Last week I had my first experience with Vacation Bible School. The church I went to growing up didn’t do VBS they did a Kid’s Crusade. We had a blast! It was alot of work and we were exhausted at the end of it all but it was worth it! We averaged about 70 kids every night and there were 110 different kids that came at least one night. This is great considering we are not a large church. It was exciting to see the the kids getting excited about God. They got to see adults being crazy and having fun and then being serious when we needed to be about salvation and living for God. We showed them that being a Christian doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. I think some of us had more fun than the kids did! It was exciting to see new Christians in our church getting involved and being apart of these kid’s lives. On Sunday night we did a finale and we had a good number of parents and grandparents that came with their kids who do not go to our church. This was a great evangelism tool. I am so blessed to be able to be apart of something like this. We may never know the impact that this may have had on children and if only one child was brought into the Kingdom of God then all that was worth it! We laughed, we cried, we danced, we worshiped, we prayed and we gave all the glory to God for the work that He did through us!
Well, since it is almost Father’s Day, I thought that it was only fitting that I should write about my dad. My dad is definitely his own man. He loves golf, NC State football, his family and God(but not necessarily in that order!). I joke with him that when he gets old all we have to do is put him in a recliner in front of his big screen plasma tv and as long as he can watch Fox News, ESPN, and the Golf Channel he will be happy. My dad loved his kids but hated recitals and there were many over the years. Piano, trumpet, clarinet, voice, band,and choir recitals. He would stay long enough for my brother and I to do our thing and then he would leave,but at least he came. Even to what he called our “Salvation Army Band” recitals. I got my sense of humor from my dad. My dad’s way of showing affection is to pick on you. I guess I should be scarred for life but I knew that was my dad and I knew that he loved me. Last Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law and I were picking on my dad and he got irritated at us. I looked across the table at him and said, “You can’t get mad at me, I am my father’s daughter!” He laughed and told me I was right. We call him the “Gadget and Gizmo Guy”. If there is an electronic device, he has it. He had a GPS before most everybody else did. He even has a GPS for golf courses!
If there is one major lesson that I have learned from my dad, it is you are never too old to do God’s will. He lost his job after 25 years of working with the same company. While he was out of a job, I never saw him panic. He knew that God was going to take care of it. He began to feel that God wanted him to work at the church that they went too. My mom had been teaching at the Christian school for years. It turned out, that they needed a business manager and my dad was hired. He still works there. Both of my parents have been an example of faithfulness to God, and to their family.
I am sure that we have all met people who seemed to have everything together. They seemed to have the perfect job, house, kids, marriage, etc. How many of these “perfect” people have you gotten to know and realized they are just like everybody else, barely holding it all together. I often think it must be tough to have to walk around being the picture of perfection. These are often the people who have the nervous breakdowns. They cannot keep up the facade. I feel that is often what happens to burn people out in the ministry. They just cant be perfect all the time. The truth is, everyone one of us comes with our fears, insecurities, compulsions, and baggage. I think the difference is what we do with them. Often people do not feel like they can make themselves vunerable to other people for fear of rejection or people gossiping about them, so they plant on the smile and go on about their day. I have long accepted that I am not perfect and never will be. I have accepted my weaknesses and my prayer is that God will use these to help someone else. It is such a freeing experience to be rid of other peoples expectations. The only person I am living for is God. The song “Perfect People” byNatalie Grant off her new album Relentless hit home with me the first time I heard it. The chorus especially. There’s no such thing as perfect people, there’s no such thing as the perfect life. So come as you are, broken and scarred, lift up your heart be amazed, be changed by a perfect God.”
Never let ’em see you when you’re breaking
Never let ’em see you when you fall
That’s how we live and that’s how we try
Tell the world you’ve got it all together
Never let them see what’s underneath
Cover it up with a crooked smile
But it only lasts for a little while
There’s no such thing as perfect people
There’s no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are, broken and scared
Lift up your heart and be amazed
And be changed by a perfect God
Suddenly it’s like a weight is lifted
When you hear the words that you are loved
He knows where you are and where you’ve been
And you never have to go there again
Who lived and died to give new life
To heal our imperfections
So look up and see out let grace be enough
I just about wrecked my car this morning when I saw that gas was now $4.09 in the city where I lived. My first reaction was to panic after all I drive about 80-100 miles a day back and forth to work and other places that I need to go. I have cut back everywhere I can cut back short of eating Ramen noodles every meal. My second response was to try and devise a plan to fix this. Maybe I could convince my job to let me work 4 days a week. Then I came back to my senses and realized that although it feels like a crisis to me, it is not a crisis to God. After all, He owns it all. Then a song that I had learned as a child came to my mind. It took me a minute to remember all the words after all it has been over 25 years since I sang the song. The song was “He Owns The Cattle on A Thousand Hills”.
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,
The wealth in every mine;
He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills,
The sun and stars that shine.
