Who, me, really? What’s in a name.

Do you ever wonder what people will think of you when you’re old? If you’re already old and you know what people think of you perhaps you wish you could go back and make a few changes in your life.

There are a few times in the Bible when God gives certain people a glimpse of their future in the way He greets them.

In Judges 6 we find Gideon hiding out from the Midianites like all Israelites were in the habit of doing. He had successfully grown some wheat and was in the process of threshing it. The reality of the situation hits home when we discover he’s preparing his wheat for eating in a winepress.

Its not that he was confused about how to use a winepress. No, he was using the press because the Midianites wouldn’t think to look there since it wasn’t grape harvesting time. This scaredy cat was doing what he had to do to survive.

In walks the LORD on this scene. His greeting to Gideon, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.

Gideon probably looked around to see who this angel was talking to. It still took quite a bit of convincing but Gideon did finally rise to the challenge of being used by God to rid Israel of the Midianites.

Fast forward a few centuries to the out-of-the-way town of Nazareth. The angel Gabriel has to give a supreme message to a virgin.

Mary was probably alone when he showed up. The shock of this tall man from out of nowhere was quickly confounded when he says, “greetings highly favored one.”

Fortunately Luke kept in the part about Mary being troubled and confused. Who wouldn’t be? A nobody peasant girl from nowhere being used as the mother of the Messiah. Who’d a thunk?

Fast forward another three decades to this Messiah’s establishing His band of close followers. Andrew and John had been following John the baptizer until he pointed them to the Lamb of God. Andrew finds his brother, Simon, and brings him to see his new rabbi.

The first thing Jesus does when He sees Simon approaching is give him a new name: Peter, aka, The Rock.

We aren’t told whether the guys who knew Simon laughed or their mouths dropped open. The Rock took a few years, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, to grow into his new name but he did fulfill that moniker.

So what name do you suppose Jesus would give you today?

What name do you hope He’d give you?

Maybe something along the lines of: encourager, evangelist, helper? How about “Friend of God?”

If you’ve accepted Jesus’ offer of salvation you are a child of God, a joint-heir with Jesus. That makes you a princess or prince.

So feel free to refer to yourself as Princess Lucy, or Prince Ian. Fill your name in the appropriate space.

Six years ago the last thing I thought I’d be calling myself is an author. Now I believe it’s inevitable.

This gift from God has become my passion. It’s my mission to get the word out about Jesus Christ with words. Anybody who knew this quiet, shy guy would likely laugh at the thought. I know I still do from time to time.

When Paul talks about his thorn in the flesh he says God told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made prefect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

So don’t be surprised when God taps you for a position that’ll stretch you quite a bit. If your goal is to bring glory to Him He’ll tap you for something you’re weak at so He can be shown working through you.

Let’s do our best to bring as much glory to God as humanly possible.

No, let’s go beyond “humanly” possible to be used as divinely as possible.

Keep smiling.   Wade

A FATHER’S PROVISION

King David watched the last of the ash blow away on the breeze. The blackened floor cooled. He turned and surveyed the land he’d just purchased.

The men with him gasped as they heard the king say, “this will be the Holy of Holies, this very spot.”

David faced the east. He waved his arms slowly in front of him. “We’ll need to excavate some of this hill away, here.” He turned around. “We may need to fill in some over there and support the lower portion with a wall, somehow.”

He looked at his assembled elders. Their mouths were open. “What are you guys waiting for. There’s work to be started here. Bring all the aliens you can find in all Israel. We need stone masons, woodworkers, goldsmiths, people to make nails–lots of nails. I may not be allowed to build the LORD’s house, but I can make the preparations for it.”

He walked to his palace. “Give the people thirty days to grieve, then, we’ll assemble so I can give Solomon the charge to build the Temple. It must be famously magnificent. Nothing can be too glorious for our God.”

###

Over a month later King David stood before a large gathering of his subjects. His young son, Solomon, stood next to him. “One day, as I was relaxing in my palace, a thought struck me that wouldn’t–indeed shouldn’t–let go of me. It didn’t feel right that I should enjoy the luxuries such as I had while the LORD’s dwelling was still in a tent. So, I set out to inquire as to the type of structure that would be proper for God.

