Saturday, October 31, 2009

Where do you go???


"I raise my eyes toward the mountains.

Where will my HELP come from?

My HELP C-O-M-E-S from the LORD,

(Psalm 121:1-2)

I've thought a lot about these verses above. I love what the psalmist says. He begins this psalm by letting us see him raise his eyes toward the mountains as he asks himself, "Where will my help come from?"

He obviously wondered.

He obviously took some time to ponder it.

It's obvious that the writer felt he needed some kind of help for some sort of thing for some reason.

Can you stop a minute to try to picture him there as he glazed over the horizon toward the rise of those mountains?

Maybe his brows were furrowed? Maybe his hands went to his head as he covered his eyes and grabbed his face in his worry of what to do with the thing that he needed help for? Maybe he bowed to the ground and he fell to his knees as he asked himself his question? Maybe he cried out in anguish? Maybe he pounded the ground before him? Maybe his face was bathed in his tears? Maybe he was tired and couldn't fathom how his circumstances or situation or the thing that he needed help with could really be helped at all?

Maybe his friends' faces came to his mind as he wondered if they could possibly help him? Maybe this person? Or that? Maybe her? Or maybe him? Maybe his father? His mother? His teacher? His brother? His neighbor? His friend? The stranger he had just met? His boss? A doctor? A specialist? A surgeon? A banker? A loan-shark? John? Or Jim? Or Becky? Or Paul? Or.......? Maybe.....? Maybe.....? Maybe...??? Could anyone at all any where be able to help him?

Maybe he tried to figure out how he might could manage it with his own power? with his own resources? If he tried harder? If he was better prepared? If he did this? Or if he just didn't....? If he could.........?

"Where will my help come from," he wondered?

"Where? Where? Where?" his mind echoed. "Where will it come?"

Where will it enter? Who will bring it? Where can I attain it? Who or where can I get it?

He had a need. And he needed someone or something to help him.

And then, in the very next thing that he pens, we see him know his answer. "Where will my help come from," he'd wondered. And now he knows!

"My help comes from the LORD!"

I love that help "COMES"! I love more that it's the LORD that brings it! Not just "the Lord," but the "Maker" of heaven and earth. Can anyone have any more power than He? He's the one that created all created things. He's the maker of everything. He's the one that can move the winds to blow or peace it. He not only can create with a word, but each word that He sends forth doesn't come back to Him without first doing the very thing that He bid it. He can turn the minds of kings. He can shut the mouths of lions. He can keep one from burning in the midst of a fire. He can make time stand still. Or make iron to swim. He can heal the sick and make the lame to walk again. He can stop the enemy from pursuing, and set the captives free. He can blind a man or make the blind to see. He's the very one that came to rescue and died to deliver me. Why would He not help us in our needs? It's who He is, it's why He came, He came to help; He came to save us from the things that plague us and from our enemies!

Ugh. Life's hard. We all need help. But who or what or where do you go to find it? I don't know about you, but I've often run to other people or other things to find my help in my need. It might seem to be a temporary fix. But if it even rates that much, that's all that it is. Trust me, nothing else works. There's only one place to find true Help.

I want to do as this psalmist did. When wondering where my help is going to come from, I want my Help to come from Him!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wonder what God must think when He sees?


I checked my mailbox before leaving to go out-of-town hoping that I'd have something that I was waiting for in it waiting for me. And I did! I found his "handwriting" there. Yay! So I got to take it with me when I left. I was so excited! Thrilled with anticipation! Curious with wonder!

I couldn't wait! I began reading it on the way. I read as I drove until the sun disappeared and I could no longer see to. And then I read the rest of it as I sat in the Baggage Claim Dept in the Atlanta Airport waiting for my sister's arrival. His 'notes' that filled the pages of his Stenographers Notebook ended with this question, "Did you really read all of this?" My answer back to him? Every single word of it! Every single jot and tittle! And some of those? Even more than once!

Well, what can I say now after I've read it? I don't know how to tell you what it meant. I don't know how to tell you how I felt. I can't verbalize my reaction. It's too big. Words can't capsule it. But I'll tell you this much, for miles I couldn't read a word of it... because instead, I just held his words written in his spiral notebook to my chest and cried.

