Today, I had an uncommon thing happen to me. A child... 4 years old... asked what happened to me. He looked at the chair I was driving, then down at my legs, and said, "What happened to you?" I had to think my words out carefully to avoid blaming doctors... God knows you wouldn't want a child to be afraid to go to the doctor! But, he then asked could I stand? Did it hurt? Was I sad about it? He really cared. He wanted to know. And, it was the first time he'd ever seen me. So much sympathy in a four year old for a stranger! He almost seemed to hurt with me. So, I told him the chair was pretty awesome, and he started asking questions about the mechanics of it: the joystick, the wheels, and got under it to see the two batteries. Then, I opened my phone and showed him I had Marvel Comics on it, since I had noticed his Marvel Comics T-shirt. Seeing the phone, he ignored the comics, and asked if I had any games. So, I flipped open the folder of game apps I have installed on it, and showed him my arsenal of games. He pointed straight to the Monster Truck game and the chair was forgotten when he started driving the big trucks. That's the way life is. Period. It's not about what you don't have. It's about using what you have. Believe it or not, there is someone who would find what you have exciting. I know I'm blessed. I have no doubts. I can see it right in front of me.
God has been so very good to me and my family. I can't say enough how thankful we are for His blessings. We didn't take a fruit basket to the Pastor when we got our land, like commanded in the ancient Law of Firstfruit, Deuteronomy 26:2 (since we don't raise crops on it) but we did give half of the land back to God in a money offering. Likewise, I gave the $200.00 inheritance to the Church Food Pantry, after my Father died.
I've written about some of those blessings on my Sunrise Scriptures website, on the page titled, "The King's Table.
" I've embedded that page below, for you to read if you haven't, along with the brief update at the bottom of it. But, the rest of the story is so much more beautiful, and of course nobody knows "the rest," except my husband, my son, and I. I haven't gone into the personal details, but they are known by God, and that's what matters. We made giving and supporting God's work a priority portion of those blessings, just as I've done in the past.
After we had given beyond tithes and offering on what was to be a fraction of my income for the rest of my life. And, we followed the details of Deuteronomy 26 out of a desire to bless others less blessed. Even after giving away, we dealt with different sharks from satan taking money back that we had already given offerings for. But, we didn't care. The gifts and offerings hadn't been demanded from us, but given freewill. Then, God turned around and gave us 10 times more. Rinse, lather, and repeat... to make a long story short.
God took care of us. We have our home, and we were able to honor God and the needy well beyond the tithes and offering on my income. But, beyond that, God had already been taking care of us, during those 2 years I had gone through the surgeries with no income. When I had no paycheck God still took care of me. In the end, God took the fact that the insurance company was trying to shirk paying me for the rest of my life, and turned it into a home for me and my family. He took what was a knife in my back, and made it a tool in our hands, a tool for our good. Every time I look at our physical blessings, I feel God's pleasure and bounty in our life. And, I wasn't even hunting for a bounty. I was loving and living the life I had been given, and the God who gave. I had accepted that I had lost years of income, and possessions, and we were just trying to dig back out from under the medical debt. I didn't pursue to take them back, as David did in the Bible. I did not even sue the Doctors who injured me. Then, God rang my telephone. Special Delivery! God's bounty came to us. God replaced lost income. God is very good! So, today we can say, just like the Israelites when they first got their land...
Deuteronomy 26:5-10 And you shall speak and say before the LORD your God, An Aramean ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous: And the Egyptians mistreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage: And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labor, and our oppression: And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terror, and with signs, and with wonders: And he has brought us into this place, and has given us this land, even a land that flows with milk and honey. And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which you, O LORD, have given me. And you shall set it before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God:
It matters more than anything, what your Mother believes. Don't say it doesn't. A mother raises children with her internal rudder. All that she thinks, feels, and believes forms the heart, soul, and mind of her child in its earliest most crucial years. Jewish law even considers a child born to a Jewish Mother and a Christian Father a Jew. But, if the Father is the Jew, and the Mother is Christian, then the child is not a Jew. This is because they recognize the Mother as shaping who the child becomes and what he believes from birth, in the early years.
