Wednesday, October 15, 2014
There was an old country preacher who had a teenage son, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought along the line of choosing a profession. Like many young men, then and now, the boy didn't really know what he wanted to do- and he didn't seem overly concerned about it.
One day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment. What he did was, he went into the boy's room and placed on his study table these three objects: a Bible, a silver dollar, and a bottle of whiskey.
"Now then," the old preacher said to himself, "I'll just hide behind the door here, and when my son comes home from school this afternoon, I'll see which of these three objects he picks up. If he picks up the Bible, he's going to be a preacher like me, and what a blessing that would be! If he picks up the dollar, he's going to be a businessman, and that would be o.k. too. But if he picks up the bottle, he's going to be a drunkard - a no-good drunkard and Lord, what a shame that would be."
The old man was anxious as he waited, and soon he heard his son's footsteps as he came in the house whistling and headed back to his room. He deposited his books on the bed, as a matter of routine, and as he turned around to leave the room he spotted the objects on the table.
With a curious set in his eye, he walked over to inspect them. What he finally did was, he picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm. He picked up the silver dollar and dropped it into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink...
"Lord have mercy," the old man whispered, "He's going to be a politician!"
I have friends who are politicians and I hope they don't think this is directed at anyone in particular.
I am beginning to feel very comfortable speaking in public, sharing my faith and explaining my circumstances. There are occasions when my voice will become very weak and I really don't understand why. Fortunately, I have never had a problem on the occasions where I publicly share. A couple of times at our weekly FCA meetings, my voice has diminished. That is not too much of a problem because I am in a secondary leadership position. Linda is the sponsor and the primary leader.
I recently spoke at an event sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. It was a collaboration of several FCA groups from different towns and it was also open to the public. The day before I was to speak, my voice began to deteriorate. I prayed that I would be able to be understood and just before I was introduced, my friend Max prayed over me, asking for my message to be heard and understood.
As I began to speak, my voice was not any better. I can normally stringing together 4-6 words before taking a breath. That night for most of the time 2 words were all I could put together. I had to cut short much of what I had planned on saying.
I really felt like I had let down the Lord, the people in attendance and those who are part of the group that I help with in Fairview. When Cheri and I returned home, I told her that I was very disappointed in myself.
I'm very thankful to have a wife who listens to God. She reminded me that as Christians we have an enemy, Satan.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that you may have life, and have it to the full
I was actually allowing Satan to steal my joy and it was my decision whether or not to accept my attempt at speaking as a success or a failure. I had spent many hours composing and revising what I had planned for that evening. I did my best and that is what God was expecting me to do.
It was kind of like I was standing at the edge of a tall building, getting ready to jump into a huge pity party. I thank God for my wife and her advice in this situation. There was no pity party that night or any time since then. I did my best and I am counting on God to handle the things that I could not do that evening. I am going through the valley, but I'm not setting up camp and staying in the valley. I continuing my journey on through.
Much love, Dennis