I loved that he sent the whole notebook, and not just loose papers. I don't know why... but I did. I wasn't expecting it. Nor was I expecting the original thing, I was expecting Xeroxed copies of his notes... and typed ones, not hand-written. The originals scribbled in pencil made it a zillion times better. And to think what God must think about the time and the effort and the heart that he put into writing things about Him and His Truths..... I don't know, I had never thought about that before that very minute while I was reading it. But WOW, at what God must feel towards those that do. Towards those that delve deep into His word. Towards those spending their time with their heads bent over and eyes held squinted in deep thought or held wide in wonder. Towards those that spend hours upon hours upon hours in searching His scripture. Towards those that take time to pencil, or to pen, or to type, or to text worlds of notes from their meditation over the words that they'd read... because they'd meant so much, and because they didn't want to forget them, or because they wanted to share them with another.

The notes that I read that I talk about above that was sent to me by a friend are the notes that my friend had written and taken with him on a mission trip to Peru to teach those people that live there of God and His Love-filled Son. It's a friend that I haven't seen since right out of high school. And one that obviously loves God and His Word. I was incredibly impressed with the thoughts that he'd written to share. He did an excellent job of explaining sin, the atonement, and justification by Jesus's blood. And if those were "just his notes",... then wow, at what it must have been like to hear his audible! I would have loved to. I wish I could have. Just by seeing what he'd written I found him precious and I loved his heart!

The next day after being so moved by all that my friend had written I went to the funeral of my daughter's boyfriend's father. Dustin read a poem that he'd written about his dad and then told some things and stories about him. How precious it was to hear the voice of a child's heart for his daddy!!!! Needless to say, I was fine until Dustin got up there... but then when he did my non-waterproof mascara ran faster than I was able to wipe it. That was one of the things that I also felt yesterday as I was reading my friend's notes. I almost felt it too intimate to read. I felt like... I felt that I was holding a piece of his heart that he'd taken the time to use his hand to pen on a page about his own Father and Savior. I can't tell you how precious I thought that that was. Almost too precious to hold... too sweet to handle. Too priceless of a thing to be able to peek into.

Reflecting over all of that since and being whoa-ed with wonder at what God must think as we search so diligently and deeply and hard for Him in His words. Seeing Him see us as we reflect on what He's said, as we ponder those things in our hearts, as we mull over His commands and contemplate His will and His heart.... noting on paper with pen what moves us; I wonder again, what He must think when He sees? How it must make His heart soar. Especially after He's penned His own heart, for after all, He has sent us His "handwriting" and wonders too, watching us to see if, "Did you really read all of this?"

After writing about my feelings of how I felt in response to the notebook of my friend, I wonder if I feel the same way about Jesus's words? Do I go to my 'mailbox' (His Bible) and wonder if I'll find His handwriting to me there? Can I stand to wait? Or do I find I can't, and feel compelled to read it on my way?

Oh yes! I DO love His word! I can't wait to see what He's said! Sometimes it so moves me I can't even read because my heart's too overwhelmed, I'll simply just hold the words He's written to me to my chest and cry there and love Him even more. Yes, I do this too, not just for my friend... but also in reaction to the words of my Savior:

I check my mailbox before leaving to go on my way hoping that I'll have something that I am waiting for in it waiting for me. And I do! I find HIS "handwriting" there. Yay! I get to take it with me when I go. I'm so excited! Thrilled with anticipation! Curious with wonder! What does my God have to say to me today?

I can't wait! I begin reading it on the way. I read (sometimes) as I drive until the sun disappears and I can no longer see to. And then I read more of it as I sit in different stops throughout my day. His 'notes' that fill the pages of my Bible don't necessarily end with this question as my friend's notes did, "Did you really read all of this?" but I wonder if He asks? I wonder if He wonders if I will? I'm sure He hopes I do! My answer back to him if He did? Oh yes, Lord, yes! Every single word of it! Every single jot and tittle! And some of those? Even more than once! And all of those, hopefully a whole lot more!

Well, what can I say now after I've read it? I don't know how to tell you what it meant. I don't know how to tell you how I felt. I can't verbalize my reaction. It's too big. Words can't capsule it. But I'll tell you this much, my God loves me and that's why my Savior died! He's written notes to remind me. He's shared His heart for me there. He's shown me what He's done. He tells me what He's to do. He advises me. Equips me. Warns me. Empowers me. And even once, He brought His Word off the page and sent them to us in the form of His Son! How's that for personal "handwriting"! Wow, He's written notes to you too. How I hope (though He hopes even more) that you will take the time to read it! You've got mail!!! If I were you I'd go check and hurry to read it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Mom, you're crazy!"