The clip above from the movie, "Mother and Child" is a beautifully inter-tangled story of Mothers and daughters and adoption. This particular scene shows the hardhearted adopted daughter, considering the adoption of her own child. But, notice that she carefully weighs the beliefs of the would-be adoptive mother. This is a very simple question. She is not telling the mother what to believe. She just wants to know, what is it that she believes?
You do believe something. We all have a belief system; theists, atheists and agnostics alike. This woman is sitting there expecting to have a child, yet doesn't know what she believes. She needs to go back and do her homework. Don't have a child until you know who you are; what you believe. If you do, your child will know what you believe, who you are, before you do.
Children are in a unique location, much like film still in a 35 mm camera. Everything you do and say leaves it's imprint, and you never know how it will turn out. "...there went out a sower to sow:" Mark 4:3 I took up the bag of teaching and began to sow seeds when I was young. Children are undeveloped potential like a garden. It has been said that a child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer. ~Author Unknown Many students have taught me much. I have students who are still very young, and I will refrain from mentioning you here, as that is not wise. I will concentrate on students who are now adults. But, you others know who you are, and that I am thankful to have had the chance to be your teacher. Yes, I mean YOU. Of course, who else would I be referring to sweetheart?! :)
I would like to give thanks to the following students who taught me in return.
1)Carmen Michelle Marshall- Let's start with you. That's right, I did. :) You were my first lesson in teaching. I had my lesson all prepared. But, you were the youngest and when I began teaching the story, you listened for 15 seconds. Then you politely walked away to something else. I had used up all your patience and that was a shock to me. I learned quickly that it took more than a prepared lesson to actually teach. I had to earn your attention. That was valuable. I learned to build a boat and get you inside it to tell the story of Noah. I learned to involve you in the stories. Even though older children are more sophisticated at the appearance of listening, and may not walk away, I learned that I had not really taught if you did not learn. Thanks for the on the job training in how to make a lesson worth your while.
2)Angela Mong Yeats- Angela, from you I learned to love my students. You were such a
sweetheart and I realized with you that many children will learn better if they feel like you love them. You were my first lesson in emotional investment in a child. Thanks for investing in me.
3)Serena Godoy (Yodog)- You taught me about family Serena. You were all about your younger brother and sisters. I learned that if they were taken care of, you were "good to go." You have the heart of a Mother. Thanks for teaching me Miss. Serenity! I hope you
find your treasure in the house of the King.
4)Ralph Angel Silvera- Wow what a singing voice! My favorite is "Shackles," the Mary Mary routine. I do wish I could see you and your little brother do that just one more time. I would love to see it if you have it recorded anywhere. You have such a spirit of respect and a beautiful smile. I am so glad you taught me about friendliness. That is a prize ingredient in any life. Thanks Ralph!
5)Deanna Clark- You were already a mature young lady by the time I taught you Deanna. Or maybe you were always grown. Either way, I never heard you say an unkind word. Thanks for being sweet and for being fun to travel with. You worked so hard in Quizzing.
6)William Birkett- You were a wonderful child to know. It was probably more difficult for you doing pencil and paper work because you were an active person, and loved the hands on experiments. But, what I remember most is the poem you wrote me. I remember too that you published another poem over at the Middle School. I hope that you have continued to write William. I feel like I "discovered" you. Lucky me!
7)Belen- You were an awesome student Belen. Thanks for being always willing to help, ready to volunteer for anything, and inquisitive in every subject. I never had to work for your attention. You were such a delight to teach that I felt like I was stealing my paycheck. I would gladly have a million more students like you 100 at a time!
8)Diana- I have your picture here on a shelf. You were an angel and a pleasure to teach. You were an ace in Math and could do anything well. You taught me that I had many
able bodied assistants who were capable of carrying out whatever I needed done.
Thanks for all your hardwork.
9)Larry- I never did that experiment again because you will forever be etched in my mind from that one time. LOL. I still have the video though. And, I still laugh so hard I cry when I watch it. You taught me that children would do anything for the sake of Science.
:) I didn't realize that you were so scared about volunteering because you looked so brave. I only realized afterwards that it was a courageous front. You taught me that the toughest looking guys were really big teddybears. Thanks for being brave enough to step forward to try what you thought was dangerous. I loved all the fun we had that year. You were a big part of the fun.
