my private thoughts private because there were so many people who judged me as the “preacher’s kid” and if something I thought or said didn’t seem just right it was repeated and if it ever got back to my parents then I was in trouble. Everyone had to be my best friend because to have a real favorite also brought about criticism and at least one time a public apology. As an adult it wasn’t easy to trust anyone enough to say whether I agreed or disagreed with anything including politics. People thought I was “talkative” but if they stopped to really listen I was asking questions about them, that is safe as most everyone loves to talk about themselves, the weather, the latest score for the town’s team but never anything personal.

I often say that God loves us just the way we are, and now you know the reason that is important to me.  I don’t worry that He will repeat me; make me feel embarrassed, act shocked at what I just shared, or make me feel stupid, and that is the kind of friend that we all want and need!

Something occurred to me when I was thinking about this; Jesus was the very Son of God and chose to come to earth in the form of a human man to deliver us from sin and gain eternal life that we already know. He talked to the Father often, we know that too, but when it came time for Him to complete the mission for which He was sent to earth He was not afraid nor embarrassed to ask His Father to “let this cup pass from me”, abort the mission! I don’t know how God answered Him but He had the strength to carry on as the soldiers came to the Garden to arrest Him and finish His journey to the Cross. We don’t read that passage and make fun or criticize Him we simply see His humanity and love Him for finishing the job for which He came and He did it all for us!

I was going through a personal crisis some years ago and my dad, being very concerned for me, said, “Dear what is troubling you?” I regret now that I didn’t just open up to him, instead I answered, “Some things are better left unsaid.” He never pressed me to talk, he reached over and patted my hand and said, “I am praying for you.” If you can’t talk to anyone in this world you can always go to the Throne room and tell Him all that is on your heart without fear of retribution, you are greeted with forgiveness, love and complete acceptance. The old hymn says, “What a friend we have in Jesus” and that is so true, you can be transparent with Him!

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My take on Valentines Day

According to a legend recorded by Borgna Brunner in Valentine Day History, Claudius II had prohibited marriage for young men, claiming that bachelors made better soldiers. Valentine continued to secretly perform marriage ceremonies but was eventually apprehended by the Romans. Valentine, imprisoned by Claudius, fell in love with the daughter of his jailer. Before he was executed, he allegedly sent her a letter signed “from your Valentine.” He was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion. Now you know.

There is a song on my playlist that has a phrase I agree with, it says of the words I love you, “Those three words, said too much, and not enough“, I agree with that.

A young man tells a girl he loves her, his ardor has more to do with his sex drive than giving his life for her and ladies are not guiltless either, the word love is bandied around in order to receive favors from the man who really believes she means it!

Do I sound cynical? Being a person who has talked to people on both sides of that scenario, I have found it to be true. Am I altogether tainted? No, I grew up in a home where two people committed their lives to each other and it lasted 70 years until death parted them and I’m sure they are together again even now. Not long before he died I walked into their room and found mother sitting on my dad’s lap, her head on his chest crying, he was comforting her and speaking very gently, telling her how much he loved her. I backed out and they never saw me, I cried my own tears as I mentally took a picture of a scene I will never forget. They took their vows seriously and time made them prove the words “better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live”. That scene made me think of another song that says, “When I fall in love, it will be forever“, and that one is true for me.

1 Cor.13: 1-7 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. That scripture gives us the best description of what the word love really means.

There is one other scripture I can never read without my heart swelling within me bringing me to tears, Romans 8:35-39 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Now you know that you are loved! I hope you have had a wonderful love day!

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Those who know me won’t be surprised

My son was telling us tonight at the supper table about a person he had known when he was younger who had taken a picture of a lady who was minding her own business sitting at a diner counter eating and posted it with a remark about how she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing something like that lady had on if she were that fat. It broke my heart to even hear it; no one has the right to take a picture of you when you are doing something as basic as eating and then make fun of you for the way you look. There should be a special torment for that person because the woman didn’t choose to be exposed.

On the other hand sometimes you just “ask for it”! The people who know me will not be surprised at what I am about to tell you.

