One Hundred and Forty

This was written by Corey Boyte, another one of the winners of the “Blog Post Contest” This is his post.

“One Hundred and Forty” 

The number 140 holds more power than any other number.  It limits thoughts, it is the barb-wired fence of ideas, it is the cataclysmic death to a train of words formed together to make a sentence. Unlike most other social media sites, 140 commands a person to use word combinations to prove a point in a way that requires skill, determination, and a perfunctory grasp on whatever language they speak (if you’re like me, we can both forget about that last statement).  You may have a world changing idea. You may have a universally renown invention just waiting to be shared with all mankind. You may hold a thought that will absolutely revolutionize your surroundings. If it ain’t 140 characters or less, baby, it ain’t gonna happen. Unless of course you go ahead and post that idea and then all of your followers have to click on a link that takes them to a special page where they can view the entirety of your message, increasing the chance of picking up spam by, oh let’s say, 36%. I mean let’s face it. Who clicks on those links anyway? If it ain’t under 140, Skippy, I ain’t gonna read it.

And now they are storing every tweet. Yep. Big brother. Eagle eye. Conspiracy central. Logging. Every. Tweet. Imagine what that will look like. I wonder who’s job it is to have to read and file Paris Hilton’s drunken tweets, Miley Cyrus’ gleeful thank yous for another sold out show, words of unspoken love that make one want to puke (hey, I’m guilty of this one), President Obama’s calls for changes, or your pastor’s encouraging words?  Could it be possible that the whole world that Jesus talked about in Matthew 28 may be able to be squeezed under the microscope of social media and be seen as 140 characters? And last time I checked it was in our job description to reach this whole world. Could it be done in 140 characters? The chances are looking very good my friend. 

I was reminded of the power these 140 characters have several months ago after the passing of Steve Jobs. Inspiration hit. I was ready. I was determined. I whipped out my iPhone (thank you Mr. Jobs) and pecked away.  So I tweeted:

“The creator of the iPad, iPhone, iTouch, and iMac now faces the iAm.  Life is short folks. “

And that was that. 

And then I got retweeted. And retweeted. And retweeted. People I didn’t even know retweeted me. People who are so far out of my league in ministry. Yet they liked something I said good enough to retweet it to hundreds of other people. Would it have been effective if it had been more than 140 characters? Absolutely not. 

I believe a true Christian will behave in a 140 character fashion. Concise, readable, inspiring, captivating, retweetable. Not having to look to other people to get their  “rest of the story” but rather they write their own story. And the words of their story cannot be found on the pages of black and white, phones, or computer screens. No. Their story is written in Red, dipped in the ink of the Blood of the Lamb, forever changed. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. 

To the reader of this post, you just may be 140 characters from changing the world. Use them wisely.

Dealing With the Frustration of Sickness and Disease

Ever lose a loved one to a sickness or disease? Did you, your friends, your family, and your church go to God while they were still living, beg Him to heal them completely, only to watch them become weaker, unaware of their surroundings, and finally, breathe their last breath? Did it shake your faith because you were holding on to the scriptures, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:14,15 KJV) You drove out of the hospital parking lot, brushing tears out of your eyes, and asking yourself, “Why did God let this happen? Didn’t I ask Him enough times? Didn’t we have enough faith when we prayed? Why did the one I love have to die while so many evil people still get to live?” Most often, when a loved one is lost to sickness or disease, our faith is tried in a God who made certain promises that don’t seem to apply to you, or the one you love.

Claiming God’s Promises

In all our quoting of scriptures and claiming of God’s promises, there is one we often forget; Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” It’s easy to push these words out of our mind and convince ourselves, “it just can’t apply in this situation, they are needed in this life!” Just a question here; if “God is no respecter of persons,” (Acts 10:34) and the one who dies while lying in a cardboard box just a few feet from a dirty curbside gutter, reeking of urine, with nobody standing over them in a warm, clean hospital room bed, and is loved by God just the same as our loved one, why do we think God is more obligated to heal our loved one while the neglected goes unattended to? I know why. It’s because we have unknowingly convinced ourselves that we can hold God hostage by our faith in His ability to heal. But He’s not! Nor is He held hostage by our anger and disappointment. We need to remember that God is sovereign, “supreme ruler, and supreme in power” and doesn’t have to answer to our faith, when He know’s better, i.e. “all things.” Sometimes “better” means allowing our loved ones to die, even when we don’t understand. “Our God is in the heavens, and He does as He wishes. (Psalm 115:3 NLT)” Just a thought, if God did heal every time we asked, at what point would our loved one die? Never! Because we will never stop loving them. Hello immortality!

God Always Gets the Glory When We Trust Him

I think it’s safe to say, the things that make us sick or diseased, were created by God Himself, not Satan. Ever think that in all your rebuking of the sickness or disease, you may actually be rebuking the will of God? When things happen to us that we don’t like, our first thought is to blame Satan. The Apostle Paul reminds us of some very powerful things concerning God, His abilities, and His will. “Christ existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him. He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together. (Colossians 1:15-17 NLT)” If what Paul is telling us really is true, then He made whatever it is that caused your loved one to die! He even created Satan and his angels, “authorities in the unseen world” that you and I so conveniently blame!

Trust!

Are you willing to continue to trust Him in the midst of your pain and questions? Are you willing to believe in all the other promises He’s made to you; such as, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:28, 31, 35-38 NLT)

So… He created all things, for Himself and for His glory, and if you’ll continue to trust Him, He’ll unfold the beauty of the plan He has in mind, in His time. Don’t walk away before you see His plan revealed!