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Legacy

Yesterday at church, my pastor preached a dynamic sermon.

The topic was legacy.

He is currently preaching his way through some of the more famous stories in the Bible and explaining the very adult themes of each of these seemingly “kiddie” stories.

Yesterday’s story was the Tower of Babel, and how people were forced to spread out around the world to spread God’s message.

This, my friends, needs to be every Christian’s legacy…sharing God’s Word.

I loved when my pastor said that we need to be purposeful about the legacy we create.  If we’re not purposeful, our legacy will, more than likely, be a negative one.

Isn’t it true that to truly lead a life for God, we must be purposeful in the decisions we make every day?

I think about my recent post about the language I use.  I must, at times, choose my words carefully, especially when I’m angry.

Tom, my pastor, spoke about how we are to share the story of our legacy, and how it came to be, with others.

For instance, think of the stories that have been handed down from one generation to another.  You probably have favorite family stories…and some not-so-favorite.

Christians have their own legacies.  Some involve people who were amazing servants for God…who loved Him passionately and passed that love and devotion to their children.

Others are first-generation Christians.  Their legacy is different and not any less valuable.

I thought about my own legacy.

I grew up in a broken home, and religion, until I moved to Alabama when I was nine years old, was fairly nonexistent.

When I moved to Alabama, I started attending a small Baptist church, where everyone gets religion fast!

😀

I remember reading my Bible in my room late at night, and I accepted Christ a long time before I told anyone.

One night, my mom came into my room and found me reading my Bible.  She made fun of me and questioned why I was reading it.

I didn’t say anything, but I put my Bible away and didn’t pull it out much for a while after that.

She later got saved, but our relationship was so broken (still is), that we really never talked much or meaningfully about our faith.

I publicly accepted the Lord the day after my high school prom and was baptized shortly afterward.

I’ve been serving God ever since…sometimes closely and sometimes more remotely, as people are prone to do.  My love for Him has never waned.

I raised my children with before-school devotions and prayer, along with church activities and whatnot.

I’ve not been a perfect mother, that I know, but I hope that my love for God ultimately shows through in the end.

I’m trying to apply this love for the Lord to my students…how I care for them…without preaching to them.

I hope that my love for God can be felt by my friends, whom I love dearly and would do nearly anything for.

I am soooooo not perfect.  This was made abundantly clear to me, once again, last week.

Daily, I look into the mirror and am unhappy with what I see.  I know my heart well and the areas that need much work.

This is the legacy I’m cultivating, warts and all, and I hope that when all is said and done, I will hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

In the end, though, it’s about the Lord and bringing others to a saving knowledge of Him.

If I play one small role in the amazing journey another person has toward finding Him, I will consider my life as being worthwhile.

Nichole Nordeman – Legacy Lyrics
I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
And you could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all the who's who's and so-and-so
That used to be the best at such and such
It wouldn't matter much

I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an 'Atta Boy' or 'Atta Girl'
In the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy, how will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to you enough
To make a mark on things? I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who blessed your name
Unapologetically and leave that kind of legacy

I don't have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy

I want to leave a legacy, how will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to you enough
To make a mark on things? I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who blessed your name
Unapologetically and leave that kind of legacy

Not well traveled, not well read
Not well-to-do or well bred
I just want to hear instead
"Well done good and faithful one"
Yeah, yeah

I want to leave a legacy, how will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to you enough
To make a mark on things? I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who blessed your name
Unapologetically and leave that kind of legacy

I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me

Nothing Random About It!

Yesterday evening, I received a phone call from Rooster.  He’s been dog/house sitting for his friend’s family while they’ve been on a cruise.  Thus, he hasn’t spent much time at home this past week.

His phone call instantly made me nervous because: 1) It came at 10:30pm, and 2) Nothing good usually comes from phone calls that late at night.

“Mama,” he said.  “I can’t find the mailbox key, and my wallet is missing too.”

Oh boy.

The family lives in a neighborhood that has the kind of mailboxes that you need keys to open.

The wallet…well…I could only imagine the difficulty in trying to get things replaced…especially since Rooster will be leaving on Sunday, and his college is in a different state.

Still, he’s misplaced his wallet before, so it was my great hope that we’d locate it again.

I also immediately thought of my “word” for the year…RELAX.

What good could come from being anxious?

I calmly asked him all of the key questions:  “Did you look in your car?  Did you check under the seats?  Did you look under the couches?  Did you retrace your steps?”

He answered yes to every question I directed at him.

He knows the routine…the looking-for-something routine.

He is a boy, after all, and prone to such mishaps.

😉

I told him that I was watching a movie with Chicky, but that I would drive over afterward.

That seemed to calm him.

I also prayed.

Hard.

I left the house about an hour and a half later, and he called me on the way.

“Mama,” he said.  “I found the key!  It randomly showed up in my backpack in the pocket I checked a bunch of times.”

He’d been keeping the key and his billfold in an open pocket of a backpack he uses every day.

The first thing I thought, though, was that it wasn’t anything random.

“Honey,” I said.  “I think an angel put that key in that pocket.”