“God brought word to me from my prophet, Nathan, that I wasn’t the man to build God’s Temple. As was His pleasure I was used to rid the land of the inhabitants our forefathers did not. Because of the blood I shed God disqualified me from such an endeavor.”

David placed an arm around his son. “I was told I would have a son named Solomon, a son of peace. It will be up to my son to build this tremendous dwelling for the LORD. I am in the process of acquiring all the materials for the Temple as we speak. The plans are drawn up and the land set aside. God has promised a time of peace for His people because of my victories in war. I expect all of you to do all you can to assist in this massive undertaking. There will be nothing like it in all the earth.

“Upon completion of the Temple you must move the ark of the covenant and all the holy articles here. God’s footstool shall be glorious and well furnished. He will no longer have a tent for His habitation.”

A loud cheer arose from the crowd.

###

David may not have seen the literal structure of the Temple being physically built, but, he did see it in his mind’s eye before he died. Such a visionary is welcome for any nation to succeed.

What we see here is one of the reasons David was called “a man after God’s heart.” He saw the inconsistency of him living in a palace while God’s ark of the covenant, the symbol of God’s presence in Israel, was in a tent.

A lesser man wouldn’t have given a thought to such a quandary. It just didn’t set right for the mighty King David.

The problem arose from the fact that a holy God couldn’t allow a blood-spilling king to be the one who would build His Temple on earth. Goliath is the first man we know of whom David killed. How many others followed is left to wild speculation.

What God did allow David to do was get all the plans and materials set aside to get this project done. Once David bought the land from Ornan things hit high-gear for this massive undertaking to commence.

David knew he was old and wouldn’t be around much longer. He also knew Solomon was young and didn’t have the where-with-all to collect all that was needed to be brought in for God’s “dwelling.”

David’s might was respected by the neighboring nations. Cedar was imported from the area surrounding Tyre and Sidon. Iron was melted down for nails. Gold, silver and bronze were collected in bulk to assure the project was gloriously furnished. No stone was left un-turned, literally, in the quarrying of stone for the massive structure.

The young nation of Israel was about to do something only powerful nations had done. A building project this grand would take several years to complete. War wasn’t going to be in their plans during this time. God made sure of that.

This Temple would be a sign to other nations of how powerful Israel’s God was. That’s why it needed to be so outlandishly fabulous.

“So, if this building was such a massive symbol of God on earth, where is it now?” You ask.

Good question, it was destroyed by the Babylonians; then, it was rebuilt only to be re-destroyed and rebuilt, yet again, only to be re-re-destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. A Mosque currently sets on the site of the Temple.

“If it was so important for David to build such a magnificent structure why isn’t it still in place for us to see?”

It’s no longer needed.

Technically it never was a dwelling place of God since God is a Spirit and doesn’t live in a building like people do.

Everything laid out by Moses for the worship of God was fulfilled by Jesus Christ when He did all He did while on earth. During His crucifixion the Temple veil was torn from top-to-bottom by God to show there was no longer a separation between Him and us.

A personal relationship with God is now available to us. A legalistic religion simply won’t cut it.

I hope you’ve accepted this gift of a family relationship with the Creator of the universe.

If so, then…

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Happy National Pink Day, Y’all!

I hope you’re reading this post before you head out the door, today. That way you’ll be informed about what to wear to work, or shopping, or lounging around, or what ever you have planned today, or, whatever today has planned for you.

Yeah, I dug into the list of whacky holidays for subject matter for my blog. Did you know this is Dairy Month, too? So, go ahead and dump some strawberries in your milk, or something that will turn your drink pink to be fully engaged in the day.

June is also Adopt a Cat Month. Anybody who lives with a cat will tell you it’s the other way around. The cat adopts the person. It’s true: you’re nobody till you’ve been ignored by a cat.

Make sure you record your cat trying to get out of that pink tu-tu you’re planning on putting on him/her today to be in today’s proper mood. You can thank me when it goes viral on the internet. Just don’t tell your cat where you got the idea from.

I checked my wardrobe. The closest thing I have to something pink is an old uniform shirt from a former employer. There are still two red rectangles on the front of it. One was where my name patch was. The other one named the company that employed me at the time.

