Category Archives: Current Events

God Will Provide

Knight armor

 

My church family has heard me pray many times, “Thank You, Father, for who You are, and the way You work in our lives.” At the local Super Center, He showed Himself to be my Provider when I took Earl’s car in for an oil change.

After being assured they had the right oil for the change, I left the car to buy groceries during my wait. When I returned, the car wasn’t ready.

“Mrs. Winn, there’s a problem. We don’t have enough of your brand of oil to finish it.”

“And I imagine you’ve already drained all the oil out of my car,” I responded.

“Yes, Ma’am,” he said.

“What are my options now?” I asked hoping he would respond by getting it from his supplier.

Instead, he shrugged, tugged at his shirt, and said, “I dunno.”

When his what-do-I-do-now mode kicked in, he called the manager.

I felt like the cavalry had arrived with a knight in shining armor leading the charge when the manager showed up. It was Jeremy, a friend from church, ready to have his metal tested.

Jeremy didn’t know it was my car in question, and he didn’t see me sitting in the waiting area. He walked straight to the oil changer in a problem-solving mode.

When they began double-checking the stock, I joined them because this was not the first time they had drained my oil without having enough to replace it. The same thing happened a year before, and I had not been back. But in an effort to consolidate my do-list, I opted for the convenience of one-stop-shopping. That attempt to save time cost three hours of waiting.

Not finding my brand of oil on the shelves, Jeremy asked me what I wanted to do.

I began by blubbering, “This is Earl’s car and…”

That’s all I said before Jeremy went into action.

“We’ll take care of it; and I promise you this will never happen again. This is NOT good customer service!”

Jeremy went to his supplier, got the right oil, and gave me a free oil change. But more important for me was Jeremy’s sensing my moment of weakness and taking charge in my behalf. He was in the right place at the right time to bring life to the verses that say, “God will supply all your needs;” and, “Whatever you’ve done for the least of these, you’ve done for Me.”

Situations like this don’t happen by chance. They are arranged. Perhaps to remind me, “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Or perhaps to correct a problem in the Super Center’s automotive procedures like, “Check the stock before you drain the oil.”

Or perhaps God was simply testing Jeremy.

I don’t know. But what I do know is that Jeremy was available to be used by God; and in the process, he came through for me in a time of need.

Thank you, Jeremy, for being God’s good and faithful servant.

Knight valor

Second Chances

God of 2nd chance 1

People are still talking about the Seahawks’ last play in Super Bowl XLIX. Second-guessers, Monday morning quarterbacks, and even the stylists in my hair salon were of the same opinion: a more effective play might have been to run Marshawn Lynch in Beast Mode into the end zone; or call a keeper with Russell Wilson out-foxing and side-stepping his way to a touchdown. But alas, Seahawk fans, the choice was not ours to make.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell opted to throw from the one yard line with 26 seconds remaining in the game, and head coach Pete Carroll agreed. Maybe they didn’t have access to all the stats that told them they converted into first downs or touchdowns a whopping 81 percent of their third or fourth down power runs and goal-to-go situations from two yards out.

In the Super Bowl game alone, they had given the ball to Lynch four out of five times in similar situations resulting in a touchdown and a first down. The only throw in that situation resulted in an incomplete pass, defended by Patriots’ Malcom Butler, who also intercepted the ill-fated pass that ended the Seahawks season on a sour note.

What can we learn from the Seahawks last play?

1. Go with your strengths. For the Patriots, their strength was their running game. For Christians, our strength is Christ. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Apart from Him we can do nothing, because in Him we live and move and have our being.

2. Run your race to win. If the Seahawks’ receiver had run his pass pattern and met the ball with the same intensity as the defender, he would have bumped him out of the way and caught the pass. For Christians, don’t let anyone cut in front of you and highjack God’s truth or keep you from pursuing the path God has for you.

On the football field and in any given situation in life, only one gets the prize. This year’s Super Bowl prize went to the Patriots. Hopefully you also enjoyed a victory in your life this week. But if you didn’t, like the Seahawks, you’ll get another chance.

The result of every choice we make shows up in the win/loss column of our lives. Thankfully we serve a God of second chances. The Seahawks are already looking forward to another chance next season.

We, too, can learn from our mistakes and look forward to a do-over. When we allow the devil to cut in on us and disrupt God’s plan for us, we can get up, dust ourselves off, and get back on the path laid out for us before the beginning of time.

When you go with Christ as your strength, you’ll win the race you’re running.

God of 2nd chance 2

Talk about a Super Bowl!

golden-bowls-of-incense

Are you ready for the Super Bowl?

