Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The Virginia Department of Motorized Vehicles is not a professional photography studio. I have a good friend, T.R. Cook, who is a professional photographer, and when I go to him for a professional photograph, more times than not, he encourages me to smile. It is an issue for me to smile on cue. At driver's license renewal time, after waiting for a good while, with others who had been waiting, I stood for my picture, and amazingly, I was smiling. The very pleasant person behind the counter said, "Mr. Burns, we need another picture. This time do not smile". Then, I couldn't stop smiling. I think she took three more, and said, now, "Mr. Burns, I need to you to squat down, you are a little taller than most". Then, it became a little hilarious and we both got tickled and I couldn't not smile. Eventually, after the moment passed another picture was taken as my quads began to burn, she said, okay, Mr. Burns, that will work, you can stand up now." I think, the reasoning behind a non smiling drivers license photograph is that when or if a law enforcement official is enforcing a law, and telling you to submit and consent, the normal facial expression is not a smile.

Proverbs 22:17 says, to Listen (consent and submit)… Those two words are not smile producing, although they are life producing. The next verse goes on to say… "your lips will be accustomed to confessing them". Submit and consent to God's word, and eventually, with practice, with diligence, over time, "your lips will be accustomed to confessing them". Submitting and consenting to a health report, financial report, news of any type, eventually will be found on ones lips. Five plus years of overcoming an incurable form of cancer, and now with secondary issues that have my team of physicians ordering tests and more tests, I find it slowly, and surely that my lips are becoming accustomed to confessing the promises of God instead of the potential new problems my body is facing. Submit and consent are not a smile producing combination initially. However, the response to the question "how are you?", that I am becoming more and more accustomed to confessing is "by His wounds I have been healed" (Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24)

Lord, help our lips to become accustomed to submitting and consenting to your word. Forgive me and others for not smiling in the submission and consenting process.

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