Sunday, December 22, 2013

What I learned on Skid-Row

Last night my husband and I watched a documentary called ‘LOST-ANGELS: Skid Row is My Home’.  That seems like an odd pick for a Saturday night by the fire but the past several months God has taken us down an unforeseen road and we have had the opportunity to minister in Downtown Amarillo to people who are either homeless or in dire poverty.  We chose this documentary hoping it could give us some insight into a world we are unfamiliar going into.  Here is a summation of what God is teaching us in this new ministry encounter:

In the documentary you meet a lady who has government housing but prefers to stay out on the street most nights.  She pushes around a large shopping cart filled with trash.  She loves cats and birds and spends every day walking the 50 blocks that Skid-Row occupies in LA feeding them.  I started thinking of the times I have encountered the homeless population whether in Dallas, New Mexico, or 6th street in Austin.  I have seen SEVERAL people pushing carts filled with trash; I have to wonder, why?  Why is a cart filled with trash so important to them?  As Roman and I discussed it, he said, “We all do the same thing.”  Then today in my Word time the Lord confirmed this to me.  Let me explain.  The Word tell us:

Matthew 6:19 "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves.

But what do we all do?  We store things up and pack them into our garage, attic, storage unit, junk drawer, hall closet, lay-away, etc, etc, etc.  Most of these things we never look at once they are packed away yet we refuse to get rid of them.  Is it possible that the extra coffee pot I have had stashed in the garage for 5 years looks the same to God as her cart of trash looks to me? Temporary and of no real value.  Perhaps I am more like this woman than I thought as I too am guilty of storing up  "Treasure/Trash" here on earth.

As I read on from Matthew 6 the Lord highlighted this verse to me. 

Verse 25- 25 "So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life -- whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. . .
In my last post I shared about the gift I received from a homeless man.  This man has become very precious to my family, in-fact, we now consider him family.  I went to see him earlier this week.  The downtown resource center was having a Christmas party for those that they serve.  Each person was given a bowl of cheese nachos and two cookies.  My friend offered me some of his nachos and gave me one of his cookies.  NOW, think about this.  That was more than likely the ONLY meal he would get that day and he did not know if there would be one tomorrow, yet he offered some to me!  Perhaps he understands the Words of Jesus in Matthew 6 better than I do.  (This week I worried that we might have to “dip” into savings to pay the doctor bill for our sick kids).

After my friend offered to share his meal we walked back to his storage bind.   It is a plastic tub the size that I pack my kids summer shorts in.  It holds EVERYTHING he owns.  He pulls out five red Christmas stockings that he has purchased for my children, my husband, and myself.  Mathew 6 goes on to say:
31 "So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. 32 Why be like THE PAGANS who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, 33 and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
If this had not shown me the true nature of God, the lesson is not over yet.

This man has my husbands phone number.  He has medical issues and is crippled.  We have asked him repeatedly to call us if he needs anything, yet he has never called. . .until Friday.  All three of my kids got the flu this week.  It is contagious a full seven days.  We had invited our friend to come to Christmas Dinner but had to leave a message with the shelter that due to the illness in the home we would need to reschedule with him for New Years.  That is when the phone call came.  Not a complaint that he may not have a warm home or meal on Christmas.  Not a call to tell us of his medical needs.  He called to check up on our family and prayed God to bless us.

So for all my learning about homelessness: whether in Downtown Amarillo, or on Skid-Row Los Angeles;  I suppose the Lord has me there not to minister, but to learn what it is to be more Christ like. . .after all. . .Jesus Himself was a homeless man.

Matthew 8:19 Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you no matter where you go!" 20 But Jesus said, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head."



Thursday, December 12, 2013

A homeless mans gift

Today my husband and I got to minister together at Central Church of Christ for an outreach called Loaves and Fishes.  As we were getting ready to leave we both joked about the condition of our gloves on this cold December day.  His had a rip in the seam, I had to borrow some from my children.  One was an army/camo glove and the other was a black skeleton glove.  (It was certainly a bold fashion statement). 