My daughter dubs me as CRAZY! (Not really, but she jokingly says so.) She tells me that I have an analogy for everything. That I can make a lesson using anything. That it doesn't matter what she says I can correlate it to something God's said.

Okay, a fault of mine (though I think 'fault' a wrong word), but I think she's right. We laugh about it. But in all seriousness, I think everything teaches. It's amazing really what one can learn in the every day things of life... most of the time without even looking.... or thinking to look. It's wild the lessons that are taught if we'll bother to see them. And it's fun, once you see something, to see a new revelation of truth shown in a modern-day-like colorful parable.

In that moment that Prissy said that, here is the illustration I made that prompted her to call me crazy: She came home telling me that she was telling a friend of hers that her parents were trying to talk her into going to Amridge University, because she could go there totally free. It wouldn't cost us anything.

The friend asked her, "Amridge? I've never ever even heard of Amridge? Where is that?"

When Prissy told him that it was on the corner of I-85 and Taylor Road, he said, "Oh. I thought that was where they cremated people."

I laughed at what he said! I know the guy. I can picture him saying it. It's priceless the imagine I have of him saying that in my head.

Amridge is a Christian University. So the first thing that popped into my mind when she told me what he said of the place was, "Well, in one respect, it is! It's a place that teaches us about God and Jesus and how we should live. And, of course, we all know that Jesus teaches us that you've got to die to really Live! ("For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it." ~ Luke 9:24) So, I assume, in some aspect, "a place where they cremate people," fits pretty accurately.

Cremation. I looked it up. It's defined as: "to reduce (as a dead body) to ashes by burning"

When looking at that definition through the eyes of 1 Peter 1:6-7 which reminds us of the "if need be" of us having to go through FIERY trials to be refined by the fire in order to reveal the resurrected Jesus in us when done... it makes sense, it seems to fit. And then, a verse that you could put right along with it, too, is in Isaiah 61 which tells us that Jesus brings beauty from ashes. Who would ever think that a cremation could look so good?

But..... that wasn't even my point of blogging today. Here's what I got on to say:

My husband often lives with a furrowed frown on his face. The phrase he says most is, "I don't know how to do it all." (Of course, none of us do... that's why we need God).

Today Tim told me (after finding out that it was going to cost $1,500 to fix my son's truck... nothing Tabor did, just the wear and tear from the miles and the age of it) that, "If it's not one thing, then it's another." I told him, "It always will be." That's life here. That's how it rolls. That's how it's done. That's how it works. There's always going be another thing that's falling apart, another thing needing to be fixed, another thing breaking down, another thing needing to be replaced, another thing to pay for, another thing...................... another thing............. another thing................... Whether we're happy with the decaying rules of it or not, no matter our resistance for the decay to happen... it's coming down, it's falling apart, it's crumbling, it's decomposing, it's dilapidating, (it's wrinkling!!!), it's decaying anyway. It'll need to be repaired, upgraded, renewed, or replaced. Until Heaven, the phenomenon of rotting will never quit.... and we'll always be caught up in the cycle of trying to prevent it.

The thing of it is, we don't only fight the ruination and decaying of our cars and our homes and the things that we own. We fight hard to keep our bodies from decaying, from wrinkling, from sagging, from aging, from wearing down, from wearing out. Pardon the language, but it ain't gonna work! Against all our resistance and want-to, it's happening anyway.

Decay. I couldn't help but run with the word. Here's what God's got to say about our bodies and its decay:

"Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious FREEDOM FROM DEATH and DECAY [LIBERATED from its BONDAGE to DECAY]. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, FOR WE LONG FOR OUR BODIES TO BE RELEASED FROM SIN AND SUFFERING. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children, including the NEW BODIES [THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODIES that] He has promised us." Romans 8:18-23

"Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] DECAYING and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day." 2 Corinthians 4:16

"For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap DECAY and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life." Galatians 6:8

"And after my body has DECAYED, yet in my body I will see God!" Job 19:26

"Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [Born anew] into an inheritance which is BEYOND THE REACH of change and DECAY, unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you," 1 Peter 1:3-4

"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the [sound of the] last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [in Christ] will be raised imperishable (FREE and IMMUNE FROM DECAY), and we shall be changed (transformed). For the perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable, and this moral [part of us, this nature that is capable of dying] must put on immortality (freedom from death), And when this perishable puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory. O death, where is your victory, O death, where is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:52-55