10)Stacy Newton- I thank the good Lord for giving me you. You stole my heart. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your life. You showed me the power of love. You taught me the indestructableness of the human spirit. Maybe our paths will cross again one day Stacy. You are my hero.
What could I say more. I could speak of Estrella, Phi, Tam, Darletha, Andre, Keenen, Gina, Khadijatu, and Diamond. But, many are the steps I have taken down the one path of being a student of children. You are my heritage because everything that I have, you gave. I invested my time in you and I have reaped the dividends in memories and treasure. May God bless each of you in your pursuits in this life and tenfold in the next.
Looking at the trees today, adorned in gold and fiery red, I wondered what the trees would look like in heaven. Will the decidious trees lose their leaves periodically? Will there be natural seasons? What would happen to a tree if it stayed warm all the time? We know that there will be no sun, because Jesus will be the light of the city. Revelation 22:2 speaks of the trees bearing fruit monthly. "Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime." -Martin Luther
Our only answer is that heaven awaits us. We know that the dead in Christ will precede us. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead
in Christ shall rise first." I have a few friends waiting in heaven. These friends are special because they blessed me during their time on Earth, and helped lay the foundation for my walk with God. The pointed the way before their death, and now they have gone on to their reward. Since it would be a very satisfying thing to be able to say, "Thank you for giving to the Lord..." I will say thank you to ten friends who have gone on to heaven before me.
1) Sister Burgess- I never knew her first name, just what everybody called her. Then again, I was 5 years old. But, I was old enough to remember our house had burned to the ground not long before I met her. Her Sunday School class was my first experience with church, that I remember at least. She had us sit in a circle of chairs. I was always short anyways, so my feet didn't even hang off the chair, but stuck straight out. I was looking at her eyes. They were so pretty and bright, as if she had light inside of her. I realized that while I was looking at her eyes, she was having each child in the circle say a Bible verse from memory. I had not read the Bible yet. I never spoke much anyways. I didn't have to worry, because when she came to me, she must have realized by my silence that I didn't know any verses. She said, "Say, 'God is love.'" I can't believe I answered her, but the words sounded so beautiful to hear her say them, and I said them after her. She was quite old, or at least she seemed ancient to me. Each week I would wait for her to provide the words again, though she always chose the same ones for me, and I certainly remembered them. I just wanted to hear her say them again. I could see that she knew God. I decided right away that I wanted to meet Him. Thanks to Sister Burgess for showing me the light of God and creating in me a thirst to know Him.
2)Sister Bolenbaucher- Fast forward 8 years, to the point just after I had decided at 13 that if there really WAS a God, He was so far away that I would never know Him. Paul Bolenbaucher's wife was a dear lady and I could see that if anybody was certain to go to heaven it was her. I've mentioned her husband already in an earlier post. I remember hearing her speak in a district ladies' retreat, saying "God never changes." I could see that she must have changed a lot over the years of her life, and I was certain that she had been alive long enough to measure that God had not changed in her lifetime. That seemed to carry a lot of clout with me, her testimony. I believed it meant something because she said it did. I was saddened to hear of her death, and I remember many people from around the state came to her memorial service in Georgia. I think her funeral was in Texas though, if memory serves me correctly. Many people loved her. She is certain to be surrounded by friends in heaven. I certainly can't wait until I see her there one day.
3)Lettie Cooley- Sister Cooley was another dear lady who I knew in McDonough. She treated my kids like they were her grandkids, which she did all of the kids I think. She was a sweet, kind soul and a prayer warrior. I used to love to see her and Kate pray together. I remember them praying at a watchnight vigil service and the site struck me then of how it would look to see them shouting on streets of gold one day. And, they are waiting on me I know. Thanks Sister Cooley!
4)Kate Allen- Kate was half blind, and loved to have me read the Bible to her. She had a close relationship with God, and often people would look at us when I drove her down the street, because sometimes she would start praying in the car, in the Spirit. :) She just spent much of her day praying, because she couldn't really get out much. Usually when I went over it was earlier in the morning. But, one day I went by in the evening and surprised her. When I walked into her living room, where she had been sitting all evening praying, I could feel the Spirit of God heavy and thick, present in the room, as if God Himself came down to listen to her words in the evening. It was like Cornelious whose prayers reached up to heaven. I will never forget the warmth of God's presence there around her. I thank God for the chance to know her.