We were both humbled and blessed to be a part of this ministry in Downtown Amarillo.  People of hard circumstance are blessed with not only groceries but a weekly worship service as well.  I provided this week’s “Word” and Roman led the worship.  In all the places I have ever been blessed to speak I have to say this one was my favorite.  I was blown away by the love of the people and the way they responded to God’s word.  My message was simply “My Redemption Story”.  I didn’t go into all the Hebrew and Greek meanings of the Exodus and Pentecost.  I simply told the story of me, a sinner, and how God’s amazing grace came to “save a wretch like me”.  I gave a simple white card to write confessions on if the Holy Spirit had convicted their hearts and they wished to surrender some things to God.  Many times when I speak I don’t know if I truly reached the audience. . .but today I saw tear stained faces as they humbly brought forth their cards asking for God’s mercy.  Some cards saying “I am tired God and ready to surrender”.  Some confessed sins and addictions; many with tear stained faces.  When the service was over the minister at Central Church invited the people to come forward and lay hands on my husband, our pastor, and myself to offer prayers for our church and ministry.  So there we stood surrounded by those that, according to Mark 10:31, might be called least here on earth. . .but called greatest in heaven. . praying for us, that the Lord might bless us.  It was all very humbling to say the least, but then came the biggest lesson that God had for me to learn from this group.

Mark 12:41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood."

Remember my glove situation?  I had taken the mismatched gloves off and put them into my pocket.  A homeless man noticed I didn’t have gloves so HE GAVE ME HIS!!!  Everything in me wanted to refuse his gift but I knew the Lord wanted me to accept it.  He gave me his ALL out of his lack.  Through a homeless man the Lord met my need for new gloves.  So. . .who is the greatest one in the Kingdom?   The one who stands up and gives a great message, or is it perhaps the servant of all? 

Lord make me like one of the least that I might one day be called great in Your Kingdom.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Not a fan?

At times the Lord asks me to do things that seem a bit odd to those around me.  I have been in a season of one of those times.  I was reading in the gospel of Mark and I came to chapter 8 verse 34: “If any of you wants to become My disciple he must turn from his selfish way, take up his cross, and follow Me.”  I realize Jesus spoke of that cross in a metaphorical way, but on that particular day He asked me to take it literally for a season.  Right now I am wearing a 12inch wooden cross around my waist.  Yes, this  gets me some odd looks and it has pushed me out of my comfort zone on more than one occasion.  The cross is not the point of today’s blog (perhaps another time).  Today I want to bring up this question:

“If following Jesus cost you everything, would it still be worth it?”

After I started wearing my cross I had about five people ask me if I had read the book, “Not a fan” by Kyle Idleman.  I had not but I felt the constant question might be an indication that I should read it.  So the above question comes out of the “Not a fan” book.  I read the question and thought about my honest answer.  I wanted to take a real assessment and not give an “everyone in church is standing, so I will too” answer.  I really felt at first that my answer was yes.  . .  If all of the sudden I lost my job, and then my house due to my job, and then my husband to cancer, and my children in accidents. . . .  Yes, I would still be a follower of Jesus because He would be all I had to turn to.  My Rock; My Tower, My Comfort; etc.  Then I realized the question was not “If you lost everything would you still serve God”.  The question again is. . .

“If following Jesus cost you everything, would it still be worth it?”

Meaning if following Jesus was the reason you lost your job, your home, your spouse, your children, would it still be worth it?  If it was against the law in the US to hire anyone who was a believer in Jesus Christ and I lost my job; would it be worth following Him?  I think I am still able to say, yes!  If my house was foreclosed on due to the job loss that was due to following Christ, would it be worth it?  I think I am still able to say, Yes!  BUT. . .what if losing my husband was the cost of following Jesus?  What if my husband was like Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who has been imprisoned in Iran 429 days for his resolve to follow Jesus at all cost.  What if he lost his life in this process?  Would I still feel it was worth it to follow Jesus?  What if my children like Rachel Scott of Columbine High School were shot and killed at school because they refused to deny their faith in Jesus?  Would it still be worth following Him?  I am now homeless, have lost the love of my life and all of my children for the sake of His Name. . .