Ah, we'll suffer "decay" in all sorts of ways.... in all the things we own and in our bodies. There's not much we can do to stop it from happening in this world, in this life. We long for our bodies to be freed from death and decay; we long for our bodies to be released from sin and from suffering. We long to be liberated from its bondage! It's in our "created in the image of God" nature... our bodies, as well as the whole earth, all of creation groans, it longs for freedom from this curse. Oh, but one day we'll be out of its reach! Death will be swallowed up! We'll be changed, we'll be transformed. From perishable to imperishable. In the blink of an eye. When Jesus comes!

No wonder we fight against it, no wonder it distresses us so.... we long, we long, we long for the full redemption from our King!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ping!.... Ping!...... Ping Ping Ping!

I've finally figured out how my mind works, and though I hate to admit it, the pinball machine visualizes it perfectly! A thought will pop into my head and my mouth starts talking about what it was thinking..... then, my mind pings from off that thought on to another one...... then, to another, and another, and another and another and another..... from one end of the spectrum to the other in only a matter of seconds. It's hard to keep up! And it's LOST very easily! Much too quickly! I'll be talking ninety-to-nothing, very animated and into what I'm saying, chasing one flittering thought after another, rabbit chasing every time one appears, and then............................................. the mind goes BLANK! The screen turns BLACK! The thought has escaped me! Ran. Left. Took off. Leaving my thinking to be NOTHING! NADA! ZILCH! CLEAR! ABSENT! SILENT!... A DEAFENING QUIET!

"What was I saying?"

I'll totally forget even the subject I'm on. It's like it drops into the hole and the ball is lost. And no amout of trying is able to retrieve it. But though that thought is lost forever, just pull my lever and give me a minute and I'm onto another thought in only a matter of seconds and pinging all across the page again with a whole new game full of thinking!

It makes for a very tired head!

I'll share my latest example with you:

Yesterday I was telling Prissy something that ended up being quite long with me pinging everywhere except stayed on the subject. Finally, when I was finished she said, "But what was your point, you never got to it?" I told her, yes, I did; and reminded her what the point was that I finished with. And she said, "No. That was the point of the point inside some point inside a point of another point that you were making. But, I know for sure that that wasn't your original point."

I laughed hysterically and told her, "Well, I'm so sorry then. It's forever lost now. I pinged past my point so many pings ago that there's no hope for retrieving it now." :)

I told her I think that'll be our new explanation when we lose something. That we simply "pinged past our point too many pings ago and now it's pingfully lost forever."

Boy though, after watching and listening to that video above, I think it's showing me that each new loud ping from each new flitter can very quickly become very disturbingly frustrating and tremendously annoying to the one that happens to be listening!


So sorry!

What can I say? I'm a flitterer. A pinger. And I can't keep up with my own head. It pings and flits whether I want it to or not. Sadly, you know the verse in 1 Peter 1:13 that says, "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,".... another version, "brace up your mind"...... you cannot even begin to know how many times I've asked God to just put both of His hands on either side of my face and HOLD my focus and fasten it to Him to keep me from becoming so quickly distracted. Shoo... all I can say is, that surely I'm a hard cookie to keep up with! No one knows how hard it is for me to write two sentences that correlate to one another. And then to add a third one that follows?? Woe, that's totally proof that God can do the miraculous and use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise!

Okay. Sorry for the interruption. You can go back to whatever it was that you were doing before I pinged and flitted somehow in your world. I just got so excited when I came up with the visual for my thinking that I couldn't help but share it with someone. :)

It's an embarrassing description, but nonetheless, perfectly fitting!

Cindy.... missing Steve more!

Okay. This was totally overwhelming to me! (I'm so sappy!) Perhaps, it's only because it was threaded through old memories that I miss... that meant so much to me???... and it's not relatable to those that don't have the same memories as mine??? I don't know. But regardless, I felt the urge to post.

This blog piggy-backs off of the previous blog that I posted ["Missing Steve"] yesterday. I had emailed my sister to let her know that I'd not forgotten this for-lorn date that rocked our worlds (especially hers and her childrens!), and to let her know that I was both thinking and praying for her.

Below you'll find a copy of my email to her... and then, the one that she replied to me with:

On Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 3:14 AM, wrote:

Subject: My short-term memory isn't impressive ............. but I'm not too sure my long one's much better.

