Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Thankful Heart

Image from

"A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure."
- Sirach 6:14

Just sitting here, thanking God for all the wonderful friends He has given me. I am truly blessed with treasures beyond measure!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where In the World???

I haven't disappeared into the background, like that wily Waldo fella. I've actually had some wonderful ideas for blog posts. They just haven't appeared on my blog!

The truth is: I've become a Facebook junkie! I vowed it wouldn't happen. But it did. As so many of my friends and relatives have said: It's addictive! I have reconnected with people I haven't seen since my childhood. (Seriously! The man who pastored my home church when I was just a little tyke of 4 or 5 years of age is one of my friends!) I have found friends that I had given up on. So much time had passed without contact. One is living in Slovenia! (And if you know where that is, please inform!)

I originally thought: This is less time-consuming than maintaining a blog (or two). After all, I only have to put a one- or two-sentence "status update" on my profile page, and I'm done for the day. WRONG! I have to read all the funny little ditties everyone else has posted, plus the comments left by their friends. And then, there are all the great (and some not-so-great) pictures everyone downloads! (The pig roast picture of a whole pig roasting...nasty!) Who knew how many hours it could consume in one day???

I have to admit, though, that I do NOT like the drivel posts: "I just had my coffee." Fifteen minutes later: "Brushed my teeth." Five minutes later: "Fed the dog." You know what I mean?

Or the endless surveys, quizzes, questionnaires, etc. I do NOT need to know what I would look like as a cartoon. Real life is scary enough! I do NOT want to know what Harry Potter character I am most like (I don't even read the books!). I do NOT want to know how much I know about 70's TV/music/pop culture. I lived it once, and that was enough, thank you! You get the picture.

There are definitely drawbacks to it. Like the aforementioned drivel and endless nonsense. Also, there is the subject of being ignored by people who want me as their FB friends, but do NOT want to update me on their private lives. I'm never sure if I should be offended, or if I should be flattered that they care that much about my opinion??? Like my opinion is a big deal? Or, the people I wasn't planning to reconnect with. Or people I barely knew in the first place, but now consider me fair game to chat with, every time I'm online, because I am not one of their very dearest friends...

Still, overall, it has been a good experience. There is something so wonderful about seeing the words: "I am so happy to be back in touch with you after all these years!" Or, better yet, "I can tell from your profile picture that you haven't changed a bit!" (I'll take the flattery, thank you very much!)

The sad truth is, my summer hiatus is almost at an end. On Monday, my kids return to school, and I return to work. My summer fling with Facebook is about to come to an end. Real life is coming back in a rush.


If you happen to be online, and are a FB junkie, too...feel free to look me up! :o)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Tribute

Please pray for the family and friends of Roosevelt Hunter, who passed away after a battle with colon cancer.

We knew Roosevelt back in the early days of our marriage. He and Tim Dilena were co-pastors of Revival Tabernacle in Highland Park, MI. Roosevelt had the most infectious laugh (think: Ernie on Sesame Street). He had a passion for the lost. He was full of zeal for God and His Word. He was one of God's rare gems. My heart goes out to Ilene and their children.

You were one of His best, Roosevelt. You will truly be missed.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Seeing With His Eyes

Have you ever had one of those times when a person/people or a situation caused your heart to hurt...a burden from the Holy Spirit caused almost a physical ache within you?

I have had those moments off and on throughout my lifetime. Most of the time, it was caused by seeing something on TV. Or being aware of a desperate situation in someone's life. Seeing photos of children dying of starvation or cancer. Knowing a friend was lonely, or facing a terrifying diagnosis. Being on a missions trip, and realizing the people I was ministering to could not go home to get away from their circumstances. This was their home. Their reality.

I had another of those moments yesterday. It had been a great day. We got to have an unexpected visit with my sister-in-law, her children, her parents, and her sister. (They were traveling through our area. We got to have lunch. A sweet blessing from God!) Afterward, we decided to head over to the local Barnes & Noble, as our outdoor plans were changed by the steady rain.

As I perused the shelves, I was looking for a particular section. The store had been rearranged, though, so I was not finding what I was looking for. However, I did find what God wanted me to see. I passed the "Religion" and "Christianity" sections, and was walking past the aisle labeled "New Age." As I did, I noticed three young people (late teens or early 20's) staring intently at the shelves. Picking up a book, then replacing it, only to pick up another to look at. My heart wrenched within me. I whispered a silent prayer right there: "O Holy Spirit, they are only 2 aisles away from books that could show them Your truth! Open their hearts! Open the eyes of their spirits! Guide them past the lies and to the truth!"

The words to this song by Brandon Heath kept replaying in my mind for the rest of the day. (If you don't want to watch the YouTube version, the lyrics are below.)

I don't know what your eyes need to see today. I do know that each of us, as Christians, need to see the world through the eyes of God. We need to care as much about the condition of someone's soul as we do about meeting their physical needs. I think it's easier sometimes to hand someone a bag of groceries than it is to truly give them living water. It soothes our conscience temporarily. And it is important that our message of truth be coupled with actions of charity. But for some reason, it is often harder for me to see someone as He sees them. It is easier to see a needy person, give them something to get them on their way, and feel as if I've done "my part". It needs to be a balance of both: word and action. With that in mind, reflect on these lyrics. The world so desperately needs us to live out our faith!

Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold black top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breathe in the familiar shock
Of confusion and chaos
All those people going somewhere,
Why have I never cared?

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what's underneath
There's a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He's out of work
He's buying time
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?

I've Been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just moving past me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way you see the people all along

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Real Serenity Prayer

I have heard the Serenity Prayer over and over. I have seen it on greeting cards, plaques, mugs, and a multitude of other gift items. (I used to work in a Christian bookstore...I've seen it everywhere!) Last night, I came across the entire prayer, which I had never seen before. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me!

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him for ever in the next."
~Reinhold Niebuhr

Now THAT is a serenity prayer!

Happy Tuesday, friends!