“If following Jesus cost me everything, would it still be worth it?”

If that is not hard enough let’s look at Luke 14:26- "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

Notice it doesn’t say “he will be a ‘B’ disciple instead of and ‘A’ disciple”. . .it says “he CANNOT be My disciple”.   Now hate in the verse actually translates: not to choose; or to hate in comparison to; but still He is saying if you do not choose Me over all others your CANNOT be My disciple.  I am going to end this blog on an abrupt note with the feeling of a good slap in the face or wake up call. . .because that is how the question left me feeling as I assessed my answer. . . to be honest. . .I am still in process of trying to give Him my yes. . .what about you?

“If following Jesus cost you everything, would it still be worth it?”





Monday, October 28, 2013

I'm tired of not obeying

The past several months the Lord has had me into what I suppose is a Refiners Fire.  If you have been there you know it is quite painful to the flesh.  It started with me telling Him that I wanted to experience a move of God, a Revival.  He showed me too much to fit into this blog, so perhaps it will all come out later but summary would be this:  A revival starts with repentance.  Usually we are drawn out into the “wilderness” and God deals with our flesh.  I cannot pray for revival unless I pray it start with me.  So I asked the Lord to begin showing me my true self that I might begin the repentance and refining process.  One thing He showed me is that I am lukewarm and I don’t truly follow His word.  I call myself a “disciple” in word, but If I line up my life with HIS WORD I am fooling myself.  (He said it a little kinder than that!)

Matthew 25: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

I had to ask myself how many hungry people I have fed lately?  How many strangers I have welcomed?  How many prisoners have I visited?  I used the excuse that maybe that was not my “call”.  Great excuse except for the fact that I never heard God call me to feed myself this morning, yet I ate anyways.

Matthew 22:39 says that I am to love my neighbor as myself. . .So I guess that means I am called to feed those who are hungry even if I didn’t receive a personal text message from God inviting me to do so.

I have been convicted by the fact that I am a great "studier" of the Word but not a very good “doer”.  I read Isaiah 58 and memorize Isaiah 58.  I can even look it up in the Hebrew.  Does all of that matter if I don’t do what it says?  I heard a great message by Francis Chan.  He compared our bible studies and scripture memory to a parent asking a child to “clean the room”.  The child memorizes that request, translates the request into Greek, and even calls friends over to discuss what if would look like if he/she cleaned the room. . .but never actually DID WHAT WAS ASKED.  Wow!  That convicted me! 

So I am trying to share 2 months of God’s heart in a short blog and I can’t.  But here is what I want to ask any Christian reading this.  Christ calls us to lay down our lives and pick up His.  He says if you love Me you WILL OBEY MY COMMANDMENTS.  Not just study them.  So I am going to take up the challenge to live as a disciple (by His grace).  I have some upcoming opportunities to serve the homeless, visit the elderly, share the GOOD NEWS.  My plan is not to buy peanut-butter and crackers to hand to those in need but to offer them my best.  This will include home-cooked meals and perhaps time out in the cold to serve them.  I would like to go to the prisons as well but haven’t found a resource to allow this yet (please contact me if you know of one!).  I am asking anyone who lives in my area to join me!  If you live elsewhere I challenge you to ask God how you can start a life application movement of His word in your area or find something already going and join in.

Email if you would like to join me in any way. Baking, helping financially, or attending to serve.

Luke 14: 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Choice Vessel

This afternoon I was out walking and just talking with the Lord.  I have been praying a lot for direction in what His call is for my life.  I read a book recently that said we should think of ourselves like "extra's" in God's movie.  The movie is NOT about us.  Many of us live like it is. . . just like the "extra's" in a movie feel they are big and important.  BUT, as extra's in God's movie, it's all about HIM.  It's our job to point to HIM, to lift HIM up, not to try and make things about us.  So as I was out walking I pondered what He has for me to do.  I thought of a ceramic mug.  It's only a vessel that holds something else.  Coffee, tea, hot-chocolate, etc.  (In my house it holds coffee!) The ceramic mug isn't really important, it's what the vessel holds.

