True Talent


One of the greatest violinists of our time is undoubtably Sergey Krylov.  His rendition of another great violinist, Pablo de Sarasate’s, Carmen – fantasy #1 will truly make your heart leap with each crescendo.  You can listen to it on YouTube, just put in the above underline into the search. Such artists rarely pick up this extraordinary talent overnight.  Most good violinists and other like musicians are discovered by parents or teachers at an early age and then those talents are honed and drawn out. Even among these, true greats are rare, but occasionally we get to witness or enjoy such “God given talent”.   Tiger Woods held this distinction in golf.  Pete Rose in Baseball. Venus Williams in tennis.  Singers such as Luciano Pavarotti, Enrico Caruso, Nat King Cole or Ella Fitzgerald.  These names will stand out for eons because they had real, one-of-a-kind talent, talent you only get from the creator who made us.

God given talent is biblical and there are a few examples given to us.  One is in Exo 31:1-5 Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, (2) “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.  (3)  “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, (4) to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, (5) and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all kinds of craftsmanship.   In 1 Chronicles 2:1-20 we learn that this Bezalel is in the royal ancestry of Jesus by way of Perez. Perez had three sons, Ram, Caleb and Jerahmeel. Jesus is a descendant of Ram and Bezalel is a descendant of Caleb (not the Caleb who gave a favorable report of the land).  This, therefore makes Bezalel an extended great uncle to Jesus. That is of course an interesting side note but that’s not the importance of Bezalel. His importance lies in his skills.  Not only was Bezalel good at woodworking, he also excelled in masonry and metallurgy.  Yet again his importance wasn’t just that he had these great skills at being a craftsman, but that he was filled with the spirit of God and possessed wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Tiger Woods was indeed a very talented golfer but as time would tell he did not possess much wisdom or understanding.  Now, his talent in golf suffers because of a continued lack of wisdom.  This is true of most great artists!  I believe that once a person is discovered and hailed for their great skills, they lose sight of how or who it was that gave them such.  Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Hank Williams, Vincent Van Gogh, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Karen Carpenter, George Gershwin just to name a few all died at fairly young ages and in unfavorable circumstances.   Long before they could continue providing the world with their extraordinary, God given talent, their lack of wisdom and understanding got the best of them.

                Bezalel’s talents were put to good use constructing and ordaining God’s dwelling place with the resources of the earth. Today, God uses our talents in like fashion for the ordainment of his dwelling place within our hearts through His son Jesus Christ.  When Christ ascended to God’s right hand and became Lord of Lords he bestowed on us certain gifts or talents. Eph.4:11-13 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, (12) for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; (13)  until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

                Just as Bezalel fashioned the tabernacle, according to God’s instructions, to give glory and honor to God, so too we must fashion our lives to give glory and honor to God.   We do this by using the talents he has given us, of recruiting (evangelists), of leadership (pastors, deacons) of teaching, preaching, encouraging, building up the body of Christ. Together, we can and should be an extraordinary talent.  Filled with the Spirit of God in wisdom, understanding and knowledge.

Darryl Fuller


spanky waitingIt is extremely difficult for most people born in the age of information and technology (the baby boomers and those who came after), to understand or appreciate waiting.  I say this as a member of the tail end of the baby boomers. Waiting, is an annoyance and time is fleeting so we must have what we want, when we want it.  This particular motto is not new mind you, but with each successive generation that comes behind generations who toiled more, sacrificed more and received less; patience is practically non-observable.  Marketing and advertising experts know this and seize on the opportunities.  They have coined slogans such as “Why wait, when you can have it now?”, “Zero down, no payments for 18 months, get it now!”, “You only go around once, go for the gusto”, “Just do it”, “You deserve this and more”, “Fulfil the American dream, today!”  If we have to wait 15 minutes or more for a meal, doctor appointment, haircut, tag/license, phone call or an oil change we have heart failures and hissy fits.  We demand attention, service, promotions, bonuses, refunds, rewards, retribution, vengeance, restitution, NOW!  We are blessed with the capability to fly anywhere in the world in less than a day! However, if we have to wait in an airport because of a 1-hour delay, mass hysteria ensues. Thanks to companies such as Amazon, merchandise can be at our door in one day! I pity the UPS man who brings it in three. “We just don’t have the time to wait!”