Hey sweet sister,

I know that it was 14 years ago today that Steve left home and didn't come back. I still find the whole reality of it overwhelming. Hard to conceive. Hard to wrap my head around. Hard to fathom. No doubt, you a thousand times more, even though you've lived with the reality of it every single day since it happened. I have to wonder what you think about on a day like today? That too, is more than I can imagine.

Anyway, as I was thinking about it, I remembered you telling me something about the last sermon he preached (I think it was). I was blown away by what you said. It wasn't so terribly long ago when we were talking about it. BUT, for the life of me I can't remember what it was that you told me. I tried looking back in old emails, but wasn't successful at all with finding anything. Do you know what I'm talking about? Perhaps I have my mind mixed up and it wasn't the last Sunday that he had preached it? I can't remember. Mostly all that I can recall is how impressed I was in what you said. Boy, what I'd do to be able to buy a better memory. :)

Basically, I was thinking about you today.... and wanted to stop a minute to tell you I was.

I love you always! and am praying for you!


On Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 10:10 PM, wrote:

Subject: Re: My short-term memory isn't impressive............. but I'm not too sure my long one's much better.

I've never stopped thinking about Steve, different memories, his last day, the last goodbye. It haunts me, in a good way. It's amazing the impact the simple little things people say or do have on you for the rest of your life. Of course, we decide to use these for bad or for good.

It has never ceased to amaze me when total strangers are kind for no apparent reason, they gain nothing, they have no agendas. I wonder if maybe they are angels.

I have the tape of Steve's sermon, the one you were referring to. It surprised me the first time I listened to it. I saw myself through the eyes of Steve, listened to the voice of a dead man. I needed that to heal. Life is so different from the way it started, how did I get here. Married to another man, living in a different state.

Funny life is rarely what we imagine it to be. Prince Charming must only be in fairy tales. Last night Payton and Riley [two of her grandchildren] spent the night with me. On TV a man kissed a woman, and I asked Payton, "What was that?" Payton said that that's how people kiss when they are in love. Then I asked him if Momma and Daddy kissed that way? He said, "No". Sad isn't it. He's only four years old, but he sees more than we think.

Thank you for remembering, and emailing me it means a lot.

Loved you lil sis, and I'll never stop. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.



Re-reading it had me crying all over again. And, for more reasons than one.

Steve was a preacher and he was also a bass singer with a Christian Quartet in college. He had a beautiful voice! I loved to listen to him. I loved hearing him speak... both in words and in song. He had a great gift. He wasn't perfect. He had his faults, like we all do. But he had a good heart, a heart that wanted to live right for Jesus, and one that wanted to tell others about Him. I must say that I won't rest until I get a copy of that lesson that she spoke of. But I also must admit that I have heard him singing on old tapes, and hearing him sing after he's left his body of this world is a very weird thing to listen to. It's so precious! And priceless!

It makes me wonder, when we go, what we'll leave behind??? Our words and actions might not be captured on film or old tapes, but make no mistake someone will still be hearing our voice and remembering what we said long after we've gone. Someone will never forget what we did.

Wonder what you'll leave behind (and what I will)?... Wonder what recording we'll leave (even if only captured in the recordings of their minds)?...... And wonder what exactly it is that the people we knew will remember that we've done?

One more thing before I hush. I can't help but make mention of what Payton said. In the crazy, busy, hustle and bustle and stress of this world we live in, it's easy to not 'kiss' like your spouse once you're married and have kids like you used to. Maybe some of us need a little rekindling to keep from losing that spark? Because, life is too short, and love too precious to neglect it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Missing Steve

It was a Monday morning.

The year 1995.

Fourteen years ago today.

My brother-in-law kissed my sister and told his three kids good-bye before walking out the door to leave for work,

No one knew then that'd it be his last time there.

That he'd never come back to their home again after he'd left it.

He didn't plan not to.

He had no idea that he wouldn't.

My sister didn't either.

Neither did his son or his two daughters.

If they had / if she did surely they'd have begged him to stay and held onto him to keep him from leaving.

He worked for my dad (a construction company) and went out to a job site. He pulled off onto the shoulder of Interstate 65 (a couple of miles from my own home) and parked his vehicle behind the man's truck that he had a meeting with. Steve got out and leaned against his driver's side door as they talked. They had been there about 20 minutes or so when the guy he was talking to raised his eyes looking over Steve's shoulder in horror. Steve turned to see what the guy was horrified over but never saw the large food truck that veered off the road and hit him.