2 Timothy 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

In our house we probably have at least 30 coffee mugs.  Everyday, however, I chose one of two mugs to drink out of.  These are my two favorite mugs ("vessels")  to use.  In fact, if both of these mugs are dirty, I will stop to clean one of them rather than use anything else.  Why do I like these two the most?  Well in thinking about it:

#1- they have the thickest ceramic so the coffee stays HOT much longer
#2- the thickness gives it a sturdy and "lasting" feel (not easily broken)

As I pondered this on my walk today I told the Lord, "I want to be on of Your chosen vessels.  The one You will "cleanse" in order to use.  The on that burns HOT and is steadfast and hard to break." 
I want to be the vessel the Lord wants to reach for each day.  I want to be poured into and poured out of daily, not to sit on a shelf collecting dust.

The other thing about these two coffee mugs is that neither of them are the most "glamorous" mug that we own. So really this shows me again, just like the movie analogy, that our life is not about us!  The purpose of the mug (vessel) is to serve/contain the substance that people drink.  It's not about the mug it's about the coffee. . .it's not about us it's about God.

I know this is simple, but I hope that you also would desire to be a Chosen Vessel for the King.  A vessel that His hand reaches for daily.  A vessel that remains hot and is useful for the Master purpose.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Never Just a Mom

In the past week I have been given the opportunity to speak to two different groups of women.  The word of the Lord for right now seems to be for "weary" moms.  I am posting a prayer and also the 20 minute clip of the Word the Lord gave me for moms who are feeling overwhelmed.

As the angel told Mary, I want to tell you that in the Lord’s eyes you are all blessed and highly favored!  After all, it was "Just a mom" that brought to us EMANUEL!
(a prayer for you!)
Dear Father in heaven,
I come before you weary and beat down by this long day. Being a mother can be so hard. I often feel helpless and inadequate. Part of me wants to complain, but then I remember the extent to which you were beat down, and I'm struck quiet. I remember that you are the Man of Sorrows and that you understand just how hard life can be. I also remember that you collect all my tears and care about my troubles, trials, and fears.
The Book of Hebrews tells me I can come to you in confidence and find the grace and mercy I need. And so I come to you now to lay all these burdens at your feet. I feel so overwhelmed by the details of life. It seems like I can never get ahead. Just when I clean up one mess, another one pops up somewhere else. Some days I wonder if I'm really cut out for motherhood.
I know I failed to glorify you today. I failed to love as you love me. I failed to extend the grace you've given me. Forgive me for striving in my own strength. Forgive me for not finding my complete satisfaction in you and seeking it elsewhere. Each of these failures reminds me of just how much I need a Savior. Today reminds me that I need Jesus more than I did yesterday and that tomorrow I will need him even more.
I'm so thankful that there is so much of you to give. You're never tired or weary. Even while I sleep, you remain at work. Nothing happens outside your knowledge and will. You're never stretched beyond what you can handle. And the well of your grace never runs dry.
Because of what Jesus did for me, I ask that you create in me a clean heart. Renew a refreshed spirit within me. Give me gospel strength to get through the day. Open my eyes so that I see your hand at work in the mess of my life. Be my constant in my fluctuating emotions. Keep the gospel ever before me and make it a reality in my daily life as a mother.
I pray that tomorrow you would be with me in all the muck and mire of motherhood. Help me to find my joy in you and not in my circumstances. May I remember that even when it feels otherwise, you are always with me, will never leave me, or forsake me. Tonight I'll sleep in peace knowing that even when I lose my grip, you never let go of me. And I'll open my eyes in the morning to find mercy, fresh and new, ready for the taking.
It's because of Jesus and in Jesus' name that I pray, amen. 
                                              (20 minute word to moms)


Friday, October 4, 2013

A Clean Heart

The fast few weeks the Lord has been speaking to be about Repentance; because I have been speaking to Him about Revival.  I want to know what it takes to have a move of God.

Psalm 24: 3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart.

His repetitive answer to me is: Repentance.  Today He showed me what true repentance looks like using one of my children.  I picked one of my sons up a little early today and I asked him about his day.  He looked at me and tears started to well up.  Then he told me what had just happened on the playground. . .

