On March 14, 1981, the Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, was filled to capacity when the Arkansas Razorbacks basketball team took on the defending national champion Louisville Cardinals in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Most of the people in attendance thought that Louisville would have a fairly easy time of disposing of the pesky Hogs and advance to the next round. However, with only five seconds to go and Louisville leading by one point, the Hogs had possession, and the ball was inbounded to Razorback player U.S. Reed. He heaved the ball from beyond the center line and it went in, and Louisville’s dreams of another national championship came crashing down.
This 49-foot prayer became known as “The Shot,” and U.S. Reed’s name would forever be etched in the annuals of NCAA college basketball history. While I was watching the game that night on television, I had never met U.S. Reed personally. A few months ago he came to our community to address the Arkansas Sports Club at one of our monthly meetings. I was most impressed with his speaking ability, his articulate use of the language and his ability to express himself in a most effective way.
U.S. Reed is from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and still lives there. Since I have had a strong desire to begin a Bookcase for Every Child project in his hometown, I felt he might be willing to help us organize a Pine Bluff Bookcase Project Committee. In the course of visiting with him, by telephone and e-mail over the coming weeks, I also got to know his wife Marilyn. She is an ordained minister and truly a gifted speaker and writer. Marilyn is truly “anointed,” and that is really what this column is about. While U.S. Reed achieved fame as a basketball player, it did not take long for me to realize that Marilyn is really the gifted one in the Reed home today.
She has written a book titled “Heaven’s Oil: Enemies of The Anointing.” Reading it has blessed me tremendously. If you are not familiar with the word “anointing”, in the spiritual context, let me quote Marilyn from her first chapter: “The anointing can be defined in a myriad of ways. The one most pertinent to this book is that it is supernatural or heavenly enablement. It is the manifested power and presence of the Holy Spirit operating in the life of a person to bring to pass the works of Jesus Christ. It is the power and presence of the Holy Spirit enabling a person to perform a task or function he or she is called and appointed to do.”
After telling Marilyn about my wife Viola’s Parkinson’s and the fact she is in Hospice, she asked me to let her pray for Viola over the phone. While I don’t consider myself to be anointed, and know very few people who truly are, her prayer was one of the most touching and uplifting that I have ever heard. It was one of those, as they say, that got past the ceiling. With no reservations, I am honored to recommend her book to anyone who would like a very special blessing. Marilyn has the rare ability to take deep theological concepts and spiritual principles and express them in a clear, concise and understandable way.
Here are the four enemies of the anointing that she discusses in her book: 1. Pride. 2. Cold Love. 3. Grieving the Holy Spirit. 4. A Religious Spirit. The cost is $17, including postage, and can be purchased from Amazon.com or if you would like a personally signed copy drop her a note at P.O. Box 6422, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71611. I know U.S. would be pleased for me to say that today the spotlight is on Marilyn.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit www.bookcaseforeverychild.com. You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)