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Archive for January, 2010

birthday joy!!!

Mark Mitchel!!! Happy Birthday!!!!  I cannot believe a quarter of a century has passed since you were born!  Honestly, still having trouble with the fact that you are grown and living in an entirely different state that your mom!!!  smile.  I love it, though, cause I know you are listening to God, and doing as He has called you.  There truly is not greater joy than that.  (“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4)  So, I can find joy in your life lived there cause I know you are living it for God. So, happy birthday!  I remember the day you were born, I was so very eager to meet you.  I knew someone wonderful would join our family.  I was right.

You have blessed me beyond measure.  Blessed all of us.  You have always cared about others, and loved well.  You make me laugh.  You also just flat out tell me when I’m doing something dumb.  You love sports.  And UT sports especially.  (That’s Texas, not Tennessee. duh.)   You are handsome, and godly, and altogether wonderful.  I love that your favorite Orange cake is in the oven.  That means you are on my couch right now, watching Texas basketball.  And that makes me full of joy.  No, not full.  Overflowing.  yep, that’s it – overflowing joy.  That’s what you are to me.  Happy Birthday, son.  I love you so.

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one Scripture

“We pondered your love-in-action, God, waiting in your temple: Your name, God, evokes a train of Hallelujahs wherever it is spoken, near and far; Your arms are heaped with goodness-in-action.” (Psalm 48:9-10, The Message)

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hard to grasp

It stunned me.  It came as a total shock.  And even though I’ve now seen it, still finding it hard to believe it has actually happened. . . .

~before I continue, let me assure you that I have NOT stopped thinking/praying for Haiti since the quake.  my heart is torn over the images, and the thoughts of what they are going through right this minute.  Even more personally, my dear friends the Iveys, and the Parkers, each have a son in Haiti waiting to come home.  I love them, and love their boys.  I ache for them to be able to bring them home……I am totally overwhelmed for each of you who have a tie to people there, or are waiting for news on a loved one.  That said, the following is just a glimpse of other news that has rocked me this week (obviously on a much smaller scale). . . .

My Randall’s.  By it’s name, it may just sound like any other grocery store to you.  I’ll grant you that.   But to me, it’s a place where I spent a good deal of my time in the last 31 years.  The very same store.  With some of the same people I’ve known for these three plus decades.  The names and faces of those I’ve shared life with while also supplying a busy household with food and other necessities.  I often called it my mission field, however, honestly, I do not know of any life that I witnessed actually getting saved while I was there.  I just know it was one of the places where I loved to practice my “loving God and loving others”.  I knew them. They knew me.

My Randall’s closed this week.  I had stopped by that store Monday after work(just 7 days ago), it’s so convenient as I drive by, it’s on the right side of the street, easy in, easy out.  Picked up a few things.  As normal as any other time, it seemed.  Then Wednesday morning, I hear the news of its closing, and felt so stunned.  So shocked.  That very morning, they were selling all goods for 50% off.  I actually couldn’t bring myself to make it in there.  not at least for a few days.  I heard tales of shopping nightmares – no carts, lines so long it took 3 hours to check out, etc.  I really wasn’t sure I could handle it.

But, yesterday after church, I decided to brave it, and go.  I had a check to cash (my bank is inside), and thought I’d see what was left that I could buy.  Took my favorite daughter with me.  🙂  Hoping it would help diffuse the pain of seeing my store closing.  The sight of armed security outside was my first indication that this trip would be vastly different that any of the others I had experienced.  He greeted us, telling us that as of last night, the store was closed.  That’s right.  I missed it.  Done.  finished.  final.  My bank was still open, and I could go in and do my banking.  wow.  The sight was so sad to this heart who loved this store.  Very little on the shelves, and what was left I was told they were packing up for other stores in the city.   All my people are gone.  I’ve been told they all have jobs at other stores, but I didn’t get to see them one last time.  I didn’t get to say good-bye.

I did my banking, then left.  Wanting to cry, if I’m totally honest with you.  But I knew Sara would make such fun of that.  So, we drove across the street to the other store.  The one that for years and years I’ve tried to avoid.  the one that starts with K.  It wasn’t pleasant.  I’m not gonna lie to you, this will not be easy.  I have so many things in my life changing – a season of lots of changes – I surely did not want this one.  Or ask for it.  Nor  was I prepared for it.  But it came all the same.  In the matter of a handful of days, this one aspect of my life as I’ve known it my entire adult life changed.  I will surely get over it.  But I doubt that I will ever find a place like that again.  Did I appreciate it while it was here?  absolutely.  Will I miss knowing where every item is in that beloved store?  You know it – as I wandered through another store today, wishing I knew where an item was, I remembered how many people I loved helping through the years in my store that looked a little lost – I’d direct them to whatever they were looking for.  I don’t know, I guess I am just missing the simple really.  It was home.

So thankful my God does not change.

James 1:17
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Hebrews 13:8
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  That’s really all I need.  ever.  blessings to you.

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a short devo for you

Le Me prepare you for the day that stretches out before you.  I know exactly what this day will contain, whereas you have only vague ideas about it.  You would like to see a map, showing all the twists and turns of your journey.  You’d feel more prepared if you could somehow visualize what is on the road ahead.  However, there is a better way to be prepared for whatever you will encounter today: Spend quality time with Me.

I will not show you what is on the road ahead, but I will thoroughly equip you for the journey.  My living Presence is your Companion each step of the way.  Stay in continual communication with Me, whispering My Name whenever you need to redirect your thoughts.  Thus, you can walk through this day with your focus on Me.  My abiding Presence is the best road map available.

Exodus 33:14  “God said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.”

John 15:4-7

“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.”

~from Jesus Calling devotional

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If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12 NIV

God loves you. Personally. Powerfully. Passionately. Others have promised and failed. But God has promised and succeeded.

He loves with you with an unfailing love. And his love – if you will let it – can fill you and leave you with a love worth giving.

~Max Lucado

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