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Roger Alford: Power of God is on full display every day

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One of the best illustrations of an overinflated ego is in the story about the woodpecker that perched itself on a mighty oak tree, reared back and took a whack just as a bolt of lightning hit the trunk. The tree split from top to bottom and splinters flew in every direction. The woodpecker took off in a flash but came back a few minutes later with several of his buddies and said: “Look there what I did.”
All to often we, like that little woodpecker, take credit for things that are truly acts of God.
I love those inexplicable instances when people simply stand amazed at the power of God, when there’s nothing they can say other than “look what God did.”
Several years ago, while working as a correspondent for The Associated Press, I did a story on a man who had operated a pornography shop in a small community with churches on nearly every corner. People tried for years to force him to close that shop. Criticism didn’t work. Threats didn’t work. Taking him to court didn’t work. Then a kind preacher, concerned about the man’s soul, shared the Gospel with him and he got saved.
The next thing you know, that man tossed all the dirty magazines and all kinds of other unmentionables into a huge pile out in the parking lot, struck a match and burned them all.
    God did in the span of one day what the people of that community had been unable to do in years: He closed that pornography shop.
    But the story doesn’t end there. That man who had dealt in smut all those years repainted his shop, restocked with Bibles and opened a Christian bookstore in that very location.
    There was nothing anyone could say except: “Look what God did.”
    I’ve lost track of that man over the years, but he remains for me a great illustration of the power of God to change lives, no matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done.
    “Come now and let us reason together saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

Roger Alford, a former news correspondent, is pastor of Long Ridge Baptist Church in Owenton and communications director for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.