From Pit to Prominence (Faithfulness)

Ernie Big EZ Baker

Ernie Big EZ BakerSo the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.” Genesis 39:22 (NIV)

In his thirties he led an e-business technology team from a start-up company to its public stock offering. The firm made a splash in the press, sold out, and went looking for a new and younger manager.

Unemployed, he founded a new business. The job took him to Asia where he met with top executives in the semi-conductor industry. Modeling the successful strategy of his previous job, he positioned the firm to go public. But days before their announcement, the global economy burped; investors pulled back, the firm floundered. For years he watched as one angel investor after another waltzed by his office, but none came bearing good news and gifts. The firm folded.

In order to pay the bills, he began restoring homes, adding decks, and refinishing rooms. Of course, business thrived. He hired additional help, rebuilt his savings, and discovered he enjoyed working with his hands, going to bed tired, and waking up in better shape than the day before. He dropped pounds and added muscle, plus a few more clients. Over coffee one morning, a customer commented on his leadership skills. “Would you like to have a job with an office, benefits, and stock options?” his friend asked.

“Only if it presents a challenge.”

Of course it would.

He accepted a job at the customer’s firm and soon his unit led the company in growth, profits, and efficiency. The CEO offered him a promotion, one as head of a new division with increased responsibility and income. Then, on the eve of the announcement, he was diagnosed with bone cancer. The firm fired him.

Joseph also suffered betrayal, mistreatment, and misfortune. Told by God that he would become a grand leader, Joseph struggled with the mantle of greatness. Listen to the dream I had,” said Joseph.I had another dream… No one is greater in this house than I am…When all goes well with you, remember me… show me kindness… mention meI have done nothing to deserve being put in a pit.” Joseph’s arrogant attitude bred jealousy and resentment, leading others to forget and forsake him.

God has made each of us responsible for someone and some thing. Whether we’re serving time in prison, serving soup to the homeless, or serving on the board of a Fortune 500 company, our attitude toward others reflects our heart for God’s work.

When my friend arrived home that final evening, he hugged his wife, held her hand, and prayed for God to see them through the crisis—just as they’d done in times past. I have no doubt he’ll rise again from pit to prominence. That’s what men of God do.

Even when we feel imprisoned, we don’t have to yield to despair. God’s promises, power, and protection will set us free if we trust, work, and wait upon Him.

On APRIL 26, 2019, after a 9 year battle with cancer, God welcomed Big EZ home. I have no doubt Ernie heard the words, “Good job, buddy. You did it!”

 

My Father's Business(the post above first appeared in the book My Father’s Business.)

“What you have whispered in the ear…”

Luke 12

"What you have whispered in the ear..."“This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God. This very night your life will be demanded from you.” Luke 12:20-21

My Father, you are in heaven. Your storehouse is in heaven. Today help me to have your view of what matters most.

“He who disowns me before me will be disowned before the angels of God. Anyone who blasphemies against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” Luke 12:10

Lord, this is a hard saying. A terrifying word. I cannot stand before you, but through your strength I can stand in you. Please give me the strength of your Spirit. 

“There is nothing concealed that will not be made known.” Luke 12:2 “What you have whispered in the ear in the inner room will be proclaimed from the roofs.” Luke 12:3

May my secret prayers and petitions for others be fulfilled in You. Today, Lord, please help me to keep my tongue and avoid saying anything that does not honor you.

 

Whether I hear God’s call or not depends on the condition of my ears and exactly what I hear depends upon my spiritual attitude. Oswald Chambers.

The Dead Are Raised…

Luke 7

The Dead Are Raised...“The dead are raised.” Luke 7:22

“Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Luke 7:23

Lord, please give me your strength to stand firm for you. May I see life sprout from the grave. Protect me today. Keep me from sin. Keep me from harm.

“The seed is the word of God. 11 “But the devil takes away the word from their hearts so that they may not believe and be saved.” 12 “In the time of testing they will fall away.” 12 “But those of a noble and good heart, by perseverance, will produce a crop.” Luke 7 :11-15

Lord, there are motives I cannot discover, dreams I cannot realize. Help me to persevere and push on to produce a good crop for you. 

Do Not Judge…

Luke 6

Do Not Judge...“Do not judge and you will not be judged.” Luke 6:37

Lord, I beg you, PLEASE give me your Spirit of Forgiveness. Help me to resist the urge to judge others.

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart.” Luke 6:45

Father, please change my heart to be like that of Your Son. Place good seed in my heart.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46

May I racal your words today and DO what you call me to do.

 

Be a “living sacrifice.” You are of no value to God dead. Oswald Chambers

Give to Everyone Who Asks

Luke 6

Give to Everyone Who Asks“Do good to those who hate you.”
“Bless those who curse you.”
“Pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28

Lord, please give ME this Spirit of patience and forgiveness.

“Give to everyone who asks.”
“Lend to those from whom you do not expect repayment.” Luke 6:34

Father, help me to have compassion and your Spirit of charity towards others.

“Then your reward will be great and you will be son (or daughter) of the Most High.” Luke 6:35

Once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely and we never lack understanding or compassion. Oswald Chambers

True friendship means identifying with someone in thought, heart, and spirit. Oswald Chambers

The Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. Oswald Chambers

“Woe To You Who Are Rich…”

Luke 6

"Woe To You Who Are Rich..."“Woe to you who are rich. You have received your comfort.” Luke 6:24

Lord, thanks for your comfort.

“Woe to you who are well fed. You will go hungry.” Luke 6:25

Lord, thanks for my daily bread.

“Woe to you who laugh now. You will mourn and weep.” Luke 6:25

Lord, thanks that through your Holy Spirit I can laugh at my problems because I know you care for me.

“Be my witness.” Luke 1:18

Testify as to what you have seen, heard, smelled, touched, and tasted. List the evidence of ways you have seen Christ act in your life and in circumstances. Do that and, “You will be my witnesses.” Luke 1:18

Come With Me By Yourself…

Mark 4,5,6

Come With Me By Yourself...“Jesus got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Mark 4:39

Oh that you would do that for me today, Lord. Knock down the waves and make the wind be still.

“Go to your family. Tell them how much the Lord has done for you.” Mark 5:19

Lord, have mercy on me today.

“Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” Mark 6:4

“Come with me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

Lord CARRY me to a quiet place with you today. I need rest. I need peace. I need healing.

 

My experiences are not worth anything unless they keep me at the source of truth – Jesus Christ. Oswald Chambers

Never support an experience that does not have God as its source and faith in God as its result. Oswald Chambers