Well, at least, we don't think he did. But it was that very truck that was used to send Steve from this life... right on into the next one.

It was a horrible scene!

The details too morbid.

A tragic day!

Most people won't have remembered this particular date.

But some?.... will never forget it.

We miss you, Steve, but can't even begin to fathom the Home that you traded this one for! We have so many stories we could tell, I wonder if you're privy to see them? But as much as we think we've got stories to share with you, I wonder at what all you would say if given the opportunity to tell us? Wow, it's too incredible for our brains to wrap around, and too beautiful for our visuals to imagine.

As the song sings, "This world is not my home I'm just a passing through...." Indeed, it's not! Thankfully, it's not. And it would do us good to continually remember it.

"I Can Only Imagine" is a very favorite of mine. I thought it appropriate to post here.

I Can Only Imagine
by: MercyMe

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By Your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me

I can only imagine
I can only imagine


Surrounded by Your glory,
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for You, Jesus?
Or in awe of You be still?
Will I stand in Your presence?
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah?
Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
When that day comes
When I find myself
Standing in the Son
I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine
I can only imagine


I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship You
I can only imagine

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I saw him.... and loved him from afar.

I couldn't help but notice him. His hair made him hard to miss (((**~smile~**))). Even when restricted beneath the restrains of a football helmet, his dreads stuck out and hung long. And to be completely honest about his affect on me, he didn't just catch my eye, he kept it! Even now, ten days later and away from the field (though I'd never seen him before until then and will probably never see him again).... I can see him still. And though I don't know him at all.... I like him a lot!

I've talked a lot about him since. I've thought about him more. And the crazy thing that astounds me most about it is that: he's totally obvious to it all, he isn't even aware, he doesn't even know that I saw him.... he doesn't know how much he impressed me, he doesn't know that I carry him close in the confines of the memory of my mind, he doesn't know how much I liked him and still do.

I grabbed my cell the moment I saw him to text my daughter to tell her, "i want #18 on the other team. he's black. and his hair is longer than mine."

She texted me back, "Awwww!" (She so understands me!)

During the time that I wasn't watching my own son in the game, I watched him, #18 from the other side. I was rooting for him, wanting him to do good, willing him to play hard. I was "for" him in the wildest of ways. I prayed he'd do exceptionally well! I prayed that God would show him favor! And that if he didn't know Him already, that he would come to know God.

Several years ago on a mission trip to Africa I met lots of precious children. Just the mention of the name brings to mind so many that I'd met. I so loved it there! I loved it's simplicity. I loved their faces! I loved their hearts! I loved the rags they wore... and how they seemed oblivious to it. I love that they wore the same thing everyday, whether the zipper still worked or it didn't, whether it was torn in places or not, and even when it no longer had the buttons originally sewed onto it to keep the garment fastened. And I loved watching their day wake up, seeing them light their fires and start sweeping their dirt. Not to mention the stars you could see there at night. You can't see stars like that here.

And yet, there was one that to me was especially precious! To this very day his face is the Icon of my trip. He followed me all day everywhere I went. He grabbed my hand and wouldn't let it go. I was happy that he did, cause I didn't want him to. Some could speak English. He couldn't. So we couldn't understand each other's words verbally, but our hearts understood what our language couldn't. Man, I loved all of them. But he was my favorite! He didn't have a home. And I would have brought him to mine... but they wouldn't let me. :) Malawi won't let you adopt their children. They feel that they are responsible for their orphans. You've got to respect that. But it'd be nice if they'd bend the rules a bit. I think about him a LOT. And pray about him too. I could write eons about it. I knew most of their names, but never knew his. When I'd talk about him I'd call him the brown-shirted boy. Finally, I thought that wouldn't do anymore. So I named him myself. I gave him a Hebrew name. "Yapheh." It means "beautiful." I got it from Ecc 3:11 where we're told that God makes "everything beautiful in its time." I'm trusting God to do that for him and to use him to do great things for His Glory. You know what? I believe He will. I didn't get to take him home with me in bodily form, but God gave me that child. He's in my heart and won't go away... and thus I know I'm called to pray.

I told a friend about him once and in his response he questioned me, "Do you ever wonder why God gives you such a profound love for a place and people, especially if He isn't going to allow you to do something about it?"