I don’t wear that very far out in public. It’s a full-fledged work shirt, now. I guess you can call it grunge pink.

Whenever I drive anywhere today I’ll appear to be in the know about what day it is–this blog post shows I am actually in the know, not that anyone else knows. Anyway, Clifford, the big red van, is what I use for transportation.

He used to be red, anyway. He still would be if I ever set half a day aside to wax him again. Now he’s a grunge pink, too. The grunge falls from the Dallas skies. I know its called pollution, but, I don’t want to offend my neighbors by being politically incorrect today.

Living in a major city means I have to get Clifford examined to make sure he isn’t adding to the grunge problem in the metroplex–the Dallas area is actually called that. I take my annual pilgrimage to a local car wash so I can receive a free wash with my inspection.

Two years ago I was dealing with a young man when my turn came in line to pay for whatever I wanted additional to the free wash along with my state inspection fee. A second young man walked up and tried to talk me into a full-fledged buff job on my delicate vehicle.

The first guy protested. “No, I like this look.” Apparently he’s into grunge.

I looked at the second guy and nodded at the first one. “I think you’re friend here is in the wrong line of work.”

The second guy shook his head quickly. “He ain’t my friend.”

As I was watching Clifford being sprayed by various liquids and foams I thought about some unfortunate souls in the future.

Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus talks about telling people He never knew them when they try to enter heaven. I couldn’t help but picture Jesus shaking His head quickly. “He ain’t My brother.” or, “She ain’t My sister.”

I can only imagine the disappointment for those folks when they find out they were so close, yet, too far away from Jesus’ salvation that they missed out on eternity with God.

Don’t let that be you, my friend. A knowledge of who Jesus is and how He expects us to live isn’t enough for you. Only a full admission of your sinful short-coming and need to completely rely on Jesus’ death and resurrection to get you into heaven will accomplish the desired end result.

According to Jesus anything short of that will only get you a quick head shake.

Don’t let that be you.

Keep smiling.   Wade

A SPECIAL PLACE

After three days of reports coming in of people dying all across Israel David needed some fresh air. He stepped outside in his sackcloth. The elders followed him into the city streets.

They saw a man and his four sons threshing wheat a block away. “It’s good to see someone realizes life still goes on.”

Suddenly the four boys ran for cover. The man continued to work while the wind was strong enough to help him winnow the grain.

David couldn’t believe his eyes. An angel holding a sword was hovering over the scene.

David ran to the angel and fell to his knees. “What have these sheep done to deserve this judgement? I’m the one who should be punished, not them. Exact your revenge on me and my family.”

David looked at the angel who was looking intently at someone else. David turned and saw Gad staring back at the angel.

Gad nodded and looked at David. “You are to build an altar here on this threshing floor.”

David turned to Ornan, the man who was threshing wheat. “I need to buy this place from you. I’ll pay you the full price.”

Ornan bowed to the king. “My king may have whatever I own for his pleasure. I give you my oxen for the sacrifice, the yoke for wood and my wheat for the grain offering. I gladly give it all to you.”

David shook his head. “No, I cannot accept it as a gift. This needs to come from me alone. I will not offer anything to God that costs me nothing. I will pay you full market value.”

David turned to an aide. “Run and bring me my money bag. Hurry!”

When the man returned David counted out more than enough money for Ornan and his family to begin over elsewhere.

They cleared the floor and piled the wood in the middle of it. David slit the throats of the oxen and they laid them on the wood. Somebody went to get some fire to complete the task.

David dropped to his knees and begged for forgiveness for his sins. Fire fell from the sky and consumed the sacrifice before them.

Through the flames David saw the angel return his sword to its sheath, then disappear.

David watched the last of the ash blow away on the breeze. The blackened floor cooled. He turned and surveyed the land he’d just purchased.

The men with him gasped as they heard the king say, “this will be the Holy of Holies, this very spot.”

###

Now you see how God used the sinful pride of a powerful king to pinpoint the place where the Temple would be built.

Ten months prior to this David got the urge to have a census taken so he’d know how strong an army he had at his command. A couple of decades before that David felt a yearning to build God a house so His dwelling wouldn’t continue to be a tent.