                Imagine yourself in the sandals of Joseph who at a young age was sold into slavery.  Then, after God gave him success as a slave, false accusations are brought against him and he once again is in another form of slavery, prison. After some time Joseph receives an opportunity to get out of prison. He interprets the dreams of both Pharaoh’s cup bearer and baker. He says to the cup-bearer in Gen 40:14  “Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house. Perhaps after many years of being treated so poorly, Joseph will receive freedom and some reward for his Godly behavior.  However, it would be another two years before he is released. Gen 40:23-41:1  Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.  (41:1)  Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile. From the time Joseph is thrown into the pit by his brothers to his ascension as Pharaoh’s right-hand man, roughly thirteen years had passed.  Joseph’s reward for trusting in God took years, but waiting on God, as we can see from the text, benefited Joseph greatly.

                Adam had to wait 930 years before he could be reunited with God again. Abraham had to wait 75 years before he could actually call a place his home. He had to wait until he was nearly 100 to have his own son. Jacob had to work for over twenty years before he could return to his home.  Moses was roughly 80 years old before he led the children of Israel out of Egypt.  Jacob and Caleb, who were faithful and obedient, had to wait 40 years with the lot who were not, before they received their portion of the promised land. Even the angels had to wait to see God’s plan come to fruition. 1Pe 1:12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven; things into which angels long to look.

                Some waited patiently having never received the promise Heb. 11:39-40  And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,  (40)  because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.  Moses never got to enter the promised land.  Daniel never got to return to Jerusalem.

                It is a difficult task to teach young people the virtues of waiting on the Lord.  So often they are rewarded with “at the moment stimuli” and instant gratification from meaningless things such as clothing, food, music, etc.  If only a young married couple could understand the great rewards that lie ahead when they stick together for 30 plus years.   Sometimes it takes years to establish productive fruit from vines and trees.  It often takes the same from marriages, businesses and even children.  We sometimes become discouraged when we don’t see growth in church or in others.  How discouraged would you be if you sat and watched a tree grow each day?  I’d dare say we would be tempted to cut it down before it ever reached its glorious potential.  God knows our short-sightedness and reminds us in Gal. 6:9  Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.



For years I’ve had most of my savings in a traditional 401 IRA.  401 IRAs are employer-matching contributions, and since I no longer am employed by a company, I cannot invest money in a 401 IRA.  While I can continue to contribute to a lot of different IRAs that are tax deferred, I’ve chosen to put my savings in Roth IRAs which are not tax deferred. In other words, I pay the tax now when I contribute instead of later when I retire and withdraw. I’m basically taking a chance that taxes will be higher when I retire and thus will cost me less now.  To avoid tax audits and complications I’ve also decided to rollover my savings in 401 IRAs to Roth IRAs. By doing this I now have to pay the tax on those contributions, and so I only do a little each year to avoid huge tax payments.  I still believe it will be worth it in the long run, but converting from one to the other is complicated and very regulated.  There are multiple rules and regulations and tons of paper work to follow, but in the end, Lord willing, greater payoffs.  Bottom line; conversion is difficult but necessary and rewarding.

