Thursday, February 23, 2006

In the Hand of God

    So, Here I am.........finally.  Hoping to bring you news, a chuckle and a little inspiration today.  I am almost finished with my full-time, part-time job.  Told them I was dragging up and coming to the house.  Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed working.  I like the company, the people, the things I have done there....even the drive to and from.  (It gave me time to be by myself, listen to my Motown or Gospel.)  But I realize that they needed me more than I could be available and still take care of things for the home and family.  I'm looking forward to getting my home organized after the chaos it has been in ever since Rita blew through. 

And I realized that it is important to spend this little time before Bubba steps into manhood with him.  To be there to soak up every precious memory of Bugs fleeting childhood.  And that my contrary old man actually needs and wants me!  Even if it is only to share a cup of coffee and a little small talk in the evenings. 

It's nice to know that my employers aren't holding it against me.  They are actually leaving the door open for me to go back from time to time for a specific need or short term project.  So, that's nice!

Hubby is back to building custom cabinetry, after a detour through the oilfield, illness and unemployment.  Bubba has his first bona fide job at a local feedstore after school.  Bug....is up to mischief and also next weeks Star Student at school!?  Go figure.  (Her mischief was an un escorted trip through the woods & down the pipeline and a mural she did in crayon on the back of her bedroom door!  No cartoons this week.  No going out, except for chores.) 

My mail today, had a couple of things that seemed to tie together in my mind.  The first is a little joke and the second a devotion from Godswork Ministry.  I hope that together they lighten your day and brighten your way.

First, the humor:

 

A man was praying to God.

 

He said, "God!?"



God responded, "Yes?"



And the guy said, "Can I ask a question?"

 

"Go right ahead," God said.

 

"God, what is a million years to you?"

 

God said, "a million years to me is only a second."

 

"Hmmm," the man wondered. Then he asked, "God, what is a million dollars worth to you?"



God said, "a million dollars to me is as a penny."

 

So the man said, "God. Can I have a penny?"

 

And God cheerfully said, "Sure!!.....just a second."

 

 

And now the devotion:

 

 

IN THE HAND OF GOD



There is a beautiful story about a child playing with a vase his mother
had left on the table for a few moments. When the mother turned at the
sound of her son crying she saw that his hand was in the vase and was
apparently stuck. She tried to help him and pulled and pulled until the
child cried out in pain. But the hand was stuck fast. How would they get
it out? The father suggested breaking the vase but it was quite valuable
and the child's hand might be cut in the process. Yet he knew that if all
else failed there would be no other alternative.

 

So he said to the boy, "Now, let's make one more try. Open your hand and
stretch your fingers out straight, like I'm doing, and then pull!" "But
Dad," said the boy, "if I do that I'll lose my penny!"

 

The boy had had a coin in his hand all the time and was holding it
securely in his tight little fist. And he wasn't prepared to open his hand
and lose the penny. But once he opened his hand it came out of the vase easily.



What are you holding onto so tightly as to hinder your walk with Jesus?

 

That vase can be likened to the entrance to the Kingdom of God. It is
narrowyet quite easy to pass in, but first you must “open” your hand to
God and allow earthly things to fall. If we keep our fists closed and hold
fast to what we have and keep it for ourselves, we will be unable to take
hold of the “Hand of God”!



We arrived with nothing and will depart the same way.

 

Jesus told the parable of the rich man found in Luke 12:16-21 who wanted
to build bigger barns to store his grain and goods. But God said to him,
'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who
will get what you have prepared for yourself?' We need to be on guard, or
the things we own will begin to own us. It is our own clenched fist that
makes us a prisoner.

 

Open your hand to the hand of God and you will see great things take place.



Author Unknown

Monday, February 13, 2006

Would Your Pastor Look For You?!

Shipwrecked       The second man was propped up against a palm tree and acting so calmly it drove the first man crazy. "Don't you understand?!? We're going to die!!"  

