Friday, August 29, 2008

The Notebooks!

I was just emailing my friend Brandy (Jo) ;) and thinking about our ten year reunion which reminded me how we used to communicate in High School! Most kids wrote notes: the creative ones even took the time to decorate them or fold them in a silly sort of way! Brandy Jo and I had a little different take on our communication and it worked wonders! It never 'appeared' that we were passing notes at all. We had spiral notebooks that we would pass back and forth between classes. It 'appeared' as just another classroom notebook like we were taking notes- well, we were 'writing' notes! Truly, we could call it our 'history' notebook because we were writing our history! So we have a collection of our conversations for those years! I'm not sure how many notebooks there were, at least 4 or 5, I'm sure. Brandy was deemed 'the keeper of the notebooks'! This was a smart call as she has always been the more organized one! (Imagine that!) I can't wait to sit down with a cup of coffee and read our silly antics together! So BJ, if you are reading this, dig 'em out, let's set a date for coffee to read what we wrote 10-14 years ago! And NO PEEKING!! Let's have that first "second look" together! You bring the books, I'll bring the tissues and camera!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

High Priority!

The smell of rain floods me back to a happy memory in my life. I have always loved the sound of raindrops falling on my Grandmother's tin roof. The breeze when sitting on her front porch and dancing with the raindrops falling into the river beneath my feet.
Although, I have always loved the rain, the roar of thunder is another story.
I distinctly remember the scene. The old brown house on the farm- the one that my aunt Lisa would scale down the side from her two-story window to sneak out at night, or at least that’s what she told us. It was the house of my Dunbar Grandparents along with a couple of my mother's siblings still living there.
I was about the age of a kindergartner when my dad was sitting on the front porch with the lightning flashing and thunder screaming. Being the ever-vocal child that I still am today- I had to warn my daddydo because the 'lightnings' were coming to get him! I opened the door and with all protest, I began to explain why he was to come inside that instant! My sweet daddydo in all of his grace, simply told me to come out there with him. Me- out there- where the storm is brewing- WHAT! But because I trusted him, I crawled up on his lap and he explained how far away the lightning was and taught me count "1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, etc..." to tell how far away the lightning was. He said 'Just watch it out there, Isn't it pretty?' And for the first time, I thought a storm was beautiful and peaceful.

Thankfully, this is one of those moments in time that I can look back to in the Rolodex of my mind and say, "AH, I remember that!- That's a good one! Let's mark this as 'High Priority!' and pull it out again later!" When I smell the rain, see the lightning, and hear the thunder, I can close my eyes and find myself sitting on my daddy's lap counting- "1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi, 3 Mississippi" and think, "Daddy, that one is 3 miles away!"
To this day, I LOVE it when I am at home and a good thunderstorm is brewing because somehow I am a 5 year old again enjoying time with my daddydo!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Do you love me?

Today was a great day at church!

Steve shared a heart-felt message today and it was truly powerful! The title was "Do you love me?" The main text for the message was John 21 with prior reference to Luke 22:54-62. From where Peter denied Christ 3 times, to the three burning questions: "Do you love me?"
A couple of things that touched me in the service today were
#1- Jesus asked Peter did Peter love him 'more than these'? Peter had just been fishing all night and had caught nothing!- Jesus told him to cast the net on the right side and it was filled to the brim! Jesus wanted to know did Peter love him more than these? More than his prior Fishing Business? More than anything? - What is our "these"? Do we really love Jesus more than everything else?!
For whatever reason, our church body has gotten away from that "first love passion" and today was a call back to that. It is true, I have been at our church since the beginning and I miss those days where we were on fire for the Lord, just hungry for Him, Seeking Him, enjoying His presence and His heart! We have been dry, and content, complacent! Honestly, I know it starts in the heart with each individual and I am the first to stand and say that I have not been the child God has called me to be. I miss Him! I miss spending time with Him daily. The truth is, He hasn't moved, He's still sitting our secret place waiting for me to come back and meet Him there! I am so glad that He is a God of compassion, mercy, and grace!
#2- So the question remains, How do I stay in love with Jesus and regain the love that's been lost? The answer is simply laid out in Revelation 2:1-7- Remember where you have fallen from, Repent of where you are, and Repeat the things that keep you close to the Lord!
#3- Pastor Steve shared some powerful quotes and a couple stood out to me:
"We must never get over the fact that we are LOVED by GOD!" -Dave Earley (simple but profound)
"Some of us keep living like maids and butlers instead of like real children. Working frantically to earn the right to stay, we never really settle in, kick back and enjoy our Father's company. In effect, we live in the crummy, cramped quarters over the garage rather than in the magnificent main house... There's a world of difference in knowing we're the forgiven and knowing we're the beloved." - Sandra Wilson
"What we do for God is only a reflection of the relationship we have with God. If we want to be able to do great things, we need to have a great relationship. If we want to have a ministry that is strong, our relationship must be strong." - Dave Earley

I hope this touches your heart today and that you find strength in this message as I did. I do love you Jesus! I truly do! As I live and breathe, I do!
Now it is time to wake up and truly live those words!