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Al Capone Wasn’t the Only “Scarface”


 “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.”

False accusations hurled at God’s people are often the last hit before promotion.

Since that is what God says in Job 42:10 then my double portion is on the way.

Remember the guy/girl you gazed at from a distance in high school? The one you admired as the star of everyday classrooms? They spoke to you only if necessary or the hall was so crowded they couldn’t avoid it. Your heart melted like candle wax as time passed and they noticed you.

Months of hopeful waiting for a meaningful conversation go by until one day it happened.

“Does anyone have the answers to last week’s English test?”

Your heart pounding, the proverbial lump in your throat forms as if to protrude from your neck and you ask yourself: “would that be cheating? Oh, but this is my chance.”

“I do.” The crowd thins as the love of your life saunters toward you.

The conversation silently presents itself and you write on a piece of heart framed paper the needed link to confirm your affections.

Thanking you for the noted lifeline to their graduation they begin to walk away.
Turning around the last words you ever wanted to hear flow out of their mouth was,

“Now what is your name?”

As if “Scarface” himself had entered the room only to slash your cheek, for days you sink to unknown lengths. Picking yourself up off the floor was not an option. The blood runs thick through the pain of despondency and dejection.

Hate filled thoughts slip through your mind. Piercing their heart wasn’t enough to ease your misery; you want revenge.

Of course that annoying, little voice whispers in your ear, “remember, don’t pay back evil for evil.” (Romans 12:17)

Years of facing Scarface most likely strike us all at one point or another. Different scenarios occur like this one in all kinds of relationships but the end result is a tell-tell sign of our maturity and growth.

Raising the ladder of trust with people is giving them a Totem Pole they can’t climb.

Asking them to do or give what they don’t have to begin with is often trial and error but diminishes respect for them and leans towards great disappointment.

Even as our wrong nature clings to that which we would like to receive is the open-eyed observation that Scarface isn’t at all what you thought. Your aim in believing their Christ-like claim is shot to pieces in a few ignorant words. Their egotistical behavior and arrogant self-admiration is notably their first goal in life.

Quickly and sadly, the truth surfaces and the ugly scar shines brighter than a 100 watt light bulb. The grieving begins of wasted time, effort and emotions we laid out as optimism settled in we could bring them closer to Christ.

Al Capone

Why don’t we see the superficiality and pompous attitude before the scar shows up?

Why are we blinded to the sinister corruption of their hearts as they use scripture and Biblical affirmations to back up their position?

Because we want for them what we have found in Jesus so much, the effort is worth it.

Getting in the gate is first and foremost, but many stop as soon as the door hits their rear-ends.

Just as Jesus trained disciples, so has he done with us.

As we move forward into the supernatural world of Christ, we know the joys and blessings are beyond the gate.

The age-old question of “isn’t there more to this life?” sinks deep in many who believe they have it all together. The boat is waiting but they aren’t quite ready to step in.

Self-sufficiency for the thick-skinned is like a drowning man without the life jacket he refused.

You can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink it.  We know he needs it, but it is up to him to lean over and take that first gulp.

Pride came through the gate with them instead of leaving it at the cross when they accepted Jesus. Scarface has his name on the list but he forgot to wash his face.

Titus 3: 10-11 “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.”

Whether they end it with you or vice-versa, you have done all you can do humanly speaking. Give them to God, pray diligently for them and believe for a miracle.

Years may pass but your prayer is prominent for this soul left with his shirt tail stuck in the locked gate.

And….one day you get that phone call or message; Scarface much more humble now says,

“I’m ready now. Would you help me get rid of these scars?”

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/sin-and-misery/

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/09/12/quote-mastered/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/is-our-faith-genuine-3/

http://jesuscarriesme.com/2012/09/22/controlling-your-tongue-instead-of-your-tongue-controlling-you/


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“Out of the Mouth of Babes” A Storm Full of Miracles


Some days just don’t turn out as you expected.

One hot, July night in 1994 I learned a great lesson in trusting God. Not only that, but how he used my 5 year old daughter to teach me how to come to him with child like faith.

