I Need A New T-Shirt…

Hi, everyone. I hope all of my buddies that were affected by Fay have survived okay. My thoughts and prayers certainly go out to all who were touched by the storm. We were hit here in my south GA town pretty much head on. We had lots of wind and rain. I think the rain count at this point is approximately 27 inches where I live. We have had lots of flooding also and schools are closed until Thursday due to the massive amounts of standing water. At one point on Saturday and Sunday, they had to close the Highways to the west and east of us because of the creeks flowing over the roads.  My home was without power for appoximately 20 hours.

I was going to post earlier on all of this, but on Saturday night our roof leaked a bit. I found a puddle in the dark at the top of a couple of stairs leading down into our family room. I banged my shoulder and my leg and have been pretty sore for the last couple of days. Thankfully nothing was broken except for the lone candle I happened to be carrying. One of the problems with my misadventure is that the candle had been burning for quite some time and had a large amount of liquid wax all in the top. When I went flying, so did it. Wax went everywhere and I was covered on my arms and legs. My hair suffered an equal fate with wax in it all the way down to my scalp. Boy, was I a sight! Waxy buildup has taken on a whole new meaning for me. All my life I thought it only applied to floors. 🙂

Fay was rough on me for sure. The only thing left for me to do is have T-shirts printed with “I Survived Fay!” It has quite a ring to it.  I also heard this morning on the news that Hurricane Gustav is formulating in the Gulf. I might wait on the t-shirt idea until Hurricane season is over.

Going For The Gold

I can’t help but imagine how the words “Gold Medal” stirs the heart of every athlete. It is something that they have been striving to attain. The “Gold Medal” is the reason they train for years and years. For those who make it to the podium with top honors glow with the knowledge that they gave it their all and achieved the highest standing in their particular event. I love watching the medal ceremonies. The joy and triumph just radiates off of them and when the anthem of their country plays and their flag is raised high, we often we see tears with the beautiful smiles.

In the Christian Life, My first thought was that we can go for the gold too. God has promised in his Word that there are crowns that we can go for. How often I wonder do we think of gaining these crowns without putting forth the effort that goes with it. When watching athletes, we see only the race, dive, contest, or tumbling pass. We do not see all of the practice, and hours upon hours in the gym lifting weights and training. As I was pondering all of the ends and outs of this train of thought, I was reminded of a verse in Job. “But He knoweth the way that I take and when He has tried me I shall come forth as gold.” –Job 23:10 

With achievement and glory comes sacrifice. It could be sacrifice of time, personal benefits, etc. The glory of the medal is achieved by the effort put into it and the pain and suffering that goes with it. There is a lot of things these athletes have to endure to get to the place where they can rejoice in the accomplishment. I see the same parallels with the Christian walk. Trials are going to come into our lives. Obstacles will be put in our path that need to be overcome. Through this trying process our God is purifying us so we can come forth as gold. He is refining us for better things so we can serve Him better.

I’m sure every athlete that receives the gold medal looks back on all they had to do and acknowledge that it was worth it. I know in my own life I have never been sorry for following God. He has been with me in every trial and is making and molding me into the Christian He wants me to be. Have I every faltered or questioned Him during the process? Oh, Yes! I am only human, but deep in my heart I know what He is doing is for my good so I too can come forth as Gold.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  –Hebrews 12:2

“There are some things you have to endure to get to the place of rejoicing.” –Clyde Box

The Boys Are Back In Town…

My boys are finally home and I have had a wonderful week with them. They were gone from our midst for about three weeks. First, they experienced their a week of overnight camp away (5 days). They had a blast being away and enjoying the joys of camp life. Then, after two days of them being back home the boys spent several days with my parents in FL. We got back home from that and with a day of turn-around went to VA. with their Meme and Nana (my husband’s mom and grandmother) being gone for 8 more days. I am so glad to have them back even though we jumped into the school year almost immediately.

We have enjoyed watching the Olympics and I have been amazed at all the events that I have never heard of before. It has been interesting to watch and at almost any time of the day you can find several events to catch up on. I have especially enjoyed the swimming and gymnastic events, but I have also have watched volleyball, beach volleyball, water polo (something new), and diving. We have cheered the USA to the very end. I can’t believe we still have several more days to cheer “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” There have been numerous inspiring individual as well as inspiring team events.

A favorite story of mine is the one that came out during the opening ceremony of the Olympics. The small boy that happened to be in the earthquake over there walked in with the delegation from China. This little one crawled out of the rubble then decided to go back in and he pulled out two others. When he was asked why he went back in he said, “I’m the hall monitor. It’s my job.”

In a way, we, as Christians, are called to be the “hall monitors” of the world. When tragedy strikes or in just every day life, we need to help pull people out of the rubble of sin and despair. We can share with them the only one who can heal and make them new,  Jesus Christ. By sharing the love he so richly bestows on us we are doing what God called us to do, our job.

I can’t wait for the events showing tonight. It should prove to be awesome.

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of Light.”  ~Ephesians 5:8

***In keeping with the theme of the Olympics, My hubby has posted a top ten list on how to know if you’ve been watching too much coverage of the Olympics. If you need a chuckle this morning, pop over to Heavenly Heartburn and give it a look-see. Blessings to you today! 🙂

It’s not what you think…

In the last few weeks, the media has posted quite a few stories on the who’s who and what about the who’s who of Hollywood.  One incident in particular has graced the magazines, Internet and newsrooms.  About a month ago,  Owen Wilson, a comedian who has made his mark in the movies, tried to commit suicide.   It seems we have heard that several comedians of the last 20 years have tried successfully or unsuccessfully to end their life.  It gives us all cause for reflection. Was this a shock to his friends and family? or did they see something traumatic on the horizon?  I wonder how many people hide the hurt, depression, and darkness in their life behind laughter and smiles.  It is probably more than we realize.

The Bible tells us that “man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.”  I am afraid that we take for granted that people will hide what is really going on inside. At what point to we start hiding the feelings of our heart from others.  As children our parents could tell if something was bothering us without us having to say a word. We can tell with small children especially a stuck out lip or tears.  Even in a church setting many people are not comfortable showing or relating to others when they are in sorrow over something or battling problems in their life.

I think it is time for those of us who name the name of Christ to look deeper.  Many times people will say, “I’m fine.” when their world is falling apart. We then may think how can we help them if they won’t share what is going on? 

One way is to be men and women of prayer. When we pray how often do we ask the Lord to make us sensitive to the needs of others.  Gordon, my husband, at Heavenly Heartburn has written a great article on being a sensitive leader like Jesus.  When I don’t know the answers to questions, I can pray.  When I see someone is hurting, I can pray.  When the Lord brings a person to my mind, I can’t help but think he has done this so I might lift them up in prayer.  God honors and blesses the prayers of his children. Prayer can open our eyes to other’s needs.

The second thing we can do is follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Bible says regarding the Holy Spirit that “he will guide us into all truth.”  How often does the Holy Spirit nudge us with the feeling we are not getting the  whole story when talking with someone.  Are we moving so quickly through life that we do not stop and listen to others and wait for the Holy Spirit’s leading?  When we meet people outside of the church setting, do we take time to stop what we are doing and just listen to what they are saying? To often, we wave across the store and move on without speaking.  It could be the Holy Spirit was waiting to lead us and we blew him off.

It could be when talking to others about their lives that it is exactly what you think…then again it may not be so.  We should all pray for the Lord to lead us to people who need to be encouraged. Then when we see them face to face, take the time to listen and be lead.