A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

Proverbs 25:28, NLT


“You can tell the size of a man by the size of the thing that makes him angry.”

~James Kyle Morley

I do agree with the quote even though it makes me a small man. I acknowledge up front that self-control is my achilles heel. Those of us who lack self-control act on impulse. In other words we yield to our default setting and act on instinct. Indulgence or lack of Self-control has many outlets: anger is the first that comes to mind but there are others such as lust for food or sex. Solomon said, Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city. [Proverbs 16:32] A person without self-control has no defense, they are like a city without a wall.

Some of you might remember Arthur Ashe who was playing Ilie Nastase in the Master’s Tennis Tournament in Stockholm, Sweden. ‘Nasty’ Nastase was showing out, pitching one tantrum after another. He stalled, taunted, cursed and acted like a madman. Finally Ashe laid down his tennis racket and walked off the court. It was an embarrassing moment for the tournament committee and all those involved. Ashe did not return to the court. He took the forfeit saying, “I’d much rather lose the match as to lose my self-respect. I left the court because I was about to lose my self-control and I didn’t want that to happen.” This story has a happy ending: the tournament committee forced Nastase to default the match due to his unsportmen like conduct. Ashe won the match and retained his dignity.

A hothead does not value patience. A quick tempered person may think that he is defending his honor or proving his strength, but his inability to handle his own emotions not only puts him at risk but demonstrates his folly publically. We call such an outburst, “Making a fool of yourself.” The book of Proverbs makes it clear that conquering our own emotions is the first battle. If we can’t control ourselves, what can we control? When we don’t control our emotions, we make ourselves vulnerable to the enemy. Paul said in Ephesians 4… “Don’t sin by letting anger control you.  Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” Uncontrolled anger is a doormat that says “Welcome Satan, make yourself at home.”

Dwight L. Moody was the Billy Graham of the 19th century, one night, just before a meeting, a man insulted Moody. No one knows what the man said but it incited Moody’s ire and he knocked the man down. His sudden outburst disturbed everyone on his team. They were very concerned about how this would effect the evangelistic meeting which was to begin in just moments. Moody got in the pulpit and made a full confession and apology. Moody preached, the invitation was given and many came to Christ. All of us have glaring faults; there are areas where we are weak. Last Thursday I listened to Adrian Rogers’ message on Isaiah 40, then again yesterday I heard it quoted at the PC and it lifted my spirit both times…Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.  Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.  But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

I don’t think the movie about Paul will do well at the box office: no one wants to be reminded of the reality facing us today. Our forefathers made a lot of sacrifices so that we could have what we have. I don’t know how much you appreciate the gospel of Luke or the book of Acts but I have great appreciation for both. The movie about Paul focuses on the hardship endured by he and Luke to get us the book of ACTS. I think it is a must see for preachers but I have my doubts as to whether or not preachers will respond. We don’t like to think about unpleasant things like persecution. I think all of you would enjoy I CAN ONLY IMAGINE. We had better support the good films, they don’t make many.

I do the blog as a spiritual discipline and would probably do it if no one read it but it is refreshing to run into someone who is reading it daily. I bumped into a man yesterday at O’bryan’s and he said, “I read your blog on generosity, let me have your ticket.” I said, “No, I can handle it.” He said in a stern voice, “Give me the ticket,”and I gave him my ticket. I didn’t want to get into a fight over three chicken fingers and besides, this guy could beat the devil out of me; plus, he had back up: I was alone. I wish I had ordered a New York Strip now! Just kidding, thanks for lunch. A big thank you to anyone who reads this stuff.

Yesterday, March 26 was Joe David’s 42nd Birthday. Holly will be next{April 22}, the Hope {May 8} then Aunt T on June 30. This is the even year–38-40,42 and 44. Wow, its hard to believe we have a child 44 years old.

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