Recently divorced, we moved into a brand new basement apartment we built in my parent’s vacation home in the mountains of Western NC. 3 weeks in this beautiful landscape I would never have thought God was going to save my life that night.

Giving my daughter some cold medicine I put her to bed around 7:30 pm. Mom was upstairs doing whatever.

Finally able to sit down, I noticed the sky seemed strange looking. It wasn’t long after that you could hear a few rumbles of thunder. Storms in the mountains can become vicious in a matter of minutes.

Checking on my daughter periodically she slept as peacefully and deeply as always.

By 9:00 pm the storm began to rage. It wasn’t just raining; it was dropping buckets of water from the sky with a vengeance. Thunder, lightning and wind roared consistently giving a free light show. This wasn’t just any summer storm; it was a gully washer pouring its wrath on the mountain top.

About 9:30 I decided even as the storm seemed to worsen to head for bed.

In this little apartment my bedroom was directly across from the bathroom. The bathroom was quite large with a siding window to the left of the door and the mirror directly in front. I left the window opened as we didn’t need A/C.

After brushing my teeth, I turned around and walked out. Once my feet stepped from the linoleum of the bathroom floor onto the carpet, a thunder ball of lightning  hit.  I thought it was a bomb.

Turning around, the bathroom looked like a war zone. Glass, debris, plaster from the wall was flying everywhere. Pieces of the mirror were flying through the air slamming into the wall making crevices where they stuck. The screen on the window was blown out allowing leaves, limbs and other flying objects into the bathroom. And then I smelled something burning.

Standing there in absolute shock, watching this horror movie  I was aware enough I needed to get in there and shut the window. Finally after a few minutes I ran in between the debris flying and closed it.

Turning around came the next big shocker. If you have ever smelled linoleum burning, you know it stinks.  My brand new floor looked like a melting pot of mush.

The 4-6 inch hole in the cement allowed me to see the ground below the slab. Talk about seeing a ghost. It was as if the ground had blown up.

Getting my senses I ran out to check on my daughter. Sound asleep, she hadn’t heard a thing. Feeling a little woozy, I found my way to the steps and sat down. Mom ran down the steps and asked me if I was ok.

She took one look at me and told me I was pale. She asked what happened and all I could muster up was to point to the bathroom.  Her reaction to the hole in the cement was she needed to sit down too.

At that point I realized we needed to call the fire department. Living on this steep mountain in the middle of this raging storm, 5 fire trucks, police cars and the EMS showed up. Running around checking the house for burned wires, etc. they declared it was safe except for the bathroom which looked like a tornado had run right through it.

According to the Fire Chief, lightning struck the water line out at the street and made its way underground and blew a hole about 6 inches in diameter through almost 6 inches of cement. My respect for lightning has never been the same since.

There are quite a few miracles involved in that one night of terror.

A few seconds made the difference in me getting slashed, cut or hit by broken glass or debris.

Had I been standing between the toilet and the bathtub, I might not be writing this now.

The cement that was blown out saved my mother‘s life who was in the bathtub directly above it upstairs. Had the floor in my bathroom not blown up, the lightning would have continued through the water line and electrocuted her.

Last but not least was “sleeping beauty” who never woke up. In fact we tried to explain the story to her the next day. The noise, the firemen running around the house even going in her room to check on her. The massive hole in the bathroom floor didn’t convince her we were telling her the truth.

Reflecting on this life changing event many years later I can sum it up like this.

God not only saved my life, he saved my mother too.

God taught me the power of lightning is nothing to mess with.

And maybe most of all is the power of a little 5 year old girl, who didn’t hear, see or know the storm was wreaking havoc on our new home.

As Jesus slept on a boat in a blustery storm, so did she.

The best words I can think of to describe that night was  “Out of the mouth of babes.”

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/a-place-unshaken/

http://lifeofafemalebiblewarrior.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/the-peace-of-god/

http://highlyfavored74.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/transformed-by-our-troubles-%e2%99%a5/

http://diasolifeontheborder.org/2012/07/01/gods-care-for-the-little-things/

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