All the boys were playing tag-football.  One of them was playing too rough and decided to “tackle” instead of “touch”.  My son was tackled and I guess in a moment of anger he said a “bad-word” that was heard by the tackler. “I didn’t mean it at him Mom; I told him I was so sorry and asked him to forgive me.” 

All the way home my son cried.  “Why did that word come out of me Mom?” 

I talked to him about God’s Word telling us that from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  Sometimes when we are pressed hard ugly things come out.  That’s when we need to do what David did when he sinned against God with Bathsheba.  He prayed and cried out to God:

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit”.

When we got home I asked my son to read all of that Psalm out loud.  (Psalm 51).  He cried as he read, and then he prayed.  He asked God to forgive him, and he also prayed that “the tackler” would not be offended or hold it against him.

I realized I had just witnessed TRUE REPENTANCE.  My son was grieved that he had grieved the Holy Spirit in his words.  He was grieved that he had offended his brother.  He was grieved to know that something “un-clean” could come out of his mouth.  He not only sought God’s forgiveness, but he sought the forgiveness of the one whom he had offended as well.

Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

(I wonder the “witness” his apology may have had on this other kid?)

My son took repentance to the full measure by ALSO confessing his sin to me.

James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Lord, I want my heart to be as tender and pure before you as my sons was today.  When I know I have offended You, let my heart be grieved that I might seek out Your forgiveness immediately.  Let me not cast off the attitudes of my heart as if they are nothing.  Let me see my sin against Your holiness and allow it to move me to repentance”.

When we draw near to You through repentance, will You in turn draw near to us and revive us once again?


(Side note:  if you know my children I ask you not bring this up. . .I did not write it to embarrass the son in the story. . I wrote it that we might learn from a child).

Friday, September 27, 2013

Blessed to bless

Lord today I thank you for my EVERY blessing

My husband

My Children (Josiah, Judah, Jacob)

Our health

Our church

Our Friends

Our relatives

Our house

Our Modern Kitchen- fridge, dishwasher, 2 microwaves, oven, trash-compactor,  dishes, cups, pans, silver-ware, cooking utensils, toaster, food-processor

Our furniture; 3 couches, rocking chair, dining table, kitchen table, chairs, 4 beds, 4 dressers, tv cabinet

Our “entertainment”- 2  t.v’s, Wii; video-games; IPOD, Cell-phones, 4 computers, 50 plus dvds, 100 plus CD’s;  100 plus books

Our clothing-  more pants, shirts, dresses, shoes, suits, shorts, t-shirts than I can count

Our accessories-  hats, jewelry, neck-ties

Our toiletries- soap, shampoo, detergent, lotions, body-wash, home-cleaners, hair spray, gel, curling iron, strait iron, blow-dryer

Our modern conveniences- washer and dryer, central heat and air, cold or hot food, lawn mower, indoor plumbing; garden tub and shower.

Our overflow- the garage full of junk; a bank account; a savings account

Our 2 cars-

Our Freedoms- Religion, Speech, Pursuit of Happiness, Right to bear arms,  Education

Help me to remember I am blessed in order to be a blessing; not to build bigger barns for myself!

 (all the while the world lives like this)


Now it’s YOUR turn. . .count your many blessings and name them one by one!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

