Friday, August 7, 2009

Conversations On Life's Highways: Encounter With The Trucker

Last night I was heading to the Big City to meet Karen. I was having a grand time driving 75.. (hey! The speed limit is 70!) I was singing away and talking with my Real Father - God. It is safe to say - I was enjoying the time spent on the road - the highway. I still get a big kick out of driving even after all these years of being physically healed and legally being able to drive. I was looking forward to spending time with Karen. A woman who is such a dear friend and yet we had never met face to face before.

About 25 minutes in to being on the highway, the truck in front of me started having problems. I noticed a big long tube on the right side of the truck was coming lose. As it continued to be ripped from the side of the truck and barely hanging on by a thread as it was being dragged on the highway - two long black tubes came out of it and were flying in the air towards the vehicle I was in. I swerved to miss it and they landed on the side of the road to the right of me. They barely missed hitting me due to the vehicles in the left lane that were passing me. Notice... they were passing me and the truck...

Up a little ways from where the trucker lost the two black tubes out of the larger tube - he finally realized he was having problems. He signaled and started pulling over on the right shoulder of the highway. I pulled over behind him and got out. He jumped out of the truck and looked me at with such surprise. He motioned for me to go to the right side of the truck away from the cars on the highway. We met by where the longest tube was still barely hanging on. The look on his face was confusion at what had happened and worried about why I had pulled over too.

I shared with him about where the two long black tubes came out at and when I first notice the longer tube coming lose from the side of the truck. He apologized profusely and then proceeded to ask where had I been hit. The look on his face changed dramatically when I told him I had not been hit. I pulled over to share with him what I had seen so he would know what had happened and where to find the two black tubes. He just stared at me for a moment or two in utter surprise. He asked again, "Are you SURE you weren't hit?" I assured him I had not been. He just stood there dumbfounded.

I share this with you this moment to say... We shouldn't have to be hit directly in order to want to get involved when we see another person in trouble. We should reach out of our comfort zones and be willing to lend a hand to another. Yes, I had plans to meet Karen at a certain time. I was looking forward to our time together. But, that didn't change the fact that while driving to meet her - someone else was in need of help that I could provide. The trucker was shocked that I stopped even though I wasn't hit. He ended up smiling and thanking me. And I was thankful to have been able to drive, on that highway to meet Karen and be able to help him. It didn't take more than just a couple of minutes.

On up the road a little ways, there was an accident. 3 vehicles were involved. I cannot help but think for a moment that had I not stopped to help the trucker - the trucker or this silly woman might have been in that accident too. It is entirely possible that the encounter with the trucker helped me just as much as it helped him. Funny how that works like that..

So, let me ask you this moment...

Are you willing to get involved today?

Who will you see along life's highway that needs a helping hand?

I didn't stop because I'm that great of a person. I stopped because of God's love first.

Who will you help today because of God's love for you? and for them?

Just because they are a human being.

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for.

Life is a highway.. but remember - you're never driving all alone.

Much love,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

When Faith Knocks: How Do You Know That?

"How do you know that?" If I had a dollar for every time my dad said that to Dick or someone asks me that... it is from that perspective I share this morning.

Growing up I was taught and experienced many things as the daughter of my dad - especially as it related to God, Jesus, Spirit... people, teaching, giving, sharing and the local church. In some circles, I've shared more openly about it than I have others. That has been very intentional on my part. My dad was not a pastor. But no question he was a servant and a minister. He was a deacon, intense about outreach, a Bible Study teacher, on more committees than he forgot, but I can still vividly remember. I know... I just showed my Baptistic card. It's all good.

I'll never forget riding with my dad to the airport to pick up a man our church at the time was considering as their next pastor. Nor have I forgotten the conversations as that man came to our house for lunches and dinners.. to break bread together, to share, and most importantly - to spend time praying together. Most of the time - only the B family and those on the pastor search team knew he was even in town. That's just a tad of my experiences as my dad's daughter. And when I say, "just a tad"... several books from that alone could be written.