David had the plans drawn and would order the materials for the Temple to be gathered so his son, Solomon, could construct the massive structure. The last piece of the puzzle to fit into place was the spot for God’s house.

This isn’t the first time a reader of the Bible has visited this place. There are a lot of similarities between these two instances.

Both times had an altar built to sacrifice an offering to God.

Both times had a weapon of death poised to destroy life.

Both times had God command that the death be stopped.

Both times had the sacrificial animal nearby to be slain.

At the first instance of this place being mentioned in the Bible there was no city here. The census of the nation of Israel was exactly two men. That’s right, Abraham and Isaac.

Mount Moriah in Genesis 22 would become the city of Jerusalem and the place of God’s Temple.

The angel Gabriel would come to this spot on the planet to tell the priest, Zacharias, that he would father the fore-runner of the Messiah. So, you see, God had these coordinates in His sites from the beginning of creation.

He has you in His sites, too. No, He isn’t intent on shooting you dead. He turned the tables and died for you so you could avoid eternal separation from Him. The son that Zacharias fathered was John, the baptizer who prepared people for the Messiah.

That promised Messiah was Jesus Christ. His life was given as the ultimate sacrifice for you so you’d be spared from an eternity in Hell.

The extent of God’s love is so deep He knew you’d never be able to pay that cost on your own efforts, so, He stepped down to us and made the sacrifice required to restore your relationship with Him. That’s right, God isn’t interested in you being involved in a religion of rules to come to Him. He wants a deep relationship with you.

Although this sacrifice is offered to you as a gift it will cost you something once you take it. You’ll have to give up your old lifestyle of sin. Some of your friends may have to go, too. Your new life will entail you becoming more like Jesus each day.

Hebrews chapter 12 explains this the best. It talks about throwing off things that hinder and sins that entangle us. It’s like runners at a track meet who remove their sweats right before their race so their arms and legs are free to move as they need them to. Peak performance demands this sacrifice from them.

Hebrews 12 goes on to explain how God disciplines His children to conform them into His likeness.

Your life may get more difficult in the days ahead. Don’t be discouraged by that. Think of it as God including you in His family.

Trust Him to know what’s best for you. All things will work out for your good and His glory.

One day He’ll welcome you home.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

 

7 Father’s Day lessons, from a non-dad, I’ve learned from watching toddlers at church.

Father’s Day has an empty tone for me. My wife and I never had any children. Both my Dad and father-in-law are dead. I still have a desire to honor dads out there in some fashion. So, here are seven lessons I’ve picked up from filling in this summer at our church’s toddler ministry.