See, I don’t believe in randomness, unless you’re talking about one of my students saying something random.  You know kids.  Their minds flit from one thing to the other quicker than a woman can change her mind!

😀

He still had not located the wallet, but I assured him we would.

That was a challenge that proved difficult, if not impossible.

When I got to the house, I checked the chair he’d spent the week sleeping on.

As I dug my hands into the crevices, I felt a sharp pain and quickly withdrew my hand…to see this…

Oh my word.

It was a nasty cut, let me tell you, and we could not find a band aid to save our lives.

I wrapped a napkin around it, and we continued our search.

We walked out to his car, scanning the ground with each step we took.

Imagine us doing this at midnight in the cold.

Yeah.

I love my boy that much.

😀

As we got to his car, Rooster apologized for the state it was in.

In other words, it was messy…oh so messy.

That’s my boy!

😀

He assured me that he’d looked everywhere, but I still had to put my own eyes on every inch of that car.

The wallet wasn’t there.

We returned to the house, and we formed a plan.  He would get up in the morning and search the path to his car again.

I’d go home and look through his dirty blue jeans once more.  I would also check the couch he’d been sitting on the last time he’d been home.

Granted…I’d done both, but I’ve been guilty of overlooking things as well.

I assured Rooster that God would lead us to the wallet.

In other words, I was RELAXED.

When I got home, I bandaged up my thumb and began my search.

I checked the couch, pushing my hands carefully into the crevices.

Nada.

My couches recline, so I lifted up the footrest on the side he’d been sitting on.

Then, I got on my knees and shined my flashlight underneath.

What a nasty sight!  All I saw was dog hair, trapped by the metal bar contraption that allows the couch to recline.

And then I saw something lumpy.

Hmmm…

It was actually very near the outside of the couch, right under the armrest but on the floor.

I reached my hand around the outside bottom of the couch and pulled out his wallet!!!

It was dusty and covered in dog hair, but it was intact!

I think that when I’d pushed my hands into the crevices, I’d pushed the wallet all the way through the crack in the couch from where it had been stuck.

I excitedly called Rooster and gave him the good news, all the while praising the Lord for His help in locating the elusive billfold.

I’ve never much believed in coincidences.

I know that God orchestrates the happenings in our lives.

I am so grateful for His hand, which is there to guide us, if only we’d ask for help.

I’m pretty sure He’s helping us ALL the time, but that it’s actually rare for us to acknowledge that it’s His work, not ours, that is responsible for positive outcomes.

This is not the first time God has shown Himself so tangibly in our lives…especially in regard to lost items.

For this, I am grateful, for it is in this way, among others, that God has shown how very real He is and how He does care about the everyday things in our lives.

God is a personal God who knows each of us individually and meets our individual needs.

There’s absolutely nothing random about that!

God Speaking

In yesterday’s Hodgepodge post, Question #7 asked about something that we need to tell ourselves at the beginning of this new year.

My one word answer was RELAX.

It was an interesting word choice but one that had come immediately to mind as soon as I read the question.

I had a dentist appointment first thing yesterday morning, and as soon as I sat down in the waiting room (mind you that I get very nervous when I go to the dentist), I saw the following sign…

20130103-004347.jpg
Sorry for the poor quality, but I didn’t want to have to go into a long explanation of how I’m a blogger who constantly takes pictures for her blog.

People think I’m weird enough as it is.

😀

But there it was…right in front of me…that one word…

RELAX.

I really felt that God was speaking to me.

He knows my anxious heart…the way I’m fretting over a class I’m taking…the to-do list i cannot seem to make a dent in..,even the sad feelings that are beginning to creep in as the days draw nearer for my babies to return to college.

RELAX

It’s not something I’m good at.

I’m constantly multi-tasking and cannot even seem to watch a television show without working on some other project, usually school-related.

RELAX

I need to buy the shirt.

I have a feeling I’ll be coming across this word quite often this year.

When I do, I’ll smile in the knowledge that my Heavenly Father sees into my inmost being, loves me despite my many, many faults, and has provided this word of wisdom to soothe my weary soul.

God is in Control

I will not post particulars about the election, nor will I share who I voted for.

What I will say is that I have grown to loathe politics.

I think that people start off with good intentions when they begin their climb through the political ranks.

Somehow, the demands of trying to please so many groups of people becomes too much, and those in office give in to the temptation to blur the lines of what they originally stood for.

This makes elections difficult as candidates sell their souls to the devil, so to speak.

Their allegiances to various groups winds up bogging them down in rhetoric that makes them lose face and credibility in others’ eyes.

I am pretty much what you would call naive as far as politics goes.

I don’t understand the ins and outs of financial and foreign policy issues.

I don’t really understand such things as illegal immigration, although I am a naturalized citizen.

Wealth, poverty, and taxes…all I know is that these things are a part of life.

As a teacher, I deal with folks from every realm.

I don’t discriminate.

I try to forge relationships so I can fill in the gaps for these amazing children.

In other words, politics takes a back seat to everything else in my life.

I can’t say that I trusted either candidate in this presidential election.

