Posts Tagged ‘Auburn’

Verse 26: “Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.”

Imagine you were preaching to crowds; many were coming to the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and receiving the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands by the apostles. Then, in the midst of this successful ministry, reaching masses of people, the Lord calls you to go minister…to one person. What’s more, instead of being in a nearby locale to where you are now, He says go to the desert…and wait. You and I might be wondering “what did I do wrong? Am I being punished?” Not Philip; he followed the Lord’s angel’s instructions without question or doubt. There, he was about to have an encounter that would be most memorable.

You never know when God is going to give you an assignment you weren’t expecting. One December, while my family and I were stopped in Auburn, we ate at the local mall. While getting some Chinese food, the Oriental young man behind the counter asked me, in broken English, about what did Christmas mean. I politely explained that there were two differing reasons for the holiday…the secular one that includes Santa Claus, and the real reason: the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on this earth, come to live as a man and be the perfect sacrifice for our sins, dying for us and rising again. Then he asked something that was about as direct a question as I’ve ever gotten: “who is this Jesus?” I did my best to witness to him and to tell him; I even left my wife’s pocket New Testament with him and instructing him to start reading in John. We couldn’t stay long unfortunately, as we were travelling…but I did contact a local church in the area to seek him out. You never know when God is going to give you an assignment…are you ready for yours?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Verses 3-4: “We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints,”

It’s amazing what a letter of encouragement can do. Cade Foster #43, the 2013 starting placekicker for the University of Alabama football team, didn’t have a good night at Auburn in the 2013 Iron Bowl. In a tough, hard-fought game between these two intra-state rivals, Foster missed two field goals and had another attempt blocked. Auburn won the game 34-28 on a dramatic play: a field goal try that was missed by Alabama teammate Adam Griffith and returned by Auburn’s Chris Davis 109 yards for a game-winning touchdown with one second left on the clock.

All players have good games and bad games; Foster probably felt like he had lost the game for his team (which is incorrect, football is a team sport, but a lot of folks seem to forget that sometimes). Foster had been the hero before in other games. The life of a placekicker is like hot and cold water; most times, you’re either the hero or the goat. Fans for these two teams also tend to forget these players are 18-22 year old kids, and they aren’t deserving of the hate-filled wrath that gets spewed at them on social media (and this was the case for Foster here; thankfully, more level-headed fans came to his defense in the face of such unwarranted personal attacks).

In the midst of this highly-charged emotional moment, Foster received an unexpected letter of support that carried more impact than those anonymous posts; he received a note from “another 43” encouraging him…none other than the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. Talk about a confidence booster; you can read more about this note at the following link: http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/76463/president-bush-sends-cade-foster-support

It’s amazing what a letter of encouragement can do. I discovered in my Bible reading and study that the church at Colosse was not one founded by Paul or visited by him. Yet he wrote them a letter from prison, and one of the first things he does is tell them how they thank God for them, for their faith in Christ and love for all the saints. Paul goes on later in this book to speak to them on other issues, but what a boost the opening comments make to that church.

Encouragement is a gift that is best shared with others; have you encouraged someone in the Lord today?

Something to think about.

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