                         Consider the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8. Act 8:30-31 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”  (31)  And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 

                         First of all, the eunuch is an objective and humble fellow. Most humans are too shy or prideful to proclaim that they don’t know something.  I’ve seen many a man who instead of asking for help, pretended he knew what he was doing and paid dearly for his ignorance.  The eunuch could have smiled and thanked Phillip and said, “Nah, I’ll figure it out,” or mocked him and proclaimed, “Who are you to show me what to do?”   Although becoming a Christian is not as hard as we make it out to be, there are things we must learn and understand in order to please our Lord.  Calling on His name sounds easy but the scriptures show that there is more to it than verbal proclamation.  We are encouraged to study (2 Tim. 2:15), excel (1 Thess. 4:1), examine (Acts 17:11), seek (Heb.11:6), and walk (Eph.5:8).  These are not passive steps in our pursuit of eternal glory but rather are active and needful of inquiry and investigation. In order for the eunuch to convert to the right path he had to know some things, not everything, just those things which would inform him of the way unto salvation and the cost of being a disciple. He needed to know the truth in order to weigh the benefits against the costs.  Once he sat down with Phillip and studied and understood the weight of what he learned, he chose conversion.

                         Second, his choice to convert to being a follower of Christ required action.  Having learned the things necessary for conversion he acted without hesitation. Acts 8:36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch *said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?”  Often, when I’m converting my IRA’s at this time of year, I’ll hesitate and ponder for a while.  I’ll usually reread the procedures, look at the tax rates, contemplate how much I’ll have to pay in taxes, and deliberate over which fund I should put them in, etc. However, once I’m clear about it, then it’s, “Just Do It!”  Similarly, conversion is a process of learning, relearning, contemplation and then action.  In order for the conversion to take place, the eunuch had to stop the chariot, go down into the water and be baptized.  It required some effort and as the saying goes, “He had to get wet.”  I think that’s the hardest thing to just about any decision we make in life, “Getting wet”.  If you’ve ever done remodeling you know, the hardest part is starting, tearing out, making a mess.  But if you want that beautiful new kitchen or bathroom you’ve got to “get wet”.

                         Last, the eunuch was pleased with his decision to convert. Act 8:39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing.  His help was now gone! He was on his own. No one to hold his hand or show him the way. But that’s not really true for we forget the promise in Acts 2:38 of the Holy Spirit. He’s there to guide us, help us, encourage us.  The information is still there in God’s holy word, the prospectus of our investment.

Darryl Fuller

Wake Up!


I was in another world, transfixed, almost hypnotized by the glimmer of lights.  An unconscious droning played in my ears, a melodious, humming lullaby.  I knew where I was, but then again I didn’t know where I was.  Time passes, but I’m not fully assured as to how much has passed. I am in a state of flux but my conscious mind is sound asleep! “Are you asleep?” cries Beth. “Wake up Darryl. Pull over and I’ll drive.”  I’m awakened! Just in time to hear the “Grrrrrrrrr,” of the warning grooves on the side of the interstate!  I’m awake enough now to act with reason and soon pull over to let Beth take the wheel. Perhaps one of the worst feelings is this subconscious state of being literally asleep while yet you are indeed operating a motor vehicle.  I once fell asleep driving on my way back to Western Kentucky.  I had a 7:00am class, but I left Birmingham around 10:00pm. By the time I got to the Tennessee-Kentucky border around 1:30am, I was driving but also in Nah-Nah Land. Thank goodness for an eighteen-wheeler who laid down on the horn! What a wakeup call! I immediately pulled over into the rest area at the state line and slept till almost 7:00am. Amazingly, my body made it to class, but my brain didn’t.

                I think the concept of sleeping while driving is a good illustration of the state we are in as we endeavor to live and operate in this world while fast asleep to our spiritual surroundings. Truly, God encourages us in many verses to wake up! He is constantly imploring us to arise out of our stupor and be watchful. Luke 21:36  But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

                One benefit to being awake and alert is receiving the blessings that await us.  Peter, James and John were having difficulty staying awake on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured but when they awoke look what they witnessed. Luke 9:32-33b  Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.  (33)  And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah…  It truly is amazing how much one misses while sleeping!  I’m overwhelmed by how much more beautiful a sunrise is compared to a sunset.  It’s almost as if God designed it that way to teach us the importance of rising early.   There’s been a few occasions when Beth wanted me to watch a movie with her, only to have me sleep during the entire show. When I awake, she’s reminded me, “You should have stayed awake, it was a wonderful story.”

