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“Is not your respect of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?”
In the early 1950s Mahalia Jackson found herself before a sellout crowd in New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall. “I stood there,” she later recalled, “gazing out at thousands of men and women who had come to hear me – a baby nurse and a washerwoman – on the stage where great artists like Caruso and Lily Pons and Marian Anderson had sung, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make a sound.” But sing she did, and “The more I sang the more people in the audience cried out for joy. As the beat picked up, hands started flying and feet started tapping and folks began to shout all over the great Hall.”
Jackson had risen from humble beginnings in New Orleans to become hailed as the world’s greatest gospel singer – the “Queen of gospel music.”
Mahalia’s formal education ended abruptly with the eighth grade, when she took a job as a laundress. In 1928, although only 16, Mahalia moved to Chicago, where she lived with two of her aunts. Her plans to study nursing were dashed when one of her aunts became ill, making it necessary for Mahalia to work to help make ends meet.
In 1932 the untrained Mahalia paid a hard-earned 4 dollars to her professor on Chicago’s South side – for what turned out to be her one and only singing lesson. The professor berated his would be pupil, telling her to “stop hollering” and sing her songs “so that white people can understand them.”
Mahalia never went back for another lesson.
Gradually, Mahalia’s musical talent was noticed outside religious circles. Jazz promoters invited her to sing in nightclubs, with one promising her as much as $25,000 per night to perform in Las Vegas. Consistently, she turned down all such engagements, insisting that she was first and foremost a gospel singer. “When you sing gospel songs, you have a feeling that there is a cure for what is wrong,” she said. But “when you get through with the blues, you’ve got nothing to rest on.”
In 1972 Mahalia died in Evergreen Park, Illinois. At the Greater Salem Baptist Church, more than 40,000 people filed past her coffin to pay their final respects. Because such a large crowd was expected, her funeral service was held at at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center.
Although Mahalia received accolades from around the world, she always maintained a deep sense of humility about herself and her gifts saying, “My success is the work of the Lord.”
Apart from Christ there is no explanation for such a life.
How do you in your life rise above conditions, lack, limitation and worry? You do it by going consistently to God and allowing God to consistently work in and through your life.
Are we professionals or amateurs in life? The professional goes to God for help continuously. The successful professional realizes it is not her or him but God that produces the success.
When he sees a log jam, the professional logger climbs a tall tree and locates a key log, and has that log blown up and lets the stream do the rest. An amateur would start at the edge of the jam and move all the logs, eventually moving the key log. Obviously, both methods will get the logs moving, but the professional does his work more quickly and effectively.
In Proverbs 3:25,26 it states, “Do not be afraid of sudden panic, or the storm or the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”
“This one thing I do,” said Paul. Most people would have to alter that and confess, “these fifty things I dabble in.”
There are many detours in life, but we can choose the direct route. The direct route to success is continuous connection to God.
(I have always said of my life: “Apart from Christ there is no explanation for such a life.” I can’t take credit for the huge success of this ministry – I give it ALL to God. God can use an admitted sometimes bumbling idiot to produce worldwide success. – Chris Chenoweth)
POSITIVE DAILY PRAYER:
Dear God, in the end I wanted said of me, “Apart from Christ there is no explanation for such a life!”
Help me to do more.
Help me to be more.
Help me to make a difference.
In Jesus Christ’s name … Amen
POSITIVE DAILY AFFIRMATION:
The victorious Spirit of God, that is with me now, is equal to any occasion, greater than any need, mightier than any problem. All is well with me in my world because all is well with God.
POSITIVE DAILY QUOTE:
“I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I know); their names are Walked (always learn from the person that has walked the path not merely had an opinion of it) and Why and When and How and Where and Who.”
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