Saturday, November 30, 2013

Movin' On.....

One of the hardest and most freeing things we face in life is change. Change is something we all need, but at the same time, most of us are forced into it. Why? Because even though it is good, the growing part of it hurts, sometimes worse than death. But we have to know that "change" isn't death at all, it's "life". One of my favorite songs in the entire world is "I'm Movin' on" its about letting go of our past and realizing there's still a future. With the Lord our future is always brighter than our past; the sun has already set on yesterday. Letting go of relationships is something we all go through, and it feels the same, no matter how old we are. I believe sometimes the Lord takes people out of our lives because we're not ready for them, or they're not for us. There was a plant once in my back yard, it was very small. It was suppose to be a large plant, but no matter how much I babied it, it never got bigger. It was so pretty, with beautiful flowers and green leafs, it just wasn't as big as it should have been. One day I got the Idea to move the plant, transplant it, away from the tree I had planted it under; I had planted it there for the shade, I didn't want the sun to kill it. I moved it away from it's best-friend, the tree. Right after I moved it, I thought it was going to die. It's leaves started to change to a pail green. "What have I done?", I kept asking myself. "I should have left it under the tree, at least there it was safe.", I kept thinking. It was a long hard year for the plant, it fought so hard to stay alive. I expected at the start of spring I would be removing it, I just knew it'd be dead. "The outside of the plant is going through so many changes, the roots must be dying.", I thought. Spring finally arrived! I hadn't looked out the back window in weeks, nothing to see but a yard full of snow. The first nice day of the year I decided to go play in the yard, I was so excited about planting new flowers. I remember thinking, "What can I put in place of that dead plant?", I knew I wanted something big, like the old plant was suppose to be. Walking around my yard, the transplanted plant didn't look 'All the way' dead, so I decided to leave it for a few more weeks. A few weeks turned into months, and by the end of the summer the plant was three times its largest size from last summer. The plant would have been happy just staying under the tree and not growing anymore, but that's not what God intended for it. A few years latter I was moving from that house, I decided I wanted to take the plant with me. I went out back with a shovel and a box, ready to dig it up. Digging up the plant, I left enough room around the edges not to cut the roots. When I picked it up and pulled it to put it in the box, part of the root was really long and still buried. I pulled and pulled the root, "Why is this root so long?", I asked myself. After following and pulling the root up, to be sure I had the entire plant, I finely came to the end of the root. The root had grown all the way across the yard and stopped under the tree it was transplanted from. When we 'Move on' we are really never gone from where we were, everyone we come in contact with leaves roots in our lives and we leave them in theirs, we leave a direct dotted line to each other. It's almost certain, when we are the tree that protects someone, one day we will have to be the tree that allows them to grow.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Light in a world filled with chaos

Does it seem as if the world has gone mad, or is it just me? We have had so many things happen that are just ‘unspeakable’…earthquakes, floods, fires, and all sorts of mass killings. Just yesterday a man in London stabbed a man to death. The victim, an unarmed solider, laid dead in the middle of the street while the ‘murderer’ gave an interview to a bystander; his hands were red with the soldier’s blood. “How do we find ‘Life’ in so much death?,” I asked myself. As I thought about the answer, my thoughts wondered to the Moore, Oklahoma tornado a few days ago. This tornado was unbelievably strong, they rated it a ‘F5’; the rating doesn’t go any higher. I heard reports that the winds could have reached 318MPH. Unless we’ve seen ‘318MPH’, we cannot fathom what that looks like. I’m a NASCAR fan; I’ve been to lots of races. Those cars, at top speed, are going so fast, that unless you spot them from half a track away, you can’t read anything on the car, not even the number; it’s all just a blur. Top speed for those cars is around 200MPH. So the tornado’s wind-speed was around 118MPH faster than the fastest NASCAR speeds. I went to a NHRA drag race once, in a little over (3) three-seconds the car was at the end of the drag strip. It went past me, and I was in the front row, at 303MPH. I was standing up and it felt like someone took their hand and shoved me back. The speed was amazing and scary at the same time. But the tornado didn’t last for (3) three-seconds and it wasn’t a sport. It took lives, precious lives. Not one more valuable than the other; 24 in all. This brings me back to my question, “How do we find ‘Life’ in so much death?” This question brings me to this video of a lady who lives in Moore, Oklahoma, Barbara Garcia. She is an older lady, but she’s tough, as all Oklahomans seem to be. A little while after the tornado shredded her neighborhood to pieces, a news crew finds her by what’s left of her house; it looks like a pile of rubble. Ms. Garcia knows what has happen, she doesn’t appear to be in shock and she’s very calm. In the video as far as the eye can see is disaster, almost nothing is left standing. Ms. Garcia tells the story of how she went to her safe place with her little doggie, and the tornado ripped the house to pieces and the dog out of her arms. But she hasn’t found her doggie, but she knows it’s in the rubble, because she called for her and she didn’t come. Watching the video of Ms. Garcia being so calm in a time like that makes you calm watching the video, until you hear someone say, “A dog, a dog”. Just then the camera focuses on an area of what use to be Ms. Garcia’s house and under the rubble you can see a little dog’s face. Ms. Garcia is the first to get to her dog, unable to free it alone, she asks for help. Slowly, the little dog emerges from the rubble. She is so happy, as I’m sure everyone watching is; I cried like a baby when I seen the dog was alive. The dog stands there for a few seconds while she’s petting it, then they both, with the camera crew, start to walk away. The dog, like it’s master, seems to be unfazed by the chaos around it. The (2) two of them walked away together. By the way that Ms. Garcia left her once-home, it’s obvious she wasn’t prepared to leave till she found her doggie. It’s hard to believe in all that rubble any ‘Life’ could have been found, but it was. In our life when rubble and chaos are all around us our Master, The Lord, is there ready to walk us to safety, after He digs us from under the rubble. Like Ms. Garcia with her doggie, He will never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you Ms. Garcia, for showing me The Light in Oklahoma. Godspeed.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is it worth it............

Saving money is on everyone's mind; even more these days. I try to cut corners where possible, but there are some things I just will not consider.
I Can remember one of the times some friends and I went to serve dinner at a homeless shelter.
When we go each person is responsible for getting one of the things being served.
During this certain visit one of the things we served was Peanut-butter sandwiches.
I was the one in charge of getting what we needed to make them.

Shopping at the local grocery store, I went and picked up the bread I needed then I headed over to the peanut-butter. Looking at the peanut butter, I spotted my brand.
Remember when I said there are some things I wouldn't consider cutting corners on? well peanut-better is one.
I started to reach for the name brand I ate, "but I need so much", I thought to myself.
So I thought, "I'll get the store brand and save".
I put 5 jars of peanut butter in my cart and walked away.
I really had an uneasy feeling as soon as I put the jars in my cart.

"How could I get the store-brand for people who are going through such a hard time, when I wouldn't even eat it?", I asked myself.

I turned my cart around and went and returned the store-brand for the name-brand I liked.

Was I thinking more highly of myself than the people at the shelter? I don't know?
What I do know is being at the shelter, The eyes looking back into mine, would be thankful for anything. People with tears in their eyes because you give them
an extra cookie or a second helping. They would never know what kind of peanut-butter I used, but I would.