So we needed a job and I turned to my father who helped me get on at Texaco in Port Arthur,TX. It was at the terminal filling tankard trucks. We bought a small mobile home, placed it in the back of my Aunt Martha Lou's house and began to prepare for the new arrival. This was the Summer of 69. I worked shift work at Texaco for several months. One day Sandra suggested that I apply for a teaching job at some local school districts. I tried my school district Port Neches- Groves but there were no opening. I ended up at Vidor ISD and applied there. They did not give me any hope. But Sandra suggested we sit and wait in the Administration Office and soon my Junior High principal walked out of a meeting and saw me. Ask me what I was doing and I told him looking for a teaching job. He told me to wait. This we did and in a few minutes I was hired as a history teacher and a coach right there on the spot.Truly a divine appointment. So began my career as a teacher and coach. I taught Texas history and geography and was an assistant football coach, which meant more time and a little extra money. I loved it. However, I remember my first day as a teacher. I walked in the classroom and there sat these 7th graders. It so overcame me I ran across the hall to the restroom and threw up my breakfast. It was not a good start. But I soon grew to love my job and the kids. This was my first real exposure to young people. Then on September 25, 1969, Tammi Lea Sasser made her debut into this world, born in Beaumont,TX. A new chapter in our lives.
I want to reflect hey been perfect on our journey with the Lord for a few weeks. I want to show you how God has led us all these years. They have not been perfect but God has been the leader all these years. Sandra and I met at Louisiana College in Pinveville,LA where we courted and then married at Immanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria on February 24, 1968. Our honeymoon consisted of traveling to Dallas-Ft.Worth to look for a teaching job for Sandra so I could go to Seminary in the Fall. We ended up in Irving,TX where Sandra taught school and I commuted four days a week to Southwestern Seminary in Ft.Worth. After working at Hardee's, Sanger- Harris, I got a job as a janitor at Plymouth Park Baptist Church, where we were members. After a few weeks the pastor ask me to be the Visitation Minister. I took the job on salary and my pay was reduced because I had been working by the hour. It was my job to visit hospitals, shut-ins, newcomers, visitors to our church and I also taught an evangelism class while still going to Seminary. While in Irving we discovered that we were going to have a baby. I wanted to continue at Seminary and I began applying for full-time jobs in the Ft.Worth area. It was during the Viet Nam War and jobs were plentiful. I applied to Bell Helicopter, General Dynamics, and even tried getting on the police force but all doors were eventually closed. It was a stressful time to say the least. But God is always in control. So what do we do now?
Have you ever heard of a biblical character named Shamgar. It is easy to overlook this man if you are not careful. In Judges 3:31 is says," After,Ehud, Shamgar son of Anath became judge. He also delivered Israel, striking down six hundred Philistines with a cattle prod(ox goad)."
One man, virtually unknown delivered Israel out of the hands of the Philistines. There are two lesson we can learn from Shamgar. Lesson Number One: Stop Making Excuses. No more delaying. How many of you have said," I am going to do_________, this week, this month, tomorrow, this year?" But you always have an excuse why you haven't done it.Stop it. Stop making excuses. Here was a farmer, not even a Hebrew that saw a problem and set out to do something about it.
Lesson Number Two: Advance One Step at a Time. Do not try to tackle the situation , the problem all at once. Just take it one step at a time. Shamgar obviously did not kill six hundred Philistines at one time. He was not a Rambo. He picked them off one man at a time until he took care of the problem. One of the major excuses we will make when facing seemingly insurmountable challenges is," I can't do it all." So we don't do anything at all. One step at a time. DO IT!
We are in Israel right now or maybe in Jordan. Don't really know the exact itinerary but we are over here. About eight years ago we had our first trip to the Holy Land. It was an unforgettable experience. Up to a certain point in my life, I had never wanted to go but through various circumstances God allowed for us to go. And on the first trip I was placed in charge of the group because the original leader was prevented from being there. We had 33 people on this trip. I just followed the guide's leadership and did what he suggested. Now we are in our fifth trip which includes a side trip to Petra. A trip like this amplifies the Bible. It set into context the places and the understanding of the complexity of the land of our Lord. Not everyone can go , I know that. I thought that I could never go but God has allowed us to do so. A boat ride of the Sea of Galilee, a baptism in the Jordan River, Caesarea Phillipi, the empty tomb and we can go on and on of the places we see and experience. One of the place we view is Magdala. We gaze in the ruins of an old synagogue. There is where we know Jesus spoke. There in that place our Lord open the scroll and read. It is truly real. Jesus Christ is real.
The Message gives a graphic description of Romans 12:1-2. Read it and meditate on it.
" So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you."
If we all allowed God to do what He desires in us, what would happen in this world?