                Consider also the times when we naturally need sleep but should stay awake. Again, the disciples, Peter, James and John, are tired and weary from the long day of preparation for the Passover. It is quite natural that any man would want to sleep, especially when the conditions are favorable. However, it is a critical moment! And Jesus implores them to think about how great a danger it is to sleep! Mat 26:40-45  And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? (41)  Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak…(43) And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy… (45) Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Sleep happens sometimes so very naturally and seems nearly impossible to resist, like driving at night or after a long hard day.  Jesus, however teaches us that you can sleep later! There are times when you must stay awake and be vigilant! Satan is waiting for us to go to sleep!  He wants us to sleep.  He knows that when we are asleep our minds are checked out, we are vulnerable to deception and poor judgement.  When we are sleeping is a time we can run off the road and be destroyed! So then our Savior implores; “WAKE UP!”


Darryl Fuller

Who is Carrying Who?


At Pepper Place Market in downtown Birmingham you’ll likely witness dogs in strollers and leashes on toddlers. My, how things have changed! I’m not exaggerating! On several different occasions I’ve witnessed this from the same family. The child is kept close with a leash and the puppy is riding in style.  Now, I for one, think the child-leash is a great Idea as long as it doesn’t choke or hurt the child. They’re usually clipped around the belt and why not let the child walk? It’s good for them and the parent’s back and sense of security. But the dog in a stroller?! Come on! I’ve also noticed that for dog lovers (and I do love dogs!), who walk their dogs in certain municipalities, they are required to carry a doggy bag for doggy poo. My question is, who is doing the walking and who is being walked?  Seems to me the dog has become the master!  I guess the quip is correct, the world has “gone to the dogs”.

                God expressed to us in Isaiah a similar observation. Isa 46:1-4  Bel bows down; Nebo stoops; their idols are on beasts and livestock; these things you carry are borne as burdens on weary beasts.  (2)  They stoop; they bow down together; they cannot save the burden, but themselves go into captivity.  (3)  “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb;  (4)  even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.  Notice the irony.  God asked the same question of his children; who is carrying the idols and who is carrying you?  God makes several comical yet eye-opening truths about idolatry in Isaiah 40-46.  The children of Israel had given themselves over to stupidity.  How can you have something crafted and made from wood and gold, lift it up and place it on mantels, worship and bow down before it, and yet it cannot move, speak or even save its own self from destruction and captivity?

            But we are more sophisticated and intelligent than they, some say.  Nobody bows down to false idols, no one sacrifices their children before the fires of Molech, no one engages in temple prostitution, no one engages in fertility rituals. No one plans, plants, builds, and harvests based on the sun, moon and stars. We are a civilized, well-educated, industrialized, technologically advanced, moral and ethical people.  We are not beholden to ancient and silly superstition.  We are the masters of our own domain!  God is either laughing or His wrath is about to break forth!

                Silly humans! It’s exactly when we think we are so much more superior and better than we have ever been, that we do things like put dogs in strollers and children on leashes.  We think we do not bow before idols, but go into a restaurant and observe how many people are bowed before their iPhones.  We don’t have temple prostitution you say, but some places of worship have become dens for homosexuals and fornicators.  It’s not God that brings kids by the thousands to mega-churches but the god of rock and roll and entertainment.  At least we don’t throw our children into the fires!  No, we just exterminate or sacrifice them on the altars of our happiness before they even have a chance.  We often wonder what’s wrong with the younger generation, while that generation is screaming and having temper tantrums asking the question, “Why couldn’t my parents just love one another?”  But at least we plan and move about without the aid of sorcerers, witchcraft, wizards, soothsayers and such.  Well, you may have me there.  After all we have grown somewhat and have made some advances. I can see the need for psychiatrists and Dr.Phil to help us with our depression and mixed-up minds.  We certainly need motivators like Joel Osteen and Oprah Winfrey to make us feel good about our selfish lives. I’ll need the “truth makers” like Bill Maher, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC to keep me informed and on the edge.  Yes sir! At least we’re moving in the right direction.  Well, I’ve nothing more to say.  The cat is demanding that I carry him to his dish and bring him food and water.