5)Dean Woods- Dean just passed away a month ago. She was my Aunt-in-Law, a church planter, and a prayer warrior. I learned much about contentment and keeping my mouth shut from her example. I never heard her say a negative word in my life. She was at camp meeting the year she woke up and found her husband passed away in his sleep. She remained a widow until her death. She worshipped God like a young woman, though she was about 90 went she died. She had took care of her mother up until her death near her nineties, with her in her seventies. I believe God honors those who honors their parents with long life. I remember her best with her hands raised in worship. They usually were, most of the times I saw her. I can't picture her any other way in heaven, but with her arms raised worshipping Jesus.
6)Louise Mitchell- Louise was Dean's sister, and my Mother-in-law. Her and Dean lived through the Great Depression. I suppose that's where they learned to not complain. We have so much and we still complain. Odd. But, Louise was the Proverbs 31 woman in the flesh. I can think of no other way to describe her. She spent her life taking care of her family. Her husband died at home with Alzeimers. She cared for him herself until his death, refusing to put him in a nursing home. I noticed she went to a nursing home before her death, as did Dean in the last three months of her life. This seems to be the way it is for people who are always taking care of others. No one is left to take care of them. I don't understand this.
7)Grandmaw Wilson- Grandmaw was Dean and Louise's Mother, and she wasn't as soft and sweet as they were. She was a spitfire, and seemed to have the authority of Methuselah. She didn't mince words either, but I remember her getting onto adults in her family for not doing the right thing. She would tell them they needed to do the right thing and get a job. Things like that. She didn't sugar coat it either. She took the Bible seriously, and seemed to be able to cut right to the heart of an issue, with God'ly wisdom. You couldn't pull the wool over her eyes. I am thankful that she taught me to have gumption. They say, all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. This is what makes the story of Joe Paterno so sad. He did nothing while boys were being raped. Grandmaw would have had the guts to call the police on her own child, if he was commiting a crime like that. I am thankful for spirited women like her.
8)Claude Smith- He was the pastor of the church in Rome when I was in college. "The worst battles are fought from inside the church, and from inside hearts." I heard Claude Smith say this more than once. Years later he died while the church was in the middle of a great revival. He was a good man and served the Lord with wisdom. He was my pastor for a number of years, and I remember that he was always smiling. He laughed and joked a lot too. He seemed to be enjoying life, often joked about the fact that he had four kids. I spent a lot of time as a young married wife at their home and we played Trivia Pursuit and talked until late at night sometimes. I am thankful that I had a chance to learn from his exuberance for life, and love for God.
9)Emily Locke Nix- My paternal grandmother seemed to me to be a saint. Though my father abandoned us when I was two, and my mother was pregnant, his parents loved us. They told me themselves he was not right for what he had done. They loved to have us visit, and we did once a year. The weeks we spent there every summer were like vacations in paradise. She was sweet and kind. She was the best cook in the world and used to can and preserve foods which she stocked in a cellar outside. They were farmers. She made goat's buttermilk. Papaw used to laugh and joke so much but she would just smile. He would ask me while she was frying chicken, "You know what part of the chicken I like best?" Then he would wink at her and smile, and she would look embarrassed as he laughed and answered, "The legs, the breast, and all the rest!" He was a real character, but it was later when I was older before this "inside joke" was clearly funny to me. I just liked the way he laughed and she blushed when he said it. But, I remember going to church with her. She loved the Lord and I know she will be in heaven when I get there. I am thankful for having had such a wonderful person in my life. I miss her. She passed away 25 years ago, and her son didn't come to her funeral. That stood out to me. Now, he is old and alone in the world somewhere. He abandoned his children, and his parents. Now, he has no family. That is really sad, but that's why you should love your children and love your parents. They are your very life.
