Thursday, November 18, 2010

Public and Private Life

What do you think of this roller coaster ride we are on together?  If you are one of the readers who has commented on these daily writings, either publicly or in private, I thank you for coming out of your comfort zone to express your feelings.  Perhaps you volunteered to become an angel in the outfield.  If you decided to sign up, you have my heartfelt gratitude.  I understand that some of you wish to remain anonymous and I promise to honor your request.  Your daily prayers for protection are much appreciated in these final months of preparation.

There are parts of my life and my story that will remain private in order to allow close family members to have peace in their lives.  Anything that is personal in my book is shared first with others in the story to make sure I am not violating their right to privacy.  I do not publish a story involving others unless I first obtain permission.

There have been some heavy casualties in my life and in the lives of those close to me.  I attribute these losses to my willingness to represent God in this spiritual battle.  Sharing my life and my faith attracts some people while repulsing others.  As I learn more about the people before me who made the same choice to publicly follow Jesus or to write about Him, I see that I am in good company.

King David, the one who wrote the Psalms, lived a private life for many years before he picked up his sling and threw a rock at that big bully, Goliath.  We don't really know what he did before he entered the battlefield.  I have a feeling that God put him through a series of struggles in order for him to prepare for public life.  He may have faced some wild animals in preparation for his famous showdown.

The prophet Ezekiel was asked to humble himself in front of his people before he became a prophet.  As one who eats Ezekiel 4:9 bread regularly, I appreciate what he endured when God asked him to eat those same ingredients mixed with cow dung while in public.  I don't think it can get more embarrassing than that.  Poor Ezekiel had to eat this way in front of the people he would eventually lead.  God does not like leaders who lead from their high horses.  He wants people who know what it is like to live in the trenches.

Paul is another follower who suffered great embarrassment in his public life.  This guy was in prison more often any other disciple.  His best writing was done while he was incarcerated.  Once he was set free, he immediately went back to the people who were hungry to hear the Good News.  He was known to boast of his afflictions and spoke boldly.

You have a choice to follow Jesus.  You can do it publicly or privately.  Should you choose to follow Him publicly, be ready for the attacks that will come from the Evil One.  The greater your visibility, the greater the attacks.  If you find yourself getting discouraged, remember two things.  First, don't forget to turn around and look at the awesome God standing behind you.  He is with you in every struggle.  Second, open up your Bible and read encouraging words from people just like you and me who suffered greatly while sharing their lives and their stories.  They did it for you just as I write for your benefit.

The ninety nine quotes from my angels will be an inspiration to readers around the world.  I have been genuinely touched by the ones I have read so far and am especially happy to see verses from my favorite Bible writers, Paul, David and Ezekiel.  You won't want to miss these quotes that will be featured on the last page of "God's Black Sheep Squadron."

Lastly, I would like to thank those of you who responded to my request to become an angel in the outfield.  Please don't forget to email your favorite scripture verse or inspirational quote.  Let me know if you would like to be anonymous, use your initials or your name.  I need your daily prayers.  I also need ninety more angels to sign up.  Please become part of the story.  Whether you choose to help out publicly or in private, your presence will help me to cross the finish line.  Together, we will bring the lost back to Him.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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