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Vol.  10  No. 2 February 2008  Page 13
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Priscilla's Page By Marilyn LaStrape *Editor's Note*

What I Have Learned

By Darletta Myers

    As you may know, I was involved in a robbery at work this past week. I feel that I would be very much in the wrong not to share some of the things that I have learned from it with you.

    I have learned that in just a matter of seconds your whole world can be turned upside down. I walked out of the door to leave work and was instantly in a life or death situation. There was no longer an opportunity to answer an invitation to make my life right with the Lord. There was no more opportunity to read one more verse of Scripture, pray one more prayer or do one more good deed. This was it! Time for the test!

    I have learned that when your life is right with the Lord, fear is not an option. I screamed as I was startled by this man’s appearance so suddenly close to me and with a “weapon” in my side to intimidate me. He demanded “the money” (night deposit) and I answered back that I didn’t have the money. He demanded a second time that I give him the money, and just as adamantly I insisted that I didn’t have the money. Fear would have panicked and offered to take him to the money. Taking him to the money most surely would have endangered me and/or my co-worker. I am not claiming to be any hero, but the Lord gave me courage not to back down and this guy took the path of least resistance and grabbed my purse and keys and took off.

    I have learned that anger soon displaces the adrenaline rush of the moment. He walked away with my ID, my access to money in order to live, both of which are temporary, but worst of all he has created a fear and insecurity for their safety in the minds of everyone with whom I work. That seriously makes me angry even to the point of tears. The flashbacks that occur when I least expect them make me angry for the fear I now experience. My prayers are now for this man that he may be pricked in his heart and turn his life around and never do this to anyone else.

    I have learned that Satan never lets up. As Scripture says, “because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). I am convinced that the more involved one is in the work of the Lord, the more Satan views one as his prey. He wants us to be overwhelmed not to overcome the obstacles he places before us. However, I also know that with every test that one endures, God gives strength, confidence and courage to go on. None of us are strong on our own—it is His strength in us.

    I have learned that I am a grateful part of a wonderful church family that does practice what it preaches. I am so very thankful for the love, prayers and support from brethren.

Alan SmithLooking in the Mirror

Alan Smith

    Have you ever been guilty of looking at others your own age and thinking, “Surely I can’t look that old?” I love this story below that has been widely circulated:

I was sitting in the waiting room for my first appointment with a new dentist. I noticed his DDS diploma, which bore his full name. Suddenly, I remembered a tall, handsome, dark-haired boy with the same name had been in my high school class some 37 years ago. Could he be the same guy that I had a secret crush on, way back then?

Upon seeing him, however, I quickly discarded any such thought. This balding, gray-haired man with the deeply lined face was way too old to have been my classmate. Hmmm, or could he?

After he examined my teeth, I asked him if he had attended Morgan Park High School.

“Yes. Yes, I did. I’m a Mustang,” he gleamed with pride.

“When did you graduate?” I asked.

He answered, “In 1967. Why do you ask?”

“You were in my class!” I exclaimed.

He looked at me closely. Then, that ugly, wrinkled old man asked, “What did you teach?”

    It’s so easy, isn’t it, to see the faults in someone else? We see their wrinkles. We see their gray hair. Even more than that, we see all the “specks” in their eyes (Matthew 7:3). However, we are not so quick to notice those flaws in ourselves.

    When I was young, I was determined to change the world and make it a better place. As I grew older, I realized that was an unrealistic goal and re-committed myself to changing the people around me. I’ve gotten a little bit older (and grayer). I still want to try to influence people around me, but I have learned that, ultimately, the only person I can change is me, and there is plenty that still needs to be changed.

    James compares reading the Word of God with looking in a mirror:

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:22-25)

May we truly view the Word of God, not as a microscope to examine the lives of others, but as a mirror to search into our own hearts and lives.

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