Tuesday, December 15, 2015

It Wasn't In the Plan

It can be dangerous to have authority over others.  It makes it pretty easy to get big headed.  To get full of yourself.  And, when that occurs... no telling what may happen.

Take, for example, a politician I read about recently.

By favor or by favors he found himself among the ruling class.  He had resources.  He had access.  He had clout.  And ... it was his birthday.  All of his friends (and those indebted to him) were in attendance.  There was choice food being served and there was an open bar. Alcohol was flowing freely.  The politician and most of his guests were drunk or at least in a precarious condition.

And, as most people know, being inebriated often puts people at a disadvantage they didn't plan on.

One thing lead to another and before his guests knew how it happened, the politician's step daughter was dancing in front of him ... to his great pleasure.  Her dance so delighted him that he impetuously promised to give her anything she wanted.  Anything!  I mean, what can a teenage girl want anyway?  Right?  Tickets to a concert?  A new iPhone?  A exotic trip somewhere?

But, her request came as a complete surprise! She was asking for the head of one of the prisoner's in his jail.

When you are in a position of authority and/or leadership you find there is no absence of unsolicited advice/warning/rebuke.  Such was the case with this politician.  This particular prisoner had warned the politician that it was not right for him to marry his sister in law.  The big headed man was so angry that he initially wanted to have this man killed.  Who was this man to get in his business?!  But, politicians have the tendency to attempt to keep as many people happy as possible.  So, instead of having him killed, this man, whose name was John, became a prisoner. But, now he was a prisoner who was about to have his head taken off!

My Dad (93) & my Mother (94)
Memories of my childhood with them
If you haven't guessed by now, the rest of John's name was The Baptist.  He as no ordinary man.  He was kind of a weird fellow to some. His diet and his wardrobe only confirmed suspicion. But, he was a man on a mission.  He was the forerunner of Jesus, the coming Son of God.  John was faithful to the plan of God.  He came declaring, "prepare the way of the Lord."  He was so admired by Jesus that Jesus said, "To tell the truth, of all those who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist."

"Where are you going with all this, Paul?"

Okay.  Glad you asked.  Let me tell you.  Though it is speculation, I'm quite confident that having his head presented on a platter to the stepdaughter of Herodius was not a part of John's plan.  It wasn't a part of Plan B or Plan C.  It never made the list.  But it was one of those things included in the purpose of God.

My wife Pam
The most courageous woman I know
My plan was to return to Uganda on December 8th with my wife.  But, the purpose of God changed my plan.

She went ahead.  I remained behind.  My parents are in declining health.  And, though both are living at home, they require someone to simply be there with them 24/7.  I was the only child available to stay with them during the  month of December until my family can secure people who will love and care for our parents.

I took Pam to Portland International Airport one week ago today and said goodbye to her. We would rather be together ... for a variety of reasons.  Some must think us crazy, irrational, reckless.  It's not what we planned, but we both believe it is the purpose of God. My return date to Uganda has been changed to January 10, 2016.

We don't interpret God in light of our circumstances, but we interpret our circumstances in light of the PURPOSE of God.

Life, for a believer, is no longer about them.  It is all about the Lord and His purpose.  Knowing the fundamental answers to life's basic questions enable us to embrace the purpose of God without resentment or complaint.
  • We know who we are ... IDENTITY
  • We know where we are from ... SOURCE
  • We know why we are here ... PURPOSE
  • We know what we can do ... POTENTIAL
  • We know where we are going ... VISION & DESTINY
And, we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His ... PURPOSE.

Not everything is good, but all things work together because we are among those who qualify.  We love God.  And, we are called ... according to His purpose. So, while this separation was never a part of our plans, His purpose makes it fine with us.


  1. I am so amazed at you guys....Wow. Could I do that? Asked myself if I could get on a plane without Jim and fly across the world. You both are great examples of obedience to priorities. God bless you both as you serve not only your loved ones, but He who called you. Teri

    1. By His grace and a confidence in His purpose for our lives.

  2. May the Lord watch over Pam and see you through to January as you care for the Parents. I and my familly wishes you Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

  3. May the Almighty continue to watch over your parents! Abundant blessings to you and Pam.


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