Yes, I answered him, sometimes I do. And then I told him that sometimes loving can be hard. But if you didn't love and it didn't hurt then most times we wouldn't remember to pray. I've decided that every pain is like a call button that's prodded into a person in order to prompt them to. For when we seem to have need of Him most - that's when we're usually most fervently bowed humbly to our knees at His feet. Praising Him is one thing. Pleading with Him through earnest tears is a whole different ball game. Both are needed. But the latter is seldom done with true gut fervency (or for a very long period of time) if not for the pain behind it that pushes it out of us.

Back to his question, "Do you ever wonder why God gives you such a profound love for a place and/or people, especially if He isn't going to allow you to do something about it?"

Maybe He does? Maybe your praying about it is the very reason you're given the "profound love" for the place and the people in the first place? And maybe He IS doing "something about it"... just not in the way that you were thinking at first that He would or He should? Take Yapheh for example, maybe there's no one else specifically praying for him but me? Maybe that's one of the real reasons I went? Maybe he'll one day know God and love Him like crazy because I did? Maybe he'll be saved and thus turn and help save another... all because one person went across the waters to see him so vividly that she still sees him after 4 years? I'm totally convinced (because I've seen Him do it in my life) that God burdens other people in the wildest of ways to carry someone in prayer when they need it the most. Like the song Somebody's Praying Me Through ... woe, has He ever done that for me in someone that was praying for me at a time I think I needed it most by someone that I didn't even know.

Do I ever wonder why God gives us such a profound love for someone???... and perhaps, someone that I don't (and won't) ever really know? Yes. I have. I do. I sometimes wonder it lot.

Let me share with you my newest adventure. I've met a new wonder! Her name is Alyssa. I'm sure to write more about her later. But today, I just wanted to introduce her and to say this. I often wonder of all the people we meet, why do some stick to us more than others do? And why the particular ones that do? Why Mr. Dreads... and Yapheh... and Mikayla.... and Alyssa? Why (adults in my life) Tommy... and Rick.... and Bart.... and Michele.... and Jennifer... and Monica.... and Ellen??? Why is it that some people you meet you merely bump into, while another's bump is a touch that won't quit.... even if you never see them again? Why do some invoke a touch still felt years and years after you've met them?

My only sane answer to that in an effort to make sense is: God! For reasons beyond our conscious knowing I do believe that sometimes God specifically and intentionally places people in our paths that we can't just pass by or step over and leave. Some, we actually stop and speak and somehow physically help. Others, aren't so apparent. Others we pick up as we pass... and even without them knowing it they're somehow placed in our hearts. I think those are the ones that God purposely puts there so that we wouldn't just wonder and think about them... but so that when we did, we'd take them to Him and ask Him to bless them, ask Him to help them, ask Him to know Him if at the moment they don't.

Who have you noticed and picked up even though the one you did (on this side of heaven anyway) will never know it? Don't miss your reason! Perhaps you were meant to take them to Jesus.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So many!!!!.... and amazingly, no two alike!

I am in Memphis, Tennessee as I write. I was privileged and honored to get to come to another mountaintop escape alone with my God. I have been basking in His pleasure! Whoa-ing in His wonder! And soaring in the pure unadulterated splendor of my Savior who saves! I got to go to a Living Proof Live Event (teacher Beth Moore). Have you ever been to one? Have you ever done one of her bible studies? Let me inform you, just in case you haven't, that she is highly and greatly anointed by our Lord. You would have to plug your ears with your fingers and refuse with all your being not to hear a word from God under her teaching. The Spirit just pours forth from her jar of clay when you're around her. It can't keep from it, because she has taken the time and the toil to empty herself out and fill herself with Him and His Word. I highly recommend it if you haven't.

Anyway. Back in my room tonight, I took a moment to blog my wonder on another site. After thinking about it, I thought that I would give you a glimpse of my weekend, as well. To show you a picture of where I've been and what I've been doing. I'll spend the next two days quietly alone with my God without all the distractions of home to disquiet me. I am thrilled beyond measure to spend this cherished time by myself with Him.


So many!!!.... and amazingly, no two alike!

For my birthday on Monday, my husband gifted me with a ticket to the Living Proof Live Event with Beth Moore in Memphis, Tennessee for this particular weekend. I just left there a little while ago. And now, at this very moment, I find myself sitting alone in a hotel room, pondering over this pleasure I've been given. This wonder I've experienced. This overwhelmation of and with my Lord. Might I say to you (in case you haven't already guessed it), it's been a spectacularly splendorous day spent with the Divine and I hope NEVER to get over it!

