Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Love People

Good evening everyone! Once again I am taking a few minutes before I crash to review a few things on my heart. I feel a little like a small boy from a neighboring church whose mother overheard her son playing church. He asked his audience of stuffed teddy bears if they had any prayer requests and this is how he said it, "Stuff on our hearts?"
Well, I suppose all of us have "stuff" that troubles us, or "stuff" we wish we could express to someone who understands. That is the neat thing about having Jesus in my heart: I always have someone who cares about my "stuff."
This brings me to the title of this particular reflection. I love people. Tonight was church night for us. We meet for informal Bible study and prayer. I am amazed at the elderly group we have in our small church. One man is on dialysis three days a week, but he always has a big smile, an encouraging testimony, and a bright outlook on life. Another lady in our church is having constant trouble lately with an irregular heartbeat. In spite of this, her million dollar smile would make the saddest clown alive laugh and feel better instantly.
Then, there are people who are complete strangers to me, but I get acquainted with them at the grocery store, Walmart, etc... Tonight, after church I met a woman my age who was a neighbor of my husband when he was growing up. One look into her face and big brown eyes told me a story of a very painful past. We started talking and soon I was able to exchange phone numbers and arrange to have her come to my house to scrapbook. She is a scrapbook manic like myself! Guess what? I am soo excited. While I get to enjoy a hobby that is very special to me, I can also use that time as a ministry tool to reach out to hurting people like this hurting lady.
My husband says I would try to get a friendship established with a signpost and I guess that is true. Case in point: I have a group of very special ladies that I periodically meet with for a three and one-half hour scrapbooking session. I have to back up a 50 car train to the door to unload all of my "stuff" into the fellowship building where this "Scrapper's Anonymous Meeting" takes place. The crazy thing is that I usually never even complete one page. Why? Because I spend my time talking to and listening to these precious ladies who come from all different backgrounds, age groups, and even faiths. It is in these times that I can share my love for people and my love for Jesus with them. I think the church that came up with this idea to open their doors for community scrapbookers is a wonderful way to witness and it also helps we ladies develop friendships that would never have happened otherwise.
Well, enough of my ravings about the wonder of humanity. But, dear reader, whoever you are, I wish I was your best friend and I wish I could get to know you better. If you know Jesus, whether we ever meet here, I will meet you in Heaven some day. Won't that be exciting. Love to all and good night.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Hi everybody! It has been awhile since I shared any thoughts with you. Again it is late and I am enjoying a few minutes of connecting with fellow bloggers out there. I love my new place. I guess I find new joys the longer I am here in this beautiful parsonage which the church has graciously provided for us to live in. Tonight I am particularly thankful for our lovely "lavender" bedroom. Since Alan and I have been married, we have always wanted to decorate a bedroom in lavender and purple. Until now, we have lived in homes that are paneled! The first time we toured this home with the deacons of the church we both looked at each other open-mouthed (behind their backs) because this particular room is painted the EXACT shade that we have always dreamed about. It is painted lavender with white trim and we have hung lavender curtains with white lace valences. This room is in the upstairs area of the home and has gabled ceilings on each side. Then two windows overlook our backyard where three large trees spread their canopy of shade over a large area. Last night, I drifted to sleep with the gentle breeze wafting through the windows, the sounds of crickets, tree frogs, and all those comforting summer night sounds singing God's gracious lullaby into my grateful ears. Then the icing on the cake came in the form of a gentle summer rain trickling down softly through the thick foliage of leaves on the trees outside our house. As I sailed away to dream land I thought of the verse where Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden and I WILL GIVE YOU REST!" That is exactly what he did for us last night after a heavy day of ministering to hurting people.
As for this pretty room, I think of the words from Scripture which say, Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He SHALL give thee the desires of thine heart!" Now, maybe I am taking things out of context a bit, but it surely applies to my heart tonight!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Peace in the Storm

