Sunday, June 22, 2014

Opening Doors

I was blessed to have had a book signing today at my home church, NorthPark Baptist Church in Trussville, Alabama.  I was promoting my latest book, "Glorified Sickness: Honoring God Through Illness."  I'm always excited when a door opens to share my story. I had ultimately looked forward to this opportunity for quite some time.  After being in contact with a member of our church staff for the past couple of months, I was delighted to see this book signing come to fruition.

It reminds me of a book which I've been reading recently, "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson.  In one chapter, he talks about how God sometimes opens doors for us in rapid fire fashion, similar to the opening segment from the old TV show, "Get Smart".  If you recall, as Max gets out of his car, multiple doors from all different angles open as he approaches them.  Some of these doors are made of steel and they clang shut after he passes through.  Yet, as part of his mission, the doors allow this secret agent to pass without difficulty.

In ministry, sometimes doors open up like this.  I recall how, in September 2013, doors for interviews on multiple TV and radio stations practically fell into my lap.  I had sent out a few benign e-mails to some TV and radio personalities.  Well, one contact led to another and then, voila, I was interviewing right and left with very little effort on my part.  It was a fun ride.

However, some doors take much more effort.  Multiple e-mails or contacts may be necessary to get an interview (or get the door to open).  Of course, praying fervently for the door to open is also a must.  Ultimately, it is God's call.  The Bible states that Jesus puts before us "an open door which no one can shut"... (Revelations 3:7).  So, if He wants the door to open, it will open in His timing. On the other hand, if Jesus closes a door, it is closed tight.  No need to try to force it is just wasted effort on my part.

Consequently, I just have to be ready when the door opens.  It's the smart thing to do.  Or, as Maxwell Smart would say, "Would you believe extremely smart?"

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Finding Your Power Source

Yesterday, my car abruptly wouldn't start.  As a matter of fact, it had a major electrical malfunction.  Although I had driven to work this past week without incident, when I tried to start it after running yesterday, nothing happened.  It was an eery sound of silence.  Everything was out on the car.  No lights would work, the emergency flashers were inoperable, the horn wouldn't sound, even the door locks on my key chain were kaput.  After I finished my run, I walked home (about 1/2 mile from where I parked my car) and informed my wife of this automobile crisis.  Why didn't I call her?  Well, I also had left my cellphone at home, adding insult to injury.  After I took a shower, I contacted my father in law (who thankfully knows how to fix everything).  He picked me up at my house and drove me to my car. 

He opened up the hood and discovered the problem almost immediately.  Even though I had checked the battery cable connections (or at least I thought I had), he recognized that the connections were definitely loose on one side.  He tightened up the loose connection and I was on my way within minutes, rejoicing that I was not facing a major car repair.

This minor incident reiterated to me how power is so important in life.  This is easily illustrated when a major storm hits an area.  As a result, what's the first thing we do when the power goes off?  We call the power company, not imagining a world without power.  We want the power back on and the sooner the better.  Living in darkness is not what we desire.  Although we might can conjure up some power by a home generator or even a little light by candles and flashlights, our strength is definitely limited.  We need power from an outside source, that is, the local power company who helps us meet the needs of our lives.

II Corinthians 12:9 relates how God's power is perfected in weakness.  Our darkest hours may compel us to contact Him and ultimately receive the power that He provides.  A great song which illustrates this is "Break Every Chain".  Listen to the wonderful words of this song below.