As the women started pouring into the FedEx Forum last night that had been transformed by the grace of God because of His Presence into His sanctuary, I was enamored with all those treasured ladies that came. They came dressed in all colors. All different sizes. They were a conglomeration of personalities united as one. Each individually portraying a vast array of characteristics. No two were alike. None were the same. And each one was BEAUTIFUL!

Hair was doo-ed (or not!) to suit each one's fancy. Individualized to their uniqueness. Fashioned for the personality. Styled to their idiosyncrasy. Coifed, or crimped, or curled, or straightened, or permed, or put up, or pulled back, or braided, or pony-tailed, or bunned, or simply left hanging. Some had spent hours working with their 'doo' to get it just right! Some had paid to get theirs done. Some, I'm sure, never even thought much at all to worry about what their's looked like. I so admire that kind!. Surely, they are the favored! Those that haven't been crazy enough to be caught into the trap. Wouldn't that be nice! Wonder what that feels like??? And, I wonder, just how many of all those hairs had been colored or streaked or highlighted,.... for isn't it just what most of us do with ours?

Some had manicured their nails. Pedicured their feet. Fake-tanned their skin. Lotioned their skins. And perfumed their bodies.

Some sparkled. Some were sequined. Some jeaned. Some sweat-shirted. Some jacketed. Some vested. Some high-heeled. Some booted. Some sandaled. Some muled. Some tennis-shoed. Some were socked. Some were hosed. Some were bare-legged.

Some were loud. Some quieter than others. Some sang with their whole bodies. Others sang still... with heads bowed and their eyes closed. There was raised hands, raised arms, and raised voices. Hands that were clapping, feet stomping. Bodies swaying, or dancing,... or frozen in awed-fear ((*smile*)). Each appeared to be whole-heartedly (whole-heartedly!) worshipping their Lord.

Can I say again? B E A U T I F U L!

Wonder what their stories are? Wonder where they've come from and where they are going? Wonder who's a Twitter-er? Who's a Facebook fantantic? Who's more of a Myspace girl? Who's actually heard of Shoutlife? And who's not an Internet sojourner at all?

Who's got a PhD? Who only finished as far as high school? Who's working toward their GED? Who's got a job? Who stays at home? Who's looking for one? Who likes what they do? Who hates waking up in the mornings?

Who's just married a spouse? Who just left theirs? Who's lonely? And who is rarely alone?

What do their minds think in its quiet? What are their needs? their wants? their desires? their cries to their Lord? What was their reason for coming? Do they think that it's because they're seeking You, Lord? Yet is it rather instead because You're seeking them?

Wonder who'll leave being different.... changed radically from the inside to out till eternity comes? Wonder who'll drop the seed, leave without it making it in, feeling even dryer than before they came? Oh, Lord, please don't let it be so! May You blow every single girl's mind. Change their thinking. Rock their worlds. Captivate their hearts with wonder and use them for the display of Your splendor, the glory of the Lord!

Oblivious to all those around me, I watched them there. I smiled from the overflow of my heart. I liked them already, without having known them at all. I knew them, because I know me. I know they love, that they've lost love, they've been hurt by love, they've been disposed by someone that they thought loved them, they've been betrayed by a false love, denied by a selfish love, and perhaps at one time fell for a forbidden love... for a 'love' that first infatuated until it captivated and then afterward mutilated their hearts... because it wasn't real love at all.

We all seek and want to be loved. And all the while, Love seeks us because He already loves! Most came this weekend wanting 'a word' from Him, perhaps forgetting that it's He that invited us to give us a word! We came wanting to draw nearer to our Savior, while our Savior began wooing us long before we came drawing us closer and closer and closer to Him.

As I sat and looked at all those women the verse that kept rolling over and over in my mind was this one that's found in Numbers 24:5 which says, "How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel."

For there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that as God looked at His people, the chosen skin-tents that He still tabernacles Himself in, His prized and peculiar people, His treasured possessions, that He saw them (each one!) as BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!! His dwelling places... in all sorts and sizes... all colors... all shapes... all chosen... all purchased and bought with the blood of our Savior! Still carrying "The Word made flesh" in our earthly-bodied skins.



people tents