Saturday I went with my daughter, granddaughter, her future mother-in-law and two friends to a Bridal Expo in downtown Atlanta. We walked into a large room where a small crowd was beginning to gather and on a stage on one side of the room there were a D J running soundtracks for a man to sing. This guy was singing the theme from the movie “Footloose” and singing his heart out. Whether all these Brides and their parties were tired or not they came across as bored and I felt sorry for the guy up there trying to entertain them while they were waiting on the Bridal fashion show (which by the way left a LOT to be desired). Suddenly I was on my feet, out in the aisle and I began to wave my arms at the crowd saying, “You came here to have FUN today so let’s look like we’re having a little fun!” I began to go down the enter aisle dancing, by the time I got to the stage he had hopped off and come to where I was, “That’s what I’m talking about!” He said and began to shoulder up to me, I danced with him while he continued to sing Footloose. Let me tell you I am not a great dancer and I was doing a very ‘60s version of the Peppermint Twist but the crowd seemed to like it and a few even got up and joined me! When the song finished everyone clapped and I went back to my seat, the tension in the room had relaxed and it seemed like everyone was ready to enjoy themselves, mission accomplished! When I got home I said to my future grandson-in-law, “Did I scare your mother?” She seemed a little quiet and maybe shy, he said “No why?” I said well I got up and danced down the aisle at the fashion show, he answered, “I know she showed me the video!”  VIDEO???   VIDEO!!!!    VIDEO???? NOOOOOOOOO!!!! I was horrified and then I just had to laugh! I said, “Well you don’t do something like that unless you don’t care if it gets videoed and shown to the world, I had seen others doing the same but I figure I would never see any of those, and why did they care?

Point, I did what I did and if I ever see the video show up in an awkward place I will know it was completely my fault and decision to get out there and make a fool of myself to try and help entertain others, so I accept the consequences of my actions, the girl sitting eating her food at a dining counter unaware that she was being videoed or photographed was totally innocent of anything except being hungry.

When you put your life up for others to see you might face embarrassment of comments you don’t agree with, someone making fun of you or making a rude remark, you place yourself in that position. If you want your life to be private don’t go out dancing in the aisles of a Wedding Expo Bridal Fashion show, you just might get video taped!

Your life is an open book, everyone is watching you and they all have  cameras with which to document what ever you thin you are doing in private so you might end up being the starring role in their movie, be careful!

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Is your miracle worth the wait?

How long would you be willing to wait for something you really want? This past week I passed by a small hole in the wall restaurant and there were people standing outside and lined up all the way to the street waiting to get in! I bet it was a two-hour wait, but they were willing to wait because they wanted to get in that particular place to eat! When you get pregnant the baby develops and you wait for nine and a half months for it to be born, and then you suffer a lot of pain to get it here, but you wait! We wait to find the perfect mate, you wait years to get the best education, hours to get the particular hair stylist we want, but somehow when it comes to waiting on God, we are so ready to give up, just quit! I know a person that has been a person of faith for many years and God has been faithful to this person in so many ways, but because they are facing a trial that is difficult, they have begun doubting God!

1 Kings 18:21 Elijah challenged the people: “How long are you going to sit on the fence? If God is the real God, follow him; if it’s Baal follow him. Make up your minds!” You don’t want to live with a person who can’t make up their mind whether they love you, or someone else, do you?

Revelation 3:15-17 “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless. God was speaking to the church of Laodicea. He wanted them to make up their mind to serve Him alone, and then He pleads with them in verses 20-22 “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. That’s my gift to the conquerors! “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.” When you need something from God, ask Him and then wait!

Luke 18:1-10 Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He said, “There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. A widow in that city kept after him: ‘My rights are being violated. Protect me!’ “He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, ‘I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think. But because this widow won’t quit badgering me, I’d better do something and see that she gets justice—otherwise I’m going to end up beaten black-and-blue by her pounding.’ “Then the Master said, “Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? So what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won’t he stick up for them? I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?”

That last phrase brings me back to thinking about the person who God has helped immeasurably, but have decided it just wasn’t enough.

Isaiah 41:30 “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.”

Wait!

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I apologize

If anyone reading this feels that I owe you an apology for anything I have said or done, I ask your forgiveness, in other words, I apologize.

Every morning on our drive to school, which is six miles from where we live, I pray with my grandson and I always end by saying, “And now we pray as Jesus taught His disciples, Our Father…” For the past few days when I get to the part that says, “And forgive us” I really stop and think about it. Am I a forgiving person?

We have been through such a divisive time in our country, it seems like everyone is mad at everyone! Don’t you think it’s about time we got over it and quit acting like children? We are old enough to have had time to learn a lot of life lessons yet we still need apologies and if we don’t get one we just “delete” that person from our life and our social network!

God forgives us according to how we have forgiven others.

