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And Then . . .

   “And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.” (1 Samuel 4:1) The ancient Hebrew language is a story telling language. It is a brilliant tool for telling historical narratives because it has the elements to keep a story moving. One of those tools is the use of “and.” It is simple in Hebrew to say, “This happened . . . and then . . . that happened.”
   As I read these simple words, ‘And Samuel . . .” I was reminded that the story of our lives is still being written. Today is an important day but it is not the end of the story. The next chapter of your life can be awesome, uneventful or tragic but the next chapter will be written. In 1 Samuel 4, Eli and his sons will see the tragic climax of their lives. Eli had served the Lord as a priest for 40 years only to see the end of the story become a sad reminder that the choices you make today affect tomorrow. At the same time, Samuel is a reminder that a solid, faithful life committed to healthy principles will create a positive, lasting legacy.
  Today is the next “and then,” of our lives. In Luke 9, 5000 men plus their families were hungry and without the resources to feed themselves. The disciples pointed out the need to Jesus, and then . . . Jesus had them gather in groups of 50 and he fed everyone with 5 loaves of bread and two fish.
   I am not sure what you facing today. It may be a great season of life or it may be a frustrating season of life. Either way, the story of your life is still being written. We all went through challenges, opportunities, setbacks and accomplishments to get to where we are today . . . and then . . .

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  1. Hey Bill,

    Thanks for the reminder that we are still writing chapters of our lives. I think we need to be intentional about what is written. That means having a plan and a sense of what we want written.

    One of the most disappointing things for me to see is when people who at one time seemed to walk with Jesus simply walk away from Him. I had a good friend in college that went to the same church as me. We sang in the choir together (I know, it’s hard to believe I sang in a choir!) and kept in touch over the years. He married a solid christian gal and they have a couple of nice kids. He became a cop in Eastern Washington and was a detective. We came to San Diego for polygraph training and Karen and I had breakfast with him and his family a number of years ago. A few years later I see the wife on Facebook with a “single” status. When I asked what happened, she told me the sad story of how her husband had left her and the kids (now in high school) and married another women. She was devastated and I’m sure the kids were too. I’ve not talked to him and don’t have his contact info. I’m not sure what I’d say if I did talk to him, besides the obvious “what were you thinking…?”

    How horribly sad. Definitely not the chapter I want written about me in my life. Through all my sin, screw-ups, setbacks, good times and bad, maybe the one redeeming thing I have is that I never left the cross (and don’t ever plan too!). I think as long as I try to stay close to the cross (my relationship with Jesus), the pages of my life will reflect that. I’ve been at times upset with Jesus over what I felt was unanswered prayer that lead to unresolved pain deep inside of me. It’s been challenging through that pain, but I feel I’ve made progress.

    Lately I’ve been trying to step up my game. I’ve actively sought out and am now working with New Community Church creative team. I’m helping shoot video content for the church and trying to expand my experience in that regard. I’m also trying to help our missionary friend Glenn Davis in a more direct roll of support and want to find ways to expand his support system. He deals with the very poor people in Colombia and a lot of these people live in small homes with dirt floors with lots of family members packed in. Talking to Glenn has reminded me how much I have, both materially spiritually.

    Anyway, Bill thanks for having a blog, and not a flog. You’re messages are always uplifting and encouraging. You don’t beat us down with the truth or guilt us into better behavior. I know we all appreciate that. I guess I better get back to writing another page in the story of my life…


  2. Ken – as usual you comments are authentic and on the ground level where us men live. Thanks for being willing to share both the victories and stebacks (oh no, I am sounding like the opening to Wide World of Sports).

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