10)Brother Long- I believe his first name was Homer. But, he was the father of a large family. I remember they liked church so much that they didn't just go to our church, their home church, but usually visited revivals around the area every other night of the week. They were always in church somewhere it seemed every night. But, he was cleaning the church yard up one weekend, and was injured acidentally while blowtorching the lid off of a steel drum to dispose of it, from what I was told. He died working for the Lord. I wrote a poem inspired by his death.
A Beginning Somewhere
There is a way that all shall go,
A path that all shall follow;
There is an end to every life,
A resting place for the soul.
Yet for every ending of life,
There is a beginning somewhere;
For every ending in sorrow,
There's a beginning of joy up there.
When one fine morning I walk that land,
When I'm done with all earthly cares;
As I stand by the river of life I'll see,
There is a beginning somewhere.
I hope your heart is blessed in some way by hearing about these special people who have gone on to heaven before me. And, I hope that they inspire you like they have me to want to join them in Glory one day. Tomorrow, I will share thanks for 10 of the students that I have taught who affected me greatly. Then you will see why I can say that children are my reversed heritage.
Faith is the stuff of which hope is made. Our life experiences build up, or tear down our faith. Two people can be facing the same devastation, yet one has hope and the other doesn't. If the pieces of faith haven't been built up, hope is empty. Likewise, I find that my faith has been built up by people over the years. Jude 1:20 says we are building up each other in the faith. Tonight I am giving thanks to ten of the people who have influenced my faith in God.
1)Paul Bolenbaucher - He was a church builder. He planted the church in my hometown, then left it in the hands of a young Pastor, after a few years, to build more churches. I was 13, and listening to him speak from the platform, I was caught on every word. He would talk about angels and demons in such a way that I could see he believed they were real. When I came to his church I was trying to find God. I had only weeks before decided that if there WAS a God, He was so far away that I would never know Him. But, listening to Him call God by name...Jesus, I knew He knew God personally. The light of the Spirit in his eyes lit the fire of my faith. Thanks to Paul Bolenbaucher.
2)Myrtice Daniels - Thanks Mrs. Myrtice for all your testimonies, and faith in God. You strengthen and encourage those around you. I love the faith you have in God's Word.
3)Ray Miller - You have always been a paragon of faith to me, from my teenage years to the present when I see you at Camp Meetings. You have always worked for God. I still remember you teaching in Children's Church in Dalton in the Sunday School Building with the Dixons. Some of the things you said really struck home with me. And, you are a soft spoken person with a firm faith in God. As long as I have known you, you always demonstrated that faith. And, you always were working in one ministry or another. No man works for a mission he doesn't believe in. When I saw you working, it built my faith from a young age. You were intent on the Lord's Work. Thanks for showing me you served a real God Ray Miller.
4)Jimmy Van Winkle - You gave me faith to withstand a storm. You spoke truth and not condemnation. You pointed in the direction of truth, and told me where I could find it. Thanks for your messages on faith Jimmy Van Winkle. You are a true man of God!
5)Burl Meek - Your comments in Bible Study are really faith building. You have a firm grasp on the Word, and can build faith when it is needed most. Thanks for speaking up in class Burl.
6)Vickey Davis - I heard you speak at a ladies meeting. You spoke about God's stars. It was just a few weeks after my first surgery, after the doctor had accidentally cut the wrong internal organs. I was devastated with the changes that had been made in my body. But, you talked about how beautiful we were to God. I was reminded that, though I had been hurt, I still belonged to God. You spoke and renewed faith in my heart. Thanks for the words of God... the words of life.
7)Mr. Tom Honeycutt - I was extremely shy in High School. Tom Honeycutt taught me American Lit. He assigned books for the class to read and write about. He called on me to read aloud my paper in class one week. It had been about the book, "A Seperate Peace." I had identified well with the story, and was stuttering through trying to read my paper. He took my paper, and read it aloud for me. Then a big smile spread across his face and the whole class just looked at me shocked that I had actually written that. He made me feel like I cold write. And, he also accepted my faith in God. He never criticized my objections to reading certain topics, and my refusal to study evolution. Instead, he would tell me ahead of time if I would find a book objectionable, and allow me to read and write on a different book he had selected. I did have teachers who became outraged over religious objections. But, he always made me feel as if my faith in God was a good thing. Thanks for encouraging my faith Mr. Honeycutt.
