Monday, June 30, 2014

I'm not a contest winner...

I have filled out forms, dropped them in boxes, submitted them online, tried all of it except for the lottery, and I never win anything!

Do you??

I have to admit that my attempts to win anything are both sporadic and half hearted. I don't usually waste the time to enter contests or pursue it very hard. I do sometimes enter Pioneer Woman's giveaways... she has such special things to give away... cowboy boots, good kitchen knives, and pots and pans... :)

I also entered HGTV's dream home in Lake Tahoe, California. I had this strong feeling that I might actually win that house. So much for strong feelings...

The odds of ever winning one of those contests are staggering, against it. Picture 10 warehouses filled with huge carts, full of tiny strips of names and addresses, and only one will be picked. The odds are very good that it will never be me.

Isn't it an amazing miracle that we are not dependent on a random drawing out of millions of entries for the very best gift of all, our salvation. 

It's the only free gift that we must have, and it's ours.

My mother had a dream when she was a little girl. God's arm scooped down from heaven to earth with a giant dust pan. She stood and held her breath each time that pan came close, hoping she would be scooped up.

We don't have to wait in fear, cross our fingers, or hope with all our hearts that we will be scooped up. The great news is that because I have believed on Jesus and He is my saviour... I WILL be on that dustpan.

There has never been a contest with a prize like that. If there were, the whole world would be falling over each other to enter and re-enter, hoping to win.

God's gift... the real prize... is free, and it includes everyone who will accept. His prize was bought and paid for with the blood of his only son.

No wonder the world's contests don't have a deep pull on my heart... I've already won the only one that matters, and it was offered to me, free, on a solid gold platter that held only one thing, the cross.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Little churches...

I have a real love for little churches.

My childhood years were filled with visiting little churches, all around the country, as my dad preached and we went along for the ride. I've written many chapters about those years. 

In my 'grown up' years, we haven't gone to a lot of little churches. Most of them have bordered on mega. I love all that is available in our big churches, the music, special events, classes available, etc., but in all that is gained, I sometimes feel the loss of the small and familiar.

Those little churches had a unique and sweet fellowship. We all knew each other, (sometimes too well!) and it was like our own family, in a very personal way.

I also have a heart for those who pastor little churches. Their work, ministry and preparation are every bit as life consuming as the pastors of the big churches, but I wonder how often they are prone to discouragement... so few new people coming, so little money in the budget, and so little seems to change through the years that go by.

Being little doesn't count for any more or less in God's eyes. Being big doesn't either.

Being faithful and obedient does.

It's the same for us. Our lives may be stuffed full of good things, highly productive and rewarding on the surface, but maybe not growing very deep on the inside. Or... we may feel that we are not accomplishing much, and very little is happening, but we are obeying God and being faithful in our daily walk.

Either way... God will honor the little or the much, when it is done as unto him.

Some little churches, as well as some little lives... bear much fruit. Some mega big churches, and mega big lives... look glittery and exciting, but their fruit isn't always as deep and real as it should be.

In our churches and in our lives, it's about what we do with the truth we already know. 

Are we living in obedience to what God has already shown us, or just 'looking good' on the outside.

God sees straight to the heart. He knows every motive and intent... in our churches, and in our lives.

I watched my dad's life all through the years. By today's standards, his work was small. His ministry usually didn't draw thousands of people, and the offering plate was not full and running over. But his faithfulness to God was disciplined and consistent, and God saw all of it.

He and my mother are in heaven now, but the work God gave my dad is multiplying and growing, all over the world. He has always reminded me of Abraham. Dad is now in the promised land, but his work, God's work, has taken root and grown, long after he lived to see it. 

Here's the real truth...

Dad wouldn't have done anything differently. His daily desire was to live his life and do his work, as unto God.

It's my forever challenge and goal to do the same. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

A lesson in love...

This is Gracie and Faith on a recent visit. 

I was sitting at my desk as they played together. When I looked down, I had to grab my camera and capture this unplanned little lesson in love in a photo.

These 2 little girls are only about a year apart in age, and already... they have each other's backs!

Every time we say something about Gracie, she quickly adds... 'and Faithie too'...

I pray that the years will only solidify and strengthen their precious bond. It is so special to have a sister in the first place, and to share a relationship where each affirms the other and stands up for the other is going to be a gift for both of them, all through their lives. 

These little sisters have already won all of our hearts!


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Graduation...










This is Courtney, our first grandchild. I am having trouble believing that she is about to graduate from high school and head to college. It was  only a few years ago that she was born... or so it seems.

She is so special to us. I remember getting one of her very first smiles. She has always been active in drama, music and the arts. How many plays, musicals and choir performances there have been through these years. 

When she was barely old enough to talk, she was performing, with her eyes, and her voice. She's a natural on stage.

Courtney... we are so proud of who you are. Your character shines in your life. We are enjoying these graduation days with you, and you know we will be praying as the next chapter begins, and don't ever forget... you were the first, and we love you dearly.

 


Even as Courtney begins a new chapter, I'm so glad
that we still have 7 others coming up the ranks, including this one, the baby of the family... Faith. 

Keep playing in that kitchen for a long time!