Friday, October 12, 2007

Preparing to head into the Sahara of North Africa, I borrowed this to keep the sand for this photo op.

It is interesting, when you think about it, who we revere in our country. I remember taking BJ basketball jersey shopping. Not the inexpensive type at the local discount store, but the official NBA approved jerseys that had peoples names on them that we had never met.

I can remember standing in the clothing store as he searched the racks. He was looking for names he recognized. He had a couple of teams in mind, but the names were more important than the teams. We lived in Indy at the time, but his interest was not in Pacer paraphernalia.

One of the names he wanted was only available in the home white jersey. He opted for a different name with the team colors screaming for attention. BJ didn't even watch much basketball. His interests had more to do with the popularity within the culture of this kind of clothing, and who the heroes were.

I remember him asking me to quiz him over teams during a time when he was making a concerted effort to 'know pro basketball.' He enjoyed shooting in our driveway, and mixing it up occasionally with others.

His size and his poor eyesight did not contribute to athletic prowess on the basketball court. He still enjoyed playing, and would laugh at himself openly if there was reason. He made playing the game fun, not because he had a great jump shot, but because he knew how to enjoy life.

The people we often revere are known for enjoying life at breakneck speeds while frequenting places we never want our children to go. I am not sure I will ever understand our fascination with "famous people."

This morning, I was reading about a less revered person. His name was John. He was the beloved disciple. In some of the final words of Christ, an intimation was made that John may not die until the the Lord's return. Of course this is not what Jesus said exactly, but it is what many took from what He did say.

John lived over 30 years longer than the other disciples. After they had been martyred, one roman emperor tried to kill him in the Colosseum. He did not want to use lions as they did not always kill on demand. They did not want to behead him because that was considered a "worthy" way to die. They did not want to honor him.

They finally decided to boil him in oil. The crowd shouted for his demise. The oil was prepared. Three times it was proclaimed..."John the disciple will be boiled in oil!" The crowds were anxious and excited.

John raised his hands and quietly prayed as he was lowered into the vat of gurgling black petroleum. He began to praise the Lord as the silence fell over a packed arena. Time passed and his praises grew stronger. What was intended to dissuade others from believing, was now giving them reason to seek Truth.

The angry emperor had him removed from people's view.

The oil held no power over John. He would be forced in coming years to drink poison, but it would have no impact. After the oil incident, he was banished to live in solitude on the isle of Patmos.

It was here that he would have visions that would be recorded as the book of Revelation.

They tried to slay him, but they could not. He died many years later, at over 100 years old. He died on the Lord's terms...a peaceful death.

Man cannot destroy what the Lord intends for His glory!

We can esteem idols. We can even buy their clothing.

Only God has all authority. Let's revere Him alone.



At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The post this morning gave me chills. Praise the Lord. Amen.

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! \0/

At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing how media has a way of glorifying alcohol, sex, drugs, voilence and greed. Turn if off. All of it. "Tune IN" to the Truth, love, peace and eternity with the Father!! Great blog today!


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