Friday, July 15, 2016

Your Own Name (Doug White)

Tonight's entry is again by Doug White, a college friend from Harding University and now a pharmacist in Louisiana. Doug is a Biblical scholar and edits a great bulletin for his congregation. Prayers for me in Vietnam
Both of my parents retired from the telephone company, the predecessor of AT&T, I would imagine. Both were in management.
          Being in a huge corporation, they were always going through some type of 'training.' Safety this, safety that. School for this, school for that.
          Wondering sometimes how anything ever got accomplished because everyone was always in training.
          But, there was method in their madness and some good came out of this schooling and training.
          Mom managed an AT&T store in the mall. Back then you go to the AT&T store, buy a phone of any color (slimlines were all the rave), cords, connectors, and anything telephone related.
          So, by virtue of managing a store in the mall, and supervising employees, Mom, had to learn how to deal with 'people.' She learned this through common sense, experience,
          When I got old enough to begin to interview for jobs she gave me a lot of good advice about how to handle the interview/job hunting process. She had learned these things while engaged in her line of work.
          To this day I wonder how some young people are ever going to make it. And, more importantly to me, where in the world have their parents been?
          A big no-no with my Mom was, "Never apply for a job over the phone! You go to the business in person and apply."
          I'll get calls today from people who I have no clue who they are, "Ya'll wouldn't be hiring would you?" They've already started out with a negative.
          I'll reply, "Nope."
          Mom, always had me dress up, suit and tie, to go to an interview. You wouldn't believe what I see come in dressed as now days.
          And, many years ago, my Mom told me something that I have never forgotten, "Nobody likes to hear anything more than the sound of their own name."
          Never quite got that one until years later when I got into retail business in a small rural town.
          We survived and made a living for years with a Wal-Mart 10 miles on either side of us because we had 'service' and we were a place where people felt like they were wanted and appreciated.
          "Mornin' Bob, how ya' doin'? That cow of yours ever get any better? "
          "Bob, you like that truck any better that the red one you had?" "I'll tell you what, Bob, I think this truck is a lot better looking than the other one."
          "Bob you sure did a great job on that project you headed up at church." etc., etc.
          If you develop a habit of talking To people instead of talking With them, you'll eventually find yourself taking a genuine interest in what is going on in their life.
          You call out their name and then you talk about what They want to talk about.
          And then, they'll take a genuine interest in You. The result of all of this is what is called a Relationship.
          You know, God is a lot like this. He has a genuine interest in our lives, what's going on, who's going on and where it's going on.
          But, God also wants us to come talk To Him as well. He wants us to tell Him that He did a great job on the project, too. Like Bob.
          We learn a great deal about talkng with/to God by studying examples of prayres in the Bible, especially the Old Testament.
          In 2 Chronicles 20, Israel is in a bind, a serious bind. They are under attack by several armies and they are holed up in a city and woefully outnumbered.
          The passage tells us in Verse 2: Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar.”
          And, what was Jehoshaphat, a man of God's, reaction? Then Jehoshaphat was afraid.
          Now, we can analyze this passage, look at the Hebrew, or Aramic, words. Look at tenses, etc. etc. or we can simply say, "The king was scared to death!"
          So, what to do? he set his face to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. Great idea! Find God and talk to Him about the problem.
          How would We begin to talk with God in a situation like this?
          More than likely, "Help, help, help!"
          How did Jehoshaphat beging to talk with God in his situation?
          Well, let's see. V.6 (ff) O Jehovah, the God of our Fathers, are You not God in Heaven? And do You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? And is there power and might in Your hand, so that none is able to withstand You?
          Are You not our God? Did You not drive out the people of this land before Israel, and give it to the seed of Your friend Abraham forever? And they lived in it. And they have built You a temple in it  for Your name.
          The armies of 3-4 countries are camped literally, right outside the city, and Jehoshaphat, scared to death as we mentioned, starts talking To God and telling Him how great He is.
          He also reminds God that they remember what all God has done for them in the past, as far as deliverance is concerned.

          Stay with me on this next sentence because it may not be grammatically correct. (Matter of fact, it's not)
          Jehoshaphat wants God to know, that they know, what God already knows, and that is He has rescued them in the past and they Know He'll do it again. They just want to ask anyway.

          And then, after praising God and reminding Him of all the great things He has done for them in the past, Jehoshaphat gets down to his current problem. Help!

          In Psalms 3, David writes: 3  But You, O Jehovah, are a shield for me; my glory, the One who lifts up my head. I cried to Jehovah with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill. Selah. I laid down and slept. I awoke, for Jehovah kept me.
          Once again, like Jehoshaphat, David talks To God and tells Him, in essence, "You're great, You're a shield for me, You lift up my head, You hear me, etc."

          Then, after all of the praise To God, David gets to what's bothering him I am not afraid of ten thousands of people who have set against me all around. Arise, O Jehovah; save me, O my God; for You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone. You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.

          Take 'em out, Lord. You can do it. You've done it in the past. And I Know You'll do it this time.

          If your prayer life is in a rut, try talking To God like these OT giants. Sing His praises, let Him know that you remember all of His deliverances from times past and that you are grateful.

          God loves hearing you call His name, just as much as Bob does.

          Then, go ahead and ask Him about what is currently bothering you.

          THAT is called a relationship!

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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