It seems as if I only find time to write when the rest of my world is sleeping. Can I get a witness from all the mothers out there? By the time you have devotions, fold the laundry, cook the meals, wash the dishes, take numerous phone calls into the parsonage and keep up with the constant clutter that trails the wake of a two year old, you cannot expect to have much time for blogging or anything else! Somedays I do more "slogging" (in the South that means that you are barely getting thru!) than blogging! HA!
For the last few weeks since I moved into this new house which is the first parsonage and pastorate for our family, I have experienced a lot of tumultuous emotions that are very close to the storm which is raging outside tonight. I need to talk to my oldest sister, Rachel. She had so much wisdom and practical sense to offer, but she died almost five years ago. Then torrents of tears roll through my soul and sorrow thunders into my heart without warning when I think about my mother who was a pastor's wife "par excellence" and a woman of grace. I know that she could guide me through all of the mine fields that I keep making for myself, albeit I do this unwittingly. She would know exactly what to tell me. My hand reaches for the phone, but a strike of lightening upon my memory reminds me that pancreatic cancer took Mother out of here over a year ago.
Now that we are all thoroughly depressed, I want to tell you that this storm is very hard to endure, but I have found the ultimate shelter and peace in the midst of this violent onslaught. My source of peace in this wild night of the soul is none other than the "Master of the Winds and the Waves" Jesus Christ. Remember the time that Jesus was asleep in the little fishing vessel on the Sea of Galilee and a terrible storm came up. The disciples were terrified and cried out to Jesus, "Don't you care that we are about to die?" The Bible tells us that Jesus stood up and rebuked the storm with these words, "Peace be still!" We are told that IMMEDIATELY the winds and the waves became totally still and that the storm stopped. Wow! This same Jesus is the Author of Peace and has come into the midst of my storm and has given me a safe shelter and "peace that passes all human understanding. Yes, I have squalls come up at times, but He is there with me and gently ministers to my broken heart and gives me healing and peace in the storm.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

It is late at night and I find myself very happy to know that we survived another Sunday. Considering that we were sick all night with food poisoning on Saturday night, I am relieved that God helped us through this day.
I was challenged by my husband's message this morning from Nehemiah 2. He likened the city of Jerusalem (which is known as the City of Peace) to the spiritual heart of man. It is from this place that we should have the center of our peace through Jesus Christ. Also, Alan compared Nehemiah (who went to view the ruins of Jerusalem's walls in secret) to the Holy Spirit. If the walls of the heart have been broken down by the enemy of the soul, Satan, then the Spirit will often assess the condition of the heart of man before that man ever realizes the gentle work of the Spirit in his life to bring about restoration.
Nehemiah said that the King was behind him supporting his desire to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. In fact, the King provided all the resources needed to repair and restore the walls even better than they were before they were destroyed. The Holy Spirit will remind the man who has fallen away from God's love and the person who has never known salvation, that the resources for building the walls of protection against sin and failure around the redeemed heart have been provided by Jesus Christ, God's Son, through His death and resurrection.
He then closed the message by saying that there is hope for the backslider and the one who has never been saved. But, he also warned believer's to keep a guard on the gates of the heart because if there is even a small breach, then anything can get inside and destroy the soul.
For me, I was stirred and challenged to ask the Lord to help me to keep the walls of my heart well guarded and maintained by consistency in prayer and study of the Word of God. (Yes, we pastor's wives struggle to find time for devotions like everyone else:-) I want the Lord to help me to repair any weak spots that might be present in the walls of my heart. Walled cities in ancient times were built to keep out bad things (enemies) and let in only the good things (riches and friends). In the spiritual life, it is the same way.
Lord, help me to learn from this message and begin to see fruit in my life even this week!
Thanks for putting up with my ramblings, dear reader. I do come by my interest in theological discussions honestly, though. Not only am I a pastor's wife, but I was also raised a "Preacher's Kid." These types of discussions were exciting dinner conversation when I was growing up. I just hope that you my lay readers were able to endure. Good Night!