Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Lounita And My Long Distance

There are people you can never adequately explain to others. Lounita Sampson falls into the category in my life. If they name streets after people in heaven, Lounita will have a street, an avenue, a boulevard, a drive, a highway, etc called by her name. The following is from January 8, 2006.

Jesus is controversial in our society right now. That's OK- he was a lightning rod back in his day, too. There was a time when popular culture did not shy away from references to the Prince of Peace. As late as the 1970's, radio stations showed no reluctance to play songs with Jesus as a theme. An unknown band from Toronto called Ocean climbed the charts in 1971 with Put Your Hand In The Hand (Of The Man From Galilee.) Two years later, Glen Campbell cut a single entitled I Knew Jesus Before He Was A Superstar. In 1975, a vocal quartet, Manhattan Transfer, rose to the #22 slot on the Billboard's Hot 100 with the gospel tune, Operator (Get Me Jesus On The Line.) Introduced in four part acapella harmony, Operator portrayed a scenario of trying to get prayer through to heaven:

Operator, give me information.
Information, give me long distance.
Long distance, give me heaven.

Operator, information,
Give me Jesus on the line.
Operator, information,
I want to speak to a friend of mine.
Oh, prayer is the number,
Faith is the exchange,
Heaven is the street,
And Jesus is his name.
Operator, information,
Please, give me Jesus on the line.

Operator, tongue in cheek, relates prayer to long distance calls. In a recent entry, I detailed my travails with phone companies. Last Wednesday, I ended my long distance relationship with QWEST but not due to complaints with their service. My reason for dropping my carrier was Lounita Sampson. You may never heard of this woman but she has touched countless lives. Lounita is the perfect example of Christian sainthood. She glorifies God in her life by serving others, whether cooking for a family going through trials, visiting the sick in the hospital, or volunteering for every good work under the sun, still maintaining her own wonderful family. Lounita and her husband, Trice, semi-adopted me when I moved from Georgia to teach and coach in Tennessee. Sunday lunch was always at the Sampsons' and supper was sent home with me as well. When their daughter, Mary Fay, played high school basketball for me, Lounita became TEAM MOM, raising a staggering amount of money for camps, shoes, warm ups, etc. by organizing garage sales. Since my father was diagnosed with cancer fifteen years ago, Lounita has mailed him cards on a non-stop basis. We stayed in touch when I relocated to Houston. Last year, she began sending me pre-paid phone cards knowing I call my folks nightly. It hit me that because of her generosity, I have accumulated 1500 minutes of FREE long distance so it was silly to keep paying a phone bill to QWEST. (Dollar General calling cards are the best. They have no advertising to waste your time like other cards.) There is a small downside. When I make a call, I punch in three series of numbers, a total of 31 digits, always waiting for the next verbal cue. If I mess up on just one numeral, my call is voided and I have to start over. Aren't we glad that isn't what the Lord demands of us when we want to talk to him? No intermediaries or operators, just a direct connection that's always ready to be answered. Prayer is simple and instantaneous while phone operation is not. When Jesus taught his men to pray, he began simply with "Our Father." A terrific definition of prayer comes from 1st Samuel 1:15 where Hannah tells Eli she was ''pouring her soul out to the Lord.'' Did you notice there was no mention of a third party involved- and God heard her! May our prayer lives be filled with such pouring out of our own souls like that righteous woman of old. And I pray the Lord blesses your life with a righteous woman of the present like Lounita Sampson, just like he has blessed me!

Applicable quote of the day:
"All I know is that when I pray, coincidences happen and when I don't pray, they don't happen."
Dan Hayes

To listen and watch Jim Croce's Operator, click below (and grab your hankie.)

God bless,
(Dollar General Card Member since 2005)
Luke 18:1

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Devin Turner said...

I can't believe you and your brother broke your moms chandelier aww well we all make mistakes!!

Jon said...