  1. Separation anxiety is normal not fatal. Many children cry when they’re dropped off for us to watch them. Some of them require more attention than others to overcome this emotional over-load. Somehow they all survive to return home at the end of the church service. Even Jesus endured this emotion in the Garden of Gethsemane. His tears that fell like great drops of blood came from the thought of being separated from the Father while our sins were placed on Him for three days. Even He lives to tell about it.
  2. Music has a great calming effect on the hurting. I’ll never forget the Sunday the kids were all agitated at the beginning of our time. Somebody turned some music on for background noise. The sudden quiet took my breath away briefly. We all settled into a calmer mood after that. Jesus led His disciples in a hymn as they left the upper room the night of His betrayal. I think it was as much for Him as it was for them.
  3. It’s okay to admit when you need to be carried. There’s a time when we leave the room we’re in for a group story and singing time. Many of the kids walk on their own. Some need an adult to hold their hand. Others require us to lift them up and carry them. The journey into the unknown holds different levels of anxiety for each person. As a man in my 50’s I still feel this need for reassurance at different levels at times. Twice in the gospels we’re told angels attended Jesus: Mark 1:13 was Jesus’ forty day fast in the wilderness; Luke 22:43 was Jesus’ anguish in Gethsemane.
  4. Bowel movements happens. Clean them up and get on with life. Men aren’t allowed to change diapers, that’s a church policy I can live with. One of the women removed a wet diaper from a girl only to have the little stinker do number 2 about a minute later. She had to retrieve a diaper from the next room to re-do the entire process. How many times have I made a mess of my life just after I got things put back together? Don’t ask. Jesus repeatedly went behind His disciples to teach them lessons they should have learned already. I guess I’m just one of His followers, too.
  5. You don’t need words to get your message across. Children have no problem letting adults know how they feel. If they’re happy they laugh. Crying let’s us know something’s wrong. We know they want to be picked up when they walk up to us with their hands raised. Adults are the ones who say one thing while feeling quite the opposite. It’s a learned trait. It only took one look from Jesus to Peter to let Simon know Jesus knew he blew it. Jesus restored Peter after His resurrection in spite of this infraction. Hang in there. God isn’t finished with you, yet. We’re told in Romans 8:26 that the Spirit groans for us when we can’t come up with the words our hearts long to express in prayer.
  6. There’s nothing like the voice of a true father to brighten a life. I love to watch the expressions on those little faces when parents come to pick their kids up after the church service. No matter how intently they’re playing with a toy they take in a breath and their face lights up when they recognize their own father’s presence. How many true Christians long to be with God for eternity? Count me in. I know I love to feel that peace that passes understanding whenever I hear a word from God spoken directly to me. Jesus talked about His followers hearing the Father’s voice being like sheep who know their shepherd’s voice.
  7. No matter how bad life seems at the moment, there’s coming a time I’ll be called home. Some kids let us know when they’re tired of spending time with us and they just want to go home. I can relate. Quite frankly I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of dealing with the things this cursed world has to offer. I know I have to hang in there to complete the task I’ve been given on this planet until I’m called home. I’m sure you are, too. It may be selfish, but, there are days I just want all this madness to end, preferably with the rapture so we can all be removed from the suffering. Sometimes I think I can hear them setting the table in heaven for the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Can’t you? That’s how much Jesus is ready for us to come home in my humble opinion.

I’m beginning to see why Jesus said we need to receive the kingdom of God like little children (Matthew 18:17). Aren’t you?

I’ll see you later.   Wade

A PRIDEFUL DECISION

David waited for his military leaders to assemble before his throne. He looked at each one as silence filled the air.

“Men, we have enlarged our nation’s borders to an unprecedented place. You have conducted yourselves well. Now that we’ve subdued our enemies I want to take this opportunity to conduct a census of our fighting men. Go from Dan to Beersheba and tally all who can handle a sword.”

The men looked at each other, then, at Joab.

Joab stepped forward. “May our population increase a hundred fold, my lord. But, why do we need this information? As you said we’ve conquered everyone around us. There’s no need for a draft. This will be a travesty to the LORD. I beg you to reconsider. God is the One winning our battles not the number of men we have.”

David stared at Joab. “You have your order.”

Joab paused, then let out a long breath. “Very well, my king.”

###

Almost ten months later Joab led the military leaders to David’s throne. “There are one million one hundred thousand fighting men in all Israel, of that four hundred seventy thousand are in Judah, my king.”

David smiled. “Very well, you’ve done a good thing today. You’re dismissed.”

The men assembled out.

David felt a heavy pressure push him into his throne. “What am I going to do with this knowledge now that I have it? Oh, my pride–my pride–I have sinned. LORD forgive my iniquity. I am truly sorry for this pride.”

Tears rolled down into David’s beard.

###

David swallowed hard when he saw Gad approach his throne the following morning.

Gad stared into David’s soul as only he could do. “The LORD has given you a choice for the consequence of your sin, David. Would you prefer seven years of famine over the land, three months of fleeing from your enemies, or three days of death from an angel of pestilence? Which option shall I bring to the One who sent me?”

David slid out of his throne and fell to his knees. His face was on the floor as his tears formed a puddle. He lifted his head and looked up at Gad. “The mercies of the LORD are to be chosen over men’s devices. Bring the plague of the LORD over the land.”

###

I see a vastly different man here than the one who got Uriah’s wife pregnant while Uriah was at war. David must have learned his lesson about trying to hide sin from God.

Sure, it took until the end of the census for David to see the error of his ways with this command to Joab. But, once the full force of this decision hit home David owned up to it immediately. He knew hiding it would only eat away at him until the truth came out.

Do you see your sins so quickly? Are you big enough to own up to them as soon as you recognize them? Or do you still rationalize them away as a culturally acceptable practice?

