A Minute with Mark – Today in History

Here’s some trivia for you: On August 12, 1939, “The Wizard of Oz” premiered in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Why you would hold a world premiere in a town named Oconomowoc? Why not? No one seems to be certain of the reason. Hollywood would host the big event on August 15, but the Strand Theater in Oconomowoc was the site of the first public showing of the now-classic film.wizard of oz

The film was based on a children’s book written by Frank Baum, a novel entitled “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy, the Tin man, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and all the other unforgettable characters have been seen by generations across the world. A Kansas farm girl in shiny slippers, transported to a mysterious world of munchkins, witches, and a wizard, lands in a world where dreams come true, eventually.

The Great and Powerful Oz turns out to be a fraud. The guy who was supposed to have all the answers flops. It hurts when the people we were counting on let us down.

It would be great if we could click our heels together and our problems would get solved. I don’t own a pair of shoes like that, do you?

How do you tackle a problem or a challenge? This week a group of us had the privilege of participating in the Global Leadership Summit. Bill Hybels, founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, began the conference with a challenge to follow the example of Joshua. The man who had to follow a great leader (Moses) was told over and over, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. God will be with you and will never forsake you.”

The wizard might be a phony but our God isn’t. God is real and His love and wisdom are real. God’s presence, protection, and provision were promised to Joshua but Joshua was not a passive observer.

  • He spent time learning and growing, listening to those he trusted
  • He got in the game, using the abilities he possessed
  • He learned the lessons of delegation and mentored others
  • He set spiritual priorities and lived by them
  • He finished strong and challenged others to do the same

Today in history:

What spiritual markers trace your journey?

What steps will you take today to write a new chapter?

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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