September 30, 2014

Smiles in the oddest places...

I cannot belief that July is now done but as far as months go I’m not sorry to see that one end. It came with some unpleasant unexpecteds. But then, that could happen again this month so instead of looking at those unpleasant unexpected I’m focusing on the pleasant unexpected.

There are times we do something so ordinary, so common that we rarely really even think about what we’re doing; we’re simply doing what is normal for us. Its summer in the Coachella Valley and that means it’s hot, hot, hot. Not a whole lot of hot foods being consumed in my home right now, don’t want to turn that oven on unless I have to; so thankful for counter grills, crock pots and cool foods.

So I get a plate of what a friend of mine used to refer to an “nummins”, a mix of cut fresh veggies, cold chicken or boiled eggs, pickle and some crackers; maybe a little dressing on the side. It is a nice cool, refreshing and relatively healthy plate of nourishment in this summer heat.

I pour a nice glass of wine and sit down to the table and here it comes the pleasant unexpected, as the wheat thin cracker come to my lips, I smile. It is not the cracker my mind’s eye is focused on but two cute little faces that I introduced wheat thins to in the month of July. One soon to turn 5 and one soon to turn 3, I had just met them yet we took to each other rather easily, most likely because their Nana is my sister.

As they headed home and I knew I would be leaving and do not know when I’ll see them again a little voice says “I sure wish we had your crackers at our house”, I promised I’d email her Mom the name of them so she could have them.

Little faces eating, little hands sharing, as I lift the cracker to my lips, in only the way God can do, He somehow made a cracker something so very special. The unexpected pleasantness.

Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”


September 7, 2014

You must realize . . .

As I stood yesterday listening to David tell of the triumphs and concerns of the ministry and how he spoke of those they serve, a thought came to mind. 

As the morning progressed, faces coming in that I hadn't seen in too long, boxes being made to receive the blessing for faces we don't all always see, plastic and cardboard and food and fellowship abounding . . . I thought, I hope he realizes...I hope all missionaries and their families realize...

You see ministries often talks of the lives being changed by Christ out in the trenches, if you will.  Yet there's a different demographic being blessed.  The volunteers.  We're not there because we need food to eat, we're there, in part, to help provide that for others.  Yet, God is indeed filling a need in us - those that it seems have no unmet needs. 

Someone once said 'If you've got a pulse, you've got a purpose'.  Volunteering takes us outside of the daily grind, yes, our employment provides for others is some way, and for many, careers are very fulfilling, yet . . .

By giving us the privilege and honor to serve the Lord along side of you, even if for a few hours a month, we find that purpose, that pulse...we find a heart.

You must realize, you two David's, Gary and your families much you bless us...the volunteer.

Thank you for all you do for all you encounter.