Sin is still sin in God’s eyes.

I find it interesting that this account in 2 Samuel 24 attributes the instigation of this whole decision on God, while the same action is blamed on Satan in 1 Chronicles 21. So, which one is right?

If the same conversation occurred here that happened near the beginning of the book of Job they’re both right. Satan has limits placed on him that must pass God’s approval before he can carry them out.

God is either sovereign over everything, or, He isn’t sovereign over anything.

Yes, that includes the bad things that happen. No, I don’t like it either. But, I’d be doing a disservice to you by trying to sugar-coat this message into a feel-good platitude.

We’re in a good-verses-evil war here on planet earth. As we near the end of this era the cost will only get higher for everyone involved.

Only those of us who’ve placed our hope in the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross will endure to an eternal blessing. Our time on earth isn’t the promised happiness we long for. Heaven is our home and security.

Anyone who follows the trends of society so they fit in will reap their ultimate destination of torture in time. Their decision to live without God will be granted for all eternity. He will remain separated from them after their time on earth is done.

You can continue to tell yourself you have your life under control so you don’t need God. Your pride will be your undoing, too.

You can recognize the battle you’re involved in and who will ultimately win. Your decision to join the winning team is all yours to make now. After you die it’s too late for that choice.

All things will work together for good in this account. We’ll see what the surprising outcome is next time. It has to do with something very near and dear to David’s heart.

Decisions are made all day every day. Big decisions should be made with the counsel of trusted advisers. Joab tried to tell David this action was wrong, but David wouldn’t listen to him.

The soldier carried out his orders anyway, even though it cost him ten months of his life. The repercussions were the responsibility of the king, seventy thousand people lost their lives.

Weigh the price of your life carefully. Do your best to leave a legacy to be proud of. Give your best efforts to building God’s kingdom. That’s the only lasting effort worth giving your life for.

Learn from other’s mistakes so you don’t repeat them. I know, that’s easier said than done. I’m no better than anyone when it comes to not making mistakes. My personnel file at work will attest to that.

All I can do is press on. So, I do.

I keep my hand on the plow and furrow the ground I walk on so others will find their way to God through Jesus Christ.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

If I were a bird

If I Were a Bird

If I were a bird an eagle I’d be.

Majestic I’d soar the heavens so free.

My eyes would see far in search of a meal.

My wings would spread out, the wind I would feel.

If I were a bird a swallow perhaps.

I’d swing on a breeze without leaving tracks.

I’d swoop all day long to snack on some bugs.

I’d stay with more swallows just sharing their love.

If I were a bird a robin maybe.

I’d sing out my song as loud as can be.

I’d hop on the ground in search of some worms.

Before it got cold I’d fly south where it’s warm.

If I were a bird a penguin in tux.

I’d waddle on land just looking so lux.

To fly under water would be my forte.

Sushi for me each meal of the day.

If I were a bird a swan so refined.

White feathers to clean and keep looking prime.

Graceful I’d float on top of the lake.

Not much for a song so silence I’ll make.

But I’m not a bird that wasn’t God’s plan.

It’s His design to make me a man.

His image I carry inside me each day.

The curse came from Adam still dogs my way.

To reach Him’s too much even to fly.

The distance too great for my efforts to try.

So God came to earth as one just like me.

To die as a ransom to pay the high fee.

The cross is the bridge that’s built to bind.

The Maker of all things and my feeble mind.

His Son’s how He sees me because of this gift.

I took from His own hand there’s now no more rift.

If I were a bird He wouldn’t die for me.

Because I love Jesus I’m now totally free.

MENTOR ME

Samuel looked out over the valley leading up to Ramah. The lone figure approaching caught his attention. It wasn’t until the young man was very near that a recognition occurred. “David?”

David pushed his wet hair back with his left hand. “Samuel, Sir, I have nowhere else to turn. The LORD’s anointed is trying to kill me.”

Samuel stood up and guided David into his seat. He motioned toward his prophets. “Please, somebody bring some water…and some bread.”

He placed a hand on David’s shoulder. “Relax, my son, you’re safe here. Tell me exactly what’s been happening since I anointed you.”

