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When the last in line gets chosen for the team

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Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012 12:00 am

Lights! Camera! Action! The casting agent enters the room with her top picks for the show's leading man and lady. The new television series starting this month will follow the spellbinding story of a clan that builds a powerful, world-impacting family tree. This is the pilot, and it is crucial to make the right call on the individuals who will fall in love and launch this Kennedy-like family of influence and fame.

Producers and writers alike have waited breathlessly for this moment, the moment when who they have envisioned as the leading characters will be finally realized in an actor and actress. But when they turn to see who has been tapped by the boss for these most special of roles, the thud of their collective jaws hitting the majestic mahogany conference table muffles their mutual groans.

There before their wide eyes, instead of the expected vibrant, young couple with gleaming white teeth and tanned and toned bodies, stand a 75-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman. Not what they had pictured for their perfect production.

And yet, this is what God has chosen. His screenplay called for a couple to launch a new nation, one that would impact the entire world. As He would say, a nation through whom "all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3)."

Abram and Sarai stand there, adorned perhaps by dusty old robes and crowned with wispy white hair and loosely fitting skin, as confused as anyone else. God chose them to begin a nation. An unlikely pair for the job, for sure! Especially after factoring in the startling fact that Sarai was barren! Really, how could God expect to start a nation with a woman who could not bear children?

To complicate the story line, it will be 25 more years before they actually have their child of the promise. By that time Abram and Sarai will be 100 and 90 years old, respectively (and their names will be changed to Abraham and Sarah — starting at Genesis 17:5). Perhaps Social Security checks will help this special couple decorate the baby's tent, and they'll be able take naps when the baby does. And the rest, as they say, is history. His Story!

God picks people you and I wouldn't necessarily select to take part in His story. In fact, sometimes we are shocked who plays the starring roles in His stories. Unlike the way we do business, He taps people, not merely because of their abilities, but for their availability. God searches for people who are open to be used by Him.

Since He uses only those who are willing to be used for His special purposes, there is no doubt that it is He who is doing the wonder-working! Let there be no doubt that throughout history, God is the one making things happen.

That's good news, isn't it? In the business world, you may not have a great pedigree. In academics, you may not be a Rhodes Scholar. You may not have a lot of money and you may have average looks. But, think about it just for a moment. You may be sitting in a pretty good position on the bench of life to be a top pick for God's team.

Please feel welcome to join "The Story" team! For more information, visit or visit one of these great local churches to find out more about "The Story" ministry: First Baptist Church, 267 N. Mills Ave., 209-334-1332,; Ham Lane Church of Christ, 600 S. Ham Lane, 209-369-2817,; Temple Baptist Church, 801 S. Lower Sacramento Road, 209-369-1948, www.tbclodi. com; Vinewood Community Church, 1900 W. Vine St., 209-379-1068,; Emanuel Lutheran Church, 1540 W. Lodi Ave., 209-334-2130,

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