I listened to Bill Rieser speak this morning at a local prayer breakfast. Abandoned by his father at an early age, basketball became his life in east Harlem. Known in the neighborhood as “White Jesus” he knew nothing of the actual savior. While recovering from an injury and rehabilitating at Eastern Kentucky University he fell in love with a nice church girl. Despite natural talent, NBA stardom never happened for Bill due to his own attitude and a long series of bad decisions. While his story has elements of abandonment, sexual abuse, drug abuse and organized crime, it’s really a story of God’s love.
Bill Rieser has written two books, They Called Me White Jesus and Vertical Leap. In the video below he describes the premise of White Jesus, there are links beneath.
I’m posting this now so I can get up early. The Rome Area Prayer Breakfast is at 7 a.m. (that’s Rome, GA). New to me this year is an event to surround our local hospital with prayer. The goal is 500 believers. If you can’t find an organized event in your area, any place from which God can hear you will do.
Yep, it’s that time of week again. Hopefully it’s nothing a few scripture posters and some funny animals can’t fix. Try to think of it as Post Sunday, Sunday 2.0, or maybe pre-Tuesday. And it that doesn’t work, have a Happy Monday!
The one who goes before me, the one who stands behind is a reference to God leading Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness. He fought their battles for them; He defeated their enemies. God took a group of slaves without weapons or resources and made them a nation, in much the same way as Christians in 1 Peter. The one who reigns forever, he is a friend of mine should not be taken tritely. The maker of heaven and earth, the creator God that has ordained the events of history and in whose image we are made has called us his friends. Jesus told the disciples he was more than their master; they were his brothers in the faith and ultimately his friends.
Whom shall I fear? What is there to be afraid of? The people we worry about offending are created in the image of God but remain under his judgement unless they hear the Gospel and repent. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Rom 10:14) Sometimes people respond with arguments as if there is a debate to be won. We don’t have to win the debate. Arguing with the umpire about where the strike zone is will not change his call. The rules of the game were decided before hand and are not being made up as the it goes along. So it is with life. Heaven and hell are real places and God has decreed the standard or admittance. What are we afraid of? “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt 10:28)
God created the heavens and the earth, and all that lives on it. He establishes kings and kingdoms; Jesus told Pilate he would have no authority at all unless it was given to him by his Father. Noah, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Gideon, Mary, Simon Peter etc. were not super saints with some extraordinary ability. Each person in the Bible that did anything for God was a mortal man or woman that acted in faith and God used. When God asked who he could send Isaiah responded “Here I am, send me.” We should say the same thing each day. The fields are white unto harvest; send me. There are hungry children starving in Africa; send me. There are hungry children and elderly Americans starving right here; send me. All around us people are hurting, searching, working themselves to death to obtain junk that will turn to dust, empty in their souls and ignorant of the Gospel. Send me, send my family, send my church.
Imagine being hired by a couple to babysit. You do not answer to the children you are caring for, but to the parents when they return. In a general sense all people everywhere are God’s children. Are they being cared for? We have an advocate with the Father. He will be with us to the end of the Age. The Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer. He is a friend of mine. Let me ask once more; whom shall I fear?
Last week seemed to be full of bad news, and it just kept coming. By the end of the week, however, some issues were turning around. One of the two Boston Marathon bombers was captured alive Friday evening, and events at Asbury Park (New Jersey) and in London, England went ahead as planned with no incidents. Willie Nelson will hold a benefit concert for the people of West, Texas, the site of the fertilizer plant explosion, which is very near his home town.
Sometimes the news is bad. Even when the world is falling apart around us, Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father and ever lives to make intercession. We hold a great treasure in jars of clay, but our hope is much more eternal. If we keep our wicks trimmed and candles burning, we can light the way to that hope for others. So keep calm, carry on, and have a Happy Monday.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7 ESV