The second man replied, "You don't understand, I make $100,000 a week."
 

The first man looked at him quite dumbfounded and asked, "What difference does that make?!? We're on an island with no food and no water! We're going to DIE!!!"


The second man answered, "You just don't get it. I make $100,000 a week and I tithe ten percent on that $100,000 a week..............My pastor will find me!"

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Kids DO Say the Darndest Things

THIS IS FABULOUS!!!  

(It was written by an 8-year-old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista, CA  He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to "explain God". I wonder if any of us could have done as well? )


EXPLANATION OF GOD:

 
"One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth.  He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers."

 
"God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off."
"God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have."


"Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church."
"Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K."

 
"His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important."


"You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time."  "You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God!  Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway."

 
"If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can  It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids."

 
"But...you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you.  I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.
And...that's why I believe in God."

Monday, February 6, 2006

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

                                 Picture from Hometown   Well, here I am......finally.  Sorry it is under these circumstances.  I lost my step-father last Friday.  Will be headed the funeral soon.

Polk Hawthorne.  He came into Mama's life about 5 years after she lost Daddy.  She had tried the Church Singles group, and a little dating.  But had been appalled at the behavior of the men.  I was off at college, about a two hour drive away.  I knew she felt incredibly lonely.  I swear she heard as soon as that Mustang Cobra turned onto the other end of our two mile highway headed to the house.  She would be outside by the driveway waiting when I pulled in!

Polk was her sister's husbands double first cousin.  (Don't worry....if you ain't from the South, you'll never figure it out.)  They "met" over at their house.  And they began to keep each other company.  Soon it was bonified dating.  And then marriage.  My sisters and I took Mama to see Conway Twitty live for her bachlorette party. 

Any old how.  I was very happy for Mama, because she seemed happy for the first time since Daddy died.  But I had some issues I quietly worked through on my own....with a little help from above.  They were planning to move into "our" house after the honeymoon.  I was home from school in bed alone there.  Wide awake.  I heard Daddy's footsteps walk from the back bedroom, through the kitchen and into the living room.  Oh, they were his for sure.  As he was the only person who ever walked through that house and made the lids rattle in the bottom of that old Frigidaire stove!  (No, I do not believe in ghosts.  I believe that when we experience something we explain as a ghost, it is either a vision God has allowed to reassure or comfort us or a demon posing as a deceased soul.)  This experience reassured me deeply that no one could remove Daddy from my heart or take his place in Mama's.

Polk, himself, proved to be a reassurance.  He never tried to impose himself on me as "Daddy".  Oh, he was there for me in many ways like a daddy, but he didn't assert himself as one.  Our relationship evolved into one like that of a dear uncle and niece.

Mama was only around for two short years after their marriage.  But Polk helped her to be happy.  To feel needed.  And to feel taken care of.  I don't know how she could have stood the loss of my middle sister without him.

My kids have clung to him.  Neither of them ever got to know all of their grandparents.  He was the feisty, funny old man that chewed a cigar, raised peas and tomatoes.  The one they helped in the summer.  They one that always had yellow cling peaches to eat at his house and a new cigar box for them at the start of each school year.

Polk, like so many of his generation, served in WWII.  Came home.  Worked many years as a guard at a Texaco refinery.  Gardened.  Truck farmed his produce to grocery stores along the way to work.  In later years, he had a garden with a shed, where folks came to him to get the biggest and the best.  (But Daddy could've beat him any day on tators!)  Never down sick.  Always plugging along, through spurs in his neck, diabetes, and other infirmities.  Never really complained.  After all, what good would it do..."It wouldn't change anything.", he'd say.

It took 83 years for his age to catch up with him.  He was 84 upon his passing.  I know that there is not a lot of detail about him here...but he was a simple person.  And, after all, it is the mark he has left on us that matters.                                

Polk, you'll be missed. Picture from Hometown

 

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