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January 29, 2012

Every Sunday morning before I leave for church I give myself the gift of listening to Michael Guido on the radio. It is an opportunity for me to get still for a little while and be reminded of Gods great love for me. It is of great value to have that reminder before I step into the pulpit.
Actually, I am listening to broadcast tapes of Dr. Guido, as he went home to be with Jesus on February 22, 2009, at the age of 94. His ministry, The Michael Guido Evangelistic Association, continues under the guidance of the next generation.
Dr. Guido found salvation and was called to ministry at the age of 18. He attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where he earned his degree. Shortly thereafter he was on a preaching mission to Metter, Georgia, where he met the lady he was to marry. Marry, they did, and he stayed in Metter where he began his work. Actually, his ministry carried him across the length and breadth of our nation, but he kept his base in Metter. Today you can visit the Guido Gardens there, where the association has its studios.
Anyway, I listen to him partly because I would listen to him almost daily during the early years of my own ministry. His message was always simple, direct and affirming. He never tried to convince or argue, but simply preached the good news of Gods redemptive power in Jesus Christ. In his later years, his ministry was confined to those Sunday broadcasts, but at the height of his work he was broadcasting from over 400 channels on a daily basis.
I liked his humor. He once said that during his early years he had a car that he had named Flattery because it got him nowhere. He had a way of saying things I wished I had said first.
This morning he was talking about Psalm 46:10: Be still and know that I am God. Frankly, I dont remember what he had to say, but I remember the story he had to tell. I dont know why we preachers bother to preach. Even the preachers just remember the stories. But, heres the story:
A little boy was sitting in a chair. Thats all he was doing, just sitting in a chair. His mother walked into the room and said, Son, what are you doing? and he replied, Mother, Im not doing anything. Im just living.
Be still and know that I am God, can be much abused, I think. I know plenty of people who are fairly still, but I dont regard them as particularly holy. In fact, the word lazy comes to mind far before the word holy comes to mind.
Or, angry. I know plenty of people who are pretty good at just sitting around and stewing, and theres not a lot of righteousness in that.
No, the key is in the last part: Be still, and KNOW THAT I AM GOD.
I am in the habit of giving myself about 15 seconds every morning to close my eyes and thank God that the day I am about to live is the day he has given me, and I intend to treat it accordingly as a gift no one else anywhere can give. It not only enables me to know that God is God, and I am not, but it also puts me in a frame that allows me to be shaped to and in and for that day. It allows me to live with hope and assurance; to live abundantly.
Fifteen seconds of stillness can be a pretty good thing. Let it be a good thing for you.
And, in my stead, Chuck will see you Sunday.
Gary