Naturally this is a blog that I had to do twice due to my own ineptitude on transmitting devices. HELP, I need somebody was my cry again after 30 minutes of heart pouring out was wasted. So, maybe as you are at this moment, I sang again the words to this Beatles song....."HELP I need somebody, not just anybody...HELP!"
Last week while attending the Tampa auction (I have been in Florida for 10 days), I was invited to try the free lunch Philly Steak & Cheese sandwiches. They were good, but a tad rubbery and had a little recoil after each bite. After taking a bite from my 3rd half a sandwich, I felt something hard rattling around in my mouth. To my surprise, I had lost a lower middle tooth, split almost at the root.
My first inclination was to yell, HELP, I need somebody, because any removal of parts we were blessed with on our human frame leaves a void. Then, as I gazed in the mirror my next inclination was to go find some super glue to re-attach (it's a guy thing ladies). My next move was to call Pam Cook's husband Bob who I knew would tell me what I needed to do since he is a marvelous dentist. I didn't need just anybody, I needed someone with answers. And naturally he says, "So you don't look so pretty anymore". Exactly what you need in a crisis, someone with a good sense of humor!
Then, my friend Casey and I made a plan to go to Pensacola Beach, eat lunch and get some sand in our toes on Sunday. He of course continued the humor by suggesting I could join the "Gap Band", as I tried very hard to contain myself from laughing. Lose a tooth, have a gap, fill a void, don't let it get you down.
While walking on the pier (first time I ever had to pay a $1.25 walking fee, there is a toll everywhere in Florida!), we came upon some fisherman who were casting out on a windy day. Accidentally an Egret got caught in one of the lines with the wind blowing very heavily. I volunteered to help the guy (picture is on Facebook), and once we contained an angry bird with a long beak, I was able to slip the line off his wing. In bird language you know he was squawking, HELP, I need somebody, not just anybody.....but someone with answers. He flew away to freedom, and it was then this blog was conceived.
Used to be I would call on anyone but God when I needed help, and maybe that is how you have been too. Now, he is my first choice because I know he has a solution, he has words that will guide me through whatever crisis exists. Those of us who had large voids to fill, those of us who have been tangled in sin, know where the real help in life comes from, and it's not just anybody.
Mighty King and warrior David often laments his need to rely on God for his needs in the Book of Psalms, for his help when all else seems lost. He teaches us that it is not manly (or womanly) to stay in a shell and hide our needs, but instead come out and ask for what we need, talk about our problems, and don't let them overwhelm us with finding our own often wrong solutions.
It's true, a man can use a good dentist, a bird can use a rescuer, but for a lifetime of security, we need someone who has answers for everything...not just anybody.
Next time you sing this song, sing it to Him, and see what a difference it makes!
The following was sent me by the wife of one of our ATB folks. There is more wisdom in it than any blog I could ever write. Please take the time to let the message sink in to your heart and if we can all put it into practice we can make a huge difference! -Glenn
1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:
"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
"Absolutely, " said the professor.. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant... They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello.."
I've never forgotten that lesson.. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway
rying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960's. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance andput her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached.It read:
"Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's' bedside just before he passed away... God Bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."
Mrs. Nat King Cole.
3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve. In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table.. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
"How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked.
"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.
"Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired.By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied.The little boy again counted his coins.
"I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left.. When the waitress cmae back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish,were two nickels and five pennies.. You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.
4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path.
In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's' wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.. Many loudly blamed the ring for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables.. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand!
Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.
5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts....
Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the
illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he wouldbe willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then higrew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a
trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away".
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.
There is certainly a wide variety of things that have occured in our lives that are memorable. We remember fondly so many things.....I remember being in the delivery room assisting on the natural childbirth of my middle daughter, Natalee, and all the amazing things that went on as she made her grand entrance. I remember going to my first baseball game with my Mom and catching a foul pop, landing on the beach in the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam, and how I felt when that moment came that I realized I needed to give my life to the Lord.
How about you, do you want to share some in response to this week's blog? Well we have some news to share with you about an awesome memorable moment that happened this past Sunday. Ralph Morris, who we have been working with at ATB, and who has come to us as a result of Joanne's persistence and love, was baptized during our first service. There is no greater honor that we have than being able to share our faith with someone else and to watch that message of Good News take root in another.
Ralph's life has been a hard road to travel, part of it spent on a chain gang, most of it spent in a living hell. But during his time at Campus, people like Freeman and his wife Catherine, Jim and Becky Combee, Todd Pate and several others have taken him under their wing and spread that news to him that Jesus can change the landscape quickly. Each of them took a genuine interest in making a difference.
Later on that day, when I picked up my Grandson Logan from his class, the teacher told me that he had volunteered to lead the prayer for children's worship. Again, to me, there is no greater honor than teaching a child about God and what can sustain them for a lifetime. What a day it was to understand what is really important.
Tomorrow, we will all go to work, earn our keep, crack a few jokes, think of some new and creative things, but when it is all said and done, our greatest honor and most memorable moments will come from serving the God who saved us and the one who is mighty proud of Ralph and Logan this evening!
As I took Ralph's testimony his voice cracked and you could see the emotion, you could see that this was that special defining moment for him. That night as I said goodnight prayers with Logan, he held my arm and wouldn't let go, and I could understand that this child was going to be something special for God. For me, this day was a message from our Lord, that no matter where you go, how you travel, or where you spend most of your time, the absolute best time spent, is in the honor and service of our amazing God. The dividends are truly amazing.
Sunday was a day I will never forget!
Remember when we were kids and either our Mom or the local kids with the lemonade stand would give us a cup of that wonderful drink. I still remember how on a very hot summer day the liquid hit every taste bud I had as it went down my throat and how cool and refreshing it was. And, then I asked for another........
And I as I aged, it seemed that no matter how hard I tried nothing could ever really satisfy my "Thirst" for just about everything in life. As I fell in line with the general thinking of this world, there was always more to be had, more to drink, more to accomplish, more, more, more.....
What went wrong? Maybe this has happened to you and you are still trying to figure out why? For me, it was just about every possible way I approached life. But you know what main ingredient I was missing? A true relationship with the one who could quench my thirst. Not a church, not a group, not a spouse or friend, but the one who has "living water".
And, what ingredients does that "living water" have and how can it satisfy our needs? How can we change a life long thirsting for more? If you come Sunday to our ATB class, we will explore this both from our new series "Jesus Unfiltered" and a personal testimony.
Please join us if you just need a cup to drink or maybe you want just a little more. Either way, the solution is the same, and Jesus taught us by personal example how we can be satisfied.
Can't wait (well that's another problem we will address later)!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.