That’s sad, is it not…that I can’t even trust the person who is supposed to be the figurehead for the country I am a citizen of?

Yeah.

My one comforting thought is that God is in control.

I put my trust in Him, for I am but a temporary resident of this earth.

My citizenship is in Heaven, and I’d rather place my trust in God, who doesn’t speak out of both sides of His mouth…whose words are always the same…whose IS the moral code that our man-made laws are built upon.

I love the words of the song below.

Read the words as the song plays and place your trust in God.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

God is in Control – Twila Paris

This is no time for fear
This is the time for faith and determination
Don’t lose the vision here carried away by the motion
Hold on to all that you hide in your heart
There is one thing that has always been true
It holds the world together
God is in control
We believe that His children will not be forsaken
God is in control We will choose to remember and never be shaken
There is no power above or beside Him, we know Oh,
God is in control, oh God is in control
History marches on
There is a bottom line drawn across the ages
Culture can make its plan oh, but the line never changes
No matter how the deception may fly
There is one thing that has always been true It will be true forever
God is in control
We believe that His children will not be forsaken
God is in control
We will choose to remember and never be shaken
There is no power above or beside Him, we know
Oh, God is in control, oh God is in control
He has never let you down
Why start to worry now?
Why start to worry now?
He is still the Lord of all we see
And He is still the loving Father
Watching over you and me
Watching over you, watching over me
Watching over every thing
Watching over you, watching over me
Every little sparrow, every little thing
Oh, every little thing, oh
God is in control
We believe that His children will not be forsaken
God is in control
We will choose to remember and never be shaken
There is no power above or beside Him, we know
Oh, God is in control, oh God is in control
Oh God is in control
Oh God is in control

Unable To Sleep

It’s past midnight, and I can’t sleep.

While Chicky dreams of fitness tests and cafeteria food, I lie awake…pondering life’s complexities.

I find myself in a state of flux, and I wonder how much is due to PMS, the dawn of a new school year, or the sweet tea I drank with dinner.

In the middle of the night, in a dark hotel room lit only by the orbs that line the parking lot outside, I cry out to the Lord for clarity, direction, and contentment.

I grasp onto His promises and draw comfort from the verse that says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

And so I will return to bed…leaving the bathroom where I’ve hidden myself so as to not bother Chicky…and settle myself in the comfort of God’s gentle arms…secure in the knowledge that He loves me and has a plan for me.

Glorious One

I don’t know how the music was at your church this morning, but at mine, we ROCKED!

Or should I say worshiped?

The band was on fire, and I, for one, was much appreciative.

There are weeks when I get as much out of the singing as I do from the sermons (no offense meant to my pastors).

I was struck by the lyrics of the second song we sang, Glorious One, by Steve Fee…

Our hands are lifted high
our hearts are bowing reverence
and we’re surrounded by
the glory of Your presence

with every creature every tongue
we’re lifting our voice to the Glorious One

Glorious One
Glorious One
Light of the world
You outshine the sun
King of all Kings
eternity sings
Glorious One

God of infinite worth
with hands that carve out the ocean
You hold the universe
and still You run to the broken

with every heart that’s been redeemed
we’re lifting our song to the Glorious King

there is none more beautiful
there is none more wonderful (repeat)

Memories of my cruise were fresh on my mind, and as we sang the second verse, I was transported to Hubbard Glacier and all of its magnificence.

I was also reminded of the open sea, which stretched for miles on end with no land in sight.

The beauty in nature did not happen by chance.  God carefully planned every single ripple in that vast ocean and every single creature that lives within it.  He painted the hues of blue on the glacier I had the privilege of standing before, and He designates when and where chunks fall off into the sea.

God deserves our praise.

He truly is THE Glorious One..


I Know the Plans I Have for You

“…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…”

Jeremiah 29:11

This is a verse I am holding on to during my long season of semi-unemployment.  Once again, I did not get a job I interviewed for…the subbing position at the Christian school (the one I told you about yesterday).

I am choosing to look at the positives…

  1. God loves me and has my best interest at heart.
  2. I put my name and face out there and received very good feedback from the principal who interviewed me.
  3. I have subbing assignments already lined up for Tuesday through Friday next week.  I was going to have to cancel these because long-term assignments trump one-day gigs, but now I won’t have to.
  4. I don’t have to be concerned about getting off of work early on Wednesday.  This is the day Chicky has her signing ceremony at school.  I will already be there, so that takes care of one thing on my to-do list.

Sounds like I’m reaching for straws, eh?

Not really.  You see, I’m learning that complaining doesn’t do anything but make me miserable.  It certainly doesn’t improve a situation.  I know that I am doing everything I can to find a regular teaching job.

Even though some people may believe that subbing isn’t a “real” job, I have never treated it as anything but THE job.  I have always given my responsibilities 110% no matter what the job title or pay scale.

I have often been over-qualified for the positions I’ve held, but I’ve always taken pride in my work.  I realize that I can use my skills to glorify God no matter where I am.

And so, I continue to trust.

It’s not always easy, but I’ve made the decision, and I’ll stick to it no matter how disappointed I may get.

God will provide.

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