Darryl Fuller

The Irony

plane-crashBeing a student of history, I’m profoundly struck by what I like to term, “shadow events”.  Throughout history’s major events, there are often similar occurrences that are overshadowed by bigger headlines. On November 12, 2001, American Airlines Flight 587 crashes in the Queens Borough of New York City immediately after takeoff from LaGuardia International Airport.  Onboard are 260 souls all of whom perish, making it the second worst aviation disaster in United States history.  At any other time, this event would have tragically stood out in the annals of flight history but because it was 2 months and one day after the attacks on 9/11, few will remember this horrific crash.

                Even fewer, especially from this generation, know that 1 month after the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, heralding the end of World War II a Typhoon hit that same fated city, killing over 2000, flooding and destroying whatever was left from the bomb. Many of the residents who had survived the first atomic bomb used in war, did not survive the natural force of what the Japanese called “Makurarazki Typhoon”.

                Such euphoria existed at the end of the War in the Pacific that you can hardly find any information in regards to the worst peace time aviation disaster in history.  Just one week after the official surrender of the Japanese onboard the USS Missouri, another typhoon, this one called Ursula claimed the lives of 900 servicemen.  All thirty aircraft carrying liberated POW’s from Okinawa to Manila in the Philippines go down into the Pacific due to the typhoon.

                Sometimes we regard such fate as deemed, “They were doomed”.  Indeed the irony of such timing can only make one ponder, that perhaps it was not meant for them to survive.  Some might even say it was the hand of God and/or His judgement upon sinners.

                Interestingly, there is scripture that gives us wisdom in understanding and dealing with such issues.  Luke 13:1-5  There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  (2)  And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? (3)  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (4)  Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? (5)  No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

                The same mystery of “Who lives?” and “Who dies?” that bewilders the generations of our time, did so during Jesus’ day as well.  Wisdom from our Lord is twofold; what difference in when or how we die? We will all die. We should all repent.

                I guess a better analysis of such tragic ironies of life is not to ask why did this happen or why did it happen in the particular manner, but to ask, did they repent?  The first question shows a glimmer of doubt on our part and gives power to death. The second question shows faith on our part and gives power to the one who died to free us from the bondage of sin and death.   We should not entertain the enigmatic events of life as a way for God to demonstrate His judgment upon man in unusual fashion.  Better yet we should see these events as God’s way of waking us up, entreating us to pay attention and be watchful.  Matt. 25:13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.  

                Many people found the idea of flying after 9/11 repulsive.  I can remember a few commenting that they’d never get on plane again.  However, a few months pass and life goes on, people have to travel.  Then, tragedy strikes and we ask, “Why?” Instead, we should be praying to God to save us from our sins.  Tragic and unexplained things happen and they should remind us of how precious and fragile our lives are.    A terrible war may come to an end, but that doesn’t mean that dying stops.  Death may be amplified in wars and famines, but death is never static, it is always with us.  We must face the inevitable, but to do so without repentance will bring us death twice. If you don’t like the thought of death, then repent and be baptized or you’re doomed to think about and be death for all eternity.

Darryl Fuller



For most of human history, transitions of power from one tribal leader, chief, or king to another has been a bloody affair.  Even among God’s people, the transfer from king to another was a time of purging.  In 1 Kings Chapter 2 we see Solomon ridding any threat to his court by having Benaiah kill his brother, Adonijah, David’s captain of the guards, Joab, and a dissenter of David’s whose name was Shimei.  Likewise, Solomon banished the priest, Abiathar.  As civilized as most historians paint the Roman Republic, almost every transition from one Emperor to another was in no way peaceful or civilized.  The same has hailed true for centuries until the United States Constitution demonstrated a new way of transferring power through peaceful means.