You’ve already enjoyed–or survived–the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Peach Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, and 31 other college bowls. Yeah. There’ve been that many. Oh, and don’t forget the North-South, East-West bowls, and the pro bowls. The only bowl opportunities not cashed in on at this point are the Campbell’s Soup Bowl and the American Standard Toilet Bowl. I wonder why they haven’t thought of those yet.

But there are a few more bowls that are more important than football bowls. The ones mentioned in Revelation 5 really caught my eye. These super bowls are called Golden Bowls.

Did you know that these golden bowls are “full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people?” They are held at the throne of God by 24 elders and four living creatures.

Will you pray more knowing that your prayers are always held in God’s presence?

Personally, I wonder how those few bowls can hold all of my prayers, much less yours and mine. Maybe the bowls are bigger than I imagine. Or maybe they are in a form that’s beyond my imagination. But this I do know: God listens to our prayers; He answers our prayers; and He knows our hearts while we pray.

God also knows that the frequency and content of our prayers held in those golden bowls reflect…

– Our trust in Him as the One greater than ourselves;

– Our humility in His Sovereign Presence;

– Our need for His forgiveness for all our sins;

– Our thankful hearts for His presence, protection, and provision;

– Our loyalty to His Lordship over our lives;

-The depth of our faith; and

– The closeness of our relationship with Him.

This weekend as you watch the Seahawks and Patriots battle for the Super Bowl, add your prayers to the golden bowls for the safety of all the players, officials, and fans in the stadium. And as you fill the bowls from your kitchen with chips, dips, and veggies, don’t forget to also fill the super bowls in heaven with prayers of praise and thanksgiving for who God is and all He has done for you.

Prayers as Incense

 

Three Strikes. You’re Out!

Bloomberg earned way

An Open Letter to billionaire Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City who told the New York Times, “I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.”

Oh, Mr. Bloomberg, you are just so wrong on so many accounts. But since you’re in a baseball town, you’ll understand this baseball analogy.

You stepped into the batter’s box on the wrong foot by starting your comments with, “IF there is a God.” There IS a God, Mr. Bloomberg, and He is holy. It’s best to approach Him with reverence and awe and not lean on your own understanding.

After that, you were just flailing. You took a wild swing when you said, “When I get to heaven.” Mr. Bloomberg, you assume too much. God owns the heavens, the earth, and everything in them, so you’d have a better chance of getting to heaven if you hadn’t already stated, “I believe in Darwin.” You see, God doesn’t take kindly to competition. Strike One.

Then it was a swing and a miss when you said, “I am heading straight in.” You’re used to being boss, aren’t you, Mr. Bloomberg. Doors just open right up for you everywhere you go, don’t they? But you’ll have to change your tune from “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” to “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” before the door to heaven opens for you. Strike Two.

You went down swinging when you said, “I have earned my place in heaven.” I’m sure you’ve done a lot of good things with all your money. Oops, sorry, it’s not your money, Mr. Bloomberg. It’s God’s money. He allowed you earn it and continues to hope you’ll be a good steward of all He has given you. That money can buy your way into a lot of places, Mr. Bloomberg, but heaven is not one of them. And sorry Michael, it won’t buy you credibility with God either. He said, “You can’t serve God and money.” If you want to get to heaven, you’ll have to choose. So, Strike Three. You’re Out.

Oh, and one more thing as you head back to the dugout. Although your fortune won’t earn your way to heaven, placing your faith in God the Father through Jesus Christ, His Son will get you there. It’s not by works. It’s by faith. God doesn’t want us to brag about how good we think we are. We aren’t good. You aren’t either, Mr. Bloomberg. You might hear the fans yelling from the stands, “You’re no good!”

And that other thing you said about, “I am what I am and, you know, I’m a very lucky guy.” Luck doesn’t have anything to do with you and your fortune. You are blessed. God has blessed you with all that you have in hopes that you will recognize where your good fortune came from. I’m sure you’ve heard, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.” Think about that implication for a minute, and remember… it’s all His.

You were right about one thing though. You told the New York Times, “It’s not even close.” It’s not close, Mr. Bloomberg. Your faith and beliefs are not in God’s ball park–not even close.

There is some good news for you though. With every breath you take, you have an opportunity to confess that you are a sinner just like the rest of us and put your faith in God’s Son. Until then, don’t count on “heading straight in” to heaven. That door is closed to you.

References:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/04/16/Michael-Bloomberg-I-Have-Earned-My-Place-In-Heaven-It-s-Not-Even-Close
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/16/michael-bloomberg-ive-earned-my-place-in-heaven-fo/#ixzz30T2fobxp