8)Steve Waldron - Not long after I moved to Stockbridge, I fell asleep on my front porch and had a dream. I dreamed that God told me you had a letter with a message for me. I had "tried out" all of the pentecostal churches in the area before I chose one. I had prayed for God to lead me to a good church for me and my children. After I had the dream, I just came out and asked you directly at church did you have a message for me. You looked like you had no idea and like the question floored you, but then told me to sign up for the Excel Bible College classes. I believe the classes moved me in the direction that I needed to go to have my faith built. I was still young in the faith before then. I learned so much about the Bible in those classes, and it sparked the desire to learn more. Years later, I was caught up by a question and a situation that someone had thrown at me that almost wiped out my faith. I couldn't find the answer. I called you and you asked me a couple of questions and then gave me the answer just like that. You kept me from deceit and false teaching. You kept me in the Word. Thanks for building my faith in the Word Steve Waldron.
9)Sam Latta - Your messages were always inspiring, and I found so many pieces to build my faith from you. I knew of your missionary work, and knew that you practiced what you preached. You taught me through your word and work that God is real and God is real in us. Thanks for the faith lessons Sam Latta.
10)Crissie Warren - Your grandsons Warren and Garrett built my faith more than you will ever know Crissie. When I taught them in Sunday School, you were always so kind and saying sweet things to me about the job I was doing. But, it wasn't me. God was speaking to those boys in Sunday School like I have never seen in my life. I would have my lesson prepared to the t. But, suddenly I would find words that God had put in my mouth to say directly to them, words that I knew weren't from my heart or my lesson plans. God wanted those boys. He was claiming them right in front of my eyes. This did something amazing to me and inside of me. This experience of seeing their big eyes listening to every word that I knew God wanted them to hear gave me faith in reverse. The way they listened intently on every word, for such little boys, built my faith. Isn't it amazing the way God works?! Thanks Crissie for telling me how God had worked in their hearts. This gave me more faith to keep teaching when I needed it most. I couldn't have done it without your encouragement.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is of what hope is made. If your faith is weak, look at the people you are around. Are they building your faith? If they are, God has blessed you. Remember these blessings this Thanks Giving. Tomorrow night, (well, tonight now :) look for ten of the people who have helped me out when I needed them. It's always nice to have a helping hand, or two!
Respect is not about who the other person is. It is about who I am. I have encountered children in the inner city who did not, would not say the words sir or mam. I didn't have a problem with that, but with the total disrespect. One child told my parapro to "Chill out Homey." I had a problem with that. Kindly, I tried to explain to him that she wasn't the same age as him, wasn't in his generation, therefore she couldn't rightfully be called a "homegirl." I explained that not liking to use words like sir and mam was not a problem so much as using words like, "Chill out Homey!" Each of the parts of that phrase were out of place in this context. I kindly explained this to him. He got irate. When I called his Mother to explain, she thought the whole conversation was about using sir and mam. She replied that he was right. He didn't call her sir and mam and he certainly wasn't going to call the parapro sir or mam.
I tried to get the point across to kids in the inner city that respect is more about your own feelings about yourself. I used the example of how I always answered the intercom with yes mam. I explained that I could say that to anybody, even a stranger on the street, with no problem. But, the idea of authority was the problem for many kids in the city. (Not much at all in the country. They were respectful and sweet usually.) I had one little girl look at me after the assistant principal walked out of the classroom one day and say, "Why do you always do everything SHE tells you to do? This is YOUR classroom!" The reasons were simple. I was under her authority, therefore out of respect for my position, I honored her instructions. Only a disrespectful person does just the opposite. I do not want to be a disrespectful person. So, you see, it's not about her. It's all about me. I am respectful. I say yes mam or nothing at all. Words like, "Ok, or yes, or sure" sound fine. They are not words of disrespect. On the other hand, imagine if I had told my boss to, "Chill out homey!" :-)
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit
yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that
they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for
I enjoyed our church Harvest Festival tonight, with a bonfire, band, puppets, hotdogs, and hayride... and lots of costumed children. Many people came early to cook hotdogs, build a bonfire, and to set up for the band and puppets. I'm sleepy now, but full of words as usual. God still speaks to and through tired souls. The gift and the giver are accepted as one. You are your greatest gift and your gift is before you.