Since the penning of that great document, we have been blessed with 45 such transitions.  Although there were great divides at times during those presidential inaugurations, none have resembled the Coup d’etat of other countries past or present.  We are truly blessed to have lived in such times.

We often forget the great blessings God has bestowed upon this land.  The blessings of freedom, tranquility, prosperity, general welfare, and hope just to name a few.  I know that there are some who may not share that sentiment and even at the time of this transition from one political force to another, will gripe, and bemoan America, the flag, the new president, the electoral college, and their fellow Americans.   I don’t agree at all with their rebellion, but I do understand that their rebellion is based on fear.  For when there is fear, there is a lack of faith.  And where there is a lack of faith there is murmuring, bickering, moaning, lamenting, crying, tantrums and general ingratitude.

                No matter what happens to this country, our faith in God should not waver.  To rebel in any matter is not righteous behavior and grieves God.  1Sam. 12:15 But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you and your king. 

Truly the most destructive of sins is rebellion. Satan’s rebellion against God is at the heart of why we live in a world of sin and darkness.  Throughout the Old Testament, rebellion against God and His commandments has been the undoing of His people (Dt.13:5; Josh. 22;16-22; 1 Sam.15:23; 1 Kings 12:19; 2 Chron.12:19; Ezra 4:19; Jer.28:16; 29:32; 33:8).  In the New Testament we are told that before our Lord returns that the rebellion will come first.  This rebellion is accompanied by a lawless man, a man of destruction.  Notice that  the three go together; rebellion, lawlessness and destruction.  2Thess. 2:3  Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.

                While I am writing this article, men, women and children are rebelling against the new President and Constitution of the United States.  Some are protesting peacefully, and that is their protected right under that Constitution. Some are rioting, bent on destroying property and people in their way.  Those that are throwing rocks, breaking windows and destroying property are like children who did not get their way, screaming, wailing and pitching a fit until they are pacified. Rebellion is an act of ingratitude, a demonstration of a lack of maturity. (you won’t see many people over 50 rioting).   When a person is discontent or unhappy, going to God in prayer, asking for help and resting on His blessings is the answer. Throwing a temper tantrum is not!

            Of course this country was founded on the principles of rebellion against a King.  Perhaps that is why most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence died poor and broken men.  I suppose there are times in which men will and must rise up against tyranny.  Perhaps God will allow this country to continue and will bless us many more years with peaceful transitions.  Whatever may come of this country, is in God’s hand.  Let us make sure we are not in rebellion of Him.

Pro 17:11  An evil man seeks only rebellion, and a cruel messenger will be sent against him

Darryl Fuller

Don’t Release the Kraken!


I let my anger get the better of me the other day.  Frustration set in due to several existential circumstances (last minute Christmas shoppers and a phone that would not cooperate).  Twice in the same day, I lost my cool and released the Kraken on my poor wife and daughter.  Apologies were made, however I felt like a real Scrooge for venting on the innocent.  The thing is, once we release the dreaded beast, it’s really hard sending the creature back to the abyss.  What have I done? I’m sorry! But the “Thing” just continues to tear and rip, bite, roar and spew putrid saliva everywhere.  Pro. 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