Psalm 130:1-8 Help, God—the bottom has fallen out of my life! Master, hear my cry for help! Listen hard! Open your ears! Listen to my cries for mercy.  If you God, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped.  I pray to God—my life a prayer—and wait for what he’ll say and do. My life’s on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning. O Israel, wait and watch for God—with God’s arrival comes love, with God’s arrival comes generous redemption. In the King James Bible verse three uses the word “iniquity” translated from “avon“. In Strong’s concordance it means, evil fault, sin, iniquity, guilt, blame moral illness, perversion, and crookedness. “Avon” comes from “avah” which means to bend or distort, so iniquity is “evil bent” within humans or the “crooked” direction or “warped” deeds of sinners. Knowing that iniquity is something too heavy to bear by fallen man God promised that His Suffering Servant would bear the iniquities of His people. Isaiah 53:11Out of that terrible travail of soul, he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it. Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant, will make many “righteous ones,” as he himself carries the burden of their sins.

Luke 7:47 “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”

If you have been forgiven of a lot, then you need to forgive, just let it go. If you feel you can’t do it on your own just ask Jesus to help, you can do it!

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Do you love you?

Some months back I made a request for you to tell me a story from your life of one special thing that was a changing point or something you felt may have changed your destiny and I got a lot of wonderful responses which have pivoted around encounters with your spiritual side, or a particular person that helped in some way to changed your perception of life or of yourself. Getting naked in front of a room full of strangers is not an easy thing to do and since sharing some of the things you have shared was totally baring yourself to me, I decided to take it one step further, now it’s my turn.

There was one person’s note that brought tears to my eyes as she told me that there were two people in her life who had made her feel special when she didn’t find anything special within herself and then more importantly gave her the confidence in herself that made her feel that she could do anything, be anything, become whatever she wanted to be. As I read it I thought I would love to have been that person.

As I was praying a statement came out of me that stopped my prayer and I don’t think I intended to share it, not this soon anyway, but I’m thinking, “Why not?” I was listening to a piece of music that brought some memories to the forefront of my mind and I began thanking God for helping me and for loving me enough to die for me, then a question came out of me that surprised me, I said, “You love me so much, why can’t I love me?”

It was something I had never thought of before, not seriously anyway. I know I have self-esteem issues that I have blamed on the time when I was young that I was bullied at school but that happened so long ago and I wondered why I have held onto it for so long when the bullies life went on without remembering how horribly treated. I believe that was when I started my crusade to take up for the under-dog, to be a friend to the friendless, to take up causes that seemed hopeless. That sounds honorable doesn’t it? But looking at it I don’t think I have been honorable at all, I think I was trying to make that person love or at least like me in retrospect. I tried to earn friendships, to buy favor, to be one person that someone could count on to take up for them if they were ever caught in a situation such as I was.

One day I picked my son up from middle school and was going to go into the grocery store to pick up a few items. As I pulled into the parking lot of the local Publix I saw a circle of boys and in the middle one boy who was smaller if not younger than the boys that stood around him. They were taking turns hitting him hard with their loaded book bags, when I saw that suddenly I was the little girl in the middle of a similar circle and I couldn’t take it! I put my foot on the gas of the big silver Mercedes and roared across the parking lot towards them, I put my hand on the horn and held it down as I drove and I didn’t stop until I got right upon those thirteen-year-old boys that were beating their captive, they turned around and looked for all the world as if every one of them needed a change of underwear!  I threw open the door and got out screaming at them like a Highlander running into battle at Culloden and they scattered leaving a very white-faced boy standing alone. I put him in my car and took him home.

Thankfully that story had a happy ending, but there have been times I stepped in when I should not have, taken people into my heart that I should have left alone, tried to be the “saving angel” to those who only had in mind to use my generosity of self and of finances. I feel embarrassed at the times I went out of my way to earn the love of people who didn’t have room for me in their heart. It brings to mind times when in trying to “be all that I could be” realizing that it made no difference, that I was just working and spending good money to do things that I was never, ever going to receive thanks or the reward of earning attention, I quit. The problem was that it began to make me bitter and not at the people who did it to me, but at myself for being such a blithering idiot for not feeling good enough to be liked just for me.

Let me ask you the question, do you love yourself enough to stand up for what you need and what you believe?

Romans 8:39 None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, He loves me warts and all!

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Can you learn from their mistakes?