Now, the tables have turned.. I am the wife of man a pastor search team is considering for their next pastor. And while there is so much more to this story that I will not share until after a yes or no is heard from God..... my having been my dad's daughter is wrapped in to this story just as much as whose wife I am. More importantly though than that... it is the time spent listening to my Real Father, studying His Word and our family (the G family) - my husband in particular... Did I mention before we will be celebrating 20 years of marriage on August 19th? I kind of like that guy you know.. So much so that I know when his heart is glowing and overflowing as his face is showing and his actions are. No matter what happens with this other church - the evidence speaks for itself.

For clarification purposes... my husband is an intern with our current church. Intern.. not to be confused with interim. While many know my husband as a pastor already... whenever that call comes to another church it will be for him to be their pastor. Yes, I am a woman minister as well, but I follow my husband.. not the other way around. And I wouldn't have it any other way. If I never receive another blessing before drawing my last breath on this earth... I am blessed beyond any and all measure to live the moments in life that I do. And I am thankful to have had a dad that included me at the table when others might have said, "Kids should not be a part of this."

So, dear reader, let me ask you....

How do you know what you know??

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for.

Much love,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

When Faith Knocks: When You Love Someone

Over the last couple of weeks, I have had a few people express their desire for us to not leave G-town. It is from those conversations and with those faces etched on my heart that I share today.

We are not leaving here, whenever that happens, because there is any less love here. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The G family has a deep deep love for this town and the individuals who walk, ride or drive her roads or who are scared to because of her traffic. For those that can be seen easily and those that are painted as our paths intersect - the unseen.

In 2004, our family surrendered to God and to the work He was doing in our lives and out of them. In May of 2005, when we were sent here... it was never our intent to stay more than a few years unless so otherwise directed by God. Those few years have at times have seemed like forever and yet just yesterday. There is no doubt the place I said I would never go became the very place I would cry over leaving. Tears of sheer gratitude. For those of you here... you'll never fully know or can I say...

I know there are some who say I shouldn't talk about what is going with us regarding another church. I also know though that is some of why I was set out on the adventure of writing "Life in the Moments"... To share what might not be shared if I truly had my own way. I've never fully understood the responses to my writing about our life's moments and can only say... if you've ever received one ounce of encouragement or have seen a glimpse even of God... Jesus.. Spirit... then I am thankful beyond words. I am complete because of God's love and Jesus' expression of that on the cross, in the tomb, and defeating death... not by what I do.

As I said yesterday, my mother is engaged. Her and Hoover are planning a September 5th wedding. Dick will have the privilege of marrying them. We are grateful for this taking place. We can see God all over it. For one of our struggles has been, "What about Mom/Grandma?" She is always welcome wherever we are. But God has seen fit to provide her with a man who is willing to be there for better or worse and in sickness or in health. And given he has already proven that over the last 2 plus years with her.... I am looking forward to them becoming husband and wife. He has stood up against her, beside her and with our family. I love that man. No question I love my mother either.

This coming weekend, the G family will be out of town again.. but still in Texas. And no, this is not officially "In View of a Call"... yet.... as far as we know... The particulars of exactly where I won't share publicly here except to say.....

It is part of when you love someone...

You are willing to go any where.

There is no place on this earth I'd rather be than wherever the Lord sends my husband and the G family.

Wherever... Whenever.

When you love someone - you're also willing to let them go. You share in their excitement.

You might even dance....

And if there's an internet connection to be had... you stay connected through facebook too! lol

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for.

And thank you for taking me in. The bump on my nose and all.

If we are to stay a few more weeks or shorter... or longer...

Much love,

Monday, August 3, 2009

When Faith Knocks: 24 Hours Can Make Life Changing Moments

This is a Monday that will not be forgotten. Sent Travis off to Marching Band Camp this morning. He was positively excited even with the understanding that he may never step foot on the field during a game or might only be a few times. Dick came back to the house and made a fabulous breakfast. A soon-to-be bride joined us looking positively glowing in her pjs having just announced to us her engagement. Wild times to say the least. Can you figure out who the bride is? And hubby has been asked to perform their wedding. His first wedding no less.

As I sit here thinking over the past weekend, it is obvious yet again what a difference 24 hours can make in the lives of individuals. Things may come in to play that one may have never thought they would want - let alone be excited about. I understand that better today than I did yesterday. There are so many possible changes happening with our family that if you had told me even 6 months ago I would be as excited about them as I am - I probably would not have believed you. Funny how that happens.