                Interestingly enough, I had just been reading the day before on the workings of a microwave oven.  I became intrigued that morning, while cooking bacon, about how the microwave oven actually cooked.  Turns out, items with a good amount of water molecules (coffee, corn kernels, bacon, soups, etc.) do really well.  Denser objects with fewer water molecules (breads, pastas, pizza, etc.) tend to get rubbery and lose their taste.  Contrary to popular belief, the microwave does not heat from the inside out, but most items have more water molecules concentrated towards the center and thus it appears so.  Actually, the microwave works by intensifying microwaves (which are relatively harmless) via a magnetron.  Water, fat, and other substances in the food absorb energy from the microwaves in a process called dielectric heating. Many molecules (such as those of water) are electric dipoles, meaning that they have a partial positive charge at one end and a partial negative charge at the other, and therefore rotate as they try to align themselves with the alternating electric field of the microwaves. Rotating molecules hit other molecules and put them into motion, thus dispersing energy.  In short, agitation cooks food!  Let us apply this example to ourselves.  When we get agitated, we tend to cook, and our agitated state aggravates others around us and they begin to cook, too.

                It’s because of this phenomenon among humans that God directed that we learn to be quiet, moderate, tempered, and slow to anger. James 1:19-20 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; (20) for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

                Paul instructed Timothy, as he would continue to establish churches, appoint Elders, teach young preachers, that anger was a destructive character. 1Ti 2:8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

                Cook a thing long enough, and it will explode or destroy the instrument in which it was cooked and/or those things within close proximity. Eph 4:26-27 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, (27) and give no opportunity to the devil.

                Of course the best way to keep calm and not release aggravated ions of anger is to follow the simple teaching of Paul Php 4:7-8  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (8)  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Best Advice! Don’t release the Kraken!

Darryl Fuller

Wait, just 17 more minutes!


Babe Ruth was thirteen years old when the Chicago Cubs had last won the World Series.  It would be another two years before my Grandfather was born. Jimmy Stewart, Betty Davis and Lyndon B. Johnson were born; Butch Cassidy and Grover Cleveland died that year.  Such mark the significance of any given year.  Little did Cub fans realize that it would be 39,466 days, 69 managers, 4 different owners, 18 different Presidents before they would lay claim to being World Champions again.  I stayed up to watch this historical event, well, until the end of the 9th inning. Chicago let a five run lead vanish, giving hope to the Indians in extra innings. It was 11:05 and I might have made it for one extra inning, but the forces that be (Rain!) delayed 108 years a little longer.  Seems the Cub fans have waited this long, they may as well wait on a rain delay and who knows home many extra innings.  When they brought the tarp on to the field and covered the diamond, my eyes begged me to record it and go to sleep.  I obliged, and in real time missed a great ending to a really great series, one for the century!  Turns out, the rain delay was only 17 minutes and the Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 10th and held on to win its first World series in 108 years, 7 games, 1 extra inning.  I was fast asleep!

In the real scope of things, big deal!  I’m not that big a Cubs fan to start with.  It really only was interesting for the novelty and historical perspective.  I couldn’t help ponder the fact that I stayed up to watch it and then gave up on it.  If I’d only stayed with it 30 more minutes.  Oh well!  I probably won’t even be around when they win it again in 2124. No big deal!

What is a big deal, is to miss heaven!  I’ve often wondered about those who have struggled faithfully, enduring good and bad times only to get so close and then give up or give in.  The Hebrew writer reminds of endurance;  Heb. 4:1  Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. Heb. 10:36-37 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.  (37)  For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;

                Six times in the last book of the Bible, we are encouraged to have and show forthEndurance” (Rev.1:9; 2:2, 19; 3:10; 13:10; 14:12).  Similarly, eight times in the book of Revelation it is pressed upon us the importance of overcoming (Rev. 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21; 21:7).  Christ knows too well that his followers will have to be prepared to see their salvation through to the end.  Satan will not relent.  He may for a season flee from us, 1Pe 5:8-10  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  (9)  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  (10)  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

                On the very eve of God’s plan coming to fruition, the fulfillment of God’s promises to mankind, the means of man’s very salvation, while Jesus prayed under tremendous torment of His soul in the garden, we slept (Mark 14:33-42).  Peter, James and John and the other disciples are stereotypical of us all; a longing to put forth strength and courage, yet rarely able to do so when needed.  God’s best fan, stayed the course, endured all the sorrow and pain when we should’ve, but couldn’t.  Heb. 12:3  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

                I don’t mean to trivialize our faithfulness and steadfastness to that of a weary baseball fan but consider these two points:

  1. We grow weary and are quick to dismiss the coach, the players, the whole organization when things seem bad and victory appears to vanish, but there’s still an inning or two left. We should not lose hope (Gal.6:9).
  2. Victory is sure! It may not happen in my lifetime or my grandchildren’s, but somewhere in our future is the greatest victory celebration (1 Cor.15:57).