Sometimes our trouble can change the direction in which we are going and help us to find our way, other times maybe the trouble just causes us to pray a little longer and more earnestly than our normal morning or bed-time prayers, am I right?

In thinking of this I thought of some characters mentioned in the Bible from whom we could learn a lesson. First there is Noah in a time when the world was in chaos! Genesis 6:5-8 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

I imagine there were times that the “grace” didn’t feel so good! People were making fun of him for building that giant Ark in his yard, and for what? Rain? Never even heard of it! Yet he followed the plan God gave to him, perfectly in every detail. The ridicule stopped when the rain started and the waters began to rise. People were pounding on the sides of that great ship begging him to open the door for them but he could not, God had shut the door of that floating zoo, they had waited too late. When Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, stood up for their faith in the Almighty God, they were fed to lions and put in the furnace, but on both occasions God intervened. When Daniel was thrown into the den of hungry lions, God sent an angel to shut their mouths for the whole night. In the morning when the King investigated and found him alive, he threw the guards and their families into the den and the lions caught them before they hit the ground and had a great feast!

When the “Three Hebrew Children” were tossed into the furnace, which had been heated seven times hotter than usual, the heat coming from that oven actually killed the guards that put them there, but the Angel of the Lord was there and they came out smelling like roses instead of fire and smoke! When the King looked in on them he said, “Did we not cast three men into the fire? I see four men walking around in there unharmed, and the form of the forth man is like unto the Son of God!” I would say their faithfulness in the time of ridicule, their willingness to stand the test of those in authority, demanding they give up their belief in God, paid off for them!

Obedience saved Noah with his family, and these young men who had been kidnapped and taken to Persia, modern day Iran. God can also use roadblocks to turn us toward the right direction, as He literally did for Jonah. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, which was about 500 miles from where he was. Because he was terrified to take the message God gave to him for those people he got on a ship headed to Tarshish, 2500 miles away in the opposite direction! Long story short, God sent a storm, Jonah was tossed overboard and picked up by a great fish! Now that doesn’t sound like a picnic, but if you read chapter 2 of Jonah you see that he repented and the fish gave him a free ride to the shores of Nineveh and then literally vomited him up onto the beach, mission accomplished! He delivered his message and the people were spared.

So what is God trying to do with you during this time of your trial? Is He asking for obedience? Is He going to have to send a great fish to take you to your assignment? Obedience brings deliverance!

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What’s a soup pot got to do with it?

Simple things make me happy, one of those simple things happened tonight.

In my growing up years our family was really pretty poor most of the time. A preacher’s pay is not great, or wasn’t before the day of mega churches where pastors are driven in limousines, and there were times that he would give his entire pay check back to the church to pay the bills, however we never had a “poor” mentality.

I realized that being financially challenged and being poor are two different things. God always provided for us, when there was no money there would be someone that brought us something good to eat. There was an event called a “pounding” and I cannot tell you for the life of me why it was called that, but in case you don’t know what that is, it is when people get together and give food the way people bring gifts to a birthday party or a baby or wedding shower. It was very exciting for us kids!

Mother kept our clothes clean and pressed, she even ironed our shoelaces, and the shoes had always a shine on them. One particularly sad moment for her was when she found that my brother had cut out cardboard and put it in his shoes because there were holes in the soles. When we moved to Atlanta we received some good government surplus peanut butter and cheese that came in brown paper boxes, but poor? We never felt poor not at all; it never dawned on us to feel poor.

Matthew 5:3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule.” Being at the end of your rope you realize that there is nothing that you can do in your own power to change your circumstances, the answer lies in God alone. I know there is nothing I can do to make my life better, happier, richer, but God Who knows all has the answer, not just the answer but also the solution for my problems, and yours!

So now you can see why simple things make me happy and tonight that simple thing was an empty soup pot! The soup I made to go with the burgers and dogs was eaten until the big soup pot was totally empty. I picked it up, turned it upside down and told my son, “Look and see what makes your mama happy, my family loved my soup, it’s an empty soup pot!”

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How does God get your attention?