God's Dwelling Place

And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14)
The biblical Feast of Tabernacles begins this week and it always causes me to think about what it means that God “tabernacles” or makes a dwelling place with His people.  For the people of Israel it meant that God showed up and His literal presence (His Glory) dwelt in the holy of holies in the Tabernacle.  God gave this feast as a reminder that He is not a God who is far off and out of reach, but always near at hand when His people need Him.  As Christians we believe that God Himself put on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ and did dwell among men.  (2 Corinthians 6:16b - As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.")
He dwelt among us for the purpose of teaching us how to live.  How to be Holy.  How to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”   Then He did a strange thing.  He left.  He put His Kingdom into the hands of His disciples and said:
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
He is leaving, but He says He will be with us to the end of the age.  How?  If He is leaving, how will He be with us?
Acts 1:8   But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
So He puts His Spirit in us.  (I suppose you could say His Spirit “tabernacles” in us).  Why?
Why do we need to have His Spirit in us?
1 Corinthians 12: 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. . . 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
He puts His Spirit in us to make us His body here on earth!  To be His presence on earth!  Again. . .why????
Have you ever had a non-believer ask, “If there is a God then why does the world have so much evil? would a loving God let children starve; wars rage; people suffer?”
Matthew 25:42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' 44 Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' 45 Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
We, His Body, His tabernacle on earth; are not feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, binding up the broken hearted, healing wounds.  It is written clearly for us in the Bible; it is demonstrated perfectly for us in Jesus Christ.  I think it’s time that we became the dwelling place of God in a dark and hurting world.  Faith is active.
Happy Feast of Tabernacles!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In a World Gone Mad


The world today has changed.  I watch the news and hear about school shootings, Benghazi, universal health care, and the current economic crisis I wonder, “Has the world gone mad?” It saddens me at times to think my children only know a post 9-1-1 world.  They don’t know the days where schools only held fire and tornado drills and there were no lock-down drills. My kids don’t know a time when it was safe to let and eight year old ride his bicycle four blocks to a friend’s house.  They only know the world where three young girls are taken prisoner by insane sex offenders and locked in a basement for years.  They only know a world where a class full of kindergarten children are murdered at the hand of a young man who has himself 'gone mad".  I think of all of this and begin to lose hope.

I turn off the news and take my boys on a walk to our town library.  When I leave the house I feel turmoil and stress on the inside.  As we begin our walk, that slowly begins to change.  I see my neighbor out working in her garden.  Every summer she passes along some fresh vegetables as we talk over our fence. In a world gone mad, I have neighbors that still care.  We pass the square and I hear the chime of our newly restored clock tower.  I see the Rock-N-Roll soda shop alongside the hardware store.  Even in a troubled economy the people of my small town have supported the local businesses.  I begin to feel a little bit of hope.  In the summer I see people gather together for ‘Tunes at Noon’.  We all live separate lives, but stop long enough to enjoy a noon meal, and bit of entertainment with a neighbor on the town square.  I notice a group of older gentlemen seated outside the barbershop engaged in conversation, probably about old times; enjoying one another’s company.   I wonder “how many years they have been friends” and “would they mind if I joined them?”  Later in the week I attend Sunday services at First Methodist Church.  In a world gone mad our church still holds a Bazzar each fall.  We have Sunday school picnics and sing songs like,  “I’ll fly away”. 

My thoughts go to the annual Fourth of July Celebration.   It seems the whole town comes out for the fair and parade then re-adjourns in the evening to watch the fireworks at the city park.  I remember looking forward to these festivities as a child and now find it almost honoring to share the experience with my own children.  In a world gone mad I live in a place that still says “One nation under God” during the pledge.  My boys attend the same schools that I went to when I was their age.  We have many of the same teachers and staff members twenty five years later.  When I see those same teachers who greeted me as a child, welcome and care for my own children I feel blessed and secure.  In a world gone mad, my children are safe and cared for.  So when the cares of this world become overwhelming then the Lord reminds me that He has led me into green pastures and beside still waters.  On the 12th anniversary of 911 I needed a reminder.  Last Sunday at church we sang a hymn; the pastor promised we would have it in our heads all week.  Thank heaven he was right!  In a world gone mad. . .remember this:

  1. Be not dismayed whate’er betide,
    God will take care of you;
    Beneath His wings of love abide,
    God will take care of you.
    • Refrain:
      God will take care of you,
      Through every day, o’er all the way;
      He will take care of you,
      God will take care of you.
  2. Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
    God will take care of you;
    When dangers fierce your path assail,
    God will take care of you.

  1. All you may need He will provide,
    God will take care of you;
    Nothing you ask will be denied,
    God will take care of you.

  1. No matter what may be the test,
    God will take care of you;
    Lean, weary one, upon His breast,
    God will take care of you.

(Click for the song!)