Monday, November 29, 2010

Thank You Kind Stranger

I was in a bind tonight as I was out running errands and am humbled to say that I had to ask a favor of a stranger.  My gas light was on and I was mortified to find that I had left my purse at my previous destination.  No wallet, no cell phone, there was no way I was going to make it anywhere to get help from someone I knew.  I was going to have to ask for help. 

Pulling into the station, there was no one around.  I reluctantly went to the man behind that counter and told him my dilemma.  Without hesitation, he grabbed his wallet and instantly punched in $5 into the credit card machine.  There are still kind people in this world that often seems cold and scary and uncaring.

I wanted to give him something back for his kindness...some token of my appreciation...and all I could think about was Peter when he spoke to the man that was crippled.  "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you:  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."  And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength...Acts 3:6-7. 

I had no money that night, but I wanted to give him Jesus.  And that's what I did, I took that moment and shared with him the love of Christ and how he wants to take us from our crippled state (emotional, physical, financial...) and give us strength.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Outreach

There is nothing like going out to bless others and being more blessed in return.  Our church held it's second annual Thanksgiving outreach to the community on Thursday.  Turkeys, sides and love were all donated to the church and served to our neighbors from 9am-1pm.  My husband and I were privileged to have had the opportunity to be part of this event. 

PB252892The best part was not the feelings we received from being able to extend generosity to those less fortunate, but looking forward to meeting those in the future who will become part of our fellowship because they were touched by events such a these. 

Pray for those who came out to the event, that they will not be able to forget the love they felt from so many who gave from their time and resources to reach out to others.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Something Different About You

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  2 Corinthians 2:15
My husband is a salesperson by trade but a baker at heart.  He has been often asked to make cakes for baby showers and birthdays.  On Sunday, he was asked to make 200 cupcakes for the wedding of some good friends of ours.  We arrived at the hall three hours ahead of time to set up the table and were welcomed by the owners of the Crystal Marque Ballroom, a family owned establishment.  And when I say "family owned", I mean it, as family members were all around us setting up for the evenings events. 

As we began setting up the table, the owner's mother, came up and asked us what company we were from.  Piedad was surprised when she heard that we were not from a business at all and that we were friends of the bride and groom.  As the day progressed, she continued to make several excuses to come and speak with us.  Finally, she said, "I see something different in you.  What is it about you?"

Now, honestly speaking, there is really no difference between me and anyone else.  I often fall short of the things I need to do in the daily occurrences of life and am constantly struggling through relationships with those I love the most.  The difference that Piedad saw in me, was Jesus.  The attraction she saw in me was the fragrance that Christ was diffusing in that place.  She listened to my testimony and marveled at the transforming power of Christ in my life.

Pray for Piedad to seek Christ for herself and to become that difference she saw in me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Busting at the Seams!

Have you ever planned an event and had it go even better than what you had ever hoped for?  As I reflect upon the events of this evening, my heart is just filled with thankfulness to God.  More than filled, I think my heart is busting at the seams!  We celebrated my father's birthday with an intimate group of family and friends.  I wanted my father to be showered with love, so I had a couple of ideas up my sleeve.  I asked my nieces, nephews and my kids, who range from ages 2-14, to write a little something about why they love their Papa.  Also, with the help of a wonderful friend, I put together a slide show of pictures ranging from his teenager years to the present. 

The kids were nervous, not quite understanding what I was asking them to do.  They panicked when they finally gathered that they were going to be speaking in front of all the adults at the party.  I pulled them all together and had them practice what they were going to say out loud.  I then reminded them about what the bible says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  We prayed together and then went back out to the party. 

The kids did really great.  It was so touching to hear each of them talk about their love for their Papa.  It was also fun to look at all the memories of our time together over the last several years with my family.  Then a good friend of my parents went up and shared a scripture with my father that the Lord had put on her heart.  It was precious to hear the encouragement that came from one who loves my family and loves the Lord.  Best of all, was that we were able to recognize someone that means so much to us on this special occasion.  Too often I am deluged with my own cares and concerns, and I don't take the time to look around at those around me that do so much for me.  This is a memory that I will treasure in my heart.

Some of the friends and family that were in attendance do not know the Lord.  My prayer is that through the love showered upon my father, they would see Christ for themselves.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Smell of Freshly Cut Wood

I love the smell of freshly cut wood.  I suppose it's like those of you who like random odors, like gasoline, nail polish, etc.  I get my opportunity to smell wood when I go to the lumber department of Lowes.  This Saturday and Sunday we had our second annual Christmas Boutique at our church before and after our Womens Christmas Brunch.  So I headed off to Lowes to pick up some wood and bricks to prepare some crafts to sell at the boutique.

I imagine I must not be like their average customer.   I'm always looking at the wood, examining it to see which piece has the least blemishes.  Then when it comes to cutting the wood, I am always asking them to cut it up for me at just the right measurements.  What a high maintenance customer. 

Well at the end of my last visit, just as I heard the two employees talking about taking a break, I just asked them about their thoughts on Jesus Christ.  In each of my conversations I tend to find some kind of common ground, carefully bringing up topics that may spark something.  But this time I just threw it out there.  Both of them seemed open about listening to the conversation, and when I asked them if they would like to have an assurance of salvation, the younger of the two said he would.

Please keep Robert and Eric in your prayers.