I ask that you continue to pray for not only the 5 of us as we continue to listen to God about the direction He is moving us, but for all connected to the possible changes. They are huge changes.

I remain thankful beyond words for the conversations that my dad and I had. More importantly than that..... I am grateful that my husband and I spend time together each night in prayer. I am thankful for how my Real Father continues to speak to us.... to me... Priceless.

So, let me ask you this moment....

Can you hear Him now?

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for.

Much love,

Sunday, August 2, 2009

It Was A Flip Flopping Sunday!

Last Sunday morning we were with hubby's baby (and only) sister, Angela, her hubby and their 2 daughters down in Katy, Texas. This was our first time away on a weekend for personal time in years. There had been a bit of misunderstanding on Dick's part. He thought Cody had to work on Sunday. So, he thought we weren't going to be visiting their church with them. Cody had planned for us to all go to their pcb and worship together, The MET - also known as The Metropolitan Baptist Church. It's a tiny church of about 8,000 or so. Give or take...

The boys and I had discussed whether or not we thought we were going. So, just in case - we each packed a pair of blue jeans. Since I had been teaching the college/single group and then before that had the group for pregnant teens and single moms - blue jeans had been quite natural for me to wear.The boys normally wear blue jeans or shorts.

As for Dick, well.... all he had were his cargo shorts, t-shirts and his flip flops. For those who know him - let that sink in. He purposefully wears blue jeans some times, but not every Sunday. He certainly does not wear shorts and flip flops on Sunday morning. (Nothing here against those that do... please keep reading! lol) That's what he wears on Wednesday evenings to teach his Bible study group that meets then.

So, it was decided that we indeed we're all going to The MET. It was also a given that Dick would have to wear his cargo shorts, his "Love God. Love People" t-shirt and his flip flops. Angela who is 15 years younger than Dick had never worn blue jeans to church. Ever.... So, she decided she would since the boys and I were. Silly me had forgot to pack any other shoes. I wore a pair of Ang's shoes.

As we were walking up to the pcb (physical church building), 3-year-old Kaitlyn said to me, "I'm so glad you get to come to my church today. First we see Jesus. Then later we will eat lunch and go swimming." Couldn't help but smile deeply and get a little teary on that one. We were quite the group all walking in together.

It was the first time that all five of us had been together in the same room and on the same section of any pew or chairs in a long time. Then to be there also with Ang and Cody was beyond words. It was without a doubt one of the most worshipful times of our lives. And I can say that for each one of us without any hesitation too.

The MET's main campus had a guest pastor named Bruce. Pastor Sal was at their other temporary location for their second site. Pastor Bruce gave a message on how we're each "Messed up and Under Construction!" He even had us each turn to those beside us and tell them that. "You are messed up and under construction!" We also had a time where individuals stood up and we went to them, laid hands on them and prayed outloud for them. The G family didn't just sit there like guests. We were just as much with our church family that morning - in that service as we are with our local church body.

It didn't matter how we were dressed. What mattered most of all was each of our hearts. What type of condition were they in with coming there, while there, and upon leaving there. The sky didn't fall because hubby was in flip flops and cargo shorts - nor because Ang was in blue jeans too.

So, dear reader, let me ask you this moment.....

What's the condition of your heart?

If you're going to a corporate service this morning - meaning at a place known as a church to be with others, does it matter how you are dressed?

Will you use not having the "right" clothes to keep you from going?

If I can just share a tad from my past with you...

I used to let it stop me.

I had a clear sin issue with it.

And has God done a real work in my life's moments in regards to that.

Even if I go back to wearing dresses or pants on a regularly basis... which I might be sooner rather than later. Or if hubby goes back to wearing suits each Sunday. Or if we don't.

What God cares about most of all is our hearts and lives. Not the brands. Not the suits or blue jeans or shorts.

Only Jesus was perfect.

So, the rest of us are truly MESSED UP & UNDER CONSTRUCTION!

Do you know The Real Builder and Foundation of life's moments?

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for. And yes, I have on my hard hat!

Much love,