And a great multitude followed him,
because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
And Jesus went up into a mountain,
and there he sat with his disciples.
And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.
When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him,
he said unto Philip, Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
And this he said to test him: for he himself knew what he would do.
Philip answered him,
Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them,
that every one of them may take a little.
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said unto him,
There is a lad here,
who has five barley loaves,
and two small fishes:
but what are they among so many????????????????????????????
I wonder if the disciples wore those plastic food service gloves? No, I don't imagine they were approved by the Health Department to serve food. I'm sure no one was checking out their most current health rating score. No, the proof was in the pudding... And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles. A hungry multitude will follow you if Jesus is feeding them.
There were people who were concerned with whether or not the disciples washed their hands before they ate. Matthew 15:1-2 It appears Jesus didn't sit the boy or the disciples down to wash their hands before serving the multitudes. No, Jesus just wanted to know what they had in their hands to offer of service for the King. "
Exodus 4:1-2 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not
believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD has not
appeared unto you. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in your hand? And he
said, A rod.
God uses those who are willing. A good church is the same way, and this is one thing in particular I like about my church. But, it isn't always like that. Just ask yourself, would a prostitute or a member of a bike gang feel comfortable looking for Jesus in your church?
Proverbs 18:16 A man's gift makes room for him, and brings him before
Yes, there is room in God's house for all. We are all fit for service in the Kingdom: rich and poor, wise and simple. We all wear the robes of righteousness and belonging placed on our shoulders by our Father when He accepted us back into the household and placed His ring on our fingers, and served us the feast. We are family of the King, and of value to the Father of us all. Matthew 18:3-6 talks about children in particular. If a child wants to serve God, then our job is to lead Him forward to place his gift in the hand of the Master. Jesus once responded to the critical Pharisees that they worshipped with lip service, but their hearts needed a GPS...God Positioning Satellite. They didn't know how to worship with their hearts, which were far from God. Is your heart in the right place? :)
Travis and I took a Dolphin Tour at Tybee Island. I believe it was in 2007. Though it was just 4 years ago, he has changed so much. He always loved staying in a hotel or motel. I guess most kids do. But, he is fun to travel with, and a good navigator, because of his fascination with maps and geography. The dolphins were numerous on this boat ride, and you can see one of their fins in this second photo. Travis has always been an animal lover, and especially dogs and dolphins. I love the sea gulls; the musical calls, the graceful flight patterns, and the sight of them hovering in massive groups over the water.
I love the ocean, and everything about it. But, Travis never loved the roar of the surf. On this trip we climbed the 178 steps to the top of the Tybee Lighthouse. It was so high up that I had to wait a few minutes inside the doorway at the top before I could get the courage to step out on the thin railing around the outside of the top, but the view across the ocean was fantastic!
But, the view of my son enjoying the ocean was the most awesome sight of the whole trip. I think family time is probably one of the greatest gifts God gives us. I've always treasured the time I have spent with my sons, and now with my husband on vacations. This is why I always made a point of taking vacations when the boys were young. The zoos, the museums, the circus, the Atlanta Braves, everything and every moment was a collectable moment in my treasure chest of happiness. Just look at the volume of the expression on this silent boy's face. A picture is truly worth a thousand words, especially from a child who was silent for so long.
I caught myself using this phrase in my lesson at Vacation Bible School tonight, but now even though I had it typed in my notes it seems odd. Especially much? That's like a "special lot." :) But, it's the only words I could come up with for the fact of the way Jesus loves children. I wonder why we love children, of all people, "especially much?" Well, we know Jesus loves us all very much. But, Jesus Himself delineated children as having a special place in His kingdom. So, I guess I am allowed to say Jesus loves us much, and children especially much.
I can see why Jesus loves children so especially much. Whether they stare at you in wide eyed silence, or blurt out heart-felt prayer requests unashamedly, they reveal a hunger for the Spiritual world that most adults learn to curtain with diverted eye and casual conversation.
Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Allow little
children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of
Psalms 127:4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Don't marvel at my silence tonight. I have been busy watching one of my arrows shot out of the quiver. He will return the bounty, as I have invested in him mightily.