Friday, May 31, 2013

Hope & Peace

Sometimes in the middle of reading a heart wrenching letter from a friend we find the most profound hope and peace. The message in the letter is not something I want to read or believe, but I know every word is true. Instead of being in tears over the contents of the letter I should let the author's hope and peace in the Lord wash over me.

Healing will occur either here on earth or in heaven. I will continue to stand and pray for a miracle; I may grow weary but I will not give up, I am contending for the author of the letter.

We've shared many sweet moments together in laughter and in tears over births, deaths, lunch, Bible studies, and ministry training classes. I look forward to more laughter with her in the months to come.

My hope is in the Lord, His Word tell us:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


As details of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado's swath of destruction pour in, one detail broadened my grief in a significant way: As parents waited for news of their children, a man with a megaphone called out the surviving children's names. I can barely type the words because I am overcome by tears.

The first few days after a tragedy the Body of Christ comes together in prayer for the victims. The Red Cross and the Salvation Army arrive along with the National Guard to provide much needed assistance. The Governor of Texas sent one of our most elite search and rescue teams to help with the search and rescue. (I pray it is rescue and not recovery.)People from across America will descend on Oklahoma to help our fellow Americans.

After a little time passes our lives will go on as "normal". However the tornado victim's lives will be far from normal. My hope is we continue to lift them up in prayer and continue to support them for weeks and months to come. My hope is that amid the destruction, they know God is with them. His Word tells us:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

I pray those grieving the loss of loved ones experience healthy grief and if they only know 1 thing, it is God loves them, He has not forsaken them, and He is with them every step of the way through the healing process.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013 Siesta Verse

My Siesta verse is John 15:6 from the ESV:

If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

Friday, May 3, 2013

My Great Grandmother

As I searched through old pictures earlier in the week, (desperately trying to find my 8th grade class picture to scan and post on Facebook) I saw many pictures of my great-grandmother. I don't think of her often these days, though she was a profound influence on my life. Lena Bell Hays 11/09/1898 - 12/14/1976. I spent a lot of time with her until I was 9 when she had a major stroke, she lived the next 6 years in a nursing home.

She was a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother. She relished being a wife and mother. She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren with all her heart. I saw her pour out love on family, friends, and complete strangers. Her bank account was slim, but her faith was huge.

My great-grandparents sold their farm and moved to Whitney, Texas before my great-grandfather died. After he died, she sold the car and walked everywhere. (She never learned to drive.)We walked to the grocery store and post office. We stopped along the way to talk to people in their yards and on the street. I realized she knew almost everyone in town, knew their physical needs and spiritual needs but yet she never talked about people. I never heard her gossip. (Wish I lived my earlier years without the need to gossip!)I never heard her speak an unkind word until Dr. Martin Luther King, JR was murdered. I also remember she prayed civil rights would not be set back. It then dawned on me, she not only made meals for the people of her church and circle of friends, she sent meals to all people of every color she knew were in need. Sometimes they lived too far away for her to walk over with the meal and she would ask her daughter or son-in-law to drive her over or even her neighbor Mrs. Sally. (Mrs. Sally had a 1946, steel grey, Buick which she drove at an alarming rate of speed - 54 miles an hour city or highway...stop signs schmop signs was her motto. And besides, did one really need to see over the steering wheel???)

Lena wanted to live out the Bible in her every day life. She did not care about a person's color or religion. She was not afraid to embrace an African American woman on the street or hold their baby in 1965. She was not a missionary or pastor in a church but she pastored me in living out God's love and showed me the entire world is the mission field. She radiated God's love and joy though her life had been hard.

I hope when I die, I will be remembered for loving the Lord and serving Him not as a hypocrite. I want to live my life pouring out His love.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1, 2013 Siesta Verse

My verse is John 15:5 - I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (ESV)