David took the cup of water and drank it all without taking a breath. He handed it back to the man who brought it to him who turned to refill it. The bread found its way to David’s mouth quickly. He tore a large section off between his teeth and chewed. He waited for the water bearer to return so he could moisten the bread in his mouth to swallow it.

David looked in Samuel’s eyes after he could talk. “At first nothing happened. I went back to caring for my father’s sheep. Then, they called me to play for the king. A distressing spirit comes on him and my playing relaxes him.

“I was able to go back home for a time. But, my father sent me to bring some rations to my brothers on the battlefield. Something inside me wouldn’t let that big oaf boss the LORD’s people around like that. King Saul gave me his armor, but, I couldn’t move. So, I found five smooth stones and killed Goliath with my sling. We went on to win the battle and people started singing about me.

“The next time I came to play for Saul he tried to stick me to the wall with his spear. Jonathan, he’s been better than a brother to me, he says nothings up, but, the same thing happened, again. I can’t go back. I don’t trust the king. His eyes are mad I tell you.”

Samuel gently lifted David’s right hand to coax him to eat more bread. “You’re safe here. You must remember that you are the LORD’s anointed, too. No harm will come to you before your time. You can stay with us as long as you want to.”

David nodded as he chewed. “Thank you.”

###

About a week later four men came to the compound called Naioth. Samuel was leading some prophets in study. He ignored the men. When they entered the group of prophets they began to prophesy along with the others.

The scene repeated twice more before King Saul approached alone. Samuel turned and saw David looking out a window. There was no need to say anything to Saul because he prophesied as his men had done once he was in the compound.

Saul closed the door behind him. “The LORD’s anointed will reign on the throne in his city. His son will continue after him…”

He continued to rant in prophetic tome as he removed his outer robe, then, his underclothing. The sight of the king’s naked body caused all of the prophets to leave the room.

David came in and stood next to Samuel. “What’s happening to the LORD’s anointed?”

Samuel shook his head. “The LORD is declaring His power over the powerful. His Spirit is still in control, even when it seems all is lost, my son. God will bring about a humbling when it’s needed. Never forget this moment, young David.”

David turned his back on Saul.

Samuel looked in David’s eyes. “Now would be a good time for you to talk to Jonathan. He will help as best he can. Trust the LORD. You are His anointed one.”

David’s whole body shook as he left the building.

###

So began the fugitive life of David.

I find it interesting the he went to Samuel first. The man who started this whole fiasco by dumping oil on his head. What was all that about if this is what was to follow?

I doubt the old man of God had any easy answers for the teenager. But, the two of them did have some time to contemplate the situation while David took refuge with Samuel.

I would love to know how the mentoring sessions went. Don’t you?

Was there time spent in God’s Word? Did they pray often? Were there too many “I don’t know” answers for David? Or, was the Spirit’s presence in such abundance that David felt a peace while he was there?

Since the Bible doesn’t say we can only speculate. But, I’m sure David cherished every second he shared with the legend Samuel. It would be the last time the two men would meet.

This is a beautiful example for all of us to follow. An older, wiser man can lead a young man in ways that sink in better than anything else.

I remember attempting this as a boy after a newly fallen snow in Michigan. At first I would need to jump from one of my Dad’s footprints to the next one. The following winter I could hop. Soon I could jog to meet his stride. Eventually I kept pace one step at a time.

So the mentoring process is developed. A time of discovering each other’s gifts and desires leads to a leading into the future with more clarity and purpose. It takes more than one session to accomplish all that needs to be taught.

It’s the model Jesus handed down to His followers in the Great Commission. He told His disciples to make more disciples. They were to replicate the next generation into disciples like them, and so on. We’re to continue that motion today.

Nobody knows how long they have on this earth to make a difference for the kingdom of God. Nobody knows what will happen with the lessons taught to those who follow us.

All we can do is play the part God gives us.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Don’t use the big words to lead someone to Christ

One of the biggest mistakes over-zealous people make in attempting to lead someone to Jesus is trying to impress them with the big Bible words. When they do they sound ridiculous, like someone who just returned from the dentist.

Let’s use Jesus’ approach of loving them first. Then the words we use can be very simple since their hearts will be open to the truth.

Don’t sound like this guy. Please.

Keep smiling.   Wade