Wonderful riches, more than tongue can tell –
He is my Father so they’re mine as well;
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills –
I know that He will care for me.
I had turned my radio down so I could recall the words and when I turned it back up, the next song on my shuffle was “He’ll Make a Way” by Clint Brown
If I trust the Lord, He’ll make a way for me
For I know in Him I got the victory.
He will provide, He will supply
If I trust and obey, He’ll make a way.
I realized that this situation is totally out of my control and I just have to trust the Lord to take care of it. He said that He would supply all our needs according to His riches in glory.
I was born and raised in North Carolina. Although, I have not lived there in about 10 years, it is still home to me. I don’t care how many years I live in Georgia, I will not convert to being a Bulldog fan. Tarheels all the way baby! Anyway, I came across this recently and thought I would share it. Let me here from my fellow North Carolinians!
• Saying “y’all” isn’t just a cute expression; it actually means something.
• You know Pepsi originated in New Bern, Cheerwine in Salisbury, and that Mountain Dew was invented in Fayetteville.
• Cheerwine is a sacred drink to you and you know that it is best with barbeque and peach cobbler.
• You know Krispy Kreme doughnuts are the best doughnuts ever!
• You know that Cook Out has the best hamburgers and milkshakes known to man.
• You have supported the Panthers through the good times…and not so good times.
• You think of hockey when you hear the word Canes and think of game 7 of the Stanely Cup.
• You get Bojangles when you want some good fried chicken and sweet tea.
• You understand that when you hear someone say hush puppies they are not telling a dog to be quiet, but instead someone is talking about little balls of fried seasoned cornbread that are great with barbeque.
• You know Coke tastes better in glass bottles and that peanuts make coke taste even better.
• You have an opinion about UNC. You went there and loved it, or you hate everyone who did.
• No matter what those people in Ohio say, we are still “first in flight.”
• You know that “chuck” the ball means to throw it.
• You know that “barbeque” means cookin pork on an open pit and a “cook out” is grilling hamburgers and hotdogs.
• You know when someone is talking about moonshine, they are not referring to anything they saw in the sky.
• Fifty degrees Fahrenheit is “a little chilly.”
• Your school classes were canceled because it might snow.
• Your school classes were canceled because of heat.
• Your school classes were canceled because of a hurricane.
• You consider 3 inches of snow a winter storm.
• You have no problem spelling or pronouncin’ “Bertie” or “Forsyth.”
• You use or hear the term daggum on a regular basis.
• Those “damn Yankees” are taking over your school/ workplace…
• You think South Carolina was dead weight well shed.
• You measure distance in minutes.
• You remember watching the ACC Tournament on television at school.
• You know more about ACC basketball than professional basketball.
• You know everyone claims to hate Senator Jesse Helms but somehow he has never lost an election.
• You’ve ever had to switch from “Heat” to “A/C” in the same day.
• You have actually uttered the phrase “It’s too hot to go to the pool.”
• You eat collards, hog jowl, and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.
• You sometimes eat country ham, grits and eggs for supper.
• You know what a pig pickin’ is.
• You remember when Easter Monday was a Holiday.
• You know that Texas Pete is made in Winston- Salem, not Texas.
• Your family has fried chicken once a week.
• You can tell the difference between cotton fields and tobacco fields while driving.
• You’ve been “properly raised”, and Yankees love it when they hear you say “ma’am” and “sir.”
• You get your carbs from biscuits, rolls, pancakes, and grits.
• You own at least one surf shop or seafood restaurant shirts.
• Every time you visit someone you’re offered something to eat and a glass of tea.
• You can recognize a copperhead and your heart drops when you see one.
• You recognize only two kinds of BBQ (both pork)–Lexington and Eastern.
• You have been to a baseball game, even if you don’t like the sport.
Ok…so I was tagged last week by Darla to write about my favorite book of the Bible. I am a little late getting around to it but things seem to move into overdrive this week. So, better late than never.
My favorite book of the Bible is Jeremiah. Jeremiah stood up and preached against the sins of his people and then impending judgment of God that was sure to fall on Israel if they did not repent of their sins. I think the words of Jeremiah are relevant to us today in the United States. While Jeremiah preached judgment, he also talked about forgiveness and the cleansing from God that would follow. Some of my favorite verses are contained in Jeremiah. Jeremiah 29:11″For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord,plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” This verse has gotten me through alot of difficult moments in my life. It doesn’t stop there though. Verses 12 -14 talk about if we seek God with our whole heart then we will find Him. He promises to restore in verse 14. Again in Jeremiah 33:3″ Call to Me and I will answer you and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” This book shows God love for His people Israel and His desire to have His people turn back to Him and give up their wickedness, but it also shows the Holiness and Righteousness of God that he disciplines his people and allows Babylon to take them into captivity, The Long Suffering of God is shown in the restoration of Israel and the judgment of Babylon. God loves His people too much to leave them in their sin. He offers a way for us to return to Him when we seek Him.