It’s interesting to look through the Scripture and note how God came to various people in the way that best got their attention. To Abraham the pilgrim, God came as a traveler. Remember those three visitors who came to his tent before the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah? One of them was the Lord himself. To Joshua the General, Jesus came as the Commander of the Lord’s army, telling him to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground. Jacob in turn, was a wrestler, no not with the WWE but figuratively speaking he was always wrestling with people: he wrestled with his father Isaac; he wrestled with his brother Esau and wrestled with his father-in-law Laban. So the Lord came to Jacob as a wrestler. Psalm 18:26 says of God, “With the pure You will show Yourself pure; and with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd”. Therefore, the Lord shrewdly came to Jacob. Genesis 32:24 tells us, “Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day”. Jacob had been left alone with God. He was always conniving, always scheming, always plotting, and always had an idea. So the Lord stripped everything away and said, “OK, I want you alone with Me.” Someone said, “To be left alone with God is the only true way of arriving at a just knowledge of ourselves and our ways.” The conniving, plotting, scheming Jacob was alone with God and they began to wrestle. What God wanted from Jacob was his surrender but that wasn’t going to happen until Jacob came to the end of his strength. So on it went throughout the night. Then a life-changing moment transpired for the scheming Jacob. Instead of fighting with God, He was clinging to Him. The Lord said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks” (Genesis 32:26). Jacob responded, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

It was a valid response on Jacob’s part in asking for this blessing, because in surrender to God’s plan he would find what he always wanted.

There is a wrong kind of wrestling with God in which we try to run from His work for our lives and refuse to go in the direction He wants us to go. But there is a right kind of wrestling with God when we are trying to get His blessing. Jacob won in one sense, because he called out to God and asked for His will. Then God asked Jacob an unusual question: “What is your name?” Did God ask this of Jacob because He didn’t know his name? Hardly. For Jacob to state his name was an admission—an admission he did not necessarily want to make. The name Jacob means, “heel-catcher, supplanter, grabber.” In essence, the Lord was saying, “Jacob, do you want to keep living up to your present name and deceiving others, or will you admit what you are and let Me change you?” This is a question only Jacob could answer. Jacob finally gave in and He surrendered. He had gone from cunning to clinging, from resisting to resting. He had been brought to the end of his resources. And God gave him a new name: Israel.

The name Israel is not an easy word to translate. Scholars differ as to its meaning. Some translate it as, “One who God commands,” or “Let God rule.” Others translate it, “One who fights victoriously with God,” or “A prince with God,” or “God’s fighter.” Whatever the meaning, it is clear that a complete surrender to God and His will took place for Jacob. His loss was his victory. He won by losing, because now he was able to go in new strength as he walked in God’s power, will, and timing. This is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25).

You might look at the above statement and think it doesn’t make any sense. But it makes perfect sense. To lose your life simply means that you come to the understanding at some point in your life that God’s plan is better than the plan you have for yourself.

So what does God need to do to get your attention?

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Maybe next year

I am reminded of the story of Samson tonight. I have been watching the Super Bowl and Atlanta, for whom I was rooting, went ahead quickly and were in complete command of the game. With eleven seconds left in the game we are tied with the Patriots at twenty-eight points each and the outcome looks dismal to me. There are three seconds left in the game so before this article is finished I will know who won, I hope. Why does this remind me of Samson?

Samson was the tall, very handsome Judge of Israel for twenty-eight years but he had an area of weakness that did him in, his pride. Proverbs 16:18 says First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

Besides the fact that Samson was handsome and the Judge of Israel he had the favor of God and a well-kept secret, until it wasn’t. The secret of Samson’s Superman strength was in his un-cut hair. There was no power in the hair but in keeping the promise to God that it wouldn’t be cut. He forgot that his power came from God and he allowed himself to be flattered by the attention of the beautiful women who surrounded him and he forgot that all the amazing feats of strength he was able to perform were because the God he served gave him the power to do them. His life came to a crashing halt when he put his trust and his secret in the deceitful hands of Delilah who sold him out to the enemy. He had always been able to go out and shake himself knowing that God was with him and he would overcome, but now he was taken into custody, had his eyes put out and was chained to a grinding wheel like a donkey and became the entertainment of the enemy camp. But as they were laughing and sneering and making fun of this sightless man his hair was growing and he made amends with God and asked Him to let his strength come back one last time. God answered his prayer and Samson died but in his death took out more of the enemy in that one night than he had defeated in his entire lifetime.

He won after all but it cost him his very life. My grandmother would have said that Samson “got a little too big for his britches”, but God had mercy on him.

Back to the beginning, tonight as the game started the Falcons went so far ahead that I think they just got too sure of themselves. They were busy congratulating each other and lost their energy to win and were defeated, sad but true.

I guess the moral of the story is, keep your promises to God for your strength and help comes from Him, and oh yeah, don’t count your chickens before they hatch, oh well maybe next year!

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