Thursday, August 28, 2014

Baby Steps

I have waited a whole year to write this note to you. It is my birthday again and as I sit and think of this past year, I remember mother saying, "Time goes faster the older you get!" Well, that sure seems true, but the clock hands click by at the same rate and I have found that time stands still for no one! 

As I have looked back and reminisced, I see the good, bad and ugly of this past year. God blessed in every situation, but there are some memories that I don't want to deal with (husbands tragic wreck) and some memories I would like to be repeated (playing with grandchildren). But, like the television show, time is like sand quickly running through the hourglass...hence 'the sands of time.'

Aging is a process that begins when we are born and it never slows or stops. It is the process where we learn our first steps, how to read and eventually set free by learning to drive! Then, when you reach a certain time in life, those things tend to reverse on us. My pace seems to be slower, the reading glasses are needed and leaving home is an effort now, and by all means lets be home by dark!! 

In looking at this past year particularly, I have found that I can travel, but God does not mandate it for me to be able to share His love. He can use us right where we are, whether traveling in a State Park and a ranger accepting Christ or a local neighbor critically ill needing someone to care.

When we retired, I wondered what would we do with our time! But, now I wonder how did we have time to work! If you let people know you are available and are willing to help, especially for free, you will stay busy. This gives us opportunity to share the love and hope only Christ gives. 

There is a fellow who volunteers with Samaritan's Purse. His name is Bruce and he is a humble man. Bruce volunteers to help wherever God leads him, but the reason he does is to share the love that Christ gives him. Bruce is like an overflowing cup that spills over and you just can't walk by him without it getting on you!

Did Bruce just all of a sudden realize that Jesus loved him enough that he could share it? No, I have personally watched Bruce start with the baby steps, then reading the Word and studying it, then being set free to 'share' the love of Christ! Since the first time I met Bruce, I knew God had a special plan for him. Bruce first tried to get ahead of God, but like a babe trying to 'run' those first steps, he fell down. But Bruce picked himself up and tried again, holding on to the hand of the Father this time. Step by step, he became stronger in Him until one day, I saw Bruce 'drive' and lead someone to Christ! 

When I get  to see someone like this, never giving up, but keeping on for Jesus, it encourages me. The 'sands of time' may pass, but if we are Christians knowing where we are going, the sands will never run out. So, my birthday today, is just my earthly birthday, a day to celebrate when I came into this world. My real birthday was the day I accepted Christ, in August of 1965. Since that day, I have been taking baby steps and learning to read about Jesus, learning more everyday.

Where are you? Are you like me and Bruce, growing everyday in Him? We all have to figure out where we are to 'serve,' but just holding on to the Hand helps us take those steps. Reach up to Him and hold on! It may be the best steps you have ever taken!! 

Jeremiah 29:11-12New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Bus is Coming!

Early this morning, as I sat on our screened porch having my coffee, I could hear the children down the street playing and calling out to each other as they waited on the school bus. Some were laughing, others were bickering with each other about the game they were playing. Girls were singing a silly song and giggling. It was then I heard the hum of the motor as the bus came by and then, there was silence in the street. No more sounds of the children would be heard in our neighborhood until the end of the day. Happy silence....peace....sighs in some homes, as the bus pulled away, loneliness, sorrow, mixed emotions.

This early morning scene played in my mind as I continued to imagine the children, now with their friends, happily on their way to school for the day.

I have been seeing the news on every station, over and over about the Christians being chased out of, or killed, in their home country. My heart grieves for them, my prayers go up for them. 

Then we read all the comments in social media about the end of time. Are we seeing the End Time events unfolding before our eyes?

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV 

"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people." 

This is certainly what we see and hear on the news! However, we have peace in knowing that God is in control. My personal opinion: 'God gives man a choice to choose Him or deny Him. However, at the same time, God knows mans heart and knows all things. He knows who will choose Him and He knows who will deny Him.' Because of this belief, I believe there will come a day when someone shares the gospel or a person reads God's Word and the Holy Spirit speaks to that heart and that lost soul will accept Jesus Christ as their Savior....then God will say to the Son, "That's the last one, go bring the children home." Then, the skies will open up and the Son of God will come to gather the children home. time will this happen? The scriptures say 

Matthew 24:36 ESV 

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."

But, the secure part, for those of us who believe, is that day is coming. We can be assured of it, because it is promised over and over in the Bible. 

Matthew 24:44 ESV

"Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

Matthew 24:42 

"Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming."

It reminds me of the children, waiting on the school bus. Some were laughing, others were singing and then we had some bickering over foolish things.Isn't that the same way our world is today as we await the Savior? 

The same as the children, our 'bus' will come to pick us up and then the streets will be quiet. There will be silence? No, confusion....because the Christians will have gone to their final destination...they will not be coming home that afternoon. 

What do we need to do? Just as the children prepared to go to school, we need to prepare ourselves. We need to prepare our hearts, making sure we will be singing when He arrives, not bickering. 
The children packed their backpacks with books and papers. We need to pack our hearts with scripture and love. 

Listen, do I heard the bus cranking up? The motor may be humming our way soon, only the Father knows, but be ready! Don't miss the bus!