Darryl Fuller

The King’s Servant


Recently, a really heroic act was posted on the internet showing four men rescuing an elderly woman from a burning car. They each take on a frightening moment, risking their very lives, to save another human being.  Just a few weeks prior to this, a police officer performed a similar deed by rescuing a young man from a burning vehicle.  I truly believe that if we looked hard enough, we would see these acts of unselfish charity performed every day amongst people who cherish and honor human life.  I still remember one of the most remarkable acts of love for fellow human beings.  It was the day after my birthday, January 13, 1982, when an Air Florida 737 crashed into the Potomac river in Washington D.C., killing 72 of the 79 souls aboard and 5 people in vehicles on the bridge it struck before entering the river. One of the seven passengers who survived the crash was Arland Williams. Known as the “sixth passenger,” Williams survived the crash, and passed lifelines on to others rather than take one for himself. He ended up being the only plane passenger to die from drowning.  John 15:13  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

                In the days just before Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians, the prophet Jeremiah was arrested and brought before King Zedekiah.  Zedekiah implored Jeremiah to tell him of God’s vision for Jerusalem.  Jeremiah tells him all that will befall him and all the inhabitants of the city. At first Zedekiah does nothing to Jeremiah. However, at the bequest of his evil councilors, Zedekiah allows Jeremiah to be lowered into a gloomy cistern that has no water save for a deep, thick mire of mud. Jer 38:6  So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. And there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.  How horrible and frightening this must have been for the man of God,  to be treated in such ill fashion, especially after proclaiming the truth to the King who requested it.  Jeremiah would at some point later recall this experience as we read of it in Lam. 3:52-55  “I have been hunted like a bird by those who were my enemies without cause;  (53)  they flung me alive into the pit and cast stones on me;  (54)  water closed over my head; I said, ‘I am lost.’  (55)  “I called on your name, O LORD, from the depths of the pit.

                With the Babylonians at the very gates of the city and scarcely no food to be found, what doom it must have been for Jeremiah, literally buried alive in mire, left to die a slow and agonizing death.  Who would take such a risk to save him, when there was no time but to even save oneself from the wrath of King Nebuchadnezzar?  However, we read of a brave soul, whose name is Ebed-melech, the Ethopian, a eunuch who served in the court of King Zedekiah.   Ebed-melech left the palace and sought out the king and boldly approached him, pleading for the life of Jeremiah. He even went so far as to proclaim that the action taken against Jeremiah was evil and they must not let him die in that horrible place.  Zedekiah allowed Ebed to rescue Jeremiah and authorized men to help in the effort.  Because of his bravery and trust in God, Ebed-melech is also spared from the impending doom of Jerusalem.  Jer. 39:16-18 “Go, and say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will fulfill my words against this city for harm and not for good, and they shall be accomplished before you on that day.  (17)  But I will deliver you on that day, declares the LORD, and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid.  (18)  For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have put your trust in me, declares the LORD.'”

                The four men who rescued the woman from the burning car said they were not heroes.  They each proclaimed they were only doing what they hoped any human being would have done for them.

                There are plenty of humans around us who are deep in the mires of life, seemingly helpless in a pit of despair and gloom.  Maybe we should, like Ebed-melech, trust in the Lord, and help raise them out of their abyss.  We, too, will then be spared from the wrath to come.


Darryl Fuller.