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We Have Lost A Gift
Commentary on the News
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
J.L. Robb

“She has a gift from God.” I’ve heard that so many times in my life.

I went to high school with Pete “Pistol Pete” Maravich, and you heard it said about Pete’s basketball handling all the time. T hen there was my good friend Darrell Edwards, a trumpet playing prodigy if there ever was one.  Anyone who ever heard him play in high school thought it was Heaven’s trumpet.  Many a golf fan has said that God gave Tiger Woods a great gift.

There have been so many gifted people throughout the world over time, from Plato to Da Vinci to Newton to Einstein to Stephen Hawking who still lives today, one of the greatest scientists of all time.  Even though Einstein and Hawking claimed no deity, I am sure that God has been given credit by some.

The problem with gifts is that so often we don’t even know we have them. We either don’t recognize or we deny the gift.  Maybe our parents didn’t see the potential or possibly didn’t like the direction the gift might lead their child.  I believe that everyone has a gift, if they could only discover and cultivate it.

Do all gifts come from God?  Is every child prodigy, every wonderful singer or scientist gifted from God?  Maybe and maybe not.  God did give the populous the choice of making their own decisions.  Adam and Eve did it, but unfortunately, it was the wrong choice.

Plato didn’t believe in God, nor does Hawking, according to his own words.  Bill Maher is brilliant in so many ways, but he makes a mockery of God with constant tirades and films like Religulous.  I like to refer to this sort as Godophobic. Throughout history, many atheists have been leading artists, musicians, writers; sometimes the best in their category.  Unfortunately, it’s not about this life; it’s about the next.

Since the fantastic golfer, Tiger Woods, is a follower of Buddhism, was it still the God of Abraham who gave him this gift?  If so, why would He?

Whitney Houston was given a gift from God, a singer like no other.  At age nine, singing solo in the Church choir, people would ask her, “How do you sing so good, girl?” It was a wonder, and Whitney was only beginning.

“I’m singing for God.” That was nine year old Whitney’s answer.  She was singing for God.  She sang for God a lot in her life.  What went wrong?

There are some churches today who don’t profess a belief in the devil, a.k.a. Satan, a.k.a. Lucifer. “Why would a loving God create a devil?” they ask. Maybe they should direct the question to God instead of each other.

I don’t have the answer to that one, but Satan and devil are mentioned more than a hundred times in the Bible; and Lucifer, once.

If anyone has doubts as to the existence of the Evil One, The Father of Lies, as described by John, they should look no further than the life of Whitney Houston.  Like the Prodigal Son, she became blinded by the wrong light.

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:15, NIV)

 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44, NIV)

Was it Whitney’s drug problem? Was it her marriage to the abusive Bobby Brown? Was it living-in-the-fast-lane? Did the devil make her do it?

The last question is probably correct. Like the Prodigal Son, Whitney Houston was lured away from goodness to not-so-goodness; and she made the choice of which temptations to follow, like Adam and Eve.  The Serpent didn’t force Eve to break the only rule laid out by God.  She made the choice, as bad as it was.  Don’t we all do that?

Pistol Pete Maravich lived in the fast lane, the greatest college basketball star in history, and probably the greatest pro.  He just didn’t live long enough.  At 35, Pete died from a heart attack, a born again Christian.  Many if not most of his friends were shocked when Pete turned to God.  He made the right choice.

My friend Darrell, trumpet prodigy, went on to Oberlin Conservatory of Music, First Trumpet in the West Point Military Band, married a flutist in the Charleston Symphony, had twin daughters and is a strong Christian today.  The fast-lane didn’t get him.  We are still friends today, 47 years later.

Did the fast-lane get Tiger?  Apparently it did, but the God of all gods humbled him; and now he appears to be back.  God’s just justice.  The lure of fame and fortune is a strong lure.

I was enticed by the fast-lane 35 years ago, owner of an Atlanta disco, fast cars and lots of women.  The lure almost got me, to my parent’s dismay.  But God smacked me one day, probably thanks to all who prayed for me; and the Bible became my lure.

I hope we will all say a prayer for Whitney Houston's legacy, try not to be too judgmental.  She may have been lured by the temptations, but I believe her heart was always with God.

Today we lost the voice of an angel.

I hope you will take the time to listen to this 10 minute Gospel Medly from the 1996 Grammy.

Whitney Houston

Goodbye, please don’t cry… I will always love you

Jerry L. Robb lives in Duluth, Georgia. A cancer survivor, Jerry is a graduate of N.C. State University’s School of Zoology, served as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman from 1968-1974 and is currently President of The Duluth Civitan Club.

Jerry spent several years as an unbeliever.  In 1979, Jerry saw The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey and has been studying religions ever since. Now an avid believer, Jerry credits Dr. Lindsey for starting him on this incredible journey.

After reading the Bible, the author’s research convinced him that God is no myth; and the Bible is truth.  Through his studies of the Old and New Testaments and the Quran, he has become convinced that the Biblical end really is near.

Jerry is the author of the fiction novel "The End The Book" which brings a unique perspective of how The End might happen based on Biblical prophecy rather than Hollywood conjecture.

Jerry joins the Omega Letter as the OL's newest featured columnist.  Jerry's column will appear every Thursday.  We hope you enjoy his columns, and we encourage you to buy his book.

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