Convenience store billionaires

IMG_6800I witnessed false hope in a convenience store two weeks ago.

A disheveled, elderly man was patiently standing in line to purchase lottery tickets.  I knew that Powerball tickets were selling in record numbers, as everyone was consumed with the lottery excitement.  Millions of Americans- just like this gentleman- bought tickets for a chance to win $1.5 billion- the largest prize ever in the history of the lottery.

In all honesty, his chances to win were slim.  Odds were 1 in 292.1 million that someone would pull the correct combination of numbers.  He had a better chance of being struck by lightening or bitten by a shark.

But he had hope.  He pulled out a crumpled mass of dollar bills and bought $100 worth of lottery tickets.  He told me that he and his wife scraped together all they could in an effort to become instant billionaires.

I wished him luck.

My heart sank as I watched him pull away in an old car with a shattered back window.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?  Psalm 56:3-4

I prayed for the elderly couple that afternoon.  I prayed that they would find peace from their financial struggles and security for their remaining years.

And I prayed that they could be filled with the hope that can only come through a relationship with Jesus.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  John 10:11

There’s no luck or chance in our walk with Christ.  He’s here for us today and tomorrow.  We have that promise.

Please let me know how I may pray for you this weekend.  God bless.

 

 

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1.98 GPA 

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I finished my first semester of college with a 1.98 GPA.

I was notified that if I didn’t pull my grades up, I would lose my academic scholarship.  I was completely embarrassed.

My poor academic performance had created self-doubt.  Could I even finish college?  For a day or two I toyed with the idea of dropping out.

Fortunately for me, someone intervened.  A senior vice president at the university, Don Carson, rescued me.  He learned about my poor grades and reached out to me.  Dr. Carson helped me formulate a plan to improve my study habits, got me involved on campus and even gave me a job in his office.  My grades improved dramatically.  His support gave me confidence and a new sense of direction- gifts that I’ll never be able to repay.

Have you ever felt like that?  Embarrassed, scared or not sure of what to do? 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

God has promised us all the support and guidance that we’ll ever need.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Whenever the trials and pressures of this world overwhelm us, we need to remember our God- who is faithful forever.

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Psalm 33:4

My prayer this week is to be grateful for God’s promise to protect me when I’m weak.

Let me know how I may pray for you.

God bless.

 

 

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Creed

B and me Colorado 2015

I love the cinema story of boxer Rocky Balboa.  He’s the ultimate underdog who personifies hope, grit and determination.

I took the boys to see the most recent Rocky movie, Creed, earlier this week.  It’s the story of a young fighter, Adonis Johnson Creed.  Adonis is the illegitimate child of the former heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed.  Adonis never knew his father, as Apollo died in the boxing ring just before his son was born.  His birth mother also died when Adonis was very young.

Adonis is trained by Rocky Balboa, who finally gets Adonis a shot at the boxing title.  Near the end of the title fight Balboa asks Adonis what he wants to prove.  Adonis replies, “I’m going to prove that I’m not a mistake.”

What a profound statement.  Adonis had carried that burden around with him all his life.  Angry about being an illegitimate child…unwanted.  A mistake.

Have you ever felt like a mistake?  Someone unloved or unwanted?  What burden are you carrying around?

For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.  Galatians 3:26

There are no mistakes in Jesus Christ.  Everything and everyone has purpose.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Take comfort that the Creator of the entire universe loves you.  You are no mistake.  You were created for a specific purpose- and you and I need to seek it.

My prayer for this week is to let go of the self-doubt that keeps me from seeking God’s plan for my life.  Please let me know how I may pray for you.

God bless.

 

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